Lily Robert-Foley is the author of Jiji (Omnia Vanitas Review 2016); m, a book of poetry-critique-collage (Corrupt Press, 2013); graphemachine, a chapbook of visual poetry (Xerolage, 2013); the creative annotations for The North Georgia Gazette (Green Lantern Press 2009); Frozen Assets, a work of experimental translations of snowflakes cut from bank loan papers (APR press, 2014); and the Soloflex poem, a poetry blog that asks if poetry can help us lose weight. She is the translator of The Room Under the Willow Tree by Sophie Loizeau (To Press, 2016). She teaches for money.
by Lily Robert-Foley
Jiji tells the story of two tragic lovers : the signifier and the signified.
Aching to be together yet doomed to remain apart.
Like lovers flirt, the language in Jiji flirts with breaking its bond with the reader.
Very early in the book, a series of graphemic modifications occur.
On page 4, all o’s are removed.
On page 17, all j’s and l’s are exchanged.
On page 22, h is added to a’s (ah).
On page 94, y is replaced with i.
On page 100, u is replaced with ∩.
On page 123, e is replaced with ∅.
The text erodes, drawing farther and farther from accessible reading. Falling in love is the story of learning to read a new code. A broken heart is the story of unlearning normale codes. On page 134, the lovers create a new way of making text called « machines » : conceptual poetry devices intended to read and study language by revealing and rewriting structures implicit in reappropriated texts into said texts to create new texts and rinse, lather, repeat. When the machines begin the orthographic modifications stop, the end begins. Be brave, reader.