Download by right-clicking on the image above and selecting "Save picture as".

Best results achieved by printing onto 150X100mm glossy photo paper using the "150X100 borderless", or inch equivalent, setting on your printer.

Use my peformance notes, above right, as a guide.

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Restringing a Rotary Clothes Line

This piece came about as a result of actually restringing a three-armed rotary clothes line: see the black and white image left. That task was to thread and tension a single length of clothes line starting with the outermost hole in the outermost arm, successively around and through each arm until you arrive at the innermost hole in the innermost arm; and then to tension everything as much as possible.

What then struck me was that the finished structure could be viewed as either a continuous line of prose spiralling into the centre or three sets of straight lines, verses, shortening and also converging into the centre: the first view prosodic, the second poetic. I liked the idea of such a dual form. Writing the piece took some time because the same phrases had to make sense in terms of both the poem and the prose piece they are part of. Of course, there is more scope in making sense poetically then prosodically but it was a somewhat challenging task none the less.

Later on I came to the idea of performing this piece. I realised that on any line, except the three innermost ones that make up "THE INSTANT ETERNITY", there are two choices of next line to read: inwards or to the right; the first poetry, the second prose. This means there are hundreds of possible reading routes. Nowhere near as many as Raymond Queneau's Cent Mille Milliard de Poems but pretty good all the same.

In performance I start by reading the three verses of the poem, starting with the one that begins "THE MORE THE WORKER ...", then switch to improvised performance where I follow as many routes as possible: reading a line, choosing a next line, jumping to an outer line when I reach the middle and repeating the process using a new route, and doing this as many time as I can manage before finishing the performance with a reading of the prose spiral, starting with the first line "THE MORE THE WORKER...".

Restringing a Rotary Clothes Line is an example of ergodic literature where the reader has also to consciously work, I prefer the term play, with the text in order to be able to properly read and make sense of it. Feel free to download the piece and perform it for yourself: the link and notes on printing the piece out can be found to the bottom left of this page.

Here is a video of me performing the piece at The Other Room.

And there is also Restringing a Rotary Clothes Line, the audio cassette released by Feral Debris with this and other pieces on it.