In a poetic sequence playing with the negation by spacing and elimination (a “now” becomes a “no w here” and simply a “no”) [though not presented explicitly as such in the text nor in this particular order], one is immersed in a text of phantom letters and sounds. And so one comes across this configuration:
no is e against the silent sleep
bp Nichol from The Martyrology: Book III as collected in As Elected (Talonbooks, 1980).
Of course there is the evident play with “noise” by introducing some noise in the usual linguistic processing. What is perhaps not so evident is the echo of the Macintosh “eep” — the sign under the classic operating system that indicates error or a “no, no”. bp Nichol worked on the Macintosh and I believe his machine is housed at Simon Fraser University. [I know computer disks form part of the bp Nichol fonds ] It is likely the verbal echo crept into the poem through the reader’s anachronistic interpretation — the piece is dated 1971-1973 a little before the entry of the Macintosh onto the market. The first Macintosh was introduced on January 24, 1984. Eep! eep!
Interesting that in Morse code the letter “e” is represented by a single dot.
Interested parties with a mathematical inclination may want to look up the history and applications of the number e. One of my favourite pieces of information about the number e — Leonhard Euler started to use the letter e for the constant in 1727 or 1728, in an unpublished paper on explosive forces in cannons. Bang!
And so for day 668