Font Poem Four

see previous….

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The Font of an Idea

Some years ago I had what seemed an original and exciting idea for experimental writing: poems based on and written in the name/style of their unique fonts. These fonts were mainly [if not all] designed by individuals and supplied online, rather than being a part of, for example, Word fonts provided as a software package and selection.

It didn’t work. The main reason is the poems I wrote weren’t overall good enough. Naff in many cases, or just too literal – though perhaps that means the same thing.

But a few worked, it seemed to me, and some of these survive and exist elsewhere as poems, but in a conventional font.

I’m going to post of few of these in their original, unique fonts over the next few days. The idea was a resultant collection/booklet would have an index with the fonts named and written in their style so the reader would have to match to a subsequent poem to anchor the meaning. Anyone wanting to play that game with these few poems can do so. But first the title and cover of the book that never was:

font-title

Index:

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font-types-2

First poem:

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First Cut-up Poem

Combining my enduring nostalgia with a present immersion in writing found poems, I have quite by chance today come across the first cut-up poem I ever wrote, probably around 1968-69 when I was 15 years old.

Bob and I each wrote a poem about a cat, one black and one white, and I can’t recall who wrote which. The rest is as you can now see:

cat

Seaside Osmosis

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How the stone greys, cement sames, pebble
hues, sand, sea seeps, oxidation, rust-bled
lines from former attachments long severed, and
all the shades of shit dumped in the ocean over
years and years have risen to pretty pastels along
the beach-hut fronts, numbered doors noting who
lives here and in the now of their paint-strokes.

How many have carved a name or obscenity at
low tide – it will be washed away – as we know from
scribes who have etched history in its otter sandstone
along the low cliff faces [mercia mud too high unless
it is falling on that longhand] over time? Questions
of osmosis absorb in the moment; someone opens a
baby-blue one to wave goodbye at another outside.

[picture by artist and photographer Nick Dormand]