So I took a Sharpie to Freud’s On Psychopathology…
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
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?
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.
Though I’m sure there is a blog post somewhere that covers that niche if you’re into it. ‘Book dipping’ is like ‘Bible dipping‘
but less creepy; flip to a random page, scan it and pick a word that stands out. BAM subject acquired.
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.
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.
It’s a rough draft of a day.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?).
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.
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.