These next contributions to the Letter.Box.Stamp.Collect. project are from writer Mitchell Welch. The pieces are called Greetings, Invention of the compass and Atomic model. Mitchell is currently working on a novel and completing a Master of Arts with a focus on the relationship between words and images. You can follow him on twitter.
Mitchell says about the pieces:
“While you occupy yourself with turning it around in every direction, it is the picture that turns you around like a letter, in advance it deciphers you, it preoccupies space, it procures your words and gestures, all the bodies that you believe you invent in order to determine its outline. You find yourself, you, yourself, on its path.”
– Jacques Derrida, The Post Card (1987)
These poems are the most circuitous members of a larger collection of experiments that I’ve been working on throughout my studies, a collection of postcards to myself. My research has been focused on charting the gulf between visual and written modes of communication, and each of these poems is an experiment in how the two representational modes function to produce meaning.
Invention of the Compass, for example, grew out of the implied motion of the helicopter, the form it took, the associations I made with the image I captured. The circular motion of the words has a somewhat didactic function in this example. Atomic Model, however, is based around a photo of the noonday sun as it approaches something utterly nuclear, and the shape of the poem hangs off the armature of the photo, but also owes it’s shape to the established visual language of the diagram. The words here are like broken records, banal and incomplete repetitions approaching something like pop lyrics. Set dressing for the nuclear apocalypse.
Greetings by Mitchell Welch
Invention of the compass by Mitchell Welch
Atomic model by Mitchell Welch