I love things that shouldn’t be beautiful but are. Last night I was driving home when a firefly hit my windshield. Its body spattered across the glass, still glowing. It was as if Jackson Pollack were painting with starlight. Miraculously, it stayed lit for the next few moments, silhouetted against the darkness outside. After a while, the light started sputtering and dimming slowly. I watched it burn out. It was amazing.
I found a scrap of paper in my desk today that had this quote on it, one of my favorites.
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road
This makes me want to be a little mad and to live life with intensity, conviction, and individuality. I enjoy people who are a bit crazy. It keeps things interesting. I also found these Jack Kerouac quotes today that made me smile:
“Don’t touch me, I’m full of snakes.”
“I am going to marry my novels and have little short stories for children.”
Need some writing inspiration? I have a lot of interest in visual arts, especially photography, so images often inspire my work. I took this picture from the High Line park in New York City. As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I love all things gritty, dilapidated, and forgotten. This picture gives me so many ideas. Why was it abandoned? What was in it before? What might be going on in there now? Meetings of some sort? Is it the hide-out of some sort of criminal? Who created the graffiti on the side and why? The questions an image like this can generate, for me, are endless. I hope you enjoy my photographic efforts. If it sparks anything for you, let me know! I would love to read it.
This is one of my best poetry efforts, which is the product of a semester of revisions. My professor was of the tough-love variety. In my opinion, they can often be the best type – one works harder than usual to impress the professor (or spite them by being successful, as in my case). I have recently revisited it and done a bit more work. Any (constructive) thoughts or comments are welcome.
Looking at a Clock
A first cry – of dismay perhaps
to the man and his aggressive swinging briefcase:
alone with the acrid smell of sanitization,
impersonal stiff white sheets, and burning machinery.
Silhouettes of scrolling hands burn into her eyes.
Is it sliding stacks of documents that obscure your view?
Eternity holds its breath. Stopped.
A man and a woman and a fist
know the cycles and the song.
In their four eyes, four reflections of the clock,
and the only moving things are silent snowflakes.
I know the rhythms of my world:
a floor scattered with broken glass, shards of breath;
the children’s eyes fixed on the hand
overlooking the quiet square in the moonlight.
The clock counts down, gloomily waiting
as icicles melt and drip. A somber symphony drifts upward.
The golden gears give off a faint industrial hum.
In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, when writing, one must “use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.” Most likely, you are a total stranger to me, so I will endeavor to make the time you spend reading my blog worthwhile. To ensure that you’ll be interested in what I am posting, I’ll tell you a bit about myself and my interests to start off.
I am a recent college graduate with a BA in English/creative writing. I write primarily prose, fiction especially, but I dabble in poetry at times. I hope to apply to an MFA program eventually and ultimately to become a published novelist. I write a lot about suburban dysfunction, family dynamics, and mental disorders. Compulsions like hoarding and OCD fascinate me. I like writing about and exploring gritty topics – to me, there’s glitter in the gutter.
I have been a voracious reader since I was young and am interested in avariety of genres, from literary fiction and flash fiction to poetry to genre fiction, especially mystery/thriller. My favorite books include The Great Gatsby, Wuthering Heights, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and of course, Jane Eyre. I also admire the work of many authors, including Jonathan Franzen, Vladimir Nabokov, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Jorge Luis Borges. I always have a healthy pile of books to read and at the moment it includes: Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro, The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov, and What They Do in the Dark by Amanda Coe (I saw her read an excerpt of the book at my local Barnes and Noble and it was wonderful. Her creation of a child narrator’s voice was masterful).
Why choose to include Jane Eyre’s name in the title of my blog? At this transitional period in my life, I find that Jane’s character and actions reflect the way I want to move forward. She survived through hardships and had the courage and initiative to go after the career she wanted and to start her own life. She is honest, strong willed, and sticks to her convictions (hopefully, if my fiance lied to me and had a hidden wife in his attic, I wouldn’t cave in and agree to be his mistress.) Anyways, I am going to use this space to chronicle my reading habits, writing projects, sources of inspiration, and interesting literary tidbits that I come across. Interested? Check back for new posts!