THE CLASS OF '57 HAD ITS DREAMS. May 7 - May 22. 38,000 words. How, and why, I became a writer. What it means to be a writer in a post-literate society. Civilization is based on literacy. Reading and writing. We live in a post-literate, or post-civilized society, where people get their information from television, video games, iPods, wrist-radios, and here I am, straining to produce a turd nine wrist-rings long. The turd in the punchbowl of American letters. Black night is falling, when will my troubles end? I stop posting THE CLASS OF '57 HAD ITS DREAMS at The Daily Bulletin because I don't want to lose my job, for blogging. Since March 18, 2000, I posted 86 books on the worldwide web, at The Daily Bugle, roman-feuilleton.com, and The Daily Bulletin, but I met my match. I couldn't go on losing jobs for getting at, and witnessing to, the truth. That's a book and a half a month for seven years. I'd say I did my part, wouldn't you? I submit "The Revolt of Jack Crevalle" to the short story contest for Florida Noir, a collection of noir fiction to be published by Pottersville Press. I agree to give a presentation at the Florida Noir Festival on "Writing the Black Novel After 9-11" and a presentation at the Gulf Coast Writers Conference on "I Imagine I Remember: Memoir and Novel as Complementary Approaches to Narrative Description (Storytelling)." THE CLASS OF '57 HAD ITS DREAMS is not just a memoir, it's a memoir plus The Plight of the Creative Artist in America. It's not about me, it's about America. It's about us. Our artists are the canaries in the coal mine. It's not a cry for help, it's an alarm. A wake-up call. I'm not under the radar, I'm the radar.
RAZZ ME BLUES. May 22 - June 3. 28,000 words. The signal is fading. Razz Heap calls what he is doing razz, by analogy with merz. He sees that RAZZ ME BLUES is a continuation of THE CLASS OF '57 HAD ITS DREAMS, and that together they form A Handyman Past His Prime: The Black Heart's-Truth. Heap may be destined for oblivion, he may not. All he can do is cast the corn. He can't make the chickens peck. He asks James Drought's son, who maintains the web site James Drought, American Author, if his father was harassed by the FBI. Creative Thing, who published Kurt Schwitters: 100 Years of Merz, in 1987, is doing a commemorative letter, 20 years later, on June 20, Schwitters' birthday, and gets in touch with Heap. He says razz is everywhere, in Southern California. Oh, shit. Has Heap picked a name that already belongs to something? Like Stanley Crouch writing Don't the Moon Look Lonesome: A Novel in Blues and Swing. Heap wasn't even sure RAZZ ME BLUES was a novel. Maybe it was another memoir. Don't they know what razz means? Heap was his own paparazzo. Anything you have to do, you have to go on and do yourself, Rahsaan Roland Kirk said. Razz threw his digital point-and-shoot camera in a musette bag and headed out for The Territory ahead of the rest. Well, he headed for Jacksonville, for his aunt and uncle's 60th wedding anniversary, where he would see his brother and sisters and Jennifer and Balder and Baby Rowan. Heap gets over feeling like he was denied a life as a writer-even though he was-because he sees what he is going to write next, how he will support himself while he does it, and how he'll get it out to his coterie of steadfast readers, the Buzzard Cult. Skipjack, caught in the pocket, rally. Heap rallies.
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