Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

book review -- the Sound and the Fury

Goddern Fuckner

I bought tS&tF in 1999, after it was recommended by my Tennessee Community College English I&II prof--to broaden my horizons (so to speak). This was the same professor who got mad at me and kicked everyone out of class whenever I became narcoleptic during Hamlet. Aside from that, the guy was cool. The kids in his class called him Jerry. He'd taught my Psychologist step-dad poetry too, like two decades before me. Before my step-dad passed from a botched gastric bypass operation.

So, back to tS&tF, admittedly from the onset, getting through the slush pile of dialogue between the children disenchanted me into abandoning the book to my shelf often, where I'd occasionally pluck it back out, sip some dialogue, then lose interest again, to something with an easier narrative to follow.

(This was when I was more about stepping into vicarious experiences as a reader than say, learning and testing tricks as a writer. But even now, a little goes a long way when it comes to gleaning heavy hitters like Faulkner.)

In 2007 I finally made it to the highly stylized dense paragraph watch business. It took me eight years. But once I got there--I was in such awe that I never got past the first paragraph; it stuck me like quicksand! I was mesmerized, begoggled, humbled into mush and terrified. Basically, after that it came to me that tS&tF was simply unreadable. I gave up--realizing that a damn book had kicked my ass!

A person asked me just today in discussing literature, "Did you like the Sound and the Fury when you read it?" Slightly ashamed, I had to say, "No, it's absolutely awful and beautiful. A clusterfuck." I explained how I couldn't get through books that complicated without taking part every technicality that the author had to administer in the rendering of the style in the first place, layer by tedious layer. "The process induces a sense of schizophrenia that whirls me," I said, though his short stories have often been good to me amongst others in the scholastic curriculum.

Faulkner is definitely a grand master of stylish, innovative prose, whose pinches of flavor are distinct and extremely succulent when mimicked or added to any word casserole--and for that he is a big daddy that can't be denied. I hope to try the book again someday when I'm less frustrated with what growing up in Tennessee has done to me and more patient with the world in general.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

consequences & trajectories

Sometimes when I go against the way nature intends things to fall naturally, my entire life can feel off. If I'm lucky, the off feeling only lasts for a day (or a few hours, some consequences mending accordingly from a diverged mess.) There seems to be less wasted time following the straight path. Short-cuts lead to missed details. It's hard to trust trajectories when surrounded by others following paths more conventional. Do they get the same tugs and shoves on their backs too? Are they alive enough to recognize the signs?

I youtube'd and listened to Ginsberg read aloud America today from Howl. Twice. The first was a studio reading that sounded clean. The second was a live reading with an audience. The audience laughed so much in places that didn't seem funny to me, I thought about canned laughter in cheesy sitcoms.

People who laugh when they are uncomfortable makes me uncomfortable. (It's as if they are acutely too aware of their own hand placement, therefore they must laugh to proliferate laughter in a crowd to drown their own thoughts from being obsessive.) People are mostly terrified against the birth of their own unique opinions. I don't think it's their fault. But I don't think they mind either. Naturally humanity has a tendency to herd together for a feeling of safety, as they say, in numbers.

To be so independent from humanity, to risk alienation, humiliation, excruciating loneliness, is a key that leads to a plane of unique discovery. The sort of discovery, which might be so unrelatable that it is basically invisible, like cracks in sidewalks, or cracks in sanity, if in the facade consists of a healthy dose of complacency.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

dream about powerlessness

Last night I had the most violent dream to date.

A naked demon with the armor of burned and slick red flesh was chasing a man who was putting up what seemed to be a good fight. Until the man was stuffed through a wall in an upstairs hallway using a heft of velocity from the demon's telekinetic architecture. The man, impaled back first through the white wall, head, feet and arms cramped on one side, his lower back and ass out through the other side, was snugly lodged. From my astral view as an invisible bystander, powerless from both fear and the lack of a physical presence, I stood where I could see from the side by the doorway like the scene was vivisected. I saw the contents of the wall, its wires, spongy insulation, the wooden boards--these material devices did not obscure the man's midsection, about to be broken into several pieces. (Everything I didn't want to happen was going to happen, so I could see what was coming even with my eyes closed, through my hands over my closed eyes turned away.) The scalded red demon began beating the man from behind with a large hard ceramic lamp, shade and all. Thwack, thwack, thwack, repeatedly. When the lamp broke into a large shard, the demon beat the man harder and harder with his sharp weapon as the man screamed and screamed and screamed, as blood gushed from his pulp of a back gored and ground; his backbone was broken everywhere with ceramic all over his guts from behind.

It was a hard time waking up today and getting going.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

how tolerance works

See it's like when you go to the beach
when summer first starts and you see the water and the water looks so blue and beautiful after all the sand, after you lay your towel down and walk to where the water meets the damp part of the sand and stand there with your feet scrunching; then you see a big wave and see the water coming and know it's about to cover your feet and splash your ankles; and it's freezing, so you inch your way in an inch of a body part of at a time, thinking: yes, oh jeezus, yes, that's cold; the entire time looking back to the beach where you started, where you see your towel sitting, and you finally put your head under, holding your breath again, since who knows when the last time was, or maybe when you didn't want to breathe in the exhaust from the bus beside you, because it looked so thick and you were afraid of getting cancer, even though you smoke occasionally when you're drunk, but you hold your breath and listen to the loud nothing of the ocean's fucking eternity, dark and pulling you wherever it wants you to go, and the first time you do something again after you haven't done it in a while is kind of scary, but you know you have to breathe to live, and that's the least you have to do aside from eating or joining the NRA, so you come up to breathe and hear the ocean from outside, you take the water from your eyes, slick back your hair, lick your lips for salt, lift your legs and just sort of float there until a wave comes, and then you either get pounded on a little and your hair gets messed up again, and there's more water to wipe from your eyes, or you jump when it comes, and then you look around and everybody else sort of jumps around the same time as you, and maybe that's where the wave came from at sports games, but well, of course that's where it came from, but just the water part, even without the people all jumping around the time that I jump, all the way to the point where they're at the shore just getting wet, when the water feels much colder than it does on me after it got my hair, and then I think: now what, I can just kind of jump around and float some out here and tread water, but now the water will never be cold again until I dry off, and maybe eat a sandwich and come back in, but probably only once more, since I don't want my butt to be too wet, when I'm trying to get home.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

we get along

I spoke to Zeke
tonight on the telephone.

We do this every month,
have a three hour talk and
over books and movies and life
then we exchange I love yous
and hang up.

We maintain
our relationship on
with comments on
notes and pictures and
reading each others' status

I have never met
Zeke, nor do I want to,
my best friend for at
least four years now.

He translates
writing; he loves
Vollmann, Updike; he
loves to talk about power,
getting women as a writer,
he talks about Zizek.

He'll probably have three
s by the time he's fifty,
my Scholastic Fantastic.

I told him I met you. How
we've become acquainted
how I'm excited about it.

He said: He just wants your
pussy. I said: Who doesn't.
He said: You're right,
I'm sure he's nice.
I said: Thank you.

And then we talked
about Polanski.
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