new from post-asemic press: “possible gardens”, by jaap blonk

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1734866284/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Jaap Blonk (born 1953 in the Netherlands) first became known worldwide for his performances of sound poetry. He has performed and taught on all continents. From his sound poetry scores he gradually developed an independent body of visual work. This new product of his abundant phantasy is a book of colourful and playful drawings, adding new dimensions to writing. Myriads of little beings populate each page. As in the artist’s 2019 book “111 Recipes” they are distant descendants of Blonk’s earlier phonetic signs. From the introduction by Canadain writer, artist and scholar Derek Beualieu: “Each possible garden is a harvest of sound and image, of script and performance, which asks the reader to be open to a new menu.” One element here is the depiction of a struggle between restriction and freedom as a reminder of the recent lockdown periods: in each drawing some of the tiny beings are boxed, while many others roam freely. Sometimes the images look like scientific illustrations from an unknown world, depicting mysterious interactions and behaviors. But always there is poetry in these protozoa as they squirm and swim though a microscopic linguistic field, ebbing and flowing, gathering and fracturing – a constant dance of interplay and restriction. This edition fits the history of Post-Asemic Press beautifully, as a publisher of novel ways of writing. Asemic: no semantic meaning in the word sense, abstract, but with a lively and abundant musical expression. Small wonder with Jaap Blonk’s background as a world-renowned sound artist.

“These asemic poems move fluently between language, design and illustration, creating informational graphics where the information remains unknown, inviting diverse interpretations. The suggestion that these are scientific illustrations from an unknown world depicting mysterious interactions and behaviors—animal, vegetable, chemical—does little to make their uncomfortable strangeness more familiar. If anything, the sense these are poetic explanations of processes and activities brings their alienation more fully into consciousness.”
—Michael Betancourt

“Stare gently at each possible garden Jaap Blonk has sown here until it begins to vibrate, layer by layer, lifting off the page, two dimensions shifting into three then four. Keep staring and the gardens and landscapes and maps will move and grow and glow into and through and with your eyes. Continue to stare and they will become your eyes and then your ears. To reap the tactile possibilities Blonk has generously cultivated, stare longer, and listen closely (listen as if you are the soil), page after page. When and if you are ready to eat, gently shake the pages onto the tip of your tongue (no seasoning or dressing needed). Enjoy the harvest!”
—Crag Hill