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Charlie Sayzz – twitter poem – PRESS RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE

Charlie Sayzz

A twitter poem made from Iraq/Afghanistan war reportage, intercut with quotes from cult leader Charles Manson, will tweet 1 Oct onwards from: https://twitter.com/CharlieSayzz

The poem draws comparisons between psychopathology and foreign policy.

Charlie Sayzz is constructed from incorrect 18-syllable haiku, to be transmitted one per day for the next year. The haiku is a much-abused and appropriated short (17-syllable) Japanese form, often meditative and peaceful. It is chosen here for its very in-appropriateness as a vehicle for war poetry. And yet under the placid surface, haiku surely is angry, because it is now such a colonised poetry. The extra syllable in these ‘bad’ haiku is to create dissonance (in old numerology, 9 is the number of aggression and 18 syllables ie 1+8 = 9).

The poem was devised by Philip Davenport and co-written by him with Richard Barrett, Steve Giasson, Tom Jenks, Michael Leong, copland smith and Steve Waling.  Tom Jenks programmed the twitter feed and shaped many of the haiku as visual poems.

This project is a parallel to Davenport’s novel Charlie Says (2013)

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Set in late-1960s Los Angeles, Charlie Says retells an apocryphal story: that cult leader Charles Manson auditioned for the pop TV show The Monkees. In this novel, he gets the part.

Michael Leong is the author of the poetry books e.s.p., Cutting Time with a Knife, Who Unfolded My Origami Brain?, and Words on Edge. His creative work has been anthologized in THE &NOW AWARDS 2: The Best Innovative Writing, Best American Experimental Writing 2018, and Bettering American Poetry, Volume 3. His co-translation, with Ignacio Infante, of Vicente Huidobro’s long poem Sky-Quake: Tremor of Heaven is forthcoming from co•im•press in late 2019. His critical monograph Contested Records: The Turn to Documents in Contemporary North American Poetry is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press in May 2020. He has received grants from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches in the School of Critical Studies at CalArts.

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