P O R E S   4
An Avant-Gardist Journal
of Poetics Research
E l i z a b e t h - J a n e    B u r n e t t
title page

Tony Trehy
Questions of Ideology and Ideological Apparatus

Gallery of work from contributors to the Forum on Women Writers:
Marianne Morris
Susan Johanknechtarmour
Emmanuelle Waeckerle
Carol Watts

Alan Halsey
An Open Letter to Will Rower

Allen Fisher
Minimaus: in response...

Will Rowe
Invisible Power

Frances Presley
Piano Trio by Nicola le Fanu

Frances Presley
two flames

Frances Presley
Frances Van Goor

Philip Davenport
Vogue Divine

Bill Griffiths
In Audience

Tony Lopez
What Can Be Done

Ceri Buckmaster
Contemporary Poetics and the Re-inscription of Urban Subjectivities

Dell Olsen


For the next twelve days I will be placing a rose somewhere in the city…began as an email request to friends, asking where in London they would like me to place a rose on their behalf. I had been thinking about Paul Auster's request to Sophie Calle to make phone boxes in New York “friendlier places,” which she responded to by leaving gifts (including flowers) in them.

In this site-specific project involving placing objects around the city, taking photographs, and writing a poetic text about the process, there are multiple stages and materials of documentation (a notebook of observations made to and from rose-placing locations, photographs, emails, and the resultant poetic text). I wanted the final text and book work to reflect these multiple stages of work, to foreground the processes, not the polished products of writing.

A multimedia form seemed appropriate for the piece: one that would allow the writing to appear in different stages of process. The digital piece shows writing in draft form (scanned images of my handwriting) and an image of the back of a Polaroid photograph (taken as part of the project), while the book work features the photographs and resultant poetic text.

The relationship between text and image is important in both book work and digital piece. Andrew Wilson's discussion of photography's power as documentary evidence in relation to Hamish Fulton's work provides a useful commentary on this relationship:

the picture made during a walk is…a single slice selected and isolated from a larger whole. In this way the photograph functions as a metonym for the walk, just as the walk itself functions as a metonym for a wider, more encompassing view of life being lived as the walk is made.

[Andrew Wilson, Essay on Hamish Fulton, Walking Journey (Tate Publishing, 2002), p.26]

The photographs in the book work fulfil a similar function, showing one aspect of the project (the deposited rose), but not revealing the full extent of the writing process. Wilson also discusses how in the 1970s, Fulton began to counter the legitimacy of the photograph as documentary evidence by placing the written word on a par with it, and by the early 1980s, using only words in his artistic responses to his walks. I have taken a similar approach in the digital piece, removing the photograph as (documentary) image by using the back instead of the front of the picture but keeping it as a framing device for the words and as a visible marker of the blank, of the unintelligibility, of all that is left out when constructing a narrative.

The procedure for obtaining the text was as follows: 1. Place photograph over a page of text from my notebook. 2 Write down the words that appear along the edges of the photograph. 3. Do the same with a photograph placed over a copy of the email sent to me by the person proposing a location for a rose. 4. Weave the resulting words together as I choose.

Performances of the work address the questions of liveness, as relating to the making, reading and performance of e-poetries, that I am researching on the PhD in Contemporary Poetics at Royal Holloway, University of London.