Reading this book:

Book of the Year 3000 is a poem. Also a book of poems. It is an epic, with a certain amount of continuity and several unifying themes. It tells a story. But it is also a juxtaposition of unrelated or semi-related texts. It is a work of visual art, or, if you prefer, "concrete poetry." But it is also a musical score, designed to be read or chanted aloud in various ways.

One way of reading the work is by exploring the text visually, scrolling up, down, right, left, making no attempt to follow along sequentially. Think of yourself as an archaeologist who has just opened an ancient tomb and discovered a wall covered with thousands of strange hieroglyphs. Your first impulse, I'd think, would be to explore. This was the idea when I initially published the first part all on a single page. I hoped people would take a magnifying glass and run their eyes over the sheet in all directions, enjoying the textures and patterns, free associating on possible meanings and relationships among words and phrases.

As when originally printed, back in 1972, as well as now, as presented on the Internet, the work is intended to be interactive, though in a manner very different from what we now think of when we see that word. In my opinion, interactivity as it is usually found on the Internet is far too easy. I like to create a situation that produces a certain amount of difficulty, so the interactors will encounter resistance as they explore and won't be able to quickly or easily "grasp" what is there before them. Such a situation challenges one to actively explore, involving oneself in a process, as opposed to passively clicking on a link to see what will happen next.

[If you'd like a straightforward, easily readable copy of this work, email me and I'll be happy to send it as an attachment. Please let me know what word processor and type of computer you are using.]

Book of the Year 3000 is also intended to be read aloud. One can read any given segment as one would read a poem, just one word after the next. But, unlike most poetry, the sound and rhythm of the words will begin to take over increasingly as you continue and you should let it. I would also like to see it presented in a kind of choral/dramatic setting, with several speakers, singers, some instruments (elemental ones, such as gongs, big drums, conches, tubas, trombones, piccolos), even costumes, lighting, staging. The work lends itself quite effectively, in my opinion, to group reading /chanting /singing, with the voices of different individuals overlaid atop one another, as they recite the same segment "canonically" (with staggered entries) or different, but related segments at the same time.