Double Helix approaches the conjunction of visual poetry and long poetry from two distinct but related viewpoints. The first is a scholarly examination of the techniques used to make a long poem visual or a visual poem long. The second is a production of an original long visual poem exhibiting these techniques.
The first part, "The Look of the Long Poem," posits that there are five major techniques which are used in long visual poems: line breaks, imagetexts, white space, page division, and collage and montage. These techniques are grounded in the theoretical work of, among others, Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe, W.J.T Mitchell, Marjorie Perloff, and Johanna Drucker. The techniques are examined in detail as they play out in the work of Anne Carson, David Daniels, Christine Wertheim, Johanna Drucker, Langston Hughes, Ed Dorn, Lisa Jarnot, and Tom Phillips.
The second part consists of an original sixty-four-page long poem / poetic sequence titled "diluvium." "diluvium" utilizes all the techniques analyzed in the previous part, attempting furthermore to educate the reader in the process of negotiating its parts as it is read ? that is, to act as a poetics as well as a poem.