Archivi tag: Jim Leftwich

a series of new cut-up collage poems / jim leftwich. 2021

from thomas lowe taylor (jan. 20, 1938 — sept. 13, 2009)


Thomas Lowe Taylor — JUMPING, FLASHING

At start and locked into borrowed vocabularies, dictions, syntaxes, the whole trap of history, I neglected forward out of pure denial, that if a word came up through the mechanisms of selection and association, I would jump as far in the other direction as possible, I would JUMP out of the norm into its undeniable, associational, negational Other. This the early mode, as has, so let.


Thomas Lowe Taylor — SYNTAXIN

So if anything is the sum of all you can bring to it, then each word is a syntax of its own dimensions in reference to its past and its future as well indicating neither time nor space but both together.



Who controls language controls control

three collage-poems / jim leftwich. 2021

“lunic panzemes” by jim leftwich

2021 apophenia asemantic asemic asemic writing asemimesa asemous asemous writing bag text camera collage poem constellations cut-ups desemantized desemantized handwriting desemantized writing dirty vispo ecosemics emprientes found gestural gestural & letteral gestural photography jim leftwich letteral lunic panzemes map NCV neoasemic no commercial value ongoing research pansemic pareidolia photograph play poem collage post-neoasemic doodling post-penmanship prepared pen quasi-calligraphic drawing scraps scratchings scrawls scribblepoems semisemic lesssenseness senseless smears smudges smushes stamp dance stamps tape transfer tear-ups textimagepoem trashpo useless writing vispo visual poetry visual writing wordmush writing against itself

a title is a road sign | arrangements evoke similarities (snow falling into a fumarole) | find it on a map / jim leftwich. 2021

jim leftwich @

Six Months Aint No Sentence, Books 1 – 15, written between 04.24.2011 and 01.13.2012. Originally published by Marco Giovenale at differx hosts as Six Months Aint No Sentence, a Journal: texts and works by Jim Leftwich, 2011 – 2016 Books 1 – 187
Books 1 – 30 were published by Peter Ganick and Jukka-Pekka Kervinen at White Sky E-Books.

poetry, visual poetry, asemic writing, historiography, writing against itself, useless writing, journal, textimagepoem, trashpo, desemantized writing, 21st Century American epic, collage poem, ongoing research

the we grrr ironing think / jim leftwich and jeff crouch, 2021

here it is too:

Fai clic per accedere a 2021-the-we-grrr-ironing-think-jeff-crouch-jim-leftwich.pdf


foto dal workshop del 7 luglio 2021, all’istituto svizzero di roma





of course the asemic is absurd / jim leftwich. 2021

If I am writing about the word “asemic”, I am thinking about patience and persistence. I am thinking about failure as a source of energy, as that which keeps an absurdist idea of enlightenment alive and almost thriving. Standing in the absurd center of the asemic universe, we are surrounded by unexamined exits and entrances, unexplored starting-points, multiple escape-routes leading out in all directions. 
We need to synchronize our watches, then throw them all away. We need to get on the same page of the same map-book, then throw all the maps away. We need to set our compasses, and throw them away. We must promise each other to get together, at some unspecified time and place, later in our lives, to define our terms and make public our consensus definitions. Until then, we have some exploring to do, some making and some thinking, some reading and some writing.
Tim Gaze wrote, in an email responding to my recent texts (05.21.2021), that “asemic is an absolute state, whereas desemantizing is a process or matter of degree”.
He also wrote in the same email that he “consciously let go of asemic writing several years back”.
On January 27, 1998, I wrote to Tim, saying “the asemic text would seem to be an ideal, an impossibility, but possibly worth pursuing for just that reason.”
Desemantized writing is not an ideal, is not an impossibility. It is a very specific kind of writing, produced for very specific reasons. To desemantize writing is to intentionally make it less readable, less capable of participating in the language-game of giving information. 
We might aspire to the absolute state of asemic writing, producing beautiful and/or provocative failures in our quest, but we achieve desematized writing, to one degree or another, whenever we choose to do so.
In response to my recent texts, John M. Bennett wrote (05.20.2021) “i like ‘desemanticized’ better than ‘asemic’ myself; the latter term was always a bit misleading, even downright wrong sometimes, I thought; except perhaps in a few situations…”
In the late 1990s, “asemic” was not the word I wanted or needed, but it was the best I had at the time. For the past 20 years or so I have been exploring alternatives to the word “asemic”. For now, and for my purposes (which are not necessarily the same purposes as those of some likely readers of this text), “desemantized” (or “desemanticized”) is an improvement, a step in the right direction. It is a provisional solution to a problem.
These days, the term “asemic writing” is very widely used, and is surely in no danger of being discarded or replaced. My thoughts about the term “desemantized writing” will circulate, if at all, within the context of the global asemic writing community. As I write this, in the late spring of 2021, the theory and practice of asemic writing are not in any sense dead, the possibilities have not been exhausted. The Sisyphean struggle to attain the absolute state of asemic writing, absurd though it may be, continues to yield moments of existential fulfillment, and perhaps every now and then even a kind of happiness. 
My hope for my recent writings is that they might invigorate an increasingly faceted vision of the world of all things asemic.

jim leftwich, may 2021

keep moving / jim leftwich. 2021

I was a poet, and for me that meant pushing the edges of poetry, and the edges of myself while writing poetry. The line was an edge, and the rhyme was an edge, and the stanza was an edge, and the syllable was an edge. Eventually it became impossible to ignore the idea of the letter as an edge. Once having agreed to that, it became impossible to ignore the shapes of the letter — first the shapes of the printed letters, in an array of fonts, and then the shapes of the handwritten letters.

From the outset, the idea of producing meanings had been for me subordinate to the idea of making poems. If all I had wanted to do was produce meanings, I would have written conventional sentences and paragraphs. But that was not what I wanted.

So I wrote poems, and I pushed the edges of the poem, and in doing that I was pushing the edges of myself, my sense of satisfaction and achievement, my sense of my own skills and competence, and I was never satisfied, intentionally, by choice, never satisfied, I refused to accept the sense of being satisfied, so eventually, inevitably, I found myself producing desemantized or asemic writings.

And that was a plateau, a stage, and I knew from the outset that I was only passing through, that I would never be satisfied with desemantized or asemic writing, any more than I had been satisfied with writing conventional poems.

Over the years a community of asemic writers has become active and visible and, to the extent that I am a part of it at all, my role has evolved to be a kind of advocate for incessant criticality. As a participant in the conversation around asemic writing, I can be counted on to say something similar to “yes, you are right, but…” Yes, you are right, but that is not enough, it is not even particularly important. What is important is to keep moving. Asemic writing works for you? Fantastic. Now move on and do something else.

Jim Leftwich

recent posts @ repository magazine (cecil touchon, editor)

For me, the practice of asemic writing began in processes I was using in the mid-to-late 1990s to write textual poems. Beginning with a…
Monsters in Trousers  9:27 PM 5/7/2018 (collage poetry)   We use language to separate, to violently tear ourselves [apart]. There is…
Watch this ZOOM conversation I have with Michelle Moloney King; Editor of Beir Bua Press
Rosaire Appel: “asemic writing is also a way of leaping forward into territory not yet conceptualized… a transition strategy perhaps” (Jun…
Non fungible tokens have been around for a minute and I myself have only known about the idea for a few weeks. But here are some initial…
On view (in 2014) at Lanoue Gallery in Boston
Essay for an exhibition held April 15, 2016 — June 15, 2016
Following up on the first article: On Being an Artist

2 jim leftwich’s desemantized pieces in “lost and found times”, n. 39, nov. 1997, pp. 18-19

Jim Leftwich


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a brief note on desemantized writing / jim leftwich. 2021

Jim Leftwich_ Desemantized Writing

Jim Leftwich_ Desemantized Writing

Desemantized Writing

For me, the practice of asemic writing began in processes I was using in the mid-to-late 1990s to write textual poems. Beginning with a large variety of source texts, those processes included syllabic and phonemic improvisation, varieties of cut-and-paste recombination (of letters, of morphemes, of words, of phrases, of sentences, and of paragraphs), varieties of misdirectional readings-as-writings (moving through paragraphs from right to left, from top to bottom and vice-versa in columns, reading multiple lines in wave patterns, reading paragraphs and pages diagonally, etc), and formulas for extracting, replacing and/or omitting letters from poems and paragraphs. The poems and paragraphs I was writing during those years were constructed, we could say, for reasons other than that of producing meaning.

Sometime late in 1996, I was warned that if I continued on the path I had chosen I would eventually wind up producing asemic texts.

In January 1998 I wrote the following to Tim Gaze: “An asemic text, then, might be involved with units of language for reasons other than that of producing meaning.”

If I had known the term “desemantized writing” at that time, I would certainly have used it, rather than “asemic writing”. The term ‘desemantized writing” is much more accurate, much clearer, much more precisely descriptive of the processes from which my “asemic writing” emerged.

Again, let me emphasize that this little note is accurate in relation to my own processes and practices, and I am fully aware of the fact that it does not apply to the relationships
that many others have with the theory and practice of asemic writing.

If I had known the term “desemantized writing” in the 1990s, rather than the term “asemic writing”, then Tim Gaze and I would have been using the term “desemantized writing” in our correspondence. The term “desemantized writing” would have been used in our international exchanges through the mail art and small press poetry networks. Chances are that Tim’s magazine would have been named “desemantized writing”. Then, sometime around 2005, when Michael Jacobson encountered the magazine and the word, maybe instead of “asemic writing” he would have used the term “desemantized writing” in his interviews and essays.

It’s interesting (again: speaking only for myself) to rewrite this imaginary history, but unfortunately, here and now, in 2021, it is only a kind of game. I didn’t learn of the term “desemantized writing” for another decade-and-a-half, when Marco Giovenale told me about its use among Italian verbovisual poets in the 1960s and 70s.

jim leftwich

otoliths, issue #61


issue sixty-one of Otoliths, the southern autumn 2021 issue has gone live, featuring paintings, drawings, music, essays, vispo, fiction, fact, poetry, photography, & vispo, from Laurent Grison, Sanjeev Sethi, Olchar E. Lindsann, Brandstifter & Texas Fontanella, Louise Landes Levi, Linda M. Walker, Demosthenes Agrafiotis, John Bradley, Sarah-Jane Crowson, Doren Robbins, Andrew Topel, Clive Gresswell, Elaine Woo, Heller Levinson, Judith Skillman, Jack Galmitz, Patrick Cahill, Cecelia Chapman & Jeff Crouch, Paul Dickey, C.S. Fuqua, Clara B. Jones, Nicholas Alexander Hayes, Anna Cates, Jim Meirose, Joann Renee Boswell, hiromi suzuki, William Doreski, Bart Plantenga, Tony Rauch, Pete Spence, Ryan Quinn Flanagan, David Miller, Ian Ganassi, Cecelia Chapman, GTimothy Gordon, Adam Fieled, Jim George, Gavin Lucky, Joseph Salvatore Aversano, Guy R. Beining, Ron Riekki, John McCluskey, Cameron Lowe, Grzegorz Wróblewski, Greg Hill, Lynn Strongin, Mary Corbin, Josie/Jocelyn Deane, Isabel Gómez de Diego, Jim Leftwich, Dave Read, Remi Seamon, Karl Bachmann, Dennis Hinrichsen, Nina Živančević, Texas Fontanella, Charles Freeland, John M. Bennett & Adam Roussopoulos, Hazel Smith, George Myers, Jr., Daniel F Bradley, Peter J. King, Rosella Quintini, Mark DuCharme, Sreemanti Sengupta & Snigdhendu Bhattacharya, Mary Cresswell, Kenneth Rexroth, John Gallas, Bob Lucky, Heath Brougher, Daniel de Culla, Nathan Whiting, Carol Stetser, Mike Callaghan, John Levy, Jake Goetz, Tony Beyer, Simon Perchik, John M. Bennett, Hugh Tribbey, S. K. Kelen, harry k stammer, Jeff Bagato, Jeff Harrison, Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, Richard Kostelanetz, Tim Pilgrim, Paul Ilechko, Martin Edmond, J. D. Nelson, John Sweet, Megan Wildhood, Aysegul Yildirim, Magdelawit Tesfaye, Bob Kotyk, Elmedin Kadric, Michael Neal Morris, Randee Silv, Eric Hoffman, David Lohrey, Sophia Archontis, Sheila E. Murphy, Keith Nunes, M.J. Iuppa, jeremy witherington, John J. Trause, Michael J. Leach, Tom Beckett, Alison J Barton, Diana Magallón, Mark Pirie, Penelope Weiss, Olivier Schopfer, Keith Polette, Keith Higginbotham, Marilyn Stablein, Bob Heman, Hrishikesh Srinivas, Fotis Begetis & Jack Galmitz, Katrinka Moore, Sam Langer, Paul Pfleuger, Jr, Michael Brandonisio, Jane Simpson, Cherie Hunter Day, Alex Glynne, Javant Biarujia, & Stephen Nelson