Slush Pile Finds

Today I’m going through 4 years of old writings in case I missed anything. Some patterns have emerged, but mostly everything is unbearably dramatic (wait, they still are). Here’s a few of my favorite finds:

I don’t want to go to

Parkville anymore, to go

On long drives

Anymore. I want to go to

Families that live in

Castles with

Dogs and fences and

Hot tubs. I want to buy

A motorized scooter

And ride around the cul de sac

And feel like I have been a failure

In the best ways possible.

(December 6th, 2010.)

People danced and clapped and I jumped over a stick. Did I just get married?

(January 29th, 2011, Cameroon.)

His experience was the basis of his most popular written account “Under The Radar”, wherein he dug a 12-foot deep hole in the ground and waited for three nights to see the beetles glow.  From his account, the matter seemed like a religious incident, he describes it like this:

“Third night down in the hole and I was getting tired of sitting in a cramped position all the time.  I had my rations down to three crackers and an ounce of water, hardly the substance I needed if I were to stay another night.  The ground was moist and wormy all around me.  I knew if the Sulfa beetles didn’t perform their rituals that night, I was going to have to change my diet.  It was like that time I spent in the caves of Cuba, studying the Acritus analis.  I was so far in when my industrial flashlight had died and my food ran out that I finally resorted to eating bat guano.  It wasn’t as bad as you might think.  Bat guano is essential to the growth of cave life you know, and since I was living in the caves at the time I figured it would sustain me until my eyes adjusted to the darkness.  Well unfortunately bat guano wasn’t produced to feed humans, so when the rescue squad finally came for me, I was lying on the bed of bat guano convulsing.

            Anyways, I learned a lot from that experience and this time, I brought an extra set of industrial batteries and a couple cans of monkey food, which is substantial because monkeys and humans have similar digestion patterns.  When the sun had been gone for two hours and I had eaten the last of my crackers and chow, I felt a soft vibration all around me.  This was it. This was the experience I had been waiting and almost killed myself for. The vibration grew and grew until the walls of dirt started to crumble around my sitting position. 

(May 3rd, 2011. A story about a boy obsessed with beetles, I think, although the document is titled “oranges”.)

Big boobed bitches bring bottled bourbon before bustling boys

Bustling boys barricade bitches by bulldozing bricks between boys, bitches.

(May 13th, 2011. One of several experimental poems about teen violence.)

Under an aura of fur

Her hood

Her lips were forming the start of a ‘W’

What could only be a chuckle making a

‘Woowoo’ sound instead of forming one of the

Beautiful words like

‘What’,’woman’, or ‘winter’

(August 22nd, 2011. In response to a photograph I saw in Alaska.)

Last year I killed a chicken for food. Today I was coming home from work and the woman on the radio was searching for a chicken that could play tic tac toe. I fell asleep on the couch and had a dream about chickens.

(December 4th, 2011. True story.)

I was standing in my underwear in the kitchen at three in the morning, looking at the box of graham crackers I had left out from breakfast several days ago.  There were holes in the corners from being chewed by the mice I saw running down into my stove whenever I turned the lights on.  I still had intended to eat the graham crackers, deciding they would be best with peanut butter or honey.  I picked up the box and weighed the consequences of eating a snack that had been invaded by household pests, versus the inevitable high peanut butter and milk would give me before I tried to fall back asleep.  The fan spun slowly above, cooling my bare skin and causing the plastic bags to shiver slightly.

(August 10th, 2011. Document title: Ditching Baby.)

It is true some people want me dead. These people probably have many good reasons for wanting so, as I would myself having me in my life.

This is a small part of my life. These are my thug-fessions.

(February 9th, 2012.)

It is time for the first goat to die. They bought her together when they moved to the mountains. The first goat was their wedding vow. Nothing else needed to be said.

She has been getting sick, and though the herd seems not to be affected, they are noticing. In a tight and wary cluster the herd moves to the end of the gated area. The first goat stands alone at the empty edge. She bleats, but with no direction or structure.

(April 27th, 2012. I still want to write this story.)

The confidant

I love my friend but she is weak.

Don’t talk to me about the vultures if you continue to sleep with the vultures.

I won’t talk to you about the vultures because you continue to sleep with the vultures.

Hard-ass

He looks like a hard-ass

Beyond that, he’s a softy.

Beyond that, he’s a beast.

Opinionated

I just don’t think you know what those words mean

Someone asked you to explain, but you led us further out.

You took my roommate’s dick away

That’s one reason we had to kick him out.

(May 1st, 2012. Small portraits in poem form? Who knows…)

Dear Virginia,

You think you can control my cooking, but you can’t.

(June 3rd, 2012. I can’t explain this.)

This is the flattering collection of about 200 documents on my computer. To be fair, close to 50 are maybe worth a damn. After all the personal junk and convoluted fiction/non-fiction, I stumble upon some sense. I hope this is the natural progression of taking a serious approach to writing. We have many years and many documents that are embarrassing until finally we write something that makes sense. Here’s a list from this year I hoped would help me achieve this, but even now it feels out-dated and confusing. Progress, right?

WHAT NOT TO DO IN WRITING:

Remove the human element

Take the next logical step

Young people having deep conversations

Unrealistic/wordy dialogue

Grandparents

Childlike POV

Arbitrary meet-ups

Arbitrary back story

Unnecessary characters

Make exceptions (it was usually this but today it is this)

Info on characters we don’t know/are given no info on–Keep it short and to the point.

‘Flickering eyes’. Just say what you mean

For good measure

And what not

Such as it was

WHAT TO REALLY DO

Don’t take the logical approach

Avoid ‘coming of age’ and focus on an unusual experience

“For good…measure?”

The day was lukewarm. Balmy. More than the day, it was the __that was luke warm, balmy.

If it’s not there, does it need to be there?

I think about her crossing the room. I think about the word used for women who cross the room: Pad. But she decidedly does not pad.

 (January 21st, 2014.)

Ok, I know this is my second post about writing itself, and I’ll try not to do too many more. Still, I hope it’s fun for people to see a small portion of rejected material, and it helps me realize how much I’ve developed, where my style began, and what I’ve chosen to leave behind.

Considering making “How and Why to Write” permanent, but not yet. Fiction to come. Working on final adjustments on “How to Take Care of Rats”.

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