Making Art (A List of Six)

What’s the point of making the collages, the drawings, or the poems I work on sitting up in bed beside the window overlooking the river? Well, I have been making poems my entire adult life, even making a profession of it, though I would prefer that word be taken in the sense of profession of faith. (Full disclosure: I have made my living as a teacher of poetry.) And I have made little visual things almost as consistently. So, even though I am now limited by my disease, why shouldn’t I continue?

And yet, reader, you know what I mean–Now that the end of my life sooner rather than later is a real possibility, why bother with these trivialities? This is the question, in a bleak mood, with which I began the first draft of this post last week. Here is how I answer the question, as of the middle of June, 2016:

  1. It is what I have always done.
  2. It distracts me from the bleaker aspects of my situation.
  3. Other people have found them pleasing.
  4. For the poems: I have been working on a book for more than ten years that I should have finished long ago & I now feel a particular pressure to bring that project to a close.
  5. Who knows? Perhaps there will be another book after that–I’m writing fast these days.
  6. For the collages & drawings: I couldn’t really stop if there were a reason to.

Postcard Collage Project Update

I have now sent postcards to the following poets:

  1. Ed Mycue
  2. Harvey Hix
  3. Michael Waters
  4. Laura Jensen
  5. Ed Mycue
  6. Reginald Shepard
  7. David Graham
  8. Amy Hauber
  9. Robert Dana
  10. Jonathan Mayhew (4.17.2008)
  11. Peter Money

My immediate goal is 100 cards, though I expect there to be many repeats — this first batch is just to introduce the lucky recipients to what I’m doing. You can see the cards — both sides — by clicking the words Postcard Project in the extreme upper right of the Sharp Sand header.

Later: Cards are going out today to Jonathan Mayhew & Peter Money, neither of whom I know except through correspondence. My acquaintance with Peter predates the internet & I’m sorry that we have dropped out of contact. Ironically, when we were corresponding regularly, Peter lived on the West Coast; when he moved to Vermont — one state over — we somehow lost contact.

A stray thought occurred to me while writing Jonathan’s card this morning — there is never going to be enough room on a single card to complete a thought. Which is good. My usual problem is the infinity of the page, whether paper of electronic. The postcard will always be too small. Will always require a follow-up.