Not In The Past

Looking forward from 30

Archive for the month “November, 2011”

Five-minute free write

Ready like a crock in a sock in a mock cock, I can’t really say the world owes me anything.  I want to just float by unscathed as the song goes on, singing to myself a mangled version of the tune and hoping other people have that same mangled version.  This song is ending, triumphant and defiant, but then a new one will take its place and go weirder and all hippy like until the blues go.  The blues are really here to stay in my bedroom.  I think the bridge is too narrow and there aren’t enough ways to get out of here.  It;s time for the cat to stop doing a roseanne barr impression.  Damn it, stop leaving the fan on when you go to the bathroom.  It’s 4 am and I need to eventually fall asleep.  Damn damn damn.  I want to just keep typing until I go to bed.  I think  this is going to tire me out or it will areinvighorate me and keep me up for more hours.  Pity.  This is the time I get to sit down and nobody is allowed to bother me that isn’t supposed to be reading into this.  Doobie Brothers?  Really?  Come on.  MY thpoughts are disjointed and numbed, not getting at the raw ideas that could touch on  a truth about my way of looking at the world.  How pretensious.  Damn it.


Five-minute free write

Save the smug pedantic proselytation of your religiousity, the one that demands that we somehow deserve our fates.  I don’t even know who to rant against anymore.  All I need is the sound of a drum hitting  and a word being formed in a certain way. I think I run and I think I walk.   need to be sure I’m doing this.  The song makes me sleep and I thunder awake when I realize where I am these days.  The past is owed to me, and I think the summer is getting crappier every year.  Spice and pepper, kick my ass.  Funny how the heart burns these days  I don’t feel anything this time, just remember it.  Myhead is heavy again, flopping from one side to another and I think of the story of the fish that quoted Shakespeare, and this thought stream I have makes me question my intelligence and sanity.  I write about myself a lot, hold onto the same ideas I had about the world when I was 18, when I was more sure about the light and more willing to suppress parts about myself I didn’t like.  Is there a truth to anything anymore/  I want it, but I want the bacon to be perfect and crisp but not burnt black and bitter.  B is for bubble, like the Sesame Street song says, and I find the love of the world is not enough to

Creativity and old friends

I wrote a thought on my old blog very early in the year about how so many of my friends happen to be amazingly creative people.  I’ve managed to run alongside some fine writers, photographers, artists and composers in the past few years.  Back then, I asked if it was an example of me specifically seeking out this quality, to try and live vicariously through them, and to maintain an image for myself.

I think there is something in myself that deliberately seeks this quality in people, but I also feel like we bond over common interests.  I love music.  I love art.  I love to read even though I obviously don’t do that enough.  Whenever I listen to an amazing piece of music, there’s this otherworldly aspect that I connect to.  I When I write, and others recognize what I come up with as good, I do feel a little pride.  There’s this drive to create: I honestly feel a little down every time I miss a five-minute free write or realize I haven’t written or taken a picture in a while.  Is it just that I want to be seen as prolific or is it that I know I need to keep at things to develop my skills and discipline?  I wonder if I have it in me to follow through on actually getting my work good enough to the point where it is published or exhibited.  Am I just afraid to fail?

I’ve been thinking about old friends lately.  I was reminded of a friend who died a few years ago when reading the Guardian’s Tom Waits article on that Facebook app that blabs what you’re reading.  I’ve been thinking about another friend who is working on her PhD in England.  Another friend in Calgary working as a lawyer and writing a novel.  Another working as a curator in St. John’s.  Friends in Dartmouth and Minneapolis each raising their new daughters.  Friends in Fredericton building lives together and for themselves.  Friends in Miramichi working to enjoy the day to day when they can.  Friends making things, travelling, struggling, and generally moving forward.  I go for stretches when I feel like I can’t break out of my stasis.  I wonder if I would be inspired by spending some time with old friends.  Somehow, I managed to cross paths with these amazing people.

This is delving into a little too much solipsistic self-deprecation with a little too much indirect name-dropping.  “Look how cool my friends are!”.  I kind of am wary of the vaguely spiritual, feel-good tone I was starting to get into as well.  Bah.


Five-minute free write

I tried posting this last night, but my router started acting up right when I tried to publish.

It is the night, when the cars splash the puddles of rain and get nobody wet.  Thwe cat is trilling her “I have a cute toy and you better pay attention to me” song, but I am about to fall aslepp and have yet anotyher dream where I live in a strange house in the middle of nowhere.  This is somewhere, but not where I want to be.  I am someone, but not who I want to be.  Other people may see the streets as barren, but I just want the rain to flood them and turn them into sheets of ice.  No, I don’t  .  I hate ice.  Queen Elizabeth is 85 years old and probably would look silly with sunglasses and an electric guitar, making the stwereotypical “guitar face” people like Carols Santana usually make.  This is the sound of my hands getting used to the constant writing again.  It is time to go ahead and start writing for at least a half hour every day, on paper or on a blank word document that nobody sees.  This is why I live.  I want to go ahead and force myself to come up with something that I can actually submit to someone and get approved or rejected.  And I want the nerve to keep at it.  I think there is no shame in being a kind of lofty goalmaker but I don’t know what kind of lofty goalks are worth having these days anymore.  This is it

Five-minute free write

Waiting for the beats to start, I criminally gloss over the words and the feelings that are trying to be expressed on vinyl and I drift into trivia, into songs that don’t bear thinking about, into watery eyes that cause my own eyes to water, into the songs that I tried to write on a ukelele when I was five years old.  This is what I do, I travel through time and sense and think about random unconnected shit that doesn’t hold together.  Why do I think like this.  I seek a level of thought and expression that will knock you over and force you to ask yourself what it was, but I also want to be truthful, to be authentic, to be a creator, to have something to say.  I blather, and I should be sharpening my attack like it weere some arrow or a candy cane that you suck to a point and jam into something soft so you don’t want to actually hurt people with it.  The timer ticks infront of me and I glance over.  I am not losing myself in the moment anymore. This is why I qwritwe?  I want to just get it all over with and get a book written, get a short stor dreamed up and get a poem ready.  Who is a poet?  Who is a writer?  Are there real people doing this or is this my own prentnsion getting the best of me.  I should don large hipster glasses and look like some

Five-minute free write

I don’t want to know where things lie, and I don’t see the spirits tyhat float in the air anymore.  There are too many ghosts in this city, and I think the ghosts make people forget about their current situation to their detriment.  Probably a good idea to just run down to another city with lest ghosts.  Maybe the bitter cold of Winnipeg in January will make you hardy.  I remember minus 40 degree nights with the windchill, waiting outside for a bus that took  forever to come, and I also remember they used to have an Eatons that got torn down for a hockey arena.  I still feel like visiting Winnipeg sometimes but I don’t know if I have enough of a  reason to.  I’d probably be doing it on a journey where I’m just passing through, not as  a final destination.  My life needs to start moving again; I need to find my centre and I want to find stories to tell.  I crave solitude on the prairie with my camera and my notebook.  I have the stories coming back to me, and I want to find a way to make it all true, original, captivating, and authentic.  I feel like meeting up with someone out in the hall,  getting a car and going from one end of the country to the other.  I really miss too many people and I need to just say hi to them.  Hello, friends.  I love you.


Commentary on some of my older work

Since starting the five-minute free write on the blog, I’ve been thinking about using this place to post original work in addition to my regular blog entries and free writes.  I also wanted to at least post links to some of my earlier pieces, and offer a few comments on them.

Celebrity Hungry Hungry Hippos: A few years ago, I wrote a review for a fake celebrity game show called Celebrity Hungry Hungry Hippos.  My main inspiration for that was watching DVDs of WKRP and St. Elsewhere and thinking that it was better for Jan Smithers and Sagan Lewis to leave the business with some dignity instead of lowering themselves to appear on some reality show to extend their careers.  I thought it would be funny to have Lewis be kind of a weirdo and maybe somewhat like what one would write for Christopher Walken on SNL.  By contrast, I wanted to have Smithers be tough and the dominant one in the whole affair.  The kidnapped blonde guy from the background of the Mary Tyler Moore episodes (whose real name is J. Benjamin Chulay, and now a film editor) was chosen more for the arbitrary desperation I would imagine the show would have in trying to get people.  Frank Cady from Green Acres was chosen because I needed another male who would fit the show, and I decided to have him be the one guy who was actually excited to be on the show.  I wanted the host to be the easy target, and make the contestants have comparatively more dignity, so I chose Dave Coulier as the pathetic emcee.

As I note in my introduction, this was originally supposed to be written in sketch format, and I had posted this on a Saturday Night Live message board with a fan sketch section.  I struggled with the dialogue and figured it would work better as a review, but  I still had the roles cast in my mind: Kristen Wiig was Jan Smithers (I see a resemblance between the two, and Wiig reportedly is quite shy as well), Casey Wilson was Sagan Lewis, Bill Hader was Frank Cady, and Will Forte was Chulay.  I think Jason Sudeikis would have been Coulier as well.  That ultra-violent suggestion at the end was actually taken from a list of activities my friend came up with ten or eleven years ago to make fun of a class he didn’t want to go to.  I had a few other CHHH installments planned in my mind: one would have had the kid they added to Who’s The Boss? when it was clear Danny Pintauro was getting too old to play the “cute kid”, an unnamed “nurse from M*A*S*H” that would change actresses between shots (a reference to how many different generic nurse characters with names like Able, Baker, Charlie, etc. were on the show), and one of the girls from the Waltons who Coulier would constantly call by the wrong character name.   I can’t remember who the fourth hippo was, but the game would end when Creed Bratton from The Office would walk in, look at the camera and declare “I’m famous!”, and walk off with the game board.

Sappy Reflections: I had conceived my old blog Huckleberry Masks (title taken from The Fall’s “In The Park”) to be my outlet for my writing.  It didn’t really come to be; most of what I posted there were scraps, old ideas and random incoherent writing, but I did put a few formal pieces on there.  Sappy Reflections was my attempt to write at length about my feelings during a weekend trip to Sackville, NB for Sappyfest in 2010.  It is mostly autobiographical with a handful of changes and embellishments to add drama and avoid real names.  I only managed to complete my writeups about Friday and Saturday; I have a draft for Sunday that’s mostly completed, but I’m unsure whether I should post it here or there, or even post it at all.  All the photography in the posts is mine.

Miramichi: This was largely done as a way to vent my frustrations with living in Miramichi, New Brunswick, a city that perpetually seems to be on the losing end of unemployment and population bleed.  In the last 50 years, we’ve lost a university to Fredericton, a CFB base, and several mills.  We’ve been hit especially hard the last five years.  We’re getting some federal government jobs but I really don’t think that will be enough to turn this place around.

In A Silent Way:  I had tried to use a dream as basis for a story before (I eventually posted about it here) but this was a fresh dream that had made a vivid impression on me one night last year.  It’s mainly a collection of scenes and images, but I was trying to convey the feeling I got in part of the dream.  I still wonder if it meant anything.

Five-minute free write

Keep on pushing and pulling until running out of things to say or do.  We are estranged in our thirties.  THis is  sad.  I miss the past but I miss the future, and I am jabbering on and on about the same three jokes until I get ired and fall asleep, dreaing of the days when my words meant  things, and my ideas were flesh.  Well, I don’t know.  The hand is just detached from the arm now, and I have no idea what that even means.  We are sick and tired of the passing of time, and we are getting too old and our lives are going too far beyond where we thought they should leave.  Where are the opportunities?  Have I missed them all?  I despair that it will be routine that I settle for from hereon, and I question why it would be this way.  Is it all something in my control, or is it all something that we just have forcced upon us by some  malevolent deity who uses us like chinese checkers.  What do I even say when I do this?  This is where the past and the future collide.  Get on the road and take yourself through the woods and avoid the moose crawling out, and once you’re past that God-forsaken stretch of highway you can go on with your life and join the rest of the outside world.  Thank you so much for reading this and I hope you don’t mind my rambling like normal.  This is it.

The great call for e-mail

I have to admit that this post is a shameless ploy for response and attention, but I’m going to go ahead with it anyway.  You remember how I wrote a little while back about how I’m a bad e-mailer?  I would like as many people who see this post to either leave me a comment or send me an e-mail…but my challenge is that with the e-mail or comment, you actually have something to say that would be a springboard for a dialogue with me.  Go in depth, ask questions, and tell me more about yourself.  I want to know a little more about who’s reading these blog posts; whether they were brought here by my self-promotion or if they jumped into the blog by tag-surfing.

I’m also looking for more blogs/pages for the blogroll and ways to interact with other bloggers.  If anyone has any layout tips or recommendations, I welcome them as well.

My e-mail address is bjdwsm[at]gmail[dot]com.

Five-minute free write

It’s free spiritual advice from the robiot king, who sings religious songs with the fervor of a churchman.  I sat there and ran away mentally, let my tongue wag out of my mouth and before I knew it I was on the floor unconscious, thinking about the blues amnd grade school grammar tests where thwe wrong answers were so obvious and laughable.  Even more laughable that the middle school exam where Von Zeppelin was “Eddie Van’s Dad”.  Yes, I remember little details like that here and there when I’m at my loosest mentally.  This is you new religion, though.  When it stops being beautiful and authentic and more autonomy and  I can’t even make sens any more.  The blues make me sing.  The blues make me feel.  I would totally get out of here if it weren’t for my ecxhaustion and by bad hours.  I think I talk about myself in the first person too much.  Maybe that means I’m self-centred.  This is what I believe in, this is what I don’t believe in.  Don’t step on me.  I think I would rather aim at pretense aand lofty ambitions than to accept myself being boring or bored out of my skull, but I lack the true greatness I see in the others who do that.  Flaming.  I am not particularly fglaming

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