I’m excited to report that I have a new chapbook coming out later this month with fledgling indie publisher Trickhouse Press. Machine is a long poem in several voices, in which I play on the notion of a human being as a biological machine bereft of free will and carrying out actions determined by forces beyond its control.

The poem’s structure was inspired by Mallarmé’s Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard, in which fragments of the sentence that forms the title of the poem are dispersed sequentially throughout, in a font distinct from the rest of the piece. The central “argument” of Machine can thus be read, without reference to the other voices and elements of the poem. However, those other voices (surrealisations of advertising, lyric poetry, the discourse of social media, etc) are where much of the fun is. The reader is invited to interrupt her reading of the main thread of the poem and follow the various diversions I have placed on the page. Not all of the diversions are textual. I also made use of the special characters available in the Apple Pages app, for example ants, skulls, bat wings, daisies and syringes, all rendered in gloriously solid silhouette. These special characters form their own mini narrative and comment ironically on the textual elements.

The opening two pages
Two more pages from the poem

Machine is available for pre-order from Trickhouse Press.

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