(originally a letter to Michael Mann at Unarmed Journal, in response to a mailing)
Thanks for mailing me the new works and nice letter.
“We went into the smoke lodge without me” struck me as a
poem that would rise above the others in any scale of anthology
and the visual works are very fine. As always it prompted me to
search for you on facebook for that highly convenient form of connection.
Your kindly queries yield what amounts to a contemporary autobiography like, an autobiography of failure at technology’s progress, which might sound fun, but quickly turns into a lumpen drag! here’s some of my parameters of failed operations:
1. apartment: still the shoebox, good location,
little space, comfortable, but no flat surfaces to work on
2. my old habit of emailing my writing to myself
then printing at work is substantially defeated
by an incredible amount of hyper formating
even in the simple world of yahoo. It means
busting time from my job and nervously making
printouts that time and again are flawed or
messed up and it became frustrating.
There was a time blog or facebook notes
would print out borderline useable material,
but now a 2 page blog risks 39 page reformated
useless mess that jams the work printer.
Too frustrating! and too much to mire the job with…
3. photocopy shops are not what they were, having gone all digital.
4. the convenience of facebook and blog overtook much else,
including modern mailing systems, which are costly and
usually require lining up at the post office.
5. to worsen it: both wordpress and facebook have updated
their photo loading systems, kicking to the curb my 2004
mac, and worse, wordpress false upgrade busted my blog,
defaulting it to a drab format. (malfunctions are
at the level of ridiculous on here. appalling.
6. working so much, with a long commute, and in my 50s,
I make it out to far fewer events, glad to ecstatic
to be home when i get home so i’m far less connected
to poetry goings on, meaning doing things on paper
is just about a non-issue except for unarmed journal!
7. hence, the internet has become my poetry womb,
and has squeezed me small via tech(no)logical antiprogress.
Amazing eh? If I or my girlfriend were to come into
significant money, we’d have a spacious country house
with a piano, photocopier and computers outfitted with
printers, in a big front or back room with flat tables
and ample room to spread everything out and find everything.
Failing that here I am, with greatest regards for
you and your efforts, admiration for your hanging in there
with the pocket size print form and sustaining your
Perhaps facebook is enfeebling as it simply houses
writer network and fascilates what interaction
via status updates and postings. Is it like a
nursing home for we who no longer have energy
for all the technologicallycomplicated
footwork of unmediated connectedness?
My head is swirling if not spinning at the
thought of all this, some of which is newly worsened
by further technical updating which I blame on
everything formatting to handheld devices.
/funny they reach something near the size of your
print editions of unarmed journal, (and in the process
shatter most other things of the kind
But there it is, with all good regards, from here in Toronto
all correspondence welcome