Truthful speaking would be a simple way to tell the truth, if the truth were simple and could be told.

28 April 2008

Still My Favorite Human Giant Skit

Before they made it to MTV, The Human Giant were big on the Internet and I discovered them when I first discovered Tapes 'n Tapes (they have a new album out called Walk It Off which is all right, though not as good as The Loon. I mean, with The Loon, you could play that thing loud. I mean, it was a record meant to be played at full volume: total unpretentious, unbridled rock and roll. And while this new one does provide a good listen, I guess it's kind of lacking the energy of the debut, which is sad). Clell Tickle was their marketing person and he's an indie marketing guru. If you watch, you'll see why.

23 April 2008

For David Foster Wallace Fans:


Birthday

Today's the birthday of the bard Shakespeare
Strangely enough he died today as well
Today he also happened to bite dust
Cervantes too for that matter, oh man
Of all day's to die today would be it.

20 April 2008

Anniversary:

On April 20th of my freshman year (2006?) I premiered the last movie that I made that was actually any decent. It was called Toilet Trained and Dumb; I kinda liked that one.

19 April 2008

Ha!


New Dæmonomania Cover

I was just thinking about last night or this morning -- actually, I'd been thinking about it for quite sometime, constantly checking Amazon.com or the Overlook Press website, trying to find news of the latest edition of Dæmonomania, the third part of John Crowley's Ægypt cycle.


All four books of the cycle have been released so far: Ægypt (now The Solitudes), Love & Sleep, Dæmonomania, and Endless Things, all in different editions from different publishers. Overlook Press, this small independent publishing company who pretty much delivers what their name promises, have so far put out the first two books in the series, with the latter two coming out in May and September respectively. They are trying to make the books look like they belong together in a series (only time will tell if anyone ever puts all four books together in one massive omnibus; all together there are still much longer books: War & Peace, Against the Day, the Spanish edition of 2666, which is coming out this November, more on that later) and I'm all about that.


John Crowley is quite possibly the best living author in America; he ranks with the best living authors of the entire world; he'll probably be someone revered and studied decades from now. He's that good. He has magnificent prose, spectacular characters, relatable but still bizarreevents . . . pretty much anything you could ever ask for in a book. And in the end, it's all very human and beautiful and you go through wide ranges of emotions and all stuff. On top of all that, it's just fantastic writing.


If I had $100 at my disposal, I would've totally ordered the 25th anniversary edition of Little, Big, but I don't.


Anyway, to help clear up this sporadic entry, here's the cover of Dæmonomania, which I cannot wait to read. I hear it's the most hyper, energetic, and wild entry of the series, which would make sense, since the first book serves as an introduction, the set-up; book two is like a dream, lyrical and with everyone amazed at where they're at; so the third book would have to be when all hell breaks loose, and the final part brings up the conclusion.



Read the other books in the series. Or Little, Big, which is my favorite book right now (I'd say of all time but at this time last year that was One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I still find fantastic).

17 April 2008

A Sex Scene I Once Wrote

Placing kisses down Isaac’s neck, his chest, his stomach, Skyler slowly descended down towards the button of his jeans and utilizing his teeth he was able to pull them open and down and he rubbed his face over the cloth of Isaac’s boxers who lifted his hips, dug his fingernails into his palms and strained strained strained while Skyler removed his underwear completely, presented one of the condoms, licked Isaac like a lollipop before he slid the condom on and before Isaac had a chance to do the same to him, Skyler had stripped off his own pants and put on his own condom and then Isaac felt the other boy’s weight on him and for awhile he couldn’t see anything but close-ups of Skyler, not only limited to his face, and even when Skyler did something to him that he couldn’t do at the same time, all he focused on was his partner, and on the radio the CD changed and Isaac grabbed Skyler’s head with him still in Skyler’s mouth as the CD player switched discs, then Iggy Pop’s “Some Weird Sin” came through the speakers and Isaac allowed him to resume and moments later Skyler was inside of him and at first it hurt really badly but then he was inside of Skyler and their bodies were soaked with sweat, Isaac’s Beatle-hair splattered against his forehead in long, wet strands stinging his eyes while Skyler’s shorter hair jutted out in points mimicking Gothic cathedrals and Isaac found out that he was, in fact, a moaner and many times Skyler had to envelop him with his mouth as they thrust and moved and sweated until at that last singular moment when the condoms were ripped away and the explosions followed, shaking their bodies, sending them into spasms, and they collapses into one another, gluing together into each other’s boy-milk….

12 April 2008

Poetry:

As a voracious reader, it should be said that I'm horribly underread when it comes to poetry. Unlike with prose or fiction whose major limit is that there's just way too much to get to, I don't actively seek out poems. And it's not that I don't like them or anything -- some poems have loads to say and they say them magnificantly -- it's just that . . . and I'm trying to think of the best way to say this without coming off as a philistine . . . I don't actively seek them out. The reasons why this may be true probably run long and deep and through woods that I'm not about to explore in the blogosphere but mostly because they don't interest me, I suppose. Bad experiences with classes maybe? Too many terribly read poems from high school? The failure of my own poetry from the very first creative writing class I took o so long ago? I don't know. I'm trying to justify this and I already said I wouldn't.

The last poem (until these) I sought out was Pale Fire, which was a piece of huge metafiction, so it wasn't just a poem but a dissertation of a poem, a chase adventure, a gay romp through imaginary kingdoms, an exploration of envy and a man's mentality breaking down, and just a fascination with the written word. And the poem in that book might not have been all the important to the actual understanding of the book, you know?

Anyway, in class we read "Emergency" from Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son collection, which I read wrong the first time I read it (I didn't know if I should read them as a series of short stories or as a mix-up novel) and I was speaking to the professor about Johnson just in general, because it appears I'm the only one who's read other books by the guy. He told me the guy started off as a poet, which is why you get some fantastic lines in the prose (just because you're a poet initially doesn't suggest that's the only way to write fantastic lines of prose; look at: John Crowley, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Cormac McCarthy; we could go on), and suggested I look at The Incognito Lounge.

Which is a strangely compelling collection. Look at these:

THE CIRCLE

I passed a helicopter
crashed in the street today,
where stunned and suddenly grief-torn
passers-by tried to explain
over and over, a hundred ways, what
had happened. Some cried over the pilot,
others stole money from his wallet --
I heard the one responsible for his death
claiming the pilot didn't need it any more,
and whether he spoke of the pilot's
money or his life wasn't clear.
The scene had a subaqueous timbre
that I recognize now as a light
that shines in in the dreams I have when I sleep
on my back and wake up half-drowned.
However I tried to circumnavigate
the circus of fire and mourning --
the machine burst ajar like a bug,
the corpse a lunch pail
left open and silly music coming out --
I couldn't seem to find a way
that didn't lead straight to the heart of the trouble
and involve me forever in their grief.

THE INCOGNITO LOUNGE (final stanza)

Every bus ride is like this one,
in the back the same two uniformed boy scouts
de-pansting a little girl, up front
the woman whose mission is to tell the driver
over and over to shut up.
Maybe you permit yourself to find
it beautiful on the bus as it wafts
like a dirigible toward suburbia
over a continent of salons,
over the robot desert that now turns
purple and comes slowly through the dust.
This is the moment you'll seek
the words for over the imitation
and actual wood of successive
tabletops indefatigably,
when you watched a baby child
catch a bee against the tinted glass
and were married to a deep
comprehension and terror.



The other day I was at my show and just looking up stuff about Wilco. Jeff Tweedy in particular and much to my surprise, turns out the guy wrote a book of poems and, further to my surprise, our library carried it (Morgan Library is the best library in the world; maybe not but it's the best I've ever had a membership with). I grabbed it and read it and liked it, a little dismayed at first because the poems sometimes felt that they needed that musical arrangement to really beef them up (there's this guy who said that the people who would be poets in the '60s became rock musicians, i.e. John Lennon, Bob Dylan) but then I stumbled over this really fantastic one:

ANOTHER GREAT THING

the best way
to fell your blood
is to lie

tell bold ties
about books
(even better)
say
you write

listen,
lying won't help at all
unless,
you pick the right people

people who know
how to write and lie

o, and then the blood will pound
discoteque-esque
otherwise
it won't at all



Now, I've written song lyrics and yes I think that they can be poetic or whatever (look at Cloud Cult: "You can take it in stride/Or you can take it right between the eyes/Suck up/Suck up/Take your medicine"; "I shook hands with a man who honestly thought he was the Grandson of Jesus with a penchant for pinchies/He served us communion of cola and twinkies") but I also thinks there's a different rhythm that poetry in the epic general and song lyrics fall on and often times you get these really fantastic lines that are just missing something without that musical arrangement. And the Tweedy book kind of goes in and out of those kind of things.

So there's been the extent of my poetry reading lately and chances are I'm not going to really look for a lot more since I have some Flannery O'Connor, Cormac McCarthy, John Crowley, Roberto Bolano, E. L. Doctorow, David Foster Wallace, Denis Johnson, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Tim O'Brien, Steven Millhauser, William Shakespeare, Oakley Hall, Thomas Pynchon, Zadie Smith, Chris Adrian, Doris Lessing, Herman Melville, Richard Adams, Michael Chabon, and Christ knows how many more left to read.

09 April 2008

Conan Smith

In my three years in Creative Writing classes I've had most of them with this kid named Conan Smith. The shortest way to describe him, I suppose, would have to be a socialist cowboy, and his stories -- very McCarthy in nature -- occur in the old West or the modern West, or just somewhere where violence is prevelant. Except for one, which was Kerouac in nature and wasn't that great, but I attribute that mostly to the Kerouac influence.

Like every writer in our age group, his stories are not devoid of weaknesses: cliches, contrivances, awkwardness, underdeveloped characters, missed opportunities . . . but one thing that shines out in all of the fiction I've read of his so far is just his prose style. Yes, sometimes he gets a little winded and overstates, or doesn't find the exact way he wants to say something, but when he gets it, he probably has the best prose styling of pretty much anyone in my classes.

Look at this paragraph:

He sat there on the hand quilted afghan that somone put a lot of time into. Its bright orange design jetting off in a few different directions, partially revealing a peace symbol. He glanced down and watcher her side move up and down slowly with each breath -- as he began to lose his. Such a flawless creature lying perfectly, such a beautiful set of Aegean Sea colored eyes and a well manicured complexion. Her long brown hair with bright highlights spilling over the pillow and blanket. He snuggled in next to her and nibbled her ear while exhaling his warm freshly brushed teeth into her ear. Her body shuddered and she rolled over. He pulled the pink and black sleeping patch off, revealing those bright evil eyes. She pulled him in for a kiss, no ordinary kiss but a kiss of love. She reached into his pants and pulled him out. They went at it for eight or ten minutes, with her turned around not facing him and only feeling his member and hand pulling her hair back as she let out brief cries of satisfaction. As he released himself into her he pulled her hair and held his other hand strong around her lumbar pressing in hard causing a spasm of muscular tension to release. She collasped on the bed and he leaned back. Her legs began to shake and twitch involuntarily and he rached to the back of her neck. He pulled her close, kissing her on the back and shoulders to distract her from the nervous tick.

The night sky was turning from a light shade of balck into a dark blue as the air became crisp and new.

05 April 2008