You monsoon across the alphabet, croon turbulence, and whisper:
A is for alligator, against the Mississippi marooned on
my gums. Gumbo thrums from lips and you drizzle glossary,
soak into S like your throat gurgles the wrung-out cotton from
a humid Zandunga: say S, say sathasha sashatha, say
spoon. I hiss and that is all. Say S, shass shassha,
say..gymnasts squat bulk quads atop your tongue, S somersaults
warm into P and I geyser, hoot, o-o at this alphabetic
kinetic. Say S, say shrathra shrathrashra, say spoon, your
pucker hunkers in singsong.
The bright, taut, explosive poems in Jordan Scott’s Blert represent a spelunk into the mouth of the stutterer. Through the unique symptoms of the stutterer (Scott, like fifty million others, has always stuttered), language becomes a rolling gait of words hidden within words, leading to different rhythms and textures, all addressed by the mouth’s slight erosions.
In Scott’s lexicon, to blert is to stutter, to disturb the breath of speaking. The stutter quivers in all that we do, from a skip on a cd to a slip of the tongue. These experiences are often dismissed as aberrant, but in Blert, such fragmented milliseconds are embraced and mined as language. Often aimed full-bore at words that are especially difficult for the stutterer, Scott’s poems don’t just discuss, they replicate the act of stuttering, the ‘blort, jam and rejoice’ involved in grappling with the granular texture of words.
As Scott says in his author's note, 'Blert is written to be as difficult as possible for me to read.' Blert presents the stutter on its own terms - every tense moment of personal struggle with language as a rolling, unstoppable gallop of words within words.
‘Jordan Scott’s Blert is the most original poetic project I have read in years. Undertaking a “poetics of stutter,” the book is not primarily a mimetic representation of stuttering, or the reproduction of stammered speech, but rather an investigation into how the stutter originates.’
– Craig Dworkin
Jordan Scott is the author of Silt (2005), blert (2008) and, with Stephen Collis, Decomp (2013). Scott is the 2015/16 Writer-in-Residence at Simon Fraser University. He lives in Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada.