My blog got spammed about a week ago and I got hit with over 200 "Nice Blog" comments complete with links to a site in China. Still haven't figured out how the bot got past the word verification feature.

I was annoyed, to say the least, dreaded dredging through the entire blog just to delete all the spam. 200 posts! But it was a matter of pride /not/ to have the posts there even if they were relatively harmless. So, I started from the beginning of my blog and deleted them one at a time. Oddly, as time went on, I got to glance over thoughts I had four years ago, got to remember what it was like to be a new blogger transplanted from Livejournal, looking for a new place to think and connect. The Anonymous Spammer sent me back in time and I discovered poetry I'd written but never got past those first postings. This got me curious, so I started copying them into a separate document.

My published and 'unpublished' poems total 17. 32 pages. I'm amazed. I started my blog to connect with FilAm poets primarily, and I'll be darned if they didn't rub off on me.

I also discovered that I've had quite a few really cool conversations with FilAm artist/visionaries over the years. Online chats with folks trying to figure out this whole biculturality, heritage, spirituality, history, art thing that occupies my brain most of the time. These 'talks' are a bit harder to capture than the poems. They're sort of not-quite-essays, commentaries on current-at-the-time events, historic in the sense that they contribute to /my/ history and development over the past four years.

I noticed that many of the conversations dropped off just about the time folks started transitioning to Facebook and Twitter. These related but different social media spaces have a sense of immediacy which is cool, but lack the sort of reflective nature of blogs. Realizing that helps me feel a sense of focus for my blog for the future.

In the meantime, I've got 32 pages of poetry on my hands and I haven't even gone 'into the files' for other poems that might fit nicely with these. I know of at least one other poem that was published in 1998 that ought to be accounted for. Then I'll need to print them out and look at them, see if they play well together in the same space. I hope so. I think it would be cool to have them all together in a collection/chap of some sort.

After which, I'll have to go back and see about those conversations, figure out a way to put them altogether somehow.

About a month ago I got the wild idea to take all my old journals and start archiving them by entry date, so all the January 15th entries would be on the same page. See if I could sense some trends or something. The project got too unwieldy and I abandoned it, but obviously the notion of it stayed in my brain pan. After reviewing 4 years of posts, I'm seeing the themes that mean the most to me and even better, how I approach them.

All good things as I slowly approach my second attempt at an MFA program.


Barbara Jane Reyes said...

Hey there Bec, good post. It's "funny" how much we actually do write in blogs. Here I don't mean just our reflections but also actual writing that becomes our editable and eventually publishable pieces. Looks like you have a chapbook length selection of poems here.

Also, I like what you say about the online conversations, and the "problem" of how to capture them in our publishable work. Over time with much writing in a specific direction, I find that the conversations do start to seep in, but not explicitly in the writing. Rather, it's in the way I start forming arguments, or setting parameters for my writing projects etc.

I am thinking about our recent interactions for the Tao Po! poems, in which I'd blog my explanation of what I was trying to do, based upon the assignment. But nowhere in the poems would I explicitly state, "I connect my ancestors' stories with my own." I just let the work show that.

Hope this helps.

Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor said...

Heya Barbara Jane, as always, so great to have you here. :)

I found it quietly "disturbing" how circular a lot of the conversations were in the sense that they presented and worked out "issues" that I still have. I was startled sometimes to go "Oh! So that's what that's all about. Hrm. I'd forgotten I'd worked that to this sort of conclusion." So there was a freshness in remembering what I'd learned back then and yes, that sense of seeping in.

I appreciate best work that can only be realized as a+b+c when it's read deeply. It's something I strive for - I may be writing about "mothering" but heaven help me if I ever say "Mothering is the most--fill in generality here --" Your poetry has always been very visceral to/for me and I've learned much about concreteness from it.

What I suspect I'll be doing is finding the most interesting conversations (to me now) and link their themes to actual past memories and see where that takes me. It's good to know I don't have to start from a cold, empty space, but from a houseful of warm rooms waiting to be furnished.