I’ve long felt the need for a publication to appreciate the poem in context (isn’t it about time we admit poems are not worlds unto themselves and need not, or should not, “stand alone?”), so I was thrilled when Brad Vogler of Delete Press asked me to submit to his new publication Opon. Vogler is looking for “something more involved than just a poem or two” (as he sold it to me in our email correspondence), and encourages submitting process statements, revisions, video, sound, image… and I have to say the results in this first issue are truly exceptional.
Here is a space to tell the stories of process and product; Vogler presents the work as living things. The other poets/artists included in the issue are Jill Magi (with images and process notes from a new bookish project of procedural notes that will be kept in clay boxes), Kate Eichhorn (with poems documenting the process of cataloguing videos from the Feminist Video Vault) Eric Goddard-Scovel (whose process is computerized though exposes reading intimacy with Gertrude Stein), Tirzah Goldenberg (whose poems are “gathered and gleaned” from Dead Sea Scrolls), and Nico Vassilakis (whose visual poems nod to composer Conlon Nancarrow). I’m so grateful for my work to appear with such incredible company. I feel as though I’ve intruded upon these works in the most delightful way. Please do, also, intrude.
I go through periods of time where I live like a hermit. While I do go to work, I generally wake up, go to work, go home, I work/write/sleep, and get up and do it all over again. On the weekends I might venture out to get coffee or stop by the farmer’s market, but otherwise I return to my home office and sit in front of the glare of my computer screen for hours on end taking breaks only to stir whatever big pot of soup or chili or stew I have cooking on the stove or to eat from said pot of food. I do see friends on occasion, but more often than not the friends have initiated the hang time request, and I often also neglect personal email and gchat (things that when I am not being a recluse I do frequently and with great attention).
It’s no surprise that as a writer/scholar/thinker I often become more reclusive when I’m working toward a goal or deadline; as of December 1st I finalized a draft of the article derived from the ideas about nonce genres articulated earlier on this blog. Dec. 1st was the goal and I met it. There’s something about needing to get work done that inspires this kind of bunker down, dig in, work-hard-but-forget-to-play-hard mentality for me. My periods of solitude, I’m sure, would seem to be exactly like that seductive life-of-the-writer ideal people expect (and I perpetuate it through my Facebook and Twitter statuses, for sure). I do, after all, work on my computer in a small warm room surrounded by books on shelves and on the hardwood floor underneath my feet. There is always a warm steaming mug café au lait or loose leaf black currant tea or snow monkey tea—or else there is always a mug of coffee or tea half-finished, ignored and cooling during particularly productive periods where my fingers do not leave the keyboard keys.
But I don’t actually buy into that romantic image of the writer/scholar/artist alone in his or her office, deep in the throngs of creative action or else taking long walks or staring out the window waiting for lightning to strike. Continue reading
I am pleased to share that “Cinncinatus of the West,” “Luxury and Lack,” and “To Entertain,” three poems and their corresponding ceramic pieces by my friend and collaborator Stephanie Rozene, are up at The Offending Adam’s special issue on Politics and Poetry. These poems are excerpted from the larger 24-piece collaborative project, Simultaneous Contrast, which we initially shown as a part of the “DIS-arming Domesticity,” gallery exhibit in Wallingford, PA in 2010. We’re so pleased to have a “printed” home for these works and offer many thanks to Andrew Wessels at The Offending Adam for his support and giving this project such a wonderful home in this special feature. Along with our project, the issue also features Craig Santos Perez and Kristin Sanders. [Read an excerpt from Wessel's introduction to the issue and praise for TOA after the jump] Continue reading