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.
Einstein on the Beach: The Changing Image of Opera (1985) . I first saw this documentary on a local PBS station, 25 or so years ago, on a very small black and white TV in the kitchen of the apartment we had in the old farm house on Brady Lake Rd. The place of many blueberry bushes. The place which earned daughter Claire her nickname Clairyberry. I used to hold toddler Claire in one arm while picking berries. She'd hold the pail. I'd put the berries in the pail. She'd scoop them out and eat them. One of my most treasured memories.
Anyway, my grandsons (Claire's children) stayed with us for several hours yesterday. Andy built many robots out of Legos. Ryan ate bananas and many soap bubbles were made and smashed by both of them with much glee.
Sometimes when I feel like I'm drowning in frustration and disappointment with myself, I clear the deck, delete the blog (how many has it been now, how many hundreds and hundreds of posts vaporized?), tear up the manuscript, shred notebooks, toss hundreds of pages of notes, poems, journal entries, etc, without looking back. I don't understand the compulsion to save everything one does. I don't think one can save oneself.
I read several books this past week. Right now I want to note three of them:
Sleepwalking with Orpheus by Craig Watson (Shearsman Books, 2011). In the 8th decade of the last century, Craig and I had an intensive epistolary exchange. We've been out of touch for a long time, but I feel touched and greatly moved by this brilliant new book. Sleepwalking with Orpheus is a feeling through of associations sparked by years of meditating about Cocteau's version of the Orpheus myth. Strongly recommended.
the ulterior eden by j/j hastain (Otoliths, 2011). Heartfelt erotic meditations. Gorgeous work. One reads it and wants to read it again.
Heidegger Explained: From Phenomenon to Thing by Graham Harman (Open Court, 2007). This is the best book about Heidegger ever! Harman is a terrific writer. His "Glossary" and "Appendix: Heidegger's Numerology" alone are worth the price of the book. But the whole volume is full of riches. If you've tried to read Heidegger and have become discouraged,or are thinking about approaching him for the first time, this is the place to start.