Archive of: endwar

IZEN, endwar, Andrew Russ, stuart pid, annie one, a.r.

The first thing I did when I decided to build this blog was attempt to name it. I'm big on names. I like to have the title before I start to write the piece--it doesn't stop me from moving forward if one doesn't present itself, but I will spend some time trying to get everything I want to cover under one decent umbrella before giving up and digging in. In the case of this blog, I had to come up with the name before I could build it. It's the nature of the creation process in the software. "untitled" seemed pretty weak, so I dug in my heels and committed to coming up with a name before going any further. So I talked about it a little with Geof Huth, mostly by offering up a couple of examples of his own work that I felt were representative of the kinds of things I was visualizing and then asking him what he calls them. One result of that set of exchanges was "minimalist concrete poetry", which I thought was a pretty darned good name. I still think it's a good name, but, I'm (obviously) having trouble with the next step, which is tying the knots in the lines to fabricate the net that is going to catch the kinds of fishies I'm after--or originally intended to be after.

Another result of that conversation was a suggestion by Geof that I get ahold of endwar (aka Andrew Russ), because he's done some things that seemed to Geof to be right up this alley. At that time I knew of his work only in the narrowest of terms (we both have pieces in Infinity Poetry show that was put on by Harvard's Dudley Literary Society), and knew the person of him only through a handful of posts he'd made to the spidertangle listserv (which is not to suggest that he's only posted a handful of times, but that, coincidentally, I have specifically put aside for later use and review a selection of his posts that I found to be of particular interest to me.

So I contacted him, and am very glad I did. It turns out he's one of the most knowledgeable, forthcoming, and just generally affable person I've met in a long time. He sent me a whole huge packet of things he's published through his micropress IZEN. What follows is a mix of copy lifted extant from the IZEN catalog, followed by a few thoughts of my own, and some images, as well.

IZEN
POB 891
Athens OH 45701
Slightly outdated website: http://www.phys.psu.edu/~endwar/izen/izen.html


lmnts r


IZEN Catalog says:
22 pages of bitesize bits of concrete poetry and semidiotic silliness by endwar. orange flourescent cover. we dare you to read just one. just read on.

I says:
typewriter concrete poems (with the exception of the final poem) that look to have been done with an actual typewriter, but many (though not all) of the poems rely on more than just the spacial arrangement facilities offered by a fixed pitch font, or the contextualizing power of the carefully chosen title. Some of my personal favorites, in no particular order:


lstlast.jpg

nipplenibble.jpg

relativemetric.jpg

istandisit.jpg

reverse.jpg

double.jpg


the subverse wanders off the word


IZEN Catalog says:
and into your mind. a haiku for the information age. cutups of single words. yellow cover. a new form. 28 of them by endwar.

I says:
Typewriter concrete poems that operate thus: a single word acts as both title and linear sequence of characters from which every word of the poem is comprised -- unused letters in any given line/word give up their space in the grid to, well, the space. Occasionally a word-sequence will span lines, but rarely. For an indepth introduction to the form, here's a .pdf written by endwar to be the foreword to Out of Words, by Runaway Spoon Press (2003). Some of my personal favorites, in no particular order:


forewarned.jpg

something.jpg

definite.jpg

following.jpg

dna.jpg


a/re sequence


IZEN Catalog says:
by a.r. 69 words spread over 30 pages. not to be read, to be experienced, a book about turning pages, about sequence, about discovery. obscure yet obvious, bright magenta cover. a re-form.

I says:
A series of (mostly) paired single word lines that act as an extended fugue examining the workings of "re". I won't share any excerpts from this one, as I feel that anything partial would ruin the elegant weave of the context that makes this book work. It's a book that needs to be apprehended whole to be properly appreciated.


from i to iran


IZEN Catalog says:
more subverse, this time in content as well as form. sex, revolution, flag-burning, and other hot topics appear in here. not recommended for young children or senstive minds. tan cover. 29 more subverses by endwar.

I says:
As promised, more subverse (see description of "the subverse wanders off the world", above). The second section of this book is devoted to the subverses found in the names of cities. Delightful, delicious, delovely. A few of my favorites, in no particular order:


inflaming.jpg

washingtondc.jpg

houston.jpg

rain.jpg


how wide the sky those eyes of blue


IZEN Catalog says:
10 love poems by stuart pid. matching blue cover. will appeal to those who believe in traditional poetry. kind of poe, kind of dante, kind of distant. horizontal format.

I says:
I have a particular interest in the traditional poetry produced by poets who are effective producers of non-traditoinal poetry. I like the places where they overlap, where some non-traditional twist is snuck into an otherwise traditional piece or collection. I don't see a whole lot of Poe in here, but I don't miss it, either. I'm not up on my Dante enough to say whether I see Dante in here one way or the other. I do see an honest and joyful heart taking a straight look at the funhouse mirror of love. A couple of my favorites:


whenyouglide.jpg

whycanineverlet.jpg

silverriver.jpg

star.jpg


entitled untitled


IZEN Catalog says:
by annie one. 18 pages of diverse self-referential nonsense. includes 5 progressively more minimimalist versions of the existential masterpiece "this is a poem that says i am". plus a parody of a richard brautigan haiku. plus! bright green cover.

I says:
Brilliant. To excerpt this one would also do the book an injustice. It's maginificent in conception and execution, and a candidate for all time highest yield on a running gag. This is probably my favorite piece of all the things that came in this package.


the pairwise interaction of nearest neighbor pairs


IZEN Catalog says:
poetry meets the ising model of solid state physics. 288-word association chain gang thang. about nothing other than what it is. goldenrod cover. by endwar.

I says:
A terrific sequence of words fitted together such that any given word functions as the the first word in the second pairing and the second word in the prior paring. In this case, I think examples are actually better than any explanation I could possibly construct. So, here's the introduction and the first two pages:


1.jpg

2.jpg

3.jpg


distilled water


IZEN Catalog says:
30 5"x5" one sided, unbound pages. part tribute, part travesty to the original still water by canadian concrete poetry legend bp Nichol. by stuart pid. "I've seen poetry like that when people have tried to log on unsuccessfully." -- Frans Lautzenheiser. comes in a black wrapper and a plastic bag. $3.00

I says:
I am going to hold off on talking about this one, except to say that it's magnificent, until I have obtained my copy of "still water". I want to talk about these two books, plus one or two others all at the same time.


zen puzzle page


IZEN Catalog says:
11" x 17" page. 10 things for not doing. for each correct answer, give yourself 30 blows. for each incorrect answer, give yourself 30 blows. folded in half. by endwar and dave levin. cheap at 50 cents.

I says:
Absolutely "cheap at 50 cents". This is a blast and a half. Rather than recreate the visual wheel on this one, I'll just point you to a page with links to individual versions of each of the puzzles that appears on this single poster sheet. http://www.phys.psu.edu/~endwar/izen/zpp.html The other reason I'm pointing there and not scanning is because I've already shipped my copy off to someone else who I know will get a kick out of it.


"i contact" postcard


IZEN Catalog says:
4.25" x 5.5" postcard with mistranslation of famous concrete poem "ich" by v. burda. Specify blue or green, left or right. 50 cents.

I says:
See for yourself...


icontact.jpg


antipostcards


IZEN Catalog says:
4.25" x 5.5" (approx). "Nothing" and "Post Card". 50 cents each.

I says:
"Nothing" is a clear piece of stiff plastic with the postcard parts printed on it. Difficult to do justice to it with a scan, but what I did was put it cattywampus on a page of the catalog to try and show its clearness.


anti-clear.jpg

"Post Card" is shown below, side one, and side two.

Side One:

postcard-side-1.jpg

Side Two:

postcard-side-2.jpg


sight/insight


IZEN Catalog says:
by endwar. What may seem to be very clear on first reading will become opaque and unintelligble after many repititions. Reading the noise turns it into a message. An epic of minimalism. 0.5" x 2", 30 pages, 2 words. $1.00

I says:
A flip book with paper covers and clear pages. My other most favoritest piece in this batch. This is a perfect piece. There is no substitute for holding it in your hand and flipping the pages.


insight-cover.jpg

insight-side-view.jpg


A Series of Postcards Not In My IZEN Catalog:

The fronts were originally 16x20 pictures for exhibits at Neopolis gallery in Cleveland the past two years. Mouseover to see title, and other side.



history-front.jpg

Mouseover to see title, and other side.


no-no-front.jpg

Mouseover to see title, and other side.


scale-front.jpg

Mouseover to see title, and other side.


transgender-front.jpg

Mouseover to see title, and other side.


nuclearrequiem-front.jpg

Mouseover to see title, and other side.


thefullset-front.jpg

Mouseover to see title, and other side.


bicentennial-1-front.jpg

Mouseover to see title, and other side.


bicentennial-2-front.jpg

Mouseover to see title, and other side.


youarewhatyouthink-front.jpg

Mouseover to see title, and other side.

An As Yet Unreleased Design From This Series:



itaintthe60s-front.jpg

Mouseover to see title, and other side.


One More Postcard, Not Part Of The Previous Series:


found-front.jpg

Mouseover to see title, and other side.


Bi-Sides, Not In My IZEN Catalog:

These are small (smaller than a standard business card) and printed on card stock. According to endwar, "The bisides, and the other ephemera (except "ten x ten") were designed as promotional giveaways to be left at stores that sell IZEN stuff in the absurd hope that someone picking up a card at the front of the store would connect it with the books buried somewhwere in the consignment section. Plus they were fun to give out. "ten x ten" was written in a slightly different version for issue 10 of X-ray magazine. Mouseover to see the other side.


reused-front.jpg

Mouseover to see the other side.


range-of-targets-front.jpg

Mouseover to see the other side.


blade-of-front.jpg

Mouseover to see the other side.


wise-man-front.jpg

Mouseover to see the other side.


death-sentence-front.jpg

Mouseover to see the other side.


lightlike-front.jpg

Mouseover to see the other side.


article-of-faith-front.jpg

Mouseover to see the other side.


television-front.jpg

Mouseover to see the other side.


phallic-symbol-front.jpg

Mouseover to see the other side.


inspiration-front.jpg

Mouseover to see the other side.


round-front.jpg

Mouseover to see the other side.


Other Ephemera:


tenbyten.jpg

whole-on-subverse-cover.jpg

in-memorium-nirvana.jpg


Closed:

t-reason-closed.jpg

Open:

t-reason-open.jpg

Back:

t-reason-open-back.jpg


At this point, I think the most appropriate thing I can say is that I highly recommend you support the poets and the presses that are producing the kind of work you enjoy. Get ahold of IZEN, buy some poetry. You will not be disappointed.

IZEN catalog 2006 (52k .pdf)

bIZENess details:
-- all books are 4.25" x 5.5" stapled, and cost $2.00, except where noted.
-- add 50 cents per order to help with postage, etc.
-- allow 4-6 weeks, etc. etc.
-- and please make checks payable to andrew russ

IZEN
POB 891
Athens OH 45701