WHITE LEVIATHAN. July 5 - July 14. 12,000 words. Get used to combining writing and working full-time. Get used to not posting the day's writing at The Daily Bulletin. See that White Leviathan is the third book of the series Immobilized in Point and Shoot: Saving the Culture on the Worldwide Web. Am I saving it by taking my web site down? Is a silence louder than a noise? The news today is Sarah Palin quits and Michael Jackson's memorial ceremony at Staples Center is to take place. Debbil crabs, debbil crabs, debbil crabs. Poetry is news that stays news. A book that asks what happened to Moby-Dick after he rammed the Pequod with his head, and sank it. I see that WHITE LEVIATHAN goes on the end of STOP ME, BEFORE I WRITE MORE. Stop yourself. Who told you to write? Immobilized in Point and Shoot is two books, not three. I change the subtitle of Immobilized in Point and Shoot from Saving the Culture on the Worldwide Web to Florida Proust Takes Make-Work Job, Writes Own Book on the Hop. Who told you to write a book? I look up literary agent, Florida Proust in Google and get no hits. Ha ha, does not compute. Florida Proust? Proust was a French dandy who didn't get out of bed. I am working my butt off. My head hurts. One time I told a co-worker on an archeological dig, "My back hurts," and he said, "My feet stink." Like, that's a personal problem. Nobody wants to hear about your unpublished play.
PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE: THE EMOTIONAL LIFE OF A WRITER AND ITS PART IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF HIS WORK. July 15 - July 26. 15,000 words. I write a training course at work and write in the mornings before work and after work at night. One of Brenda's chickens has biddies. This delights Rowan. Grant Peeples plays the Martin Theater in downtown Panama City. I go to see him play. Walter Cronkite dies. There are tributes. To me, he led to dueling shouting people and the crawl. Gatesgate. I see that Immobilized in Point and Shoot: Florida Proust Takes Make-Work Job, Writes Own Book on the Hop, is three books, not two, but start the third book, Held-in-Abeyance (HIA), after PERIODS WITH BILL and before WHITE LEVIATHAN. That is, Held-in-Abeyance (HIA) includes WHITE LEVIATHAN, PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE: THE EMOTIONAL LIFE OF A WRITER AND ITS PART IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF HIS WORK, and HIATUS. The three books I didn't post at The Daily Bulletin, daily, as I wrote them.
HIATUS. July 27 - August 1. 4,000 words. I change the subtitle of Immobilized in Point and Shoot from Florida Proust Takes Make-Work Job, Writes Own Book on the Hop to Yoob Novelist Censors Himself. Then I see that Held-in-Abeyance (HIA) is short. The third book, HIATUS, is only 4,000 words. I change Yoob Novelist Censors Himself to Elegy for Irascible "Razz" Heap. Time to move on.
BRENDA'S OLD HOME PLACE. August 1 - August 10. 11,000 words. BRENDA'S OLD HOME PLACE agglutinates itself to Held-in-Abeyance (HIA). I have to see the job through. Finish what I started. I finish the draft of the sheetmetal fabrication course at work and start writing an electronics technician course. After that it's machinist. Then back to the unemployment line. Sarah Palin, Michael Jackson, Walter Cronkite. Walter Cronkite is an announcer, holding up a box of macaroni and cheese and saying, "I think I'll make macaroni and cheese tonight." While in the background a pack of Old Gold cigarettes dances past. Potter called him Walter Crankcase. "May we Marfak your car?" "This is my brother-in-law's car, Walter--Marfak you." I go on August recess, like the Congress. No cash for my clunker, it doesn't look like. Well, conservation is a personal virtue--eh, what?
CONVERSATIONS WITH MYSELF AND OTHERS. August 8 - August 14. 6,000 words. Don Riley's younger brother learns that Bill has died and puts me in touch with Don. We talk about Bill on the phone. Classmates who have died. We're still going. He fishes, I write. But my sons fish. I cook fish. One reason I live where I live is so I can get fresh seafood, the saltwater fish and shellfish I love to cook and eat. I read Michelle Mercer's Will You Take Me As I Am: Joni Mitchell's Blue Period. "De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period." I thought I'd be J. D. Salinger. What happened? I didn't write short stories. I wrote a 40-year-long novel. What do you do with a 40-year-long novel? That's the plot. I see that CONVERSATIONS WITH MYSELF AND OTHERS goes on the end of Held-in-Abeyance (HIA). I add the subtitle Talking to Myself to Held-in-Abeyance (HIA). I see that Immobilized in Point and Shoot: Elegy for Irascible "Razz" Heap is a series of seven books, like Remembrance of Things Past. Whew--white folks!
OLD BEATNIKS EATING DONUTS. August 15 - August 24. 12,000 words. I prepare
to speak at the 10th annual Gulf Coast Writers Conference on Black Papers.
That's collections of white papers the War Heads in publishing, the media, arts
agencies and cultural foundations, and university Creative Writing programs and English
departments don't want to see aired. Why do that? It's irrational. The writer
is a truth-teller. He speaks truth to power. He eats donuts like everybody else.
He has been worn down by life. The American schoolyard has beat him again. The
junior college. The 13th grade. Heap trudges out to Gulf Coast Community College.
The keynote speaker is Michael Connelly. His last book, The Scarecrow, is
about what happened to the profession or reporter in America. Heap writes black
papers about what has happened to the profession of writer in America. He has become
the Chronicler-at-Large of the Mall Builder culture. He stayed put and the culture
came to him. Through a wire, into his living room. Into his small, desktop computer.
He can't escape. One can't write to escape. There's no escape. It seeks you out.
Might as well stand and fight. Wherever you are. Stop running. Make your stand.
Fight who. With what. Fight dem. With a pamphlet of poems. I'm not the Sage
of Baltimore, I am the Belle of Amherst. The Madcap Titan of the Dustbin. A bricoleur.
A knacker in an abattoir. Half-assed and piecemeal. Jakeleg and for-the-nonce.
Ephemeral. Transitory. A fart in a whirlwind. The Bahamian in the Winslow Homer
painting, Gulf Stream. The redneck in the trailer with the pit bull chain.
I write a pamphlet of poems, Black Papers. Then I write a presentation,
Black Papers. Then I write a pamphlet called The Madcap Titan of the Dustbin,
comparing myself to Kurt Schwitters. Then I write a pamphlet called This Is Not
a Pamphlet. I see what I am going to write next. I have a breakthrough. I
see that I'm going to write Breakthrough: The Great American Comeback Novel.
My breakthrough is I'm not expecting to score a breakthrough. I'm just going to
write Breakthrough and post it at The Daily Bulletin. Daily, as I
write it. I'm not unpublished, or underpublished, I'm published at The Daily
Bulletin. In real time.