Brian Kim Stefans


A “kluge” is a patchwork system composed of repurposed or ill-fitting elements that nevertheless functions. Stefan's interactive fiction “Kludge: A Meditation” inserts the readers into a narrative environment and invites them to read the poem as cleanly as possible and with as much meaning of a story-like nature collected by when you are done. Yet the reading is neither simple nor sequential as you are offered various moves to navigate, transform, or wipe the text.

To the get to the next “page”, you need to clear the text by moving the mouse across the screen. However, if you do not do this correctly, what will result is a mixture of read text/new text that becomes jumbled. There are loopholes in the game to escape this confusion, including 9 “smart bombs” that will clear the page entirely. You can also cheat by using the & button to advance to the next page. Thanks to the author, the following “cheats” are also recommended. Press one of the following keyboard letters as you are reading the screen to produce variant texts
G – game
J – Japanese Garden
S – New York School Sonnet
H – For bpNichol
E – For Larry Eigner
I – Informe

Brian Kim Stefans is an American poet noted for widely recognized “The Dreamlife of Letters”, a 14-minute Flash poem that can be found, along with other works, at in the "web poetry" section. He edits the series of Slash Ubu e-books that are found at, and has published several print volumes of poetry, and Fashionable Noise: On Digital Poetics a collection of essays, poetry and interviews. “My interests in electronic writing stem directly out of my work as a poet, though it has branched off into any number of art genres that have fallen under the persuasion of digital technology, such as photography, film/video and book publishing. Research interest include creating a "bridge" between the concepts and traditions of various 20th-century avant-gardes -- Language writing, the Oulipo, concrete poetry, conceptual art, Situationism, metafiction, etc. -- and the various genres of digital literature, including animated poems, interactive texts, algorithmically-generated and manipulated texts, "nomadic" writing, hacktivism and experimental blogs. ” Stefans studies at Bard College and Brown University, and is currently Assistant Professor of English at UCLA.

Privileging Language: The Text in Electronic Writing, Brian Kim Stefans:

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