One of the wonderful things about graduating is the abrupt discovery of time to actually get some reading done. Anyone who takes any post-secondary program seriously enough will never find any time to read any book that isn’t part of a syllabus somewhere. So, aside from a few experiments – and reviews for Culture Vulture, of course – my creative writing side has been, for the most part, inert. For Spiderman’s sake, I rescued two shelves of lit journals from FIA203 before UVic demolished the shelves for legroom (a fair trade for six-foot-something, mostly-leg monstrosities like me) and they weren’t going to read themselves. Also: Kurt Vonnegut. Aside from a lot – a lot – of Team Fortress 2, I wasn’t wasting too much literary time.
Imagine sticking your head out the window to take a really deep breath a few seconds after loosing a very long fart. Reading after graduation is sort of like that.
Uncomfortable metaphors aside, I’m back in the mood to do a lot of typing about things like Godzilla and global warming and feelings and Hello Kitty. So I’ve set some goals to up my textual output.
New writing projects make me feel sort of like this.
Project #1 involves another step towards my inevitable total corruption by the internet. I got a Twitter. Here it is: CFtickertxt. It is blank. It will stay that way until my age formally increments on June 4th.
The ticker text in the title refers to the Ticker Text Project which I blogged about here, almost a year ago. The final version was so impossibly cool (if only to me) that I’ve decided to do what all good poets do with things they like: run it into the ground until nobody else can touch it ever again. The plan, or the rules, by which I will do so:
- The feed must update at least once per day, starting on June 4th, 2011, until June 4th, 2012.
- Updates will occur by phone and accept the limitations of the technology available. Currently, my phone will cap my updates at 140 characters, and has only so many non-alphanumeric symbols.
- Following the original Ticker Text Project, updates must include at least one Arabic numeral.
- No streams of random characters, or random numbers, or lists of nearby thingamabobs, or other obviously boring ideas. Emoticons are totally okay since they’re basically the low-art dirty limericks of concrete poetry.
The madness starts in two weeks, and will eventually churn out around 51100 characters worth of poetry.
Project #2 is less a project and more just a commitment. Four lines or more a day. That’s all. I’ve been handed the keys to a group poetry blog called Sum Whit, so if I figure out how Tumblr works then I can start updating there. I’ll probably do this on a weekly basis, since I suspect these fragments to be less self-contained than the Twitter poems (read: will actually go somewhere). The details and a schedule will come out with the first posts. All said, this project will manufacture at least 1460 lines of poetry, or around 58 poems of an appropriate length for a magazine or journal, which is kind of neat.
The plan is also to start this different, more acceptable brand of madness on June 4th.
How do I think this will go? “Good enough” is a good enough answer, I hope. I’m not holding my breath (see what I did there?) for a long, deep seam of poetic coal to burn but quantity has a knack for finding quality eventually. If I get just a whiff of where to go next artistically, then I’ll breathe a sigh of relief on my next birthday.
And probably get fall-down drunk, too.
…I really like Dylan Thomas.