“What would it be like to be outside of, or beyond, language?” Language, and by extension writing, is an abstraction, an idea to be played with, a constraint to be stretched. It is a concept which can be explored and transformed into a liberator of ideas through its very restraints. Kelly Malone is not the first writer to view language and the written word in this way, the Oulipo movement can attest to that, but Kelly’s perspective and experimental investigations into writing are fresh and unique.
Kelly describes both language’s constraints and possibilities in her poem I use poetry as a means to get beyond words ‘[language] imposes on me… Poetics comes along / offering manoeuvres’
Kelly was first published in Potroast in Issue 3 with her poem Doing; an exploratory poem about the verb ‘to be’ analysing what it can, as a common and indispensable sentence component, accomplish within communication. Kelly’s sense of adventure, and at times existentialism, within the bounds of words is not limited to grammar and language in and of itself, but how it works and functions as a communicator.
Kelly’s chapbook, Chapbox, is a book, a sculptural work, a box and a series of poems exploring all four (books, art, form & poetry); what they are and how they can inform each other. As Kelly explains it, she delves into “the relationship between written language and other textual forms such as the visual, and / or aural, and how these forms presuppose the sign, and engage with written language to create a new synchronous act.”
Kelly’s new investigation into language and its possibilities, which she calls ‘Transtext’, translates words and poems from standard English into Morse code, and from there into musical composition while still leaving the aural score to present itself as a visual poetic piece, which relates to Kelly’s interest in “the materiality / opacity of language – even though it can seem transparent we cannot get ‘outside’ of language”
Keen to see what else Kelly has been working on? Check out her website kellymalone.me
We expect to see more of her within the pages of Potroast, so watch this space.
Purchase Issue 3 here