Tuesday, February 27, 2007

fumbling toward anthology

in the couple of hours since i set up this blog, i have been asking myself why i wanted it and what makes it anything but a waste of (cyber)space (even if the latter is, yes, nonrivalrous and thus unwastable). mostly, who cares? if it isn't a voyeuristic peek into my underwear drawer, and it isn't a direct link to the newest music/tech/gossip/etc., and it isn't a droll snarky hipster journal and it definitely isn't a profound theoretical exploration of anything hyperacademic, so what?

i think the answer lies in the aspiration of this project, collecting poems that cluster around ideas about what law is and what lawyers do. bookstores are full of anthologies, poems by african-american women or poems by san franciscans or poems about fathers or poems about dogs. the internet lends itself to all those thematic and textual connections, and amazon users post booklists and pandora users create songlists and blogs boast sometimes exhaustively specific blogrolls. poetry is harder to round up without either massive concordances or interactive indexing or until googleprint follows through with its fantastic/sinister plans (depending on whom you ask, and more on that later). unless i'm missing something rather basic, the ways to find all the poems about chocolate are basically to a)read all the poems you can get your hands on and/or b) ask all the readers and poets you know where the chocopoetry they know can be found. several years ago i tried to compile a chunk of poems about sleep and sleeplessness, of which there are plenty. too shy to survey the nation, i paged through a whole lot of collections and found a handful and drew a few (to me) intriguing lines connecting them, but i was acutely aware of just how many poems i was missing. i had barely barely barely scratched the surface of insomniac poems, and so i was disappointed.

lawyerverse is fumbling toward anthology, with apologies to sarah maclachlan. look at what you've got on your shelf and post what you find. the more pieces we track down, the sooner we can talk about what they're saying to one another and to law.

now there's just the pesky problem of copyright...

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