Here is the purity of means.

This zine was written today for the “The Body in Poetry” workshop facilitated by Katie Condon as part of the Bio and Psyche symposium, organized by Els Woudstra and Brooke Clarke at Rice University. Travis Lau’s lecture that preceded the workshop, “On the Pain of Poetry,” played an instrumental role in its production.

This creative project follows on the completion of my research project, “Bodies in Form, 2: Tabletop Roleplaying as Cosmic Poetics.” The paper is open source, available to read now at Zenodo via the link. In it, I stitch together a phenomenological approach to the body with modernist lyric poetry, and modernist lyric poetry with lyric games in the tabletop roleplaying scene.

Pieces 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7 were written in response to prompts given to us in the workshop. Pieces 3 and 5 are excerpted from Mallarmé and Plato, respectively. I have only lightly edited the workshop pieces, tying up some trailing lines for coherence. Otherwise, they remain as they were when I wrote them. I thought this was important—to, in Travis’s words, open the “collective of care and thinking” in which these pieces were written to each of you.

The description for this project, which is a recurring motif in the zine, is adapted from Rodrigo Karmy Bolton’s essay, “The Anarchy of Beginnings.” The cover image is clipped from Albrecht Dürer, Jesus Among the Doctors.

CW: piece #6 mentions blood and bodily harm.

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