Deacon Blues (this is the day of the expanding man)

So, loved ones, monkey puppets, onlookers, gyrating marionettes and avenging disco godfathers: I have what I don’t want to refer to as writers’ block because, for one, I can’t stand people who call themselves writers without really being writers. My go-to dictionary has two definitions for a “writer.”

1) Writes (books or stories or articles or the like) professionally (for pay)
2) A person who is able to write and has written something

First of all, I have written for pay, and I felt no sea change within myself that would have allowed for self-redefinition. Certainly not in the way a lawyer gets through law school and passes the bar and starts, through no fault of her own, referring to herself as “lawyer.” Secondly, I think those two definitions should be switched, and that the sentence, “A person who is able to write and has written something,” should fester under our skins like a tiny horde of itinerant pigmy savages, parading through our vesicles and pausing only to throw parties that involve playing drums made of skin and gnawing on our insides, rapt in primal and orgiastic bloodlust. A tiny tribe sticking us with flint spears and jagged daggers, a bacchic brood that’s partying and pissing on and scorching our veins and our ligaments and our muscles and marrow, making us cry out, “god, why can’t I write right?” It gives us something to shoot for.

Call it elitist, but I think labeling somebody “a writer” should be contingent on being able to stand back and say, “hot damn, that boy can write!” much the same way being able to say, “that boy can sang!” should be a basic criteria for actually calling somebody, without qualification, a singer. This holds true for poets and philosophers, too. If an impartial observer can’t stand back and say, “sufferin’ succotash, he sure can philosophize,” or, “merciful cayenne pepper, white wine vinegar and butter smothered on chicken wings and braised under a broiler for ten or fifteen minutes with plenty of salt and ranch dressing, that boy surely does versify up a storm,” then whoever is self-applying the terms “poet” or “philosopher” should be variously afflicted with pointy objects in the nether regions, such as the feet.

I have what we will term bloggers’ block, since that term carries with it all the things I mean to imply about myself. Righteous, histrionic over-writing, self-indulgence of all sorts, thin skin, and just generally laying it on pretty thick.

Shockingly, and contrary to everything I know about freeing yourself up to bray shrilly at the top of your lungs ad nauseum (spellcheck suggests “ad museum,” which sounds like a place I would want to go to), not even hitting the bottle – and I mean hitting the bottle hard, like going down to the corner store and buying one of those half-sized 375 ml. bottles of Jack Daniel’s Old Time No. 7 Brand Quality Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey and pulling off of it, straight from the bottle like a seedy little ersatz fuckwit Faulkner trapped in a room of his own with nothing but a typewriter and a blank piece of paper and a sheaf of frustrations to take out on those instrument – not even this has helped me put so much as a word to paper for a few weeks. It’s funny, though, that whenever you can’t write, the one thing you can write about is how you can’t write. Much in the same way that people who become happy can’t write about anything other than the fact and means in which they are happy, and they become these insufferable loads of metahappiness, detailing and adumbrating the ways in which they are happy and the reasons why they are happy about being happy in those ways, until you just want to put one shotgun barrel under each o' their their nostrils (or, as Cormac McCarthy would say, “noseholes”) and click that satisfying double-click of a double-barreled shotgun, click-bang, click-bang.

That’s all I’m going to say for now. I’ve got to go watch Six Feet Under, and pretend like it’s helping me to learn how to cope, even though it’s just a way to waste time watching attractive people wanting to have sex with each other, and ultimately having sex with each other. God bless HBO, they just love it when hot black guys make out with other guys.

But I’ll try to come back tomorrow and write about how I got conned out of ten bucks in Davenport last week, and how and why I’m trying not to let it turn me into a racist. Click-bang, click-bang. "Learn to work the saxophone and I play just what I feel. Drink scotch whiskey all night long and die behind the wheel." Steely Dan forever.


Tempest said...

Wish granted, I suppose.
Good luck Doug.

"The term writer can apply to anyone who creates a written work, but the word more usually designates those who write creatively or professionally, or those who have written in many different forms. Skilled writers demonstrate skills in using language to portray ideas and images, whether producing fiction or non-fiction."
wikipedia def.

D said...

I think Wayne Campbell said it best when he said, huffily, "Ixnay on the ondescension-cay there, Chet."