Thursday, November 1, 2007


While I steam and gather my strength after Seth's vicious and irresponsible Bruce-bash, the late, great Tommy Kim (pictured below) has volunteered to take - nay, to righteously demolish the Seventh Draft stage.

As a man he cannot possibly top five ten, but as a writer, modern dancer and hockey player he literally towers over his peers. By which I mean, I have one of these "sorrow" posters hanging over my writing desk. Without further ado...

Josh and Seth,

Someone you know (rhymes with gnarls) once said that you should have a story on why you’re writing your story. Not necessarily autobiographical material, but literally a story like “Mr. Misadventure” that will keep you centered, focused, a story that will at least help you get outside of yourself and make you engage, in some way, with something beyond your own process. Sounds like writerly hoo-doo, but I dunno, I was willing to try it.

When I was playing hockey in high school I was one of the first to use those breath-right strips on my nose to increase the nasal velocity of the air entering my lungs. Anything to enhance my anaerobic ATP-CP energy process. So what story am I holding onto these days to help evacuate the backed up cloaca? Well, I can’t really reveal that. I feel it would diminish whatever elaborate mechanism I’ve constructed to delude myself into thinking I can control my writing.

In other words, I’m fucking weird, I have superstitions. I believe in lucky charms, in taping the left shin pad first before the right, etc. I believe in rituals and the power of correlation, which explains why I stuffed my mouth with foil Upper Deck baseball card packaging after getting a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie in my first pack. I've stuffed my mouth with the foil packaging ever since, no matter how dusty the package, and when the metal paper touched my fillings, this sour-tasting saliva would burst from the corners of my mouth. This is, I think, talking about something else completely.

Wait, let me add this one: when I played video games I would yank my t-shirt at the shoulder, revealing parts of my back, and I would somehow think this odd ritual had some effect on the outcome of the game.

Sometimes when I have writer’s consta-poo-poo (this is a term my mother made up, mostly because she has difficulty pronouncing "pay-shun") I read writers I admire, but be careful there, because that strategy can overwhelm you and remind you of how you will never get your work to that level.

Other times I will do something intensely solitary, something odd, something Jill would call “fucking weird”. I’ll go to my favorite coffee shop in K-town and use the toilet. To dispense toilet paper, this cafĂ© bathroom uses a thick boba straw as an axle, a sort of pin to keep the toilet paper spinning smoothly. I don’t know what happened to the original metal pin. I’ll write that detail in my moleskin (yeah, I’m a poser, I use those.)

Sometimes I’ll go to the Korean market and pretend I’m examining the pork bellies on display. Assi Market stores the sliced pork bellies in those wheeled, portable ice cream freezers street peddlers cart around, and I’ll nose through with the giant community tongs. I’ll dig through the clattering slices of frozen meat and fat while perking my ears and listening to conversations around me. Snooping around, being invisible yet infiltrating other people’s lives, that sort of thing. It keeps me aware of this very odd world around us.

I’m not sure if this adds anything to anything.


Josh said...

K-Town is Koreatown, LA.
Jill is Tommy's wife.
"Pay-shun" is the title of a really good Guns and Roses song.

Seth said...

This is the most rambling post I have ever read--full of eddies, almost incomprehensible.

It's perfect.

I too have strange habits. Today, instead of writing, I took a lemon-juice enema.

Karen and I have been bouncing around our apartment shouting "writer's consta-poo-poo" for the past hour...

Seth said...

Fuck Bruce.

And fuck that picture of Bruce.

And God fuck us, everyone.

The Man Who Couldn't Blog said...

Oh, Tommy!

Pay-shun was a terrible song. Quite inferior to Nightrain.