Wednesday, November 10, 2021

of magic and machines


Yesterday, as I waited for the exterminators, I used the free time to compile the first for real version of my automagic manuscript, taking what was several smaller series and pulling them under one umbrella.  A manuscript never seems real until it's on paper and tidied in a neat little stack in front of you,. The entrety has a similar feeling to in the bird museum in its victorian vibes, though definitely more fantastical and speculative in its themes.  It includes ordinary planet, the HH Holmes poems, the new bird artist series, as well as a couple other projects similar in feel (eleanor and the tiny machines and the shorter version of unusual creatures.)  It tops out at just over 80 pages, which always feels impossible--that I wrote them brick by brick, esp. since I rarely have endurance for longish things. And yet, there she is. 

The title of course, has been in my head for years, and sort of formed the center around which the projects, even in their individual incarnations, centered. A sort of magic of machines, or by mechanization. Google is automagic for example.  The behind the scenes working of technology, which plays a part in this book.  I always said ordinary planet was very steampunk-ish--both contemporary and victorian at the same time. Equal parts science and seances.  It's actually been mostly done since I finished unusual creatures finally, but the bird artist added that final little something.  Initially the Walter Potter pieces, being ever so victorian,  were intended for the project, but as I wrote them, they seemed to tie better thematically in with animal, vegetable, monster (the publication of which you can look for that after the new year.)

I don't know yet if I will try this one in the submission wilds or just issue it myself somewhere down the line, but it's nice to have it feel more tangible as a book like thing rather than just a loose collection of disparate poems.  It needs a lot of proofing and polishing either way. Some cross referencing with the zine/chap versions, where I sometimes make small changes to poems in the layout process I don't make in the manuscript version. And like most things, rife with typos from my shitty typing skills (esp. of they were never sent out in submission anywhere as individual poems, which some of these were not. It is, however, despite errors, it's own kind of magic. 

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