I’m not a frenetic blogger, but glad to be on this blog train,
meeting other people’s writing.
Here’s the tour of me:
Thanks to Michael Casteels for inviting me. If you check his blog at
www.puddlesofskypress.com you’ll see who invited him,
and you can follow the blog tour backwards that way. Brandon Crilly
has provided a list of participants in his blog (see below). I invited three
people so as to include him;
and added a fifth question about what people are reading currently.
What am I working on?
I’ve done lots of editing lately – two books of
life works for poet-painter friends. Elizabeth D’Ambrosio’s is a
compilation of her 93 years: poems and paintings published by Broken
Rules Press; and painter Francis Piché’s illustrated poems done
in a very limited edition of 5 intended for his daughter,
editor and self.
Two of my chapbooks came out this spring (thank you obvious epiphanies
and Melinda Cochrane International: to purchase, search Lulu and Amazon
respectively, under my name, Czandra); I’m blowing on them to get them
out of the harbour into a friendly breeze.
I’m writing tanka renga with Angela Leuck.
Two more chapbooks are waiting for publishers when I’m in marketing mode
(about as often as I’m in blogging mode).
I’m working on not working on anything. I’m also working on overcoming
ever-blooming sense of futility and on volleyball skills. I got hung up
in the net yesterday and landed on my skull so volleyball is now
a helmeted sport here.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
It doesn’t, except that I wrote it, isn’t that what genre means?
I don’t think I belong to genre, unless “beginner mind” is genre.
Michael Casteels calls it minimalist in visual poetry
(illiterature iii). Lots of people do what I do, I like to
belong to community, but genre? You’d have to ask a theorist.
I wonder what Erin Mouré might say.
Ian Ferrier says I have my own “niche”.
Here’s what makes me different and the same: I typed control i
in order to get three italic i’s, and that fascinates me.
Does it fascinate everyone? Making connections is obsessive,
language is slave-master, license plates torment, at base my language
is classical deep DNA (see reading list below).
Why do I write what I do?
I like Michael’s answer to this – to get lost in poems.
For me, it’s play, chronicling wonders of the day; or it’s desperation
to get to a point sometimes, while I might have a microbyte to be heard;
to pay back what the world invested in me; or it’s earnest attempt
at soul vibe for fun, purification, insight, pleasure. These come out
in just about every form I know except formal forms. Villanelle, sestina,
palindrome, cento, etc, hold pleasant surprises but when I tried them
they were exercises, really, and didn’t go beyond that for me.
I can’t follow a recipe, even one I know by heart, so why try to write
that way ….
Using bullets goes against my grain (see below), poetry makes change.
“What” I write – readers are better positioned to answer why I do that,
it’s part of the fun of reading. I’m not always sure what I’ve written,
let alone where it comes from. If I knew it might turn out to be hohum.
Someone else put me in context, without putting me in my place, okay?
Barthès via Michael Crummey says authorship is complicated.
What am I reading currently?
Doris Lessing’s prescient series “Canopus in Argos” (1980′s)
Lary (Timewell) Bremner’s nail-it “Posthumous spectacle nodes” (2011)
Fred Wah’s wistful “Breathin’ my name with a sigh” (1981 – signed copy)
Marc Seguin’s “La foi du braconnier” (2009) – Quebec lit
with trepidation, it will hurt
How does my writing process work?
The word “work” appears in three out of four of these questions, but it’s
play and play out. I like the idea that “if you choose a job you like
you’ll never work a day in your life.” That’s true of all my jobs: writing,
editing, teaching, parenting, spousing, gardening, living.
Poetry is a delicate plant. Takes time. Is like growing a tree in the yard:
water, trim, regard. Grows without you. Thinking don’t help it much.
Read others. Assemble.
- Keep paper and writing sticks beside bed, standardize paper size!
- Force self to write it NOW rather than wait for it to mature or wither
- If not, stop chiding self for losing a once-in-a-lifetime thought
- When it shows up again, write it NOW, it’s good. Multiple tries at same poem, esp. haiku.
- Stop thinking about what’s good, but also stop writing bad stuff. I think I know when it’s good if I have little doubt about where to place it
- During the day, practice restraint. Not everything is to be written about, life is no storybook nor poetic commentary,
not everything need be composed by you, even if you’re the only one to see it, but don’t be lazy
Next on the blog tour:
Julie Mahfood http://juliemahfood.wordpress.com/
Joanne Arnott http://joannearnott.blogspot.ca/
Brandon Wordsmith Crilly http://brandoncrilly.wordpress.com/