Graffiti Freud.

So I took a Sharpie to Freud’s On Psychopathology

Early morning ennui remedies. Blackout poems.
Early morning ennui remedies. Blackout poems.
Advertisements

Wild Saturday night, poetry, and mold.

Ahhh Sunday morning.

I have a new bookcase. It’s chocolate coloured, tall, and begging for books. The walls of my room are freckled with mold that looks to be making a home for itself (the joys of living in an old damp apartment), so I’m frantically moving all my prized books out of its reach. As it is with these things, I couldn’t help but read some of them.

Now it’s late (or early) and I’ve had my nose in some pages by the likes of John Tranter, John Forbes, and August Kleinzahler. So now I’m messing around with words. Here are some I prepared earlier.

Coral lipped, she had her tongue split
down the middle, now she talks strange
She likes to stick it out at small children
declaring that she never saw herself as a
mother

concentrating on the red man, he changes
green and we walk to the movies, she hates
romantic comedies and so do I, so we catch
some Nicolas Cage disaster. We’re not there
for the popcorn.

In the park in the early hours she hands me
a can of Coke, we do the whole look
at the stars and contemplate our lives shit. She feels
Athena is misunderstood – her manager – not the goddess
she tells me, though the goddess has a right to be mad
too, if you ask her, which I didn’t, but to watch her is heaven
and the night’s too cold for me to move.

I think the ending is a bit too weak. But I’m still mulling over what to replace it with. Maybe a detail about the other persona? I don’t know, it’s kind of her show, so… I’ll have to think on it some more.

Wild Saturday night/Sunday morning alone at the keys. I know what you’re thinking, “how does she maintain her extravagant lifestyle?”. Coffee and meds, my friends, coffee and meds.

Why, what are you doing with your Sunday morning?

Mind Food Monday: Cratylus

Idea of the week.

This post is brought to you by ‘book dipping’. Which unfortunately doesn’t involve wading naked through piles of loose leaf paper.

My perforated-paper-products bring all the boys to the yard.
My perforated-paper-products bring all the boys to the yard and they’re like: ‘This is not as erotic as the tweet/status implied’.

Though I’m sure there is a blog post somewhere that covers that niche if you’re into it. ‘Book dipping’ is like ‘Bible dippingbut less creepy; flip to a random page, scan it and pick a word that stands out. BAM subject acquired.

Cratylic

No, it’s not a disease commonly found in domestic cats. It refers to the idea that a person’s given name reflects aspects of their personality rather than being an arbitrary word (but the theory extends beyond proper names to encompass all language)¹. According to the Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory the word is native to Plato, appearing in his dialogue Cratylus.


¹Cuddon, J,  1999, Cratylic in Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, Penguin Books, London, England,  p191.

Freudian Friday: James Geary talks aphorism and Elvis.

The Mathematics of Metaphor.

(I promise that this will probably be the last time I use the word mathematics on this blog).

In this fantastic talk, I is an Other novelist and former editor of Time James Geary discusses metaphor and Elvis. Specifically, the impact of metaphor on our daily lives. I can’t voice how much I enjoy his ideas and enthusiasm. His site hosts such a wealth of creativity and ideas – I want to have his brain babies. Video courtesy of my favorite people at TED.

You can pick up a copy of James Geary’s works I is an Other ($15) and The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of Aphorism ($9) at Book Depository. You can also visit his official site for updates on his research, pictures of his goldfish (no really, I think I’m in love) and general awesomeness. Try not to lick the screen.

Text Thursday: Newspaper Blackouts and giving up.

It’s a rough draft of a day.

Since semester ended I feel like my brain has just given up. Which I expected to some extent. But (in true ‘The Oatmeal‘ style) lately it’s just being an arsehole.

Brain: Oh you wanna spell that?

Me: Yes please, I need to put this word is some public place where it is likely that someone will judge my grasp of the English language based on this sentence.

Brain: Ha! No. No words for you.

Me: Oh come on, I use ‘definitely’ all the time!

Brain: No. No words for you. This week you can spell onomatopoeia, Macedonian,  and dysfunction but ‘fruit’, ‘definitely’ and the correct use of ‘stationery’ is out of the question.

Me: You’re ruining me.

Brain: Just for that, I’m taking your maths skills too.

Me: But I barely had any to begin with!

Brain: Let’s see how well you work without the ability to count.

Me: Fuck you.

Brain: Oh, and you’re afraid the cat is sick today.

Me: What?!

Brain: Yep, the cat’s going die and you’ve left the stove and the iron on. Your house is going to burn down. You’re fucked.

So I was going to word today. I was going to write and edit and have all the literary wordy-words reclining on the screen, being fed grapes from a vine and lightly caressing your eyeballs with a stanza or two. But apparently that’s not happening today, or this week. So instead I just tried to make words my friend, because I’m stubborn like that.

I don't even know.
I don’t even know.
Newspaper Blackout Poem (a la Austin Kleon). You can create your own and submit them here.
Newspaper Blackout Poem (à la Austin Kleon). You can create your own and submit them here. Even my pen doesn’t want to play today.

 Maybe a creaky little old draft

The house of the Nekorb,

made of human bones

has one-way windows

and bloodwood doors.

 

The house of the Nekorb,

rented by shadows,

has holes in the roof

and a couch made of stones.

 

There are no mirrors

no silverware, no mantles

no beds, no stairs,

no toilets or phones.

 

But the walls are lined with portraits,

there’s photographs in the hall,

the fridge is always full

and the heat is always on.

And the house itself is happy

and the ghouls don’t like to moan

the bats clean up their guano

and make my ribs their home.

Writerly Wednesday: Pablo Neruda

Short and Sweet: Pablo, Pablo! Excelente!

Pablo Neruda was a badass mofo the genius king of Chilean literature.

In what language does rain fall over tormented cities?

                                 – Pablo Neruda, The Book of Questions, courtesy of GoodReads.

Why is he is king? For me it’s because he wrote some of the best poems I’ve ever laid eyes on. For some of his best can be found here and here. Celebrated as one of the best poets of the 20th century, his passion for poetry alone is enough to turn you on get your creative soul humming.

He apparently sold all his possessions to fund his début work ‘Twilight’ (not a vampire story); one of his earlier works caused controversy because of its erotic content, he changed his name because his father disapproved of his passion, he was forced into exile for his political affiliations, and he was a full-time disgustingly brilliant genius poet by his early twenties. See? Total badass. What’s not to love?

Oh, and he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971, you know, small details.

To get more Neruda in your life, you can pick up a copy of The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems on Book Depository for around $14.

You can also find his interview with The Paris Review regarding his pen name, political aspirations (and disbelief at himself as a candidate for the Nobel Prize), Samuel Beckett, his writing practice, and much more here.

Love for This Book – Pablo Neruda, courtesy of AntiqueThings on YouTube.

There is also a conspiracy theory that Neruda didn’t die of heart failure but was murdered for his political beliefs, more about this theory can be found here.

Text Thursday: Mash-up, Shaw, hidden narratives and page X

Quick Lit shake up

This Text Thursday is brought to you by literary mash-ups. A mash-up, much like Austin Kleon’s Black out poems or Dada‘s cut up technique is about taking a pre-existing text and finding new narratives within it. Kleon’s poems are born of crossing out all but a few words to create a new text. The Dadaists cut up texts, re-arranged the words and formed new sentences. The mash-up takes a text and stretches it, filling the spaces between words with new words to form a narrative. It was first introduced to me by one of my poetry lecturers, Gareth Jenkins. He also pointed out that it’s a good idea to use non fiction texts as they are often the most unintentionally poetic (much like Kleon’s newspaper’s eh?).

But for copyright reasons because I happen to have a copy of Bernard Shaw’s Back to Methuselah (1945), I’m going to use that as an example.

I picked this book up from a second hand bookstore for $2 a couple of years ago. Check out the cool inscription.

So, page x (10) of the Preface – ‘Political Inadequacy of the Human Animal’

Ten more years elapsed. Neo-Darwinismin in politics had produced a European catastrophe of a magnitude so appalling, and a scope so unpredictable, that as I write these lines in 1920, it is still far from certain whether our civilization will survive it (Shaw 1945).

and then stretch it, add a few words (and in this case I’m taking a few out) and it might become:

“Ten more years elapsed. Darwinism drove men to politics, lovers curled themselves around a European bouquet of love, catastrophes, explosions of hearts; petals on the cobblestones, a tapestry of such magnitude, so appalling, the scope of their spirits, the trickling sound as they slip their way through the gutters, unpredictable, a doctor, a wife, gushing out the lines of pavement into storm water drains, into 1920. Still and far from the certainty of each others’ pockets, a civilization of lovers, survived only by the city.”

It’s a lot of fun and sometimes you can even get some usable lines out of it, if not a whole poem.

Other great mash-up texts might include: religious texts, pamphlets, instruction manuals, menus, bills, and so on.

Lots of seemingly un-poetic texts contain narratives, you just need the tools to find them.

                                                                                                       

Shaw, B, 1945, Back to Methuselah, Oxford University Press, London, p X.