Friday, June 10, 2011

I've been spending a lot of time recently reading interviews. About writing. And usually, there's the same stuff about rituals or lack thereof, isolation, journeys, drafting or lack thereof, it'll all be sprinkled with's fairly repetitive after a while. [Except Ginsberg, but more on that later.]

Anyway, I found this. It's an interview in the Paris Review that was called the Art of Fiction. And the author said something about God and writing that amused me.

" ......I imagine He (God) just decided, Well, this one’s been paying his dues, so let’s give him a bonus book. But Faulkner wrote
As I Lay Dying in six weeks. Stendhal wrote Charterhouse of Parma in twelve days. That’s proof God spoke to them—if proof is needed. Twelve days! If it wasn’t God it was crass exhibitionism. "

Now, I would like very much to be a crass exhibitionist.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Three teaspoons of How.

From The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis,

'What does this stuff remind you of?' I ask her, standing back. 'Degas? Seurat? Renoir?'
She looks at the canvas and says, 'Scooby Doo.'

From Man Alone With Himself by Friedrich Nietzsche,

The street of one's ancestors. It is reasonable to develop further the talent that one's father or grandfather worked hard at, and not switch to something entirely new; otherwise one is depriving himself of the chance to attain perfection in some one craft. Thus the saying: 'Which street should you take? - That of your ancestors.

From A Blue Hand by Deborah Baker,

For twenty years Ginsberg had relished the ritual of pens and paper, the relief that accompanied the emptying of his thoughts and the satisfaction of notebooks with filled pages. There were the small spiral bound pocket notebooks that he wrote in on subways and buses, and there were sturdy bedside notebooks for nighttime cris de coeur or an early morning dream. Returning to a notebook after a day's neglect. he would begin in the present and circle back, writing his thoughts and observations not as he had them, but as he recalled them. Periodically he cast back through the pages, prospecting for the glowing seam of a poem, like a miner long accustomed to working in the dark.

As the years had passed, the notebooks changed. More and more, Allen Ginsberg used them like a blank tape, inviting the world outside and inside his head to inscribe its noisy jive of unlikely juxtapositions. In India he had several notebooks going, and one, designed for schoolwork, now sat open on his lap, interleaved with unanswered letters. On its pages the tracks of his thinking crossed the borders of day and night, past and present, waking and dreaming, poetry and prose. The rhythm of the train itself was inscribed in his handwriting and jagged line breaks.

This is from books I read recently.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


"If you walk down the street, in New York, for a few blocks you get this gargantuan feeling of buildings and if you walk all day you'll be on the verge of tears. But you have to walk all day to get that sensation. What I mean is, if you write all day you'll get into it, into your body, into your feelings, into your consciousness....."

-Howl the Movie

Electrifying your bones, seeping into your marrow like cold, chilblains working like shock receptors in your fingers and toes, stiffening your neck into immovability and concentration, narrowing your eyes to a typewriter's precision, deforming the font into one adopted by newsprint, fueling the words into a reporter's truth, tapping into a fluid, pungent reality, tweezing strands to create stick figure representations, coughing up enough phlegm to give breath to stone, purging through finger pricks till madness's howl has coagulated to form a coat either of rust or sheen. And then you must do it over and empty yourself again.