“Language.” Almost rhymes with “sandwich,” but not quite with “assuage” (which looks like it should work), or “gauge” (which ought to work), but is close to “vanquish” (which shouldn’t work). If you are golfer you might use a “sand wedge.” And this speculation is just tomfoolery, and only in “English” (which is sort of a chime rhyme).
Okay, enough. There are many languages. The informing concept of BOULDERPAVEMENT 6 is that very word, the “L-word” – language. And what a fine and marvelous thing it is. Glyphs and groans – strokes of sticks, charcoal, lead, nibs, and computer keys; tongue-trills, lip-wiggles, and throat-rolls – and we have words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, books – bound and now digitized. Presto! A sophisticated instrument of human communication.
With this issue we’re exploring some of language’s character – its crafting, its poetry, its visuality, orality, and aurality – how meaning, pleasure, and inquiry come from these human signs and signals.
Canada’s new Parliamentary Poet Laureate Fred Wah jazzes up the language in print and audio; d. kimm performs her poetic lament in video; Guy Vanderhaeghe investigates the sentence; and Derek Beaulieu manipulates Letraset to create visual delights. Visual artist Nicole Dextras crafts her words from the elements, and sound poet Kaie Kellough gathers collaborators Malcolm Mooney, Tanya Davis, and Luis “El Pana” Tovar to layer in their phonemes in a vigorous workout of the aforementioned tongues and lips. Finally, Julie Sedivy’s essay contemplates what the &%# it all might mean.
Language in layers and spilling out – a kind of “Dagwood” (remember that?) to delight your palate.
Steven Ross Smith