This hypertext poem is organized through lines of color arranged in a circle around a common center, designed to evoke a compass. Positioning the mouse over each color line reveals two lines of the poem, the one above labeled as “poetic” and the other as “subpoetic,” creating a contrast between something that corresponds to “northern” and “southern” (or sub-equatorial) poetic traditions. Jason Nelson born and raised in the Midwest of the United States, and working in Griffith University in Australia is a poet of two worlds: a northerner in the southern hemisphere, a place that he describes as “compass confused” because its aborigines are “pulled toward the center” while its European colonizers are “forever pointed north and west.”
Keeping these frames of reference in mind, think of the design of the “poetic” and the “subpoetic” in terms of outward or inward poetic traditions and Jason Nelson’s search for direction as he is lost among ever-multiplying creeks and trails, as seen in the video. Extending this hopelessly mixed metaphor (are you lost yet?): what is his north, and does he even want to go in that direction?