Friday, August 22, 2008

Sunday Scribbling #125: How I Met My...

On the fall of Neptune, two milligeezers on a park bench:

“Pistol whippers, ashen military, moonless filigreed heartbreak, desolation on the junkpile of fallen NASCAR dreams, Toby Keith, Faith, and Tim mere background noise as Chicken Little takes her turn around the block. Consider the possibility that we were meant to, even after you factor in all the actuarial tables, NASDAQs, Standard and Poors, illegal minutiae of the grumbling, capricious day. Time was of the essence until she became the last dance of asinine rigor. I haven’t anticipated since the victory laps of my youth. And what do you want for your birthday, the whispered prayer of the young, who live for the five and dimes of their nascent apotheoses, and I am reduced to Goodwill ties and reckless peace, rejuvenation of skies gone grey, mutations of the heart, canonical bliss with just the right touch of pestilence. I have no saturnine discipline, I gave at all the offices and called it fine, dandy, my pockets lined with who you were when we were and now we are. It’s all in the trigger finger, all in the after-slopes, never in the mess of traffic outside your window. Wigglesworth in the baby days, Hong Kong’s neon pink spilling across the carnage of Mass Ave, TE’s litheness in her panther black sweater, tongue on salted lime, and I would spill, and she would freeze the night on the concrete steps, and whatever I thought would shimmer wordlessly in the dawn, the Charles a morgue, the towers of Beacon raining down hell. Careful assiduities, obsequious to a fault, he thought, but then fawning complaisance is ever a fault, no? And so he walked in the Compson shadows, milled the day’s absence, window-shopped for fates in gloom.”

Careless whispers…of…a…good…friend. Fazul. We make the light anyway, no?”

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14 Comments:

Blogger Devil Mood said...

This is very puzzling to me. But I like the astrological references. And were you quoting George Michael in the end or was George Michael quoting someone you're quoting or even...you? lol

5:42 PM  
Blogger Granny Smith said...

Very James Joyce-like. For me it evokes a sense of disillusionment and dissatisfaction with your world as it is. Is that what you intended?

7:30 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

DM: Please forgive my usual obtuseness. This piece started out as a response to one of a set of writing prompts I gave my students, using the first line of Kurt Vonnegut's (Scorpio himself) novel Breakfast of Champions: "This is a tale of a meeting of two lonesome, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast..." I made one stab at the prompt myself yesterday and it just flailed: I was trying to be, I think, a little too straightforward, often not a good strategy for me. This morning I woke from some very funky dream and decided to try to pour the energy of the dream into the voice of the first speaker: none of the dream content is in the piece, but the ghoulish melancholy certainly is. As milligeezer #1 ranted on, I kept feeling like geezer #2 needed to balance things with a cheery demeanor, something goofy, and something short and sweet to cut right through the dark. When I finished speaker 1's lament, GM's lyric just drifted right up out of nowhere, then the "name" Fazul, and then the counterpoint to the wanton melancholia. Go figure. Or as Kurt would say, "So it goes."

Thanks for checking in. Funny you mention the astrology: before writing the piece, I spent some time reading Neith's sites from your Links list. Some good stuff. Her astro-partner Pat lives on Vashon Island, in the Puget Sound off Seattle, a place I have dreamed of living in the past: I love those islands up there.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Devil Mood said...

Nothing to apologize for, the writer will be as cryptical as he desires :)
I wish I was so inspired to write by dreams and have words come out of my fingertips without knowing how or why...One day you'll tell me about your creative techniques ;)

I've never been in the Seattle area but I'm sure it's lovely. But you would miss your Sun.

7:42 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Granny Smith: I'll take the Joyce tag; thank you. As I was explaining to Ms Devil Mood, I think the evocations reflect "a" state of mind, rather than "the" state of mind. As much as I cherish my work as a teacher, I think there is a deeper self that longs and dreams for things beyond my capacity to see a way through to their manifestation. As I told a friend recently, also in his mid-fifties, "I've come to realize that we really aren't in the action anymore: we're the witnesses, the audience for the young immortal gods out there." There is a smorgasbord of emotions in that statement: peace, acceptance, resignation, sadness, jealousy, longing, frustration, what have you. As father to my soon to be ten year old son, I feel very much that I am - what? - dreamer to his dreams; it is a gift I give freely to him, as I do to my students. I feel myself growing more into elder / crone, while hopefully also maintaining my utter foolishness. Speaker #1's voice, coming from dream sludge and also a recent diet of H P Lovecraft prose, accentuates the melancholia of the aging man, to an extent beyond what I generally feel, but he does speak, I'm sure, to parts of me, parts of many of us, parts too, I think, of the ghost of HPL, may he be resting in peace and NOT with Cthulhu.

7:56 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

DM: A fine and accepting counselor you are, amiga.

I think we all write what the body seeks. Though I do not particularly like the writing of the French surrealists, I took their method (or lack of method) to heart. I also took to heart the notion that surreal is not necessarily "less real." Surrealists would argue that surrealism is documenting the "more real." These crazy word collisions come fast and furious; rather than trying to gather them into some "sense," I rather actively resist sense: if words that sound too known or "realistic" begin to shape on the canvas, they are generally tossed: underneath the wordplay is an acute sense of personal rhythm: I'm not counting beats or syllables, but I can feel what's called for, albeit in this often "autistic" linguistic world. Waves are caught, ridden, crashed, and then another, and then another.

Thank you again for your good words.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

An interesting read. I worked hard to pare my writing down to the essence and then I read your post, a free fall jumping into surrealism. I can't follow speaker #1 or speaker #2, but the overall effect stays with me, shimmering with half-realized impressions. Maybe this is what lies beneath conversations. I like the rush of consciousness, even if the coding escapes me.

11:06 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Beth: I appreciate your willingness to read and feel without full awareness of what is on the "page," much as I do in the actual writing. The more I think of this, the more I feel kinship with abstract painters who, in many cases, would be hard-pressed to give "sense" to what is on their canvases, and yet there is a very strong non- or pre-verbal integrity to what comes through them onto the canvas.

7:22 AM  
Blogger AscenderRisesAbove said...

I enjoyed that very much; like listening to your memories and thoughts

8:42 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Thank you, Ascender.

10:14 AM  
Blogger alister said...

I used to like a steak once per year or so, especially at BT Bones in Florida where I used to live in my roaring twenties. This tongue on salted lime piece reminded me of the juiciest 8oz filet, bacon wrapped and oozing the most succulent juice into the pool of butter around the roasted potatoes. Superb ground round all around, I whispered to myself.

missalister

2:10 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Well, Lady A, I wondered if your second appearance in recent weeks signaled your re-emergence, took a quick trip to the Essence construction site and lo and behold, it do look like you be pumpin' once again...

I believe that you have lived as many places as J. Kerouac and the boyz visited in their pre-old fart primes.

Hope it's spring again, so you can come on outta that groundhog hole for good. The world's a lesser place without your discerning (fourth) eye.

Welcome back.

2:39 PM  
Blogger present said...

country-western nascar lives and chicken little running wildly (maybe without a head) shouting the warning we know but pretend not to. Yes,the sky is falling! it seems you are writing about what we think we're meant to be and then so clearly what we are (and are not anymore or never were)... things of pleasure in youth, recaptured for a moment and then the same events sans the passion.

2:45 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Slam dunk, Ms Present. This comment of yours is pure poetry and right...on...the...money, before I even knew there was money to be right about. Blessings and welcome to the show.

2:58 PM  

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