Redirected energies

Although my slowdown in blogging is in no way dire, I see a change in my creative energy that may make my blog posts fewer and further between. First of all, I’m currently teaching and working PT at the BPO, which means I am “in use” about 30 hours a week (actually teaching or actually working) and grading another 10-20 depending on the week. Second, I’ve started keeping my personal diary on my laptop instead of as a handwritten book-journal, which allows me to write a lot more personal stuff there and keep it from being posted here while at the same time expanding the amount that I would usually write in my personal journal. Third, I’ve only recently reacquired dependable internet at home (after being without it since I moved to NYC), so that has limited my blog posting time. Fourth, I am working on two personal book projects with the hope that one of them will shape into a publishable manuscript, so I actually feel the urge to write (poetry) again after being tapped almost completely dry since I finished OFC in 2004. Fifth, I have a number of editing projects I need to be working on before I give up editing, which I am planning to do next summer (not “forever,” just “until further notice”). Finally, I would like to use my blog energy for the greater good, so I am starting a second(ary) blog to write reviews of the many forthcoming Dusie kollectiv chapbooks.

B______ Meditations
Another thing that has come up recently is that a few people have asked me to blurb their books and I have agreed, which is weird on many fronts. Blurbs are weird; established older poets should write them; I am clueless about the genre. That said, agreeing to blurb Matt Klane’s B_____ Meditations [1-52] was a decision that led me to read a really great book. I rarely enjoy reading poetry, but when I do I get really elated (I admit that Klane’s work frequently, consistently makes me feel this way, and challenges me to be a better poet). I have not yet figured out how to blurb this book, but the image it gives me is of Whitman, post-stroke, with cable access. Tightly composed little quartets sing a new song of America, sampling CNN and punning with an ear to the poetry tradition of 19th century New Englanders. You will use your brain and you will like it.

About these ads
This entry was posted in metablog, New Poetry, personal. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Redirected energies

  1. Matt says:

    “I have not yet figured out how to blurb this book, but the image it gives me is of Whitman, post-stroke, with cable access. Tightly composed little quartets sing a new song of America, sampling CNN and punning with an ear to the poetry tradition of 19th century New Englanders. You will use your brain and you will like it.”

    Here’s my suggestion for your blurb–something like this:

    “The image it gives me is of Whitman, post-stroke, with cable access. Tightly composed little quartets sing a new song of America, sampling CNN and punning with an ear to the poetry tradition of 19th century New Englanders. You will use your brain and you will like it.”

    Just an idea ;)

  2. kevin says:

    matt klane is excellent.

    i have now blurb’d two books and have asked to do a third. at least you have an actual book to put after your name in terms of credentials!

  3. @matt i should obviously be outsourcing my blurbing.
    @kevin matt klane IS excellent, absolutely. i don’t understand this blurbing thing. i guess i kind of understand it, if asking other young poets to blurb one is assuming a certain authority (like what Derrida describes in his essay on the Declaration of Independence), or if one is (Derrida again) deconstructing the authority of a blurb. i just know that i should not be blurbing books.

  4. Anon says:

    Stephen King feels your pain about blurb writing: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20185450,00.html (not exactly the same thing, but still an entertaining article).

  5. Entertaining indeed. Thanks :)

  6. A. Golaski says:

    Who is this “Matthew Klane”?

    If I encounter him on the road to wisdom, must I destroy him?

    Rather well put, what you have. I’ve been thinking how to write about “B” as well–a real challenge. Not because it’s not excellent, but because I want to do it justice–which I’m confident I’ve never done for anything else I’ve ever written about.

  7. No, Adam, I don’t think you’d better smite him on the path to wisdom…

    I think it’s going to be impossible to do “B” justice in a few words because it is a very good, well-structured, highly thought-out tour de force (as we’ve come to expect from Klane) and there is just no way that such a thing can be summed up in a few words. I think the best we can hope for is to write something that makes people go read the book for themselves. This, too, might be my blurb: “There is no way I can do justice to this book in a blurb. Go read it yourself, lazy blurb-seeker.” A blurb kinda undermines the intellectual work the book requires.

  8. A. Golaski says:

    “lazy blurb seeker”

    –that would be Matthew, right?

    your point is well-taken. tho I certainly confess to having bought books entirely because an author I liked blurbed it, so blurbs can be worthwhile (Mary Caponegro blurbed Joshua Harmon’s Quinatucquet, so I bought that (you’d like it, I imagine); John Taggart blurbed Craig Watson’s Picture of the Picture of the Image in The Glass; Bret Easton Ellis blurbed The House of Leaves…).

    Perhaps I’ll buy Matthew’s book if you blurb it.

    I’m working on something larger re. B. By “working,” I mean vaguely daydreaming about writing about B.

  9. Adam, I do hope that you’re trying to kid around (note that it doesn’t translate online): I would never call Matt lazy. Rather, I am calling the person who buys books because of their blurbs lazy.

  10. A. Golaski says:

    I admit, I thot I *was* kidding around. Of course. I know *exactly* how hard working Matthew is, and I have the phone bills to prove it—-

    I guess I relied too much on context—-

    wouldn’t be the first time!

    I sent Matthew here, in case he didn’t see your kind entry.

    Tho I WAS serious about your liking Joshua Harmon’s Quinatucquet–he references Susan Howe (is doing Howe-esque things) and it’s a lovely book besides (physically and textually).

    A.

  11. @Adam I think I like Joshua Harmon… didn’t Lorraine and Mark put out a chapbook by him? (Lorraine?) …

    This is how I usually come to books: a friend, someone I respect, tells me to read it. Sometimes I’m skeptical and it takes many friends to tell me to read it. Eventually a critical mass is reached and I buy the book. For example, I have now been told to read “House of Leaves” so many times that I think I must break down and read it. But the same thing happened with “The God of Small Things” so this is not just for avant-garde work. For that matter it was the same way with “The DaVinci Code.” Word of mouth is important to me. A book swells to the surface, and I read it. This is actually even lazier than reading blurbs since it requires no reading in advance of reading the book.

    Sometimes, too, I buy a book based on the strength of a poetry reading, but that happens very rarely since most poets, I feel, are not strong readers of their work. I came to like Sandra Beasley’s, Craig Teicher’s, and Steve Ratcliffe’s works based on hearing them read and then enjoying the printed work.

  12. A. Golaski says:

    House of Leaves I would have bought for the Ellis blurb alone, but when I opened it up, O! lovely. It’s a horror novel, with at least three narratives, and fantastic to look at. I enjoyed it when I read it, back in… maybe 2000? Can’t recall, now. It’s very effective at confusing the line between the fiction that is documentary and intended fiction.

    I don’t know about Harmon. He had some poems in Handsome #1. But that’s all else I’ve read of his.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s