STEVE BENSON      05 21 15

 

                                                      PAGE ONE        -       END NOTE

 

03 10 2015   An email I wrote in my role as a Maine-licensed psychologist  attempting to influence the legislature’s decision-making regarding Medicaid policy

03 12 2015   What I wrote that day, just to post something on the site

03 14 2015   Notes I had made on the previous evening on a two-person panel arranged by the local chapter of Alliance for Democracy, a national organization dedicated to ending corporate personhood and increasing democratic governance of the economy in a broad sense – the typed notes at the top of this page were based on my handwritten notes, shown in photographs I took while getting my car serviced at a Toyota dealership in Brewer, ME, in preparation for an article I later wrote as a working owner for the Blue Hill Food Co-op newsletter (by now published on line at http://bluehill.coop/site/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/BHCoopNews_Spring2015Update.pdf, pages 6 and 7)

03 15 2015   An email I wrote to James Sanders, a poet in Atlanta, GA, whom I have never met (we have occasionally corresponded, and once years ago he interviewed me on the telephone), in response to a typescript for a book, which he hoped I might be able and willing to write a cover blurb for, though I had told him I didn’t feel sure I could

03 17 2015   My recollected history (in my youth) of association with African-Americans, expanded from notes I’d put in an email to friends, in the context of discussing racism and race relations in American and in the poetry community

03 19 2015   My handwritten notes that appeared in photographs in the post for 03 14 2015 are here re-produced in scanned editions, in which they may read better

03 20 2015   A poem I wrote that day for the site appears with an epigraph that Julian had I would offer here, after seeing it in the signature line in my emails

03 21 2015   A sequence of photographs I made in my office a couple days earlier, showing the cover of a small leather-bound blank book my teenage daughter gave to me a few years ago and all the pages in it that had writing on them –a phrase or word or sentence each time I think of and feel like it at my office – a writing process still under way

03 22 2015   An unresearched essay I wrote during the previous few weeks, without any plan where to try to publish it, because I wanted to write down what I was thinking about something that troubled me so enormously I found I couldn’t reconcile an understanding

03 23 2015   My typescript of a recent page from a long poem I write in most every night when I lie down in bed – a project I’ve been pursuing since 07 03 2007, writing the same number of lines each time as I’ve written in a prose diary on other pages in the same journal as I write the poem in  -- here transcribed verbatim, as previously sent by email to several writing friends

03 25 2015   A just-completed informal essay I wrote, trying to reflect how I think about improvisation in my writing practice, inspired by a group discussion through emails with other poets about doing collaborative improvisational work

03 27 2015   A new scan of the original manuscript for the poem called “From the Stars to the Common End,” which appears, dedicated to David Bromige, in my 2005 book, Open Clothes – in which the entire text shown here is kept intact but appears twice, the lines in different sequences, corresponding to different all-inclusive readings of this manuscript (from line to line vertically and also from line to line horizontally) – a manuscript composed by occasional entries when it occurred to me to pull the thrice-folded paper out of my pants’ back pocket and add a line or two or more, each new line written in vertical sequence under the previous line of a different square, proceeding around the sides of the 81/2  x 11” page, over a period of several months, about 16 years earlier until it was full

03 28 2015   My response to a survey monkey questionnaire from my teenage kids’ high school, including two short essay answers, and an email written to a Maine delegate to the United States Congress, to address proposed changes to Medicare reimbursement policies under discussion in Congress

03 29 2015   My verbatim transcript (with some passages paraphrased, as noted) of a question and answer session in Ypsilanti, MI, after presentations by Stephanie Rowden and myself in a poetry reading series sponsored by the Creative Writing Department at Eastern Michigan University

04 01 2015   My current scan of a three-page letter I wrote in 1979 to a group of poets I don’t think I then knew, in response, probably unsolicited, to a packet of writings I had received from them for reasons I cannot remember

04 04 2015   Emails I sent this and the previous two days, to an official of the Admissions Department of Occidental College in Glendale, CA, concerning my son’s potential visit overnight on their campus, prior to his choosing what college he’ll attend

04 05 2015   I transcribed every journal entry I can find that I wrote on a previous April 5th (or within a few days of it)

04 06 2015   A thought experiment that had occurred to me that day or about then

04 07 2015   A photograph I took that evening of a 1966 film by Jean-Pierre Melville that I was watching at home, with the a message I sent with it through Facebook messaging, to someone I can’t place, who had written me

04 09 2015   I wanted to work with passages I was underlining lately in some of the longer nonfiction books I have been reading at bedtime. I don’t read long there usually, so a book of 400 pages can take months to finish. To stay focused despite memory drain and to mark ideas or phrasings I might want to find later, I began underlining material in some of these books. I decided this week to pool some of them into a common stream bed to see how that would read. For each of 5 books I began with the last underlining and and worked backward so they appear in reverse order here. I first did a set from the book I had fewest underlinings in, then the next fewest, and so on. I indented roughly proportionally to how far from the left margin the underlining started in a given excerpt. Drawing on each next book, I put a new quotation between each two that were already on the page, so the second book used has about twice as many entered as the first, and the third about twice as many as those two combined, and so on. The books were
           1.   Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, 2011
           2.   William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience,  1901-02
           3.   Jonathan Cott, ed., Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews, 1962-2006
           4.   Jeremy Scahill, Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield, 2013
           5.   Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, 2010

04 10 2015   I scanned and posted two journal pages: the text of the poem published above as 03 23 2015 and the corresponding page of diary which comprised the basis for number of lines per sitting written just afterward. I also typed all of both pages out line by line juxtaposing them one-for-one.

04 11 2015   Texts of all the emails I sent that day, with names obscured

04 12 2015   Lines of the page of the poem that appears above as 03 23 2015 alternating with lines with the following page of the same poem

04 13 2015   Lines of the page of the poem that has been newly introduced in 04 12 2015, without the lines of the poem first introduced as 03 23 2015, but, instead, with the text of the next page of the poem in the journal interspersed between its lines (the dates correspond to the time span in which all these lines were written)

04 15 2015   The journal pages where the lines in 04 13 2015 were written before I typed them into my laptop (the dates on the second page are wrong, they should read “03 01 – 03 09 2015”)

04 16 2015   Notes taken on a folded sheet of paper I carried in my back pocket, mostly during Norma Cole’s poetry reading and Q&A session at University of Maine, Orono, early that evening, on the backside of a list of paintings in a show at the public library in Brooksville, ME, which I attended early on the day of the last poetry reading that I had been, in Bangor a month or two earlier

04 18 2015   Written in my head while I was washing dishes and then written right away so I could post it

04 19 2015   The 04 16 2015 notes are typed out and footnoted

04 20 2015   Things I wrote down on the museum handout over te several hours I spent at Los Angeles County Museum of Art that day while my son was on an overnight pre-matriculation visit to USC scanned that evening at my friend Larry’s house in Ocean Park—I taught him how to use his scanner— and everything typed out too  

04 21 2015   iPhone messaging with Henry Finch in Portland, ME, while I was in Venice, CA, followed by photos I then shot at Holy Guacamole, which I found on Main Street

04 23 2015   Dense effusive note, visible in photos on 04 21 2015, and notes of places I might go with my son when he’s done at the colleges, and notes taken at Henry Finch’s reading at Rock & Art Shop in Bangor a couple months earlier

04 25 2015   Alternating lines of two texts written during the Los Angeles visit: the note in one quadrant of 04 23 2015 and a panel of the writing on brochure on 04 20 2015

 04 26 2015   A new essay in contemporary poetics reflecting on what I’d posted on 04 25 2015 and some other things I’d written

04 28 2015   Interleaving of the work from 04 25 2015 with the work shown on 04 15 2015

05 01 2015   Something written to post same day

05 02 2015   A prose work written in the mid-1980s, further accounted for by the footnote here and a reference in the essay of 04 26 2015

05 03 2015   Email to a listserv I’m on, introducing a blog post by Jeff Kaye, headed by an illustration he used, showing an excerpt from a list of skills and expertise expected from training of Guantanamo Behavioral Science Consultation Team [BSCT] personnel

05 05 2015   Another page transcribed from the same poem as shown in 03 23 2015 above

05 06 2015   The following page of it, also transcribed

05 07 2015   An excited iPhone message to a friend I don’t know well followed by confusing exchange

05 08 2015   My minutes of the meeting of my local peace and justice group, which had been approved and published on line that day

05 09 2015   A poem written same day, based on alternating every other word of the page posted on 05 06 2015 with every other word of the next page in the notebook and then allowing myself to make changes in that text

05 11 2015   The second page used to make the poem of 05 09 2015, and the following page of that poem, both transcribed from manuscript

05 12 2015   An email sent on May 11 to a regional listserv of an organization of psychologists I belong to and a Facebook status update I posted the same evening

05 13 2015   The rest of the poem after the part shown on 05 11 2015, typed out, up to the present, as written in the journal

05 14 2015   Front and back cover and most of the pages (in a continuous run) of a blank book I’ve been writing in since about 2004, when my five-year-old daughter gave it to me – usually writing in the car, a phrase or word or line per page, sometimes more than one page written on right away – unfinished

05 17 2015   Two emails written to a group of psychoanalysts committed to thinking challenging dogma and testing diverse lines of inquiry and response, preceded by a Derrida quote in another member’s initial post, which I responded to, in a thread on the death penalty imposed on the 21-year-old surviving Boston Marathon bomber, my first in response to a following post suggesting that the death penalty may have been felt as a mercy by people grieving or injured through the bomb blast, then another written the next morning in response to a post briskly remarking that many followers in the Third Reich’s Nazi movement had been 18-year-olds, all followed here by a post of the same day to a two-week-long colloquium of an international progressive psychoanalytically oriented organization [IARPP] responsive to an essay called “Contextualizing Attunement within the Polyrhythmic Weave: The Psychoanalytic Samba,” by Steven H. Knoblauch (Psychoanalytic Dialogues, volume 21, number 4, 2011)

05 19 2015   Three more posts to that colloquium followed by an email to the regional listserv I showed a post to on 05 12 2015

05 21 2015   Although these are end notes, the last material to have been prepared for it, this will be the first page people see of this project

This series of posts at annexpress.org, dated 03 10 2015 through to today, 05 21 2015, result from an informal but direct inquiry made by Julian Kabza a couple weeks or so before, suggesting I post something on his press’s website. I said I would think about it. Coincidentally, I had somehow recently discovered this website, or an earlier incarnation of it, and wondered at it, since it showed almost no content at the time – I saw only what I took to be a few chapbook covers. One of the chapbooks I owned and had read, decades earlier. I couldn’t tell whether the press was publishing currently, or soliciting buyers or writers. It was just there. So I was surprised to get a facebook message from Julian asking for new work.

Then I thought of something. I would try to publish a page a day – which I soon realized meant to me, more realistically, every day or so. I planned to put things up written on or near the day I posted them. I wanted the writing to be diverse and unpredictable, to represent the activity of writing, as and in relation to activities, without any specific limits as to what could be posted, so long as it wasn’t harming anyone, as far as I could see. Each new post would appear as Page One, and all previous posts would be available from that page, listed by date. Each would be identified by the date it was posted. Even if these rules were transparently broken, variously, they have held up as rules. In this respect our presentation has almost consistent.

Julian has been kind, generous, clear, informative, and collegial throughout this work. He never asked me to limit the size, frequency or content of my posts or the duration of the project, which remained improvisational. My posts came to him via email at all hours of day or night and were posted the next chance he got. We both had lots other stuff to do, of course, over these two months. Meanwhile, we enjoyed emailing and getting to know one another. For me, this project was a dream come true – a dream I hadn’t realized I’d had (so, like a real dream).

Julian, thank you.

And thank you too, for reading this.

 

 

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