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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 four volumes of poetry, e.s.p., Cutting Time with a Knife, Who Unfolded My Origami Brain?, and Words on Edge, as well as a translation of the Chilean poet Estela Lamat, I, the Worst of All. His poems have appeared in jubilat, Lana Turner, New American Writing, Tin House, Verse Daily, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and elsewhere. Excerpts from a new manuscript in progress is forthcoming in Best American Experimental Writing 2018. He is Assistant Professor of English at the University at Albany, SUNY.

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