These two brief hypertext poems appear as items 3 and 4 in the list of featured works by Mary Anne Breeze (best known for her nom d’ordinateur, Mez) inCauldron & Net, Volume 2. These works exemplify two other aspects of her poetic practice: an interest in the body, particularly as meshed with programming, which she also uses to shape her works.
“Internal Damage Data” uses the structure of a multiple choice questionnaire for self assessment of internal damage to shape the first part of the poem. For each question, Mez uses option C (maybe, unsure, other…) to develop her poem, seeking to transcend the traditional yes/no binaries in such questionnaires. In the part depicted above, she uses algorithms to structure her poem: using the logic and language of programming to guide the reader’s experience of the poem.
“Fleshis.tics” gives voice to bodies enmeshed with digitality, through writing, and imagery. One strategy is by visually conveying this notion through a simple animated GIF called “fdrop,” , which imbues the word with a three dimensional fluidity and embodiment beyond the visible abstraction of traditional writing. The lines of verse belonging to each cybernetically embodied female voice are a poetic expression reminiscent of Donna Haraway’s “Cyborg Manifesto” and N. Katherine Hayles’ “How We Became Posthuman.”
Read some of the other links to get a sense of Breeze’s poetics and practice through intervews, correspondence, and transcripts of group performances.
Note: This publication from 2000 is unfortunately missing many links, so I have linked to the site as preserved in the Internet Archive.