Hey, it’s never too late to continue a serial that you began to post 8 months ago on a blog that you had forgotten you even kept until you–literally–chanced upon your WordPress account while searching for a recipe on another blog that is completely unrelated to yours, right? It doesn’t matter that you actually wrote the whole long series of posts that you never posted, literally, 2 years ago, right? Sometimes the inspiration to post just seizes you, once in a while–or, more precisely, every few years. What does it matter, this is my blog, after all, and I write the rules here. Following is the second part of a bunch of long-winded monologues meandering through all flavors of dross, from heavy-hearted anxiety attacks to Henry VIII of England. See Part I for some context. Though, “context” may be a bit generous to use for a descriptor, given my idiopathic style of writing: Continue reading
After about 3 months of avoiding my blog, I finally decided, while avoiding my daily responsibilities, to just hold my breath and return to take a look at the neglected landscape. When I signed in, I found the below pending comment on my dashboard:
I discovered your blog while googling about underachieving, and you have inspired me to go ahead with starting a blog. I didn’t think people actually blogged like regular literature authors and always felt I lacked in edgy hipness, but after reading all of your poetic posts, I feel like I may have fellow anti- conformist bloggers to relate to after all. -Bessie Malt
I originally began writing a reply to your comment, Bessie, in the comment section where you’re supposed to write replies to comments. But as is typical for me, my reply became longer and longer and I kept writing and couldn’t cut off the spigot and had no desire to anyway. So I ultimately drafted a 683-word response and decided to post it as a blog entry in itself. Continue reading
- Run away. Road trip. Out West. Do the Zen-And-the-Art-of-Motorcycle-Maintenance thing.
- Go to sleep. For hours and hours. Wearing very, very soft pajamas. I’m talking very soft. And sleeping forever. Like, Sleeping Beauty style.
- Strong cappuccino at a very quiet and dim coffee shop, very strong cappuccino, and very quiet and dim. And cozy.
- Wander around in an endless meadow full of wildflowers (indulge my frivolous fancy, here).
- Wander around a quiet garden or meadow or woodland or hilltop or riverbank on a balmy summer night. Quiet and balmy, and fragrant, is key here.
I still can’t write this article. Because my mind is swimming, swimming. Or rather, I’m swimming inside my mind. I’ve noticed I use that metaphor a lot, the swimming metaphor, with reference to my mind and what goes on inside it, and how I inevitably drown in it. I always feel like my mind is a big tank full of all the garbage and remains and gunk that you find washed up on the beach or entrenched into the sea floor, and that I’m stuck in this tank. And I just want, need, to purge my mind of everything, all the junk and putrid debris and detritus. If I were to successfully purge my mind, crack open the tank and dump it all out onto the ground outside, probably I would find a lot of slimy rotting fish and the decaying soft bodies of mollusks inside their shells, milky proteins oozing out and marbling over; abandoned, torn tires; rusty nails from who-knows-what; dead and decomposing horseshoe crabs and limp, flaccid eel bodies; pieces of wooden planks and driftwood of an unknown origin, with grotesque white linchen growing all over it; plastic bottle rings; beer bottles and broken whisky bottles covered and filled with sandy grime, and rusty beer bottle caps; tossed, corroded gasoline cans; brittle and bare grayed feathers from unidentified birds, and the heartbreaking carcass of an injured seagull that fell into the sea; a discolored and lifeless crab tangled inside a broken fishing line; a discarded and rusty crab cage covered in brown seaweed; and piles upon piles of cloudy, dense pebbles and stones and broken shells, all over the place, handfuls upon heavy handfuls and no bottom and no place to push them over to, they scrape my hands when I dig my fingers into them and pierce into my feet when I try to walk. And everything grown over with ripe and pungent algae.
She does socio-historical research and turns it into verse.
The Rumpus interviewed her about the age-old questions of the personal vs. political, life vs. art, art vs. politics, and how to live the way you truly want to. The interview was full of zingers, but this quote about the idiosyncrasies, and often the absurdities, of the writing process is my favorite:
A magazine, which shall remain nameless, asked me to look at government photographs and write a short piece about one of them. I chose a picture of a Japanese war balloon, which is like the first intercontinental ballistic missile. It went from Japan and it came over and wanted to start a fire in Seattle, but Seattle’s very wet. I wrote this blank verse poem that required a lot of research and took me months, and then I turned it in and they were like, “Oooh, yeah, we didn’t mean a poem. We meant a short piece.” And I was like, “Okay.” So I took out all the line breaks and made a couple of paragraph breaks, and then I gave it back to them and they were like, “Great! Thank you.”
At 1:21 am on the cusp of my article deadline I decide to take a break from my as-of-yet blank document and browse through Jean Paul Sartre’s Blog on the New Yorker (ghost written by Bill Barol): Despair couldn’t be more hysterical. It makes me wonder what would have become of Sartre–and the entire Existentialist movement–if he had lived after Prozac had been introduced.
I’ll conveniently avoid any intelligent commentary and get back to not writing.
Half the stuff on this blog is a result of what I produced when I was actually trying to write something else. Something more important and writerly. Like, full sentences and stuff. This happened again today while I undertook to confront the two pieces that remain half-written in my writer’s block queue (and there are still several more ideas in the queue that I haven’t even began). That is, I ended up writing nonsensical gobbledygook while I was trying to write the real stuff. Continue reading