Thursday, February 7, 2008

Found. Lost. Wah-Wah.

I had a wonderful morning spent eating oatmeal, drinking coffee, listening to the first record of George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, and reading the Found Poetry of Bern Porter care of UbuWeb. A Poet, Writer, Publisher, and Scientist, Porter was born on Valentines Day, 1911 in Aroostook County, Maine-
He actually worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II, but after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he was immensely distraught and became an outspoken pacifist. His 'Concrete' or 'Found' Poetry took the shape of books. Scandinavian Summer is a particularly charming one from 1961- "Scandinavian Summer is deceptively artless. If one is looking for hidden messages in this book, there are both none and an infinite number of them."Aphasia, 1961 - Aphasia is defined as "The inability to understand or create speech, writing, or language." "Porter subtitled his book, "A psycho-visual satire on printed communication." While assembling it, he and his wife Margaret were living in Ashland, Maine (also in Aroostook County), where he tried to make his living as a public schoolteacher, only to fail almost as soon as he began because, as he remembered, "In the teaching world I thought I could be different, but I was soon regarded as strange."
For whatever reason, If Not For You never sounded so good.


laura.g said...

(a) i am extremely jealous of your leisurely and culturally enriching morning.

(b) tangentially: i am a little obsessed with aphasia as concept, metaphor, and bizarre neurological reality. oliver sacks wrote a wonderful article on it for the new yorker a couple of years ago.

(c) i can't wait to see you guys next weekend!


bs said...

Dang man that ubuweb is something else!
All types of good stuff up there.