I reread MOTORMAN by David Ohle over the past 2 days. I read it when it first came out from 3RD BED years ago and liked it but could not remember much about it. Then I think Chris Higgs mentioned he'd read it and loved it, so I read it again. It seems like a lot of stuff I have read I could not tell you the first thing about. I'm not sure why. I am equally bad at remembering names and numbers and dates from history. I have good recall of other things. I don't know.
MOTORMAN is an enjoyable read. It uses a lot of unusual language but not in a language-y way. Like you don't feel put upon when he says lines like "He opened the spigot, testing, got sour air and pipe vibes." That is a very unusual sentence. No one probably has written that before Ohle, even though it uses all simple words. I think he picks words that feel a certain way in the mouth rather than words that take a lot of mouth to say. That, I guess, is the difference between writers like Lydia Davis and Christine Schutt and writers in the 'language camp' who pack their sentences so full you aren't even sure if they knew what they meant.
Supposedly David Ohle was at one point hired by William Burroughs to write down Burroughs's dreams when he woke up in the morning. Whether that's true or not, I think Burroughs is an obvious major influence on Ohle, as Burroughs kind of invented a lot of the sentence ideas and phrasings I noticed in MOTORMAN. For instance, in MOTORMAN there is a woman named Cock Roberta. That is a Bill Burroughs character name if I've ever heard one. Plus Ohle isn't afraid of a dick joke or talking about feces.
It is good to see writers influenced by Burroughs and not completely imitating him. I think Burroughs gets written off a lot because of his cut-up stuff, but sit down and read THE WILD BOYS. That book is fucked and has some images that have stayed with me no matter how long its been since I read it.
I've had Ohle's edit of William Burroughs Jr's memoir/third novel CURSED FROM BIRTH for a long time now and never got the chance to finish it, but I believe I will read that next. It is crushing. It keeps making me put it down.
[ENTERING ANOTHER THOUGHT COMPLETELY]
Yesterday I finished a pretty long section of the new thing I am working on. It is about a woman sinking into her bathtub. I want to send it somewhere but I don't know where to send it. I used to send out so much work all the time. Now I never know what to do. I've regressed a little in my publishing aggression, I think.
What is a good journal to send 'surreal' but not 'absurd' work to?
I wish 3RD BED was still around. Damn, they did good stuff.
I also need to send SCORCH ATLAS out some more. I've had some positive outlooks looming that I feel strongly about, but I think if I send it more places it will help me feel better overall about realms of possibility.
I feel like I don't know anything.
Somebody tell me something.