Home > Mutating the Signature > Mutating the Signature: issue summary

Mutating the Signature: issue summary

May 15, 2009

Let’s get two things straight: Collaboration isn’t incarceration or incorporation.

True, collaboration is like incarceration in that handcuffs, particularly the kind lined with faux fur, are absolutely necessary. The collaborative process works best when participants are attached but still able to reach with their free hands. Of course, by “free,” we mean within the context of their material conditions (e.g. diet, geography and astrological determiners).

Collaboration is also like a company in that profit is collected. However, paychecks come in the form of beads and trinkets. Threading these requires a keen eye and a bottle of aspirin. Sharing a set of contact lenses is not advisable, since blurred vision leads to the most desirable outcomes. This is art, after all, not a driving test. Nobody wants or needs collaborative art taking up valuable space on our already congested highways.

Like a brain in the gut, collaborative process challenges the ego. Thoughts smear like cheap mascara on an overly emotional drag queen, which is not to say the collaborative process is overly emotional. In focus groups, collaboration has been called “impersonal” and “emotionally unavailable.” That’s right: Collaboration is your father. However, collaboration has also scored high in the areas of “inappropriate staring” and “monkey business.”

We applaud those who undertook collaboration for this issue. We sympathize with your resulting identity crises and ecstatic spasms. Unfortunately, we only have poetic licenses, which means we can’t dole out any medications to help you return to your isolation chambers. Soon the word “I” will disappear from your vocabulary. You won’t notice when it goes, but might later feel mild tingling and foreign-body sensations in your ribs.

There will also be a slight awkwardness when ordering at restaurants. People will wonder why you always order for two. They will assume you are using the royal “we.” They will never understand you. You are an artist. You are not meant to be understood. Thank you.

Dana Guthrie Martin and Nathan Moore, issue editors

  1. June 7, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks Dana and Nathan,

    For the invitation, and for your work on the issue.
    I will be reading some of these collaborated poems this week at one of the league of Canadian Poets Readings. Two of the people I collaborated with will be there so it will be a treat to stand up and collaboratively read them as well.
    It always feels like a celebration.

    Thanks again,

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