Description (in English): 

A compilation of broken poems, P.o.E.M.M. Poems for Excitable [Mobile] Media is designed explicitly for mobile media. The poems cannot be read without touching the screen, an experience that creates excitable stimulation. The letters and words of the poems float in the background, waiting for the user to snatch them up with their fingers. One line at a time, the user can grab the words and align them on the screen. The lines can be arranged in any order, and so the user must piece together both their meaning and the structure. Lewis and Nadeau built the interface filled by these works and poets: “What They Speak When They Speak to Me” by Jason E. Lewis, “Character” by Jim Andrews, “Let Me Tell You What Happened This Week” by David Jhave Johnston, “Muddy Mouth” by JR Carpenter, “The Color of Your Hair Is Dangerous” by Aya Karpinska. Annotated by Greg Philbrook.

(Source: Description from the Electronic Literature Exhibition catalogue)


The P.o.E.M.M. Cycle (Poetry for Excitable [Mobile] Media) is a series of poems written and designed to be read across a number of media and surfaces, from large-scale projections to mobile screens. The texts in The P.o.E.M.M Cycle speak about making sense of crazy talk & kid talk, the meanings of different shades of purple, the conundrums of being a Cherokee boy adopted by a white family and raised in northern California mountain country, and the importance of calling a sundae a sundae. The works explore different strategies for both writing and reading using multi-touch and mobile devices, and how those strategies substantially expand the range of digital literature, visual art and performance available to us. Each piece in the series includes a large-scale interactive version for exhibition, a mobile interactive version for tablets and for smartphones, and one or more large-scale prints. The mobile versions are also used in augmented performances.


Jason Edward Lewis is a digital media poet, artist, and software designer. He founded Obx Laboratory for Experimental Media, where he directs research/creation projects on computation as a creative and cultural material. Lewis' creative work has been featured at Ars Electronica, Mobilefest, Urban Screens, ISEA, SIGGRAPH, and FILE, among other venues, and has been recognized with the inaugural Robert Coover Award for Best Work of Electronic Literature, a Prix Ars Electronica Honorable Mention, several imagineNATIVE Best New Media awards and five solo exhibitions. He's the author or co-author of chapters in collected editions covering mobile media, video game design, machinima and experimental pedagogy with Indigenous communities, as well as numerous journal articles and conference papers. He is a Trudeau Fellow and University Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary as well as Professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University, Montreal. Born and raised in northern California, he is Cherokee, Hawaiian and Samoan.

Editorial Statement

Jason Lewis’ Poems for Excitable Mobile Media, the P.o.E.M.M Cycle (exhibited collectively as Vital to the Public Welfare) include several highly personal meditations on identity designed to be exhibited on large touchscreens or as experiences for tablets. These poems transform text into animated actors, focusing the reader's attention as words loop, plunge, and disperse. Kinetic poetry dances with the gestures of the hand as it too ripples across live screens. Depending on the stories being told, the words may follow a reader’s finger across the interface, reveal themselves upon pressure, or flee and scatter to avoid contact. Lewis’ P.o.E.M.M Cycle takes advantage of the haptic interface of phones and tablets in order to produce an embodied performance between reader and text.


Screen shots: 

Speak iphone/ipod/ipad app

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Meri Alexandra Raita