Concrete Haiku p. 2

Here are two more of Carlos' poems that show what the graphic presentation can bring to the poem:


"Caressing the blues your fingers on the saxophone" recalls the witch's hat, fitting its text into the shape of the saxophone by breaking the lines within words and eliminating spaces. This slows the reading as the text is decoded. For me, two intact words at the midpoint, "the blue", read quickly and I work out from there, following the swelling curves of the shape in a way that evokes long, slow blues music. Even the two "o's" at the instrument's bell seem almost like notes. Though it would have been a fine poem in a standard three-line layout, the auditory dimension is intensified by the graphic design.


You'd have to know the old Dick Tracy comic to get the reference in the this one. Tracy's two-way wrist radio, which was introduced to the strip in 1946, has over the years become an oft-cited meme that has most recently been referenced in tech journalism articles about the Apple smartwatch.

Here, shape is generated through multiplying the letters into rectangles, one text phrase crossing the other in horizontal-vertical array. Do we read from the top with "the shape of things to come," or with "dick tracy wrist radio," which decodes first? Either or both, I think. The typography creates and unstable reading that works deliciously with the wit of the imagery, while the visual texture of the text blocks evokes old radio static.

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