Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Road Untaken

So, the annual Media Ecology Association convention was held on June 27th to 3oth, hosted by the University of Toronto, and specifically, Saint Michael's College, where McLuhan was an English professor, once upon a time. And in conjunction with the event, there was an evening of poetry reading and performance that I helped to organize.

 The convention organizer, Paolo Granata, wanted to use the title of the poetry anthology I co-edited, The Medium is the Muse, for the event, and asked me to provide a description for the program, and come up with an image to go with it.

Which I did. 

But he didn't like my stuff. So rather than let it go to waste, I thought I'd share it here on Blog Time Passing. And by way of explanation, when he asked me to write something, I thought, what's there to say aside from poetry reading or performance?

So I decided to produce something that was, in its own right, poetic. That is, to show rather than tell. And I'm not saying it's my best work, I did it on the fly to be honest, but for what it's worth, here it is:

The Medium is the Muse

An evening of poetry, the primordial medium, the message of the muses, the music of the medium, all the muse that’s fit to print, all the young muse carry the news, boogaloo muse, singing the blues, primeval media, the extensions of manifesto, the mimesis of the soul, hot and cool primal scream and final whispers, rebel yell and communal bell, rang sang bang a gong jongleur, spirit song, lung sung and sprung written rhythmic read out loud, spit it out, our utterance, outer rants, utter limits, what she said, what he said, what we sing, what they heard, eavesdroppings and adam’s choppings, tribal drumbeat and village idiom, echoes and dreams, audible visions, intoxicating voices, ear quake, aura of the aural-oral, singing aural-lee, the prism of oralism, primary orality, primarily oral, primed to oratorical apogee, epic epideictic vituperation and fulsome praise, art formed in waves and particles, auditory art and artifice of the spoken word, the word made flash, mighty winded words winding on and on, words shaken not stirred, verbal chowder, linguistic stew, mythic morsel and mouthful for audience appetites, technology of the throat, lyrics of the larynx, lip glossolalia, angelistic tongue in atavistic cheek, essential elemental vocalization, true talk and simulacrum of speech, bard speak, ritual drama, dance of language, the human refrain, cry of the incarnate and incarcerated, liberated lines and unrestricted rounds, freed verse and meter made madness, narcissistic narcotic, psychedelic science of the stanza, consciousness expansions, bridge over the bicameral mind, interplay of the hemispheres, interzone of the interior landscape, interface to the unconscious, monsters from the id, rhyme that brings forth reason, rebel with formal cause, mnemonic pneumonic noise, call to collective memory and commemoration, memorable thought and symbolic act, first histories and final plans, prayers of supplication and anticipation, vocal sanctification, chant of enchantment, sacred sonic space and profane performance plane, acoustic ecosystems, soundscrapes, the sound heard round the walled, so sing to me O muse, sing to medium O meme, of morphemes and phonemes, you singers of tales and heads embodied, a’musing ourselves to breath, to breathe, to laugh and love and weep and rage, a’musing ourselves to life!

So, what do you think? In any event, the next problem was what kind of image to go with that? I explained that it was inappropriate to use the cover image from The Medium is the Muse book, because this was not readings from that book, and most of the participants were not contributors to the book, some were but not all. And I also said it didn't make sense to use a picture of McLuhan because it wouldn't be all poetry inspired by McLuhan, again as opposed to our edited collection.

Well, it seemed to me that poetry is all about language, words, so what could be better to illustrate it than a word cloud? So I turned to my old friend Wordle to create one, having earlier discovered that you now need to download it to make it work. Anyway, I came up with a bunch of possibilities drawing on the words in the poetic description I just shared with you. So, here goes, lucky 13 of them:













So yeah, it's a lot, but I couldn't choose, and so I said choose whichever you like, and of course whichever would work best with the program. Which one would you pick?

That's okay, you don't have to answer, And in any event, none of these were used, which is only appropriate as they reference the poetic description which wasn't used.

So what can we conclude from all this? That there's no accounting for taste? Maybe. That Vogon poetry is alive and well. Maybe. That McLuhan would have understood? I think so. That blogs mean never having to say you're sorry? Most definitely.


Aron said...

Yes, Yes I see it now; You could take that place after Vogon Poetry. Love u Aron

Ren said...

6 and 8 are definitely my favorite ones! It is a shame you have to actually download the program, but it looks to me like it is worth it. I may give it a go!

Lance Strate said...

Thanks Aron, and Ren, I do think it's worth it, there's nothing quite like it as far as I can tell.