Steve McCaffery in “Bill Bissett: A Writing Outside Writing” collected in North of Intention: Critical Writings 1973-1986 advocates a type of anti-reading that emphasizes concentration on the graphic and sonic elements of a poem, that is attention to the materiality of the materials. He writes: “Which is to suggest that Bissett’s anti-inscriptional strategies are matchable by the reader’s own anti-reading that would affirm a motion, not comprehend a sense.” Instead of seeking an example in Bissett’s oeuvre, allow me to draw attention to Colin Morton “Election Day Ballet” from The Merzbook: Kurt Schwitters Poems where the concrete poem progressively deforms/reforms the word “ballot” into a line of bullets, to end with this:
It is not quite accurate to say that the poem deforms/reforms the words. The words appear as in a ballet. They dance in various slots and positions. It is only the last line that trips up the usual spacing between words. Nevertheless, the overall impression is one of movement from “ballot” to “bullet”. However the poem can be read from bottom-up and the movement from rat-tat-tat of bullets to the measured incidence of ballots. The anti-reading is in a sense antiphonal: it turns the other way. And along the way discovers other senses.
And so for day 675