you can only serve one master
July 30, 2012
Let’s just be straight. Day 23: If you held all the cards, where would you want your writing to take you? Would you want to be the New York Times next big hit or a voice for the underground?
Okay, dig. I’ve been underground. I am underground, even when I am lying on my roof catching rays on a Tuesday morning. I love underground, I live for the vibes as sharp as the blade I keep tucked inside. I’m not of the fringe because the fringe can’t be of itself. I’m more like taking a stroll along the edge of a cliff. Dip, skip, alla it. I’m looking into the abyss because what comes next.
Here’s the thing about the Times. It’s a closed system. It’s cute, I am sure, to get paid. But at what price? I’ve been on the gerbil wheel before and I’m not trying to be that girl again.
A machine has no soul; not even the ghost in the machine can save the creature brought to play this game. So I can’t say I would like this kind of success knowing that it is a slippery slope whereas the underground is just a jump off the ledge.
All things told, I’d like to avoid these kinds of false premises, these simplistic dualities shrouded in idolatry. Me, here’s what I’d like. First and foremost, ahh, I’d like to be free. Last night I awoke at three am with a storm brewing inside my head, so much so that I was forced to get out of bed.
I took out an old Mr. Brown story and as I began to write I realized, Fuuuuhk me. Why did I think this was gonna be cake? Relatively speaking, perhaps, but damn if it ain’t filled with shards of glass. Cut my tongue open, ohh how it bled and I stopped writing. Just stopped like that. Then I remembered a thought I had about Tennessee Williams, one of my favorites.
It was years ago, at least fifteen. I had read his autobiography and I thought, If this is what it takes, I’d rather not be a genius. Not for all the icing in the world would I like the creamy sweet pain of the page.
Then I took a breath and I wrote, Please take it back. And I put those words next to a photograph of a girl walking along the train tracks. And once I saw that, I realized the Truth.
Do I really mean that? Damn, even if I did it’s alla so what.
What else can I do? I’ve driven myself to the edge and I’m here in the breeze and I love the view and, yea, I gotta jump. Leap of faith. I gotta go straight over the edge and que sera, Sara, or so they say.
Because now I am writing poems in my dreams and I awake with verse flowing through me yet I refuse to take pen to paper because I don’t want to remember these things. The ether gives and the ether receives. I have grown accustom to this and would suggest you release it freely. Words are not the things themselves. Speak it and set it free. That is the act. All else, ahh tis a dream.
Ohh but wait! I do remember this. After I stopped writing, I lay back down in bed. And as I lay dying, I heard the words in my ear. Art or Artistry. I can’t believe I remember. Nothing ever sticks. But, yes, this one is for me. It’s my litmus test.
Did I say I was going to be straight? I feel like my curls, spiraling like snakes flowing from Medusa’s world. And then I think, you could take a single strand and pull it straight and you’d have the same path but how boring for me.
To answer the question, in so much as there is an answer, I would like my writing to put food on the table and to pay my plane fare. I’d like to have the one dream I’ve always held in my heart, the one that I am willing to give up everything else for because I’ve come this far.
There is no off switch on a tiger. And not only that. The heart is a lonely hunter. And I’m not about that life anymore.
I am about this. You can only serve one master. Finally, I understand.