Monday, May 12, 2008


____a Soviet artist's response to just criticism.

Fear and Loathing in Pine Plains, NY, mikecole

So that there is no confusion, I thought perhaps to respond to some common criticisms I receive about this blog, my writing in general, and my person (in no particular order).

____1. The Blog

This blog is not about my 'thoughts', in the traditional blogger sense. Many blogs are about that, and few are actually done well- so that you actually come to care about someone's favorite new baking recipe, or a nick-nack I must own. Other things you will almost never read about on this blog are: my favorite music video (with youtube clip), details about the route I employed to get somewhere, 'hilarious' random events, musings on the nature of x y or z. I know several blogs that have approached their content with a more 'casual' approach and have elevated to the standard of 'art'. I read them regularly, and always enjoy them. I, however, am not concerned with that particular content.

So what am I doing here? This blog is not about my day. It's usually about my Soul's day; sometimes it's about my Heart's day. Other times it's where I come to vent, disappear, reconstruct, or escape. Since the nonentity's that write (I write using my fingers, but the source of the content is usually an organ that we think only pumps blood, or a loosely associated ethereal phantom of myself that follows me around and kicks the rocks my feet miss) here experience a different world to the rest of us, I sometimes have to make use of alternative approaches to language to express their ideas. Also, their ideas are: transcendental, lofty, weighty, heavy, despairing, inspiring, heart-wrenching, grave, profound, and occasionally: concerned with details that represent the whole. For this reason my blog can be taxing. My posts can be long. "Your posts are soo long!, and I never 'get' any of them anyway, I usually read the first line, get bored, and leave. Sorry." It's ok. It's a fair criticism.

If the above quote mirrors your ideas, I assure you, you are under no obligation here. If you are after fashion, I do suggest: this, this and especially this. If you think you're cool and want other cool stuff to amuse you, I suggest: this, this and also this. If this blog is too intense but you want something of similar literary vintage, read McSweeny's.

____2. My Writing

My writing is most often about me. Sometimes, I manage to overcome myself long enough to write purely for another person; most often, when I do this, it is still in relation to me. If you find me writing very regularly about one someone, I am probably in love with them, and in that case, it still relates to me, and I am writing to them because I don't know how else to show them who I am. I feel unqualified to write to write about much else. I have a terrible imagination and cannot readily think up stories I have not experienced, this is entirely my fault. Flaubert, James, Murakami, Kafka, Austen, never had this impediment. (Marquez claimed to write collectively the story of 'his people', and not himself alone. When I develop a more tender heart, more empathetic hands, I will try this. If you hold my hand you will be assisting me greatly. My hands are sinking into me, I am getting lonely. When I find who 'my people' are, that will also help. If you think you are a 'my person', I am looking for you, let me know, maybe I can write your stories because our hearts have shared them while we: slept, sat in silence, kissed, discussed baking recipes, listened to each other on the phone, made common friends but ignored one another).

I am occasionally mildly humorous in real-life. I have no yet learnt how to translate this into my writing (in general). I am working on this, I'll keep you posted.

Sometimes, I make references considered to be esoteric, pretentious or haughty. These are most often references derived from poetry (or literature in general), music, art, and sometimes- if you can't catch a reference- it's probably from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which is full of incredible language describing fantastic things. They are occasionally (but not confined to): quoting lines or passages, constructing puns or word-plays, adopting/mimicking styles, applying ideas form one art to another, name-dropping as though I am personally acquainted with personages.

I know it is sometimes intimidating for readers who are not familiar with: Bach, Pontius Pilate, Kandinsky, autocracy, didactic philosophy, klavierstucke, etc, to follow what I am actually saying. I find that my justification of this 'reference-game' can only be made by offering an abridged theory on art. Forgive me this small explanation:

Be aware, ladies and gentlemen, that few sentiments remain that are yours alone. Perhaps your combination of emotions is unique, but more or less, every shade of love, despair and trifle-amusement has been felt, noted, and in rare cases of prospering art, forever expressed. In our day, the best we can hope for is a novel collaged rendition of other people's ideas, images, emotions, and so on. Since I am not so bold as to think I can outdo Brahms, Woolf or Sapho- I will occasionally use their perspective to delineate mine more accurately.

There is a second reason I often write like an adult: I love these things. They come to mind. I cannot often control their burgeoning when I think. Ideas seems to attach to one another in some unconscious part of my thinking-machine and before I know it, love = the slow movement of a Mozart piano concerto. Or driving late at night looking at stars to Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor (for the organ).


_______________________this paragraph removed because it was not very good.

In short, if sometimes I seem abstruse it's because the things my soul thinks are most accurately portrayed differently from the clearest way of stating them.

I was sad

is different from:

For now I sit, and think

of satellites in orbit,
not far enough away,
but entirely alone.


Laila said...

I believe you have a new reader...

a penny for the old guy said...

ooh! welcome, make yourself at home.

I don't read spanish but I'm going to have a friend of mine translate for me. (I did love the haiku though)

Monday's Child said...

I like you..

oh Laila!! what are you doing here??? how odd...

ah not so odd now I think about it...

Monday's Child said...

I wondered for a minute how to conduct a conversation through comments in blogger... should I answer in my blog? or in yours? but then as you answered my comment in mine I figured I should do the same and then realised you hadn't asked a question... twas just me not being able to keep my mouth shut or my fingers still.

Not all your thoughts are aside thoughts and plus I don't see parenthesis as only for aside thoughts.. I use them for parallel thoughts. I have a lot of parallel thoughts which often need to be expressed right bang in the middle of whatever is happening at the moment. I also really like the (...) what are they called? surely not "dot dot dots" anyway?

I grew up in West Africa: first 18 years of my life in Guinea (Conakry). I don't think that's why I have so many parallel thoughts though. Although, my current obsession will all things TCKidish may eventually uncover the link.