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December 20, 2007

DOD: the death of depth; the Birth of Fork (a re-gifting [for the season] of a gift received while at the movie)

Once upon a time, a few years ago, there was no limited fork, so forker girl could not be forker girl. That thinnest sliver of moon when the moon is waning away could not be seen as the tine of limited fork it also is, so had she had her she-ness then, she would have slipped right by that tine (as many things do).

There wasn't even --please forgive the shock of this -- there wasn't even yet the POAM (product of an act of making), an enclosure system for way more than poems, print and otherwise, these just a part of PES: poam enclosure system.

But at the end of an October that was different as if because of what was going to happen at the end of that month, in a movie multiplex that was different at that moment in October also, in response to reverberations, perhaps, of the wobble responsible for this difference; certainly in the brain of the forker-girl-to be these was some vibration; and all that was tuned to a similar frequency produced a concert of meaning finally (that end of October, the week before the witches) within a perceptible range and bingo!: a limited fork passed right through her.

This video essay tells the tale of my skewering
(I am now open to so much.)


Some before & after shots of my forked existence:

Before: not enough substance to be perceptible; sorry.

After: some FEP: fork-eye phenomenon

(photo by strexx of strexx.com)

and some forked fertility

(photo by strexx of strexx.com)

Finally, a video poam gift for the winter holiday season: The Ostrich Culture of Snowmen:

(thanks, Nick, for reminding me, in your post, about the existence of snowmen, an existence you mentioned in response to Transient Poams, another one of my posts --we've got quite an interacting system going on!)

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December 09, 2007


To start, to join something already in progress --systems and enclosures--
enclosure helps establish itness, helps identify things as things.

(the Limited Fork plant didn't just sprout, didn't just blossom; it took hold in a fertile area from seeds that came from something enclosed in a system just as fertile)
(image of Limited Fork plant in the Garden of Forked Delight by Proforker T Moss)

So to be able to identify a poem (which is a creative product enclosed by poam: product of an act of making) is to also be able to enclose what is called poam in poem..

System implies activity in the establishment and/or maintenance of connections between parts of a more complex network which itself may function within a larger network; something is/has been at work.

(image of Limited Fork tool at work by Proforker T Moss)

Enclosure refers, at least in part, to what binds the network (in some way, on some scale, for some duration, at some rate); enclosure refers, at least in part, to the logic or method by which the parts are a set or group (in some way, on some scale, for some duration, at some rate); the substance of the link(s), of the connection(s) is an indicator of enclosure.

**Be sure to discuss in your grand finale post the nature of the system of enclosure you are using to map your understanding of poems/poams as systems of enclosure. Be sure to articulate the rationale that you are using, that you are updating (through 18 December for the purposes of the class as enclosure) as you prepare your blog and supporting materials (visual and sound enclosures may be part of your blog enclosure).**

How flexible, how rigid, how varied is your system of enclosure?
What are the properties of your system of enclosure? The rules of inclusion/exclusion? What are the limiting factors that help determine what is the property, that is: what belongs to and what doesn't belong to your system of enclosure?
--of course your system of enclosure may have subsystems, parts each one of which may be viewed as a whole or an allness.

The following audio piece, Poetry Is a Dynamic System, by forker girl and ansted of strexx.com offers some of the details of some of the properties and property's of the Limited Fork enclosure system:

I remind you now that margins may be one of the more important parts of your enclosure system. The margins may help identify the shape of the enclosure system. The margins, especially occupied (define occupancy margins function as the framework of the system, so that which is marginal, that which is peripheral may delineate the shape of the system.

(image by Gary Fewless from the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity U of Wisconsin website)

Of course some enclosure systems do not have the physicality of a third dimension, so these systems are not objects from an unenhanced human perspective (yet another enclosure sustem); the code with which the following sonic enclosure system by Proforker Moss is embedded in this post is an enclosure system, and the sonic content is about an open, shifting (or blossoming) fork and ladder system of enclosing:

Visually, most print poams can be considered or can be mapped onto modified ladder systems of enclosure. As the situation of the poam system or the ladder system on which the print poam is mapped changes, so will the nature of enclosure. The margins and rules change as systems and/or subsystems interact with some entity, some variable.

Limited Fork itself may be understood as a system of enclosure that emerged as an outcome of interactions with complex or dynamic systems, the impact of technology in this digital age, and aesthetic expression of idea systems. Under these converging situations, poetry could not remain only as it was without modification, without reconfiguration. Acquired knowledge systems allowed poetry and thinking to reflect the process (or system) of that acquisition.

When Walt Whitman found himself needing to express an American poetry with European systems of poetic expression, the wildness of America did not fit the formal poetic frames well; too much was situated in the margins, and the American situations interacting with the need for accurate aesthetic expression allowed Whitman to develop an American poetics exemplified quite well by Song of Myself.

Innovation and aesthetic expression partner easily and of necessity when changing situations (forms of systems) support and/or even demand interaction, resulting in systems of enclosure in which modifications may be anywhere from subtle to profound.

Hiroshi Sugimoto, visual image maker, in reimagining math, mapping the abstract into/onto/as a tactile system of enclosure of great use to tactile learners, simultaneously demonstrates that art is possible even without artistic intention

(image by Hiroshi Sugimoto, caption, equation, and quotes from The New York Times magazine, copyright 2004)

The need for an American system of poetic enclosure or an American poetics was shared by many interested in more authentic engagement with American situations, and a pursuit of authentic expression/representation drives many aesthetic movements.

As America matured and various groups (subsystems) tested and questioned the rules and protocols of enclosure, Walt Whitman's model of an American poetics was tested by some makers to see whether or not it could accommodate emerging situations, especially those situations whose volatility might seem more pronounced than an aesthetic aspiration; authenticity itself, things themselves, red wheelbarrows full of whatever Americans in any situation put in them, America as it is, America as Allen Ginsberg enclosed it in a poam system known as Howl, a system of enclosure structured according to how Ginsberg breathed, the manner in which he lived in America, the manner in which he freed his voice so that it could be located, its structure, its situations, its properties and property's identified and mapped.

So in Howl where breath and pulse form a system of enclosure, we modify a system of jazz enclosure, of Pharoah Sanders embedding a system of heartbeat, a situation of metered irregular living (for the healthy heartbeat has natural variance) in his album With a Heartbeat.

Achieved: an irregular circle, we are back with the heart of Pharoah, but the properties and property's of situations of poam systems has evolved, has behaved like the system that it is, a linked network of irregular circles that form, when viewed within this curved frame, an irregular system of spiral enclosure (a form of ladder --recall a previous post: LADDER SYSTEM OF THE POAM AS ECOSYSTEM, a list (or unfolding blossom) of system of enclosure models and metaphors).

And also achieved, I hope, is the poam of your having been part of this blossoming semester for reason other than grade. I hope that other systems of enclosure that are part of your academic and personal lives have been able to connect with limited fork poam systems, with limited fork methods of building complex aesthetic networks of meaning in which any system of information and/or perception may contribute. Please listen to Proforker Moss' comment on systems of quality interacting with the limited fork system of participating in existence:


Here are a few more poam systems and idea systems about poam systems for you to consider as your system of enclosure unfolds within its emerging and evolving rationale:

Magnetic Poery online
Word of thhe day
Random Haiku Generator
Drunken Boat
Value of Sulfur by Charles Bernstein
The Last avant-garde by David Lehman

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December 02, 2007


Introducing the conceptual text-based visual systems of Jason J Gillingham.

You are not likely to find work like Gillingham's in most anthologies of poetry, even in anthologies of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry where there is exploration of the language's inexactitude and uncontrollable interfaces so that its use does not clarify and only seems to because of the trust placed in language without considering the structural and conceptual limits and fallibilities of language. The fragmentation implicit in language usage in exposed by Language poets; there should not be expectations that groups of words can form reliable coherency when it cannot be determined with any exactitude just what is being connected and what the logic of the connections might be.

Rather than trying to produce incoherent poems, language poetry extracts the meanings and portions of meanings that might be available in arrangements operating on other logics, often based upon the nature of experiences words have endured in use, misuse, overuse, abuse. negligence, assumption, over trust. etc.


Gillingham is not deliberately making poams; while text is a part of his work, the text is not meant to convey meanings based on their definitions. The words are placed in situations that change them, revealing alternative concealments, often at the expense of linguistic and syntactical integrity. As the words interact with their environments, there is a physical reaction. Usually, words are representational, but in Gillingham's poams, the words have thingness, and as things they are liberated from representing what they are assigned in language systems.

Of course it is possible to view Gillingham's text objects as fragmented, but I think of the situation of Gilligham's text objects more as the splitting of pods when growth erupts, the accessing of the interiors of the egg; Gillingham opens the words, none of which are empty.

The use of words as objects, and the making of poems that arrange these objects according to systems other than definitions is also compatible with L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry although Gillingham's work, nor the work of Ed Rusha is usually categorized as poetry, as problem with dominant and domineering systems allowed to shape the systems of significance/insignificance that shape the rules and protocols of society.

Ed Rusha, Lisp, and Lisp detail from National Gallery of Art.


Web feature written by Sally Shelburne, designed and produced by Donna Mann, and edited by Ulrike Mills. Thanks to Jeffrey Weiss, Barbara Moore, Phyllis Hecht, Lesley Keiner, Ira Bartfield, and Ric Foster for their contributions to this project.

A special note of gratitude to Ed Ruscha and his staff for their generous assistance in the development of this online feature.


1. Neal Benezra and Kerry Brougher, with contribution by Phyllis Rosenzweig. Ed Ruscha [exh. cat., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden] (Washington, 2000), 144.

2. Benezra and Brougher 2000, 147.

3. Benezra and Brougher 2000, 145 and n. 1.

4. Yve-Alain Bois, Edward Ruscha: Romance with Liquids, Paintings 1966-1969 [exh. cat., Gagosian Gallery] (New York, 1993), 15–16."

Text & credits from National Gallery of Art

I hope that you find considerations of intention a bit different in these conceptual poam systems than you've found in other more conventionally displayed print poams.

For some of you, what follows will be an introduction, for others an opportunity to reacquaint yourself with what I consider extremely significant conceptual poam work by two visual makers whose text systems are enclosed by visual systems further enclosed by the placement of text systems within visual systems and by the content of the text systems.

Those of you unable to readthe text systems literally, will still be able to read non-literal implications of the text systems.

Shirin Neshat is primarily visual (still and moving) poam maker whose pages (a page is a host of a poam event; where a poam event pccurs) often disallow negative space, text filling any location in the map of the poam that may be filled:

This visual poam by Shirin Neshat may be experienced in its source context, and more
of her visual poams may be experienced at Iranian.com.

Lalla Essaydi, visual poam maker of Converging Territories, a collection of visual poams in which what might otherwise be consigned to negative space is populated with text to an extent that saturated black areas of visual poams may be perceived as areas where text is so dense, so saturated, that individual parts of texts are not discernible, as evident in:

This visual poam may be experienced in its source context, a neighborhood of other Essaydi visual poams from Converging territories at: Laurence Miller Gallery.com

**Please Note: the comments about text density are offered only as a way of considering that visual poam aspect/element, not the way.**


Notice (as a result of what you've already encountered in this post, and in other posts, and in your poem and poam experience) how the resonance of an idea can help sustain interaction (a form of poam vibration, emanating pulses, waves, reverberations, etc.) , linking a poam or allness (area of forcus) to other areas, those linked areas being shaped by each other into other implications, other possibilities. Indeed, my incorporation of Galway Kinnell's Saint Francis and the Sow into my print poam Deirdre in Kinnell's Saint Francis and the Sow is sustained interaction, interaction bridge, and mutating (over time) reverberation. The link to Tokyo Butter's table of contents (actually referred to as search results in the book, offers a basic framework of sustained interaction or interaction bridge systems through close examination of your search of these search results.

It becomes evident that a conceptual system organizes the book, and reasonable conjectures can be made about possible principles of organization of the conceptual system --just from examination of the What Is Found There, a collection of charged essays considering how poetry can interact meaningfully with world systems, shaping them through interacting with them, and with persons who can also act as shapers, not just by regarding the intentions of makers, but also by extending those intentions, personalizing them so that the participant in a poam system acquires some intentions; that is: find something in a poam system that you can use meaningfully.

What can be found in poam systems can be profound, but the finder must be receptive to finding something, and must have a set of tools (that the finder must define) able to extract something from a poam system, a something that the finder can then attempt to shape into something from which others can find something.

(and that is also [part of] why we blog)

Here is a conceptual poam system of enclosure, Where Poetry Lives, submitted by 240 Forker Priya:


[I also recommend the print book What Is Found There by Adrienne Rich)


Let us assume that each part of a poam system contributes something (on some scale for some duration of time on some scale) to the poam system(s) to which the part belongs, and that parts of a poam system can include, to some degree, on some scale, for some duration: syntactical elements, images, linguistic patterns, aesthetic devices, maker intentions, syllabic patterns, rhythmic patterns, sonic patterns, visual patterns, oral patterns, co-maker contributions and extractions, and so forth;

and let us assume that readers of poam systems are also co-makers of poam systems in the interpretive patterns that co-makers construct during encounters with a poam system, interpretive patterns which themselves may be eligible for consideration as poam systems.

Here is Bubbling, one of forkergirl's video conceptual poam systems
(also available for download in both or either a high or low resolution version from the Limited Fork podcast, and available for viewing on you tube ):


The entire Bubbling system includes print pieces configured similarly to the print poam Me and Bubble Went to Memphis, that appeared in the online journal Oregon Literary Review

and will include a huge quilt that will be able to cover (conceal?) the walls of a room (a lot of variety here! in the size differential)


The following video poam components (or video stanzas from You Tube (that fascinating bifurcating enclosure system) by way of Baraka, a film (video poam) by Ron Fricke

(by the way, each video excerpt or video stanza is also an allness that is also hub, bifurcation point, bifurcating system, fluid stanza, visual and sonic punctuation, illumination, etc.):


This Baraka video stanza allness is available by link only; embedding has been disabled for: Baraka II.



Please continue blossoming and enclosing, folding and unfolding, illuminating and being illuminated, configuring and reconfiguring

not just by 17 December 2007, but for the rest of your lives.

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