Wandering through the Universal Archive

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A new chapbook of mostly Australian poetry, Wandering through the Universal Archive, has just appeared online curated by poet Fiona Hile. This anthology centres on collaboration and includes poets Michael Farrell, Oscar Schwartz, Amaranth Borsuk, Brad Bouse, Toby Fitch, Kate Middleton, Pam Brown, Maged Zaher, John Kinsella, Justin Clemens, Charles Bernstein, Richard Tuttle, Jessica Wilkinson, Simon Charles, Timothy Yu, Ken Bolton, John Jenkins, Marty Hiatt, Sam Langer, Astrid Lorange, Eddie Hopely, Nick Whittock, Tim Wright and myself.

What follows is an excerpt from Fiona's introduction concerning the work I contributed and my practice more broadly.

Somewhere in the middle of the Australian state of Victoria, the poet and artist, Patrick Jones, is painstakingly gathering and reorganising remnants and cast-offs. Artist as Family is just one permutation of an ethos of ‘permanent making’ that takes place under the rubric of what Jones has termed permapoesis and has included the design and installation of a public food forest for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Broadly speaking, Jones’ poetic mode is one of epistemological intervention. It rebels against what it thinks of as the ‘neat technocratised rows’ of printed poetry in English just as it seeks to disrupt the agricultural categorisations that insist on the eradication of weeds. For Jones, weeds repair land damaged by farming and industry and prepare the ground for reafforestation. His construction of a comprehensive Daylesford Community Commons Map that pinpoints the location of off-the-grid edible fruits and plants foregrounds issues of inclusion and exclusion. Who gets to decide what or who belongs where and to whom? If a plant or a letter or a word is in the wrong place it is viewed as a ‘mishap’, or a disruption. To overcome this ‘the eye has to get out of the machine and walk … the text becomes something the eye has to forage for or through.’ The map and the two poems gathered here constitute ‘a refiguring or reclaiming of the geopoetical – poems of the earth.’ 
One of the two poems Cordite published as part of Fiona's chapbook is called Winter's pharmacopeia, and it goes something like this:


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