Composed in the summer of 2016 and published as a chapbook by rob mclennan’s above/ground press in 2017, upRoute is a collection of the alphabetic portions of license plates collected around the area where I lived at the time. The plates were recorded while walking with pen and paper and by photographing with phone, and dictating to ipad while driving. Having collected the plates, I composed them into grids in order of appearance. The final step was a translation of the textual noise. In the initial two sections I let Microsoft Word auto-correct the grids into words. Beyond those first two I employed homophonic translation with increasing liberality. By the last few sections I attempted to introduce a grammar.

Originally, the full title of the work was ‘upROUTE: The Language of Plates as Markers of Path’. For whatever reason, when rob published it, Markers of Path disappeared. So be it. It doesn’t much matter, except that the notion that led me to this title was the temporal mapping of my walks/drives via the placement of cars which I passed. I loved the idea that these plates acted, for a moment, as landmarks–and given an hour or two, many would shift to new places–landmarks which at any moment entered transit.

Here is a recording of the work:


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