Saturday, October 9, 2021

intimate h&s: selected b&w visual poems 1995-2013 by Karl Kempton is available now at Amazon!


intimate h&s by Karl Kempton is available now at Amazon.

It is a daunting task to introduce a book by as accomplished an artist as Karl Kempton. His lexical and visual poetry is published internationally in roughly 4 dozen books and in at least 70 anthologies. His textual expressions are recognized and applauded internationally. For many years, Karl Kempton has created a spectacular array of text-based glyphs on his typewriter composing visual poems in a range of amazing forms that he dubbed typoglifs (a.k.a. tiipoglifs). These were partly suggested by Emerson’s notion “every word is a poem.” Kempton moved from typewriter to composing by computer and then adding photo-graphics (as in his recent investigations of wave-forms). His expressions can surprise audiences with paradoxical visual puns that channel insights on frequencies, nearly imperceptible sound patterns, moments of meditative mindfulness, complex simplicities, and cosmic, inter-cultural idea-forms.

Those who read intimate h&s should prepare themselves for explorations of cypher, symbol, code, letter, phoneme, morpheme, ideogram, pattern, and logogram, at times rhythmic, often mathematical or algorithmic. Here you will find visually stunning expressions such as “portrait of EE,” juxtaposed with meditative moments including “eyes north,” or “for Stephen Nelson,” and “Eternal Dharma’s Cosmology.” Plus, humorous visual puns such as “the i gendered,” and subtle but clever wit as in “not again” (the latter takes on multiple meanings when one considers that the letter “i” placed on its side can also stand for the letter “n” in Morse code). In addition, readers will discover an inspired and rousing “ampersand suite.”

This collection includes liberated text particles, sonic clusters, resonant patterns, and textured densities that freely cross the borders of visual art and literary expression, while investigating boundaries between Orphic and Concrete expression in a mystic, border-blur dance that will surely inspire and delight!

—From the introduction by Karl Jirgens, former publisher/editor of Rampike Magazine

Poems about something & nothing glows in the dark. Kempton writes with a deep reverence painfully missing from most modern poetry. His poems, both the lexical and the visual, are stunning…the way lightning is stunning or the aurora borealis as it rises in the magnetic midnight.  These are spare and elegant poems, as ancient in form as “that flood of light that melts the ego.” 

Since the early seventies, Kempton has composed some of this century’s best poetry. His art ranges from all-text short lyrics to highly sophisticated visio-berbo-music-mathematical hybrids. On the surface, his work seems simple... 
— Bob Grumnan
poet, critic Factsheet Five
Religious poems? Or simply poem poems that in the etymological sense of religion bind us again to the spirit of the real, to silence. These are devotional, in a way that flows naturally as Karl Kempton. Each is a devotion that only Karl can be and try to express. Each taps into the inexpressible. Therein is the beauty: singing the song of no name. 
— Scott Watson, Editor, Bongos of the Lord, Sendai, Japan

Karl Kempton’s work combines deep spirituality with light-hearted playfulness. The spectrum of his sensibility and writing tools is wider than most of ours. This new collection includes terse, meditative lexical poems, and gems of refined and strikingly beautiful visual poetry, where as little marks as an unexpected bracket, a deleted letter or a rotated comma, make a big and refreshing difference. 
— Marton Koppany, Editor, Kalligram, Budapest, Hungary

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Post-Asemic Press (October 5, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 95 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 173486625X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1734866254
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 7 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.23 x 9 inches

intimate h&s is available at Amazon:

Photo of Karl by Juan Manuel Perez Salazar

Karl Kempton (b. July 1, 1943, Chicago) lives with his beloved wife, Ruth, in Oceano, California. They were married at their home in Oceano in 1983. He is a poet, visual poet, editor, publisher, writer, photographer, curator, former microgreen grower, archaeoastronomer and environmental activist. Ruth created her wheatgrass business in 1984 and educated the area on its health supporting powers. He oversaw their expanded microgreen business from 1996 to 2019 when she decided to follow other interests, such as teaching yoga. They were constantly complimented on their products as “the best ever tasted.” Ruth set the standard for a national chain’s wheatgrass requirements in the mid 1980s. They retired from their business in 2019. Their daughter, Amy Franceschini, a widely respected international artist, is the founder of Future Famers (

As an archaeoastromer, he theorized and proved through recovery the Chumash solstice-equinox-pole star grid across their ancestral lands. Activities as an environmental activist include: founding member of two direct action anti-nuclear groups; worked for and with the Northern Chumash since 1977; wrote an article that informed others who in turn forced the decommissioning of an oil tank farm the presence of which threatened the community of Avila Beach; fought against pesticide use in a neighborhood strawberry farm for 13 years (now a non chemical vegetable farm serving the community); instigated a wide movement ending of nearshore harmful sonar acoustic testing along the California Coast with a series of co-written articles;
and worked for the establishment of a national marine sanctuary since 1990.