Friday, January 16, 2009



And I'm grateful that my first novel has a production and distribution structure that creates its own performance art: not only do they manifest the DIY ethos (I first typed "ethics") superbly practiced by moi novel's publisher, but what I appreciate about poetry itself: that, as Meena Alexander once told me (in my Black Lightning interview), "Poetry is an intimate art."

So, my novel is distributed gratis to whoever wishes one. But, each produced novel is also a unique edition. Amanda Laughtland, using colored pencils and rubber-stamped art, turns each copy of my novel into a unique artwork. Both of these factors, of course, entirely diss the capitalist mode of commodity-oriented publishing that's turned publishers away from any responsibility beyond publishing what they believe can be commercially viable.

P.S. I don't know why I bother to reference something here like capitalism ... for the point here is Joy. Joy-making at work. To experience Joy in what we do as artists can be a good disciplinary tool for focusing on what's worth our focus. What I've experienced (for myself and in witnessing poets/artists I admire) is that those with the capacity for much joy become most effective in what they do -- including when it comes to addressing the injustices ever present in the world.

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