Tuesday, January 22, 2008

map of an online excursion

1. My friend, Ruben P. Salazar (not to be confused with Ruben Salazar, the journalist who was murdered by the L.A. Sheriff's Department on August 29th, 1970) is about to open a solo art exhibit in Waco, and has asked me to collaborate with him on a few of his visual works. I have submitted a few original poems with environmental themes, per his request. This morning, I finished a draft of a new poem, entitled "Steps on the Earth", which alludes to carbon footprinting.

2. The first draft of "Steps on the Earth" includes my slapdash use of the word "fractious," so I decide to look it up in an online dictionary to see if I misused it or not. I decide to keep the word in my poem, but tweaked the line it's in.

3. I notice, while googling "fractious," that there's an independent publisher called FRACTIOUS PRESS, so I decide to investigate who or what this press is about. I click on the NEWS link and become intrigued by the mention of something called BOOKSLUT, which turns out to be an online lit magazine. I meander over to their BOOKSLUT BLOG and devour many of the recent postings, enjoying myself immensely.

4. In a sidebar to the blog, I see that HOA NGUYEN has been interviewed by BOOKSLUT, so their stock value hits the ceiling. I really like Hoa, who--together with her husband and critic/writer Dale Smith--edits the SKANKY POSSUM, a literary journal and press. They live in Austin, so I get to occasionally see Hoa when I'm down there; I think she came up to Dallas in 2007 to read for a WordSpace event, but I was busy and had to miss her. Of course, I chow down on the interview and feel happy for her recent literary accomplishments, and suddenly long to visit her. (She is also one of about 5 or so editor/publishers who have, over the last 10 years, asked to see some of my work for possible publication. Why have I been holding back, holding out? In 2008, I will follow through...)

5. I now decide to soon send a greeting to Hoa, along with a few of my poems. We will see what goes after that. But, for now, it's time to sleep. It's 5:44 a.m.

Point of this exercise: to show that online browsing--even as I meander and indulge--ultimately gets me back on task, focusing on my literary (and otherwise) goals.

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