So I’m reading David Kamp’s review of Ultimate Blogs, Masterworks From the Wild Web — NY Times Book Review, 3/23/08. I’m more addicted than ever to blog blog blog. But I’ll never have it down, never make it as an Ultimate Blogger. Too old, too unable to write “good bloggy prose,” too unable to write without at least a _little_ editing. Though best poems, Uncle Dog and some others, were written in just this way, flash flash, bang bang… then fuss with the punctuation. Just did it. Did it and done. On to the next. Even as a journalist (Toronto Star, Globe & Mail), I wasn’t really a reporter. I was a book reviewer, a feature writer, which suited me fine. I got to think, I got to have conversations with people, read books, do a little research… edit edit edit… A real reporter would just do it, fast fast fast… and on to the next… so blogging, I think is more like that, “reporting,” though one is essentially reporting on oneself, using the Web to do the equivalent (ha!) of what diarist Samuel Pepys was doing in England a couple centuries ago. Writing about himself, what he observed, the good and the bad, the city (London), the times, the daily daily doings…
But I’m not “conversational and restless,” well, maybe… yeah, but “reckless”? Reckless in what sense? He’ll say anything. Someone who takes pleasure in surprising himself. Kamp the reviewer speaks of “chin-strokers,” big time serious folks like Nobel economist Gary Becker and federal circuit judge Richard Posner, who share a blog “in which they bat serious issues back and forth…” others, I’m discovering, create alt-comix blogs whose work appears in panel form.
Now I’ve started this thing, something wells up, once, twice a week, and giving way to the urge, I scribble notes onto “Blogger.com/post-create”. In truth, I’m writing more blog these days than poetry. Why and why not does something have to be a poem?
Poetry. “I too dislike it,” says poet Marianne Moore in a poem titled Poetry. What she mainly dislikes is the phoniness, the not real, the bullshit… but still, she says, there’s a place for it. So while I want an audience, I’m used to _not_ having readers for my poetry and these days am adapting to the idea of _not_ having readers for my blog. Spent half a century, I’m that fucking old! keeping up a journal that I never thought to inflict on anyone. What did I get out of it? I dunno. A poem or two. And I think of all those boxes, all those notebooks, scribble scribble scribble, at Washington University in St. Louis, my little archive. At least it’s there and not under my desk or in a closet somewhere. Boxes and boxes and boxes. We’re talking 50, 60, 70… lots and lots of boxes.
Must somehow enjoy it, blogging, because I’m using the time that might go into adding a counter to my blog, to blog… the blogging is taking priority… why put 20, 30 minutes into adding a counter when I can put 20, 30 minutes into writing the damn thing? And I don’t even want to know if anyone is reading it. You’re reading it. So add a comment, okay?
From what Sarah Boxer says in Ultimate Blog I guess what you want is people to comment. That’s the sign of success, that’s what counts for Big Time Bloggers… so far the only people who comment on my little strand of a strand of a strand are friends and family. Enough.