Surrealist Doodle

Surrealist Doodle
This was used as the cover of Karawane in 2006 and I have included it in on a number of bags and postcards over the years. Someone on the subway asked me if it was a Miro. I was very flattered!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Life, Only Better

This was something I found in a journal that I had written a few years ago and found recently. This will be my last post for a while. I would love to know what you think.



Life, Only Better
(Tentative title for now)

Sometimes I need to just look out the window and think.

Sometimes I need to write something down and not develop it with examples, anecdotes, lists in 3s, with a thesis and a conclusion.

The thing about writers is that they can’t just have a thought. Everything has to become something. Thought is pressure to write. Not writing is guilt. Blasphemy. Squandered. What if the words (The Word) never comes back? What if in the course of remembering and recording you lose the beautiful phrase? Does the composer lose the melody sitting at the piano thye way I drop words at the keyboard? Is it not enough to have one thought? one beautiful moment? Must every note lead to a symphony, an opus? Each word the voice of a single angel raised to a cacophony?

“The problem with being a genius is that you spend a lot of time sitting around doing nothing.” --Gertrude Stein

A year ago I was looking for you.

I don’t want to write a whole book about you. My life is not a book. Too disjointed and unruly and the ending is unclear and I never seem to figure out the plot.

My mind is not a book.

No one lives in a book. Books are not “life only better”. Only anal retentives think that.

I want to write and live movie trailers, with all the good stuff pulled into split-second cutaways, glimpses of the beautiful, explosions, and a great soundtrack.

And here you are.

I was wandering the streets in the snow wondering your name.

Every day I wait for you to leave.

I wanted you to make me feel better. To love you . . . was going to make me better.

Curving back on itself . . . what is the term? Concave? Elliptical? In the story it always curves back on itself, ties everything together even when it looked like nothing fit.

Novels imply there’s a grand design to life, a plan, a plot, a logic, an author.

A reason.

I am more random than that.

Switching from story to living (life) changes the words the cadence the way you live them the experience of your palate. Do you write to live on your mind or do you write to say things outloud?

Do you want to be read or to be heard? Do you write to say everything at once, or do you write to focus?

I thought of you as a reader.

The cafe is an oasis from life. Here is the desert island you are stranded on with only 3 possessions, only the items in your purse . . . a desert island with music and tv and sofas and lattes. But only a bit of yourself.

People resent artists for wanting what they themselves are not allowed to have either.

I envy the mad addicts, so lost in themselves that they have no room for the details of daily life, have faith that their muse will provide and someone will look out for them. I with no siblings, no dowry, no spouse, must fend for myself, straddling, required to feed myself, keep a roof over my own head in a world that is increasingly harsh, that gives no quarter to those who are different, those who desire anything more than the creature comforts craved by those who resent me. My wants are not so different--a roof over my head, money for going out, a doctor when I am sick, the occasional trip to see friends or family, to be be inspired by a new city. But the audacity of expecting such things in return for my mere art, my innermost, without sanction for my labor, a CEO to sign my check, an incorporation to keep the books . . .

Nothing in my home is fixed until it affects someone else.

When the war comes I will be free of responsibility, when the creditor/landlord/collector finally has other concerns.

Is there an understanding that never fades? Even Dresden was rebuilt. The shadows of Nagasaki are monuments now. Art. Memory. Museum. All knowledge becomes memory eventually.

How will I become a stranger for 40 days?

On Tuesdays the Somalian women go to English class. They get on the bus bringing with them the smell of Sandalwood.

On Tuesday I get on the bus with my hair wild, disoriented after a night of poetry and war reports.

You make me want to write
you make me want to write
you down.

I could never write on the bus. Not because of motion sickness, but because I cannot stop looking out the window, watching moments pass and time pass in marvels. Once I was [there] and now I am [here], minutes across a city, hours across a state/country/continent.

It’s sad when you can’t [don’t][don’t want to] love someone anymore. When you feel sorry to remember. Now that the daydream is over, this is not your story anymore. It’s just something I’ve written
remembered
lived

and I watch for you at the window mechanically, without desire
Miss you with annoyance

One year later, like always, I sit in the cafe watching for you outside the window. I have your phone number committed to memory [permission to speak] have seen your house walked your dog hugged your lover. I try to remember your mysteries. What it was to want you.

Anticipation.

Familiar.
Like always I watch for you.
I forget what it was to be strange
etranger
(e)strange(d)

What is the shelf-life of grief?
Anniversaries give us permission.

You are a conversation with myself.

I wrote you a letter by committee.

Is God a narcissist? to require us to love him?

Maybe god’s infinity comes from us. If god is love, and that love is unrequited, does god become finite, diminish? in existentialism, maybe god is not really dead, just burning himself up like the sun. Love is finite only when nothing comes back to you in return. It makes you stingy.

Unrequited love’s a bore--Jack Kerouac

At one I time I wanted to give you things. Take you places. Show you.

At one time.

Which is to say, not anymore.

1 comment:

DB said...

What if the words (The Word) never comes back? What if in the course of remembering and recording you lose the beautiful phrase?
People resent artists for wanting what they themselves are not allowed to have either.
I was wandering the streets in the snow wondering your name.

Every day I wait for you to leave.

I wanted you to make me feel better. To love you . . . was going to make me better.