One Year Anniversary
At this point, I have mixed feelings about this blog. Obviously, I derive some joy, or at least satisfaction, out of maintaining it. I'm not a masochist. I like thinking and talking about Asian-American poetry, and I certainly wasn't getting enough of it at the same time last year. The blog has given me an outlet to share my thoughts on Asian-American poetry with anyone who happens to come across it. That's been cool. And I'm grateful for all the people who have stopped by, read my thoughts, and/or commented on them. Thanks. It's nice to know that there are people out there interested in Asian-American poetry, that you're not some freak with an interest that no one shares.
On the other hand, this blog is clearly, how do you say?...different. This blog is not about me. To a certain extent, all blogs are not completely representative of the people behind them, but this one has been even more of an act of ventriloquism than your average blog. Unlike most other bloggers, I don't talk about my life, which makes it difficult to get to know me through this blog. There are no pictures of myself, my pets, or my house plants. There are no links to other blogs. There isn't really much of a developed personal identity here. Plus, I've experimented with different authorial voices, which doesn't help with trying to establish a more personal connection. That's not necessarily bad. The focus has primarily been on Asian-American poets and poetry. The main goal of this blog has been to draw attention to matters of interest involving Asian-American poetry, and I feel that I've been fairly successful in this respect.
But sometimes I've wanted an understanding that I know would be virtually impossible to get out of this blog. A personal understanding. It's virtually impossible with this blog, because I would have to reach out first, and it would be against the nature of this blog. I'd have to talk about myself and my life, which may or may not be interesting, but would definitely detract from the discussion on Asian-American poetry. I'd probably have to be less blunt, provocative, and critical. The critic, in particular, needs a certain level of detachment. I'm not exactly sure why I've kind of painted myself into this corner, because I do enjoy blogs that are about people and their personal thoughts and emotions, probably more than single-issue blogs on average. If I ever start another blog, it most likely won't be single-issue. I'd show my true personality, which is not reflected on this blog.
In certain respects, Roger Pao the blogger is so different from me that it's almost funny. It's almost 180 degrees from who I am, and I'm in on a joke that only the very few readers who know me in real life can possibly get. For starters, I hardly ever say anything bad about anyone. I'm nice to people. Also, I'm quiet and shy. In a crowded room, I don't attract attention. I don't share my opinions with strangers. I'm sensitive to other people's feelings, and I'm into patience and compromise. My sense of humor is usually one of the later things that people learn about me. I care about people and my friends, and my friendships usually last a long time, etc.
In a way, the blogger is kind of like the Wizard of Oz. Roger Pao the blogger definitely aspires to be the Oz of Asian-American poetry. The blogger wants his towering emerald green presence to cast a shadow over Dorothy, the Tin Man, and all the pauvre munchkins. I'm kind of jealous of the blogger, of the confidence, bravado, and swagger that I lack. The blogger is bolder, more out-there, less insecure.
But in some respects, I am also the blogger. The two are not irreconcilable. The voices on this blog are my own. And that's sort of scary! I mean, I think that the blogger is bold, but I wouldn't even know if I'd want to be classmates or co-workers with this blogger, let alone actually be him. Still, I have a certain personality, and even though I may deny its existence on this blog, its presence, I imagine, marks pretty much every post.
As many bloggers have considered with their respective blogs, I've considered putting the brakes on this blog and ending it altogether. After all, the blog does take up some time and energy that could be put to other uses. So I have thought about bringing it to a close...Well, I hate to break it to you people, but that's not going to happen any time soon! The Asian-American poetry blog shall continue. I've still got at least one major project up my sleeve, and I've still got more opinions to share about Asian-American poetry. So happy holidays to all, and I hope you'll come back for more in the days, weeks, and months ahead.