Monday, August 15, 2005


JH: I haven't seen Slackers, but I'll rent it now. Dumbledore is gone. A good point about the silent strangers in my dream possibly being connected to people in my waking life. I tend to see strangers in my dreams as unique characters, though they are probably based on waking fact. Another good point about communities and networks. I like to get my work out there, preferably in e-zines because more people can read it, theoretically at least. Rejections do bum me out, but I keep trying. A few e-zines turn me down constantly, although I did break into one after 1000 rejections. Regardless of these lost souls, the internet is the best thing to happen to poetry since the printing press. Which do you favor, when it comes down to it? Do you prefer print books to e-books? E-zines to print zines? I cheat by printing out e-books, I don't believe I've ever read one online, only in print-out form. I also tend to print long e-zine contributions. Why, do you think, many people prefer, in their secret heart of hearts, printed books to e-books? Does the book as Book exist only in print form? Is the book (as Book) impossible online? Why hasn't anyone thought of asking these questions before (a joke, yes, but your answers will provide the definitive answer)? I think you should publish more, your poetry is great.

AHB: I liked Slackers a lot. It had a shifting, fluid POV somewhat like Mrs Dalloway. tho I used to watch, and write about, any trashy thing, I hardly watch movies or tv now. Haven't read Harry Potter either. Not that you asked. You and I belong to “the Wryting Community”, which is to say we both read and contribute to that list. I'm satisfied that it is a community, insofar as those contributing (can't speak of the stance of those lurking) do so in a range of styles. It is not a congratulation society. And I feel confident that whatever number of people (50 say?), take seriously what is posted. I agree that the internet has boosted poetry hugely. As with print publication, some ezines seem ephemeral, almost forgotten even by their creators, but others, like Jacket and MAG, are full force plantings in the vineyard. And ezines can accommodate net art. I admit I find reading off the computer screen difficult. I don't see the work as well, and the magic box is full of distractions: browsing, Free Cell, etc. Not all ezines are created with the reader's comfort in mind, either. I'm one of those who writes in books, comments about what I'm reading, or poems, or doodles, or whatever. I suppose the sense of substance attracts people to printed works rather than arranged molecules on a computer screen. When I left the wine business in the 90s, the idea of synthetic corks and even screw caps for fine wines was just being pushed. Resistance was in the name of romance, not practicality. Must be the same with print versus internet. In publish or die land, with colleges once again leading from behind, internet publication is just gaining acceptance. I think ideas of the book, as well as of the poem, should be constantly evaluated. Have you interest in putting a book online? My blog R/ckets & S/ntries was written online. When I finished I posted a pdf version of it. I think some people may've passed R&S by on grounds that it wasn't really a blog: no chit chat, just poems. So does it feel the same to you, publishing online or in print?


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