Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Notes toward The Publisher and I

It might be something, to suggest that lack of personal insight into one's work is not a crime. I would have to love myself somewhat harder to take enjoyment in turning about and staring at what I've left behind, as if to offer an explanation, or a cure. I can justify nothing - that's a settled point - and there are three too many I's in criticism. No matter. People make lovely art with less.

But all the really good art is curious and the artists just as, or maybe not. I am at loose ends. I published The Hunting Party and have nothing on tap. It is a joyous time. I can do nothing or everything. Anxiety is at low ebb. My editor makes no demands of me for readings or baptisms. I am under contract to the soul of self.

Should my latest effort meet expectations or do as well as the others, I am sure to be rewarded. Long days, and a free hand. Publishing 28 books grants one certain permissions, such as, to enjoy life under the rule that others enjoy life, too.

I have wondered about my publisher, his life and all that. And it became apparent, over time, that we share much in common. While his press, Double Movement Publications, is his alone, he has a family, a job. We share similar political views and recycling practices, though he is given more to broad inclusion. His language is less colored, virtually blank. There is a tendency toward natural proxy, but then he is one in a long line of men, and women, and others, for whom the staple of truth is taken at seed.

If I were my publisher, and he I, no doubt we would bear similar thoughts respecting each other. Such is love as humanity under a common yoke. Such are flowers burdened by sunsets unyielding and sure.

The nest book should be...I do not know. I expect, given the rhythm I am in, to publish two more before the end of the year. But I enjoy this not know, being as unaware of the future as I am oblivious of my own past.

What is poetry, what is art? It is the fact of a thing having been made to the purpose of having been made.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Love Lived

It is curious, more than curious, to write, and to be alive, writing. It is more curious to paint, I think, but writing is pretty curious. Painting or image-making is more in the nature of a perfect, if parallel, rupture with one's life. I am not so sure of music-making, but I recall image making as being an emotional, sexual activity. There is a bump. A rupture. A rhythm, to be sure, but that pulse has a life to it, and the power of it is sometimes blinding and overwhelming.

The life of the artist too is sexual and blinding, being bought and sold. Traded. Apprised and spent. Painting is for the young and the very determined. One can be old and paint and paint well, but I do not know how to do it, not that and everything else. Work, family, etc. I can do it for drawings for my books, to be sure. And those drawings, accomplished only a couple or few times a years, with perhaps several black-and-white drawings for this or that book, cost me, emotionally. They cost me in ways nothing else does.

Painting or image-making requires going over to a thing that you cannot be sure will be safe or sound. It is not a place anyone enjoys. It is not fun, though it is very exciting. You do not like to see the end of a brush as being responsible for how your mind might come across.

Writing, however strange, is more comfortable. It exists as a species among a wide variety of conversation. What I like most, I think, are these works I see so much of, that combine or partake of the visual and the writerly. Visual poetry and asemic writing and such, of which concrete formalism is a slim & set part, is really quite new and fresh. I think concrete poetry called out some of this, and perhaps Pop art called out the same, in a way that, both voices calling out, new forms were born.

I know of nothing more elegant and right than new work being born. I cannot imagine anything better or more just for any artist to involve themselves with, or to assist in propitiating, then the voice of the new. Critical histories and assessments are another kind of, well, critical work. But it is not my work.  My work is to do and, having put more than a few years away, providing as a can a venue of sorts. An open venue, as comes naturally. I have done this, opened a kind of lower case gallery window for passers-by. This is right, small, and right, and no less right for being small.

Though small, the point is made. Formalism is not a thing that dies or can be said to be in or out. The shape of thought, or thought's shapefulness, its sex, is ever just and true to the fact of life in form. We can not vacate the elegant line or a purposeful splash of color than we can dismiss the words, I love.

I love, and yet I love anew, again, alive and again. This is what you do, time and time again, over and over again. The word for this is love, the life is love, lived.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Done, Digital, and Digital Done

Do what you like, or better, what others might not understand, yourself included, and post it. Done. And, having done, doing, what you like, or must, which you cannot quite grasp, nor others, perhaps. And post it. Done. If what comes to hand, minutes or hours, by oneself and with others, in response, you might say, or what seems to be a new thread, posted. Done. Not a woven pattern, not the marshaled column, exceptions encouraged. Done. Go post yourself, little warm breeze.


We are prompted who receive the Digital. Thank you. Done. And, done, ready.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Flipping Pasturage

Concrete Formalist roundup (i.e., THIS). I expect to do something more with what THIS is over the next year, give or take, not because I should but because I might. And, having written that sentence, I have exhausted my options and desires. Love that release.

Miasma is winging its way to me to be proofed and launched via Lulu. This was the hardest book, written over four months only (felt like 4EVER) where I had three very separate threads going, hanging on by my fingernails, not at all sure where they were headed if anywhere. The title came to me and the cover drawing, and so I thought to simply print out what I had. I did so and arranging found I had a book, 48 pages. Two of the elements threaded together while the third was set apart in a second section. I like the book, and was immediately taken by a title for the next one, The Hunting Party, being the name of Linkin Park's latest album (as mentioned by my son, Jackson), and reminding my of Chekhov's The Shooting Party. I love the title for a book of poems, more so I am sure following Miasma. 

But then the past several months have been difficult or at least wearying/hard. That's fine. I have been doing too much again things that needed doing, so sometimes we have to dig in and everything gets a little strange. So be it.

On the reading side I have Melville's last-published book Clarel - actually an epic poem - which I am enjoying in a group with two good friends, John Beer and Rodney Koenicke. We read aloud, discuss, and rotate taking notes. Good clean fun. Very strange book. We are all capable and wondering - engaged, enjoying ourselves and each other in the company of this piece by Melville who was himself a piece of work.

I promise not to go on too long here. So I won't. Adieu.