Fact

By Craig Dworkin Craig Dworkin
Ink on a 5.5 by 9 inch substrate of 60-pound offset matte white paper. Composed of: varnish (soy bean oil [C57H98O6], used as a plasticizer: 52%. Phenolic modified rosin resin [Tall oil rosin: 66.2%. Nonylphenol [C15H24O]: 16.6%. Formaldehyde [CH2O]: 4.8%. Maleic anhydride [C4H2O3]: 2.6%. Glycerol [C3H8O3]: 9.6%. Traces of alkali catalyst: .2%]: 47%): 53.7%. 100S Type Alkyd used as a binder (Reaction product of linseed oil: 50.7%. Isophthalic acid [C8H6O4]: 9.5%. Trimethylolpropane [CH3CH2C(CH2OH)3]: 4.7%. Reaction product of tall oil rosin: 12.5%. Maleic anhydride [C4H2O3]: 2.5%. Pentaerythritol [C5H12O4]: 5%. Aliphatic C14 Hydrocarbon: 15%): 19.4%. Carbon Black (C: 92.8%. Petroleum: 5.1%. With sulfur, chlorine, and oxygen contaminates: 2.1%), used as a pigmenting agent: 18.6%. Tung oil (Eleostearic acid [C18H30O2]: 81.9%. Linoleic acid [C18H32O2]: 8.2%. Palmitic acid [C16H32O2]: 5.9%. Oleic acid [CH3(CH2)7CH=CH(CH2)7COOH]: 4.0%.), used as a reducer: 3.3%. Micronized polyethylene wax (C2H4)N: 2.8%. 3/50 Manganese compound, used as a through drier: 1.3%. 1/25 Cobalt linoleate compound used as a top drier: .7%. Residues of blanket wash (roughly equal parts aliphatic hydrocarbon and aromatic hydrocarbon): .2%. Adhered to: cellulose [C6H10O5] from softwood sulphite pulp (Pozone Process) of White Spruce (65%) and Jack Pine (35%): 77%; hardwood pulp (enzyme process pre-bleach Kraft pulp) of White Poplar (aspen): 15%; and batch treated PCW (8%): 69.3%. Water [H2O]: 11.0%. Clay [Kaolinite form aluminum silicate hydroxide (Al2Si2O5[OH]4): 86%. Calcium carbonate (CaCO3): 12%. Diethylenetriamine: 2%], used as a pigmenting filler: 8.4%. Hydrogen peroxide [H2O2], used as a brightening agent: 3.6%. Rosin soap, used as a sizer: 2.7%. Aluminum sulfate [Al2(SO4)]: 1.8%. Residues of cationic softener (H2O: 83.8%. Base [Stearic acid (C18H36O2): 53.8%. Palmitic acid (C16H32O2): 29%. Aminoethylethanolamine (H2-NC2-H4-NHC2-H4-OH): 17.2%]: 10.8%. Sucroseoxyacetate: 4.9%. Tallow Amine, used as a surfactant: 0.3%. Sodium chloride [NaCl], used as a viscosity controlling agent: .2%) and non-ionic emulsifying defoamer (sodium salt of dioctylsulphosuccinate [C20H37NaO7S]), combined: 1.7%. Miscellaneous foreign contaminates: 1.5%.

NOTES: “Fact” is an exact list of ingredients that make up a sheet of paper, hence the blunt title of the work. It’s a self-reflexive, deconstructed meditation on the act of writing and of publishing, with an emphasis on the materiality of language. Each time Dworkin displays the poem, he researches the medium on which it’s being viewed, changing the list of ingredients. It’s a flexible work in progress, sometimes manifesting itself as a list of the ingredients that make up a Xerox copy, other times listing the composition of an lcd display monitor.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2009).

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This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2009

Biography

Craig Dworkin is the author of Dure (Cuneiform Press, 2004), Strand (Roof  Books, 2005), and Parse (Atelos, 2008), among others. He teaches at the University of Utah.

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