Sunday, July 23, 2006

Excerpted from novel in progress

I know what I am and it terrifies me. My skin is a bark around my subdermal layers, a bark through which light passes and burns me. I am full of water. I am aging. My age is passing through me. The light and the air are burning me. I cannot believe in my own happiness, my happiness is as the bony branches of the oak tree scraping the window when the wind blows and I can talk about none of this. Or can I? Am I just afraid to?

My mother has rested on the toilet and shat four times today. She is ill. She is eating too many harsh foods, too many cheeses—I hear the sound of her shitting echoing through the house.

David’s dog was eating a corpse yesterday, over on Buckburn Terrace.

In the woods, in the summer, the light, everything you see, is the same for miles. I walked for four hours and the whole time the air smelled the same.

When I visited Will, when I was very young, when my skin and the organs beneath it were not as marked by the sun, we walked down a finger of land—it was more like an arm—that stretched out into the Pacific ocean for seven miles and was famous, or relatively famous, so Will’s guidebook said, for the two herds of a rare breed of Elk that lived on it, and I noticed, it was impossible not to notice, that within every one hundred yards you walked, you passed close to what must have been the average per ten feet of bits of scat—coyote? Fox?—rabbits, crows, falcons, enormous beetles, sand, strange and gnarled bushes. That might have been my first ever desolate moment. The world is full of wondrous things, but we are punished with anxiousness by our incapacity to honor its wonder, to have to speak not of what we see, but of love, and redemption, and honor, and goodness.

Friday, July 14, 2006

And the hipsters promised me nothing

I dreamt I was outside last night, on a field, in the middle of the night, during some sort of festival. There were pools of light. There were clusters of people and the air was full of smoke, shouting, laughter, distant music, and the smell of alcohol. The people were foreign to me (in a metaphysical sense--I don't know what country this was) , and rough, and I was scared. And someone a noticed me, a very tall, ugly, young man, with a jean jacket, a slight mullet, and a toady, a shorter, skinnier, version of himself. He noticed me and he accosted me. He punched me. He threatened to beat the shit out of me. I evaded him, but he pursued me. It was not a direct chase. I went from place to place and my pursuer would not embarrass himself to the point that he would actually be seen exerting himself in pursuit, but I could feel him keeping his eye out, for me. I never felt safe.

Finally, I approached a gentle, grassy slope, a log cabin outside of which had gathered a small crowd of San Francisco hipsters. San Francisco, I thought. We are of the same tribe. I'm saved.

Or something like that.

I approached them and they welcomed me in a friendly way and we made reciprocal gestures of appreciation. Then I told them about my problem. I had already noticed the tall man in the distance.

And the hipsters promised me nothing. Our bonds did not go very deep.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Oh this old thing?

I was cleaning up and peeling through an old notebook and found this poem or perhaps embryonic song lyrics that I wrote in a fit of stylistic honesty--exposing my adolescent soul and taste in order to get a thought out fluidly and unconstructedly--and found it amusing. The one bit that embarasses me is the word parlay, but I remember sort of following the rhyme and thinking, who cares anyway, if its nonsense...

Strip all language
From before your eyes
Because all you have
Is time and life
And who wants to deny
How much they press
In on you from every side
When all you have to do
Is say yes, I guess
I have to die some day
And all that's left
Is to play
With as much wit, fancy, and delight,
as you can parlay
Or perhaps
Lie down and admit
That what you see has
Lost its luster
Whatever choice you make
Will provoke no answer from above
Or inside


I was thinking on my bus ride home about how when I was a teenager or even in college my favorite thing was to walk into some warm human place out of a cold night in which I had been walking by myself. Friends inside, or maybe my parents, or a girlfriend. Nostrils numb. Woodsmell.

I do miss that.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Obviously, the Coulter comparison texts are up. I am ambivalent. My first impression is that she was obviously drawing from the sources in question. Did she cite them? If not, she's in the wrong. But I'm not going to dig any deeper right now. If she's guilty, I imagine the blogosphere will catch fire. I realize this is sort of an inane post on a momentary thought flickering through my mind. I've created it solely to answer the one below.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ann Coulter

What's strange about this developing Ann Coulter Plagiarizm story (besides the fact that no disputed quotations have surfaced alongside the text they copy, which, come on now, is a very basic and standard convention of the public-figure-plagiarized genre) is that her books are full of what by any reasonable standard, hell by almost any standard, except possibly I'm An Absurb Bastard Drunk Out of My Mind on Opposite Day standards, and even then I'm not sure, we could with an entirely clear confidence and ringing conviction call lies.

I guess the truth is that there's something less contestable and more read-handed about plagiarizm, the context being so easily established, but still . . . come fucking on.