My friend Jake Armerding makes a blend of Folk and Bluegrass music that's whip-smart, technically impressive, and often-surprisingly literary. A few years ago (before the advent of Kickstarter) he invented The Truth and Beauty Fund, as a way to make supporting art easy and regular, and followed that idea up with the Jake CSA box. It works like one of those regular vegetable-delivery schemes you get in the better cities: the farmer gets seed-money up front, and you, the subscriber, get a selection of the produce at harvest time. Instead of rutabagas and too many beets, of course, what you get with the Jake box are pre-release songs, fresh from the fields.
This year, the offering was expanded yet again, to include the artistic set in which this well-travelled songster runs, and among whom I'm proud to be numbered. This year, instead of just a perfectly-crafted folk-pop tune for your fee, you get said tune plus a hand-thrown pot, a watercolor painting, a rutabaga, or whatever pairing the rains and fates have ordained. In addition to the surprise of what been brewing in the studio, you get the surprise of the pairing: some artist working in a genre you might not otherwise seek out.
When I walked out among the hedgerows, all I found were these poems: thrice this year then, CSA subscribers have found/will find in their delivery boxes, a new poem of mine, which has not been published in any form, including in my chapbook Lunatic, to keep the song company. For those who aren't big on reading, let alone reading poetry, I include an mp3 file in which I read the offering for you, with some explanatory remarks up front, sort of like I do over at Poems for the People.
Anyway, it's a beautiful project, even if it smacks of socialism--come on, art supported by the people? What is this? A confidero-marxist fever-dream? --and it's what I'm up to recently. Check it out here.