Wednesday, January 10, 2007


I don't know that I've learned how to manage my time, I feel I waste it inordinately all day & all night long, I can never get enough done no matter how much I do or try to do. I will say that there have been very few decisions I've made about my life that haven’t been with some eye towards how I could continue to begin to investigate language & eventually poetry, particularly in its most expansive [architectural] forms, or thinking, and try to come to some understanding of what it is possible to have happen inside of it, that can willfully effect or affect my own body and therefore or possibly additionally the bodies and environments around me. I can’t really separate the work that is the writing of texts from the work of being a poet or person or agent in the world. There is the part of me that goes to a job every day that is not about writing with the hand and the pen [keyboard], and I lament that but I also take it into account as an opportunity--when I can remember to--to make a wilful prosodic act by my manner of being present there. I guess what I am addressing here is how I engage at every moment what you are calling the creative core, even in those places where it doesn’t look possible to do that.

In 1998 I left the gallery I'd been running with a friend for four years because I recognized it was keeping me from being fully attentive to this other [writing] work I wanted to do. I went to graduate school and I was at that time semi-employed at a law firm where I had no work to do and an office with a door that closed, and I kept that job for almost 7 years. I finished my graduate thesis there, then they laid me off and I had about eight months of being unemployed, where I walked around Lake Merritt every day and read a lot of books [I think] and started a press, and became as busy as if I had two full-time jobs, one which was reading and writing and the other about being even more fully engaged with the community of writers here. Then I had to go get an actual full time job on top that.

I would say that these efforts have landed me at 38 somewhat outside of what I myself feel is appropriate or at least conventionally socially acceptable for a person my age: I live alone, I'm poor, I'm in debt and I have a pretty grueling low-level administrative job [albeit in a wonderful place]. All my efforts have also put me very productively & giddily inside a conversation and a community and a body of work [mine and the works of those around me] that I feel have possibility for what you call "changing the world" if by nothing else, their, our, insistent continuance. I do think that making life-decisions in the service of art, even if one fails, is itself a life-affirming act that demonstratively feels up other bodies, and hopefully excites them to take their own matters into their own hands.

To specifically answer your question about time and creative process: right now, since I have the full-time job: weekdays & weekday nights are for the day job & for dispensing with tasks like laundry bills correspondence business of poetry tasks and anything to do with the press. Also reading, thinking, notetaking, walking, yoga, a social life [you see already that it is impossible]. Also I try every day while at work to put a little of my writing life into it [more about that below]. On Saturdays I am working on one book, and on Sundays I am working on another book. [Except maybe they're one book; I keep changing my mind.] So far this plan is sort of working. But also I need long periods of unstructured time in order to work/think/write well and this is something I'm trying right now to negotiate, as I have very little time thus. I have to take a long-range view of my work and be patient, not my foremost quality, patience.


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