|Dave's "porcupine tree,"|
a ridgetop chestnut
MY: Moreover because you have no reluctance to give your blog "first publication rights" for poems or photographs or short films, you always have interesting and varied material. In fact, you have none of the need to tally up publications that so many poets do — so many being tied to colleges and universities. You appear to have a remarkable degree of freedom from ordinary ways of doing things. Related to this is your mode of making books. Nothing ever has to be finished; no order of poems, no table of contents is immutable. Everything can be put back in the pot and stirred. I’m wondering what other strengths and pleasures come out of this attitude of yours, this freedom from the usual modes.
DB: It's true that not having to worry about promotion and tenure credits allows me to do all kinds of things I might not do otherwise. It doesn't free me altogether from the desire to also make print collections, which is easier than ever in the age of Lulu, Createspace, Blurb, etc. But I do, as you suggest, feel a bit of apprehension about putting words into print, knowing that once a paper copy is out there, it can't be changed. Generations of poets have been taught to be absolute perfectionists and struggle against every word, because we all know how mortifying it is to have to look at a poem in print that we've long since revised. But the reality is that even still, poets routinely rework old material for volumes of selected or collected poems. Being mainly self-published and mainly online does allow for a more fluid conception of one's work, but I'm not sure it's a radical change. A more important kind of freedom, I think, is the freedom I extend to others, via a Creative Commons license, to reprint or even modify my work as long as they credit me. The attendant loosening of ego-attachment to the products of my writing has done wonders for my mental health, and has probably made me a better writer.
|Bonta, chainsaw grooves|