Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It should be noted that Geof Huth has completed his gargantuan 365 ltrs project. I've got a few things to say about it.

365 Ltrs has been an interesting project to follow. I've read all of the entries, with varying levels of attention, more or less as they appeared at the site. Some I've revisited.

The premise of the project was to write a poem addressed to a different individual (with one exception) everyday for a year and to end on the day of Geof's wife Nancy's 50th birthday. The blog both begins and ends with a poem for Nancy. There are 363 other addressees inbetween those 2 entries. Most of the poems are long. The final entry is 50 pages long for goodness sake.

I found the project to be delightful and exasperating by turns. Much like everyday life.

Geof-- in addressing family members, fellow poets, artists, archivists and friends--is addressing these individuals directly and tangentially. He's also mining his day, sloughing quotidian skins, improvising in ways that keep him interested, and from time to time shouting out self-evident (to him) quod erat demonstrandums. Not to mention creating visual poems.

On the one hand, it is an excessively generous project. Not only did Geof post entries to the blog, he also snailmailed personalized copies to individual addressees. I can attest to the pleasure of receiving one of them.

On that other proverbial hand, this was an extraordinarily obsessive project. A project which resulted in Geof sleeping very little over the course of the last year. I worried over his health.

The work which was generated was copious in quantity--well over a thousand pages--and of mixed quality. It ranges from the rote to the sublime. Don't get me wrong, I think Geof is a special kind of genius. That doesn't mean he doesn't sometimes write crap. And he writes crap in the way that most human beings do: when he writes just to write. That, in my opinion, is rarely a good enough reason.

I need to write and often fail. Geof needs to write and rarely fails (to write).

So, Geof: congratulations on completing the project. But take a breath. I worry about you.

1 comment: