Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mezangelle: A Reading Strategy

Based heavily in a Derridean universe of words within words, Mez Breeze's poetics works in an almost antithetical manner. Whereas Derrida and James Joyce operate fundamentally on a linguistics of implosion (or compression; portmanteaus and puns), Breeze operates by explosion. It is easy to dismiss her work as a pastiche on “l33t sp33k” but there is far more happening here than such a superficial read would avail a careful critic. By breaking words down into their principle parts, Mez operates on a principle of addition as opposed to subtraction. A linear read of such a poetics is frustrating if not impossible. A vocal or speech oriented read would likewise require a translation that would require a sound poet's finesse and needless to say, would seem arbitrary or unintelligible in the light of the original. Derridean anathema to the anthropological/structuralist supposition that speech is a privileged form of communication and that writing is a mere by product is necessary to the anti-Logos verve of Mez's work. So instead of a linear read, you have a poetics which trains the reader to confront it with a sense of simultaneity. That is to say, these poems are often easier to read if you process them holistically (in this sense, to take them as a whole) rather than moving from a beginning to an end as you would with a typical English sentence.

Considering this as a creative process, one would begin with a word, and operate outward; by seeing the potential for more words within and without an original word. For instance the term 'operate' is contains two other words, opera and ate. A Mezangelle style operation on this term would fraction off the 'a' which belongs to both terms equally. The uniformity in segmentation (for instance in the 'word' [h]ov[er] .. ) causes the eye to see the multiple possibilities as on hover/her/over as opposed to the banality of the mere word, hover. Phonetically speaking the term still reads as 'hover', but visually it comes to life, multiplies and expands.

Other various strategies she employs is the extensive use of code operators such as + and &. Brackets, braces, and parenthesis provide further elaboration. In essence, where Derrida and Joyce employed reduction, Mez employs expansion, and the effect (in my opinion) is not only brilliant, but exclusive to Mezangelle.

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