Monday, December 07, 2020

book notes

I woke up, sans alarm, having a dream in which strangers were re-arranging the furniture in my apartment and am feeling a little frazzled (well, more than the usual).  There are slow, thick snowflakes that won't amount to much, but the radiators are running and it's warmer than usual in here.   There is bacon and coffee and today, working from home this afternoon on a couple things as I wrap up the year.  Later, I'll finish up a batch of dgp orders this evening that need to go out and finish up sending out contracts for 2021, which, despite 2020 being two decades long, is around the corner. My head has not been completely in the game on creative matters, and they are layouts that need to be finished for books languishing this year that have been delayed by circumstances. This week, I will also be finalizing my galleys on feed, and hope to have copies available for the shop  as soon as they are printed by the end of the year (after some thoughts about the many headed hydra that is Amazon and the publishing landscape, I decided to just do a smaller run via POD and avoid them altogether. I can always print more as I need them.)  I am also working on some promotional stuff for that, including a book trailer. But again, I am at about 10 percent battery these days and things are slow so maybe not. 

Last week as I was going over proofs, I was thinking about work and progression and how well some things come or hang together.  Much of feed was written in 2018 as a kind of therapy, though the title and my notes for the hunger palace, or parts of it, existed earlier, though it took Christmas break that year to come together.  2018 was a productive year in general, that writing out of grief, so of course, those projects would wind up speaking to each other.  I had just come off writing the love poems from sex & violence, and that book was coming together in November 2017 , so I was ready to dive in on something new anyway.   Since daily writing was happening much of the year, there was a lot of other projects mixed in as well, other manuscripts that were started.  Some are finished mostly (dark country & animal vegetable monster).  Others, not so much (automagic).  Either way, it's just a lot of output, some of it still living in a weird formless stack of random poems.  While 2019 was slightly less so, amazingly 2020 has been a productive year, though it has felt like pulling teeth sometimes.  While I can't say I've had the focus for actually reading or making much art, I've been writing, which may be the only thing saving my mental state. As such, I find I have almost the whole of an entirely new manuscript (collapsologies). I look at the poems in one slant of light and hate them, but in another, they feel like the most interesting, important thing s I've written.  It goes back and forth.  

I also feel like different projects speak to different poetry concerns.  feed is far more personal, while something like animal, vegetable, monster and collapsologies are more externally oriented. I sometimes feel like each new thing brings out a different poet in me, but at her core, she is still the same. Every once a while, I bring out old poems in the files I keep in the bureau next to my desk for a giggle at how awful they really were, but how i took them so seriously. If I say my real pursuit of writing (anything decent anyway) began in  1998, it's been over 20 years at all this.  If I start at the very beginning, freshman year of high school, it's been far longer. 

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