the sword of struggle with the guitar of poetic feeling
as he worked his bones on my skull more perfectly than a violin braced with sorrow,
I realized I was still a decade away from ruling with the fist. even more so, my peachy soul
struck, I realized I must live lifetimes as the hermit, the pomegranate, the sparrow before saying
a sentence which burns with truth. well, he worked and like some waxy Cagney I said to him,
try n' make your mark, snowflake, baby, snowflake, and he struck so hard that somewhere in
the fontanel, names like Lizzy & Joan & Marilyn shook loose like beetles out of the sleeve of a dead magician.
we are walls and oceans and organs apart in time yet still they are all a nudge back in my mind.
shit, worry about the right cross, I told myself, and sure enough it came stampeding like a chariot. this bastard wants my tongue strung around his waist like some modern day Genghis, I thought.
(Elaine screws like a newlywed cannon and looks more beautiful than a liar's painting of a gazelle
but then again Jupiter is over 1,000 times larger than the Earth)
I know my mother hoped me for a sandsoft life, crayon sun and LA, a wife as dangerous as backgammon
and tie dangling on the noosebone like the dick of a eunuch. but I've been fork-fed cement, winded love like
a fighter in the 12th, and the trickery of streetside cup games. (tho I'll still give a bum the canteen
while luck sits between us indiscernible). so give the birther apologies, as now my blood spills like it was water,
my head a bladder, a bladder the size of the Mississippi's. I will be lifted up towards blue ceilings un-Christ-
like, steer-like, Mayan-like. I will be shoved into a fallible god's face like mobs displaying the dead matador to the bull.
SO my friend, my enemy, my brother came now with a ball of concentrated comet and once again
I am prostrate like pansies crying up for rain with their petals spread open like whores,
knowing the position like locks on doors and mice in milk. alas,
Hem, Dempsey, Soviets and of course, Cagney, I know that floor spooning back is not ideal,
but I can assure you,
I have never once crumbled and stood on my peachy bruised knees, like some lacy repenter,
like some white-haired beggar, like some nihilarian defeated by his dealings. friends,
you have a better chance of finding a trainticket to Sicily
or calling blackjack in Hell
No one can write. Everyone wants to write, but no one can. All the greats I read while lying in bed have already experienced their deathbed. Literature has experienced its apocalypse. All that remains now are the scavengers, roaming, dizzied, inept, producing pieces which cause the lachrymal bones of the greats to rattle in their graves.
Okay, I speak a bit of hyperbole and histrionics. While I’m sure there are a good amount of talented and capable writers, this certainly cannot be considered an extraordinary epoch for literature or most other artistic mediums, such as: painting, music, film, architecture, etc. While I am an enthusiast of those aforementioned mediums, I feel most comfortable and accredited to speak about writing.
So what happened? Where have all the writers gone? Has the post-modernist movement left writing utterly nebulous and disjointed from the public? Are there too many puerile social distractions? Is the written word not prioritized in our education systems? All of these questions could lead to some astute and veracious answers. But that’s not what I’m here to dissect at the moment. There’s something much more evident, simple, and tangible. Simply put, this generation of artists, and especially writers, are a group of pansies and pussies.
|Surely some sort of artist|
I made several keen observations while completing my Bachelor’s in English. I encountered countless writers, all eccentric and eagereyed. They wanted so badly to produce quality writing. They all wanted to embody the voice of the generation, to be the extoled figurehead of the next literary renaissance, to have the recondite fame that surrounds a writer. Yet they seemed to be failing at all of that. And then I realized that their inexorable desire to be a writer was their blight.
While they were stressing over their words and sitting constipated before their laptops and typewriters, I was creating poetry in the physical realm. I was engaging in physical combat, I was lifting heavy and hefty weights, I was working, I was shuffling through a rolodex of different men and women (primarily bad affairs with women.) I was doing tough and tangible things. Things which were so demanding and difficult that when I sat down to produce some writing, it was the easiest thing I had done.
And there lies the issue. Countless times I had exasperated peers confess to me that “Writing is so hard.” And following that statement, they would glare at me, seeking some sort of affirmation. But I had no contrition to offer. I couldn’t understand their plight. But it was true. These amateur writers were so soft and nurtured that writing truly was the most difficult thing they would do.
The truth is that most of these writers studying in university came from innocuous upbringings. They were not “fortunate” enough to experience the hardships that many of the greats had to endure. The writers of the past were not writers first; they were soldiers, criminals, bums, hunters, lunatics, victims of abuse, stricken with illness, borne in times of economic depressions, wars, medical pandemics. These things are not prevalent any longer. While the aforementioned are certainly tragedies and misfortunes, they are also a perverse artistic muse. That is why I would see so many of my peers attempting to contrive abjectness, as odd as that sounds. They would drink, what they thought to be, heavily. (I was not a big drinker in college, however, I did acquiesce to a few drinking sessions with my fellow writers. Lightweights. All of them. My Beastio Theorio partner and I drink all those ninnies into oblivion.) They would imagine a false penury for themselves. They would remain physically haggard and unkempt in order to ensure they “looked” the part. They would ingest an insalubrious diet. All in hopes of recreating the struggle the literary greats had to experience.
Excuse me while I have an aside about college and diet. Countless students would sacrifice proper nutrition for studying time. I, on the other hand, never could comprehend how someone could gaze at material for hours at a time before it became engrained. I did a miniscule, if at all calculable, amount of studying. I imagine that my nourishing diet was integral. People don’t seem to realize that the brain utilizes nearly a quarter of our calories. So while my lifting was requiring 4,000 daily calories, my peers were functioning off, at most, half that. This means that my brain had twice the fuel to utilize than theirs.
Also, the required supplementation
of lifting is excellent for academics also.
Creatine means more ATP available for the brain, and other supplements
which I was ingesting, such as L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, Mucuna Prurens, L-Arginine, L-Ornithine, GABA, etc., assisted in
the release of positive mood hormones and suppressing cortisol. This all meant that I remained a reposed and
graceful straight A (with the occasional B) student while my peers were
tremulous with neuroticism and trepidation.
|Fueling low testosterone, low IQ, and low health in campuses across the nation|
I would like to conclude my plea to young writers by saying that writing should be as involuntary as ataxia. Engage in things which are tangibly difficult and beautiful. Only with those tools and experiences will you be able to create a valid recreation. Writing should be no different or no more glamorous than brushing your teeth. It should be just as simple and just as casual.
Now let’s take a brief look at some of my favorite writers who were equally as macho and tough as they were intelligent.
Ah, Papa. Arguably one of the greatest, and certainly
the most imitated, American writer in history.
While he has produced some redundant and uninspired works during his
prolific career, he has also produced works which are absolutely
impeccable. If there’s one work you read
from this Noble Prize winner, I highly recommend you get his Complete Short
Stories. When Hemingway wrote a good
short-story, it was as good as anyone wrote a short-story ever.
|There's certainly no paucity of badass Hemingway pics|
Aside from his literary influence, Hemingway had as much machismo in reality as his terse and tough writing style suggested. Hemingway was a connoisseur of bullfighting, boxing, hunting, drinking, smoking, and also was an ambulance driver during WWI in which he was wounded numerous times, friend to Fidel Castro, and bodyguard to James Joyce.
Later in life, Hemingway left the continental US and spent much of his time residing in the Keys, the Caribbean, and Cuba. In order to cope with his failing health and faltering writing skills, Hemingway began drinking an inordinate amount. According to those around him, the bibulous Hemingway became nearly intolerable; the slightest thing infuriated him, he was prone to violent outbursts, he rarely spoke, and when he did, it was generally a sentence riddled with expletives.
Later he moved to Idaho, where he promptly blew his head off with a shotgun.
|"Note to self: Purchase Shotgun."|
Louis-Ferdinand Celine and Journey to the End of the Night
I hesitated to even put this book title in writing. Primarily because I’m already at a loss for words. Journey to the End of the Night is…goddamn. It’s almost ineffable. If you want to read 500 pages of torrentially gruesome, vulgar, unfortunate, dark, nihilistic writing that never, and I mean NEVER, relents or gives you a break, then read Journey…
Journey… is the story of the protagonist Ferdinand and his journey through a violent and nebulous war, his stay as a doctor in the corrupt and disease infested colonial Africa, his sojourn in a post-war USA, and his return to France where he opens a failed medical office. What does this have to do with Celine himself? Well, how about the fact that the book is largely autobiographical? And not to mention, the novel was such a demanding and exhausting write, it is said to have killed Celine.
was one of the greatest achievements in 20th century literature and
Celine has inspired countless great modernist writers. However, you’ve probably never heard of him
because Celine was a well-documented anti-Semite and disclaimed the occurrence of
|Good lord, someone help this crazed old man|
Jack London is best known for his novel Call of the Wild. However, long before Call…, a teenage London worked as a deckhand for a Japanese ship, became a hobo upon returning to the United States, a train-hopper, a petty criminal, a vagrant who slept in barns, and then in order to pan for gold, he decided to go to Alaska, where scurvy took his front teeth and caused him excruciating lower body pain. After all that, London was published for the first time.
And here’s the kicker. What did London credit his writing skills
to? LYING IN ORDER TO BEG FOR FOOD.
|"Dear Mom, I am going to Japan where I will most certainly become a DBZ character."|
Francois Villon and Arthur Rimbaud
I’ll handle the two Frenchies at once.
Francois Villon’s greatest literary accomplishment may be penning the poignant line, “Where are the snows of yesteryear?” However, his Nolan’s Joker-esque criminal career may be more prolific. Despite a childhood of indigence, Villon managed to complete his schooling; a very noble act upon his behalf. However, soon after, Villon ended up murdering a priest via dagger-thrust; maybe not as noble. Lucky enough to have been given a pardon, Villon carried on the life of a vagabond. After numerous petty crimes, Villon was then convicted as being the ringleader of a church robbery. Simply wanting to do away with him, the parliament banished Villon. However, Villon couldn’t quit the criminal lifestyle. After several more convictions, Villon was sentenced to death by hanging. However, this was then changed to another banishment. The ultimate fate of Villon is unknown.
Arthur Rimbaud (pronounced Rambo)
was an influential French poet and contributor to the decadent movement. Rimbaud was given the appellation “infant
Shakespeare” by Victor Hugo. Why? Because in perhaps the most badass act in all
of literature, Rimbaud RETIRED AT THE AGE OF 19. Simply tired of the game, Rimbaud went off to
mooch off of and have a homosexual affair with famous symbolist poet, Paul
|A mugshot, I presume|
I mean I could go on and on about these great and stalwart writers. Antoine Saint-Exupery, author of The Little Prince, crashed his plane in a desert, survived on fruit and wine, and then escaped on camelback. Miguel De Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, fought against the Ottoman empire while stricken with fever (take that Michael Jordan), was shot thrice, lost his left arm, and was later taken into slavery by Algerians. And for the risk of avoiding a prolix article, I suggest you look up Yukio Mishima on your own. Other badass authors are discussed HERE and HERE.
And also, a brief address to those who claim I am sexist in regards to my literature. Whilst in college, I encountered a handful of young writers who I thought were truly talented, had potential, and that I genuinely enjoyed reading. They were all females. All the males seemed to write bland, hackneyed, emasculated dribble. Take that, you cunts.
|"Roses are flowers/Violets are too/Wait, let me change that.../I mean, Violets are blue"|