Individual Work
Toy Garbage

Talan Memmott’s Toy Garbage is a remediation of Nick Montfort’s generative poetry program Taroko Gorge. Toy Garbage was created in 2011, two years after the original program. It was the fourth remix made, following Scott Rettberg’s Tokyo Garage and J.R. Carpenter’s first three remediations titled Gorge, Whisper Wire, and Along the Briny Beach.

Toy Garbage is one of 49 remediations currently published under Nick Montfort’s Taroko Gorge generative poem. The poem infinitely runs across the page, grouping together words and phrases in different orders, following the same source code as Montfort’s original piece.

It centers on a theme of hazardous and toxic children’s toys that juxtaposes Montfort’s calming nature poem. Memmott’s Toy Garbage has a reminiscent yet destructive tone, featuring many toys that are no longer in circulation and employing vulgar verbs. The poem draws attention to the toy industry’s waste generation and calls upon shared childhood memories of throwback toys.

The background involves bright stripes in the colors blue, yellow, red, and green with blue text. The text is centered on the screen, differentiated from Taroko Gorge which has its text left-aligned. Toy Garbage uses all capital letters in 16px Comic Sans MS font, larger than Montfort’s original piece which is in 13px Optima font. The change in size, format, and position creates a louder and more visceral poem that utilizes exclamation marks rather than the em dashes found in the original.

Cameron Whitney wrote this entry for ENGL 693: Digital Literature, Professor Melinda White, University of New Hampshire, Spring term 2023.