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Strictly Abstract Poetry

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Paramodern Word Salad
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Welcome to the Automaticwriter Community.

Do not post here until you have read and understood this community profile.

==>What Automaticwriter is:

It takes its name from the practice of spiritualist mediums, whereby in trance or possession they would attempt to draw words from "beyond." This practice was later adopted/adapted by modernist writers, most notably the Surrealists, who wished to tap into their unconscious minds as a source of pure creative power. Traditionally, automatic writing took two principal forms. First the revelatory, an approach in which the writer let her hand be guided by deeper (or higher) impulses, dictating without conscious participation or editing. Second the aleatory, which is more like divination. The aleatory method uses random functions to create a message, such as the shuffled cards, rolled dice, suspended pendulums, or even unpredictable natural phenomena. Dadaists, Beat writers, and numerous other modern literary experimentalists took up these and similar approaches, in hope of generating surprising and marvelous works.

The Automaticwriter community embraces any technique employed to bring together words without too much effort of composition on the part of the conscious mind or ego. So-called nonrational or randomistic text generation techniques, as well as narrow-parameter writing experiments of groups like OULIPO, and even computer generated poetry; these things are encompassed by Automaticwriter. Why, even "found" or accidental poetry.

However, if sentiment or mood emerges in the work, it must be a lucky accident of the coincidental contact of words, rather than a contrivance of the poet. Automaticwriter is not a place for heart-felt expressions of love, loss, tragedy, melancholia, or other such Romantic things. Here is a place where word relationships are the focus, and not human relationships.

Also of importance is the juxtaposition and "chance meeting" of metaphors. By altering, remixing, or randomly arranging elements of text (the metaphors, the syntax, the very value of the words), we draw attention to the role that language plays in the communication of meaning and the representation of realities. Mastery of language involves not only having a good vocabulary, but having an understanding of where our words come from (not where historically, but where within us) and how they resonate for us. Thus the value of knocking words out of their "natural" contexts.

Are we masters or slaves of our language? Is it the function of poets to exploit the "magical" powers of language, while at the same time seeking ways to liberate themselves and others from those same powers? Is a poet a magician, pulling marvelous things out of thin air, and then showing an enchanted audience the clever means whereby they had been tricked? Well certainly not all poets function this way. But we'd like to think that the poets of Automaticwriter share these goals.

There are many models of the human mind, and many theories about the origin, function, and acquisition of language. There are many scientific, metaphysical, and philosophical rationales for the existence and purpose of human life and consciousness. Regardless of which of these things you have adopted, it is indisputable that language has been essential to our efforts to understand ourselves and the realities we encounter in everyday life. Everything that matters to us comes from language. Our myths, our religions, even the little lies we tell ourselves to make existence less frightening and meaningless.

In poetry, the pragmatic function of language as a pure medium of social communication breaks down. In poetry, words are chopped up, blended, fermented, distilled, and new meanings, new messages, new magics emerge. In the beginning was the word, right? The word is the domain of the divine, and a master of words is a master of the creation of reality, and the one who makes dreams and illusions manifest before the eyes of all.

Automaticwriter is a laboratory for the study of words as units of reality-building power. In randomization, in word-salad, in nonsensical and nonrational word compositions, the finger which points at the moon has the power to create new moons.

----from The Automaticwriter Manifesto

Thanks to members like yourself, this community has reached an unprecedented level of popularity. Help this community continue to grow and attract talented writers by spreading the word in your journal, and even outside in the larger infosphere.




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