I've been thinking a lot about motivation and intent and 'why this' in the past few days, spooled not only by the suicide of the author many days had been the benchmark I thought of when I thought 'why am I writing at all,' but also by the weird ongoing lanyard of submissions, correspondence, editing, mailing, receiving texts, opening texts, staring at names, the random skewed email from someone who read, the long laundry list of shit foaming against the print industry like welltide seeming further every other week, everything, my bills, the blackmark of credit I've somehow slurped up in the past year despite all my other years of having more than enough money to do what I wanted, election bullshit and my scorn at the idea anything can be changed by someone identifiable to mass groups, the rough battle it is to get anyone who doesn't write themselves just to pick a damn thing up while two beers in is like the baby's bathwater,
I don't know. I've found myself saying I don't know so often in the past few days, and though I think I'd worked myself into some warm way of nodding off right around 3 AM each night somehow I'm back to staring even then, I'm having dreaming of past teachers and arguments over what book is where, benign weird dreams in libraries with Amy Hempel looking at my head while I tell her about what I want to do. I think I have 7 different projects I've been pushing each tinily forward each afternoon between the slur of the internet, 'the number one cause of insomnia,' with four books finished in the past however long and some kind of real benchmark movement for me in that field, it seems like I don't know where to go, like why am I not wearing a suit and using this brain I'm supposed to be blessed with to have enough money to not give a fuck about paying however much for whatever food or going somewhere when I feel like it.
I remember early on when I first started writing voraciously, I was consistently pushed forward by the thought 'If I can just get one book out, I will never feel sad again, you won't be able to knock me down with a bulldozer, I could smile in peace,' and yet
The words are 'I don't know'
So I don't know. I know writing is the only thing that keeps me the halfied version of sane I still have, and that if I didn't have this desk to come sit at and spurt my fingers on I don't know if I'd even have the nerve to say 'I don't know' still. I don't feel sad most days, I whistle a lot, there are songs, most days I am full of that half-babble that seems like something, something, but there is another kind of something, some kind of glaze, some kind of 'huh' that seems ridden over everything, to the point that these internet words and these online people and these years of staring must be something, maybe they are paying my mortgage in silence, maybe I really will stand in line at the grocery store next to Tupac, maybe language poets will learn to remember they are just people, maybe the bar menu will have a picture of a cat on it that when you touch will begin to read aloud THE SOUL IS NOT A SMITHY, maybe have a tattoo in my crevice I am going to find soon and begin feeding from, maybe I will win at poker again, maybe the semi-pricey Mexican dinner on our credit cards will make us dream good, maybe the nightmare is a little crab in the beach hole and I will lick it yum,
God I am dumb
I don't know,
or more probably I do know just exactly and we're neck-wading in the whole milk
and the Ken Griffey Jr. rookie cards are in the mail,
or gee-gosh look at this,
and it is real
Come on with it