There’s a reason why poets are on the list of people that politicians in power would like to silence. It’s because poets deal in the tools of the paradigm shift trade. Or, as Cicero said, “If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence.” Poets are the lightning rods of eloquence.
The concrete poem is often constructed such that it can be apprehended, whole, in one visual gulp. This makes it especially dangerous, because it can become a banner, a broadside, a pasted up sign, a placard, a stencil, a graffito, a scrawl, a slash and burn across the consciousness.
Jenny Sampirisi told me that the pieces in this suite “stemmed from my frustration and fascination with Bush’s “designated free speech zones” that he employed in the days before the democrats were elected to congress.” And I say, yeah. I say hell yeah. Because if:
“Words are the only bullets in truth’s bandolier. And poets are the snipers.”—George Wu (as written by Dan Simmons in Hyperion)
then I say the concrete poets are flying truth’s Stealth bombers. Boom.
Jenny Sampirisi has spent the past year behind a 35mm camera exploring her adopted towns, Windsor and Toronto (the results can be seen at http://accidentaltea.blogspot.com). She recently started up the concrete poetry website Other Clutter (http://otherclutter.wordpress.com) in order to sate her need to create and study concrete texts. Jenny also participates in performance poetry and will be taking part in Riff with seven other Toronto poets on April 5th for National Poetry Month. She contributed voice and text to the polyvocal and multi-media stage performance of Orphans Fan the Flames with Margaret Christakos and Rachel Zolf. Currently she is helping to organize the Scream Literary Festival (http://www.thescream.ca).
Her visual work, poetry and prose have appeared in Carousel, Misunderstandings Magazine, Qwerty, dANDelion, Filling Station, existere, The Windsor ReView and The Pine Beetle Review. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org