Tuesday, September 15, 2009

writer's block pt 2

i do not know if there is another world. one in my head. i find the proposition unlikely, i am not an imaginative man. it is perplexing. being urged to write. i know of one world. i am sitting in it. perhaps at its periphery, perhaps at its centre ; because my attempts to plot it have been unsuccessful, i cannot tell you which. the world exists as an extension of myself. it grows from me like grass and roots and tumors. i sweat clouds. this may or may not be true, but seems to be consistent with my ex-therapist's conclusion that i have narcissistic personality disorder, a matter i continue to find amusing.

therein lies the first problem with this story: it has no place. more correctly: no placeness. more accessibly: i have no sense of home ; therefore, i find it difficult to 'place' any story in a definite w(here. location is amorphous to me. if i close my eyes, i am not sure if they will open to a cubicle in the law library of Bond University on the Gold Coast, or if i will be sweaty standing at the corner of Topanga Canyon and Ventura Boulevard watching cars swallowed by the mouth of the 101, or sitting at the bus stop by the big roundabout where Ben Gurion Street ends in Haifa. the same is true of my characters. they exist as blurs. flashes of light and tenderness and affection, somehow converted by the magical touch of a Boeing 747 to polaroids on a wall. words on gchat screens. beeps on my phone. silent, ghostlike eyes reading this. that. other things. and confused i flip through the parts of my notebooks where i've written their names, our stories, and can't for the life of me think where i've left them. (or they've left me).

put a piece of paper in front of me, i promise i'll start crying before i determine where to place X .
so here we are: all my unimagined, unwritten stories. here we are without a starting point. without characters that hold their shapes. with too many streetsigns. and yet , there's an urge.

My confidence comes from the belief that all human beings resemble each other, that others carry wounds like mine- that they will therefore understand. All true literature rises from this childish, hopeful certainty that all people resemble each other.
____Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Acceptance Speech translated from Turkish by Maureen Freely

i know that two things must happen. (a) i must designate time to write for me. not for blogs, websites. only me. it is time i begun discovering where all the words go when they stop walking with me. there's a room or a blind-spot inside me somewhere, a convergence point, a locus, a grail-room where they're kept. when i find it, i can listen to the old man who's sitting there, and he will tell me what stories he wants told. who they're about. (b) my first story must be about home. about lostness and foundness. this much seems clear. in order to write this story, i will shut-out the memory of every scrap of half-formed story/poem/article in every one of my notebooks. this must be a new endeavor. this must be a new telling of this old battered world. i must reasses the clouds sweating off me and the thick branches growing off of me, and the small pebbles i leave behind everywhere whenever i sit or stand.


the pills have left me a little shaky , when i walk this is. so i try and sit. i find chatter burdensome. i have nothing i need to say.

but now i remember it. a wordless, austere melancholia. something so natural and common and inexplicable that we all pass it by without thinking to comment.


i have a faulty eye. commonly, i misinterpret. other times, misunderstand. often, misconceive in nature - a very deep error. if i am to tell of my own unplotted, unAtlassed world, then i proceed with plastic, Toys R Us seer stones. retracing my steps is too complex now, there can be no beginning. memory is capricious at the best of times. my friends are blurrs and polaroids and heartbeats. sitting at quiet tables i am going to slowly recruit. procure. designate. crosshatched names and street signs. kick over a house of cards and ask a shaman to tell me what happens next.


On Mooshley Having a Bad Day, Some Words in Consolation:

a book is perfect in colour.
crouches in its place on the shelf.
plays nicely with its neighbours.

the sun is occasionally too bright.
often, too-fully clothed in white clouds,
but like any half-decent friend, always shows up again.

my point is, if days can be unstitched back
into raspberry muffins and bright red mustangs,
then their fangs fall away too.

and if not that,
then heat the kettle,
like any half-decent friend,

i'm always en route to show up again.

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