Sunday, January 4, 2009

Gold boas

Sam Pink's initial reaction to the first parts of Scorch Atlas:

little-kid+lsd+prurient album BLACK VASE on full blast+repeated punches to the face+an old man laughing and taking steroids and coloring his penis black with a magic marker= gottdang kid

I couldn't ask for much more than that.

Last night I read Lish's MY ROMANCE, I have had it for a long time and never read it, I got it used on amazon and found when I opened it that it had been signed and dated by Lish, under his signature it says either 'Hungry mind' or 'Hungry mud' or something therein. I don't know which. I can't tell who it is inscribed to though it is inscribed and they sold it for like $1.

The book made me itch. There are short descriptions of the narrator (who is Lish, giving a lecture to a group of writers 'off the cuff') having acute psoriasis. The manner of the description made me literally have to take a shower after. Blue sores, and mineral oil applied so thick that it goes through his clothes, which are always the same clothes. One of the strangest manners of delivery of words and ideas in a book, even for the Captain. Really in its own way kind of terrifying and throbby. It is making me itch right now to describe and remember, I am going to stop.

I have been sleeping much more soundly lately. I have been having long dreams of strangely personal and direct scenes that feel real when I am in them, which never used to happen to me. For years my dream were totally surreal and insane and made of impossible images. Now the thing I find most often I am doing in my sleep is editing words on a paper. I will be in my sleep working on a sentence by inserting all these other words, and building it out from this tiny thing in long weird graphs that I then repeat inside my head and build, and find building, until I eventually realize I am sleeping. The aggravated and horrendous scenes that usually dominate now more occur in very brief and intense bursts, that kind of punctuate the long, more calm ones. I am told I talk a lot in my sleep. I think I am going to find a way to begin recording myself, or to transcribe the sentences I am working on when I realize I am sleeping, as I often find I am able to continue looking at the sentences while I am still asleep even after I realize I am asleep. I can never remember the sentences directly when I wake up anymore, though I am always left remembering how I said something I had been meaning to say in such a way. I need to figure this out.

I wonder if I know anyone who has read 'The Changing Light at Sandover' by James Merrill. The construction has a very intriguing premise that most people who read poetry know about, with the channeling and Ouija boards. I started reading the full ms at Borders last night and found myself wanting the time to read the whole thing, but wonder if it would be as up my alley as it seems it could be. I never heard people talk about it except for people whose tastes I don't necessarily agree with.

The thing I am working on now is slightly making me feel scared, in a different way than I have ever felt scared while writing. I think I have been spending as much time during the writing staring as I have been writing, though I don't remember thinking about what I want to write while I am staring. I do feel better about things that I had been feeling insane about at the end of last year. It has helped to step away if slightly from the social partition of the internet, in the manner of control.

Writing to music has been helping a lot again too for some reason. Headphones are a gift. I have been rediscovering a lot of older music I used to listen to, and finding it very different through the headphones, which is probably something I should have realized a long time ago.

I need to try writing to the above-mentioned 'Black Vase' record by Prurient. That shit literally hurts, in a kind of amazing way.

I honestly realized yesterday in the car while listening to Three Six Mafia's 'Da Unbreakables' how much Three Six Mafia's 'Da Unbreakables' influenced my writing last year in rhythm and perhaps a little bit in posture and supposed 'tone.' At least that is what I would like to think, but I am certain it is also true.

I have a 'big' birthday coming this month. I am trying to figure out what to do. Part of me wants to do something exciting and unusual, though I can't think of what. Part of me wants to go for a drive by myself somewhere, though I probably won't do it. 'Birthdays'.


Keith said...

I'm not sure about "...Sandover," which I haven't read. I hear lots of mixed things, but for an experiment and really long sections and length and experimentation and shit, it seems to be a thing to read. I'll add it to my list too.

1/1 of MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS fucking rules.

I need to cherry-pick a Best Of Eno.

Prurient seems too nuts for me.

Happy early birthday. When is it? Date-wise?

Keith said...

I'm not sure about "...Sandover," which I haven't read. I hear lots of mixed things, but for an experiment and really long sections and length and experimentation and shit, it seems to be a thing to read. I'll add it to my list too.

1/1 of MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS fucking rules.

I need to cherry-pick a Best Of Eno.

Prurient seems too nuts for me.

Happy early birthday. When is it? Date-wise?


hi keith,

1/1 is indeed the shit. i have listened to it 100 times in the past few weeks alone. perfect mood.

yeah, the sandover is a big commitment it seems, i am very curious though.

prurient is indeed pretty fucking nuts.

jan 14 is my bday

Matthew said...

Blake, Scorch Atlas sounds absolutely insane. I'm excited. Have you heard the group Bang on a Can do Eno's "Music for Airports"? It's basically note for note, tone for tone Eno but played like classical music. Meaning: piano, violin, cello, etc. I remember hearing it live like eight years ago on the radio and 2/2 was just so heartbreaking. I mean, they didn't play it technically perfectly because it had like the feedback from the violins or buzz because the speakers couldn't take the low end of the cello or whatever. And the scratch and scrape of the mandolin. I wish I still had that because it was pretty transcendent. A very different experience than listening to Eno though, obviously. But worth looking into, I think.


i have heard good things about that matthew, and have heard other bang on a can stuff that i like a lot. i will go have a listen. you made it sound really awesome.

Keith said...

i just found the bang on a can record. i'm psyched to listen to it. thanks for that note, matthew.

and scorch atlas is absolutely insane.

10 days to go. hiooooooooooooo.

Matt DeBenedictis said...

Eno makes love to the ocean. I find the fact that brother danielson is in your itunes to be a fasinating display of its own.


danielson is rad. the brother record got overlooked some i think.

man, this bang on a can reinterp is really cool, listening now

Brandi Wells said...

i can't sleep tonight. normally i have no trouble at all.

sam pink said...

when i write while listening to BLACK VASE or CONSTANTLY TERRIFIED the writing comes quick and i don't recognize it afterward but i like it. i am halfway done with SCORCH ATLAS. "i will not speak of this day."


i am sorry brandi that is the worst

i need to do more prurient writing. sam rules.

Keith said...

also digging the bang on a can re-int.

never knew this existed. can't believe the nuances of all the instruments.

the new tim hecker leaked, by the way.

it's fucking amazing.

christopher higgs said...

I've not read that particular Merrill book, but a few years ago I read his novel The Diblos Notebook (I believe Dalkey published it?) and I remember thinking it was good-weird.


nice, thanks chris, it sounds interesting from the dalkey description, and considering they are pretty much flawless, i will have to add that to the list.

Darby said...

I've never heard of Brian Eno, thanks for saying him in conversation everyone. I'm listening now. This is like what I was looking for about a year ago when I was looking for different kinds of amelodic music but never found much. I found Michael Finnissy's piano stuff instead, which is interesting but not mood-getting-into music, or it can sometimes jar you out of a mindset suddenly, like a cat walking around on piano keys. Reels, in particular.

BlogSloth said...

Are you about to be 14, or 30? I shotgunned a bottle of champagne. I have the photo somewhere so I'll maybe blog it soon.

Happy B day.


i am turning 80 i think


that or 79