someday soon dear readers I will report having READ and PROCESSED new books. today there was a brown-out on the block a pop! explosion and i sat all day taking notes on fictional projects as john edited the essay collection in the next room. i made plans to go to the european graduate school and then i made plans not to go to the european graduate school. and everything settled to stasis.
i ordered up a bunch of bernadette mayer and hannah weiner texts from ohio-link, what i could (i really want to attend jen karmin and amina cain's curatorial project based on mayer and others' collaborative writing marathons in nyc in the early 70s), i read some criticism of patrick durgin's and joyelle mcsweeney's on weiner, i really want to read her clairvoyant journals but they're not available! although they are available online i'm interested in weiner for how she's often read as mad...but also her activism for the american indian movement, also her happenings with vito acconci and carolee schneemann, etc. i know mayer/weiner are massive huge figures for many poets, but since i am not a poet, this is all very new to me.
today i sat outside in the heat and ate a veggie burger and came up with like 10 more book ideas, mostly essays. i birth books better than i raise them. i am thinking of writing something about the woman activist. i end frances farmer (right now) writing about rachel levitsky's book neighbor and the weekend she came to akron and her call for artists to be activists. what i didn't write in the collection was that the weekend before that the nobel peace prize nominee kathy kelly came to akron to speak about her travels in iraq, lebanon and pakistan for voices for creative nonviolence, what used to be voices in the wilderness. and how around kathy and rachel these activists these bold women i feel charged and decide to be an activist, and then grow cowardly. thinking too of ariana in haiti. i would like to write a collection of essays revolving around this impulse. john and i knew kathy from chicago john had volunteered with the first manifestation of voices and i had volunteered for like a week for the next i didn't want to go out and keep on getting arrested at the time, which is a key strategy behind creative nonviolence. but mostly kathy and her colleagues study arabic and other languages and journey to wartorn territories in order to speak to the people displaced during the occupation, who are bombed daily, to report back on the private tragedies and traumas of occupation. and when we drove her to the hotel she said to me, after i expressed such admiration for what she does, "if you ever want to go to pakistan."
so now i am considering it. this essay collection will be journalism in a way a return to it and i will maybe try to go with kathy to pakistan and then also do other forms of activism and report on it and describe my personal experiences and then interviews but then also stuff about women writers like meridel lesueur's the girl who fought for worker's rights or margarethe von trotta's film on rosa luxembourg and then the collection will also examine maybe activists who are violent and those who are nonviolent. and then in a way the performance of activism. happenings, etc.
this is what i'm thinking of today. i also ordered william vollmann's 600-page book on female beauty and noh theater from the library and want to write a long essay about it, as i know i'll hate it. i KNOW i'll hate it! which is a delicious feeling, sometimes, as much as knowing you'll love something.