One (of the many) things poetry (all poetry, any poetry, be it concrete, visual, sound, or academically sanctioned) should do is make us look at language in new ways. Because looking at language in new ways allows us to look at the world (exterior and interior) in new ways. I have never seen anything by Nico Vassilakis that didn't make me look at language in a new way--and I've looked at a lot of work by Nico Vassilakis.
Many definitions of concrete poetry talk in terms of using the stuff of language--the words and letters themselves, the signifiers as well as the signified, using both, using it all--as a material for making poetry, for making meaning. Out on the fringes of meaning-making lies the letterform, and, the spaces inbe tween letterforms.
The work presented here is beyond even the minimal; it is fragmentary. But it is not so fragmented that it is completely devoid of lexical import/transport/report. Almost, certainly, but notquite. Notquite. This marks the line, for me, where far dissolves into too far. The edge, the soft, blurry, the ultimately unenforceable edge of meaning.
In my view, as of this writing (subject to change), one has to draw back from this edge, ifonly everso slighghtly (with apologies to Aram Saroyan) to arrive at concrete poetry. But drawing back is not required to arrive at lovely, not to arrive at wonderfuel, not to arrive at the point of not arrive.
Some of the following pieces may or may not be from a series whose name may or may not be "Brim's Nub".
For more Nico Vassilakis, please vist the following locations.
concrete poetry online: