Read these words if you are to be an artist, or already are

Taken from Henry Miller's book Sexus:

"Art isn't a solo performance; it's a symphony in the dark with millions of participants and millions of listeners. The enjoyment of a beautiful thought is nothing to the joy of giving it expression--permanent expression. In fact, it's almost a sheer impossibility to refrain from giving expression to a great thought. We're only instruments of a greater power. We're creators by permission, by grace, as it were. No one creates alone, of and by himself. An artist is an instrument that registers something already existent, something which belongs to the whole world and which, if he is an artist, he is compelled to give it back to the world. To keep one's beautiful ideas to oneself would be like being a virtuoso and sitting in an orchestra with hands folded. You couldn't do it! As for that illustration you gave, of an author losing his life's work in manuscript, why I'd compare such a person to a wonderful musician who had been playing with the orchestra all the time, only in another room, where nobody heard him, But that wouldn't make him any less a participant, nor would it rob him of the pleasure to be had in following the orchestra leader or hearing the music which his instrument gave forth. The greatest mistake you make is in thinking that enjoyment is something unearned, that if you know you can play the fiddle, well it's just the same as playing it. It's so silly that I don't know why I bother to discuss it. As for the reward, you're always confusing recognition with reward. They're two different things. Even if you don't get paid for what you do, you at least have the satisfaction of doing. It's a pity that we lay such emphasis on being paid for our labors--it really isn't necessary, and nobody knows it better than the artist, The reason why he has such a terrible time of it is because he elects to do his work gratuitously. He forgets, as you say, that he has to live. But that's really a blessing. It's much better to be preoccupied with wonderful ideas than with the next meal, or the rent, or a pair of new shoes. Of course when you get to the point where you must eat, and you haven't anything to eat, then to eat becomes an obsession. But the difference between the artist and the ordinary individual is that when the artist does get a meal he immediately falls back into his own limitless world, and while he's in that world he's a king, whereas your ordinary duffer is just a filling station with nothing in between but dust and smoke. And even supposing you're not an ordinary chap, but a wealthy individual, one who can indulge his tastes, his whims, his appetites: do you suppose for one minute that a millionaire enjoys food or wine or women like a hungry artist does? To enjoy anything you have to make yourself ready to receive it; it implies a certain control, discipline, chastity, I might even say. Above all, it implies desire, and desire is something you have to nourish by right living. I'm speaking now as if I were an artist, and I'm not really. I'm just a commercial illustrator, but I do know enough about it to say that I envy the man who has the courage to be an artist--I envy him because he gives himself all the time, and not just labor money or gifts. You couldn't possibly be an artist, in the first place, because you lack faith. You couldn't possibly have beautiful ideas because you kill them off in advance. You deny what it takes to make beauty, which is love, love of life itself, love of life for it's own sake. You see the flaw, the worm, in everything. An artist, even when he detects the flaw, makes it into something flawless, if I may put it that way. He doesn't try to pretend that a worm is a flower or an angel, but he incorporates the worm into something bigger. He knows that the world isn't full of worms, even if he sees a million or a billion of them. You see a tiny worm and you say--'Look, see how rotten everything is!' You can't see beyond the worm..."


miller is more mystic than pornographer. He uses the obscene to shock and awaken, but once we are awake, he wants to take us to the stars

Henry Miller's book SEXUS is challenging me like no book before, and I feel disturbed by these confrontations of truth, but energized to the point of explosion.
should I move I will die. but the time. and but I must not sleep anymore unless I am to die without it. the waste of it. Time, and my perception is all bound in impatience. Now. Now. Now. Let me not waste this blood. though I fear making choice, perhaps I will forgo deciding. Do instead. Learn from consequence. Live to exfoliate life's...

And then on the opposite hand I think of Fernando Pessoa. Perhaps just an anomaly. To sit and think and know by dream alone. Not my way? Man must make his own way...

Nobody, no principle, no idea has validity in itself. What is valid is only that much--of anything, God included--which is realized by all men in common. People are always worried about the fate of genius. I never worried about the genius: genius takes care of genius in a man. My concern was always for the nobody, the man who is lost in the shuffle, the man who is so common, so ordinary, that his presence is not even noticed. One genius does not inspire another. All geniuses are leeches, so to speak. They feed from the same source--the blood of life.

I definitely do not want to become the artist, in the sense of becoming something strange, something apart and out of the current of life.

"You don't write like you talk," he said. "You seem to be afraid of revealing yourself. If you ever open up and tell the truth it will be like Niagara Falls."

I don't know what I expected of my friends. The truth is I was so dissatisfied with myself, with my abortive efforts, that nothing or nobody seemed right to me.

Art can transform the hideous into the beautiful. Better a monstrous book than a monstrous life. Art is painful, tedious, softening. If you don't die in the attempt, your work may transform you into a sociable, charitable human being.

You love life even more than your own self.

You were meant to lead a dangerous life; you can take greater risks than others because you are protected.

You will always be alone. You want too much, more than life can offer...

Sure! What was I saying? Oh yes...in the middle of the book I would explode. Why not? There were plenty of writers who could drag a thing out to the end without letting go of the reins; what we needed was a man, like myself for instance, who didn't five a fuck what happened. Dostoevski hadn't gone quite far enough. I was for straight gibberish. One should go cuckoo! People have had enough of plot and character. Plot and character don't make like. Life isn't in the upper storey: life is here now, any time you say the word, any time you let rip. Life is four hundred and forty horsepower in a two-cylinder engine...

Suddenly he ventured to ask if I were not a writer? Why? Well from the way I looker arounf, the way I stoof, the expression about the mouth--little things, undefinable, a general impression of sensitivity and curiosity.

Tears are easier to put up with than joy. Joy is destructive: it makes others uncomfortable. "Weep and you weep alone"--what a lie that is! Weep and you will find a million crocodiles to weep with you. The world is forever weeping. The world is drenched in tears. Laughter, that's another thing. Laughter is momentary--it passes. But joy, joy is a kind of ecstatic bleeding, a disgraceful sort of supercontentment which overflows from every pore of your being. You can't make people joyous just by being yourself Joy has to be generated by oneself: it is or it isn't. Joy is founded on something too profound to be understood and communicated. To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts.

The only time a writer receives his due reward is when someone comes to him burning with this flame which he fanned in a moment of solitude. Honest criticism means nothing: what one wants is unrestrained passion, fire for fire.

...the sunlight filtered through the hideous structure in shafts of powdered gold. She had on a dotted Swiss dress which made her figure seem even more opulent; the breeze blew lightly through her glossy black hair, teasing the heavy chalk-white face like spray dashing against a cliff. In that quick lithe stride, so sure, so alert, I sensed the animal breaking through the flesh with flowery grace and fragile beauty. This was her daytime self...

Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written buy the hand of a masted and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers. our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open op, only to discover what is already there.
What happened to me was tantamount to revelation. It was revealed to me that I could say what I wanted to say--if I thought of nothing else, if I concentrated upon that exclusively--and if I were willing to bear the consequences which a pure act always involves.

A great work of art, if it accomplishes anything, serves to remind us, or let us say to set us dreaming, of all that is fluid and intangible. Which is to say, the Universe. It cannot be understood; it can only be accepted or rejected. If accepted we are revitalized; if rejected we are diminished. Whatever it purports to be it is not: it is always something more for which the last word will never be said. It is all that we put into it out of hunger for that which we deny every day of our lives. If we accepted ourselves as completely, the work of art, in fact the whole world of art, would die of malnutrition. Every man Jack of us moves without feet at least a few hours a day, when his eyes are closed and his body prone. The art of dreaming when wide awake will be in the power of every man one day. Long before that books will cease to exist, for when men are wide awake and dreaming their powers of communication (with one another and with the spirit that moves all men) will be so enhanced as to make writing seem like the harsh and raucous squawks of an idiot.

I dream a new blazingly magnificent world which collapsed as soon as the light is turned on. A world that vanishes but does not die, for I have only to become still again and stare wide-eyed into the darkness and it reappears...There is then a world in me which is utterly unlike any world I know of. I do not think it is my exclusive property--it is only the angle of my vision which is exclusive, in that it is unique. If I talk the language of my unique vision nobody understands; the most colossal edifice may be reared and yet remains invisible. The thought of that haunts me. What good will it do to make an invisible temple?

The moment was too full and neither past nor future seemed important.

Was it possible that in such a short span of time the world could take on such a different hue?

To love or be loved is no crime. The really criminal thing is to make a person believe that he or she is the only one you could ever love.


quiet days in cliche

saw HOWL recently. By recently, I mean around half a year ago.
Some really great things were said in it. This was perhaps the best quote--

the act of writing becomes like a meditation exercise
if you walk down the street in new york, for a few blocks
you'll get this gargantuan feeling of buildings
and if you walk all day you'll be on the verge of tears
but you have to walk all day to get that sensation
and what I mean is
if you write all day
you'll get into it
into your body
into your feelings
into your consciousness

It seems I've been without passion for a while now. the kind of passion that would inspire poetry or song etc. Not particularly BORED, because reading is more and more engaging everyday. but yes, simultaneously VERY BORED. 
I'd like to work myself into a frenzy of expression. Something down there buried by _____. Remember the time I was married to caffeine and adderral and felt the holiness pounding away at the keyboard, the holy energy and spunk in my fingers. 

young. so young and bored.



dear whoever the fuck,

I have been waiting, for AGES, to tell you something. I can't do it in an upfront way, like in a conversation, we can't just sit down and chat and be done with what I want to tell you. It's not that simple…
I have written a book, and have sent it out to ONE publishing house. ONE. Just one. It's due to naivety, optimism, laziness, and fear. Naivety, meaning that my book will be published immediately, and my young genius will be revered. Optimism, meaning that it will be published in the City that the book is somewhat dedicated to (Seattle). Laziness. Fear, meaning that I am afraid of being rejected numerous times.
It is like asking a woman for her hand in marriage, and waiting 3 months for a response because she has to weigh out all of her options. Fuck this system. Let me go or accept me. Unchain my heart, etc. mother of GOD, how long it's been! Did you forget that I asked? Did you forget my proposal shining in the sunrise of a long walk down to central park? I'm fucking rotting here, combusting with anticipation! Let me GO, let me LIVE!

Oh son of a shit. I want to see the sun. Seattle is without remorse. I can't handle sitting under the muddled gray. I need to know if my love was thrown away. dammit. Cussing is my main relief these days. Psychologists say it is good.


My GOD—Diminished it never was, though I had sat myself down for a year, or over a year, for three years that felt like my lifetime twice over. I sat for myself soaked in smoke booze, campfire around the base of my back houses along young drunks row, 13th Capitol Hill, people's swarm of feet and words, meeting and meeting for a subconscious diversion in movement, in gawking for cream cheese hot dogs, bars and pizza and punk shows (and some guitar plucking) only so golden to my ears and feet after some more liquor. Yeah, I was sitting in the scheme of the almighty, of the milky way where we become hilarious insects, stumbling on a crack on the sidewalk searching for a pissing locale, struggling and wailing to exist while SHE flew to Europe, my crazy drunken spaced-out love I never had, Maura, dredged in the brilliance of unknowing, young and alive in the sun with past midnight lazy eyes, ripped straight from the legends of troubled rock and roll wallflower child, sent away like the Velvet Underground, Jesus & Mary Chain, she then flew to the popular backwards American dream of history and a classier man (or anything of which I knew nothing about except for what the media had streamed into my imagination—Modernist color strokes and Peter's church of the Lord, mustache intrigue, hostels surrounding Shakespeare's tourist lair, Paris, Paris, Paree, and all the no-accent accent girls ready to be up and off their feet, leaning like towers, always falling for that Irish chump, Oh yeah baby, take me away!).