Tag Archives: College

Paging Dr. Frankenstein…

Tunes fly through the head. Words fly from the fingers. Birds lost to the moment of inspiration, loosed on the world like so much flak, clouding the web, destroying what was once a beautiful garden, now just a trash dump with diamonds in the rough.

***

I’ve heard so many people tell me they have published something with the whispered tag of “self” added almost silent. As if self was something to be ashamed of. Maybe in this day and age, it should be. Self once stood for independence, for liberty, for strength, for courage… no more. Now it seems to be a right that people club others with over the head like so many baby seals.

I’m not saying I’m that great a writer, I’m not even going to remotely compare myself with the likes of Tennyson, Twain, Chopin, O’Connor or O’Brien…

I am even sort of impressed by a person’s ability to finish a novel because it is something that I struggle with.

***

Buy me. Drink me. Eat me. As the amateur draws his catgut across the strings and causes the white rabbit to drop his watch and run from the wailing screech that bleeds his ears. “The audacity!” the creator bemoans, “You’re just jealous,” he shrills, drowning out his horrid playing in one breath.

***

Like so many others in this world, my time is important. So is my money. Why would I ever want to waste either? And yet, with Amazon and iTunes (and a plethora of others that would elongate this list to an unmanageable tangle of gnarls) leading the cause of the indie artist and making publishing it as simple as pushing a button, we have delved down a rabbit hole that may not have a cure, or at least one that in so many ways is a great thing, it has been abused and there are no police to moderate it.

***

“Back beast! Back I say!” The artist swings his keyboard in defense of his creation. “Trolls! All of you!” The fury at which he hits his delete key makes Hillary jealous. “He is not a monster! He is alive I tell you. Alive!!!”

***

And much like Dr. Frankenstein, we are so concerned with producing the next great piece of art, did we ever stop and ask ourselves whether we should?

***

Yes, yes. I know.

It’s “Franc-En-Shteen”

Epiphanetic Flashes…

Epiphanetic Flashes. That’s what I call those brief sparks of illumination that pop up periodically in my life when the world becomes crystal clear. It’s like someone popping a flash bulb in a dark room and for that split second everything comes to light. The haunting memory of that moment lingers in my brain, rattling around while I try to dissect every piece and extract from it any and all meaning.

I had one of those flashes last night. I was angry about something. Frustrated really. One of the many songs on my Pandora station was playing while I wiled away trying to come up with anything I could use to answer a reading response for another class. I stared at the words I had written and realized the dross I had regurgitated onto the screen. It was as my finger hovered over the delete key, the last twenty minutes of work highlighted, that this flash cracked through my skull. Continue reading Epiphanetic Flashes…

Humility…

Humility.

Not something I am particularly well acquainted with. Granted, I’m not a very proud (boastful) person either. However, when it comes to my writing skills, I have had occurrence over the last few years to recognize that I am not as horrible as I think that I am. There are times in my writing groups or in my classes where I will read peoples work and my immediate thought or critique is, “Seriously, give up. No, really. I hear accounting is a good career.”

And then I hear my wife’s voice nagging me, “Be nice.”

Now, let me just set one thing straight. Being nice is just not in my character. I’m brash, I’m curt, I’m honest. I’m kind of like the 2×4 that most people need to be hit with (or at least I’ve been told that (ok, I might be a bit proud of that aspect… just a bit)). So, when my wife tells me to be nice, I have to take a deep breath and remember that I am dealing with humans who have feelings… so much ugh.

And then…

Then it happens. That moment when I read Langston Hughes or Robert Frost of Dylan Thomas and I am reminded in a brutal fashion that I am not that great.

Oh, how the mighty do fall.

Where just a few seconds ago I stood high on a pedestal and sneered at the masses of the inadequate and doggerel, I now look up from the crater that has become my bed and I reach up, stretching forth my hand toward the gods of the written word and wonder when… when will be my moment to shine like the stars that they have become, twinkling in the heavens and haunting my thoughts like ghosts from a time I long to bring back.

How I long to walk amongst those stars and hear their stories. How I wish to sit for a while under the tutelage of those men and women who weave the words wistfully and without work.

Just to create something, anything, that will touch another soul the way that they have touched mine.

***

p.s. A is for alliteration