Friday, January 6, 2017

State of the Blog 2017

Mitsumata on N. Fremont St 1/2/17

Hello friends. I decided to step aside from the torrent of poetry for a day & address you directly about where Robert Frost’s Banjo is at these days.

If you’ve been following the blog regularly, you’ve noticed a couple of things over the past few months. First, I’ve been blessed with a remarkable degree of poetic inspiration, & in the close to 40 years I’ve been seriously engaged in writing poetry, have never enjoyed such an output. I’m deeply grateful for this, but it’s strained what the blog can take—even posting two or three poems at a time, the posts now, with the exception of the occasional recent composition, such as yesterday or the last two Saturdays, are still poems from a month ago. Because the poems in essence form a journal & are very caught up in the moment, it’s making much less sense to continue the complete sequence here, & going forward I’ll only post poems that have been composed much closer to the date they appear
—say within a couple of weeks at most.

This means the blog won’t have a complete record of the work, nor will there be a blog dedicated to the poems from this manuscript as there have been for The Spring Ghazals & The Days of Wine & Roses.  I also didn’t create blogs for the poetry contained in the Union Pacific chapbook & the full-length collection Ullambana in Portland. This decision is in part simply because I’d like to sell some books, but also because of the work involved in maintaining so many blogs. Possibly in the future I’ll create such dedicated blogs—we’ll see. But not now. For those who are interested, the poems that have been appearing on the blog since early October will be published within the next few months, probably by early to mid March. News of this, with relevant links, will certainly appear right here!

The Sunday Music feature has returned, & I’d really like to keep that going; & occasionally I even post photos of the week! Ideally, I’d like to get Robert Frost’s Banjo back to something more resembling “A miscellany like Grandma’s attic in Taunton, MA or Mission Street's Thrift Town in San Francisco or a Council, ID yard sale in cloudy mid April or a celestial roadmap no one folded—you take your pick”—but for now my poetry is simply too pressing to allow for the research & writing that would entail.

We—that is my translation partner, Sheila Graham-Smith & I—really want to get back to the Chinese translations too, but again, the original poetry has taken precedence for the time being. I was sad we had to drop Du Fu’s “Autumn Meditations” halfway through, but the reality is we only have so much time for writing & editing. There are draft versions of “Meditations” five through eight, as well as a few other Du Fu translations we’ll complete when we can—& eventually forge ahead with many more from the Chinese classics!

Thanks for your continued support, & a very happy 2017 to you all.

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