John Tranter

I’ve been reading a lot of John Tranter lately as part of a series I’m working on. It involves taking a line from a poem that speaks to you and responding to it. I’m currently working on a response to the line “love is endless oil” from the poem Benzedrine by John Tranter from his book Urban Myths. Here’s a draft of the first stanza.

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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?

Coming Alive

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who come alive.” – Howard Thurman

But what if you lose that? What if you lose what makes you come alive?

No dirty jokes today. I haven’t written for a while, I know. But a little while ago I lost it. I lost the juice, the will to write. The thing that kept me going when nothing else did, left me. It’s been creeping up on me for a while. I don’t want to blame it on medication. I don’t want to go down that road and put off any mentally interesting writers that might have otherwise given medication a go. But I can’t deny that it played a part. A lot of things went down and I saw myself grow cynical and shun the writer’s way of life. Life’s necessities have woken me up to the fact that writing full-time can’t give me the life I want. I’m no writing superstar. I’m no academic. I just love poetry. It’s gotten me through a lot of really hard times and lately I’ve not lent on it as much as I’ve pushed it to the side to focus on paying bills and studying, and honestly? That makes me sad.

What does this mean for this blog?

It means I’m going to have to try harder and like a rough patch in any marriage, work to make it work. I’ll be posting little drafts here and there and maybe some pictures of places I’ve been. Just to try to inspire myself, kick-start my heart a bit.

So it’ll still be Ennui Remedies, just with a different flavor – a little more remedy and a little less innuendo – if I can manage it.

That’s all for now, lovely people.

– Jess

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.

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.

Freudian Friday: Diablo Cody on Inspiration

Diablo Cody (Juno, United States of Tara)

As you are about to see, Diablo Cody is a badass. If you need more than that in order to click the little triangle then: Diablo Cody is important because she shows us creatives the value of writing the stories our parents warned us about.

Video coutesy of Artisan News Service.