I realize that I haven't done a borrring book post in awhile, so I thought that I'd share with all of you [aka Enrico who will probz be the only peep to read this] a great read I just finished up last week. It's called The Anthologist and it's written by Nicholson Baker. It's about this dude who is a writer-blocked poet who's been hired to compile an anthology of poetry that highlights the importance of rhyme in writing. He also needs to compose the introduction to the book but has mad trubz doing so. The entire book is basically about him trying to get this introduction written, but due to a number of external and internal problemaz, he just can't do it. He dropz all sortz of fun poetry factz and even mentions this one poet in general, Paul Muldoon who lives in Princeton and actually has had the honor of being served by moi when he came into my restaurant last year. Lucky him!
Anywayz, as I do while reading all mah bookz, I ripped pieces of my bookmark [read as: scrap piece of posterboard I found on the floor of the bus I take to Nueva Nueva] and tagged the pagez with passages I found especially interesting. Being that I myself am a (struggling) poet [yes, I actually did graduate college with a BA in English], I was able to especially relate to some partz. A lot of those "A-HA!" momentz took place and you gotza love shit like that when it happens.
"...poetry is worth thinking about- from time to time. Not all the time. Sometimes it's a much better idea to think about other things."
Hellz yeah! I've talked about this with E. Copterz and mi otra amiga de poemaz, Julia many times. When someone commitz demselves to a creative expression of some kind, there is this constant nagging at your heart to perpetually be working on it. In my college classes, my poetry professor told us that we should dedicate two horaz each day to reading and writing poetry, but in all honesty, I'm lucky if I get that in a week. Tankfully Mr. Barker's narrator seems to be of the believe that one must never must bombard themselves with their art if they are unwilling to participate in it. Every poem I've forced mahself to write always ended up reeking of cow manure. Those I've written on my own accord out of mah own emotions only reek a little of bird vomit. IMPROVEMENT!
"What does it mean to be a great poet? It means that you wrote one or two great poems. Or great parts of poems. That's all it means."
Now dis is sumfing I completely agree with and also sumfing that every writing professor I've ever had has drilled into my noggin. Depressing as it may be, a writer is said to be lucky to write a three-page poem and be able to find one or two [MAX] linez worth keeping. Revision is the key to any good writing. I would come up with one of those percentile statements about how editing is 80% of writing blah blah blah...but I'm not a snoozefest text book. I am also such a wimp when it comez to revising. Like, my poemaz are my babies and to cut them to pieces seems a little macabre. But sometimes cutting up my infant child is the only when it can grow up to be a supa awesome cyber-infant. [what am I talking about?]
"A lifetime of fretting over pieces of paper and this is what you've got. And yet it's worth it, isn't it?"
For serial. I spend so much time just daydreaming up lines and ideaz that sometimes I berate mahself for "wasting my time" with such uncompensating notions. I start to feel that I could be doing sumfing more productive during those few hourz a week than writing/thinking up poems that will probably never lead to anything fruitful or rewarding. But then I finish a poem that I actually feel slightly proud of and it suddenly makes it feel all worth it. Cliche, cliche, cliche. But true, true, true.
"No wonder they call it bursting. It's a sudden outflipping of the lips and an explosion of liquid from behind the eyelids. Everything that's inside is suddenly coming out. It's really a physical event. You're literally shaking with sobs. Fortunately it didn't last too long."
This line actually has nuffin' to do with the narrator's poetic distractions, but instead a mental breakdown he has during the story. I just put it cuz it's kind of how I feel a lot of the time lately. Stress central and my mind never chutz uh! It's like, I'll be having a normal kinda day and den all of a sudden my head will fill up wiff dem teardropz [on my guitar?] and I'll crumble apart for prox an hour or so. Then I'll pass out and feel suddenly quite better. It's an interesting little quirk of mine and I don't tink a healthy one, but hell, to each his own.
Now, am I famous writer yet?!? UGGG! Tired of waiting!!!