One Last Ditch, a print collection of poetry and poetic prose, is being media-shifted into videos! The writer is doing it all himself.
When I was in grade school my friends and I took turns making questionnaires for each other to fill out. One of my favorite things to do was to answer someone else's questions and think of things to ask them and then read their answers because they were almost always completely surprising in one aspect or another.
Which is biographical info which I am not supposed to put in my description but I think it explains why I said most of what I was going to say while constructing the FAQ for One Last Ditch: the movie.s. So most of the informative information is down below. Briefly, what I am doing is making videos out of the poetic pieces I wrote for One Last Ditch, which was published last year by Atelos Press. I have made three so far or that is I have made five but the first two were boring and so do not count so I have made three interesting ones and you can find them at the book's website, onelastditch.com. You'll find the book there too, and you might even find a pleasant surprise.
What I plan to do is pretty much what I have been doing only with better equipment, both hardware like and software like, so that the videos might stand a chance of being screened on something larger than a 15" LCD backlit monitor. For that I need outside funding because I am a man of no means. I would also like to be able to travel a bit and shoot a few frames outside of the city of San Francisco not because one could ever exhaust this place of possible images but because I tend to obsess on the fog and you all can only take so much fog.
Have a look at the videos I beg you. One can be found attached to the video above and the others wait for you at onelastditch.com and I know I said that already but two links are better than one. If you can and want to give please do so. My project expires in 45 days which believe me will go by a whole lot faster than it used to so if you can pledge now, pledge now. At least, I know what happens to all those tabs I leave open to look at more closely "someday" and it involves clicking little x's with regret and resignation. Time is infinite. We are not.
On to the FAQ!
First I liked the way it looked. Then I liked the way it sounded. Then I thought why not I am shifting from one primary medium to another. So there it is. Poetry works like this sometimes but not always.
At times I am not sure whether I am writing poetry but it does seem to me that at least some of the time I get close to something that might be considered poetry in a more or less commonly understood sense. Other times I just write because there is nothing else I can do to make it stop. Either way. I tried to be an academic writer and that worked for a little while. I might do it again sometime. But right now I am doing this. Whatever "this" is.
Video is the Super-8 of the twenty first century. If you do not know what "Super-8" is, go ask your mom or dad. Call them up. Surprise them. It's easy to do--video, that is; you are on your own with whether to call your mother.
I will admit, finally and for the record, that it was not entirely coincidental that I saw Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg shortly before I put together the first of the videos that were really videos and not just me reading into my computer's camera. I was considering doing something interesting with my readings at the time I saw the film so what it did mostly was hit me upside the head with a Yes you can make poetry into moving pictures. And I said "a-ha."
One Last Ditch is a volume of my poetry and poetic short prose pieces that was published last year by Atelos Press, under the aegis of the kind and brilliant Lyn Hejinian. I already have my degree, so I mean that what I say about kindness and brilliance. I showed her the manuscript and she said let me publish it and I said ok. And now it exists as an entity that might sit on a shelf in a library or a study.
So far I have not yet seen a review of One Last Ditch except that Rae Armantrout emailed Lyn to say it was "very good." It is still a little early in the poetry and academic publishing cycle for there to be lots of reviews but mostly I am afraid to look. This is my first ever Real Book.
I have "consumer grade" gear and it shows. Depending on how generous you all are, I will procure things like a real video camera or the equivalent, real editing software or its equivalent, real high-speed storage space or its equivalent, and possibly a couple of train rides to the Mojave Desert--or its equivalent--to shoot footage in one of my most favorite of places. When I am done there I might head for Olympic National Park but I am trying to think modestly here at first.
The overall grand design is to finish videographing the book much as I have been, only better, at a rate of one to two pieces per video. I hope to be able to finish this in about a year and then what I might do with those videos is open-ended but I am enjoying making them so much that I have wanted to run up and down the street in my underwear crying watch my videos! but I would never do that because Body Issues. However I am at least considering applying to have one or more of them screened at an independent film festival or two. For that I simply must graduate from iMovie.
That is hard to answer but here are a few things that might be pertinent. I studied Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley and while there caught a fever from reading Gertrude Stein and recalling my admiration for what was called in the 1980s "Language Poetry."
I cannot tell you where I learned to shoot pictures except everywhere I have been, mainly. I like to take photos of parts of things. This may be related to one of my diagnoses but for now I am not going to go on at great length about those. I have some. That will do.
I lived presenting as female for the first thirty five years of my life. As a young adult I identified as a dyke as though it were its own gender and perhaps it is or was. Now I look male and am much happier in my skin but I have no good name for my gender except that it involved transitioning and as far as I can tell I am still in transit to a degree. It might seem obvious, but hormonal and surgical "reassignments" have given me lots to write about.
I taught for a little while. I do not teach anymore. I have what are known as "invisible disabilities" but I think they are plain as day.
Please do! Explaining myself is something I have necessarily become very good at. Prepositions are fine at the end of sentences. There is a link up at the top of the page that reads "send message" so there you go it is all you need.
pledged of $2,479 goal
seconds to go
Aug 18, 2011 - Oct 2, 2011 (45 days)
Pledge $1 or more
For a buck you will get a link from which you can download images from the book cover and from the project in a variety of high-resolution formats. Creative Commons licenses!Estimated delivery: Oct 2011
Pledge $5 or more
This nets you the above link plus a digital print of "jim broadcast. opt to descend." freshly minted and delivered to your door or mailbox or burrow.Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $10 or more
A tenner will earn you the selfsame link to which the $1's and $5's get access plus a DVD of the three videos that already exist. There will be a print in the envelope too.Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $25 or more
These stalwart backers can choose between an autographed copy of One Last Ditch, deliverable as soon as this puppy is put to bed, or an autographed DVD of the ten videos I am proudest of, once that many exist. You will also receive the aforementioned link to the pretty picture of Ida.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Anyone so bold as to pledge this much will receive both the ten-video DVD and an autographed copy of One Last Ditch. And my admiration for at least ten years.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Whoo! This much earns you an eternal place in my heart, an autographed copy of One Last Ditch, and enough DVDs to hold all the videos. I will also throw in a print or two.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
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0 backers Limited (8 of 8 left)
Oh my stars and elastic sock holders! But that is not what I will send you. Book, autographed; complete video collection, autographed; a triptych of digitally printed poems and images; and I will hand-draw you a certificate redeemable for one coffee date with me, good through the rest of my life. That should give us plenty of time to see to it that we are in the same city at least once before the end of time. If you come to San Francisco and I am still here, I will take us to Philz.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
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1 backer Limited (4 of 5 left)
??!!! First I will need you to call the EMTs to resuscitate me. Once I am back on my feet you will receive everything the $500 pledge would bring you, plus I will write at least fifty lines for you on a subject we will choose collaboratively. The piece will be hand-lettered and signed and complemented with digital artwork printed on acid-free cardstock. You can pick it up at our coffee date or I will ship it to you. Your choice.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012