Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Put a tiger in your tank.



So seductive is blogging that we seem to ignore the major project of our lives and instead splatter the white space with words, hoping to craft some sort of symbol out of the chaos of our life which we hope somebody will understand, and maybe relate to.
Compusive-obsessive blogger, like a madman in a ward,
staring at white all around, hoping for the day's symbol to get him through. Wouldn't you?
There have been psychologists who would deliberately sign theselves into a ward of schizophrenics just to see what they do, and most times they spend all day working at the symbol on the wall. Once the symbol is complete, there is some sort of catharsis. The day is over.
I wish I had that kind of time, to have nothing to do all day but to eat, smoke and excrete, staring at the wall and constructing a symbol.
Hell, I do all that without being in a ward.
Fact is, I once ran for office, and people seeing me on television, nervous as a Dostoevsky, with trembling lips, said," the man is a speedfreak. What's he doing running for Regional Coucillor?" Well, it was a job, like our schizos being in the ward. They have a job. They're all out there doing the same thing. Building symbols. It's a job. Keep busy, or go mad. Hoo-Hah.
For the artist, symbol builing is his or her bread and butter.
Certainly in the high days of modernism, but now we are into post-modernism, which suggests that your novel or painting is only one version of a reality that is quite different from the way you describe. There is no answer. Fare thee well.
This attitude, of course, approaches nihilism and you have to see just one Alain Robbe Grillet novel or movie to realize how f*cked up things had really gotten. Proust with a penis and hardly knowing what to do with it.
Which might probably be an insight.Screw anybody. Screw anything that moves. Screw your parents, at least financially. "I need time to be alone in bed."
Masturbate for posterity, and he did.
There are adeps and there are jerkoffs. There are guitar players and there are hackers. Fortune favours the fast.
I swear that on a Pompeii wall, there was a graffito: "Circa non copulare". Don't fuck around.
Well, it seems I for one have been fucking around.
Botch a novel, cut it up into pieces and run it off. Cut-up art.
If Burroughs could do it, why couldn't I? High modernism.
The Ticket That Exploded. Naked Lunch. Henry Miller with his pervert adepts making it with cored Macintosh apples--hey, that's us!
Here and there someone produces a real novel, maybe like Christ in Concrete. Ha. Renaissance monk. Artiste. Fucking wop.
Oh I so want to be a Renassance monk. So want to be an artiste and fucking wop.
But the talent, the talent.

I shot a talent in the air.
It fell to earth, I know not where.


...I lose more talent that way.

That old master painter from the far away hills.

That old master painter on the keyboard. Master painting, Master painting.
Imitaing the actions of the tiger.

Oh to get ones paws off the machine.

And be that tiger.

##

17 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

some folks work 20 years on the same book. I know one who is still working on a book after 20 years. The equivalent of staring at a wall looking for a symbol?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Probably the same, Chrles, but not for the maniac.

I know one who has been writing two books for thirty years.
He is my age and still keeps going.
I would say give it up and make both books into an autobiography, which, maybe you will have to publish yourself as a family heirlom.
...But A. has emoluments, as they used to say in the personnel department.
He just got a short piece published in a major Canadian magazine. Now up for consideration with The New Yorker.
Damn persistent, these fellows...And here and there a perk long the way.
I would have given up and taken up something practical. Like pig farming.
Hey, it's high end these days.
But though real success hardly ever happens, there is something to be said for persitence paying off.
Especially if one has

the mind of a PhD and the apparent talent of a sausage.
Gotta fill that sausage case!

the walking man said...

Write a new book old man and send it to me. I will dumb it down for mass consumption. Free.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Now there's a flash!

Anonymous said...

So I find out my estranged sister has a book published and a second on the way.

This will not stand.

Gotta tell me how to score a non-CanCon book deal, Ivan. You name it, it's yours, boys, girls, up, down, whatever.

I found a few prospective publishers, but what do I do? "Hi, I have an idea for a book?" Write the damned thing first, or at least a draft? Buff and shine my resume? Wheel? I beg of you, advise!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Dunno.

It this is A.E.B, send me somethin'.
But it's got to be dull enough to be Canadian.
But dullness is hard to produce.
Anyway, it takes years and years to produce a writer.
Can't just decide.

Donnetta Lee said...

Ivan: Remember, you are the real deal. Wish I could sit down and just WRITE the way you do. Write one up and send it to Mark (yet another sharp writer)! Sounds like a deal to me. I still like the idea of the autobiography. Oh, the tales you could tell! D

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark and are old enough to hanker for that old Fifties Gillette commercial.
"To look sharp you've got to be sharp, to be sharp you've got to get sharp..."
...But I think Mark has stopped shaving. Anyway, he sharp.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I see a reoccuring theme here:

Master painting
Master painting
Master painting

Say it really really fast ...
faster ...
faster ...
faster ...

Don't hurt your hand.

Keep painting.

the walking man said...

Editing is a worthwhile hobby to keep me away from having to produce for myself Ivan...and it gives me reason to be grumpy and not get near the Gillette.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Jim,

"There once was a man from Nantucket.."

Anonymous said...

In other words:

Don't bait the Master.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Anonymous. Tony?

What would I do witho
ut advocates?
It's okay. Jim looks exactly like me at his age...I worry about that.
He's going to come to the front door one day and punch me in the face.

ivan@c reativewriting.ca said...

Mark, (The Walking Man).

Hirsute seems to get the groupies.
They're all over you blog.

Melody from the Dying Cowboy im my head:

"I see by your outfit that you are an Amish..
"Think I'll get an outfit a be an Amish too."

...Or should that be Mormon? :)

Whatever. You certainly seeme to be loved by your "harem."

Lana Gramlich said...

The tiger's days have been gone for a long time now. The tiger has become a manufactured thing, plucked from the masses by unknown calculations that all add up to money & thrust into a spotlight. The manufactured tiger knows better than to bite the hand that feeds him. He isn't as talented as the creators are making him out to be, after all...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Yep.
Market research, focus groups and all that. And then Oprah.
A wonderful fortish novelist like Jonathan Franzen comes out with a near- masterpiece like The Corrections...Has qualms over Oprah vetting and recommending the book. Refuses to come on Oprah again.
Well. F*ck me? F*ck you!
Tiger shot.

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