Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Biggest idiots I’ve ever seen: or, why do we write?

So late at night
I don’t have to listen to the thumping and tumbling of my soul
Why do we we write?

Where was I born? I remember a front porch, and not
Much else. Always there were books around
A whole room of them, a den lined with books,
Most of them in German, seemingly,
Goethe Werke, Schiller Werke
Whatever the fuck that meant
So I tried to make my way


One day in the buriedness of deeply sucking at
An author I raptly chose
As my favourite of the moment or the day,
I had this thought: you can MAKE these.
Somebody makes them, somebody DOES them.
They don’t come out of nowhere, someone
Sits down and does them.
I began to write. In shaky block capitals at first,
Always in pencil like they told me to in school,
In case I made an error and had to take a pink pearl eraser
And rub it out, leaving disgusting grey crumbs like dead insects
And when I had finished the story
Which was probably about horses
I thought it was good
And I began to write out copies.


Does this mean I was published? If publishing
Means distributing written material
To a number of different readers, then yeah,
Just don’t count the numbers

As later on,

Having written novel manuscripts, poetry manuscripts, thousands of
Book reviews and gazillions of newspaper pieces,
I did not wish to count the numbers,
As I did have an income
From writing, a steady one,
Just very small,
So I hoped no one would count it up
And see that a paper boy would make more,
Or a counter person at McDonald’s.


Oh but you’re in the arts, someone would say,
So why do you even think about making money?
Why do you sully yourself, what’s wrong with you,
Don’t you think you’re lowering yourself by writing for newspapers?
Especially when they line birdcages the next day.
Or start fires, I mean in the fireplace. Good for that.

I didn’t want to tell them about Dickens and guys like that, I don’t want to
Look them up, lots of guys and maybe girls too, who plied their trade
Whatever way they could.
If it's out there at all,
it becomes Game,
Public property that prompts some people
(who always wanted to write but never
had the guts to even get started)
to send you Criticisms
which are For Your Own Good,
and aren't all writers 
interested in "feedback" from readers,
isn't it always a good thing
an educational thing
a thing that will doubtless hugely improve them
if they're "real" writers?
So then I'm a fake writer,
and you can have your fucking gratuitous, sneakily sadistic criticism back
open your mouth and I will return it to you
(or some other orifice, I don't care)
because you don't know what the hell you are
talking about

But there are bigger problems than this 
I hope I don't live to see it
Grammar is slowly eroding, not the schoolmarm type, not parsing sentences, I mean the matrix below and beneath vocabularly
That helps the whole mess make sense.
I wonder how it will be in 100 years, if I came back,
Which I will not,
Even if I could,
Or 300 or 500, if the planet hasn’t blown up by then or is
Taken over by cockroaches, who could probably
Spell better
Than the lamebrain mutants on Twitter.
I wonder if I’d know what they were saying at all,
With the speed with which they were saying it,
The fractured syntax,
Verb never matching subject EVER,
With no one noticing or caring, not even really educated people
Or will there BE such a thing
As everyone spews Orwellian Duckspeak.


Maybe just bouncing brain waves off each other.

I would not mind dispensing with words, I mean for-bloody-ever,
Because I honestly wonder
What good they have done me
Except to light in myself
A feverish desire to be “read”
Which has never come about,
Not even in this-here blog
Which probably has an offputting title
That I sincerely thought might ignite some sales.


At the same time,
I am unable to wag my ass
Or kneel down
The way I suppose I am meant to
To “get ahead”, to play the game.
There is a randomness about it
So that squealing ambitious pretenders
Say, look, look, there’s 100 Shades of Swill or what-you-call-it
Look, SHE made it work by writing three atrocious books
Full of appalling sadism against women
And these were ebooks
Did you know that
She didn’t even have to send a stamped self-addressed envelope
Or print out 900 pages and parcel them up and mail them
Or put them all on floppy disks.


But this is the business part
I suppose I must keep it purely away
From the mad addiction that keeps me sitting in front of this machine
I know I would write anyway because I am an idiot
I am STILL involved with this abusive person, this sadist
Who throws me a crumb once in a while
And kicks me in the face the rest of the time

And who needs Fifty Shades of Grey
When you serve a Master
Who is so completely
And utterly