Friday, April 22, 2011

"Where The Rain Gets In"

For nearly three years, I wrote a weekly blog for Duke City Fix.

For those of you tuning in on this transmission from Mars or one of the outer planets that reveres my work over the daytime teevee game shows and violent crime re-creations relentlessly beamed into your communal hatching centres from that funny blue orb you track in the night-time sky, Duke City Fix is what is known as a city blog.

All sorts of humans can post their thoughts and ideas and dreams for the oblique domination of the city, its services and cultural directiveness, at places like DCF. They get to say what they want, long as it's reasonable, too.

Anyway, I wanted this to be the story of my flight from that place, which of course happened at night, as I am inclined toward darkness just like Agent Cooper is inclined to cherry pie. And of course there's a back story to my foray and subsequent retreat into and from that dusty electronic wilderness that only resembles Albuquerque as a faithful verisimilitude if you are squinting in the bright sunlight or else wearing eyeglasses that are shaded in the deepest colors a rose might assume.

I ended up by writing all sorts of stories about that city; its history, the folks wandering through, and my life in the middle of it all. By the time I had a decent grip on the mystical perspex envelope that contained all of those moments, I reckoned it was time to branch out.

My experimentation did not have boundaries. I'd just as soon make relentlessly wicked fun of the other contributors on the site as put on a convoluted tone certain to render headaches and unwanted soul-searching unto those who dared read what I offered up every Friday or Saturday.

I rarely met with the other contributors, but when I did, some of them would plaster on the praise with a thickness resembling papier mache or the mythical green cheese of the moon. That kinda attention drove me nuts and I'd carry a 2 milligram Valium in my pocket just in case, when I had to do business with them.

They seemed like they were from another planet, I sometimes thought, and part of a class of humans that I had spent a lifetime watching from a safe distance. The seemingly extra-terrestrial aspect of the creative forces behind Duke City Fix gave me a couple of fine ideas, but by far the best one was to start writing posts as if I too, was from another world.

That sort of thing got me some notice in the local press. One fellow at a newspaper I used to work at even linked to one of those faux-alien amongst us stories. That was just fine with me and a vindication too when I remembered how one of his arts editors used to grimace uncomfortably whenever he read through my work.

At DCF, I wrote long narratives in the third person. One time I interviewed myself. Another iteration was formatted as a teleplay from the nineteen fifties. For a while, I eschewed quotation marks and went all Joycean on the folks, manipulating the text of my posts into intricate puns and using an em dash whenever my characters spoke. As an extra kick, I'd try and make as many obscure literary allusions as possible, just to see who'd jump.

It went on like that for about three years. Some of the posts were excellent. Some of them ponderous. Others, completely unintelligible unless you had read Gravity's Rainbow in eleventh grade...while out on the mesa cultivating datura plants and imagining Albuquerque as it might be in the year 2357.

That was okay and like I told you I could have done it for years like that, except for two things. The first thing was the commenters. I had no use for most of them and felt like they had way too much influence on the site. The other thing that sent me into orbit on a regular basis were my attempts to communicate with the editor and publisher. Here is my opinion on those two. The former was a transplant whose fascination with Burque bordered on Orientalism. The latter seemed to crave the power that the word editor might bestow and wrote me things like "I don't care how hard you work". Really.

Don't take all of this as bitter as my bitter pill, though. I got no beef with the kids over at DCF. I just think they come from another planet than I do, sabes?

That was a good enough reason to head downstream. Since it happened in cyberspace and all that, I didn't have to drag a sack filled with rocks around the place to make out like there had been a struggle and I had been kidnapped. I just waited for the sun to set, made sure I had a copy of everything I ever wrote over there, good or not, logged onto DCF and hit the delete all button.

When I did that, I was playing this song through the same computer that I later disappeared into:

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering
Where it will go
I'm filling the cracks that ran through the door
And kept my mind from wandering Where it will go
And it really doesn't matter if I'm wrong I'm right
Where I belong I'm right Where I belong.
See the people standing there who disagree and never win
And wonder why they don't get in my door.
I'm painting the room in a colourful way
And when my mind is wandering There I will go.
And it really doesn't matter if I'm wrong I'm right
Where I belong I'm right Where I belong.
Silly people run around they worry me
And never ask me why they don't get past my door.
I'm taking the time for a number of things
That weren't important yesterday
And I still go.
I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering Where it will go.

Which gets me to the reason I am writing you today. I saved all those musings - brilliant, crappy and otherwise - plus the artwork I did to accompany each of them. I will be posting them in sets of three over the coming weeks and mixing them in with new text-strings that will aim to take up where I left off in November.

I think it would be cool if you read what comes from here. I promise to spend more time making fun of myself and less time winking at the frolicking bourgy escapades parading by my living room window. What follows is mostly true, but better and more effective if taken lightly, like the springtime in these parts.

Be Seeing You.

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