Dick: A Vertical Elegy by Sam Truitt.
Preface by Kimberly Lyons ISBN
Pub date: 2014.
Design by Julie Harrison.
Cover image by Ken Knowlton.
Dick is a prose poem grounded in proprietary knowledge about President
Kennedy’ assassination. The pith of that information is transmitted through
Morse Code, the seemingly undifferentiated plane of which is broken up with
stage directions from Shakespeare’s tragedies. Dick to that extent is a
cryptogram containing information of inherent value burrowed within layers of
cipher. In the nature of this book, its sealed condition mimics the secrecy
surrounding acts undertaken in our name by our government and its official and
unofficial outlying agencies. For while Dick may bore through and
examine the entrails of JFK assassination lore, it is also a door through which
those willing may enter and confront the pervasive machinations of “the best
government money can buy,” in the soulless shadow of which we live today. The
English text elaborates on these matters, among forays into fragmentary
narrative, fugitive analysis, commentary on the text itself and poetic
"Sam Truitt's unusually sculptural poem is a lockbox of secrets. But each
layer of concealment, spun out of language, insidious truths. The use of
Morse code and Shakespearian fragments provides a cool and elusive, but also
disturbing, conceptual frame. As in Hannah Weiner's Semaphore.....the act of coding both enacts and compresses
distance Feminine speech and military speech, ciphers for American life in the
mid-20th century, rattle around the edge of a grave or a bomb site. DICK
pulsates with violence and mystery"
- Chris Kraus