SHOPPING FOR IMAGES

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.

In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!

—Allen Ginsberg, “A Supermarket in California

This weekend I was flying home from Cleveland, looked down at my New Yorker, and had a mini-revelation:

shopping for images

Underlining. Highlighting. Circling. When we read interactively, when we “alter” texts, we’re isolating little bits of writing that speak to us. Fire our imaginations. Illuminate something.

It’s the same thing when we hyperlink: we’re pointing to something that speaks to us.

And it’s the same thing when I make a blackout poem.

When the CIA redacts a document:

redacted cia document

It’s the same practice done in the opposite spirit: they’re isolating text that speaks to no one!




4 Comments on “SHOPPING FOR IMAGES”

  1. Megalomanie is een keuze « De Nieuwe S Says:

    [...] words that put a picture in your head. Allen Ginsberg called it “shopping for images” (link). I once made a joke that the business section makes for the worst poems, because that’s [...]

  2. TEABAGGIN’: A CUBICLE PASTTIME Says:

    [...] I take an index card and set my tea bag down on it, letting the card soak up the tea. Then, I shop for images on the card, and riff off those with some doodles and [...]

  3. Yup. :Blessing’s Journaling Journal Says:

    [...] SHOPPING FOR IMAGES Underlining. Highlighting. Circling. When we read interactively, when we “alter” texts, we’re isolating little bits of writing that speak to us. Fire our imaginations. Illuminate something. [...]

  4. TEABAGGIN’, PART TWO Says:

    [...] Shop for images in the panels, and riff off those with some doodles and captions to make a mini-narrative [...]

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