Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Reading

"My heart's broken," he thought. "If I feel this 
way, my heart must be broken."
- Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway page 116
(My heart's not actually broken, even if I feel 
this way. Still beating and still pumping.)

In the morning, Mr. Rose chose to rest his magic hands 
between trees; he came up to Homer who was 
working as a checker in the orchard called 
Frying Pan, counting the one-bushel crates before 
they were loaded on the flatbed trailer and 
giving every picker credit for each bushel picked. 
- The Cider House Rules by John Irving page 326
(I want to give credit where credit is due, 
for every bushel picked.)

Genius is said to be self-conscious; I cannot tell
whether Miss Ingram was a genius, but she was
self-conscious -- remarkably self-conscious indeed.
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte page 198
(Flamingos remind me of graceful geniuses.)

I was smack in the middle of this interesting war.
There were social overtones too that I'll explain.
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac
(There's always more to anyone's battle.)

My dear child, What I would like best would be to
send you my secret thoughts with a white dove. But
they are all out of white doves in Lebanon.
- Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
(I miss being a kid and having secret thoughts.)

Going south we watched spring unroll like a
proper novel...when we drove back, we read
from back to front
- Fiction by Lisel Mueller
(I miss this.)
 Don't be square and don't be a stranger.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Awe-SUN Kerouac's birthday

Happy belated birthday, Jack Kerouac.

It's not often that I get real excited for a new film with a cast of very well-known actors (Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Stewart, Tom Sturridge, Steve Buscemi, Terrence Howard, Alice Braga, Elesabeth Moss), but when they're all respectable in their own right, I get excited. And Garrett Hedlund might just be the cat's meow. And I don't even like cats.

"They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn..." - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 1, Ch. 1

Though Kerouac's writing in On the Road is deadly visceral - with the heated uncertainty of transitioning adulthood - the above passage reminded me of another I've read: "They asked each other, 'Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"' - Luke 24:32  
Mad to be saved.

 Robert Frank and Jack Kerouac.
photo by John Cohen - Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Also, while we're talking about the Beat Generation. I've been reading up on Robert Frank and The Americans. It's worth a looksie.

Happy Tuesday to you.
And cheers to the awesome (or should I say awe-SUN) spring weather.

Yours truly,

Friday, March 9, 2012

Halls of mutterwhisperer doom

I've got a cold. I stole some of my roommate's vitamin C Halls cough drops - the ones now with tiny words of "encouragement." Just before my body broke into a heaving coughing episode, I popped the cool orange drop into my mouth and flattened out its wrapper. Did I feel encouraged? No. I felt a silly baffoon. Mocked. Maybe it's the placement of the words on the wrapper, or the way they are worded. Of course, I know I'm making myself the victim here. This little detail doesn't matter within a larger picture. I got to thinking about words, though (which I think about all the time). I've become skeptical of them as of late. It has a lot to do with my personal challenge of steering away from my own sentimental, flowery writing. And my ridiculous poetry that's so hopeful, its own hope becomes a little deafening - or too encouraging, in turn, meaningless - like the Halls wrappers. I don't want to become a Halls wrapper advocate and/or a sad mutterwhisperer writer of words.

"They fill me with sad mental vignettes featuring the saddest sickest sadsters smiling weakly at the wrappers crinkling in their flu-addled hands."