As a writer whom desires to become better at his craft, I have decided on a new rule for this year: Write one page per day, no matter what. Even if I really don’t want to write, I commit myself to just one page. It’s very interesting where words can take you. You can sit down, think about one thing, then write a whole page about something else entirely. The inner world is vast and merely waiting to be explored. Yesterday I wrote the following sentence: “I describe myself as deranged, creative, and carnivorous.” That sentence turned into a three page short story about a young rock star struggling with fame. You just never know where one thing will lead.
Here is my page for today, 1/5/19:
The sun rises above the sleepy town, the shopping centers, the gas stations, the plain ocher fields, as the world turns, turns. I am sitting, back erect, in an office chair, writing about the rising sun. I don’t really want to write, but I force myself to sit, to concentrate, to try. It is almost mechanical, my fingers punching the keys. I am part writer, part machine. I take in the whole house as I write. The dog running around behind me. The sun beam shining through the window, making shadows upon face, arms, and hands. My woman wet and soapy in the bath. A part of me wants to strip naked and make love to her in there, with the soapy water splashing madly about the tub sides. But no, I am here, now, writing. Why do I do it? Because I am a writer, damn it. This is what I do. This is who I am.
I write about my obsessions. I am obsessed with the naked beauty of emotion and the body. I am obsessed with cursing at the fucking dog for continually running to the back door mat to be let out, even though I had just let her out, then back, then out, then back in again. I am obsessed with the rising sun, whose rising I know is merely an illusion. The sun never rises, it stands still as a Buddha. It is merely us, revolving for near eternity within the cold vacuum of space located somewhere in the Milky Way galaxy. I’m zooming out of my life: Earth orbits the bright, brilliant, average star. In between the holy sun and ourselves is Mercury and Venus, two inhospitable homes of seething heat. Beyond us, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, then the asteroid belt, then everything, everything.
Memories of being a little boy, being forced to memorize my address and phone number in Kindergarten school. They never thought to teach us our cosmic address: Planet Earth, third planet from the Sun, two-thirds away from Galactic Center of Milky Way. The universe is open and vast, just like the writer, just like me. Stars burn inside my brain, leaping wild and dancing across my sky of synapses. They burn in by buzzed brain, they burn in the oven of my heart, which bakes the stars, and leaves elemental cookies for a pantheon of hungry, evil Gods.
They burn until supernova, baby! I want to let it out. I want to let it pour, these stars within, now a white-hot lava into the chalice of the blank page. I want to wipe out petty villages, squander the resources of poor working farmers, start another war and have any survivors left pay for it with their money and their children’s bodies. Why not? Cruelty in broad brush strokes. If I were a painter I would be Jackson Pollock. Let those vibrant colors splitter and splatter upon the canvas, son! Let it fly! Whoop, whoop!
To write is to compose cosmic funerals. Explosions of mind, white hot smoldering lava, into the flood of the external universe. A writer’s agony becomes the reader’s agony. I want to do the Dukkha Dance, baby, with you, as I am vomiting out quasars, quarks, and anti-particles.
Alright, now, settle down! Grab another cup of coffee. Yell at the dog some more. Think about your girlfriend, wet, naked, soapy, oh yes. Put me in a suit of fine clothes. Set a high-top Stetson hat upon my head. Gold watch chains around my neck. Bury me with my garb and my many thousands of pages of writing. He was maniacal! He was insane. He was a writer, did you hear? He was a musician. He painted too, but none of it mattered. He liked it when the sun rose and the dog whined and when his girlfriend got naked. What do you think he likes now?
Dear God, let this man be graciously allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven, even though he spoke very poorly against it. Dear God, let the molten white lava of his stars become solidified into a marvelous, golden planet fit for creative souls. Dear God, do not let his stars become cool, safe milk. Dear God, why do you only answer with immaculate echoes of silence!