Sunday, May 16, 2010

On being bored, jaded, and having nothing to write about

In the greater hierachy of which I am just a minor member, a lowly shuffling factotum (my eyes on the prize, or on the sky), one must be aware at all times that the end result of our combined purposes and greater goods is Death if it is anything, and not a sudden death from swift stabbings, steel under stars (which seems aesthetic, and so: preferable) but the halting attrition of mental starvation and irony-free ennui, arms slipping to one's sides, mouths hanging slack and receiving anything from the world, ears scraping the cellar floors, etc. The point is not to die, but to die with style, and, if possible, to die involuntarily - if only because doing anything voluntarily takes effort and is thus not liable to be recommended, sharing some vague amorphous onus/curse of the lower classes along with the danger that effort leads to actual writing or living, which might lead, in turn, to bad prose. One can not expose one's flanks to the ever-poised poison pens of rooks and murders of critics. One must be adamantine inside slacker sangfroid, inside the armor of nothingness. The critics know: they destroy the hearts before they can even open, how dare anyone write anymore? What is the use of saying anything? What is the use of art when criticism has shown it to be worthless, meaningless, speechless, powerless? And still there is the involuntary start and the picking up of the pen, there are new fools born every minute who haven't heard the news. All that it takes, one feels at this point, to reduce the mediocrity is to speak from the heart and to avoid cliches - so much so, in fact, that I would recommend never reading or opening one's ears because the language carries too many stock phrases now, and these are taught to apply to situations which, in fact, never happen outside of the soap operas of applied imaginations in gray, concrete-covered worlds. I use this, I use that, I take this phrase and I alter it, I change it to appear witty and they laugh but their laughs are meaningless because they are lying reactions to something that my body produces involuntarily, like an uncontrollable excretion. I stop and start, pausing and retching, twitching and trembling, my mouth opens, phrases from thirty years in the past tumble out greased and pointed, they fall to the floor and lie there - who takes them up? Who will turn them over, examine them, toss them aside? One opens them like a present, in a fraction of a second, and there is nothing at all inside. Still we are afraid of touching. Still we are afraid of just being normal (I know you want to sneer) and living, breathing softly and reacting, not analyzing, not reflecting, not thinking at all...

U. Amtey
05 April 2005
22:26 CST