I asked the talented and witty John Berry to document our second resident reading, and he did a lovely job. Voilà:
I’m participating in a resident reading tonight, and a lot of people asked if I would be projecting images of the visual poetry I’ve been working on here. I immediately thought of pictures I’ve seen of Jessica reading her poems as they’re projected on a big screen behind her. I would like to be like Jessica.
But, since no other readers will be using a projector tonight, I decided to wait until the final Open Studios of the month to try and share some of my visual work. In the meantime, I promised to post some pictures of my daily Tarot card erasures here. (As always, you can click on a picture to enlarge it.)
I am less interested in the fortune telling properties of Tarot cards than I am in their origin. I like the idea that a rich Italian aristocrat might have commissioned a hand-painted set of playing cards that included extra allegorical trump cards on a whim. I like to imagine a world where people play ordinary card games with Tarot decks. I also love seeing depictions/interpretations of Tarot cards in popular culture. For instance, a particular Tarot card plays a major role in the film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. You might not know this, because you are possibly an adult person who does not read large quantities of YA fiction and/or watch a lot of television and films whose target audiences are adolescent girls. But I watched City of Bones while I was knitting the other night, so I know all about it. Those cards were hand-painted, too. Everything comes full circle.
This morning the first batch of two week residents for January left VSC, and this afternoon the residents who will be here for the second two weeks of the month arrive. It was difficult to say goodbye to new friends, especially Amanda, Laurel, and Steph, who will finish her MFA at George Mason University (my alma mater) this semester. (I didn’t even attempt to say goodbye to Lee Ann. She just needs to stay in my life forever. Burlington and Boston are not that far apart.) In Maverick, we also lost Marie, Pam, and Lisa, so right now the studio feels empty and full of ghosts.
I wore my Camp Fox shirt to protect me from lonesomeness.
Since everything here felt quiet and ghostly, I also worked a little on my private Jane Eyre project, and then I decided to try out my Deletionist button on the Project Gutenberg text of the novel. In this tiny post at The Millions, Nick Moran explains what the Deletionist is:
“The Deletionist is a concise system for automatically producing an erasure poem from any Web page. It systematically removes text to uncover poems, discovering a network of poems called ‘the Worl’ within the World Wide Web.”
I took some screenshots of some of the most interesting early pages (click to enlarge):
So far I really like the way these “deletionist-ed” pages have turned out. I have been listening to Nick Cave, and I think he agrees with me.
My knee looks much, much, much worse today than it did yesterday, so I’m elevating it while I drink coffee and poem. Poem should be a verb as well as a noun.
I am also listening to Taylor Swift. Of course I am.
The title of this blog comes from the following sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay, one of my poetic kindred souls. I love the line so make the most of this, your little day and often recite it to myself as a reminder to focus on the present moment while remaining bold enough to embrace the vastness of long creative projects.
When I look up from my blank computer screen or paper, I can look out the window (beautiful but sometimes distracting) or at my bulletin board (ugly and sometimes depressing). My bulletin board is not as blank as it was when I first arrived, but I would love to have something lively to hang up there and inspire me. If you have small(ish) children, I would welcome their artwork or letters, as well as their book and music recommendations. I also accept photographs, postcards, tiny animals, books, adult beverages, homemade cookies, and gifts of all sizes. You can send me mail c/o VSC by the overworked yet reliable U.S. Postal Service (P.O. Box 613, Johnson, VT, 05656) or the recently maligned UPS and FedEx (80 Pearl Street, Johnson, VT, 05656). I leave VSC on January 31st.
Also, if you are someone who happens to have my email address or telephone number, you should know that both my cell service and my internet access are somewhat precarious. If you send me an email, I will definitely get it sometime that day. I may or may not be able to take your call or call you, but I can almost always receive and send texts. It is very hard to use Twitter and Tumblr, since the internet is shared by so many people, so you may not see me on those sites as often as usual. And you will see me on Facebook as often as you ever do, which is to say rarely if ever.