Friday, May 27

soaking-in and stirring-up

friend Patti and I have driven miles and miles and miles in the last week. across all the states between Indiana and upstate New York. up and around to Toronto, and back, and across and through and along. I'll put up photos eventually. there has been ice cream and yoga and wonderful views and confusing traffic and much adventure.

who was it who told me about David Antin?
{ this is a photograph of northwest Missouri from ten years ago. random, I know. }

it was someone at the Digital Humanities Symposium I went to during finals week, earlier this month. someone was talking about genre and medium and sound recordings. it was someone making a point about what poetry is, and as they did so I wrote down a mis-spelled version of the poet's name on my hand.

reading David Antin poems in pdf does not seem very fun. I will have to consult the library.

in the meantime, when Patti and I are not on our way from here to there in a car, and when I have not been writing article drafts and planning my summer teaching adventures, I have been reading various other things. books I picked up at publishers' exhibit halls, books Patti passed on to me after she read them for the tournament of books, and books that stowed away in Patti's trunk when we left the states.

a list:

Gold, Fame, Citrus (irritating in spots, otherwise good)
So You've Been Publicly Shamed (rambly yet thought-provoking enough)
Between the World and Me (I want my dad to read this)
Go Ahead & Like It (lovely, evocative, simple)
The New World (bewildering and sudden)
Our Souls at Night (sweet. poignant, even)
Bats of the Republic (a puzzle)
Information Doesn't Want to be Free (inspiration-sparking)
The Mermaid's Sister (tedious, vague, bleh)
The Blue Hour (poetry snippets, dark, tattered)

only two of those are non-fiction, everyone. and only one of them can at all be considered research/dissertation-related. but don't worry. I spent three and a half days at a marvelous Computers & Writing conference. I learned so much, took so many notes, resolved to do so many things, and have plenty of whirring ideas caged up for later use. research/dissertation-land will not be abandoned.

this David Antin fellow does not 'write' his poetry. he talks it. oral poetical rambling, recorded and transcribed, and then published.

that sort of poetry is not a thing. it is an event, a production.

but how dare we trap any piece of writing in nouns?

processes. hows, not whats. and I have so many questions about how. why? how? those are where my questioning mind goes. why speak your poetry instead of write, type, paint it?

well, why not?

I was about to wish for my summer to have just as much writing and creating in it as reading and consuming. but how would I measure that, when the reading and soaking-in is part of the writing and building? how would it make sense to compare? I could force it to, I suppose... but it might be more interesting not to.

for now, I have picked up Seanan McGuire's Every Heart a Doorway, another stowaway book from Patti's trunk. its book jacket promises fairy-tale twists in an aloof and mysterious vein, and its first section title seems to be "The Golden Afternoons." I hope it is good.

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