Showing posts from October, 2012

Oh how true are numbers one and two

Alice Munro's subject matter is ordinariness--disappointment, the passage of time--but she doesn't bring to her stories what, say, John Updike or Tillie Olsen do: extraordinary language, a mind in love with the everyday but able to exalt it so that we feel the magic in what is usual.

—Frederick Busch, Review: 'Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You' Which is exactly what I appreciate about her prose. The straightforwardness, the non-exaltation of the ordinary.
Dear Hugh and Margaret,

I have been by myself a good deal these past weeks and have been able to think about us all and have reached several interesting though not perhaps original conclusions:

1) Monogamy is not a natural condition for men and women.

2) The reason that we feel jealous is that we feel abandoned. This is absurd, because I am a grown-up person capable of looking after myself. I cannot, literally, be abandoned. Also we feel jealous—I feel jealous—because I reason that if Hugh loves Margar…

Funny how hard it is

It's dangerous to liken lyric poetry to an extended aphorism, but that's how I would describe most of the lyric verse I've read and loved. They speak the truth—generally and specifically, and intellectually.

To try putting it in another way— It's rare that I find poetry wherein I could say, 'I can relate to that,' 'That is what's happening to me right now,' 'It touches me.'

That rarity is Philip Larkin.

While other poems have but an absolute voice, Larkin's have a face and a world that I, too, inhabit.
Vers de Société
Philip Larkin

My wife and I have asked a crowd of craps
To come and waste their time and ours: perhaps
You’d care to join us? In a pig’s arse, friend.
Day comes to an end.
The gas fire breathes, the trees are darkly swayed.
And so Dear Warlock-Williams: I’m afraid—

Funny how hard it is to be alone.
I could spend half my evenings, if I wanted,
Holding a glass of washing sherry, canted
Over to catch the drivel of some bitch

9 years later

I started this blog in August 2003 with so much urgency. I was less conscious of the idea that things don't last, hence every design detail, every post, I crafted with regard to eternity. That a wandering man will someday find his way to this digital island, therefore it must be found clean and dainty; that decades from now I will have a lot to enjoy re-reading (and instantly delete).

Years later technology (however lovely and useful) and life (however riveting) prove that nothing lasts. Gadgets, software, the internet are faulty. Relationships, desires, beauty fade. But then all the more do I do things deliberately and with caution; all the more do I believe that one act, one word, is subject to perpetual responsibility.

9 years ago I dreamed of becoming a writer. 2 years ago I became a professional one: I write; I get paid. Since then I have loved this blog more than I ever did. Because (cheesy as it sounds) this is me.

Here I don't follow another's guidelines an…