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Archeologia Poetika aka the Poetry Restoration Method: Unearthing Old 21st Century Poetry

Updated: Jun 19

Year 2933


(translated into early third millennium Global English)


The scattered encrypted chunks of retrieved data from The Great Internets Extinction of the 22nd century have been mined extensively for clues about the lives of our ancestors. Along with the physical dig sites, they were recently transferred to our department for literary extractions, as humans are preferred over AI for this work. While still sorting through, and having heated debates over what is considered literature and what not, we want to share some of our early findings.


We have restored damaged poems from the early 21st century written in the Global vernacular of the time. Uncovered in the physical dig sites, these poems were missing about 30% of text, so we studied the surviving texts about these poets to fill in the gaps. The restorers then fill in the gaps in a poem while assuming the style of the poet in question.


We use this opportunity to also call forward anyone who might have similar ancient texts in possession to share them with us.



Archeologia Poetika Project #5

"Frequencies of Chaos" by Joy Waller


One of the best preserved poems from a time capsule in a physical dig site in Ancient Edo of the 2000s. Only a small portion of the verse was missing. The restored elements are given in bold.


Frequencies of Chaos

original by: Joy Waller

Poetry archeologists: Zoria P.K., Mat C., Ryan Dz.


Mayhem behind the nigh shift

the smiles, the fingers

of the clerks

at the convenience store, flickering


Rip-off

at the gas station cum

discotheque — worst party ever


Shinsuke fails yet again

to score us drugs

and I lay down like a fucked up princess

beside the gas pumps

to calm my eyes


He wakes me up fruitless

at sun-up

with a cinnamon bun

and a paper cup

of coffee


WE GOTTA SUIT UP FOR THE WEDDING

JOY-CHAN he says


cackling

like an old boring ever after



[*scroll to the end for the original]



The artefact we worked with.


Archeologia Poetika Project #7

"Lady of the Wild Thin Line" by Taylor Mignon


Another well-preserved artefact that we want to present.


Lady of the Wild Thin Line

Homage for Shiraishi Kazuko

original by: Taylor Mignon

Poetry archeologists: Zoria, Mat, Joy


10,000 ears take flight,

Cartilage cut the Indian contraband

Hear the stupendous succubus sucking

You to the shore of splash-fall

Paisley mutants, frolicking flock

Of seagulls lull a by, bye-bye,

Hello lullaby by the venerable Vogon

Chanted, mutually enchanted

Yr kanji voice body choking

The leaves of your kakemono

Are the fluent characters of you.

Walking into the Phryne

The whole works, like Anima Machina

As Medusa, a muse-maker

Cybele or Anatolia, the earth-shaker,

Athirat Sea of the Rays Shamallah

The all-encompassing, The ever-devouring,

You take us there, all the wackos, all the ways.




Who's Behind Archeologia Poetika?


Let's step out of character and come back to 2021 (the year of writing this post). Archeologia Poetika is a poetry restoration method of creative writing devised by Tokyo-based poet and ToPoJo Associate Editor Zoria April (Petkoska Kalajdjieva). The poetry group using the method was co-founded in 2019 by Zoria, Mat Chiappe (currently Associate Editor at ToPoJo), and Ryan Dzelzkalns. Other people who have participated so far are Joy Waller (Copy Editor at ToPoJo) and Ingrid Vera.


The Archeologia Poetika method invites us to assume the voice of a poet and write as if we were them. More specifically, to restore a poem that has missing parts. To make things more exciting, the poems are physically destroyed (burned, torn, spilled ink) and restored through group work.



The poems used so far were with the permission of the authors. Actually anyone can submit a poem to be put through destruction and reconstruction by the Archeologia Poetika group. You can contact them via topojo2015@gmail.com. Specify in the email subject line that you are writing to Archeologia Poetika.


***


Here are the original poems by Joy Waller and Taylor Mignon:


Frequencies of Chaos


Mayhem behind

the smiles

of the clerks

at the convenience store


Rip-off

at the gas station

discotheque


Shinsuke fails

to score drugs

and I lay down

beside the gas pumps

to calm my eyes


He wakes me

at sun-up

with a cinnamon bun

and a paper cup

of coffee


WE GOTTA SPLIT 
JOY-CHAN he says


cackling

like an old lady


***


Lady of the Wild Things

Homage for Shiraishi Kazuko

10,000 ears take flight, our

Cartilage cut the Indian winds

Hear the stupendous sutra call

You to the shore of splendored

Paisley elephants, frolicking flocks

of seagulls lull a by, bye bye Babylon

Hello lullaby by the verse libre

Chanted, mutually enchanted

Yr kanji voice body choice

the leaves of your kakemono

Are the fluent characters of your blood

Walking into the Phryne

The whole works, like Anima Mundi

As Medusa, a muse-maker

Cybele or Anatolia, the earth mama

Athirat Sea of the Rays Shamra

The all-encompassing, The Vierge Ouvrante

You take us there, all the way.