In the Future I Will Write Something Beautiful

January 27, 2009 § 6 Comments

uoft

This whole day I sit at my desk near my direct supervisor. My direct supervisor is a radiologist who usually works in another building, the whole day she sat at a desk right next to me and discussed MRIs and Ultrasounds with a two man team from India, proper like Thompson and Tompson, and another man, another radiologist from the hospital.

Everyone but my direct supervisor has Indian accents. Both of the men directly from India have voices that are a bit deep. The other man, who is a radiologist at my hospital, has probably been here for some time. His voice is lighter and it sounds almost like trickling coconut water. « Read the rest of this entry »

Dilbert, the Abyss

January 22, 2009 § Leave a comment

dilbert

In an early Dilbert comic strip, Dilbert passes a security guard who sits at a desk doing nothing. Dilbert looks at the man and thinks “Oh, if only I had that luxury! I wonder to what depths my mind would wander?” These are the thoughts of a hopeless loser. The security guard wonders what balsa wood tastes.

Dilbert wastes himself. In the morning, when the world is full of promise, Dilbert wakes up in his bedroom, which is almost totally devoid of furnishing. There are no paintings on the wall, no posters, there is nothing. It has been years since a woman has seen it, and even then she only glanced at it from the threshold, nervously. His bed has never been touched by a woman. Delicate fingers have never traced the underside of a pillow. Dilbert doesn’t remember the sound a woman makes when she is startled, or laughing, not even instinctually or from past lives. His soul is completely barren, an empty beach with only a puddle for a lake, not even enough water to come up to your knees. « Read the rest of this entry »

How to Facebook

January 19, 2009 § 1 Comment

oldmankick

I got an e-mail last night. It was about a little book of “prose poetry” I made last summer and left around, mostly on the Bloor-Danforth subway line, the Woodbine bus, and around the U of T campus. I also sold a very few at CanZine. As time goes by the e-mails seem to be accelerating, as if it has only taken them this long to reach “critical mass”, only now may opinions be voiced; it’s very interesting.

from: Fxxxxxxx Cxxxxxxxxx <cxxxxx.dxxxx@gmail.com>
to: “xxxx@gmail.com” <xxxx@gmail.com>
dateSun, Jan 18, 2009 at 7:01 PM
subjectThat was amazing

And I want more.

I remembered it differently when I wrote what follows (how embarrassing), in my head it no longer said “That was amazing” in the subject line, which is nice, very nice, it’s fun to hear, but it’s not quite as eccentric, or even, should I say it? “Sexual” as the line Lisa and I somehow hallucinated ten minutes after viewing the e-mail. Below is the representation that we left the computer imagining, for whatever reason, and the rest of this is “built” on that.

from: Fxxxxxxx Cxxxxxxxxx <cxxxxx.dxxxx@gmail.com>
to: “xxxx@gmail.com” <xxxx@gmail.com>
date:Sun, Jan 18, 2009 at 7:01 PM
subject:That rocked my world.

And I want more.

Look, this person is on Facebook. « Read the rest of this entry »

CtioreFleFle SefTion

January 14, 2009 § Leave a comment

9_feardreamsprintsm

Somehow I missed this the first time, even though Lisa told me about it.  Garret begins discussing a recent encounter with the father of a friend of his from Vermont, how he made a point of visiting him at work and taking him out to lunch. He segues from questions about his future into thoughts about personal (and societal) development. Below I’ve excerpted a large chunk.

But the non-university way is different. It makes you different. Now I spend my time working, as part of the workforce. I work everyday, and I go home tired, so I sleep. I dream about all those authors who struggled with meaningless day jobs and had to write through the night (Kafka and co.), and I think about how difficult it is to penetrate the way of the working world and produce something artful. To even have time for art. And also how difficult it is simply to be in the professional position of doing something you love to do. Why are so many people doing things they essentially don’t want to do, but have to, for the sake of self-sustenance, for the sake of others? When life spins on the beat and figure of a paycheck (and for whom doesn’t it?) ultimately what kind of a society are we living in?

At times, I’ve become very dissatisfied with the current organization of society, even, and this is going to sound odd, murderously so. I killed ideas that suggested a life lived now, steeped in our “hypocrisies”, could be meaningful or worthwhile, and subsequently opened myself up to an entire freight car full of the same sorts of hypocrisies that I was decrying. Well, my situation was different, wasn’t it? « Read the rest of this entry »

Writing and ‘X’

January 9, 2009 § Leave a comment

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In a recently published book of her journals, the late Susan Sontag describes “X”.

X, the scourge.

“X” is when you feel yourself an object, not a subject. When you want to please and impress people, either by saying what they want to hear, or by shocking them, or by boasting + name dropping, or by being very cool.

[…] All of the things that I despise in myself are X: being a moral coward, being a liar, being indiscreet about myself + others, being phony, being passive.

I do not want to be an X person. That is the part of myself I want to excise. It is ugly and mean. Complaint is the same as “X”. I do not mean criticism, which is entirely different, and a natural response– though it can become “complaint”. Complaint is ugly. If you watch complaint in an empty and dark room, you will see little flashes of blue and green light, and it will illuminate all of the crags on the complainer’s face just so, and the end result will be a horrifying, demonic grimace.

I am trying to write in a way that excises speculation about the future of my work. I have put a great deal of thought into plot and theme. I am trying to think of these things subconsciously. To have them readily in your mind in a first draft is devastating. It is like packing your writing with oil and fertiliser, and when you come back to proofread in 4-6 weeks, arming yourself with matches. It is better to think of plot and themes as an urge. It is better to put them in the same category as “hunger” or “compulsion”. « Read the rest of this entry »

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