I've become afraid to write on my blog, or even to check my email. I don't know why. I have part of my novel here. This is in Noö Journal which I like very much. Also read Noah Cicero, a translation from K. Silem Mohammad, Bobby Farouk, and others. Re-reading this part of my novel has energized me to start re-editing the novel. I've edited the first three chapters. I will do more. I will finish by the end of summer. Someone should email me and ask for the novel in September. It will be done. Someone probably wants to publish it. I could make it more controversial. I could add porn. I could add hand-drawn porn pictures.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
I'm listening the The Coup when I write now. I think it is changing what I write somehow. It makes me feel sad. I like Steal this Double Album, and Party Music, and Kill Your Landlord. I think the lyrics are melodramatic but I like them anyway.
I'm also reading Two Against One, but Frederick Barthelme and I like it very much. I think it is the most accurate depiction of relationships, from my point of view, that I've ever read. It's all the things that are embarrassing to write about, or that people don't usually write about because they are not exciting in of themselves. There are no flaming mini-van bank robberies, or jealousy murders.
I want to ride my bike. I will ride my bike over the Columbia River.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I'm listening to Buck 65 while I write this morning. I don't know what this means. It's meaningless. I've begun reading Americana by Don Delillo. Sometimes I really like it. He describes things, like a room, or people in a room very succinctly and I read very quickly, and laugh at his little jokes. Then suddenly there's a flashback, and I become bored. I set the book down and pace. I come back to the book and skim a paragraph. Eat some yogurt. Skim some more. Until I'm back to 'present-time'. I've read one-third of the book, which is good. I'll probably finish it.
I'm writing a story which includes chicken strips and Les Schwab Tires, and PETCO.
Everywhere in Oregon and Washington has Les Schwab Tires, PETCO, and Fred Meyer. I could live in Fred Meyer. Fred Meyer is like Target, but without the pretensions. I don't know what that means. Maybe Wal-Mart has the fewest pretensions. But Wal-Mart is overwhelming, and region-less. Wal-Mart is the same everywhere. At Fred Meyer I'm connected to all people. Similar childhoods in similar cities or towns or sub-city neighborhoods. We all know about the the eight lane roads with strip malls. I'm most comfortable at strip-malls, AM/PMs, 7-11s, and Plaid Pantrys.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
I just finished reading Joy Williams' Taking Care. I think I will read some Andre Dubus next. I don't know why. I'm reading a lot of short stories. Normal short stories. Who are the new writers I should read? I don't know.
I got my hair cut. My hair cutter was angry. She had an angry face. She cut more hair than necessary, but I didn't say anything. I didn't want to make her angrier.
I will start a new story today with a character name Hunter. I wish I could plan stories farther ahead than that. I read someone, I don't remember, a writer, saying that writer's should plan their stories more or something. I felt guilty. And like not a writer. I never know what I'm going to write. I write one sentence and then another and things happen. Sometimes I don't like sentences so I delete them. I do this for a long time, until I think I'm done. This may be why I'm not a successful, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist. There could be other reasons.
I made a folder on my desktop called 'Professional Stories'. That is where I put my professional stories. Coming soon to Esquire and Teen.
Sometimes I think about becoming a Librarian. I would have to go to graduate school. It would cost money. I would be the only person in my family to go to graduate school. They would shun me. I would have to eat on the porch when I visit, from a little silver bowl.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
As I write a story, I must constantly edit the story. To write anything new, I have to read through everything I've written before, make little changes, and finally add a paragraph or two before I quit. This is taking for-fucking-ever.
I'm reading Michael Earl Craig poems while I write.
I just read a story from Taking Care by Joy Williams. I took a bath. I read a little from Americana by Don DeLillo. Who is Don DeLillo? Am I supposed to read his books? I feel like I'm reading a Vladimir Nabakov novel. Maybe DeLillo and Nabakov are the same person, or had their genes spliced somehow.
I'm listening to old Modest Mouse albums and I feel like I'm in high school again. High school was more than ten years ago.
"Ofelia didn't answer. James moved in the next day. He quit his job at Target." This is the turning point in my story. I also wrote this sentence: "Minivans are a certain kind of despair." I will probably have to cut it.
This is like diary or something.
I like editing better than writing. I keep editing my novel and keep thinking I can make it better. I want to cut whole chapters and rewrite them. I want to edit. I edit every day. I have a problem.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
It's important to be efficient so I write a line every few minutes
And eat only when my mouth's cold and wet
And calling for the death of something beautiful
Like the ant-army drilling little caves in my little legs
In the late quiet of an early morning when the movies have all gone to credits
And your palm's only a little sweaty
From the feeling that you're really an otter from Australia
The realization that there are scissors in the drawer
Comes as you buy more scissors
For the scissor-pile you will bury tomorrow
When all hope for a corduroy jacket has disappeared
And you are satisfied with your parking-lot
I roll around in the kitchen and think about the refrigerator
And the vegetables there waiting to be chopped
The sidewalk beneath me's cold but I sit anyway and think about the outlet-mall. The Gap's there and waiting and I want suddenly to stand in the Gap holding calmly my little switchblade-knife and then to tell the Gap-cashier, 'up with your hands bitch, give me your fucking money.'
"Look at this," Ross says. He's holding a gun.
"You hate me, don't you?"
"Huh, real chrome," he says. "See." He holds the gun sideways, in the sunlight.
"You're going to murder me, here, or in
"Some other country somewhere."
"Anyway, hold it will you? It's heavy."
I hold the gun. "They have guns in
We're walking and there's a wind. Before us and behind us small groups of elderly women pat their curly perms and I imagine myself permed and wonder if I would pat my perm or leave it alone, tie it down maybe, beneath a rain-bonnet. The sidewalk has many cracks and I watch them. I can see our reflections in the windows which are backlit and feature chrome pots, then mannequins in sequined dresses, then towers of shoes. High-heels, clogs. Disembodied feet. I want to steal the feet and pile them somewhere. On a bus, maybe. I hold the gun. "What do you think about feet, Ross?" I ask. "Are you for or against?"
"In general, I approve of feet."
"Good, Ross. I like feet too."
We angle across the parking-lot, zigzagging between cars. I tap each car with the gun. There's a sound when the gun hits the cars and I listen to the sound because it's beautiful. Ross's humming and Ross's face's closed and block-like, so I think about Ross's feet and how to remove the feet. With an ax? A skill-saw? Could I attach Ross's feet to my feet and have double-feet? Are four feet better than two? I imagine a sewing-machine, terrible and ten feet tall with a conveyor belt and a glittering invisible needle. "Sew the feet," I say.
"Huh," Ross says. He sounds very tired.
"The feet, I'd sew them to my feet. I need another leg."
"Oh, great." Ross's yawning. "Where are we?"
"For the feet. I'm taking the feet, all of them, and I need to keep them in a containment-unit, with formaldehyde or something. I need one-thousand feet. Foot-museum. A warehouse with chrome shelves. We'll have to guard it, hire guards, there in
The sky's gray and very close and I think I could rub the gun on it if I wanted. We enter the Gap through a sliding-door. There's electronic music. A boy with a high voice screams something. The woman behind the counter has short brown hair that points around. There are barricades made from seatbelts and three women line up behind them. The women are smiling, occasionally combing their hair behind their ears. One removes a rain-bonnet. I stand near a table with blue and pink v-neck sweaters and fold the sweater that's unfolded. The gun's in my waistband and I don't know what to do with it. It's very heavy there and my jeans are sagging slowly from my waist.
"Do you like this?" Ross says. He holds up a checkered shirt. "Do you like this?" Ross says. He holds up black corduroy pants. He removes a tennis-shirt from a hook on the wall. "I like this," he says.
"Can I help you?" someone says. "I think these boxers are just dynamite, the patterns," he says. "I just love boxers." He moves away.
I stand near the mirror and feel confused. Could I make a containment-unit from boxer-shorts? Above me are fluorescent-light-panels and the fluorescent-light-panels are buzzing quickly and each fluorescent-light-panel's separated from every other fluorescent-light-panel by gray acoustic ceiling-tiles. I move sideways, then at an angle, between tables heaped with folded pants and pink t-shirts. "Can I help you?" someone says. He folds a t-shirt and crosses his arms. "T-shirt right, you're looking for a t-shirt." He holds one up. "This one?" he asks. "This one's cute."
"No," I say. "I'm looking for this." I show him the gun. The chrome's shiny in the fluorescent-light. He doesn't answer. "See this," I say. I move the gun nearer to his face. It's almost as big as his face and I can't see his face, I can only see the gun. I'm moving. Outside. The sky has moved in and the sky and the parking-lot are almost touching. I hunch as I jog out onto the asphalt. I hear my shoes slap on the asphalt and the slaps are unpatterned and jerky and inhuman somehow. The air's wet as I breathe it.
"Hey," someone yells. It's Ross. "Should I buy the checkered shirt?"
I look back and Ross's standing in front of the Gap, holding up his checkered shirt. I turn away from Ross and keep moving. Somewhere ahead's the end of the parking-lot and if I keep jogging I'll get there. I watch my feet and my feet are moving and it's beautiful. The asphalt's black and new beneath them and ahead the sky's like a fog, settled on the ground and warm and wet. I could hold it, I think. I could never stop moving.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
I love adverbs. A sentence with adverbs is lonely and alone.
I'm multi-tasking. I'm writing a story and this post and reading.
I'm obsessed with marathons. I saw a marathon on TV. The winner ran five minute miles for eight miles.
"I pull my knife out from my pantyhose and stab him in the neck, and watch as he falls to the ground and dies. At that moment, I feel like there is something on television that I should have recorded." From Die Hard with a Vengeance by Gene Morgan.
I need to learn about these robot-dogs I see at the stores. Will a robot-dog make me feel more fulfilled as a person? Could I have a robot-dog career?
Sometimes I think about going to school to get a Library Science degree and then become a librarian. This is a strange desire.
I like the NCAA basketball tournament. I like Davidson. I want Davidson to take the whole thing.
I just wrote a sentence. And then another. I'm on a roll
Saturday, March 22, 2008
I am writing a blog post because I feel guilty about not writing blog posts for a long time because I went to the zoo instead to watch the penguins
Good Morning. It's Saturday and I'm not working. I'm sitting around reading Bear Parade and also reading The Brothers by Frederick Barthelme which might have the same characters as some other Barthelme novel I read. I think maybe it's the characters from Painted Desert. I'm not sure. I just read Bob the Gambler. I liked it.
I'm writing professional stories now. I'm imitating Barthelme and Lori Moore, and Raymond Carver. It's easy to write like Raymond Carver, I think. I think you have to use the word "the" a lot, when you normally wouldn't. And also "said". If you want to write like Ernest Hemingway, you should use the word "very" a lot, especially when describing wine, or a fine meal after fishing or hunting.
I'm going to have a story in Noö Journal which will also feature Daniel J. Bailey, Benjamin Buchholz, Mattia Cerato, Noah Cicero, Stephan Clark, Patrick Duggan, Bobby Farouk, Elisa Gabbert, Fitz W. Guerin, Carrie Hoffman, Tim Laing, Justin Lovato, Deenah Moffie, J.M. Patrick, Andrew Michael Roberts, Kathleen Rooney, Peter Schwartz, Claudia Smith, Leigh Stein, Jasmine Dreame Wagner, and Sam Wharton.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I've decided that I hate similes and metaphors. I used to like them. Maybe I still like them when they're ridiculous and inaccurate. Inaccurate metaphors are enjoyable, maybe, sometimes, if I'm drunk on wine or something. But similes... Here are some similes from things I wrote that are terrible:
Anyway I kind of like "robot-glaciers" this morning, but only because it is a little meaningless. But it's impossible and false to compare one thing to another thing, and too easy, and when I read similes, or make similes, I find it too easy to begin to compare one thing to another thing and eventually each thing is the same thing and I can't see any difference.
It's 8:54 am. I drank coffee and our neighbor is playing music very loud because, I think, he's a little deaf, or, he has a new sound-system, and has not yet learned how to change the volume. I kicked the wall and it stopped. This was very satisfying. Every person should have something to kick sometime.
I read a little of the book 'NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN' because my brother likes it and he lent it to me. Here is my imitation of it: "He took the satchel and set in the crab-grass and looked at it. He looked at it for a long time. The caldera was wide and long and gray fog-shaped shadows shifted across it like dead predators with steel teeth. He could see the teeth beyond the satchel and he thought about teeth and satchels and money. He thought about it a long time."