What does it need?


I’m currently trying to get used to new glasses (which I think are a real fresh new look but that no one else can distinguish from my old glasses) and have a mild headache as I adjust to the new prescription. Tonight after some chores feeling on the sleepy blah side and I now find myself watching people make fettuccini alfredo on YouTube for some reason and am wondering if it’s reasonable to think of getting anything written tonight. Thinking of working on poems for “Bloom & Martyr” but will probably not get anywhere in this mood… instead I’m mulling over two things 1) what “finishing a project” means, and 2) when something can just be itself and not something I think it should be. 1) Was saying to Julya that I always think I can finish a project in a night and that’s never true because the project is writing a book, and she said so redefine what a project is - like writing one poem for the book is a project rather than only thinking only in the unit of the book, and 2) I have all these projects that I’ve been thinking of as half done, but maybe they ARE all done already. This is principally a problem where I have a) a bunch of written poems that I think need art/visual poems to go with them b) a bunch of artworks that I think need poems to go with them, and 3) a bunch of visual poems that I think need written poems to go with them. I guess another is c) things that really only need to be one-off poems or little chapbooks that I feel should be worked into full books. Books books books. I want everything I do to be an illustrated book of poems. I have this big thing I made about a decade ago called “Alphaseltzer” of melting letters that I stowed away ages ago, but that now I think some publishers may be interested in. It’s long enough to be it’s own thing, but I’m so convinced I’m going to write a poem to accompany each visual poem, all part of a hallucinatory dream of a rubricator - the scribe who would add the big red letters and fancy stuff to a completed medieval manuscript. Ah even when I write that description out I feel like it would be so cool and I want it to be done, yet it’s been ten years and I have yet to do it. Will I? Should I? When I type out the idea I think “yeah, I gotta.” But there are some projects - one with some old photos I bought at the flea market, for instance - that might just be visual art projects. I’m not sure, but I suspect. And in that case the scope and length is totally different, and what “finished the project” is will be totally different. There also doesn’t have to be the shape and structure of the book, or the whole sense of any one part not being totally done until the whole manuscript is done and can be edited as a whole. I dooooo love illustrated books and want to write a whole bunch of them, and some are just taking a long time. But some of these ideas I think aren’t going to grow into whole books or maybe publications at all. It’s maybe an unusual balance for me because I am more practiced a writer than a visual artist so perhaps I feel like I have to add words to make the visuals legitimate. Or maybe I just really really love illustrated books of poetry. Either way, when it comes to drawing satisfaction from a project, knowing when to share a project, knowing when a project is done, and knowing what the scope of a project is, I think it’s time for me to let myself think small, and see if hat leads anywhere interesting or at least satisfying.