self(ish)-expression and the dismissal of art.

Ladies, Gentlemen and Remaining Writers,

In the spirit of the holiday, I was inspired by an idea reminiscent of a bartering system for sharing our art. From a brief comment interlude with Blitzken, I was reminded how much I have an affinity for handwriting. I’ve always been enthralled with how someone’s handwriting seems to coincide with their personality and can convey emotion. I don’t put much credit to handwriting analysis, but I still feel something handwritten speaks much louder than something typed. Then it dawned on me how bittersweet WordPress poetry is, in that it is all simply typewritten. A significant portion of what makes poetry (or poetic blogging) an art form is dismissed through this medium.

So to my followers and fellow poets, I make a proposal: a handwritten poetry exchange. As I like to surround myself with art as best I can, I’d like handwritten poems to frame and tack to the walls of my future first-all-by-myself-living-alone house. This house hasn’t happened yet, but it will. I’ll handwrite any poem of mine and mail it by request, but I am a selfish woman. I’d like one back – one of yours of my choosing. Of course, this would mean the requester is comfortable with sharing mailing information.

This sort of thing is completely uncharacteristic, but the thought of a possible handful of poems and/or blog posts handwritten by the author stamped to my fridge is too tantalizing. Any scrap of paper, writing utensil, or style will do. However the poem is meant to be expressed, express it. Or express yourself by whatever means necessary. I hope some of you (especially certain ones of you – yes, I have favorites and no, I’m not sorry) are interested.

– Fountains

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34 thoughts on “self(ish)-expression and the dismissal of art.

  1. If you can find a poem you like, worthy of your admiration, count me in. πŸ™‚
    I have not handwritten something in quite some time. πŸ˜›

    1. Dnim, how could you not be worthy?! I have about a half dozen of your posts open right now as I chew my nails, torn for the choosing. Which poem of mine might you like? Please email me!

      1. Is there a time limit? πŸ™‚ I might need to sharpen up my handwriting, hope you are able to comprehend my hieroglyphics πŸ˜›
        It was just my diminute self-worth seeping through πŸ˜‰ glad there were a few options for you, I have an idea of how to write it artistically just for you.
        I’ll email you by the end of day. Really looking forward to this, both giving and receiving.

  2. Fucking brilliant. Hmmm. That’s perhaps too coarse.
    Nonetheless, it’s a great idea. Regardless of the analysis crap, the handwriting of the person captures a part of the “soul” somehow. The direct link to the inner-author as it were. I would love to exchange with you. For what it’s worth, I would love “like the greats”.
    I think I know your preference, but I’ll not presume.
    kennykensson@gmail.com

  3. Last semester I had to transcribe a Whitman poem β€œI Will Not Descend Among” in three different formats of transcription. The assignment was tough, highly analytical and felt uncomfortably voyeuristic, mainly because Whitman hadn’t finished it for publication. Now, I can’t look at my own handwriting without thinking about the nightmare it would be for someone to transcribe mine. Still, I love your idea! Glad your sex appeal transfers to your dΓ©cor.

    1. Haha, my house is not only decorated with but built upon literature, art and quirkiness in general. πŸ˜› I must say, I am thoroughly disappointed with your association between your handwriting and those transcriptions! I sooo already had one of your poems in mind… πŸ˜›

  4. I’ll get back to you on this…I am tired from doing real work for a change…manual shit…but it would be fun to write out a poem using my left handed chicken scratches.

  5. I handwrite all of my work–always have and always will. Writing for me means writing–a blank page covered with ink, with black blood bled through the hand, which is an extension of the body, which is an extension of the soul. Typing, like driving a car, changes the way one relates to existence–mechanizes it, if you will. I have a problem with that.

    I would definitely like to participate in this. My one problem with this idea is the question of becoming too intentional. I dislike intention. I mean, if I were to set out to handwrite you something, the very idea would have an impact upon how I write it. I would prefer to send you something in which that idea was not present–in other words, something that was written without that idea in mind; and therefore, something that is more truly and purely an embodiment of who I actually am. But maybe part of the romance for you is the idea that someone is writing it with you in mind.

    Unfortunately, there is only one copy of my MSs, so sending the original is kind of out of the question. Perhaps we can find a compromise. How would you feel about me sending a xerox copy of a “page out of my book”, if I include a handwritten note upon it specifically written “for your eyes only”?

    Sorry to complicate things, but then, that’s how I Socratically roll . . . . πŸ˜‰

    1. Complicate away! I’m use to it. πŸ˜‰ Whatever you choose to send is perfect with me. It actually is not important to me at all whether it was written with me in mind, or not. My interest lies solely in the handwriting of it – for the very reasons that you’ve mentioned you handwrite yours. I also agree with you about the intention… I am not sentimentally attached to very many of my own original drafts (strangely enough – would take a bit of explaining to clarify this contradiction) so I’ve sent those when I am able. Nevertheless, the choice is yours. πŸ™‚

      1. Well, I would love to get my hands on an original draft of yours if you have one to part with. If not, whatever you want to send is fine by me as well.

      2. not meant for hands
        hypnagogia
        the fall of the house of fools

        The truth is Fountains, you make such a choice extremely difficult–but if any one of those were available, I would be deeply honored to receive it.

  6. What a strikingly brilliant idea. I always wrote with the idea that the writing itself was as much an expression as the words. I used to attack the paper, caress the paper, cry on it, bleed on it, and pour myself into it. I would volunteer for this, but I am not quite in the major league with these professionals. The idea is quite clever. I envy it πŸ˜‰

      1. Ah yes, there are many kind souls, and you included, who tolerate me quite courteously. For that I am ever so grateful. The world is blessed to have such generous souls. However, I cannot pretend to be a poet, and only claim to be an artist on the merit that expression is art–talent is unnecessary in some respects. I do manage to express on occasion. Perhaps eventually through continued expression I will develop to a level somewhere below you, but finally in visual range. Until then, I am very flattered that you, or anyone, bothers to read my humble offerings. Your encouragement is truly welcomed, especially to a relatively new blogger who never showed writings to anyone until this year. Indeed, I still find it rather strange at times that tragic circumstances pushed me to publish what would have only lived in a shoe box under my bed otherwise. Thank you for your words of exhortation.

      2. I get the feeling that by “professionals” VW maybe referring to “the oldest profession in the world”. πŸ˜‰

      3. Lol, they do say art is a form of prostitution, after all.

        VW, blah blah blah. Before I began this blog in June, only two people had ever read maybe two or three of my poems. I’m a new blogger, as well. Learn to take a damn compliment and get comfortable in your poet’s shoes, already. πŸ˜› If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…

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