The commercial has a Twitter addict gleefully thumbing his message, "I am sitting on the porch." It seemed to me, momentarily, we might enter a time of New Brevity, with the language being composed less of phrases that build their way to more complex meanings and more by lexical equivalents of shrugs, sighs, head gestures, rolled eyes. The limits on the number of characters you could use for the tweet you had in mind forced you to boil your idea down to a point where even essence is seared away, and only the proverbial grunts of need remain. It would, it seem, be a potential source of making one's recognizable language do interesting things, the irony being that one begins with a coherent series of things to say but who, made to observe limits they cannot modify, are made to reduce their communications into something akin to tea leaf readings. Read between the lines, fill in the blanks, assume the Tweeter hadn't made a thumb-inclined typo and, in fact, meant something significant with an odd string of visual glottal clicks. Someone came up with the idea here, where an endless stream of Tweets is amassed, stanza style, in what reads like Modernist poetry feeding on its own armor-plated tail. There was a rule applied to the otherwise random nature of the project: each line, from different tweets, had to rhyme. A sample from today
digg this stuck downstairs... at least i have computer, TV, food, and potty!!! Mind pelicans and dropped cell phones when driving your Bugatti... gay fags put it on twilight and changed the whole song in the process. This class is becoming more and more pointless as the weeks progress. I'm about to go to the gym with my sister and brother.. Got lunch on my top so had to nip out and buy another. praising God for my life and the life of others Robin Williams and Bono look like brothers. I have a twin, and she's bad at everything. Just ate breakfast.. and i cant taste anything!! Tim McCarver is making my ears bleed and my brain hurt You might say I'm such a flirt, lipstick on my neck and shirt. you're such a mystery, i just want to stand and stare. i can't wait to go home today and smell some new air. Just woke up and I'm still thinking of you. Fuck my life. Now where did I put my hockey mask and butcher knife? Im so tired. I'll take the walk and clear my head and Star Wars was fun Awesome. I'll budget and rearrange my room and I may get one. is pumped to see what Jesus has in store for my life and my band. Good morning everyone! Got a day of fun and craziness planned!
In The American Grain, the lingua franca William Carlos Williams had faith in the metronome-smashing, multi-headed parlance. Endless lines of concern, emphasis, interest, and obsession coming at us through the air, joining up with other odd phrases and fresh banalities that give everyone who wants one a voice to spend their two cents as they please, the only limit being 140 characters at a time. Our collective conscious, it seems, seems to be something that is now ruled by an impatient twelve-year-old with remote control. Not that this is an original idea for poetry, visual art, or writing in general--William Burroughs did as much with his cut-up method, his slicing up of various texts, his own and others, and reassembling them in striking phrase combinations that would, despite their nonsequitur essence, forced you to consider the implications; it was something of a peek into a hell you denied being afraid of. The Twitter aesthetic, or the lack of it, is that now anyone can play and do so fearlessly, unafraid of the swirling materialistic signifiers that threaten to distract and dilute their ability to ask for a glass of water at the coffee shop and also at what the results of the jerking language combinations suggest. They suggest nothing and only reflect on the emptiness at the heart of a personality that hasn't anything worthwhile to do. Hell has been redefined as a life without Twitter, without Facebook, without a cellphone to broadcast one's face and quirks across the receiving universe,