The last year on drmstream[writing]

by DRM


This blog is an inadvertent place, neither commonplace book nor publishing platform, disorderly in approach but earnest in intention, a balance of self provocation, hopeful proclamation and intermittent distraction.

Despite its irresolute intent, drmstream[writing] frames a relationship for a kind-of writer and a kind-of audience.  There is a group of you — a few hundred or so– who track what happens here with courteous interest and occasional passion.

This is what we accomplished together in the past year.

I posted on drmstream[writing] 68 times.

There were 7705 visitors who came 10,157 times and viewed 14,304 pages.  Three-quarters of those visitors came for the first time and very few came more than once.

Six cities drove the most visits:  New York, Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, Dublin and London.

I’ve shared in the past why work ends up here: this is a place where I am forced to stay accountable to my creative temper.  I’ve shared the circumstances when that temper has cooled, and how, as I’ve progressed in life, I’ve come to understand that those periods of cooling are the root of a non-specific but insistent discontent.  Each time I post on this site,  I’m stoking the flickering flames of creativity.

More often than not the pieces here are fragments, unworked and incomplete.  If I post too much, I lose track of the work that I am doing privately.  If I post too little, I lose confidence and start to hear things like the throw-away judgment my mother once rendered, saying “You don’t have the makeup to be an artist.”  Those are the little splashes of doubt that can easily quench the flames of confidence.

Sometimes I manage to string together a series of words that resonate for Google, and a lot of the people who end up on this site come to one of  a handful of posts that appear prominently in Google searches:

Snow was general all over Ireland (published March 18, 2010) is a little rumination on the language used in the last paragraph of James Joyce’s The Dead, one of my favorite pieces of elegiac writing ever.  I look at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world  (published September 4, 2010) is an appreciation of a Frank O’Hara poem.  The three other posts that get a lot of Google hits are More on the uncanny valleyThe wire spool table; and, The story behind the baby with the cigarette and the monocle.

Over the past year, there were five posts that attracted a larger than normal readership.  When I went back to look at each, I could see three themes that resonated:  the search for identity, the intensity of love, and the simple power of a vivid image.

Here are the five posts:

The boy who became a pastor

The graveyard

Recognizing someone is complicated a conversation about love

To leave a signal a message of my own

The seeing of not seeing from Alison Jardine


The last post was in many ways the most personal.  After two years of anonymity, I shared my real identity.  The act felt more momentous to me than it was to anyone else, but I guess that’s always the way of uncovered secrets.

I’ve said this before, but I owe the few hundred of you who read these short pieces regularly a great debt of gratitude.  You provide me that validation that I struggle to provide myself: that my creative work is a worthy venture, that I can work at Art with confidence that it is true to myself, and that I can sometimes hit on something that will move a reader.

When I was young I used to play my saxophone on the street.  When people stopped to listen I knew that I was making something more than noise.  drmstream[writing] is that street corner and when you stop by, I can remind myself that it is good to write, that I am made to do it, and that whatever comes from it will be a bonus.