out of letters…

Now this is the bookmaking i remember: running through a myriad of ideas, watching the clock, waiting until one finally falls into place.

I had a fantastic pair idea for “all that empty space” and the book for this week. But, once realized that this week’s book would more than likely be constructed via one of the new techniques we learned in class, it began falling apart. I held out hope that i could still make it work, but then i couldn’t find any graphics that would work, or at least do my idea justice.

So…back to the drawing board.
I journaled out an idea that could be cool (matchbook/stab-bound combo with accordion fold), but the logistics of it also fell flat. I couldn’t figure out how to make it cohesive…and i didn’t know what words i could use for it. So, once again, back to the drawing board.
(this version would have represented a experience i had a about a month ago: i found out where i was inside of myself. Wow…that sounds cryptic. Lemme try again: i have often imagined that part of my internal landscape is a vast plain. I feel like i just as often am off wandering around in it, directionless and somewhat lost…or at least not readily found. About a month ago, out on a walk, i kind of stumbled onto where i was on that plain. I found myself. The book would have folded out into that field…to an extent).

But, anyway, that didn’t pan out.
Buy now it was like tuesday night, and i needed to have an idea. So, in the throes of a semi-last minute brainstorm, i started extrapolating what “found” meant to me. And found poetry came to mind. I call it “redacted poetry”. Others probably know it as “blackout poetry”.
I love found poetry. To look at an existing body of prose and find a poem hiding inside of it. The process feels very similar to the way haiku come to me: looking at something ordinary and usually mundane and finding the small, quiet beauty that rests inside of it.
So, found poetry: good start. But what source material would i find poems in. Then it hit me: i have to use the book that originally shed light on my internal plain. I have to use Letters to a Young Poet. If poems are hidden in any writing, it’s Rilke’s letters. Hell, it’s not even hiding most of the time.

But, that was it. His letters. Then it was just a matter of picking the right compliments of paper and embroidery floss (i bought $7 of it yesterday at Michael’s!).
I decided to stick with the matchbook/stab-bound hybrid. I love the intimacy of the matchbook. I really attracted to the idea things that open into a larger space. There is something dreamlike to such objects or ideas. It’d be like opening a door in a hallway and finding a forest beyond it. Or, you know, the TARDIS.
I am also really attracted to the self-contained/protected vibe of matchbooks. They feel like the book equivalent of a shut door.
As for the stab-bound aspect, i…just really love the way it looks. I mesh really well with Asian aesthetics, especially japanese. There’s something so peaceful, but respectful and contemplative about books that are stab-bound. They feel japanese, and i really enjoy that.
Looking at stab-bound books, i get the sense that they contain great space (a quiet, peaceful space), and that coalesces rather nicely with the feeling i get when i imagine my internal plain.

I had some minor issues with glue-dampness seeping through to the next page, but i stemmed the problem….at little bit too late, but i’ll know for next time.
I also need to work on my x-acto knife skills a little more. But, for having to cut out each little text block like 2 or 3 times, it’s not as bad as it could be.

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1 comment
  1. meredithpurvis said:

    I enjoyed your book for this week, and I certainly understand what you mean about struggling for ideas. Sometimes, a book concept just lands in my lap, but far more often I wander around lost for quite some time before I get it all pulled together. But, even though you struggled for a bit, your book turned out nicely. And, also, kudos for working a mention of the TARDIS into your blog post. 🙂

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