Distribution Automatique

Tuesday, January 13

Ron Silliman's Links

At at art opening at Cue a few months ago (Cynthia Miller-April to May, 2008, curated by Ron] I told Ron Silliman how much I was enjoying his link lists and asked him- thinking I wouldn't blame him if he didn't answer me- how he does it. Come on- does Macy's tell Gimbel's? (that reference might go right by some of my readers). But lately I've been noticing that I haven't missed going through Ron's link lists for a very long time.

Often when I talk with a poet at length I feel like writing, and I remember going home and putting up a post about Goodreads, a site I was enjoying quite a lot just then.

Looking through today's repast on Ron's links I read Adam Fieled and others on the post avant, Tom Mandel talking to Tom Beckett about autobiography and death, the fact that Jack Spicer's new collection is sold out (damn, I meant to be a first printing of that!), Jerome Rothenberg on Emma Bee's passing, about the Cleave Anthology, today's exchanges on Kenny Goldsmith, the latest thoughts on lango, SoQ, flarf, Mesmer, Kasey Mohammad, Bolano, Wittgenstein, Poe, Derrida and so much more. The thing is, I enjoy knowing about the links I don't open and I usually come back to open most of them by the end of the week. On a good week, anyway.

Soon fait accompli will reach its 6th birthday and I have to admit I don't have anywhere near the enthusiasm for blogging that I felt when I started this blog in February 2003. I don't read very many blogs regularly anymore though now and again I have the occasion to feast on them for a few hours at a time. Still, there is something about Ron's link list that fascinates me. I'm beginning to read them as poems in themselves. As in reading any poem, I might pause on a particular passage and read more deeply into it. In this case, however, I will simply open the link and read the post it opens. If I have a bit of time, and the link is to another blog, I might start surfing as in days of old. But that is rare. But what never happens is that I stop reading through the whole link list until I've finished it. As with any absorbing poem, I always leave wanting to read more thereby looking forward to the next one, usually in a day or two.

I read Ron's link list the way I used to read the New York Times, which I read rarely now, beyond the few headlines and stories on Google. Since I happen to be married to a total news junkie, I have nearly every significant story reported to me with either wit or outrage or both during dinner.

I'm trying to understand why I find Ron's link lists so...no other word will suffice here except... soothing, except they are soothing with a good dose of excitement in the old sense of "something is happening but you don't know what it is/do you Mr Jones?" But now I wax nostalgic. Lets face it, I'm addicted, and they are free, legal and non fattening.

Ron's link lists are the best of what blogging has always been to me. A feeling of hanging out in the poet's cafe, running into lots of familiar friends, making new acquaintances, catching up on the gossip, and leaving with plenty to think about.