infinity on repeat

"It is the imagination pressing back against the pressure of reality. It seems, in the last analysis, to have something to do with our self-preservation; and that, no doubt, is why the expression of it, the sound of its words, helps us to live our lives.”

Tag: writing

sometimes i have to clutch a book against my heart until i can fall asleep

maybe the trick for remaining dedicated to writing without giving up the beauty of being alive is to refuse all thoughts until i have a pen hand to trace them with 

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what i think i have learned about writing so far

  • style is simple. even butterflies know that
  • pictures first
  • you have to finish the line
  • unlearn everything you have learned since the age of 3
  • never try
  • listen with raw honesty
  • there is no talent, only obsession
  • write with humble gratitude toward your reader
  • reject your religion but keep your devout
  • chase experience madly
  • remember everything
  • work harder each day
  • you are the sum of your questions
  • collect inspiration from all disciplines
  • always hope to be wrong
  • a writer is the vehicle, not the source

listing prose

BELIEF & TECHNIQUE FOR MODERN PROSE
Jack Kerouac

1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
4. Be in love with yr life
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
29. You’re a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

Forget your personal trag…

Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt use it—don’t cheat with it. Be as faithful to it as a scientist—but don’t think anything is of any importance because it happens to you or anyone belonging to you.

Hemingway’s letter of advice to F. Scott Fitzgerald

scattered magnetic postcards

Once, I was so afraid of my humanity that I resolved to become my own vacuum and suck it all up…
It was how quickly reality shed its skin. I could not trust the simplest object to be what it was, or rather I could not trust my eyes to see what it is they should see. Are you sure that is a pencil? Do you not wonder if nothing is what it appears to be? I thought I needed to get revenge on reality for fooling me. I thought it could bring me back to people. I was confused.

~

The Velvet Underground could have never split open Poor Little Rich Girl the way The Everly Brothers did. I think Edie & I danced around in black leotards to the same song when we locked our bedroom doors and chopped all our hair off. I had been peeling a carrot when I thought how nice it would feel to have my stringy membrane removed as well… I could reveal my gleaming, raw carrot soul! Bye bye, lonliness! Bye bye, emptiness! I think I’m gonna die-ie!

~

Lit a cigarette and opened my notebook to a draft poem about how stalkers shared a common bond of heightened consciousness. I couldn’t return to the truth I was getting at. Lost another one. I have to finish writing whatever I start writing when I start writing it, and then I will edit it for days. Anyone who tells you they write a line of poetry a day is full of bullshit. Flow is most important. Words don’t float alone, you have to make a little boat for them. Make the boat then steer.

~

Instead of working on worksheets, I spent my hours in the language lab with his Jewish Spirituality book, translating great mystic poems into French. I guess I was spitting in the face of some old guy who already translated each poem into English for me.

~

There was a heightening sense that the value system our parents had instilled in us was wrong. Our influences were people who had failed us; people whom we had failed, whose expectations of us prompted our deep and silent anxiety. We had been taught, essentially, to only fear reproach and punishment, but the absolute dissolved like a mirage surrendering to desert expanse. We didn’t know how to navigate the sticky hazy nothing we had found.

~

We were technology babies, born into the cool blue energy of the digital age. We were the first generational crop to have the entire world introduced to us as our playground:

You can be anything you want.
You can do whatever you put your mind to.
Everyone is a winner.
Everyone is special.
If you don’t know the answer, Google it.

 It grew increasingly clear that something had gone wrong; something was missing although we had plenty. How could we have asked for more?