Eye of the Story

The Evergreen State College

Author: chitho10

Freewrite. 2/26/16. Tommy Chisholm

One of the sections from my piece deals with the first time a child realizes that they’re capable of taking their own life. Not out of a desire to do so, but just recognizing the ability of the act. 

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What’s so profound about realizing, for the first time, that you are capable of taking your own life? Is it just the shock value of a child, under the age of ten, even considering it? someone so young, would have to already know what death is. What it means to die, and that inevitability. We are talking about death here: the biggest deal. Becoming aware of it, something so pressing and filled with weight, marks a milestone. There is the before you know of death and the after. Suddenly the danger your mom knows so well, for you, starts to make sense; violent summer storms takes on a whole new kind of fear, becomes a new monster.—It won’t just level the house, ruining everything you know, but it will ruin you. Erase you.

 

Maybe this is where the spectre first starts to peer through. In the memories of the knife, with Dad, there could be a mirror in the background, and the reflection could stay after we’re both gone. But serenely. Always serene.

 

So then does there need to be a depiction of life, all sunshine and rainbows before, and all doom and gloom after? It’s not that it’s sunshine and rainbows though, there’s just an absence, an unawareness, an unconscious. This ignorance of the unknown is not an experience of total bliss. Though the knowing comes with a lifelong of dread, it’s a fleeting dread. It creeps up just as often as any other kind of fear. Instead of fearing an injury and the physical pain of it, the dread goes one step beyond into an unknowable lack of existence. You’ve never experienced it, so you know not what it will feel like and that is the dread, the mystery of not knowing. This creeping sense of oblivion which catches up with you on the freeway, just as the spectre does in the mirror, and just as nostalgic triggers induce your longing. These ghosts we collect and carry with us, that find us and haunt us, are the Rites of Longing.

 

I’ve been writing and thinking about death so much, I’ve forgotten to live.

 

There is the realization of death, that it is a thing which is inescapable. And then there is the realization that one can take their own life. That there is the power to do this.

 

The freeway suicide hotline. Once we’ve acquired the knowledge of death we become tempted by it. It’s like what Kundera says about Vertigo:

 

“Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’ must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.”

 

Again the spectre speaks. Join me it says. I think Kundera’s quote makes it sound like it’s so hard to say no to the concrete median. It’s actually really simple. You recognize how odd of a thought it is, to impulsively kill yourself, and your mind moves on to the next thought. I think there needs to be a driving scene.

 

I’m heading up East I-94 in the silver Monte Carlo I’d bought just a few months prior. I barely knew how to drive. I’m convinced I know what I’m doing behind the wheel, but know better—I could probably count the times I’ve driven on the freeway with two hands. The dash says 1:23am and with nobody else on the freeway I take the opportunity to see what six cylinders can do. The black and white speed sign, in its highway gothic, reads 75. I take it up to 80. The RPM meter flicks up to three then back down to two. I push the pedal even further down, reaching 85 and then 90. At 90 miles per hour in the left lane I can feel the gravity of the cars momentum as I take the wide curve of freeway between the 8 Mile Rd. and 9 Mile Rd. It scares me and my body is tense in the driver’s seat, hands clutching the steering wheel. Music has been blaring out the stereo the entire time, but I can’t hear a lick while this deeply focused. As I clear the bend in the freeway, keeping the wheel turned to the right, it dawns on me that all I have to do is throw the wheel left, as quickly as possible, and I will collide with the concrete sound barrier wall—killing myself. It’s that simple. It makes me smirk, because of course I won’t. I’d never. But the impulse still rose up and for a few seconds I was undecided. I let the vehicle coast back down to 75mph.

An excerpt from my project. 2/21/16. Tommy Chisholm

             What is a mirror? In the era of antiquity, mirrors were made from solid sheets of bronze or silver and were prone to corrosion. Today and for the last five hundred odd years, mirrors are made by applying a metal coating to the backside of a piece of plate glass. Primarily, mirrors are objects of vanity; a tool to aid our narcissism as well as our loathing.

            At the intersection of the animal-world and the human—domesticity—mirrors are given to rodent and bird pets to keep them company. These puny little guys may not have the mental capacity to differentiate between themselves and the image in the mirror, and effectively keep themselves company. The physical body they see is not their own, but of their only friend and neighbor. It’s a bit haunting, to be kept company by the mirrors own deception.

           Ultimately, mirrors are carriers of light. They absorb it and bounce it back in new angles; left is right and right is left. Mirrors are also much like the lowly chameleon, that reptilian incapable of an “authentic” self, only capable of replicating its surroundings. So then what happens when two chameleon-light-bearers face one another? I imagine two mirrors, framed, and pressed together by their wooden frames which hold a negative space between the two where all light escapes. Their reflection is nothingness and in the darkness they are one with the lightlessness. Do they fail to function, or is this chameleon kiss, a lovers embrace drenched in the dark, only for two? Mirrors are secret keepers, a spy’s accessory for stealthily seeing around corners. In the negative plane between the coated plate glass, does the mirror take on a physicality? Is it possible to steal a glance? I think not. I know no way to shine—to sneak—a light onto their embrace without the two just chameling, reflecting that bulb, flame, or chemiluminescence.

Freewrites. 2-14-15, Tommy Chisholm

As it stands, my project is broken into three sections. The first one dealing with mirrors. I sat down for about an hour or two and tried to write down everything I could think of when “mirrors” came to mind. I’m currently using this freewrite as a bit of an outline, well, actually, it’s more of a point of reference to mine for inspiration. I’d also like to note that this was a completely unedited stream-of-consciousness bit of writing, so bear with it when its language fumbles and becomes occasionally obnoxious. 

 

Here’s some samples from it…

 

The mirror is a window, and a window, too, acts as a mirror. We mistake a window for a mirror, as they disguise themselves as such. Mirrors are also metaphoric of windows. They show us our physical unconscious selves. We can consider our subconscious while sitting on a couch or laying down before bed, but we aren’t face to face with it as we are when we gaze into the mirror. In the mirror we start to piece our past together, up to the present, we try to make sense of the linear path, and we find ourselves skeptical. Skeptical of who we are and who we’ve been. In this gaze we exist out of time as we mine the past and examine the present. Memory is blurred by the fictions our minds create. 

What is a mirror? A piece of glass with a thin piece of plastic, or metal, glued to it? A mirror is an object, a vanity tool. We gaze into them and find our most hated features, we focus in on them and that seems to be all that’s there: a walking, talking, living, breathing: blemish. But mirrors also allow us to see around corners, behind us, and in secrecy. They are carriers of light, bouncing it away in new angles. They’re opposites too. Left is right and right is left in the mirror. It throws my depth perception off and I’m mystified by every person who can use a mirror to cut their own hair. Mirrors are often left with lesser animals, those who can’t make the distinction between themselves and the image staring back at them. They are kept company by their own reflection, made less lonely by the mirrors deception. It’s a haunting thought. Do these animals then lack self awareness? They are conscious, we can observe their decision making processes. 

Mirrors can be broken, their shards used as weaponry. The glass is struck, a crack spiders out and the pieces fall; in that moment before the drop you see yourself, fragmented in infinity and just as soon as you were there, you are gone (DEAD).

A mirror is like a chameleon–though even lower–it can only reflect, it cannot e anything of it’s own. So what do two mirrors reflect back at one another? Press them together, their kiss is just for the two, and in darkness. And in the darkness they are one with lightlessness. Their reflection is nothing. Their dark embrace is a secret. I’m at a loss, is it impossible to steal a glance? Could words even merit that glance? There’s no way I know how to shine–to sneak–a light onto their embrace without them just chameling, reflecting that bulb, that flame, that chemiluminescence. What their true reflection is, or if it even exists, is not going to affirm anything. If we find out, what will be there to gain from this new knowledge? A new metaphor? 

In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Kundera writes: “Metaphors are dangerous. Love begins with a metaphor. Which is to say, love begins at the point when a woman enters her first word into our poetic memory.”

 
 
I like the idea of mirrorselves, when we look into the mirror it stays after I leave, it behaves in some different way. It’s behavior needs to be pure sincerity, all vulnerability. It’s the fearless version of myself with nothing to lose. He’s completely honest, humble, and empathetic. How can that be shown and not told? 
 
 
 

A new intro? Tommy Chisholm.

This is a selection that I started yesterday that I’m considering using as the first section of my project. It’s fairly unedited. But here’s a glimpse…

 

It doesn’t matter where I am. At Cowen Park, under a big leaf maple I contemplate my subconscious mind—my inner voice. The late-afternoon sun—halfway through its three month cycle, which won’t be showing its mug for another nine—warms my forearms through a network of leaves and twigging branches. Though the ground is perpetually damp; it’s too saturated to go for three mere months, for ninety measly days, for over two thousand speeding hours, without rain. My ass is damp. But it will be damp biking back uphill regardless. My eyes close. The distant sunlight spit shines my eyelids pink. What is this voice? Where is it coming from? In words, I wonder what that ability is, how its changed, how so much of it is the essence of my identity. It’s the real me. The full me. The essence which is ever starting, pausing, moving and morphing.

It doesn’t matter where I am. The cotton sheets, thinly striped in blue and white, are cold on my bare skin. I writhe around under the hulking brown comforter building ramparts on each side of my body. With my feet I fold the bottom of the blanket into a pocket, dig in deep with legs fortifying the pocket into a deep catacomb, and locking in the frozen feet—the ritual now complete. I close my eyes. Every night another hour, or will it be two, three? of lying here paralyzed awake. Sleepless despite weariness. Isolated in the binding blanket, in a pitch black bedroom, am I anything else but voice? Is the voice embodied, does take physical form? Here in the darkness it’s a voice producing no sound.

An aborted beginning. Tommy Chisholm. 2-7-15

Here is a sample of some story mapping I did recently. The majority of what this resulted in I’ve decided to scrap. I think it counts as one of those “writing outside of your story” exercises though. It helped me figure out where I was going and where I didn’t want to go. 

The questions I was trying to answer were inspired by Bill Ransom’s lecture to our class. I ultimately decided Bill’s advice was best suited for aspiring novelist, which I am (currently) not. 

 

 

What is the conflict of my story?

Growing up. The struggle exists in the mind of a young man who struggles with nostalgia. He aches for the past, despite the past being just as painful as the present. He remembers it in a rose tint. It’s what he knows, it already happened so there’s no mystery to what will come of it, only what could’ve been.

 

It also has to deal with the weird confrontations we have with our own consciousness. We suggested to ourselves, as if out of the blue, to commit suicide. We stand in front of a mirror, like a word being repeated over and over, being to lose all sense of who we are.

 

It’s also called The Rites of Longing, so I think it should be broken up into multiple segments, i.e. Rites. A scene about music making him cry ultimately dealing with his recollection of 9/11, a scene about suicide, maybe the music is a motif, a scene about the mirror.

 

What’s it about?

So he sets out to investigate why he is in the grip of nostalgia. If that is the case then there needs to be almost constant flashbacks from the present to the past. Nostalgic triggers are everywhere and the world he lives in isn’t the world he was born in. He just wants to go back, back to irresponsibility, innocence, naiveté. The story will blend past and present at the drop of a hat, in a dream like manner. It will be humorous yet deeply melancholic—because that is part of nostalgia, not knowing what your so pensively sad about.  

 

I think he’s trying to find meaning in the past, to figure out how to make the present meaningful.

 

How will the conflict play out?

He could go out trying to investigate why he’s so nostalgic, why Obstacle 1 makes him cry. Trying to figure out why there is so much emotion welled up with this song could open up the rabbit hole of where nostalgia comes from and what he’s most nostalgic for.

 

You never know if he’s laying in bed thinking or communicating with another person directly. It could all take place in memory.

But it needs to be known that the “I” isn’t myself, it is the protagonist in the first person.

 

Where is it heading?

Possibly from evening to morning.

 

What is the form of my piece?

Akin to Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being

 

The narrative will need to shift from first person to third. During the act of remembering it will be in first person, outside of that memory it will be in third, referring to the past self almost as someone else (your mirror self?)

 

It could be could to have aspects of magical realism, they could be incorporated into the memories. The way everything is blending, isn’t that already the magical realistic?

 

Where will it begin?

Ultimately he’s in bed trying to fall asleep. But will the story begin there, or will it begin at the wheel of his car?

Close Viewing, 2-3-16, Tommy Chisholm

Symbolism in Do the Right Thing’s Opening Scene

 

One of the most iconic scenes in Do the Right Thing is it’s opening credits. The three minute, forty-six second opening scene depicts the character Tina dancing aggressively as the credits roll. Her routine sets the stage for, as well as symbolizes many of the film’s themes. The dance is matched by the song “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy—a song written specifically for the film—and acts almost as an overture, nodding to the classic epics of old Hollywood.

The scene opens with a montage of Tina (Rosie Perez) silhouetted, posing and flexing, flashing all over the screen in front of a Brooklyn apartment building. The song kicks up and she begins to dance. We see she’s wearing a red and black dress and as she turns and faces the camera, her backdrop slowly fades to red, and we hear the first lyrics from the song: “1989! The number, another summer.” In the first twenty seconds of the film we know precisely where we’re at: Brooklyn, NY; summer 1989.

Color. More than anything this movie is about color, specifically the color of skin. The back drop Tina dances in front of and the color of her dress are both red. Red is often symbolic of blood, heat, anger, and frustration. In her next outfit we see Tina in a blue leotard and sporting a leather jacket. Blue is the cool color of serenity, it clashes with the red. Directly after, we meet Tina in her final ensemble and stage: black and white professional boxing attire and a pair of red gloves, with a backdrop of a street tagged up with graffiti and illuminated by white light.

When we see Tina in her boxing get-up—white trunks, black top, white robe, black sneakers, and finally, red gloves—she throws punch after punch. The black and the white outfit is symbolic of the two, ready to spar, dominate racial groups in the film and their rising tension. The gloves are representatives of blood. The blood that bonds each opposing force, the blood that gets shed when these groups clash, and the blood that they share, the blood that is the same between all human beings.

Watching the dance routine after having seen the film, the viewer can’t help but notice connections from the opening scene throughout the rest of the film. From the beginning to the end of the dance number Tina moves with vigor, with force, and every time the song proclaims “FIGHT THE POWER”, she throws a punch, walking the line between dance and shadowboxing. Her aggressive dancing is liberatory of the female body from a patriarchal society that demands those bodies be and act specific ways. This mirrors the film which pleads for the liberation of black folks from a culture of systemic racism.

Throughout Do the Right Thing boxing becomes more and more a predominant theme, to the point of allegory. And just like a real boxing match, we have a referee. Though he’s not featured in Tina’s dance, he is the first character we meet and contextualize in the film, directly following Tina’s moves. He is Mister Señor Love Daddy (Samuel L. Jackson) the DJ for Love Radio (“The last on your dial”). In the movie, whenever the tension is rising high it is our acting referee, Love Daddy, who tries to keep things civil.

There’s a duality in the film between dancing: an art formally recognized as graceful, and punching: violent brute force meeting violence head on. The dancing vs. the punching is akin to Radio Raheem’s tale of “Love and Hate”, which he so proudly wears in the form of knuckledusters. Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn) laces his fingers together and says, “The story of life is this. Static. One hand is always fightin’ the other hand.” He intuits that life is the tension, the yin and yang of love and hate, as one rises and the other conquers. Tina’s dance steps rise up, she gets caught up in the joy of her own movement, her excitement becomes rage and she throws blows.

The photo of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X shaking hands appears throughout the film. One hand, one form of movement, are symbolic of the love MLK tries to radiate into the world and the other hand, also symbolic with the other hands movement, is the anger X refuses to repress. In the photo, both hands are static, in tension and together.

 

The Rings of Saturn, Close Reading, Tommy Chisholm

Sebaldian Narrative

 

“As I sat there that evening in Southwold overlooking the German Ocean, I sensed quite clearly the earth’s slow turning into the dark. The huntsmen are up in America, writes Thomas Browne in The Garden of Cyrus, and they are already past their first sleep in Persia. The shadow of night is drawn like a black veil across the earth, and since almost all creatures, from one meridian to the next, lie down after the sun has set, so, he continues, one might, in following the setting sun, see on our globe nothing but prone bodies, row upon row, as if leveled by the scythe of Saturn—an endless graveyard for a humanity struck by falling sickness, I gazed farther and farther out to sea, to where the darkness was thickest and where there extended a cloudbank of the most curious shape, which I could barely make out any longer, the rearward view, I presume, of the storm that had broken over Southwold in the late afternoon. For a while, the topmost summit regions of this massif, dark as ink, glistened like the icefields of the Caucasus, and as I watched the glare fade I remembered that years before, in a dream, I had once walked the entire length of a mountain range just as remote and just as unfamiliar. It must have been a distance of a thousand miles or more, through ravines, gorges and valleys, across ridges, slopes and drifts, along the edges of great forests, over wastes of rock, shale and snow. And I recalled that in my dream, once I had reached the end of my journey, I looked back, and that it was six o’clock in the evening. The jagged peaks of the mountains I had left behind rose in almost fearful silhouette against a turquoise sky in which two or three pink clouds drifted. It was a scene that felt familiar in an inexplicable way, and for weeks it was on my mind until at length I realized that, down to the last detail, it matched the Vallüla massif, which I had seen from the bus, through the eyes drooping with tiredness, a day or so before I started school, as we returned home from an outing to the Montafron. I suppose it is submerged memories that give to dreams their curious air of hyper-reality. But perhaps there is something else as well, something nebulous, gauze-like, through which everything one sees in a dream seems, paradoxically, much clearer. A pond becomes a lake, a breeze becomes a storm, a handful of dust is a desert, a grain of sulphur in the blood is a volcanic inferno. What manner of theatre is it, in which we are at once playwright, actor, stage manager, scene painter, and audience?”

The Rings of Saturn, III, pg. 78-80

 

In The Rings of Saturn W. G. Sebald takes his readers through a dizzying narrative centered on a walking trip on the eastern coast of England and in doing so manages to transcend space, time, and consciousness. The novel is broken into ten chapters of about thirty pages each, with a gossamer in the wind like narrative floating through the pages of time, space, and the minds of Sebald’s friends, acquaintances, and various persons of interest. A concise example of this metaphysical tromp can be found in the above section from chapter three. The quote begins with Sebald in Southwold, England; sitting on the shore and staring northeasterly into the German Sea. The eclectic journey Sebald takes the reader on in three measly pages appears as so: from England to Germany, into Sebald’s consciousness, to America, into Thomas Browne’s consciousness, back to England, into the sky, all the way to the Caucasus, a memory of a dream, the peaks of an imaginary mountain range, a memory from childhood of actual mountains in Austria, and then finally back to Sebald’s present consciousness—presumably on the shore of the Southwold beach.

Though the narrative only makes mention of Germany and America by name and no action actually takes place in either place, they are invoked in the reader’s mind. Famous sites from these countries, their position on a globe, as well as the North Sea (German Sea), and the United States on the opposite side of the globe, drift as a montage through the cinema of the readers mind. When Thomas Browne is made mentioned the reader is reminded of the fifteenth century in which he lived, and just as soon as the reader’s made it four hundred years in the past, we’re staring back at the globe where Persia is occupied.

In quoting Browne, Sebald brings us back to the shore he sits on in Southwold. It’s evening and the blank, bleak image of the ocean is what invokes the words of Browne out of him. The void that is the black water of night reminds him of the inevitability of death and how every night it appears as though one half of the earth has laid down and died. The origin of the novel’s title can also be speculated on in this moment. The rings of Saturn are a scythe cutting down, annihilating, every individual nightly. Without the use of quotes or even breaking up these thoughts into multiple sentences, Sebald begins ruminating on the storm clouds on their way out, thus moving back to the present and the spatial, having blended history, geography, and memory with philosophy; all in one sentence.

Sebald describes the outgoing storm clouds—by making use of the word massif—as mountainous. The massif clouds remind him of a dream he had years ago where he romped through a remote and unfamiliar mountain range, covering thousands of miles in footsteps. He realizes that the dream felt so vivid to him because its imagery matched a boyhood memory of his in the mountains of Austria. Lastly Sebald ponders the makings of dreams and memories and their intersection, leaving the reader comparing dreams and ourselves as the architects of our dreams, to that of live theatre, asking how this production by one individual is even possible.

Though this is only a small slice of the greater text that is The Rings of Saturn, it is an apt glimpse at what a “Sabaldian Narrative” does. Sebald’s narrative mode is a form of stream-of-consciousness writing and what makes it unique is its ability to seamlessly fuse so many variables into one text. When Sebald sat on the shore of Southwold (if he actually did) it’s easy to imagine his writings from this evening as a journal entry. His mind and his pen start by staring at the sea and by the end of the entry he’s wondering how dreaming is even possible. His mind snowballed from the black sea, to Browne, to a dream, and then into an old memory; the seemingly unrelated people, places, and things that roll over the pages of his journal are now connected by a narrative. The text creates a moment of fusion, a network of infinite connections and possibilities. Reading Sebald is like spending an hour on Wikipedia. For example, lets say you pull up the website because you’re curious about the former films awarded Best Picture at the Academy Awards, you start opening new tabs about all the old movies you’ve always meant to watch, you start researching who the actors and directors of these movies are, you read up on their personal lives, the causes they’ve supported, and now you’re researching the history of the AIDS epidemic, to which you start opening tabs about African countries you’ve never heard of before and start brushing up on some history, and before you know it you’re reading about French colonialism. And it’s Wikipedia so you can’t even really be sure if any of the content you’ve been reading is entirely accurate. But what does that have to do with the Oscars? Nothing? Maybe everything. Sebald’s novel creates a vast network of connections with endless possibilities, reminding us that everything in this world is connected whether we’re conscious of it or not. His trek along the English coast is only a vessel for containing the infinite nature of a mind in motion. This is how minds move, like the links on Wikipedia, like the narrative of a W. G. Sebald novel.

Dialogue Exercise, Tommy Chisholm, 1-24-15

The dialogue exercise we toyed with earlier this week proved to be fruitful for myself. Dialogue is a part of writing I consistently struggle with. When approaching this exercise I decided to do a free-write of the bare bones conversation I was trying to dictate (which was indirectly related to my project) and then add supplementary actions of the characters to better bring the scene to life. Where as before, I’d always thought of dialogue as a means of simply dictating a conversation, of nothing else but the words being said. 

 

Free-write:

“What happened to your hair?”

“What, there’s something wrong with it?”

“Did you cut it?”

“No…”

“Yes you did. Come here. Right here, look, there’s a chunk missing. You cut it didn’t you?”

“…No.”

“Yes you did. I can see it right there. Don’t lie to me.” 

 

Revised Version (which was shared with my group):

From across the other side of the dinner table his mother, staring, said, “What happened to your hair?”. Jeffery’s Eyes shifted left, right, then staring at the ceiling fan, in the most innocent voice he could muster asked, “What, there’s something wrong with it?”.

Mom, setting down her fork, “Did you cut it?”. 

“…No.”

“Yes you did. I’m looking right at it and there’s a chunk missing. Come over here.”

Jeffery stands, scans the room for exits, tries to focus on the broadcast news filling the adjacent livingroom, but his mother takes his chin in her left hand and the back of his head with her right, giving his axis a tilt, and with a tuft of his blonde hair in between her fingers scolds, “Right here. You didn’t cut this?”. 

“Uhn uh.” 

“Don’t lie to me. I’m looking right at it.” 

On Process, Tommy Chisholm, 1-17-15

The title of my project is “The Rites of Longing”.

Do I want to create more characters? I recognize the great influence this piece could take from Kundera’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”; I’m latching on to this idea that this piece needs no characters, where in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” Kundera is able to express so much through minimal characters. He is able to show their actions with each other and the external world, which he comments on–essentially “breaking the fourth wall”. 

Do I just want to copy that technique, is it even copying? My first draft followed a similar format (written before I’d read “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”). Do I, do my skills, permit any other operation? 

I’ve consciously decided that this next draft will contain the same three primary functions, stages, rites, (whatever): Mirror, Knife, Nostalgia. I know what they’re about, because they’ve been written, and I feel as though I’m at a crossroads: the point where I break away from what I’ve already written, possibly scraping that draft. It will now be altered and that is a good thing. I’m confused at what else there is to say in this piece, part of me still feels as though it is finished. It’s not even close.

In my writing process I correct mistakes and gussy up the text as it’s flowing out of me, it works, but it’s also stifling. It’s now time to try something new, put that aside. It’s time to write unabashedly, for turning Spellcheck off, ignoring eloquence, embracing banality, and just writing as much as possible–taking each subject in my piece and blowing them wide open, writing down every conscious thought I have about them.  I must exhaust them. Exercise them. In this most banal script poetics and rhetoric now mean nothing. They have their place and I’m currently letting them get in the way of expression. 

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The Evergreen State College
Olympia, Washington

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