Urban Dictionary versus the poet

Another collaboration with Ray Hsu for the poetics blog Lemon Hound. This post explores experimental prose writer Bhanu Kapil‘s (Humanimal, The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers, Incubation: A Space For Monsters) interventions into the online slang monolith Urban Dictionary. Kapil’s definitions are elliptical, impressionistic, digressive. Ray and I wrote definitions in response Kapil’s and submitted them to Urban Dictionary. Our definitions are currently under review by the editors; we await the results.

Our definitions can be read on Lemon Hound here.

Update: Architecture 3, Calling It A Day, Hard Day and Nativity have been approved  by Urban Dictionary. Lung, Lucy, Pet, Ghost and Architecture 4 have been rejected. Urban Dictionary’s slogan: “Define Your World.”

Architecture 3 — after Bhanu Kapil’s Architecture 1 and Architecture 5

Definition: A structure depending on associations made of a bird’s nerves rather than the sequences of rooms; there is one smudged purple hallway that is also a throat. A vertical knowing of the dying fall; a way to conduct design by making mistakes. The only option is to go public in the grief of a story which is part of a structure that has no floorboards, only mutterings of cold fisted birds left over from last year’s old words. Or: a way of listening to the ramblings of possible light, crossing your arms around your sequence of events. Or: but this is a rumour on the radio, also a nightmare about a cat who kept you company during a pregnancy.

Usage: “Hey, that was like SO Architecture 3!” “I know. You know?” “Yeah. Like two years ago at that party? That wasn’t as Architecture 3 as this, tho.” “Totally. I felt much more incoherent and subconsciously tired this time.” “For sho. Remember that night we jumped off the bridge into the cold water?” “Yes and it tasted so good.” “That reminds me of drinking Sprite in my uncle’s truck in a clearcut.” “Architecture 3!” “Yeah!”

Keywords: Design, rambling, sequences, story, uncles, Sprite, remembrance



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