Tuesday, May 05, 2009

More Twitter Verse

Twitter verse expands in its way. Poetry Foundation posts lines from poets:

poetrymagazine The shoes are at the bottom. / They are afraid of a beetle / On the way out, / Of a penny on the way back —G√ľnter Grass
about 1 hour ago from web

And here is a selection of posts from a Norwegian conceptual poet who searches the internet for phrases of a certain origin. Mindful of Goldsmith's No. 111 2.7.93-10.20.96, in which the text, created entirely with found material, begins with "A" and works up to the final section, a "single 'phrase' 7228 syllables long and just happens to be the entire text of D.H. Lawrence's 'The Rocking Horse Winner.'" Andersen's project is not as complicated as Goldsmith's, and as I ask with my own little Twitter verse project, one wonders what these echoes of Goldsmith's oeuvre really have to offer the literary world. They do show us something about the language circulating to be sure. With Andersen we get a sampling of the self-assured. Just what is it we feel worth stating the facts about? What is the level of writing on the net? The constraint--the rules Andersen applies to the already existing Twitter constraint, do offer up some interesting results.

Name Paal Bjelke Andersen
Location Oslo, Norway
Bio Google search for the phrases /It's a fact that I/you/he/she/it/we/they/ the last 24 hour
It's a fact that you're gay.
about 3 hours ago from web

It's a fact that you only get one chance to make a first impression.
about 3 hours ago from web

It's a fact that I usually stop reading after the first mistake I see (usually your first line).
about 3 hours ago from web

It's a fact that I tend to be honest with anyone I am getting into a relationship with.
about 3 hours ago from web

It's a fact that we are all one – parts of the whole.
about 15 hours ago from web

It's a fact that she has won the Best Actress.
about 15 hours ago from web

It's a fact that you exist.
about 22 hours ago from web

It's a fact that he knows me better than I know myself.
about 22 hours ago from web

It's a fact that you may be wrong.
about 22 hours ago from web

It's a fact that they are awakening from their comatose state because I interfered with their thoughts.
about 22 hours ago from
As with Flarf, it's all about the search terms. That really narrows the results and hence the text one has to work with. Andersen's lines can't exceed 140 characters--or perhaps they would then exist over more than one post? Not sure. Does it matter? Not sure either.

Jim Behrle has started a Twitter Magazine of sorts. Behrle's Twitterary Magazine is called baby trotsky and can be found here. He is inviting people to post their Twitter Verse collectively. The latest post:
Once, under a huge tree in Central Park, Toni and I watched and listened to the rain. Lots of storms have come and gone but this one stayed.
6:11 PM May 1st from web

--Nick Piombino
6:11 PM May 1st from web
That post illustrates a bit of a Twitter conundrum. If one truly works with the 140 character constraint--as I do with my little offerings--one can neither sign one's work, nor leave enough room for it to be forwarded, which is apparently one of the goals of Twitter. Expansion. Forward and get more Followers. But the post itself is also quite a unified little story. It echoes the fable, it has character, event, an arc, a wonderful sense of foreboding. Like Arjun Basu's little Twitter stories, I think this one is quite coherent. Here's one from Carol Mirakove
sidewalk heartbreak triumvirate complete / tomorrow I tape / my body parts & pray / for dirt I thank you / thump--Carol Mirakove
9:11 PM Apr 28th from web
Mirakove doesn't adhere to the count, as you can see, in creating her poem. Is she using found text? Is there another constraint going on?

This guy thinks of Twitter as a collective writing exercise.

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