Posts Tagged ‘Pablo Neruda’

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And now for a word on my creative process.  As published in the Head and the Hand.

Tracks w:Black Frame

 Art.  Fever.  Heart. 

It’s  the difference between night and day.  I spend my last waking hours reading exquisite writers.  Céline if I’m in the mood for raw and racing prose.  Pablo Neruda if I’m in the mood for aged and oceanic poetry.  Camille Paglia if I’m in the mood to split the difference. She’s a deep thinker whose sentences read  like acid-guitar licks.

In the morning, I kick-start my brain with junk.  I read spam.  I read celebrity gossip while ogling pictures of starlets in see-through gowns and micro-bikinis.  I read crime reports designed to put me into a state of apolexy:  white collar scams, crimes of passion and murders by bored kids.  Then, when my mind is catapulted into the chaos, I  fight to regain the lost chord.  It’s a fight to reconnect with the vibe that I carried, like a lullaby, through my sleep.  Nothing else makes me feel at risk of losing the  writer’s vocation in the jaws of media over-kill.

Coffee.  Nicotine gum.  These are my concessions, like steroids, to the need to compete at speed with the Big Boys. Of course, they exacerbate the over-stimulated, over-accelerated,  over-the-top rush that I get while coursing through the inter-net.  But having worked as a helmsman in the Carribean and priding myself as a cosmic navigator, I do a little yogic breathing to keep me right on course.  All of which reminds me of a passage in Michael Herr’s “Dispatches” in which an US Army LURP took a mix of pills to make himself “right” before long-distance patrols in hostile territory.   Amphetamines to give him down-range vision and lethal tension.  Sedatives to give him lateral vision  and a soft float through the thickets.  My co-option of the method could  be an author’s conceit.  I don’t care.   It’s my bullshit and I’m sworn to it. 

That’s my method.   In the darkness of night, I read authors who suit my character but arc above me in talent, stature and mojo.  They take me  into dreamland. In the light of day, I read chrome plated, tinsel covered, rat-tat-tat glitz that foils my imagination.  Tweeked to the point of insanity, I fight to find my center.  An inkwell in the eye of the hurricane. Or, the heart of my fevered art.

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