Saturday, June 21, 2003
I have a dream. It’s the
idea that once each quarter, all of
has been publishing for the past eight years from the improbable city of
Rain Taxi just
plugs away, providing a genuinely eclectic & democratic view of publishing
I’m looking at the current issue & thinking of the drivel that is Parade, which passes for “the Sunday magazine” in maybe half the newspapers in America, & of the ridiculous chain store catalogs that are the Christmas-time book catalogs of papers like the New York Times, thinking to myself that if only Rain Taxi could get itself into the daily papers, perhaps with advertising (and even sponsorship) of local independent bookstores – the stores that are most apt to carry the small press titles that Rain Taxi actually understands are the core & soul of American publishing – it would be an instant, nation-wide success.
ш ш ш
the Chilean daily newspaper, ran an
article in its Arts & Letters section on June 8 on weblogs, written by
Sergio Coddou, entitled “El autor al poder,” which I
would translate as “Power to the Author,” with a subtitle roughly along the
lines of “Internet weblogs or the death of the editor.” It’s a reasonably broad
survey of mostly English language sites – Heriberto Yepez’ & Jonathan
Mayhew’s Spanish language blogs are exceptions – that ranges from Andrew
ш ш ш
Lanny Quarles had an interesting & detailed exegesis of my reading of Bob Perelman as well as of the excerpt of Bob’s “Writing Time With Quotes” in his blog ::(solipsis)//:phaneronoemikon:: (say that three times fast) on June 18. Google doesn’t find an instance of the word, presumably Greek, phaneronoemikon that doesn’t link back to Lanny’s site, so I can’t tell you what it means either.
ш ш ш
Yesterday, this blog greeted its 40,000th visitor. I’ve expressed my amazement on this aspect of the blog more than once, and I continue to be amazed. I’ll be taking a couple of weeks off next month – my idea of a vacation involves leaving any computer I can’t fit into my shirt pocket at home – and thinking about what this all means. To date, the blog has run to just about 900 pages since last August.
I have a number of hesitations & criticisms of what is going on here – the limitations of Blogger are maddening, but I don’t really want to have to learn a program like Radio or Moveable Type. If Brian Kim Stefans can’t figure out how to replicate the poetry formatting I’ve managed to get done with this particular template (written initially in Microsoft World, which I have to open in HTML to strip out all of the extraneous code & debug every single blog – that’s why you find the occasional yellow paragraph & Macs for awhile got variable margins not quite the same as what we in the Windows world saw), my chances of doing so are nil. Contrary to Mike Snider’s opinion, I’m not really a computer geek, but rather a market analyst who works in the computer industry. There’s a difference.
But I wonder more about my
stamina – will I recognize the moment when I start to repeat myself &
become predictable?* I’m also quite aware that, while I love this short pieces
for the range they permit, the presence of the blog has made the production of
longer critical projects infinitely more complicated. I have a talk I want to
give next spring on
One of the functions of the blog, as I near the end of my work on a poem I’ve been writing since 1979, is to reorient myself to the scene of writing as it exists today, as I think about What Comes Next. I already have some inkling, of course, but I’ve promised myself really to not get started until I complete The Alphabet. So until then, the blog functions as a kind of intellectual prod – a goad to pay attention. It’s really all input, not output.
&, if you want a clue as to what comes next, I’ll offer you the same one I have. You’ll find it on page 61 of Anselm Hollo’s book Corvus.
* Worse still, of course is the nagging variation: did I recognize the moment when I started to repeat myself & became predictable?