Apologies for not sending a paid subscriber update last month. Shortly after sending my thoughts on Lao Yang's Pee Poems, my grandfather passed away at 95 years old. Here's his obituary, which I got to write. He loved his boat very much and will be much missed.
One of the reasons I decided to write about Diane di Prima's Revolutionary Letters this month is that the book has been inspiring some poems I've been writing. From April 1-June 30 of this year I'm planning to write one section per day of a book-length poem. I did this same experiment in 2017, so this will either be a new version or an addition to that poem. I mentioned in my February paid subscriber update my interest in "durational" works and this project is what sparked that interest.
April-June 2017 I wrote roughly one section per day of a book-length poem called Vagaries & Routines. Every section began with a variation of the same line: "every day i wake up & [. . .]" I ended up writing over 100 sections over those 91 days. I revised it a bit, cut 30 or 40 sections, and then it stalled. Eventually, I shelved it. I thought about it from time to time, wondered about reviving it, but it always felt like it was missing something, though I was never sure what. When I revisited it a couple of years ago, it occurred to me that I could try doing the experiment again in 2022—five years after the first attempt—and put the two versions next to each other to see if there's a spark. I'm curious is there will be anything interesting or surprising in their proximity. Maybe there won't be anything there and no one will ever read it. Maybe that'll be a relief. Maybe the two together will somehow click and add the element that was missing from the first attempt. Maybe I'll keep doing this experiment every five years until I die. I don't really know.