This poem makes ingenious use of the folder list view in Mac OS X to structure a series of nested lines in meaningful ways. Each line of the poem is written on the name of the folder and the folders contain other folders with lines. This allows for the whole poem to be nested inside of a folder with the title, and up to 5 more levels of nesting within. The image above shows the first level of nested folders, which can be read as a concise narrative poem. opening each line reveals new lines, and new potential levels, all of which enrich the poem with details that deliver an emotional impact. The folders gain poetic and symbolic resonance as we consider questions of the outer and inner lives (and deaths) of the characters in this poem, and how we might reimagine poetic structures, such as line and stanza, in digital poetry.
You’ll need an Apple computer to be able to interact with the work, but Douglass does a great job of documenting the work in several ways to allow us to conceptualize and appreciate the poem. It pays off to experience the work in as many ways as possible paying close attention to interface details we might normally gloss over, such as date and time.