Waves and Wet Kisses (Ann Iverson)

/ Warm and Wet Bison (A Memo Poem)

Katharina Joy

Waves and Wet Kisses. applying my fingers to the iPhone screen, I copy the poem into the Memo app. not quite the virtuoso - the poem does not fit on an individual Memo app page in my handwriting, so I need to proceed phrase by phrase - not even going line by line works out consistently.

(chopping, according to real, tangible limitations - first stage of fragmentation).

The Memo app gives you the option to transform your handwriting into typed text. Gathering the data from my scrawl, the app got it wrong often in subtle ways - sometimes in not so subtle ways. (Warm and Wet Bison - (second stage of fragmentation). Saving this typed text for practical use means emailing it to yourself - sent from my iPhone. (third stage of fragmentation).

Sending Ann Iverson’s poem through these (interconnected) steps of translation started with the pressure and warmth of touch, applied to the screen by handwriting - leaving a trace of pixels that represent collected data. In order to ‘save’ this impulse to copy down (to re-trace the poem’s words for myself) I choose to hand control over to the app - its transcription being completely dependent on mine, but ultimately the creation of a system of pattern recognition that I have no access to.

What I find interesting here is the poetic potential of the technology’s interpretation of the poem - finding tenderness in the moments of mistake, as well as moments of heightened attention, of heightened attention to words through some of the nonsensical clusters of letters in the end result. For me, the use of text material, like this poem, at liberty, and in collaboration with the procedural logic of technology, opens possibilities for contemporary re examination of poetic text and its construction.


Katharina Joy