Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Poems: "Phabetical" -- by Nico Vassilakis

"In 'phabetical,' [Vassilakis] uses a toy microscope with a built-in video camera to capture highly magnified images of text, often with his hand moving the microscope across the page to capture still text in motion.... In this poem, he has used a software process to band many slips of texts into columns and rows, and he has captured these blocks of text in motion so that we can see all of the middle column but only half of the two columns to either side of it. The result uses Greek letters (an homage to his ancestry) so abstracted that they appear before us almost as concrete images: birds, an arm reaching out, a child kicking a ball. He forces us to see not the common symbols of our alphabet but instead the “phabet”: the pictographs from which all alphabets arose." —Geof Huth 

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Poet, writer and artist Nico Vassilakis creates visual and video poetry made up of parts of letters and phrases. He has published several books of poetry, including Disparate Magnets (2009) and staring@poetics (2011) and has edited poetry collections including Clear-cut: Anthology: A Collection of Seattle Writers (1996) and The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008 (2012). He also founded the Subtext Reading Series in Seattle, Washington.

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