Friday, June 04, 2004

Sleepless nights at the Shire and another round for everyone...

Blog of gratitude. Been Blogging for a little over a week now and what a blessing it has been to have a creative discourse with individuals whose spirit and intellegence far supersedes that of your own. To read Daniela's poetry and hear all about her vivacious cultural life. To hear about Arya's spiritual sojourns to wow, just about about everywhere on the spiritual atlas and have her give my fourth-dimesional heart a psycho-analytical "Sissy-fissy" rendering gratis. To have keyhole links to other Bahai's and to squint into their own cosmos...It's really been a blessing. Before blogging I had approx. zippo contact with Bahai's my own age, which is really no big deal on one hand, but of course, its nice to have people who are also visionaries tucked into your life. People who are also dreamers. People who allow you to be your crazy self because you love their crazy selves. And people who don't look at you funny or judge you when you say that Persian word for "God" and "Light". So, from the outset of this blog, allow me to bleed my gratitude: The pleasure has been all mine, my friends. Lets go make some more sweet music together.

Cool creative writing teacher Lee Newton stopped in to see me yesterday. I told him about my recent grad-school tour. Told him how I was the youngest person at the Fitzgerald Theatre for Prairie Home Companions 30th anniversary show. Told him how I gave my extra-ticket away to the box office prior to the show b/c the honeynut-wild eyed fair skin girl who I had hoped would accompany me on my tour opportunely had other plans. Told him about the spare seat next to me in the theatre and how a portly, roast-beef chinned man started taking off his clothes in bushy heaps, and how, at the end of the broadcast, the seat where I had hoped my heart would be reclined was nothing more than a mountaneous heap of linen sweaters and even sneakers (?).

Told Lee about the loneliness I felt stomping around the "prestigious" Iowa's writers workshop. How it seemed like all the creativity was sucked out of the Dey house in a stale kiss of literary theory.

And of course I told Lee about how I left an autograph stack of my recent 'in print' work in the common reading room at the worskshop--how I even slid a copy of the journal beneath poet Dean Young's door.

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What I admired most about Arya's dream entry yesterday was her candor. She talks about that moment when she shoved God out of her life. That takes allota courage to write about something like that.

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Gave prof. Newton my Blog address, he looked at me with his wry, cheshire cat grin and more or less told me to get my head out of the blog and get back into the ring with my novel. Try to go a couple more rounds with the book and see if you can knock it out of your system and into the grubbing palms of a publishing house.

"You'll care more about your book in a couple more years if you don't finish it now." He said. He writes poems.

"I know," I said. But still, I'm getting my words in everyday.


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There's a story about Abdul-baha and and how when he was at Wilmette he laid the corner stone for the House of Worhip and simply said, "It's Built." From what I can glean, Bahai's are supposed to use this as a visionary metaphor for dreams (personal and within the realm of the faith) to be actualized and cemented.

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In my novel there is a scene about the "Nucelar Woods" where the young boys gambol beneath the melting tangerine thermostat of the sun. Being a first novel it is extremely autobiographical (sophomoric) in certain respects. Yesterday, Patrick McReynolds, the protagonist of the novel (his nom de plume is Pat McCRotch--get it? His physiology is poured like an Irish potato sack and he's very precocious)and myself, slipped into the wooden sleeve of the actual "nuclear" woods for the first time in thirteen years. We took our shirts of and spalshed in the orange jetsam of the creek. I ruined a pair of shoes trampling over rocks and weeds. When we got to a part of the creek we used to call "The Skipper" we just laughted. There was still gang graffiti everywhere. Expired initials added together for the whims of eternity. Heavy Metal bands that our parents warned us were instruments of Satan.

"It's funny." Patrick said. "The graffiti changes but the message stays the same." He said, turing his back and taking a piss in the far end of the Skipper. Before he quoted out a sentence from my novel, a draft he read becasue he told me that he was going to make "Technological amemdations" to my laptop, but somehow forgot all about that once he clicked on page Microsoft Word.

4 comments:

David Von Behren said...

Just to show you that this stuff really gets out there (and since no one comments on the Eternally Blog) here's a message I recevied in my e-mail five minutes ago from a girl I've never met. If you've read the blog AVA, you'll enjoy this:

David...
i loved so much of what you wrote...
how you described her...she is so much of what you said.
i try sometimes to come up with those words for her.
but never...
it's so funny to find this story... so strange.
do you mind i wrote to you?
it just felt so strongly.
it felt like someone understands like i do her power.
a strange strong soft thread.
i miss her almost always...

(and i missed you when you came last time, though i saw you and jasna
walking five times in those two days, i was always too far away to say
hello.)

perhaps this is our introduction...
i hope you're doing well.

all love,
hannah

arya said...

that is creepy. nice that she wrote you though. lurkers are the scary thing, people that keep coming back for more but don't say a thing. that is against blogging etiquette, i'll have to post something about that. so, if you love me so much, where is my autographed copy of your work??? i agree, blogging has been a gift. i also feel lonely and isolated from like-minded people. thank you for your friendship.

David Von Behren said...

E-mail me your address in Mexico and I'll gladly ship you down a copy. I have two long poems that read like short stories published in a very nice literary journal called Broadside--its campus affiliated. No big deal, but the quality of work and the talent they cull--not to mention the overall semblance of the magazine itself--it's printed on very $$ glossed paper-- never ceases to amaze me. At a recent reading I told the audience that, after I saw my stories in Print I felt like I was just published in the Atlantic monthly even though the journal was local. Staci Perkins, the editor and a formidable poet on her own accord, runs the journal and as always, my hat is off to her. She does a hell of a job (she always beats me in poetry contests too--but her verses are much more traditional and my stories are, well...)

The two poems I have published in Broadside are called respectively CHERRY SYRAH AND THE LORD'S PRAYER and CLOSET'S ARE FOR GOWNS, CINDERELLA! One is a confession booth and one is a fairy tale. They are poems you either totally fall in love with at first read or totally despise, cross yourself after reading, and say that the author is going to hell. The people whose work I admire most, though-- people who themselves are fans of modern literature. People who live a life in the arts, for the most part, like the poems and even %%%%%% ******** (promised her I wouldn't reveal her true identity) who is a single middle-aged Southern writer and workaholic mom in her forties and was once (when she was broke and her newborn bills were accruing) had a fantastic story published in Playboy, gave me a hug and said that I was good and that she cried after reading CHERRY.

I've blathered enough. They were fun stories to write and now, arya, they are all yours.

E-mail me you address.

daku said...

Aw David, can I have a copy too? Or just the text, no need for the book... I'd love to read it. Your writing sometimes stretches my foreign brain, and it's a good stretch! I am honoured by you praising my poetry - it's very kind ((-;
Now, how do you and Arya know each other?

I met Arya through amazon.com. She posted a list of mystic books including Seven Valleys, I saw it, added her as my friend, which enabled her to see my e-mail address, and she wrote! And that's when I started the blog... and it has been such a wonderful experience. Thank you!