06 June 2008

The Purple Book

There are a lot of little (and some big) books around Chax Press, blank books that I have sewn as models, or in teaching book making, from time to time. Today I spotted one small Oriental side-stitched book with purple covers of what is probably Lama Li Nepalese handmade paper. The front cover had a black zigzag paper attached — not really a true zig-zag, but it had a zig-zag pattern on each side. The back cover was bent in one corner, an inadvertent fold that happens as books move around sometimes. I decided to just write in the pages of the small book, and here is that writing.
This purple book
has a bent
on the back


how do I tell
front from back
before I begin
to write

the purple cover has
a black ziggy zaggy
on the front
the back cover
is well behaved
though bent
at the corner

zigzag is a pattern made
up of small corners at
variable angles, though
constant within the zigzag,
tracing a path between
two parallel lines

a zigzag is the juxtaposition
of chevrons, or of forward
slashes and backslashes


the trace of a triangle
wave or a sawtooth
wave is a zigzag

the sawtooth wave is a
kind of non-sinusoidal

I recently had sinus
surgery, but not
sinusoidal surgery

my purple corners are
bent, my virigules
are slashed

trace a path
breathe a breath
bend a corner

home now

the door opens

Charles Alexander, 6 June 2008
I wonder, if the found materials in the poem are the materials of paper, color, thread, etc., and the language of the poem in some way appropriates these materials, is this really an appropriation? Is this a conceptual poem?


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