Saturday, August 11, 2007

August 11 Update

We're about a third of the way through August and the initial August Poetry Postcard Fest. I've received 31 cards so far, and I have yet to check today's mail. Brendan McBreen sent a wonderful card which arrived yesterday and I have been tickled by how well this ting is going and how much people love it.

We have a group going and an interesting comment stream there. Gregory Severance said:

(New York, NY) at 10:48am on August 3rd, 2007

I thought of listing "consciousness" on my profile after reading some in an old paperback edition of P.D. Ouspensky's ~The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution~ which I ran across recently in my favorite neighborhood cafe. Probing the mystery of noticing the moment.

When I saw the announcement for the postcard poetry fest I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of it. I'm finding the daily practice aspect especially rewarding. Addressing an audience of one who is looking forward to receiving and reading my poem invigorates my writing.

The project is bringing to mind a couple of works: ~Postcards on Parade~ by Kenward Elmslie which I saw him perform at St. Mark's Poetry Project about ten years ago and ~The Post Card: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond~ by Derrida which I haven't read.

I plan on looking at your Organic Poetry essays more closely.


and Kim Clark in Nanaimo:

at 2:04pm on August 3rd, 2007
The audience of one (previously unknown but not anonymous) does shift the writing. And in fact, on already looking back on first poems, the name, the gender, the location by association affects the resulting poem. I'm finding another tilt to this as names become faces. Has anyone noticed this? Face up. Conscious.

There have been others, but I'll stop at Brent Allard:

Manchester, N.H. wrote
at 8:45pm on August 5th, 2007

This is a wonderful experiment. I love the idea of all the individual poems crossing each other in the mail, establishing connections with fellow poets who would otherwise never meet. And, imagine how the mailmen must be enjoying this. Finding the beautiful poems in my mailbox daily is a positively spiritual experience. Finding the discipline to write one daily distilled to postcard size has also been quite enriching.

Thank you to all involved. It's great to be a part of this.

Being on all three lists, I have sent out 39 cards so far and have documented every one with camera and laptop. I am trying to figure out how to continue this effort past August and not limit lists to 31 people next year. How can we make this more of a global experiment in poetry and community?

I have taken to writing some cards from different spots in the NW. Three were written from the grave of Chief Joseph and three from the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle last night. This is the last card I sent out:

to Cindy Lamb (Woodfrogs @ Sunset)


Dear Cindy –

It’s 8:11 and the sun sets and might
burn a hole in that tree before
cannonballing into Elliott Bay and like
frogs poets live in two worlds: one
where reality is solid and nothing what
can’t be touched tasted smelled seen heard;
one behind it sensed as if someone staring
at you, boring a hole
in your spirit not unlike
August and one
more setting

Blessings –
Paul Nelson

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