pesbo since 2005.

Pearl Pirie’s book lists, interviews, event write-ups, poems and more.

A solution?

How to see all I have and sort them while keeping it in mind and findable when it’s spread across 150 files? I need to impose some order here. Could the answer be making hundreds more files? May-be.

The trick will be not editing. Identify, copy, flag and paste. Otherwise I’ll bog down.

So tentative 40-hour plan: Create one file per poem, all drafts collected into same file.

All of one year in one folder

Decide useful tags.

Label /categorize poems

>Finder
>File
>Get Info
>Spotlight comments (add some tags as keywords: haiku, trees, feminist, market idea, etc)
>Color label (red to submit, yellow if later edit, green if worth editing more, blue, first draft, grey published, pink a fragment to combine with other fragments)

Search

>Finder
>File
>New Smart Folder
>Kind
>Other
>Spotlight Comment (trees)

Save search folder

or
>Kind
Color Label (green)

Save search folder

Can anything be automated with a macro with Applescript or Automator? to drag and drop file creation and tags?

37 files made manually so far to test out if this is viable.

“The path of least resistance is usually not the path of best results, despite the musings of spiritual gurus who try desperately to paint it as such.” — Steve Pavlina

Organizing poems

The Hub thinks I should post a poem a day. It might be better than just stacking up drafts like cordwood. It might be a step in the direction . I’d half want to organize a collection around some arbitrarily chosen theme and then pull out poems around those nodes and show them. I seem to be becoming more of a closet writer. (Would posting them in their naked incompetableness finish up the pendulum swing to exhibitionism?)

It’s just such an intimidating slog to go through. Everything I look at I want to fix except a simple fix can easily eat 5 or 6 hours.

Previously I had a draft file and a finishing file. I would pull out poems from the first to reedit. But then I only had initial days drafts and the reedit of “done” none to two edits later. When the file became too slow to load, it was time for a new file.

I thought it would be a better system to keep all drafts of one poem together. And each file is by the month. Now I’m looking at pages of drafts for a 10 line poem and revisiting 5 or 6 times and still calling it worthless. I just ran the numbers last night, counting and plugging the updated numbers into Miscorsoft Excel. Looking just at writing for 2006 I have over 260 poems drafted and virtually none declared done. That’s 1500 poems in under 6 years. Some of them may split off into smaller poems. Some may get tied together into longer poems, but even throwing out most, that’s absurd and unmanageable.

I need a better discipline and a better system. Shall I make a system of files chuting all haiku, haiga, senryu one way, all experimental sounds down another files, anything lyrics, narrative, local another…do I have enough sonnets to make a file worthwhile? Should I bag it with other forms? I could cluster around subject or tone. Some form of metatags so that the files could be automatically generated from search strings. Ok, I need to work on erotica today, or on tree poems or erotic trees.

Thing is I can’t find things. I can’t see or remember what I have. Even if I take a poem, one poem at a time, where am I going with any one of them? Done of perfect word in perfect order is subjective. Maybe that’s why I’m reading more form poems because of that desire for concrete verifiable fundamental volleyball net. I want something outside myself to verify it’s done.

The thing is that looking at my poems I love them as soon as they are done and the next day to 10 edit later, not so much really. If it dismays me, why do I bother to keep after it? It’s like a gambling or other addiction. I don’t like the sound of my own voice but I go mad if I don’t vent. Maybe I need a better way to vent. I wonder if I don’t need to look at poems much more dispassionately and I need a routine of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. to exclusively polish poems, speak them aloud, scare out their bugs, research where I can send them.

Or else dismiss the backlog, never look at any of the 2000 plus backlog and start fresh with what I know now and apply a new discipline to finish and diligently market them or else burn them as they come and agree to take only the benefits of the process away with me.

Perhaps if someone asks me if I write and if I have a book I can have a vial of ash around my neck and offer to shake out some dust of the outcomes of my poetry with them with a serene smile.

Is all of poetry all just interesting because they are crib notes for the back story of what the personal life events were of poets at the time? I feel like I’m missing a whole cultural chunk somehow. Maybe I am trying to look too deep and discipher something profound when there is only surface or sound. Am I just hard to impress?

Deep dark fear of loss of constancy of self: Could words cease to be my thing? Or is this disinterest and narrowing of interest exactly because words are my thing? Blase is out an outcome of passion aging and narrowing as it goes? As I narrow I will be less of a generalist, care less about being a generalist. Or am I overextended the case of one poem, one moment being a bad fit. Like the perfect outfit but the fit of chemistry missing. Nothing else approaching it on the rack. I want it but I can’t have. I’m spoiled at usually getting what I want easily. It floors me that I can’t get into this idea. Failure is out of the question. Stupidity is not. It must be my fault.

The beginning of wisdom is knowing how little you know but how long can I sustain the sense of being infernally stupid without it just being my being stupid, not beginning any wisdom at all? When does the shame stop and the curisosity kick in?

Is this being curious? I remember more lighthearrtedness with Curious. I’m trying to hard. I know it but I can’t back off. I want to rope in the entire world to stand trial and explain to me why this isn’t working.

Maybe I finally am starting to know something about poetry now that I sense my profound lack of knowledge of movements and major names. I have reading lists but I blank out alone. I have no idea what I am supposed to be seeing. What is the big picture? What is supposed to be distinctive or significant? I love patterns. Maybe I am ticked at not getting a gratifying pattern and I should just hold course until it pops out. I’ll gain nothing for character or progress by quitting.

I am becoming aware I am in a vacuum (which would explain the roaring noise). I am missing the sense of real-time community, like-minds who care about word stuff. Not just their own words and Being an Individual. But about the business, the craft, the culture, the history. I can’t move forward in a vacuum. I can just float around with no up or down.

I feel an ache to connect or get success, either/or. Playing twister with myself gets boring.

Read more

re: precipitation of violence and art's duty to lead by providing ideals

Prevention on the earthly level, on the horizontal plane, is dealing with symptoms. It’s not dealing with the source of pathology. The source of our pathology is mind. That is earlier than the body. So, we need to ask ourselves, how does the mind work?

If I drive a car and I’m teaching my son to drive, and I say to my son, “You keep your eye on that guardrail because I don’t want you to hit it,” what do you think would happen?

He would hit the guard rail. We know when we’re driving we go where we look. This is the way the mind works. That’s why they is repeat behavior in abusive relationships…

If we’re looking at this, we’re recording it, recycling it. All we see are versions of the past. What we can look at, where we can drive to, to keep from hitting guard rail. War, bang, disease, bang, we keep hitting the guard rail.

…The artist is looking towards something else. Art is totally ideal. Otherwise it has no function. Then we are no longer legislators of the world…If you want to call it ideal, call it ideal. I would like to think of it as the primary reality. We’ve mistaken this [cycles of violence] for primary reality.

“Look at this” and after years of this it dawned on me that I can’t be looking at this because the more I look at it, the more I repeat it. If a future is possible for my kids, I can’t keep looking at this.”

Li-Young Lee, p. 92-94 of Breaking the Alabaster Jar