Monday, October 31, 2005

So you wanted to be a writer, hey boy....


(journal comments transcribed from various inky squiggles)

* This is how fiction works. Like in the beginning of Cannery Row when Steinbeck pisses out a sully vignette for the reader about “a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flophouses. Its inhabitants are, as the man once said, “whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches,” by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, “Saints, and angels and martyrs and holy men,” and he would have meant the same thing. . . .”

*This is where fiction takes you.

“Fiction is what it’s like to be a complete, sentient fucking human beings versus a rather sophisticated mammal.” -David Foster Wallace author of Infinite Jest

“ Though the night was made for loving and the day returns to soon.”

Licking the circuitous fiction with your pen, you’re wont to comment about what doesn’t work for you, yet you forget that secret place—where language opened up, like her body opened up, where language gave birth to that scene, to that story, to linear horizon of that perfectly trimmed sentence, tugging across the page in lil’ locomotives whiffs.

Climb aboard.

“Early in my life it was too late.”

I fell in love with the girl who wrote the taco poem. Fell in love with the neon splash of lights brushing into the parking lot, fell in love with the oblique angle of the first kiss, fell in love with the way the sentences open and closes the way garage door opens and closes.

“She’ll be riding three white horses when she comes.”

George Saunders, Ryu Murakami, Sherman Alexie, John Updike, Jim Harrison, Tillie Olson…scraps of New Yorker entitled fiction eviscerated from the guts of the magazine in little ridged sears.

Like sex, our instructor urges us to read “Hard, fast and well.”

** Implicit Irony. Our instructor remains dubious of the unblinking oracular lens perched above drywall like Poe’s pestering ode to ornithological beaks and flaps, irked of Big Brother’s espial sonnets, yet we unzip lives, split veins, caligraph images in our blood.

Outside of class I petitioned females. I asked them if they were elusive Sappho that penned the Taco ode.

****poem by Rishika Murphy to brighten up my facebook

“Here I sit
Broken hearted

Had to shit
But only farted”

Compared to Pounds :
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;Petals on a wet, black bough. “Love is not Love which alters when it alteration find” An ever fixed mark: The story about Prince Albert; the loafers in search for the perennial jell-o high, Pastor Rupert, “ A garrison of single-engine planes,” the porn star, the dildo, the Speed Date D-cup dating service, the monkey pajamas, the funeral home victim, lying supine and listless. The instructor oriented memos received via e-mail chauffeured via warbled hieroglyphics splashes of the mother ship. “When something is well hidden it is hard to find.” “Oh we are being visited.” Heaps of linguistic slop. Alphabetical flotsam and jetsam. Peoria—the genital wart of the Midwest. Bradley university. David von Behren. Illegitimate great-great grandson of Lydia Moss Bradley. Still 30+ in the hole. Turtle Tinswell, Sister Terisita, “Those panties saved my life.” Sister Marva and her anatomically correct gnomes. The anecdote about the clowns who run the STD clinic. Fucking Jim Les. (Dick Les) fucking president Broski who doesn’t read. Fucking witches in Swords Hall. Fucking English department on the hilltop that lives familial comforts appalling to the so called loser –scribblers whose tomes they teach. Writers who lived in squalor so English fuckwads could live comfortably Joseph Campbell on being a writer: Can you afford ten years of your life and not make it. Joseph Campbell on not obtaining a PhD: You can tell the level of [intellectual puerility] dependency by the number of footnotes in their writing. Even the Guerrila Girrls were afraid to be naked while “intellectualizing” their passions. Write a book that they’ll boast about. Make sure to employ witticism, catch phrases, memorable characters…..put yer’ heart in a gin bottle and hurtle it into a shopping mall as far as you fucking can. Watch the spume of glass christening the linoleum pavement of commerce… The spasmodic bleeps of barcodes, the sounds of traffic lumbering in a parking lot, jockeying for position, the poetry of ATM machines. “All my life Father believed in Angels.” Rick Bass. Denis Johnson. Anthony Doerr. Loorie Moore. Carole Maso. Jerzy kosinki. “Why don’t you pull a Holden Caulfield and tell your readers something that they really want to know.” The perfect sentence. The perfect female. Ulysses, The Recognitions, Mason and Dixon, Underworld, Infinite Jest, War and Peace, Women and Men, Gravity’s Rainbow The moment where author, language and reader becomes one entity The acquiescence of the trinity, taking your breath away, taking you to that place that you are afraid to go on your own…. “Alas poor yorrick” We read and we ink and we peruse over lumpy, cancerous sentences, drilling our eyesight between the collective gaps of images, hoping to lose ourselves in a wayward image.

Where would the college of liberal arts and sciences be w/out the trite phrase “I think that…”

Don’t think. “Write like your life depended on it.”

Fuckin’ Dave Eggers.

No one has time to write a novel the size of an SUV.

Everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to die.

Ineluctable modality of the visible.

“I don’t understand it.”

“I think…..”

“Everyone wants to live forever but no one wants to grow old.”

Just give the prof. what he wants. Just give the readers a story.”

“Good fiction’s job is to comfort the disturbed and to disturb the comfortable.”

Where would Best American Short stories be without Oates, Munro, Updike, TC Boyle?

Don’t talk about writing, don’t write about writing, bring something into the world. Quit putting it off, brother.

Even Hawthorne had to begin with the letter A.

If you want to know what fiction is, write what you think that fiction is…..

“listen, I will be honest with you;
I don not offer old new prizes; but offer rough new prizes
These are the days that must happen to you”

John Gardner. Raymond Carver.

Where are the prof’s that submit there shit on a weekly basis?

Where is anyone who gives in order to shine?

“old country Soul/Where’s your Jesus”

I finally found her—after numerous interrogations and a couple of shits and a party at the Treehouse.

“Suddenly I turned around and she was standing there/ With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair.”

The girl. The taco poem. I wanted to eat her tongue. I wanted to lick the unsuspecting fingers tips that trifled out such beauty.”

“I didn’t really think the poem was any good.” Was all she said, rather coyly, flapping the curtain of bangs gently from her forehead.

“The golden apples of the moon/ the silver apples of the tongue.”

“Though the earth was made of loving.”

Quit worrying so much about what the author is trying to say and start worrying about you want to say.

“What thought lovest well remains…”

Try to split your heart our from your fingertips, on to the cosmic blue of the computer screen

“…the rest is dross.”

Call for the high road once again:

Small town girl, a train in england, vital nutrients, life of a pen, a poem written in the fashion of a calculator which my classmates have deemed as “cute” and Ezra Pound has deemed as…..

Just show up every morning at MS Word—like left field, once that ball is hit out there
Be there to receive it….

I love the sentence “ She could feel him growing inside of her.”

The hoi poloi of fiction. The journey of discovery. The place where you go when you want someone to hold you, baby.