Tuesday, January 6, 2015


The sixth of January being the Feast of Epiphany, aka “Twelfth Night,” aka “the twelfth day of Christmas,” we’re officially launched, feast-days-wise, into the New Year.

I suppose it’s time for a few resolutions. About the blog anyway.

So . . . what to do now, having done that “song a day” thing? I’d like to maintain a rate of production less frequent than daily. I’ll miss the daily grind, somewhat, but that may make for lengthier posts when they do occur. But about what?

I’ve come up with four possible “topic areas,” which, if all goes well, should more or less translate into once-a-week postings. Today’s post would count in the general area of “other”: posts on posting—so meta!—posts on anything from the weather to the political climate to anything that makes itself grist for the mill.

Another area will be comments on something I read recently, whether a book or an essay or an article or some one else’s posting. The only directive is that it be “text based.”

The other two topics I hope will be recurring: a poem of the month and a film of the month.

For the films, I’ll most likely have recourse to that list of 50 films since 1970 I compiled a few years ago. I posted—in 2012—on the 10 that occurred first alphabetically (under the tag “Whatcha Watchin?”), but feel certain I’ll drop that approach, preferring to post on whichever film strikes my fancy next. I may also depart from the list if I feel moved to post about a recent release or some ancient great that cries out for comment. If I get ambitious I may post about more than one film per month, which also holds for “poem of the month.” Which I guess is a way of saying that I’ll post about at least one film and one poem per month—resolved! More than that will depend on all the variables in life that may arise. Posting about a song for each day in the year was, however irksome it might be now and then, easier than posting about a film or poem. Songs are like the air we breathe, aren’t they?  Poems and films require more attention.

Looking at the year ahead I’ve selected likely candidates, poem and film-wise, for each month. But much of the success of these resolutions will depend upon how well inspiration strikes. Writing about songs was more or less an extension of all the sharing of music that goes on, whether via tapes or mp3s, and that’s long been a preoccupation of mine—a hobby, I suppose. And while viewing films is a nice leisure activity, writing about films is actually a kind of work. Even more so, I’d say, when it’s not a review. A review—and I do lots of theater reviewing—has a fixed purpose and so is pretty straight-forward, rhetorically. Writing about films as a kind of interactive experience, drawing on past viewings and one’s current critical appraisal, assumes a different perspective. It’s personal, and the purpose of the list of 50 was to hand-pick the films I could claim a personal relation to without too much stress and strain. But that shifts, doesn’t it? What’s more, the 50 are all films I enjoy watching over and over (that was a criteria, as discussed at the outset), but it may be more compelling to write about a film that annoyed the shit out of me, just to have recourse to words to combat the movie’s awfulness.

For poems, the selection will be based on my favored poets, trying to work the main ones in, much as I worked in my favorite musical artists last year. But no repeats with poems! And I would hope that the discussion of a poem will leave me out of it more than is the case with films and songs. Poem posts should be all about the words on the page—which is a way of saying that I’ll try to be as New Critical as I can.

Most of the poets chosen, I have no doubt, will be dead. But, even so, I don’t think the theme of ghosts, which kept creeping up on me last year, will apply. In part because, in New Critical fashion, I won’t be concerned very much with the author nor with some time-bound version of myself as listener/appreciator. And that may result in a more notational or elliptical manner of writing. We’ll see.

As usual, there won’t be much gossip. Or many trending topics. If possible, the posts of 2015 may be even further removed from the year in which they occur than last year’s posts. Though not entirely. I expect there will be occasions to take notice of our contemporary situation, if only to situate the here and now.

Happy New Year!

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