Writes Alone

My musings & struggles with the blank page…

Magic For Beginners By Kelly Link

I think I’m the beginner when it comes to Kelly Link. This is her first book I’ve read and it’s left me very conflicted. First off I want to say, the woman can write, I mean really write. I loved her writing and Magic For Beginners is worth reading. What caused me to pause were the actual stories themselves, I didn’t really like them. Which is a very weird thing to admit, kind of like a Kelly Link story. She zooms off on some pretty crazy tangents and because she’s such a great writer I followed her, but often I found the weirdness she served up to be kind of predictable. I was wowed more by how she wrote, than the actual story she was telling. Still I’m not giving up on Kelly Link. I’m eager to read more of her books, Stranger Things Happen, Pretty Monsters, and the newest, Get in Trouble. Maybe then I won’t be such a beginner.

Heedless

Dead rat faceless

soul abandoned

embodiment among weeds.

What ate your face?

your body untouched.

Dead to this world.

Cars drive into

the Shell Station

heedless of the residue

your remains left

in my mind.

Trigger Warning By Neil Gaiman

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman is not easy to get through. I really wanted to enjoy these short stories and poems, because they’re written by Neil f*cking Gaiman. Sadly,when I finished reading, I was just glad it was over.Normally I love his work, but not this time.

Trigger Warning should come with a warning. There’s a couple dozen pieces mashed together and for each one Gaiman wrote a little blurb. You’re supposed to read these before reading each of the stories or poems. I did as was suggested, but only found them annoying. Most of the stories and poems are previously published, which is fine, but no great insights were revealed, except how f*cking great Neil Gaiman thinks he is.

And on the subject of great… His poems are so not. It hurt me to read them and I feel like a real shit saying that. I am not a great poet or even a mediocre one, but my God, there were only three poems or so and that was far too many, and the stories are carelessly thrown together with no thought to theme or content. I suspect this book is a money grab. Apparently most of the pieces are award winning gems from previous publications. I failed to be impressed.

And now I’m here

Some people dream of the past

while the future lies dying

donning last night’s sheets

as togas

they’re ready to party

It’s not tomorrow

It’s always today

Ageless

A solid lump of nothing

Gods and mortals passing

oblivious

to desperate moments

Blind and deaf

overdosing on time

Jim Belushi madness

roasting hot dogs over fires

It began in 1978

I was there

and now I’m here.

All the Strange Hours: The excavation of a life

All the Strange Hours by Loren Eiseley is a unexpected of revelation of the mind and soul of a wise and humble man. Beautifully written and painfully honest, it’s not your typical autobiography. I loved it. The stories of his life as a young drifter during the depression were particularly poignant. It’s not on the road a la Kerouac. Eiseley lost his way, like thousands of others during this terrible time. Poverty shaped him and not always for the best. I’m not doing this book justice. As I read through it, I was pulled into closer examination of my own life. He managed a universal mythology, with a personal confession. I cried, I laughed. His story about the cat who talked was especially wonderful or the old dogs that remained in the ruins of their old homes long after their masters were gone (heartbreaking). He explores life and all its flaws with a sharp eye and gives himself no place to hide.He’s a scientist and humanist by training, but he somehow managed to keep compassion alive inside himself. An immensely accomplished man in his lifetime, makes this book all the more astonishing.

Succumb

It is naked lust that

moves continents.

Earthy Orgasms.

Sentient beings flutter

like dirty, plastic bags

upon the undulating self

of Mother Earth.

Crevasses gashed open,

swallow and crush.

Succumb to

the Goddess

be prepared

to end.

The sweet, good

woman pants heavily,

giving birth to a now

landscaped of change.

Finding your voice

I have struggled to find my voice for years and the other day it dawned on me I should just accept it. Writing is about uncovering and sharing what is within, there’s nothing to “find”, but there is everything to accept. To somehow come to a place where what is and has been waiting inside is enough. I think it takes it great honesty to be a writer.

Did you know that?

My teenage daughter said,

Did you know there is so

much plastic in the world,

we’re not only eating it,

drinking it, absorbing it

through our skin,

we’re breathing it too?

I just can’t take fresh air

seriously anymore.

Well I didn’t know that

and I was sad, she knew

that, and nothing could

be done about it. We are

turning into giant

credit cards, maxed out

to the worldly limit.

Made in China

Licking words from pages

a mother cat mourns

the loss of her unwanted litter

drowned at the hands of her mistress

Suburbia has taken over the city

A tragic, plastic state of emergency

Made in China

Not suitable for the blue box

Perfect depravity

Raving debauchery

of thundering Ether Gods

Celebrities of reality

making us new perfumes

Scented tampons that vibrate

Rainbow coloured needles

stamped with feel good cliches

So when we inject venom

into our souls

we feel good about ourselves.

Sadly I woke up

This morning Douglas Coupland

graced my dream with his presence

He did not look to happy to be there

Bearded and brooding

This hip Generation X Lenin

regarded the grimy,industrial

waste of my skull with the

practiced contempt of an artist

He wanted to tell me to shut up

that much was clear

but I wasn’t saying anything

Only chewing gum

Sadly I woke up before

I could stick it on his beard.

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