Thursday, April 28, 2011


A forty, maybe fifty-foot pecan looms over my house. I say looms (not towers, rises, soars or stands) because I want the tree to sound menacing, like it has some want for authority over me. Of course, it’s just a pecan tree. It only looms in my mind. And, really, only when I’m thinking about storms and wind and the unfortunate proximinty of the tree to my house. If not for the wall, I could touch it from my bed.

So, I remind you of storms.

And I say the tree looms.

Then I tell you: I think I'm going to kill it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

This Other Thing

I should be revising a novel; instead I burned a week on one of the worst short stories I’ve ever written. That’s probably not true. I’ve probably written worse, but this one is closer so it feels uglier.

I do this a lot. Write bad stories. Sometimes I even submit them. Sometimes I submit them repeatedly. Then, one day, I read them and I see that they are bad and I feel ashamed about that, although, truly, there shouldn’t be anything shameful about producing bad art. Not giving up your seat on the bus to an old lady – that’s shameful. Failing at art? Hell, least you’re focused on something outside of your own personal comfort, right?

And yet...

I don’t know. I wish I could better identify a bad story early on – like before I even start writing it. Time trickles into this jar beneath me and I can’t get it back and more time just keeps falling and I know this shouldn’t make me all antsy, but it does. I believe I have some great writing within me, but it takes so damn long to extract that I could die before I ever hit the main vein. That’s what this is about, of course. Death being what everything is about. Even love, I think. Although that’s probably one of those simple statements that sounds profound but is really just simple.

I’m a bad reviser. I try to correct every little thing and I obsess on those things too much and just end up making things fake and inaccessible. I can’t seem to shake the belief that all things CAN be corrected with the right effort. I’m not talking writing, although it applies in full to that. I’m talking about my state of being. My mistakes ... well ... I don’t ever believe things are ruined. I believe, if I just work at it, I can fix what I broke. This, I think, seems admirable. Or, at least, that’s what I’d tell someone who told me they don’t give up on fixing what they broke. But sometimes shit is just broke. It’s trashed. And all the tape and glue will never make it anything more than this wad of tape and glue that somewhat resembles an unbroken thing.

I wish I had more time, or started earlier, which is the same thing in a way.

I wrote a story about a rainbow because I dared myself to. It’s pretty good, I think. Then I wrote a story about two women who are married and have no genitalia – because someone suggested I should write such a story. That’s the horrible one referenced above. I would’ve thought the results would’ve been the other way around. Then, again, I thought Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was going to better than 30 Rock. Sometimes premise and potential are nothing. Sometimes it’s just about knowing who you are and not trying to be this other thing.

This other thing. Whatever that is today.