Richard Capener: The Enochian Alphabet

Earlier this year, SOBER magazine invited me to write an essay for their blog, HAIR OF THE DOG, to explore the avant-garde’s relationship to intermedia. I began to look at different origin myths of language alongside the recorded history of writing. On looking at the Book of Enoch, I was reminded that the fallen angels, among other things, taught metallurgy. When placed alongside the advent of the letterpress – with its movable metal type – writing began to take on a charged, heretical meaning. The typewriter, a descendant of the letterpress, played a key role in the history of visual poetry and, with its metal type, felt like the right medium to explore this heresy of language. As such, Enochian, the language purportedly given to John Dee and Edward Kelly by angels, was an organic direction to go in. My Enochian Alphabet is a sequence of visual poems in which each letter of the Enochian alphabet is built from their corresponding English letter/s.

Richard Capener


Richard Capener’s writing has been featured in SPAM Zine, Sublunary Editions’ Subscriptions, Streetcake, Beir Bua, Permeable Barrier, Selcouth Station and Rewilding: An Ecopoetic Anthology, among many others. His debut pamphlet – Dance! The Statue Has Fallen! Now His Head is Beneath Our Feet! – is forthcoming from Broken Sleep Books in September 2021. His second pamphlet, KL7, will be released by The Red Ceilings Press in early 2022. He also edits The Babel Tower Notice Board, and co-curates the associated Live From Babel Tower reading series and the Babel Parish Radio podcast.

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