“Splintered adjective, splintered light, splintered angel”

KFB | REVIEW
AN ABSENCE SO GREAT AND SPONTANEOUS IT IS EVIDENCE OF LIGHT  ANNE GORRICK
The Operating System, 2018

 

 

Raking knife|fork|book’s shelves for some experimental poetry I came across this little gem by Brooklyn’s The Operating System. I knew the moment I read the title, An Absence So Great and Spontaneous It Is Evidence of Light, it was a book I needed to take home.

Presenting friends with certain poems in “an Absence” without providing any context, they struggle to understand impenetrable words such as “brineshrimpdirect” or “Shantybisque.” I then like to share how every poem has been constructed.

The technological advances of the past couple decades have had a profound impact on how we interact with the world around us, and therefore how we consume and produce art. Search engines have come a long way since their humble beginnings. Google is now able to absorb the zeitgeist’s most discrete needs and reflect it back at us as eerily accurate predictions. These predictions, though computer generated and algorithmic, have been based on what the global soul has whispered into the search engine’s ears. In “An absence,” the poet ANNE GORRICK aims to synthesize these whispers as a poetic document.

“use this poem to generate random events like

Throwing up, falling asleep, losing weight

Stop breathing, you are a fortune cookie cliché”

Each poem in the book corresponds to a source poem that has been sifted through search engines and drop-down suggestion; some edited and some left whole. In the processual note of the book, Gorrick explains how the poetic “I” dissolves in the algorithmic desires of the zeitgeist, therefore expanding the poetic possibilities.

 

This book is belongs to the OS’s “PRINT / DOCUMENT” Imprint, which through publishing bold works such as “An Absence”, aims to showcase the power of the page in the age of digital media. As Gorrick points out in an interview with the publisher, “The electronic zeitgeist changes constantly, like a river. I’m riveted by the temporality of this unrepeatable experiment”; hence This book is a document, a piece of evidence to capture the electronic zeitgeist at the time of the experiment, perhaps one that can be studied in the years to come in to further develop our understanding of the time it was written.

“an unfinished husband, you are an oasis in collapse

Islands strung like chapter summaries, an idle stroll

Sometimes her flesh lived in the fun lane

A god

A check

A man

A grant

A Chevrolet

The forbidden fortunes in western wear

You have been closed

You were selected but not displayed

You became the formalist portal of god

You contained validation errors”

Gorrick hopes for this book to be a big middle finger to capitalism, which she believes has left poetry alone. On the subject of capitalism and poetry she states: “its about as contrarian as you can get right now to spend time on something that has essentially no efficient return, very little monetary transactionality.” But don’t let her anti-capitalist discourse dissuade you from buying her book.

this poem might be a transient madness toward advanced mathematics

This poem might be a transfer in heat between particles of a substance”

Gorrick mentions how she enjoys the materiality of paper, since it “contains light” and how the very title of the book can be a great description for both her mother and the internet.

In this grid of recycled words and light

Taxidermied tessellations

Time machine, the clear button, the web to draw in crowds”

This book is a mirror frozen in time; a look at the global soul through electronic inquiries, a document to which we’re all witnesses, so great and spontaneous it is evidence of light. 

“Is this poem an event that decreases the behaviour that precedes it?

Event mining, the mimic octopus

This sentence is camouflaged in adaptation

Presocial and post-colonial, mockery and hybridity

Darkness symbolled in lyric, her sadness splitscreen

Splice comma splice, sunlight in miniature

Splintered adjective, splintered light, splintered angel”

KHASHAYAR MOHAMMADI IS AN IRANIAN-BORN WRITER/TRANSLATOR BASED IN TORONTO, CURRENTLY AN EDITOR AT INSPIRITUS PRESS. THEIR MOST RECENT PUBLICATION IS MOE’S SKIN (ZED PRESS, 2018). DEAR KESTREL IS BEING PUBLISHED BY KNIFE | FORK | BOOK SPRING 2019.

LANDRUM OLAF RUTHIG

KFB FRIDAYS | THIS FRIDAY

INGRID RUTHIG | TED LANDRUM | KOMI OLAF POETRY & ARCHITECTURE 

In Conversation w/ Q&A led by ELSA LAM  editor of Canadian Architect Magazine

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 2ND

knife | fork | book
at The Dark Side Studio | 244 Augusta Avenue | 2nd Floor | Kensington Market | Toronto

Doors 6:30 Poetry 7
Access: We are a second floor walk-up with two all-gender washrooms. Please remove your shoes upon entrance.
TED LANDRUM’s debut book Midway Radicals & Archi-Poems (Signature Editions 2017) was shortlisted for the Lansdowne Poetry Prize. His writing has been published internationally in The Brooklyn Rail, CV2, On Site review, Lemon Hound, The American Society for Aesthetics, The Winnipeg Review, Katalog, the Winnipeg Free Press, Heartwood (a forthcoming anthology by League of Canadian Poets), and two books by Routledge: Quality Out of Control: Standards for Measuring Architecture (2010) and Confabulations: Storytelling in Architecture (2017). Ted teaches architecture at the University of Manitoba, and is co-curator for Winnipeg’s annual Architecture + Design Film Festival (adff.ca). Between distractions he is building an open archive of “Archi-Poetry” research at ubuloca.com.
KOMI OLAF is an afro-futurist, visual artist, and spoken-word poet, who projects people of Africa and African descent into the future through visual art. After completing his Masters of Architecture at Carleton University, he began a career as an artist to find a balance between painting and poetry, as a form of expression to promote social critique, healthy dialogue, and creative thinking. Working in painting, performance and virtual reality, the often Utopian themes expressed in his work have in common the artist’s fascination with hybridity and the general intersectionality of culture and race through a technological lens. Born in Nigeria, Komi has a unique perspective of being an African living in the Diaspora, a conversation about image and identity that he continues to explore through his work. Visit komiolaf.com.
INGRID RUTHIG graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Toronto in the mid-1980s. After more than ten years of practice in Toronto and licensing with the Ontario Association of Architects, she retired from the profession to create in other media. Her award-winning work as a writer, poet, editor, and visual artist has appeared widely. Her recent books are This Being (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), winner of the League of Canadian Poets 2017 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and another volume with Guernica Editions, David Helwig: Essays on His Works. Her ongoing visual project tackling perception, Re|Visions, was first exhibited last fall. A 2018 Hawthornden Fellow, Ingrid lives in Ajax, Ontario. Visit ingridruthig.com for more.
ELSA LAM is the editor of Canadian Architect magazine. She trained in architecture at the University of Waterloo, obtained her post-professional Master of Architecture from McGill, and completed her PhD in Architectural History and Theory at Columbia University in New York City. She was the 2012 winner of the Phyllis Lambert Prize for writing in architecture, awarded for her doctoral dissertation “Wilderness Nation: Building Canada’s Railway Landscapes, 1885-1929,” completed at Columbia University in the City of New York under the supervision of Vittoria di Palma and Kenneth Frampton. She previously studied architectural history at McGill University and architectural design at the University of Waterloo.

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NOVEMBER | 18

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KFB | NOVEMBER

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 2ND POETRY & ARCHITECTURE INGRID RUTHIG | TED LANDRUM | KOMI OLAF  In Conversation w/ Q&A led by ELSA LAM  editor of Canadian Architect Magazine


FRIDAY NOVEMBER 9TH ANSTRUTHER PRESS LAUNCH EMILY OSBOURNE Biometrical ANDREW BROOKS  One Country After DAVID GROULX Am A Skin Too JM FRANCHETEAU Heart & Deed & Mouth & Life


FRIDAY NOVEMBER 16TH LINDA FRANK | ROSS BELOT | SUE BRACKEN


mtp

SATURDAY NOV 17TH MEET THE PRESSES


ca hoa damianFRIDAY NOVEMBER 23RD KFB POETRY LAB PRESENTS  HOA NGUYEN | DAMIAN ROGERS | CACONRAD  IN CONVERSATION Advanced tickets at KFB $15 (KFB MEMBERS $10) $20 at the door.


CA NOVSATURDAY NOVEMBER 24 & SUNDAY NOVEMBER 25TH CACONRAD OCCULT POETICS WORKSHOP (SOLD OUT)


FRIDAY NOVEMBER 30TH ROBERT SIEK WE GO SEASONAL (Sibling Rivalry Press) TORONTO LAUNCH with Special Guest Poet LYNN CROSBIE


SATURDAY DECEMBER 1ST JULIA POLYCK-O’NEILL | CAROLINE SZPAK | RYAN FITZPATRICK  3PM


pappoSATURDAY DECEMBER 1ST   JONATHAN PAPPO CONTEXT, NA COLLAPSE LAUNCH  7PM 

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knife | fork | book
at The Dark Side Studio | 244 Augusta Avenue | 2nd Floor | Kensington Market | Toronto

Doors 6:30 Poetry 7
Access: We are a second floor walk-up with two all-gender washrooms. Please remove your shoes upon entrance.

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Very

cody fan

caetano

long shot

Okay, she’s a bit biased, and these are quickly becoming her favourite nights at KFB (certainly, the most welcoming, radiant, colourful, playful, sexy, and unabashedly QUEER)!

CASON SHARPE  YIWEI HU CODY CAETANO w/ her “wolverinology awesomeness” FAN WU worshipful master (and wQr Poetry Editor) who announced PRATHNA LOR and CODY CAETANO as the first two chapbooks coming out on KFB’s wQr imprint. Very.

And, the socks! #sockstobeseen