Although outcomes of applied Limited Fork Poetics and Limited Fork Science weren’t christened POAMS until a few months after the birth of Limited Fork in October 2004 at the Quality 16 cinema in Scio Township (during the credits of a movie I don’t remember, just some “still playing” film as I seldom go to movies during the first few days of release), the need to find another way to refer to what came out of this actively reconfiguring approach to, initially, making poetry was evident with “The Song of Iota,” a text choreography piece that I made as soon as I got home from the movie. (“The Song of Iota” was initially made in this video poam form. It did not exist first as a print object, but was composed as text choreography. It does exist as a print object after being transcribed and adjusted so to be able to interact—collaborate—with the pages [and their limiting factors] of Gargoyle Magazine 50.) (The limiting factors of the print object pages, the video poam pages, interacting with the limiting factors of the maker and the limiting factors of the maker’s circumstances, & so forth: efforts of a limited community that is configured differently depending on the scale[s] at which consideration occurs at some moment also configured on some scale[s].)
—That is how profound the limited profunity was that arrived simultaneously re/configuring poetry, poetics, and a philosophy of living, constructing in these processes (systems/subsystems) bridges (tines, interactions, bifurcations) that appear/ed simultaneously with the understanding accessed as outcome/s of interacting with those areas of idea, information, and possibility that come into access—a complex system indeed!
—One of those bridges (tines, interactions, intersections, bifurcations, extensions) taking me to, for the first time with a limited fork, and (perma)linking me to “On the Nature of Things” by Lucretius, a tine where I have stayed (resident status documented on 5 April 2007 in a special Poetry Daily email fundraising campaign) ever since the credits at the end of a movie, whose makers had no reason to credit Lucretius, ferried me to him in an awareness-igniting action in a process of convergence that seemed instantaneous at the moment of ignition.
—A limited fork is (also) a limited utensil of limited access
—And what I accessed on a Saturday afternoon at the Quality 16 was such a thorough facet of Limited Fork surface that I was unable to leave that surface to access anything else; I was stranded there that afternoon, making “The Song of Iota” as soon as I got home from movie X (within hours giving the 30-minute kinetic investigation of basic Limited Fork principles via text choregraphy that was limited to limiting factors of the application [iMovie, opened for the first time that October afternoon] used to make the initial forked video poam and to limiting factors of the application’s user and practitioner of Limited Fork basics evolving and coming into existence [activated] as needed while being used in the making); “The Song of Iota” was given to a composer/keyboard artist who returned it that night with the music score to which I added vocals completing “The Song of Iota” soundtrack.
—So the shape and substance (think of “Li”: dynamic form in nature) of what I believed, what I could say about poetry, poetics, making, living was so profoundly (subject to caveats & disclaimers like those already mentioned) remade that I could not go to class on Monday and teach what the syllabus, rendered invalid for me (now occuoying just a small possible susbsystem outcome within the, presently, innumerable possible Limited Fork outcomes) by a trip to the Quality 16. The intensity of what I understood, even within the limitations of the Limited Fork’s unanticipated birth (I didn’t know I was pregnant—“DOD: the death of depth” is a movie poam about the conception and birth) had me instructing my classes to abandon the syllabi, to relocate to the Mac classroom that although was not in a Limited Fork preferred learning space configuration permitted more opportunities for applied forking than the classrooms in a building called Angell usually or easily supported. So my classes that fall were infant explorers with me; whether or not they were persuaded by the fork, they knew that I was converted, and they did indeed have another tool; they did indeed leave those English classes with a wider range of options, increased numbers of possible points of connection (possibly transforming what is considered —superfically and otherwise—by the local), and more means to determine which options to select for their inquiries and acts of making whatever they might want to/have to make.
I am indebted to those fall 2004 (after midterm!) graduate and undergraduate students (the first to use the limited fork) for their indulgence. Since then, the limited fork has been attractive beyond, as I’ve long wanted, English majors to include dancers, architects, engineers, medical students, visual artists, student biologists, chemists, and physicists.
The raggedness of this Quality 16 flare up that transformed, to this date, how I understand making, how I make, and purposes of making, appeals to me quite a bit. Before I went to that movie, I’d made nothing like “The Song of Iota,” but as soon as I got home, I knew how to make “The Song of Iota” (so much converged during the closing credits—a final piece that enabled me to apply the understanding that evidently had been simmering for a while, clicked into place). In those moments, I understood poetry as a complex system, and “The Song of Iota” emerged out of investigating some of what that understanding immediately implied.
Every component of poetry previously understood in a particular way became reconfigured according to the emerging rules and behavior of Limited Fork. Perhaps a forked dictionary will (need to) emerge at some point. The transformation of making (including writing) enabled by alignment of that final conceptual piece was so thorough that it was also, as much as I could discern this, instantaneous; so instantaneous that it was also complete—so I cannot return to that prior conviction to another (still viable) poetics whose boundaries cannot account for the forms emerging as outcomes of applied Limited Fork Science and Limited Fork Poetics. So products of acts of making (poams) instead of poems which tend to respond to well-established limiting factors in common usage.
Part of the purpose of using the Limited Fork tool is to identify the forms of making that Limited Fork supports, that Limited Fork predicts so as to also identify the limits (boundaries) of Limited Fork. As I learn them, I will share them while also revealing, bit by bit, the Limited Fork understandings that have already occurred.
In my identity as maker, I didn’t separate the making I did as poet, as thinker, as writer, as educator, student, as loved one and as one who loves, as observer, as transmitter and receiver of information in a range of areas into non-intersecting categories; all parts of me contributed to acts of making, and I made something no matter which component of my identity (all handled by the same brain) seemed to dominate in a given situation. There was/is incredible collaboration occurring all the time—including collaboration with the subjects of the acts of making. Limited Fork requires me to advocate exchange, so I strongly support creative commons share alike licensing.
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“Poam” is applied generously. I do not want to inhibit the emergence of forms I couldn’t anticipate. I do not want to restrict the validity to making to certain categories of making and maker. Until limits of Limited Fork are identified and understood, the rules of inclusion and exclusion are subject to revision, enhancement, tweaking, configuration and reconfiguration, so the hairdo can be a poam, the reconstructive surgery, the maps of proteins, the preparations and culinary executions on Top Chef and on Hell’s Kitchen, Andrew Zimmern’s bizarre foods, and so forth, sonnets of Shakespeare, drawings and writings of Blake, the quilts of Gees Bend, the pattern of my lipstick on my husband’s cheek, a rosy flat ring preserving a small patch of smooth skin.