02/19/11

for the fun of it.

the bad food you eat when you’re poor
a cough that won’t go away
the kind of hopes
that get pinned on a lottery.
-David Lerner, his poem Satan After Hours

Woke up with this poem in my head, which is either an improvement or not from the thing that has woken me up the last few mornings (Destiny’s Child: Bills, Bills Bills) depending on how you look at life and art and aesthetics.  You’d think I was obsessed with money the way it keeps coming up, but I’m not. It’s more like a reoccurring dream that doesn’t mean anything, for example, that time I kept dreaming about Oysters and then a woman in a restaurant walked by with a plate of Oysters and I made everybody stop talking so I could blurt out, “Holy shit, I’m psychic!”

I don’t have anything to say today; I just want to talk. Lately it seems like I only ever update with an agenda. I’ve got my eyes on too many prizes. Got the publishing bug and every time my fingers hit the keyboard it’s “where can I send this?”

Stop being such a hollywood douchebag, Molly. Shut up and write for the fun of it.

I love college and Montana and my vagabond lifestyle, but I’ve got a little Senioritis. I feel impatient with the workshopping process and I keep doing really badly on quizzes in my undergraduate Shakespeare class. I hope I bounce back. Not to be wildly controversial or anything, but Hamlet is a really good play. In May I graduate and the world becomes a cruel, uncertain place again. When I think about it I feel a panic in my chest like something awful, like one of those sacred hearts that shoots out spikes of light that stab me. So let’s talk about something else.

Here’s that story I told you about on Thumbnail. I love the font. Seriously, I find the presentation amazingly beautiful, and I like this piece. I don’t know where it came from; a brief moment of honesty. I’d like to find it again sometime.

Taking a non fiction class – I don’t know what the fuck to write about. Memoir is not something I ever want to read ever so why would I ever write it? This blog is a memoir. Your mom is probably a memoir, not sure. My life has been insanely interesting and filled with adventures, that’s true, but does it really amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world? It might. So far I’ve written around 2,000 words about that time when I was 21 and two rambunctious boys lived at my house and we just hung out and played video games and smoked weed all the time, but with a secret purpose, maybe. So far the story lacks shape or purpose. I don’t know what to do about it.

What else? I dreamt my space heater set my student’s stories on fire. My coffee is cold. I’m sick of winter. Money.

12/16/10

Other Terrors Lurk!

There are places you don’t and can’t know about. People are trapped there and God has forgotten them. No one knows anything about them. If anything, the statues are made out of them. There are worlds where damned children eat cereal made of maggots – worlds where you might watch your hands turn into hooves. Beware also ordinary horrors. Blood in your saliva, a bus stop and swollen feet, dropping your children off at school or a loveless marriage: imagine it. Know that other terrors lurk. Know that a person can dig a hole down into their stomach and then crawl inside of it like an imploding star. I talk to you from there.

This is a fun little prose poem I’ve been writing in my journal that never seems to end. I don’t want to publish it here, but I have to. The uglier the update, the more urgent the need to archive. I’m not saying I wasn’t influenced by this David Lynch film.

Things are going well for me in the writing world, except for the writing part. I believe I have the lifestyle pretty well down. There’s the crippling loneliness, the medicating, the fasting and repenting. I feel a little sick. I want to love but don’t always know how. Yes. I think I’ve got a great portion of it figured out, and the rest? Well, how important is the writing really? They’re just words. Writing is okay but what I’d really love to do is love.

I compiled this winter reading list from friends and lovers in the English department at the university of Montana. Please be assured that notable writers in the community may well have recommended some of the items on this list. I tried to make a new page for it but wordpress confuses me. You will find the list in the “comments” section of this post.

What the Hell’s it doing out there, Christmas?

You might be surprised to learn that I hate Christmas, but I love my mother, and the point is that I’m headed to Detroit for a couple weeks. Last I heard from the D, they were shooting disaster films and carrying one another to heaven. Is it true that you can’t go home again? With any luck, I will talk to you from there.

09/10/10

out on a limb, perhaps.

For a second there life became about waiting for a series of explosions, and then of course the eruptions were more like disappointing fizzles. It was the anticipation that did the real damage.

I have set myself up as a person of great candor. “That Molly always speaks her mind!” In some cultures I think this is just referred to as being a bitch. The point is I grow weary. I wish I weren’t the only one. Light pours into the house from outside on all of us and it feels artificial, as though a terrible mistake has been made, switching indoor and outdoor. There’s a tree in the living room and it’s not december and no one says anything about it. No one mentions anything!

Writers are miserably poor and generally only have two suits. There’s the suit of working on something – of steadily chipping away at a piece and feeling not terrible about it. This suit is executive. It’s a tuxedo and it’s only to be worn at weddings and let’s just say our friends are not the marrying type. Otherwise we are cloaked in failure. Symptoms include coughing, a calm, panicked sensation that makes us not want to see our own reflection in the mirror, because who wants to look at a talentless, unproductive hack? etc. You can guess which suit I’m donning these days.

The 50 words (exactly!) I managed to scribble today:

-We've assembled everyone here today because Frank isn't doing well.
Frank crawled under the table and began gnawing on its leg. What a set of teeth Frank has! Like a diamond saw cutting through glass they are.
-Can he hear us?
-Heavens, no. Frank isn't doing well.
And so on.

05/24/10

Apologies.

Molly says, it’s been well over a month. Where are the angry letters? Why is no one storming my castle? Oh well. Yeah, what can I say, you get busy. Except I’m not at all busy. What can I say, you get lazy. School is over and it’s “summer” in Missoula, Montana. (It’s cold is why the quotes. Imagine I’m doing air quotes.) This is a magical place and the people here are possessed with a secret satisfaction I can’t even reveal to you here, because it’s a secret.

I’ve been writing, and trying to figure out what being a writer is all about, and editing and revising. Without school it feels very “without a net.” I spent most of last semester in varying stages of unrequited love. It was very 17. It filled me with all sorts of imaginary passions, and it informed a lot of my writing. One morning I woke up and I was released from the spell, but I’m left with all this stuff I wrote. Weird residue on the pillow. What to do with it? Give it away. Garage sale. Everything must go. “The Sting” is imperfect (the ending is bullshit, for example) but it’s sort of neat and tidy and complete, and I’d like to offer it to you here as a way of saying I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything.

I want to update this a lot this summer. Starting rightnow! Go!

04/4/10

Ideas, the not having of.

I’ve got all the things a writer needs. Word processor, books lying open around me with their spines facing heaven, whiskey on the rocks. The only thing I don’t have is ideas. You need an idea to write. You need a spark of something, an inspiration of some kind. We’re reading Raymond Carver for techniques this week. Writers like to shit on Carver, but we’ve all had our Carver stage at some point, and if we haven’t, we probably should. I have certain beliefs about humanity. I believe that humans are inclined to laziness, for example. Yes, I’m aware some important philosopher said that first, I’m just saying I believe it, Christ.

The thing about Carver’s stories is that they’re easy to read. I had this recent idea that I want my prose to be as easy to read as watching television, but also profound. That’s all. Easy and profound. I have an imagined audience, and they’re drunk and stoned, because my audience understands that life is very painful. Drunk and stoned people read occasionally. Not as often as they’d like, certainly, but sometimes the TV has been buzzing for so long it makes their eyes bleed, and they can feel their brain start to atrophy, and it’s times like this I want the beleaguered drunk to pick up one of my stories from their bedside table, light as air, and I want them to understand it. I might have the wrong idea.

I would follow up this paragraph with my Carver imitation but I haven’t written it, because I don’t have any ideas. Just whiskey on the rocks, books lying open around me with their spines facing heaven, and a word processor. Is the implication that that’s all I have? I remember this children’s book starring a spider, and anytime the story required him to have something, it would just be there in his web. I remember the spider had a suitcase and a chair, and I remember my little mind thinking “but really, that’s all you need.” How could I have been so dumb? What would you put inside the suitcase? I think later I thought about it again, and concluded that not only do you not need a suitcase or a chair, you don’t need anything. Not really.

I don’t need ideas. I can just write about not having any ideas, and voila. By now the rocks in my whiskey have turned to water. I feel like this should mean something. I’m considering putting the glass of whiskey in the suitcase, and how it would leak out all over everything and maybe a protagonist would change somehow because of the experience, but I don’t think that idea has any legs. It’s an amputee, that idea. I’m going to bed.