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Nick Carbó

The Absence of Atmosphere


A three-dimensional poem
Materials you will need for construction of the poem:

3 — three-foot-long thin but sturdy sticks
1 — any kind of glue
15 — any kind of thread cut into two feet lengths
2 — printed color copies of the 3-D poem

Instructions for use:
cut out the spheres from page one in a vertical fashion.
Cut in this order:
(stick # 1) (stick # 2) (stick # 3)
touch the lusty
the undertow room
bouncing legs removed
to leave ululations

Place the spheres on a flat surface with the words facing down (white side
up) in the same order as above. Space the spheres evenly apart. Do the same
for all three rows of words. Place one length of thread over the spheres
going down. Keep at least four inches of thread slack above the first word
(touch) in order to tie it to the stick so the spheres will hang. Cut out the
second copy of the poem spheres and glue the words to the same words so
you will have a two-sided disk with a thread running through it. Glue
“touch” to “touch,” “the” to “the” and so on. The same word should
appear front and back of the sphere. When you finish gluing a row, you will
have four spheres with words connected to each other with a thread. Hang
this first row on one end of the three-foot long sticks.

Go on to page two and do the same process of cutting, gluing, stringing and
hanging. Be sure to keep the order of the words and spheres intact in their
proper rows. Repeat the same process for pages three, four and five. You will
hang five evenly spaced rows on the stick. Do the same with the second and
third sticks.

NICK CARBÓ is the author of three books of poetry, the latest being Andalusian Dawn (2004). He has edited three anthologies of Filipino writing, including Pinoy Poetics (2004). His visual poems have been exibited at the “Infinity” show at Harvard, the Studio Alternative, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami.

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