Tanabu Hiroshi’s visual poems

He wanted to be a superhero
so he moved to Brooklyn and became invisible
> The Angel in The Dream of Our Hangover, aphorisms by Mark Leidner
why motherfucker is a word
and fatherfucker isn’t
is all I know of woman’s pain
on earth, and all I need
to know of Western wisdom
> Mark Leidner, The Angel in The Dream of Our Hangover: Aphorisms
I think humor depends on depth of tension. There is just so little tension in randomness. Or in a pattern that is only available to the speaker. The first random thing that happens — pig-ponies! — can be funny for a second. But the next time it happens, it’s less funny because you’re ready for it. The listener has less anxiety about the end of the poem because the listener knows anything can happen. But if the joke is stripped of all non sequitur and pushed, relentlessly, along a path of logic which is blatantly available to both listener and speaker, both can have anxiety about where it will end up, and what it will ultimately mean. Maximizing this anxiety and then, at the last second, shattering it, is a key trope of humor. Part of keeping on that path is not breaking. It’s like how if someone told you that The Matrix was the best movie in the world, and then winked, that’s lame comedy. That to me parallels the flat effect of jokey poetry. But if they told you The Matrix was the best movie in the world and just stared into your eyes without blinking… until you blinked, that’s a tragedy so unbearable you have to laugh. You have to say that’s absurd. But this buffoon thinks it’s real? That’s impossible. Because that buffoon is a human like me. The irreconcilability of that wedges into us and leaves a giant triangle of anxiety. We survive by laughing. Otherwise we would simply kill that person. It feels good to laugh. Laughter is the orgasm of fear. > Mark Leidner