‘Dial-a-Poem’ Now at MoMA’s Website

(Courtesy MoMA)

As part of the Museum of Modern Art’s “Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language” exhibition (reviewed here by The Observer), MoMA has installed Dial-a-Poem, first created by John Giorno in 1969, which features poets reading from their work.

There are a bunch of ways to access this, including four telephones inside the exhibition that play back various readings. You can also call 1-347-POET011 on your own phone.

Better yet, you can access Dial-a-Poem from your computer at MoMA’s website. The poems are generated at random and include esteemed writers like John Ashbery, William Burroughs, Denise Levertov and John Giorno himself. There are also a few surprises like David Byrne singing the really beautiful “Song for the Trees (or) Sometimes I Think the World Is Wrong” and Tom Waits’ “The Pontiac.” So: stop working and distract yourself, people. It’s Friday! (Thanks to The New Yorker for calling our attention to this.)