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Rachel Blau DuPlessis’s 2008 and 2009 Tapa Notebook — page 29
[ Text:But is there another mechanism? / could I simply cite donor lines / to the side [of Draft 96] at key places? // TRY. // ? // [long line drawn on the page] // and this notebook, if I had / the guts right now, should probably / be entitled // IS SIXTH REALLY LAST // ? // 14 Jan 09 ]
RBD gloss: This entry alludes, in personal shorthand, to two of the mechanisms of Drafts as these formal thoughts developed heuristically and were carried out during the years of writing this work. One is ‘donor lines‘ — that is, citations from prior drafts along the same horizontal line, e.g. phrases or lines from poems 1, 20, 39, 58, 77 will contribute something to poem 96.
The second mechanism is a numerical postulate: that the whole of Drafts will consist of six groups of 19 poems each. Draft 96 is the first poem of the sixth group of Drafts. Therefore this oblique moment asks — is the project called Drafts really going to end when the sixth group of nineteen poems is completed?
These are scans of pages of a Tapa Notebook, filled out by American poet Rachel Blau DuPlessis for the University of Auckland Library. It ponders Rachel’s experiences writing in 2008 and 2009. For more of this backstory, see here. The word ‘tapa’ refers to the kind of dyed patterned cloth (made from the paper mulberry tree) shown left, and on the front cover of the notebook, an honorable practice popular in Polynesia. (See Wikipedia) Most spreads of this notebook have a blank verso (left hand page), except for 7L and 7R. Blank verso pages are not shown; usually only the recto (right hand) page is shown.