WOKITOKITEKI // Urayoán Noel

Urayoán Noel made a special manifesto-poem-monologue in response to the ideas behind The Lecturers.


Check all his project at :  www.wokitokiteki.com


WOKITOKITEKI is an ongoing series of improvised video poems by Urayoán Noel. The poems are generated spontaneously by speaking into a smartphone while walking around urban and/or natural landscapes, yet over the years patterns appear: landscapes with which the poet is socio-spatially and/or biographically enmeshed (the Bronx, New York; Río Piedras, Puerto Rico) as well as accompanying langscapes and mindscapes.

WOKITOKITEKI evokes Baudelaire’s flâneur and its latter-day reverberations, from Neruda’s surrealist “Walking Around” to the dystopian/utopian countercultural imaginaries of Ginsberg’s The Fall of America (composed with the aid of a tape recorder) or the dark humor of Pedro Pietri’s “Puerto Rican Obituary” and even the eccentrically embodied translocal/NYCaribbean barrio of Josefina Báez’s Dominicanish, as well as David Antin’s improvisational/critical/narrative “talk poems.” Baudelaire’s fneur fluttered in and out of the noise and bustle of the modern city, but in the digital age there is no flutter: we are all connected in profound and ugly and banal ways, and the flâneur is now a techie (TEKI) in a meaningful way but also simply as a composite of crappy apps (TEKI as in TECATO, Puerto Rican slang for a junkie but also for something crappy or low quality). We are global overshare junkies yet we are lo-tech-tribal, much like the smartphones (digital WOKITOKIs) we carry. We are also at war (walkie-talkies rose to prominence in and after World War II): with ourselves, our cities, and our bodies, as they are occupied, avatared, displaced, data-mined, profiled, surveilled, and, yes, bludgeoned in remorseless daylight.

WOKITOKITEKI asks, what would it mean to be a flâneur in our occupied, preoccupied cities? And is it true we can’t spell “smartphone” without “art” and without “one”? The art of one body claiming the privilege of walking, the sortilege of speaking, while standing on the edge of the ledge of a city with no ledger, only the legend of its fall and rebirth, its becoming island, its I becoming, its becoming eye. Ay de ti, city!

WOKITOKITEKI will be updated in accordance with the poet’s travels and travails, across and along a range of media.
Additionally, this a potentially participatory project; make and share your own #wokitokiteki poems. ###