Poets associated with Les Deux Magots [a coffee house on East 7th St. in New York] and Le Metro [a cafe on Second Avenue] often looked to and discussed earlier alternative literary movements that promoted oral presentation and typographical innovation, thus situating themselves within a literary geneology. Influenced by their reading and recuperation of earlier avant-garde experimental work, including Italian and Russian futurism, dada, and the texts of radical modernist figures, many writers at the coffee shops highlighted the poem as a spoken phenomenon and typed or "scored" their writing to emphasize its place both on page and stage.
For example, poet Jackson Mac Low, a consistent presence on the Lower East Side, has written many works that use unusual typography to encourage audience participation. We can look to a Mac Low text in which the page is filled entirely with words drawn from the letters in the name of his friend Peter Innisfree Moore's words like smite, opinion, fen, minister, and smote circle around one another in various hand-drawn shapes and sizes.
Of this piece, Richard Kostelanetz writes, "This visual-verbal text can then become a score for a live performance in which any number of readers are encouraged to read aloud whichever words they wish, at whatever tempo they wish, for indefinite durations; and Mac Low's instructions for this particular piece suggest that the individual letters can be translated into certain musical notes (and, thus, that the same text can be interpreted as a musical score)." Mac Low conceived of typographical innovation as structurally useful in terms of encouraging collaborative and exciting performance.