« Smarie Clay | Contents | Bryan Beck »

Travis Macdonald

As a conscious product of social, commercial, industrial, technological and grudgingly organic processes, I am interested in exploring the linguistic possibilities inherent in procedure. By approaching language as a physical substance, subject to the same mechanized and/or tactile manipulation our human surroundings (indeed, we ourselves) so often endure, I frequently apply predetermined treatments and parameters to pre-existing texts that I encounter. A willing prisoner/practitioner of the English language, I forgo the traditional art of translation in favor of trans-position, -literation and -mutation. The following four poems are part of a cycle composed using Shakespeare’s Sonnet 86, several dictionaries and a selective method of word replacement.




from Sonnet 86:



That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse,


To refer to the event, act

(ion or time). Just mention

Ed. To have caused the nominative

singular pronoun,

resembling such fruit

in ruddiness and fullness, the judgments

opinions and beliefs

used. To indicate inclusion

within or occurrence during

a period or limit of time,

the nominative singular,

pronoun the part of the central

nervous system enclosed in the cranium of humans and other

vertebrates. Put in (or as in) a hearse or coffin.





Giving him aid, my verse astonished.


Bestowing the object

of one’s choice

upon (as if by providence)

the male person or animal

being discussed.

A person or thing

that furnishes assistance

to the nominative singular

pronoun possessive.

A succession of

metrical feet

written, printed or orally

composed, filled with

sudden wonder.





Which nightly gulls him with intelligence,


Any one or

any numb

er of coming,

occurring, appearing

or active at.

Night deceives,

tricks and cheats the male

person or animal being

discussed in the charge

or keeping of opinion

and estimation capacity.

For learning, reasoning, under

standing: an aptitude

for grasping truths.



Then lack’d I matter; that enfeebled mine.


Immediately or soon after

ward, next in order

of time or place

deficient or absent

of something necessary or

desirable, the nomi-

native singular

pronoun substance

(or substances) of which

any physical object is composed

whether solid, liquid or gaseous,

subject or object.

As a relative clause weakened something—

that belongs to me.

« Smarie Clay | Contents | Bryan Beck »