Shuffle the music, sit under the medieval cathedral inspired archway of the suzzalo library quiet study room and pick a few books at random off the shelf. Today, the randomness was a little biased, my decisions based on snappy flashy titles. Waves & Plagues or The Human Relationship With Nature and others, surrounded infinitely by others, other cities in a huge sprawl in all directions, save the ocean. (Except the ocean). Save the whales. Now I sit with a cold lingering behind the front of my face and wonder if my grumbles of revolt in my stomach are audible. My intestines are rejecting my coffee sans food lunch. I spend a lot (oops qualifier!) of money to caffeinate my consciousness. I wonder why English separates verbs and the word “to” in the infinitive tense rather than combining them as in French. I got a red squiggle under my attempt at making ‘caffeinated’ a present tense verb, an action that can be done to something, to a consciousness perhaps.
Moving away from the linguistic intellect of a degenerate in training. Scoot away from the word play of the wasted green arrows, the collateral damage of the stream of consciousness, the river runs dark with blood and coffee, the stream, the river, the metaphor, “in the background is a substantial settlement ringed by a dense forest. Three mountains dominate the horizon.” and I am totally unprepared for a view of such an unknown shoreline. To show up to critique the works of others, the sporadic collage, the decade, the sickness, and to have no work of my own to throw in the hat, seems like my commentary shall remain limited for this purpose. “both ports languished in inactivity.” and I hope I can keep sailing further and further away from a statement cold war calm sea windless feeling inside of my head, one caused by prolonged drunkenness followed immediately by a slight cold and then the subsequent medications to help pull me through and out, as in breath through a bent straw instead of esophagus and lungs.
So I have nothing to submit. The collage I’ve written feels choked and I have about 50 hours to complete it, 49 hours to practice for a spoken French examination. Sheer minutes until death at all moments, in the hypothetical, sudden asteroid, sudden gunman, sudden car accident, kind of way. This cold won’t kill me and my antibodies are already cleaning me out. But. Mais.
My mind feels a flatline blur. Yeah, Kevin Devine, I know I steal your thoughts sometimes. This is because they are so god damn beautiful. You know how to write about things without squeezing the life out of the topic even if this choking sensation is the topic itself.
“It’s the same dollar drafts
the same whiskey words
the same hanging hearts
the same old scorched earth
further and further from the truth…”
I wanna stop it…
“We like to drink the clock backwards, and pretend like nothing’s changed.”
from ‘Me & My Friends’ from Kevin Devine from Put Your Ghost To Rest from 2006 from Capital Records from Brooklyn from Many Years of Practice and Strong FELT Emotion, etc.
“At this point I became earthbound again…”
IN the cathedral arch room of quiet listening to loud music in my little white headphones reading about japanese art (the la brea tar pits amusement park) wondering why I continue to neglect my collage story, my bipolar illness sister conflict terror of a story that feels so simultaneously overthought and neglected and such a godawful conflict when trying to make a composition sensible. Insensibility can only serve my purpose if there is a purpose.
Okay. I’m going to talk it out a minute. There are a few entries included (mood-stabilizing medications) and (bloodletting) that indicate different historical practices used to in attempt to treat or help those with cycles of psychotic mania and weighty depression. These are juxtaposed against anecdotal accounts of my sister’s own experiences with these sensations, a general distrust of the mind, an overmedication, and a volatile reaction to much external stimulation. She often seems like a cornered animal, sensing aggressive behaviors in those who mean no harm whatsoever. A corner animal in her thoughts and lashes out like a lion against a man with a chair and a whip. I also try to include a narrative of the likelihood or possibility that I could develop such an emotional disorder and that it is a genuine fear of mine.
Three thoughts weave through. Bipolar people are often super creative in their manic episodes. My sister is a real life example of the violence involved in the disorder. History shows the treatment of these people as monsters. I am afraid of falling in to the current of mental illness.
That’s four. The question lingers. How can I write about this stuff in a literary mash up of seemingly disparate parts with clarity?
How do I sound natural when I write?
Back to the books.
Waves projecting long finger-like extensions seem to aid an octopus as it ravishes the young diver.
biophilia: an innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world.
“traditional Japanese nature appreciation activities – bonsai, haiku, flower arranging, the tea ceremony, rock gardening- reflect a refined appreciation of nature, even at times its veneration, but also a belief that wildness requires the creative hand and eye of humans to achieve its perfection”
see: environmental generational amnesia, obligatory morality, the carousel of gender roles, children’s understanding of the value of the amazon rain forest
where is a dissipating plume of smoke when you need one?