about the Bod Library:
~~~~~~~~the place, the site, the person(s), the idea, the purpose~~~~~
The physical Bod is more or less located in northern New Mexico’s San Miguel County, spread between adjacent buildings in town & another 20 miles north (at Dragon Mountain). The website, by contrast, travels wherever you are. What the whole Bod is (including the virtual) may be partly defined by: what we’re not; what we have; what we’re doing; who we are &/or have been; current structure, &/or what we become in passing on.
In theory, we could go on forever about what we’re not, but one example is Oxford’s Bodleian Library, which some of its friends shorten to nick the Bod name, in which case, we’re the OTHER Bod–remote, far from the mainstream, down a usually locked drive (open by appointment only), with no sign out front. As Emerson noted, however, a squirrel that is far smaller than a mountain may yet have some edge when it comes to cracking nuts. A lot depends on the nuts.
Our nuts may be far smaller and more limited in scope than the Bodleian’s, the Bishop O’Dowd, or Books-On-Demand, yet still have things these other BODs” don’t, with kernels of nourishment for a far smaller (& more select) number of critters. Squirrels, nuts & mountains all have parts to play in the whole, and in our case, a nut might note that Dragon Mountain is the Bod Library’s single biggest holding, even bigger than the Bodleian in raw acreage, being mostly nature’s living library. Using nature’s dynamic filing systems, visitors may find workshops wherever they look &/or listen.
Beside the tiny creekside observation cabin, the Dragon Mountain branch includes a wild land library with a life of its own, which we access just by extending attention. The influences from this place may be found in all our projects from about 1976 on, therefore, especially after “Inspiration” was added in 1990–home to the Tagore & Basho collections, plus the bird song & creek music streaming-archives depository.
Most books (which we can no more count than we can the birds sharing office space) are now housed in two buildings in town, including Special Collections & Archives devoted to poetry, games, ecology, Chautauqua, Asian writing, travel writing, & a variety of individual writers…, as further described in other drop-down menus (watch your foot).
If you would define us by what we have in physical space, your first impression would probably be either closed or clutter. And your second & third, too. Besides shelved books, files, etc., stacked archives compete with walking & squeezing-by room, art studio in motion, aviary in full chatter, spider & family living space, etc. Thus no sign out front, no “open” hours–except by web, where, you can see what we “have” at any given moment for yourself–all but a minute percentage available here only.
[Our physical archives include some unique materials & collections, plus many works of modest circulation, as well as many others widely available elsewhere. To the degree the Bod opens its wings, rooms, resources & collections to on-line access, the physical Bod becomes less relevant, except as a place to work from. Nevertheless, it includes our private staff (Yours Crudely), offices, galleries, studios, aviaries, lofts, rivers, mountains, skies….]
You may know us also by what we do, what we’ve done, and what we have to do. The most relevant of these to virtual visitors will be found in what’s up & what could be coming up soon, potentially in response to your expressed interests, making site visitors part of the Bod’s L-O-L network’s developing self-definition. As you can see from the many rooms, wings & annexes, our self-reference staff often takes the still unfinished Short Attention Span Suspension Bridge to work.
With suggestible exits, responsive directions, & unpredictable scenic by-pass loops, the Short Attention Span Bridge is always in progress, even in retreat, non-working seasons, & left in mid-hang, leaping out into the 2-B continued zone….
As a legal footnote, the Bod Library structure is currently a division of Mapa Systems, a sole proprietorship operating in New Mexico since 1979, though also a new enterprise, albeit with some inventory & assets from older divisions, e.g., Land of Enchantment Game Company; Land of Enchantment Poetry Theater/traveling bookstore…. The game company portfolio includes a variety of original game designs, patented structures, etc. Though Poetry Theater & Chautauqua work ended in 2007, the “bookstore” occasionally still makes a special order on behalf of a project or friend.
Lack of reportable revenue from Mapa Systems divisions simplifies accounting, and makes the transition from business activity to creative obsession that much easier. It may be that the virtual library will offer a gift shop page one day &/or delete it the next. In the meanwhile, we continue to build out in the virtual realm with nothing to sell, neither product nor ad space, in a business plan based on the conviction that someday soon, working together, we will double our readership in a flash (“from 1 to 2,” if you’re here).
Being by nature (as well as nurture) network-minded, we become more so by means of a variety of limited partnerships & collaborations, starting with a single reader & extending to include Bod Library’s core architecture of center, wings & annexes, currently 5 sites open to visitors: bodlibrary.com (poetry, music, ecology, galleries, self-reference); .org (posts, history-time-&-mind, special archives); .info (Basho & oku no hosomichi), & .net (game theory, market dynamics, master class in rhetoric, thought & writing).
The fifth is www.mirror-times-mirror.net, for access to the unlimited resources, entities, event information, & cultural resources of the Peninsula Independent Press Association, its members, publications, random files, deletions, hard-drives, data dumps, excerpts, cuts, clips, & piles. As a PIPA Depository, the Bod’s Annex for Humor & Media may eventually find a sensible way to organize ridiculous material. For now, the best it can do is let through &/or put up bits & pieces gleaned from the likes of: The M T Mirror Times Mirror Review, Gopher Brokerage Bulletin, The Awful Wall’s Treat Urinal, Bao Lo’s (half-baked) Time-Life-Weight-&-Fortune Cookie Monthly (just two bits), & the Mishugunah Peninsula’s own BOD: Business & Organization Directory.
[This BOD does contain ads, as well as puff pieces, features on entrants & exits, exposees, warnings, qualifications, recommendations, & disclaimers, armchair adventures you can enjoy without leaving your body or meal source. Ads & promotions are thoroughly vetted by Press Association staff, “whenever there’s a chance,” and if money, gifts or favors ever influence editorial content beyond making it more informed, the editorial “we” don’t know anything about it, and no revenue has passed go yet to reach Bod Library. We would love our Alice’s Inn Cider just as much & Dick’s Random Pocket Pinhead Dictionary, too.]
Busy with building the site itself, & lacking no capital, we have not yet processed gaps in the initial business plan, e.g., lack of directly related revenue, which in the past came from a mix of translation royalties, publications, re-print licenses, literary prizes & fees, plus product sales (cards, cds, chapbooks, books, photos), all heavily dependent on the larger, modest amount derived from talks, performances & workshops no longer being offered.
How can even a virtual L-O-L (Library-On-Lokoweed) operate with no revenue? you ask. Who said we had no revenue? Only no directly related revenue. Ironically, the idea that we have no revenue is entirely a fiction of the actual tax code, which makes arbitrary distinctions between personal investment income of various sorts & sole-proprietorship operating expenses. Even where game-company costs went into making original material with educational “market-based themes,” for example, the expenses weren’t deductible from market-based revenue these simulations helped generate.
Also, some previously “booked” revenue originally entailed a personal sense of commitment to follow-up, though today’s costs can’t be retroactively deducted from the prior revenue. A big enough company, foundation or other NGO might bridge these quirks of the tax code to their benefit, while our figures are too small to bother, or warrant an actual accountant rather than the virtual-accounting-download we rely on.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, just pointing out the obvious. Non-enterprise income covers our costs, albeit not deductible because not tied to an identifiable revenue source. Nor is generating such a revenue source a priority, particularly where doing so might compromise the higher priority we put on the values of editorial independence, integrity of perspective, and straightforward relations with reader(s), if any.
Why would we want to “monetize our space,” when its primary business isn’t to generate revenue? For now, then, we plug along, serving life & library without distinction, except at tax time, when market income & market-game expenses must be arbitrarily separated.
Retiring from traveling circuits (e.g., New Mexico Humanities Council’s Chautauqua Circuit & Speakers Catalog, plus independent Poetry Theater events) has considerably shifted the income mix. Reductions in fees & sales have been more than made up for, however, with benefits from social security, retirement accounts & investment income (as enhanced, we believe, from our market game & modeling experience).
New channels of creative exchange have developed in the meanwhile, giving rise to the Bod Library idea long implicit in the pre-virtual life, where making presentation material more readily accessible was always an unspoken part of the live exchange with Chautauqua audiences, fellow poets, & market-gaming seminar members alike.
For biographical background, we may trip, dive, fall, plunge & plummet into a self-reference drop-down section one of these days, to flesh out the persons behind the Bod [trumpets, maestro], including Senior Archivist & Legend in His Own Mind, Señor Yours Crudely, who once upon a very long time ago dreamed dust-moted days away in his grandmother’s actual lending library in Revere, where books rented out for 2-cents a day (except those under the counter, which went for a nickel).
Yes, it’s true, our “Revered founder,” currently Chief Archivist, Master Copywriter & Janitorial Flunky 1st class was imprinted with the library idea early, living over “Ma’s” lending library, 48 Shirley Avenue, Revere [pronounced Reh-veah], MA., just north of Boston. But we have more important things to upload at the moment than rabbit-holed memories. And we have repeated some themes already past their worth.
Besides, the Idea of the Bod transcends structure, place, and person, what we have, do, & have done, without depending any less on each for embodiment. This idea may be approached on various levels, e.g., basement, ground, mezzanine, upper & rooftop, or you can take the random-access freight elevator & see where it lets you off.
Bod Library Purpose [as stated in its own L-O-L Charter]: 1. to generate insight, expand understanding, motivate enlightenment, provide pleasure, spread joy, promote right action, inspire good work–or in the absence of these, trigger a good laugh now & again; 2. make more or less existing Bod work, thought & play more available, including select bits, excerpts, & random snippets, as well as web-based &/or limited print editions (distributed by publisher or fortune cookie); 3. archive custodial materials; 4. make & number lists, including lists of lists & bibliographies; 5. shuffle virtual card catalogs, & deal Bod Library Holdem; 6. give the archivist something to do on his way out, including a voice in the silence, a sense of connection in the solitude; 7. go on re-figuring what our purpose is, in whatever work’s at hand.
Bod Library Purpose [as re-figured at some other level]: 1. To compose a novel in the form of a library-on-line (l-o-l), with its distinctive architecture of connected pages, rooms, sites, wings & annexes; 2. To fill (& in some cases over-fill) these pages, rooms, sites, wings & annexes with mostly original content found here for the first time &/or only place, along with a few illustrative &/or creative commons materials; 3. To include, as content of this novel in the form of a library, filling these rooms & pages, a variety of genres, forms, approaches, subjects, themes & periods of special interest; 4…..
Functional aims grow out of guiding principles, interests, approaches, & perspectives, as reflected in particular projects. We remain especially interested in stimulating ecological understanding, whole-system thinking & insightful awareness; generating pleasure & surprise; evoking smiles in the sympathetic & an occasional guffaw in all (“the more the merrier”), starting with Yours Crudely.
2 b continued….