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:
It is what I have always done.
It distracts me from the bleaker aspects of my situation.
Other people have found them pleasing.
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.
Who knows? Perhaps there will be another book after that–I’m writing fast these days.
For the collages & drawings: I couldn’t really stop if there were a reason to.
I will send one card to each of the first four people who email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a postal address. Click on thumbnails to see full image. Note: As of 1:00 pm EST all cards have been spoken for.
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.