Chimera Song Mosaic
Monday, September 25, 2006
I'm reading this online journal I've never seen before, DIAGRAM, and you should check it out. I’ve read about half of it so far (no, it's not on my reading list to the right, and I might not put it there, since I can't seem to keep up with that list, or more to the point, the list can't keep up with me; my list annoys me), and I'm going back to read the other half after I take a two-hour nap.

Even the contributor's list is exciting to read, for some reason. There are comments by the author at the end of each poem, but don't spoil it by reading those first. (There's no big conclusions offered at the end, but just please don't spoil it. Or don't read those bits at all.) My one complaint about the site is that there aren't enough through-and-through links; what I mean by this is that the author's names don't link to their bios, etc. But don't let that stop you. Many of the contributors are editors at other journals, so this could be research too.

I was most excited by an actual diagrammatic poem by Patrick Lawler, author of A Drowning Man is Never Tall Enough. I mention this because I read this book when I was a freshman in college in a poetry workshop. I didn't like it, but I remember it being the first full poetry book I read. I couldn't find much in our library for the assignment, a critical review of a book of poetry. Our library wasn't very good. I remember being turned off poetry written by a live person for the next three years or so. Even though that doesn't seem like such a long time, how much have I changed!

Most of what I read now is written by a person who is still alive, most poems having been written by this person during the last five years. But the poem is DIAGRAM is nothing like that 1990 book. I wonder what I would have thought of contemporary poetry if I had read the poem back then. What I should do now is re-read the book, especially because I feel bad about saying that I didn't like it the first time around. (I know I'm not the only one who feels bad about not liking something. How many times have you attended a reading and bought the book, acting out of sympathy rather than real interest? I know it's ridiculous, but I always feel obligated to buy the book if I can afford it.)

NEW TOPIC: I want to write about things people don't know much about. But then I realized that these things don't really exist, or if they did, I would not likely know much about them. Take some obscure fascination somebody might have, like with Samurai or 1930s American boxing. Quite a few people know a lot about those topics, even though most don't.

I'm interested in how people spend so much time studying things that they won't be tested on later, like the above examples. Besides the odd trivial pursuit question, the study of these peculiars has no end result. Like when I spent so much time as a teenager poring over fashion magazines, learning how to dress after Labor Day and which fork to use at a formal dinner, how to jump a velvet rope, the history of Cannes. When is this stuff going to come up? I would be more likely to use my Samurai training, say I get mugged in a dark parking lot. I'm not Paris Hilton, and I didn't just get discovered to be a princess, so I have a wealth of knowledge that is essentially useless to me in this life. I find this phenomenon, the "worthless" study of the uncommon, to be both frustrating and fascinating. So, the next time someone asks you the hit points of the common Lake Troll, think for a moment before you blurt out the answer, should it be on the tip of your tongue.

This blog feels more and more like a black hole, but I'm warming to it. Whereas in the past there was evidence of others trekking through here, now it seems there is just me. The likelihood of someone being linked here from another site seems, well, trivial. But perhaps that is just fine.

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