AB - To blog or not to blog, this is the question…
CM - When I go offline for any length of time, thus am not blogging daily about or in poetry, I feel like I’m missing something important about poetry or have missed things and people I care about, the same way one thinks of having missed an important phone call or series of expected special deliveries, and the moment can’t be redone or entirely reconstructed, so is like Foucault’s definition of discourse as occurring most importantly only in its very moment.
Of the many things that can be missed, of most significance to me is the sense of on-goingness, the sense of continuous community, of end-to-end connection, which I adore—that feel of belonging and mutual respect (ideally, that is, for the reality is sometimes not as untroubled or optimistic as I’ve painted here).
I have many poetry friends who have no desire to blog, much less to do so in or with their poetry. They maintain a similar sense of community and belonging; they simply use a different venue and set of values about what matters in the making and production of poetry.
I value unrestricted making, then--the over all effect of being creative in as many ways as possible and do not want to put limits on the rhetorical dynamics involved in differing venues. Yet, I mark this, too: it is essential that the materiality of poetry production, the actual paper/print values of it culturally be maintained and not replaced somehow by electronic-only production. I think for future, they will both evolve co-terminously in fascinating ways.
AB - How would you characterize your blog you should describe it to one of us, i.e. another blogger?
CM - My blog is a pastiche, a grab-bag, a hodge-podge, a 4 year continuous collage, all in honor of poetry, mostly the poetry of others, though occasionally I also post something of my own poetry. My blog is a mirror of the act of reading and responding, reading as a creative act that is just as important as writing (that is understood to be the primary mode of creativity in the mistaken binarism between reading/writing—they are both aspects/elements of creative literacy, as it were).
AB - I sometimes regard my blog as a safe place where I can meet my chosen people, is this the same for you?
CM - In many ways I feel comfortable that way, yes. We create and cultivate the poetic community ourselves, together. Very nice, indeed. Empowering.
AB - I am wondering do we sometimes forget that personal remarks, notes, poems are there for everybody to be seen?
CM - I don’t think I forget that, no. One reason is that I can’t readily forget is since my studies and much of my teaching has for years been focused to understanding rhetorical dynamics, and I am intrigued by subject-object relations as writer-text-audience interaction, reality-relationships, so I can’t think of an instance where I might have forgotten about that.
AB - Do you post many poems on your blog? Is there an actual difference in-between publishing online, mainly through a blog, or printed publishing?
CM - I don’t post very many of my own poems to my blog, and I don’t keep a steady online poetry blog, though I do write steadily. This is what I mean by retaining the differences in a large scope and future trajectory of the two differing venues as both creative with value (above in the first question, To Blog or Not to Blog).
AB - What kind of actual or immaterial feedback do you receive from publishing online through a blog?
CM - On the one hand, I often hear very thoughtful feedback from poetry-minded folks that I respect and have become friends with. It seems to me, given the community-centered aspects of the poetry-blogging groups of people, that poetry-people mostly think carefully before responding to another’s ideas online, and so are often insightful and give very helpful feedback. It’s good to have that kind of feedback—I like cooperative models of community and discourse far more than antagonistic-competitive models. So, on the other hand, I also realize forms of feeback are not so careful of others on every blog—I see all kinds of wild-sounding outrageousness going on in the comments boxes of some blogs. And in fact once in a while something like that has happened at Texfiles, but I actively discourage outrageous kinds of discourse/feedback, and I even delete when necessary if people are baiting, bullying or acting meanly on my blog. I don’t like bullying behavior in any context, and so I reserve the right, in any of my spaces, including the virtual spaces, to reject or limit that kind of unproductive discourse.
AB - What do you think of the Blogosphere when related to blogs that deal with poetry?
CM - I think of the Blogosphere as a fortunate accident of technology and community. It’s helped me tremendously as a writer in that not only does it provide a community and forum, but it reminds us all that writing is created by real people in all their ups and downs of life, their wonderfulness and their inevitable flaws, their basic and their aspirational humanness.
Adam Fieled– Alan Sondheim - Allen Bramhall - Andrew Lundwall – Bob Grumman - Dan Waber – Deborah Humphreys - Geof Huth - Henry Gould – James Finnegan - Jean Vengua - Jeff Harrison – Jill Jones - Mairéad Byrne - Mark Young – Mike Peverett - Nick Piombino - Pam Brown – Tom Beckett - Tom Murphy - Tom Orange –
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