“Biggz” by Loss Pequeño Glazier and Simon Biggs

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“Biggz” by Loss Pequeño Glazier and Simon Biggs

This generative poem is built from four elements: an image, a caption, lines of verse by Simon Biggs, and a JavaScript framework Glazier developed for “White-Faced Bromeliads on 20 Hectares.” The poem and its contextual information are randomly generated whenever the page is loaded, reloaded, or every 20 seconds— which makes a marked difference in how one reads and conceptualizes the poem when compared to “White-Faced Bromeliads,” which refreshes every 10 seconds. Biggs’ lines of verse are perfectly grammatical, but unconventional in its logical formulations in the tradition of Language Poetry or Gertrude Stein, which makes them stand up well to the page’s generative engine.

As an HTML file, the source code for this poem is available to any interested in exploring its mechanisms (a right click should provide that option), and it is worth reading. But the logic behind some of the choices will become quickly apparent, so to avoid spoiling the pleasure of discovery, I recommend reading many iterations of the poem to appreciate its expressive range first.

This entry in the Page Space experiment is one of two collaborations between Glazier and Biggs. When read along its companion piece, “non-LOSS’y translator” one can quickly sense common motifs, a reciprocity in constraint, and the camaraderie of two programmer-poets who helped launch an emergent poetic genre.