“What materials and what techniques transfigure or update one’s ability to compose? The codes of an individual perceiver, the singular writer and reader, are reverse-engineered here to figure in a multitude who simultaneously compose.”
“The rhythms are circadian and the objects elemental. Each entrance is a re-entrance, each hushed utterance a way to say: Again? Again, into one’s lived space, one’s climate…”
- Michael Nardone, from the forward to Listing
Listing is a book of poetry comprised of five long poems. The raw materials that supply the imagery for Listing are bound closely to place, circumscribing the renewal of a decaying homestead while also acknowledging the reconstructed experience of place-memory that contemporary language invokes. This point is underscored by the sentence structure used in the poems; in the beginning, the poems were composed out of materials generated originally as social media posts - updates, appeals, declarations, imagistic sketches, questions or invitations.
As the project developed, I began writing new posts that I had no intention of publishing, in counter-dialogue with the culture of online self-promotion. These posts were developed in response to an older poetry cycle I had written years before, whose questions and images provided the prompts that would normally have emerged from the impulsive back-and-forth of online interaction. As the project evolved, the post-poems were organized into informal stanza structures, whose vertical orientation seemed suitable to the earlier writing that had served as touchstones for the posts: elegies.
Excerpts of Listing have previously appeared in Cordite (Australia) http://cordite.org.au/author/johnluna/
The home base for my writing and art practice can be found at: www.johnluna.net
A Facebook author page generated for the promotion of Listing: https://www.facebook.com/JohnLuna2015?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
[Video credit – “Charcoal”, Copyright 2015 Michael Jess with John Luna. Music (“Side Two”) by Meditapes. Note: headphones are recommended for best experience of sound in this video.]
Risks and challenges
I was invited to compose this book by Michael Jess as an extension of his art-related publishing project, Decoupage. It was an unexpected offer, leading me to develop work outside of my professional arena (art, art criticism and teaching) with unexpected and exciting results. Response to the poems has motivated me to pursue publication of the book, though I wish to preserve the independent spirit of the original proposition by self-publishing. Your support will help me realize this desire, lending the needed tension and suspension of disbelief to what would otherwise be a passionate but isolated vanity project. Successful promotion and publication of this project will enable me instead to use it (and its offshoots, such as the video by Jess that you see here) as part of an extended performance work whose future outlets are not limited to writing alone. While the material demands involved in planning and funding this project have not represented an obstacle to me, the positive feedback represented by resolving this campaign will contribute critical momentum to its realization.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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