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0123456789: 10 Poems by Christian Bok.


Byline: Reprint from Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: 10 Poems

Author: Christian Bok

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2016

Pages: 16


“When I find I can't remember
What comes after
"A" and before "C",
My mother always whispers,
"Letter B."
- from Letter B Song and Sesame Street


0123456789: 10 Poems is an exciting art nouveau Chapbook from above/ground press, composed almost exclusively of new made up words, experiments with language and new mythologies. Christian Bok, Canadian Poet/Conceptual Artist born in Toronto, studying at Carleton and York universities and teaching at the University of Calgary until recently. Bok has created new languages for science fiction movies as well as pushing the bounds of the traditional artform e.g. using Rubick’s cubes and Lego bricks to make artist’s books. He has written 4 books of poetry, Eunoia (2001) won the Griffin Poetry Prize (2002).

This poetry plays with sound and rhythm, creates new words and language, like the beat of a new drum the elegant creations are considered, the new rhythms speak of poetry and language with a new face. The jumbled spellings include a Phonological Key. The poem Valuveula “is a hymn in the Tlonese language” the Tlonese language first imagined by Jorge Luis Borges. As if borrowing from the tradition of DaDa that grew up around the First World War, a totally nonsensical artistic manifestation in reaction to violence, devoid of all meaning. In Bok’s presentation meaning drifts in and out, as if the fading in and out of an old black and white film reel, from sensical to nonsensical, a celebration of film left on the cutting room floor woven into beat. As it catches you and draws you in, the Poet gives glimpses of a very sophisticated story, sometimes slapstick, sometimes enigmatic, as if a reaction to violence, perhaps influenced by modern world politics and violent times N.A.

And Sometimes

syzgy pyx
gyp
gypsy
pygmygyms

jynx synch
try
psych
tryst ptyx
spy glyphs
lysyl
brr
grr glycyl

sylphs fly
flyby
sky
by tsk tsk

nym nymphs
why
wyrms
hmm my zzz

sty styryl
fry
fyrds
lymph cyst

wyrds wych
lynch
wry
mythy lynx

cry by nth
cwm
crwth
crypt styx

myst wynds
dry
dryly
shy by shh

myth hymns
thy
myrrh
my rhythms”

Nobel Laureate Tomas Transtromer said “The language marches in step with the executioners. Therefore we must get a new language.” The new language by Christian Bok is sophisticated play, as if someone after a bottle of wine is caught babbling into a mirror, “he said”, “she said”, a disconnect that flies into magical realms. In mythos it is the gift of freedom, constructed in poetic rhymes, perhaps a peace accord for the New Age. The new constructions play off the English language, enigmatic, perhaps in secret messages, en camp de camp.

The Doomsday Song
(For Freidrich Nietzsche – Upon the Death of Superman)

1. KROOM! KROOM! KRAKOOM!
    KRAKA-DOOM! KA-DOOM!

2. FLOOM
    FWOOM BOOM

3. KRAKADOOM BUDDADOOM

4. CHOOM
    KA-CHOOM KA-DOOM SHOOM!

5. KTOOM
    KTOOM!
    BUH-BOOM! BUH-BOOM!
    PTOOM!
    KRAKATOOM! THOOM!

6. BA-DOOM!
    BA-DOOM BRA-DOOM! THOOM!

7. (APPENDIX)

    BLAM BAM BKAM
    BRAM DRAM
    DBAM
    KRAK KDAM”

This writer imagines a depressed child dressed in a Super Hero costume, flying his little Super Hero toy around the house on a rainy day, chanting this poem. Perhaps a fresh look at angst in tongue and cheek, as the New Economy takes hold and the hoped for return to grace without the violence of the “cult of ego” values, without the fear and paranoia of the Old Economy, peace in the post-apocalypse village.

Taking experimental poetry into the concourse of new words, new language and achieving great heights, brilliant art nouveau, 0123456789: 10 Poems by Christian Bok.

Available @ above/ground press.

Genre: Poetry, New Age





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