Keep Walking

For a while I was interested in "interestingness". For a while I was interested in "infinity". For a while I thought that it would be interesting to create a work that was infinitely long but which, to someone (probably me), for some reason, by some metric, might be interesting along its entire length.

This was the closest I came. Keep Walking is probably impossible to read to one's self and get any pleasure out of. It is more of a script or a score than a poem, or more of a performance poem. For a while I was thinking about Morton Feldman and issues of scale and repetition and variation. For a while I was thinking about how we evaluate poetry, and the impossibility of engaging with "the total object", the poem in all its senses and manifestations, the elusiveness, and how being "elusive" relates to being "interesting".

I have never performed this entire piece aloud, but in order to get a sense of what it would sound like, I had the computer read it, and the computer's cool and clinical voice worked nicely with the text, and so, pending a human reading, I offer it to you. It is four hours long. It could have been longer, but I didn't think it would continue being interesting.

I would read the whole thing on request, though. It would, I hope, be interesting.

Download the pdf of Keep Walking. Or, perhaps better yet, listen to the mp3 (4 hours, 84Mb).

3 comments:

  1. Geof Huth said...

    Chris,

    Since I'm home today, I've set Adobe Acrobat so it's reading this out to me right now. Nancy wondered if it was Stephen Hawking speaking. I'll try to remember to report back in four hours.

    Geof  

  2. Chris said...

    For whatever it's worth, the mp3 has one of Apple's female voices reading it -- I forget which one, but it's one of the more naturalistic ones, and it was her calm and deliberate manner of reading that made me "hire" her as the voice "actress". But I've never listened to the whole thing with the default male Hawkingesque voice. Maybe it will be more agitating? Maybe that will work nicely.  

  3. Geof Huth said...

    Chris,

    The reading of "Keep Walking" is over, and I thought it fascinating. A great intellectual idea, a perfect framing and variating of language, made so that I could hear it and understand and see how it was working, repeating, and changing, and still understand it. Of course, it wasn't anything I could focus on intently for the whole time, but that doesn't matter.

    It works better, I'm sure, in its aural versions (give the reading, man) than as text, but as text any page can be chosen and the reader can make sense of that square and move on.

    Really, I like the PDFs you're releasing, and they need more promotion than I've been able to muster for them. These are intellectually stimulating, and still poetic. And remarkably dissimilar: the first an exercise in minimalism, and the second an exercise in maximalism.

    After April, I might take up your trowel and make a sequence of 7 X 7 X 7 poems (to go with the 7-line stanzas all my recent poems use). It's a good exercise, and you did well with yours. Also, thanks for the link to the Bob Perelman inspiration in that release. There was a beautiful poem, perfectly read--AND simple enough to be intellectually intelligible, at least on the surface level, on first hearing.

    Now, that I've blogged on your blog today instead of mine, I wonder if I should write anything else tonight.

    Thanks.


    Geof  


 

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