28 February 2008

I Don't Think I'm Gonna Work On Maggie's Farm No More; Cure Me, Kill Me Or Publish Me

I dunno. I started this blog because I had downtime at work, that and I have a manic need to write. I'm constantly writing – whether its verbose, exhaustively researched emails and texts to friends or just short notes to myself, ideas for things, lyrics, melodies, whatever.

I figured a blog was as good an outlet as any. Pop culture commentary was never my thing. I suck at storytelling but I'm pretty good at writing them down so I guess I hoped this blog would get my writing noticed by more people and it has, surely it has, but I'm not sure where I want to go with it now.

My output is manic. I've averaged about 200 entries a month and that's all me and my mind. No one else is contributing here. Just the tiny elves working overtime in my skull. Sounds like a Swans song.

I know I want to write a book, if not a few books, but we'll start with one. I have enough ideas and stories to fill looms upon looms of paper. I've been all over the world with my mind as the film. I have stories to tell and I have the gift of gab. I think I could write non-fiction and have it read like fiction. Most of my life has unraveled as such.

I take pride in the written word. I'm fascinated by etymology. Ever since I was a kid I've loved alliteration, mnemonic devices and, above all, word play. I remember when I first realised cereal and serial sounded exactly alike but meant two different things. I was floored by these things I know now are called homophones. I thought I was so fucking clever saying I was a "cereal killer" when I was 8 or 9. I remember coming up with the phrase “You might make dollars, but I make sense” and thinking it couldn't get better than that nugget of youthful brilliance.

To this day whenever I see a word I instantly read it backwards. It's funny what you'll learn doing that. I've always thought the words used themselves should become part of the subject of the work. Puns, phonetic mix-ups, spoonerisms, obscure words and meanings, clever rhetorical excursions, oddly formed sentences, and so on. It just flows from me. I'm like an open faucet with this stuff with nowhere to pour it. Like the great Biggie once so eloquently said: “I got techniques drippin' out my buttcheeks Sleep on my stomach so I don't fuck up my sheets”.

I will tirelessly research spellings, contexts and references for simple emails and text messages. Again, I'm manic and I know it. And I love it. My mind works faster than a the central nervous system of a squirrel. My mind is always racing. The cursor forever blinking. Often my brain works faster than my fingers. I'll wanna search something on Google. I'll open up a new IE page and type in "Goog" before my finger instantly slams enter. I need to be there now. Already gone. Back again. Jumping out of my skin when an idea hits. Inconsolable. Searching for a pen or a tape recorder or someone to tell it to, hoping they'll remember for me.

Last night I texted my girl that I was making dinner and to call me when she got home. She texted back and asked what I was making. Next thing I know I'm rummaging through a New York magazine on my coffee table and texting her back referencing all these random things from the restaurant review section. I told her I was making a blood orange and duck ravioli with a Robiola cheese brûlée and side of seared Turbot in a cream morrel mushroom sauce. In fact I was microwaving two veggie burgers and slicing off some Jarlsberg Swiss, watching Howard TV with my dog named after my favourite sweet smelling herb.

My mind automatically goes to these things. Just like my brain sends the message to my fingers to move, my mind relates stuff to this or that - always songs, lyrics and songs, characters in a movie, whatever. References. My life is all references and trying to make people be there; trying to paint a picture for people by referencing things I think they'd know.

We don't need to live longer, we need to live better. See the paper for the pulp. See the paint for the bristles of the brush in each stroke. Hear the words before they come out your mouth. The cadence. The inflection. Say the word like it should be said. Try to describe it simply with your pronunciation of it. Listen to the last of those tired and rusty November leaves crunch under your feet. Pick up on the rhythm of your leather soles as the scuff the porous sidewalk. Rewind the tape a hundred times if you must in order to hear what the bass player quietly says to the drummer before the song starts in that song. Surely the band left it in there for a reason and for people like you and I.

Have you ever been listening to a band and it almost frustrates you? It's almost too good? So good you wish you had created it yourself or at least been a part of it? That happens when I listen to Siouxsie's "Juju". I guess it happened this morning too when I was reading DeLillo's "Great Jones Street". I mean how many times can you read or hear something and say "I can do that" and really know it before it drives you insane? How many fucking books can I buy before I freak out knowing I should have my own pile in the new releases non-fiction at Barnes and Noble? I have a story to tell. I want to see my words settled into the pulp.

I'm a musician, a bouncer, a banker, a dealer, a stealer, a traffic reporter in a helicopter, a song writer, a lyricist, an only son who lost his father, a poet, a lover, a gambler, a control freak, a voice over artist, a traveler, a hopeless romantic and an agoraphobic friend always searching for a calm, a peace, a balance in my life. I've been true to my astrological sign, Libra, the only symbol of the zodiac that is inanimate, as it is not represented by an animal or person.

I can be cooperative, diplomatic, open-minded, playful, urbane and fair. I'm an easy-going, even-tempered, strong, classy, refined, balanced, conflict avoider. I'm a graceful, artistic, flexible, sensual, idealistic, sociable leader. I'm a home-body and a hermit. I can be charming and debating. I can be very romantic, idealistic and equalitarian.

I can just as easily be deterred, indecisive and lazy. I'm oft changeable, vain, and easily influenced. I can be flirtatious, conceited and aloof in my pursuit of perfection. I can be vengeful and quarrelsome, over-serious and cold. I can be self-indulgent, jealous, and at times violent and cruel. And sometimes I just can't say 'no' .

I've written albums and albums of hardcore/punk/metal songs. I've written volumes of folk songs, tons of dance/darkwave songs. I can't sit still. I don't know what to do with my hands. If I turn on my laptop when I get home to check my email, the few seconds it takes for the ol' PC to warm up I'll grab my acoustic and start playing. My mind simply cannot sit idle, theres restlessness and impulsivity, there is never nothing.

So what am to do with all this silence? Well, don't worry. I'm not giving up. I'm just trying to reassess my life when it comes to art and subjugating creativity to pay the rent. It's a coming of age. A mid-life crisis about 15 years premature.

I spent over a decade of my life in a state of arrested development where I learned more than I ever I would have in a college class and became a man. I've slept on the hardest floors and stayed in 5 star hotels where the faucets poured Codorníu semi-seco Cava and French doors. I negotiated record contracts, merchandising deals, dealt with promoters, managers, booking agents, publicists. I've had to problem solve in just about every country in Europe, across the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Brazil, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. We were on our own. We weren't just the band, we were the road managers and the roadies. It was a circus of 5, sometimes 6 with me at the epicenter in all my manic moodiness, despondency and surges of frenzied energy and pure joy. I think they call it hypomania.

As always Dylan has said it before and said it better:

Well, I wake in the morning,
Fold my hands and pray for rain.
I got a head full of ideas
That are drivin' me insane

I'm not sure if this is goodbye or maybe nothing at all. In fact, I'll let Bob handle this one, too:

“Oh, I'm sailin' away my own true love,
I'm sailin' away in the morning.
Is there something I can send you from across the sea,
From the place that I'll be landing?

No, there's nothin' you can send me, my own true love,
There's nothin' I wish to be ownin'.
Just carry yourself back to me unspoiled,
From across that lonesome ocean.

Oh, but I just thought you might want something fine
Made of silver or of golden,
Either from the mountains of Madrid
Or from the coast of Barcelona.

Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night
And the diamonds from the deepest ocean,
I'd forsake them all for your sweet kiss,
For that's all I'm wishin' to be ownin'.

That I might be gone a long time
And it's only that I'm askin',
Is there something I can send you to remember me by,
To make your time more easy passin'.

Oh, how can, how can you ask me again,
It only brings me sorrow.
The same thing I want from you today,
I would want again tomorrow.

I got a letter on a lonesome day,
It was from her ship a-sailin',
I don't know when I'll be comin' back again,
It depends on how I'm a-feelin'.................

Thank you.


Mark said...

Wow! That's quite the post today. Can this really be the end? If it is, you will be missed on the blogosphere (How I hate myself for using that word). But I will look forward to the never ending books from you. You're a wonderful writer so please don't stop pounding the keys.

And by the by, Lana Turner backwards is anal renrut.

Unknown said...

i hope this isnt the end,ill be sad cuz i love the way your mind works but i was also thinking recently with your a d d how you have continued so long this far

Anonymous said...

Gotham, your style is inimitable. I hope you decide to keep going. I could not imagine writing as much as you do and as good as you can.

Quality AND quality are two things which don't come often or come easily for artists and writers.

Cherish your gift. You'll be noticed.

Anonymous said...

Read your blog everyday and have told so many about it. I don't think you realize how many people read and love your writing.

Did you see these, Gotham?

Bay Ridge Rover

Left In Bay Ridge

Anonymous said...

oh damn. I was just getting into this site.

Anonymous said...

he'll be back. i know the guy that does it if he doesn't write he'll go nuts. give him a week

The Phantom said...

Good luck to you.

Tracey said...

this post was perfection. don't stop the blog.

wickedbeast said...

GCI, love your post mate.

Ever heard "Bob Dylan Blues" from Syd Barrett?

sillywillout said...

honey. try martinis.