Tape Recorder Head Poetry.



Tape Recorder Head Poetry. 

Actually, the concept came from my good friend Jeffrey who apparently has no friends right now. However, don’t feel that way Jeffrey I go through that all the time – in fact I’m pretty sure I wrote that down somewhere. One moment I’m a star, and the next no one likes me? That’s old news, I do, however, completely comprehend.

I digress, lately I’ve been seeing a LOT of tape-recorder-head visual art. 

I love it, of course, it’s a part of who I am. It’s a line of my own poetry, “that I still need to program the tape recorder in my head to store.” This line, however, comes from a poem I wrote in 2005 in a different place in my life during a completely different poetic era. I study visual art as it’s part of my career, I’m a collector, an art historian, and a critic. I also like to pretend I’m a visual artist at times. I’m not sure it’s real, however. 

My poetic peers, are incredible people, and I remember very well where we were in our lives at the time. We were aware of the mental tape recorder in 2005, and the art about it is only now being created. Aside from, of course, our own.

I’m sure someone, somewhere, can point me to a piece of art from that time which wasn’t ours, in fact, the one I have featured above this article is probably such to be honest (I have no official date just a chance grabbing from the never-ending internet scroll.) Of course, this brings up the question regarding why it is only now gaining recognition. 

My thoughts are a thousand fold, including the obvious which is that the tape recorder has now become a relic.

It’s an electronic misnomer almost, an artifact. In my lifetime we’ve gone from the mixtape to the .mp3. Strangely, I went to see Bone Thugs and Harmony a few weeks ago, and the song I loved the most was the one from that “one mix tape I loved so much.” I played it over, and over again until it wore out (actually it never wore out tapes had quite the durability to be honest.) Especially that whole pen/tape meme that floats around the net (I WAS that kid. I KNOW the connection.) Now, the tape recorder is a relic, as I said, and art featuring the tape is incredible stuff. This is not, however, what It think of every time I see a tape recorder in someone’s head.

It’s been a long held thought of mine that we all have an internal “tape.” In fact, it’s probably some psychological thing by now that I didn’t coin when I should have. Anyway, the internal tape is what circles around in your head, the inner monologue (as it were.)

My perspective was; if I could reprogram the tape within my head then I could actually probably change the way I see myself.

Reprogramming that tape would cause me to bestow more positive, and beautiful compliments upon myself so that my core beliefs (self confidence wise) would change. It does work, by the way.

However, it was also the group belief that programming the tape recorder to store writing, (poetry in this case) would then cease the need to write things down. Leading to a more fluid performance. Less reading, and more performing. Nine years later I have it all programmed into my tape, but tapes no longer exist. This gives a completely new meaning to the entire thing, one of those definitions is that now we’re really old (and old fashioned.)

My curiosity comes from the fact that it seems the head/tape recorder idea is either a. new, or b. resurfacing.

The image above the actual tape is flowing out, and all over the place. Either useless, or completely garbled. I’m not sure if he’s completely lost his mind, his tape recorder overflowing causing a completely dramatic out letting of media, or he really needs a pen to fix the entire situation.

Either way, we still end up with tape recorder poetry. Either it will be like a huge chaotic spewing of freestyle verbiage, or he will write it down for a change since he actually now has a pen, and can finally fix the entire problem completely.

In my face, lately, has been a few different versions of the same concept. Visual ones, and not written ones. I wonder how many people have visually recreated this concept, and of course if anyone actually wrote the concept down (aside from myself.) I know it’s not entirely my concept, or Jeffrey’s for that matter. It just is. Is it that we all spent too little time on the internet at the time? I say this in jest.

I’m really not sure if we, as poets, were really ahead of our time. Or if everyone is really, really late. 

I have noticed within myself, and I don’t speak for the entire group (you STILL know who you are.) That ideas I formed back then are coming back to me now. For instance, a HUGE part of my thesis in 2006 I found an article on the New Yorker website about. The writer wrote about it, of course, as though it were his brand new idea. I’m thinking to myself, I can actually prove to this dude, that this concept is old. I can prove that it’s mine.

Technically, even Disney back doubled on on of my ideas from back then. My Alice, and Cheshire Cat changed colors. In the movie featuring Johnny Depp the same thing happens. The creative epoch I am a part of is not behind, we’re so ahead we’re lost in the scuffle unfortunately. 

For many years I’ve felt completely misunderstood, as though my ideas, are incredible, but no one understands them. Only a select few can even comprehend where I’m coming from. The future, possibly could be the answer, I am still late all the time though. I’m still working on homework for classes I withdrew from in college. (I know, I too see myself eating nerds like they are candy dot dot dot.) 

The problem, of course, is that the future is undoubtedly NOW. I believe this is definitely the future. Next year is the year they went to in back to the future that was actually the future. We are all incredibly disappointed about the fact there seems to be no sign of real hover boards, but I believe this is probably something our elders went through in 1984. I’d rather have a hover board instead of the thought police, it would be rather lovely to go back in time to 1984, and let them know that the thought police actually do exist in 2014 (I know sad thoughts, very sad ones.)

I feel as though we are all still looking around, wondering where we stand poetically, but not seeing what is before us. This is it, the picture above illustrates it quite perfectly. My mates (as the british call them) and I knew exactly what was going on. Apparently we were dead on the money about everything, this is where quantum physics and time travel come into completely appropriate play.

I find, and it’s strange as I did not know, that many of “us” are still looking for ourselves in the “thick” of things. I say this, never forget where you come from. This is a HUGE point I continually make, don’t forget your inception, or beginning. From the sperm, and egg to the now mature adult with incredibly child like tendencies. Don’t forget who you are, or where you come from. However, understand that this is just one of the many concepts we went on about. We have made it. Simple.

Now, even the “taperecorderheaddude” actually exists? It’s a big thing, people are thinking about it frequently, and we do not flinch. I know my friends, I know we’re all reaching for the next big idea. Glance for a second, I urge you, at what is happening in art, and in life. 

We are part of the social sculpture, as both Joseph Beuys, and myself frequently say. Our clocks, however, move on what we call “poetry time.”

Apparently, that has absolutely nothing to do with how the rest of the world moves, they are too busy watching Fox, and family programming on USA. 😉





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This work by LeeLee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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