Commit! "Second star to the right, and straight on till morning."

I come to you by way of Sam Cooke
Somebody have mercy, I wonder what is wrong with me
When I think about how she do me, the tears fall down like rain
I'm going down to the bus station with a suitcase in my hand
Blow that thing for me
I'm standing here wondering baby, will a matchbox hold my clothes

Were you done that bad Sam? You think a matchbox will hold your clothes? I take a quick trip to google and come across Michael Ventura's Austin Chronicle column and article, Will a Matchbox Hold My Clothes. Extremely well written, a perfect balance of information and beauty, exquisitely worded opinion and description, with a rawness to it that is not messy in the least. Exactly the type of writing that prompts me to stop everything and write myself.

Somedays it's harder than others. Somedays I wake up quickly as if a knife were slipping down my throat, desperate, completely mad to get to a white page and write before a certain death will overtake me. Other days I wake up with nothing and must work towards needing to write again, I must do it blindly, mechanically, without any urge. On the days which I am not driven to any type of word, I must seek out inspiration from reading such writing such as Letters at 3 am.

I browse Ventura's other articles and come across the Manifesto. I love any manifesto. Any radical, meager, foolish or brilliant attempt at subverting the current state has my attention immediately. In the words of Henry Miller, Avanti, Avanti! Get those greasy ducks! 

The Manifesto was meant to challenge, and subsequently must be given some push back. So here we are.


Hasn't this become as big of a problem as it is a solution? Self-publishing is growing at an alarming rate. Literary magazines, E-reads, vanity presses, and independent presses are popping in and out of the market online and in print constantly. There is no shortage of "stuff out there". Social media and the rise of technology has provided everyone with a working knowledge of language and basic access to computers to publish anything they want on the internet, from one liners on twitter, to full blown notes on facebook, and lengthy novels immediately published on Amazon. It's so easy to "get stuff out there" that everyone and their mother has broken the floodgate between their mind and the general public. We are now inundated with worthless "art" and pre-pubescent opinions of those pressured to opinionate or fear being ridiculed for not being an individual or having a voice all their own. This pressure and access to the public has brought about a false need for immediacy, voices without bodies, beggars at a banquet...

We live in a culturally unprecedented period, with literally everything we would want to know at our fingertips. The Internet has amalgamated all history, we can bring up all the information we've gathered since our inception as a cognizant, conscious species, up until 1 second ago. Where as before, if one wanted to learn something, you would be limited to whatever was available in print in the library. Now you can sit in your bed and learn everything you think you can handle all at once, while watching a movie.  

I believe Junot Diaz said somewhere that there isn't a problem with literature today but with the readers of literature. What is wrong with the readers exactly?

Atemporality. "Immediacy of access to unbounded information has dispelled both the predilection and capability to ground oneself in any particular grand historical schema. The yearning for futurity and veneration for the past has been upended in this situation, leaving only an extended present – atemporality."

Think Borges, Funes the Memorious.

We have become stifled by the bombardment of our access to everything. We are without slowness, meditation, impatient for lengthy dissertations and novels for fear of missing out what quicker cultural documents we must choke down next. Fully jaded, overly critical, insulting from the balcony. What happened to reflection? What happened to the pilgrimage? What happened to these young idiots climbing mountains to spend time with the enlightened one in the cave and come back changed forever? 

The problem is specifically that there is too much stuff out there. Most of this stuff coming out today is seen as already done and seen and heard in countless transformations and transmutations. We are easily attuned to the patterns repeated like the make-up of blockbuster hits, we're hardly even aware of how many times we've seen the same piece of work. All we know is that we hate everything that claims to be new, with little understanding of what it really has to say. There is too much garbage covering everything that might be of worth. 

And there are things of worth coming out today.

This is one of the main reason I am near completely opposed to publishing to E-readers (I say nearly because I like to always remain at least 2% open to having my opinion changed). It's just too easy. I have friends who have halfheartedly published books on Amazon, fully aware of their incompletion. They have nonetheless already made 300+ dollars on it. 

My other reason for being against E-readers (and furthermore, long form online publication) is that I believe wholeheartedly in the book. There is so much more magic involved with having a physical copy of a book, running your own on the cover, flipping it open, front gutter, free end paper, Also by author, maybe a frontispiece, bastard title page, dedication page, contents, prologue, this is the slowness, that allows literature to breath and which makes books so important to an age like today, where every medium and style of life is quick and dead and numb. Flipping page to page, smelling it, getting papercuts, scribbling between lines, using book marks, not having fluorescent light berating your eyes as you let yourself be wrapped in and slid off to a world of purpose and beauty all crafted by a grand master of art. 

Bomb Magazine has written of Argentinian writer Cesar Aira:
He likes that his books “don’t go offering themselves to readers—like prostitutes, almost,” and prefers that readers make the effort to go searching for them. He consider himself an “unrepentant reader” who has always been able to hunt down seemingly unattainable works, and as such, believes that if people really want to read his books, they will find them.

But if we aren't just trying to get stuff out there, and if the problem IS with readers today, how can we perpetuate this craft of great literature and great art? What can we do?

The problem then becomes, how can we cultivate a desire in readers of great literature today? They are certainly there, if not a little or completely jaded about the state of art today. For this, what more can we do but read great books, undaunted, voraciously? Mold yourself as a alcoholic works, drinking desperately with a reason. Become critics both tempered in the fire of knowledge and elementary in the heart, in the soul. Critics with eyes for what always must be present in great art: mirrors for the blind, authentic communication, helping hands to the sublime, conduits, desires to connect humans to each other.

Throughout all of this and every day, we write. We read, we find our voice embattled with these great works. We take what we like from them viciously, like kleptomaniacs. We practice all styles of writing, journalistic, diaries, poetry, verse and free verse, dialogue, stream of conscious, automatic writing, drunk writing, sleep writing. We walk outside everyday and look at the people all around us, speaking to a new person every day. We write in complete solitude and abandon and we write in public and in transit and under duress for everyone and for no one and just for yourself.

Understand that there are the dreamers out there. You are not alone, though the early morning hours are always dead silent. I'm writing this to you now, and I should be the least of these. I just googled a song lyric, and old blues proverb, with no intentions of writing this lengthy entry about the state of literature. There are many others out there like me, smarter and wiser than me, hidden deep in the folds of this fat world, dead alley coffee shops and bars or trekking streets late at night, in anonymous warehouses and abandoned construction sites, traveling cross country early mornings, trying to forget or remember the drive of life under draughts of dark, surly beer, we are searching even if we don't admit it, we have hope however faithless we think we are, we want to be proved wrong, we want to believe that this is not the end of art, that there is still more to say and that we are the ones to do it. And though the Internet has brought about a quickness that more often than not serves to deter and stifle us, the possibility remains of one day harnessing it all (foolish of course, but divinely foolish).


your time is gonna come

The Sunset 
Fog, like reason, settles on the peeling district.
This is the new money. The new economy.
Where my lover lives. When I left him,
I left books, coats, silverware. Things.
It wasn't charity; it was an impure,
commonplace case of forgetting. (May he find some use

for my low-rent betrayals.) Land ends
with miles of aloe along the Great Highway.
Surfers strip off their suits, half-naked
to the naked sea. The sand's ignored
these are the notes of the drowned.


BOLANO wrote a book called 2666

"Now even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze paths into the unknown, they choose the perfect exercises of the great masters. Or what amounts to the same thing: they want to watch the great masters spar, but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench."

When what else is there to do but lose your mind

Peeling paint

Where are you buddy?
Oh you know, just walking down the street, daytime, though actually an early night time, or a late night time, or an early morning--
Alright, idiot. I get it. You're lost. You don't even know what street you're on, I bet. You know only what cities you aren't in.
Not sure if I'd go that far, All I'm sure of is that I'm in a city.

I'm sitting down, headphones on, I can see someone's fingers clacketying on a laptop, a spider tied down to the keyboard, so delicious to see, to taste these sounds
You can't hear it
Oh I hear it. I take it in the eye
You're the end of an odd fetish
Just the beginning, just a little tinge, a squirt of it.
You weird little fuck
Fuck off, You project upon me sexualizations. Your ugly eyes. I'm enjoying myself just sitting and thinking of the little tactile pleasures of life, thumbs in concave doorbells, fingers scrambling on the clean keyboards, typewriters are even better, dust jackets on books, peeling plaster, cases encased in cases, russian dolls, hammering single swing straight down to the head, pushing nails into styrofoam, a tight fit in the hips--
I told you! its not just projections of sexual fetishes!
Fits, perfect fits, it's delicious of its own merits

Who the fuck are you anyway

I'm the great you, while you, are merely a pocket of me
holy fuck!
that's right boy, now get out of here.