Sunday, May 19, 2024

notes & things | 5.19.2024


Warmer weather has moved in, though it comes and goes this close to the water, making a slight haze of fog along the beach where the warm air meets the still very chilly Lake Michigan. The days are long and dwindle to twilight rather than the sudden plunge of other seasons, for which I am appreciative, especially on longer days when I am writing until 9 or 10pm easily, whether its decor articles or poems. It's hard to imagine this summer marks two years writing for HD and over 2 years since taking the freelance plunge. The other day, over coffee, we were complaining about his gig work (J drives for Uber/Lyft in addition to karaoke hosting and occasional acting stuff) and my freelancing deadlines and started laughing because though the hours can be long and the pay not particularly spectacular, we have a certain amount of very nice freedom and flexibility. (I do work hourly on contract for HD, but have the option of changing my hours or taking days off in a way I never could at the library.) Plus no commuting and I can work at home in my pajamas if I desire. All of which I understand the good fortune of having after having not had it for over 20 years. 

I've been spending some time doing more audio recordings from older collections, all of which are nice to revisit from time to time. To look at something and think the younger poet version of me was not as far off as she sometimes seems when I consider what I was writing then versus what I am writing now. Often, poems will ill like re-dos or revisits, based on subject matter or themes. I like the idea that every poem is just a new gesture at getting toward or through something. Or tinkering with with words and parts to build a better machine. 

I've also been combing this blog or bits and parts as I start a loose outline for a more memoirish project and revising the past decade year by year. There were years when I blogged pretty infrequently and others where I always seemed to have something to say. (even if it wasn't particularly profound or interesting.) I have a few posts that can definitely be included as bits in that project or, if not, something else that's been stirring in my head of late. 

Otherwise, my creative time is filled with tinkering with bits and collages. Some AI experiments come out fully formed and feel like delightful found images (less about me and my prompts and more about the bots and a role as curator) and others that demand more from me in terms of collaging and appropriating that stuff into stuff of my own. I keep seeing so many takedowns of AI generative stuff in social media spaces, of which so many people are against, whether its some reverence for human creativity or the sketch way the machines have been trained on everyone's artwork (including my own, but I also know that once you put things on the internet (be they words or images) you lose a certain amount of control). I also don't think that what the bots do with images is much different than what I do with collage in the end (just based on algorithms and not expression or creativity.) It can be misused, just like text generators, but as a tool, I really like playing with it. Not stealing, as some level against it, but remixing, which in many ways is much how art works over the centuries. So much of being an artist or creative is expression and meaning and the bot images really only have as much meaning as we, and our tiny human brains, confer upon them, either as the people using them or the people looking at them. They feel more like collaborations with an easily malleable artist that follows your commands and knows how to use photoshop more