Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bus Sermons

I sat on the bus and the woman beside me - who had a chunky mullet and neon green string looping behind her neck attached to her glasses - turned to me. She asked what I was studying at school. I told her English. She asked me where I grew up. She asked me what church I attended from my hometown.
When I told her I didn't go to church she got frazzled and gave me detailed directions (street names, Rightturns vs. Leftturns, a tree on a corner to make sure to drive past) for a large church downtown. It was recently "re-innovated" and was worth looking at. I told her maybe next time I went home I would.

The bus turned a corner and we fell into silence, I wasn't sure whether or not the conversation would/should continue.
Then she whips out this question for me:
"So, are you married yet?"
As the film High Fidelity taught us, Yet implies some kind of intent or desire for it to occur soon in the future. Horseshit.
I couldn't stop from snorting and then laughing out loud. I said no, I was most definitely not married. Looking down at my left hand she said that was a shame. I just shrugged.

She then says, "Well, when you do, make sure you get married in that beautiful re-innovated church. When you do, make sure you go look at it before your wedding day because your wedding day is the only one you get and it's all yours."
When you get married. When? When.

She meant well. That's why I didn't look at her and tell her I'd recently been doing a lot of thinking and accepting that life's end goal shouldn't be marriage and that I'll be just fine if I never get married. I didn't tell her that recently I've been digging for happiness in myself and being content in solitude. I didn't tell her that statistically woman become lonelier after marriage. I didn't tell her I don't know if I believe in God or not.

She had a chunky mullet, spoke with a stutter, and didn't blink while talking. So I didn't go into it. I wasn't in the mood for that conversation, yet.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I love him. This one is about nerdy virgins. Get past the lame intro first where they try to make him look like a badass... Check it:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Stuffing My Face.

I binge on memories. Every day I shove the past down my throat and allow it to fill me. I bob through the day, waddling, swollen with what I eat & eat & eat.

At night I sit at my desk and purge. Weak poetry, erratic and incoherent journal entries, unfinished short stories, scraps of paper chicken-scratched with thoughts..

I binge and purge. Every single day. When will we learn?

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I titled my senior project portfolio "Gypsy Moths" because of this. I may have even been inspired to mirror (cough *steal*) some of it for my main poem.
This is one of my absolute favorite passages in any book I've read and the reason why I feel happy when I see a moth fluttering around my room or around a streetlamp at night.

On the path now, urged leftward toward a stand of maples, I hear the sound of droplets falling through the leaves. It can't be raining. There are still stars visible intermittently overhead. No: here are the gypsy moths, still in their caterpillar form, chewing at the maple and serviceberry leaves, devouring our neighborhood forest leaf by leaf. Night gives them no rest. The woods have been infested with them, and during the day the sun shines through these trees as if spring were here, bare stunned nub of gnawed and nibbled leaves casting almost no shade on the ground where the altered soil chemistry, thanks to the caterpillars' leavings, has killed most of the seedlings, leaving only the disagreeably enlarged thorny and deep root systems. The trees are coated, studded, with caterpillars, their bare trunks hairy and squirming, I can barely see them but can hear their every scrape and crawl...
...And in my night confusion it is as if I can hear the leaves being gnawed, the forest being eaten alive, shred by shred. I cannot bear it. They are not mild, these moths. Their appetites are blindingly voracious, obsessive. An acquaintance has told me that the Navahos refer to someone with an emotional illness as "moth crazy."
-Charles Baxter
The Feast of Love

Thursday, May 7, 2009

50%? (A Rant)

An editor from a small SF publishing house came and spoke to my class tonight.
Basically what it boils down to is this: Writers have an icicles shot in hell of getting published.

They are a small publishing house and when their website says "no unsolicited manuscripts" they still get 250 manuscripts a week. When they remove this stipulation it goes up to 400! A WEEK! He said they have - literally - towers of manuscripts reaching to the ceiling, wrapping around tables, and crawling under chairs.

I learned that only 50% of the books sold in bookstores are ever read. 50%?
And I learned that 80% of the books sold in bookstores are gifts.

I've been wracking my brain lately as to why everyone has this fevered desire to be published. Why, despite the obvious impossiblity of it all, so many people crave it. Why? Especially if in the offchance you are published, and the offchance someone randomly picks your book off the shelf and buys it, there is still only a 50% chance the person will read the damn thing!

Is it our need to leave something behind? I think a big fear people have is dying and having nothing to show for themselves, nothing that will remind the world that they existed in the first place. Is it this? The fear of mortality?

Do writers believe being published will solidify they have talent? Do writers hope their words will improve others lives? Do writers crave fame, money, esteem? What? WHY is it something people bleed over and literally pour out their heart and soul over? Why have so many authors (even successful ones) committed suicide?

And seriously, 50%??