Sunday, July 6, 2008

The woman went up and down some in the bigger side sack with her gross one

I have been inspired I think a little lately by the lack of recent click in things. I feel like I am waiting with some massive concrete clod above my head and it descends a little each morning when I wake up and things are going to start again. I don't know how the hours are gone. Six months of dogs fucking in a pile of insulation.

All day I don't know what I'm waiting for.

Last night saw Tom Waits at the Fox, he played for almost 3 hours, a wide variety of stuff from all eras of his stuff, some from Rain Dogs, some from Alice, some from most everything, it felt as if in the presence of something. I felt excited and laughed some and got burny in the back of my throat some like I wanted to cry but didn't. He did '9th and Hennepin' essentially performing spoken word to a sold out crowd and people going apeshit for it. That was impressive. I sat there thinking, books would never draw this audience, what would they do, just stand there, who could bring in this many people, not even the most famous of famous. Tom Waits makes me think there are still things left good about music. Mostly music turns me off now, funny all the years I spent obsessed, I wonder what else will turn off.

A friend and I talked the other day, 'There will never be another major artistic innovator in music, it is impossible.' There were probably other times where this was said but I honestly think now the thing is beyond dead. Innovation is not possible, and the bands that are hailed as innovators are more in the lines than ever now. It is sad a little but mostly I don't care.

Read Noy Holland's THE SPECTACLE OF THE BODY this weekend. That was some kind of experience. I had read and heard of how when she would read the 80ish page story ORBIT from this collection that whole audiences would stay and listen to every word to the end, and that it could 'change your life,' etc. Seeing your life change in act is I don't know, but I did feel very blipped in a certain way over ORBIT in particular. In that I felt more connected to it by voice and rhythm than most anything I've recently read. It sometimes felt as if I were reading the thing I've been mimicking without having seen it: certain rhythms, phrases, ideas particularly in some of the stories from my Scorch Atlas seemed as if I had studied ORBIT and tried to invest in it. This made me feel right, like I'd been somewhere or like I'd been okay. Like there was someone else. I don't know. ORBIT is pretty much pitch perfect and opening in all kinds of modes. If I were going to teach an advanced fiction class, this would be my primary example of voice, voice as story, voice as how to move the image.

There is something many of the Lish students seem to do that always strikes me, the small repetition of little phrases, such as here:

We hear her pleading with the Pope at night, blind-gigging geese at night.

The repetition of the 'at night,' I don't know, most editors would comment on this, yet in voice-building it seems to add and rhythmically it defines things, like there are little sets of colored stones around the words, I don't know, I often like it when it happens, but in lesser hands it can seem so petty, it is strange how these little repeating phrases, that seem to pop up all the time in Lish students' work, it is funny how they tend to add another layer.

Lish in his own fiction would do this to the point of bizarre often, I can remember whole pages where he was basically saying the same thing over and over with little variations, and it works somehow. Causes pattern and disturbance? Incantation?

Here's another example, particularly where the repetition goes and then breaks and where it breaks it hits even harder than if you'd said it straight:

It got to be she quit begging me for it, quit begging or sleeping or eating at all, or wanting at all like she used to want to have something cleaned or moved in the room like she used to want, or to be touched.

Holland also works in those kind of references I'd talked about before, saying place names like Macy's and specific brands that tend to hull more energy and develop a kind of colloquialism from them, a little budge. I am convinced of something by it, I have a little mannequin in my sideburns.

Anyhow, yes, ORBIT, it is a story that if you are interested in voice-driven fiction, should be read, and the rest of the collection is quite magical as well. I have a feeling I will come back to THE SPECTACLE OF THE BODY again and again in later years, however I turn out.

I'm not talking very well today, I don't want to anyway, I am gagged a little.

It is raining.

I feel weird these days at night, like there is something, or there is nothing.


jereme said...

i enjoyed this post.

a lot

or /insert big word that stands for a lot here/

Marcos said...

I'm interested in your opinions on music, especially because you used to own a record company, but you don't seem to be the type of person that cultivates an identity based on a specific music genre. Will you talk about your record company? Will you mention what it was called?


Marcos, I still own the company, still sell records though haven't actively acquired new work in a year or so. It was originally started to release music by my own bands or friend's bands and then spread out more, due to some successes. I have played music and been in bands since I was 16, mall different kinds of projects from shoegaze to hardcore to weird messes to joke bands, and used to obsessively collect, but in the last 2-4 years specifically have lost pretty much all interest in listening or playing, though I still listen to certain older records on loop basically. I've always tended to be pretty catty and picky about things. I don't know. I don't know what happened, but I do know nothing new seems to move me anymore.

I'd rather not talk about the label in specifically as I want to keep myself separate from it.

Marcos said...

Thanks for the info.


sorry, its just an association i'd like to keep separate?

Brandon Hobson said...

You've developed an identity more as a writer than producer or musician, possibly. Interesting to me since I tend to play guitar a lot but at one time lost complete interest in playing at all. I think we go through weird phases, obsess over something, leave it then return to it later. Or maybe this is just me and my head.


thanks brandon. i feel better in the writing world than i ever did playing music. perhaps one day i will feel the need to return to music, but hmm i dunno if i see it. phases are nice though i think

Michael Kimball said...

I love Orbit too.

Anonymous said...

just like all writers are puppeteers, all writers were once musicians...