Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Promising Incoherence

welcome to RE:verse
a poem a dada keeps the nebula away

for more information on the whys of the RE:verse project, review the "mission statement" below. i assume you're here to contribute, so i'll jump right into telling you the hows:
  • read the current posted email spam of the day [posts you make poems out of will always have the format of "Subject:_____"]
  • get inspired, alternatively feel coerced by the force of my sheer magnetism.
  • using the words in the current day's email spam write a little poem [the spam you're supposed to be writing from will always appear as the topmost post of the blog].
  • post your original new poem as a comment on the email spam post of the day before 8am CST of the following day. be sure to indicate a donation-accepting entity to whom you'd like me to pledge $1 should your poem be selected as ForeWordable. [if you're at a loss for causes, select one from the list on the right hand side of the blog under Pledge History].
  • check back the next morning [around 10am CST] to see if your poem was chosen as the ForeWordable of the day.
  • be sure when you're bored to go back and read some of the earlier entries. don't forget that there are some excellent poems that have not been selected as the ForeWordable. [the easiest way to view an entire day's submissions is to click on the "Subject:___" posts listed on the right under the Previous Posts section].
  • if you'd like to comment on a day's poems, it'd be easiest if you hold your comments until the next morning when i post the ForeWordable. then add your comments to the "Fwd:___" post. this will help keep the "Subject:___" post comments section clear of clutter so as to highlight the poems.
  • tell people about RE:verse! i've had some loyal, or very inspired, friends posting but in order to see a rich number of poems each day without having people burn out, i need as many people contributing as possible. even if this idea sounds mind-numbing to you, tell someone else. it's merely one click away [use the email this post button].
primarily, RE:verse is a place to make poetry out of email spam. secondarily, RE:verse is a place to direct my money to art and social causes you care about.

each day from april 15th, 2006 to april 15th, 2007, [has now been updated to april 3rd - april 3rd] i will post an honest-to-goodness spam email. in my book, much of today's spam is pure poetry. via comments, i'd like to see my readers one-up technology and construct their own superior poem from the day's offering of random words and phrases. i'd also like them to indicate an art group or social charity they'd like to support. i'll select my favorite poem generated from each day's spam, and will feature it alongside the spam fodder posted the following day. i will also earmark $1 of my hard-earned cash for donation to the author's selected recipient. which means i will donate $365 over the course of a year to various entities. a drop in the bucket really.

RE:verse will obviously work best if people comment daily yet restrict themselves to submitting one poem per spam post. when posting a submission, please remember to indicate who you'd like $1 to go to. i'll keep a running list of groups i am contributing to and the dollar figure raised so if you can't think of a "charity" you can select one from this list. this way, we're also giving free publicity to arts programs and social causes. i don't care about tax-deductibility, but i will have to verify that the organization exists, that it can receive my donation, and that it is not evil. i will periodiocally make good on these pledges throughout the year as my finances allow so that contributions will have been made even if i should meet an untimely end before the year is out. perhaps other email spam enthusiasts will decide to match my contributions.

if no one submits a poem for a day, i will consider machines superior to mankind and the $1 will be pledged to the Union of Concerned Scientists. ever since i saw black spruce falling over in the melting permafrost during my birthday visit to alaska, global warming has seemed like something to which i should pay more attention. also, it's global. but i'd really like to support local art groups and a whole host of worthwhile organizations i've never even heard of, which is why i need your spam poetry! let's spend the time between now and april 15th exercising our creative powers and spreading the word. tell your friends about the RE:verse experiment and feel free to suggest recipients for my patronage.

in its present envisioning, RE:verse may be limited in how much good it will do, but we're unlimited in how much fun we can have. so let's make meaning together. see, find, fine-tune, create, play, touch and be touched. be inspired. be wide-eyed. to get us started, here's a little dada taken out of context:

Before extinguishing your appetite for beauty, ecstasy, sugar, philosophy, mathematical and poetic metaphysical pepper and cucumbers,

Before disinfecting you with vitriol, cleansing you and shellacking you with passion

if you are not content with what you see, look.

gwendolyn evelyn


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