Theatou’tré :

Maximizing Minimalism with the Pw(o’er)md

Jouisseance, Glass Broadside
Jouisseance, 2015. Glass, Mercury, Wood, Copper, Light, Intention.

It’s April, and time again for “International Pw(o’er)md Writing Month,” a month-long event which a widely dispersed group of poets observe by publishing one-word stand alone poems (known as “”pw(o’er)mds”) every day.

If you are reading this, you are probably participating: Hello! I’ve been waiting for you!

What is a Pw(o’er)md?

The word was coined by Geof Huth to describe any one-word stand-alone poem. The word “pwoermd” (or “pw(o’er)md,” as I like to spell it) is itself a portmanteau, a folding together of the words “poem” and “word.” The form itself goes back further than that though, to Aram Saroyan’s groundbreaking “lighght,” and Jonathan Brannen’s “pigeoneon,” and probably back further than that. From Huth’s chapbook The Pwoermd in the Shape of the Letter O:

The pwoermd is an idea growing toward birth, the smallest thought struggling to become, yet one still trapped in the mind of its maker. When it is born, it is born all at once, cracking out of its shell, lying wet before us so we can learn what it will be.

Stephen Nelson writes:

The white space around the poem reminds me of the underlying field of consciousness on which all words and thoughts are written. It is the bliss from which experience emerges.

sassafracas, 2018. Seaglass variation, dichroic glass with shadow against gravestone marble.

For me:

The pw(o’er)md’s life force lies in its speed, energy, and spontaneity; its ability to carry over the seed of meaning within the word, into the space of the word, into the letters themselves, into the word’s past life and future, where even the interstices, the breath and the pause, hold the cotyledon of meaning, suggestion uncurling. 

I will post my own pw(o’er)mds here and to my Facebook page as I write them, and will keep them up (until they become ungainly):

2018:

Glamurmûre
Thistyle
Sisyphu
Gnostrombone
jetête-à-tête

Hagaggis
Elixiririxile
Magellanimus
Wo’of
Eyriear
Théâtout’re

Sombrerogenous
Disintegratify
Kismétro
Pscythce
Darknéçenssé

æthereáreáreárosá
Metapho’eros
nostrumble
Plèihades
Rhetoriqueurs
phyllimbroligium
Noctilucida

Poiseau-Albaverte
Ramûre
Melonight
Rosérobéthorné
Penumbrannamírë
Irridesordello

sonnettles
Déjà-halluciné
Sparowsea
Chandelicatier