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A Book Should Be a Ball of Light

By on Feb 16, 2015 in books and publishing, poetry

Friday night I was at Barnes & Noble, waiting for a call from a friend I was to meet with later, and needing some time outside the house. This is Southern California. It’s February. The night air was almost balmy. I’d heard that Mercury retrograde had ended recently, a relief to those that subscribe to its edict that all things, especially electronic, shall malfunction under its effect. But it seems to me that Mercury is always retrograde – what is up with that? The moon was full, too, but I don’t recall seeing it that night. Up on the second floor of Barnes & Noble I was looking at the poetry books. A couple of times the floor trembled, I mean literally shook, and I was, for a second, afraid. At first I thought it was an earthquake and that we might fall through the center of the floor which seemed to be lacking the proper supports (well, in my mind, it...

t h a w t

By on May 4, 2014 in art, books and publishing

Mike Koppa of the Heavy Duty Press kindly invited me to partake in his project which, if I am remembering it correctly, began as something he called Slowbook, after he quit, for a time, Facebook. He invited several other artists as well, from all over the world, and sent each of us prompts via that old fashioned method of communicating: snail mail. I never was very clear about what I was being prompted to do – and now you can see this (my lack of clarity!) documented in his book Thawt, a compilation of correspondence he had with all of us artists. Mike lives in Wisconsin. He makes a lot of fantastic collage art. He is a handy family man who fixes things and digs things out of the raw earth. He is brave and persistent. He holds the ground for traditional mediums (like letterpress printing) while simultaneously breaking ground in new mediums (like self-publishing and digital...

Evidence of Magic

By on Nov 13, 2013 in art, books and publishing

I’m reading a book right now called Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading.  It was published in 2005 and written by Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air. This book is a memoir of Corrigan’s life interwoven with books and a commentary on some of the books she has read. She lives in Washington, D.C. and reading about her life is giving me flashbacks of the ten years I lived in Northern Virginia, before I moved to Santa Fe, which was way before I left Santa Fe to move back to Los Angeles, in the cosmic full circle of my life as I know it now. I was especially remembering all the years I spent in the community darkroom in Arlington, Virginia, how I had a whole life centered around the darkroom and the relationships I formed there. My love of darkroom printing is like my love of books in this sense:  The dark room has been replaced entirely by digital processes...

A Trip to the Post Office to Mail Some Poetry Books

By on Oct 9, 2013 in addiction, art, Authenticity, books and publishing, callings, poetry, Uncategorized

Yesterday I mailed some of my Kickstarter poetry books out. (I’m having to mail them out in slow, small batches, because of all the problems I’ve been having producing them.) I went to the ghetto post office that is near our house. I wouldn’t say we live in the ghetto, but that we live on the border of one. But I don’t know, I guess it depends on how you define ghetto. (I just looked up the definition of ghetto: a bad neighborhood where minorities live. This definition irks me, but unfortunately it is as true as it is irksome. Anyway.) Two of the books were going to Israel! I have never been to Israel. For the purposes of shipping them, I debated the value of the books with the postal clerk, a black woman who was not young and not old. I said they were books of my poetry that I had made and that I would have to make up a value. I’m not even sure what made...

Bookmaking as Process

By on Oct 4, 2013 in books and publishing, callings, hope, poetry, recovery, spirituality, writing

Someone was reminding me recently how it’s about the process, that it’s all process. Last year I launched a Kickstarter project to self-produce a collection of poems and I don’t know why but every logical part of me thought this end of things would be a simple and straightforward process. For reasons that are not apparent to me, it has been anything but simple or easy. The plan I had turned out not to be the plan that the Universe or the Book-making Gods had in mind for me. In fact, I’m still in this process, and need to make more books. However, I have been, at last, able to produce the first twenty. My boyfriend said that one day, when I’m all done, whatever day that is, I’ll be able to tell people that my blood, sweat and tears went into these books. Two nights ago I was binding the books with needle and thread and poked myself really badly and...

Bookmaking

By on May 25, 2013 in books and publishing, hope, poetry, spirituality

I’m working on the physical production of my book. I’ve been working on it for what seems like a long time (in literal terms it’s been a few months). I’m way behind schedule and not happy about it but I’ve been experiencing some ridiculously difficult technical glitches. At first it was the printer and lately it’s the program I have the book laid out in. It’s so bad sometimes I wonder what the spiritual message is in all of this. But I never hear (from my guidance, or otherwise) an answer, except to keep going. I’ve promised books to people. I remember when, I don’t know maybe 15ish years ago (seems like longer), I used to make poetry books by hand. I had no money and no great tools to speak of, I didn’t have a computer and desktop publishing was a much more rudimentary prospect. I loved fine papers and somehow I got the money...

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