Hearings and Peripheral Hearings

Tracie Morris - From Slave Sho to Video aka Black but Beautiful (3'40"). Handing the mic over to poet Christine Hume, whose interesting discussion of this track I'm delighted to have stumbled upon this morning:

Notice that Morris's alliteration, like the best of rap, uses two warring strategies: staccato syllable pileup and a delayed, teetering elongation of syllables. This device compounds the time of rhyme as it cuts our expectations both ways: uncertainty about whether rhyme will materialize in a predictable manner ballasts uncertainty about where its arrival will throw the meaning. Words in this piece hatch into hearings and peripheral hearings of "booty," "bait," "butterful," "booby," "bound," "bounty," "sheep," "ample," "Bantu," "tutu," "Tutu," "cute," "tootable," "chichi," "ain't shit," and "taint." These words explore the faintly diabolical machinery of "beautiful" and "black" as static cultural categories.

Those with access to Project Muse materials can read Hume's "Improvisational Insurrection: The Sound Poetry of Tracie Morris" (Contemporary Literature 47.3 [2006]: 415-439) in its entirety. • Learn more about Morris on PennSound, Wikipedia, and Here Comes Everybody. • A March 2006 Lipstick of Noise entry on another track by Morris is archived here.

Tuesday -- 13 February 2007 -- permalink

The Lipstick of Noise is a product of the Third Factory • Inspired by the music blogs • And by Paul Blackburn's reel-to-reel deck. Intending to make good use of PENNSound and other sources of digital audio files of poetry • Comments welcomeXML.