Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Notable Outfit

"Pain or damage don't end the world. Or despair, or fucking beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you've got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man... and give some back."

— David Milch

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Death, The Next Big Thing

An absolute condition of all successful living, whether for an individual or a nation, is the acceptance of death. - Freya Stark

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Excerpt From Two Deserts Collide

Above it all a desert sun beat down to infiltrate its light upon each shape and each permutation of shape, as if to the very quarks of them. To the hand upon the tool and the heart that moved the hand. And even to the secret fears within the heart, those as essential to the lives of men as the very passages of day and night. And the light bore in its makeup, a kernel of knowledge that was lost in the deliverance, for as darkness is the light’s corollary, it has its own terrible kernel, which was fast in its coming now and would arrive to them, as always, from distal points between sun and moon and earth, and the matrix men must make of them to set before gods, manifest in symbol or matter.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lauren Groff's Second Voice

Chances are... were one of either two creatures: the shy, wary, squinty-eyed kid who hid in the long grass when it was kickball time and could make embarrassing noises with bodyparts or ad hoc instruments (grassblades, combs, paperclips) and talked aloud to characters you read alive and believed that when you left the room all humans powered down like robots hitting the off-switch only to reanimate when you were about to come back in; or you were the slighty cool, slightly sarcastic, slightly witty other type who was pretty good in sports and school, though when you saw the moon on a certain summer night or a graveyard washed slick as a wet eraser or heard your little sister singing to herself when she thought she was sitting alone in a blueberry bush, your heart did a curious flip and you felt like weeping and you wanted to weep and you would have wept if your buddies weren't around; and it is possible that you were some mix of both though rare if you were none of either (still--there are iconoclasts, always, in these matters); and so you were predisposed for the day when you woke into the calm, cold morning and stayed in bed for that extra minute and there you dreamt and walked through the day in that dream, which led you to pick up the pen, which led you to expel that dream onto paper, and so you began, and began slowly as these things always began, and you kept it quiet and you kept it sweet, your private things, deeper and more private than anything, and then you did better things, poems or stories; and because you did these things the way you read, with your whole body, your whole soul, they were so beautiful to you that you could hardly read them again, they felt like a wound you had inflicted on yourself, but good; until, one day, you showed your own poor things to a friend or a teacher or a mother or a little sister who could barely read just yet, but who subsequently named the smartest-looking doll in her collection after you, nonetheless; and warmed by this warmth of others, you kept on, you did it, you did it through high school, then college if you went to college; and after, if there was an after, and you did it with passion and you did it every single day, you did because once in a while you could make your chest open up and sing; and you did it still longer, until you could somehow open your chest at will; and you did it even more until you grew a zipper there and could unzip yourself and make everything in your chest sing; and you did it even more until the zipperteeth grew into real teeth, made of nerve and enamel, and the wound's lips had grown into real lips, and that's when you realized that you'd grown another mouth in your chest and all that you did went in, and when you sat down everything came out of that new mouth, and you rode this until the end of the wave, at which time you had a manuscript, complete; and it was published; this one, or or the one after, or the one after that. Then it was a whole new game, strange and confusing and new; and because you were either type one child, or type two, and were the kind already nervy and impressionable and soft; and because you were so used to being able to unzip your chest and let it all out, you didn't realize that this was not appropriate now. You didn't realize, until very late, that having a gaping mouth in your chest was the exact wrong thing for this new business, that wherever you turned, what had made you suited for this first job killed you a little in the second; that every blog and review and comment by your friends and family; that every silence, of reviews and blogs and friends and family, and every hesitation, and every poorly-chosen adjective, and every conspicuous overlooking, and every non-conspicuous overlooking, would fill this mouth with a bitter taste and make it pucker up to a wee little mouth instead of a great, glorious open one; and this is the worst thing, the very worst, that you were so busy filling this mouth with bitterness that you could no longer open the mouth, or zipper, or wound; you could no longer pour out everything in your chest, and paper became your enemy, no longer your friend, and what was only joy had become only poison, and you could not do what you wanted, no matter how you tried. You were extremely sad. You fretted. If you were foolish, you drank too much. But this is most important: you didn't give up. You woke every day and had coffee every day and sat at your desk every day, maybe despairing, but always there. You tried coaxing your chest-mouth with music, with chocolate, with long walks and heart-to-hearts with a profoundly apathetic dog. You tried babytalking your mouth, giving it splendid warm bubblebaths, and feeding it butterflies and phrenological heads and monsters made of porcelain, anything, anything that roused a flicker of awe or delight in your chest; you fed it books and books, more books than you ever dreamed would fit inside you, more books than would fit into an ogre's gullet, and you ate them until you, slowly, felt it coming back. Because it did. And it will. And it doesn't mean that a silence or overlooking or crass word won't hurt you; it will, you were made that way. But, and this is what is most important to understand; you also made yourself that way, and you can, you absolutely can, make yourself that way again.