Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Living Page & the Ink Aware


John C. Goodman runs ditch, a fantastic online magazine "celebrating the non-conforming, the radical, the alternative, the surreal, the avant-garde, the non-linear, the abstract, the experimental." As it reminds us on the main page:

ditch, n., where you are when you are not on the main road.

John kindly invited me to be the 'featured poet' for February. He just emailed me today to let me know that my page has gone live. What more could any writer want than a page has become alive with the Dr Frankenberrian demiurgical alchemy of his/her words.

To see the thrashing about, the grammatical gnashing, the narrative rattling of the bars, you can visit my page there.


I learned what was "Ink Aware" when I received 'Smart Board' training at my teaching job. A Smart Board is a large screen that functions as a high-tech blackboard: you can write on it the way that you would a PDA or a tablet computer, or use it as a giant computer monitor. Certain programs (which recognize & can interpret the written input of the stylus or finger) are termed "Ink Aware." I love that phrase. What else is "Ink Aware"? The page as a field of composition? Readers? Fingers? Does a pen know its own ink? A squid? A bathtub?

When we first got the Smart Boards in the school, mine (the one in the Grade 5 & 6 music classroom) didn't work. I had for a few years been talking about my Dumb Board, which was a whiteboard which also didn't work properly. All teaching was palimpsestuous: a ghostly blur of past lessons was left on the board. Then I had this new high-tech board which wasn't functional, upon which one could write nothing. I told the kids that it was a very special board and that, being a 'smart' board, only the smart kids in the class could see what I wrote. I impressed them with my masterly drawings of the Mona Lisa and sensitive, thoughtful renderings of Barney. I staged lavishly illustrated imaginary lessons which were like dreams, stand-up comedy, or mass delusions. (I know -- how is that different than usual?)

When they finally hooked up the Smart Board, a beautiful thing happened. In front of the kids, I turned it on for the first time, making a great to-do -- replete with enthusiastic fanfares & outrageous promises of what would now be possible. The image appeared. It was upside down.


"Before they
show themselves, objects should carefully consider
what they are requiring their observers to

from Sleeps 42

"Every passion is an eccentricity
emitting normal detail centrifugally"

from Sleeps 25


Jeff said...

Re.RELIEVING: Memories of my own hydrant. Ha!

troylloyd said...

digging the Ditchwork,
a fine prism shattering scissors upon uncut umbilical ropes.

i have a fondness for dumb-boards, the clapping of erasers, the trace of prior you spake of, the alphabet always in rest above, how smart i thought i was in the third grade when i was called upon to answer the math question, required to walk up front & finalize it in chalk, the problem was 0 X 0 = ? , haha, i knew i knew! it was zero! somehow appropiate.