Must This Be Masochistic?

Originally published at

You told me to buy presentable clothes and I did, a whole new outfit from Target. Neat slacks and spiffy shirt, even found shoes to match. And now here I am dressed like a fish trying to understand what it means to breathe air. We’re toddlers on a see-saw, you and I, for the first time trying to find stability. But this gala is full of coroners. My first big affair for a serious career, and my editor escorts me to a corner booth to meet the district managers who pay us both. I laughed at the right jokes but I kept my mouth shut, and they never once saw the tattoos ‘round my gums. The molars I had pulled from eating rocks as a drop-out. Clean-shaven clean-cut and dressed like the guest of a judge who doesn’t recognize my face from four years before, I could maybe fit in if my conscience didn’t heave. The walls are turning purple. Faces start to swirl with open jaws of twisting laughter, vortices of features. The chandeliers are bleeding light. The hotel porters are cackling rapists out in the foyer looking for a fix and I don’t know what I’m into but I’m out in the rain. I am the news man who screamed out the window and tossed himself to pursue his echoes. There is a limo parked in the curbside puddles, seven porters to open the limo door. Out steps the Big Man himself, CEO of Gannet. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, sir.” My editor masturbating through his pocket. I am pouring vodka into champagne so no one will notice the changes bringing back the alcoholic. Unemployment gets me paid about half as much but if I don’t need a car or to keep my appearance, well, that’s money well saved and spent at the bar. No – I should give you a call to keep my head grounded but our conversation cannot be heard by these howling de Sades. Their suits are worth more than the hearse they’ll wheel me out on. I am cackling at the bar. Am I the Marquis in the mirror? Behind me spins the eloquent calculations of Murdoch’s publications, wives and the mistresses of breaking war stories and the talking heads from GE that just won’t quit. I am performing Coyote Ugly on the bar, finally shouting all the things that should be said. I haven’t had a care in the world since Makers’ Mark let me forget the debts I owe and the kids we support and I may be the Marquis in the mirror but god damn these cruel fools, our see-saw will stay stable if we place a god damn trailer on it.

Writing About Writing

As you can probably guess, blogging isn’t what I do for a living. Nor is it what I spend the bulk of my day doing. There’s a whole lot else going on that takes me away from the one place I feel comfortable, productive, happy that I’m doing something which feels authentic and worth everyone’s time. A quick breakdown of current distractions:

  1.   The scramble to find Job B before Job A’s contractual obligations conclude
  2.   The search for another rental home, this time in a different state
    1.   Moving the hell out of New Jersey
  3. Attempting a freelancing career (I’ll let you know how that goes)

Distractions be damned, most important to me still is that, one way or another, I graft together a writing career (again, I’ll let you know). Which places this blog at the top of things I need to do each day. It’s important I have something written and posted early each day because I want this site to have regularity, a sort of cadence so that you can turn to this blog on any given day with the expectation that you will find something original to read. That’s an important aspect of blogging, and I think that’s what you, faithful reader, would like to see here.

However, it’s unlikely I’ll be able to produce prose-poetry every morning. Wringing myself through the emotional pasta-maker of prose-poetry requires a certain creative vigor, and sometimes I’m worn too thin to make it work. Not writing in the morning ruins my day, and ruins what I just said about keeping Mick’s Neon Fog a regular repository.

I’ve been toying around with a few ideas for supplementary content, and I think what I’ll do is write about writing. Because clearly there aren’t enough writing tips, writing blogs, writing advice, writing retreats, writing-lesson snake’s oil salesmen (and saleswomen) dragging their nails across thousands of the internet’s biggest chalkboards.

But I think I can offer something different. If it turns out I’m wrong, please let me know, loudly, in the comments section or feel free to do so discretely (but still loudly) via email or a personal message.

When you write about writing, you can usually take the specific topic you’re writing about – for instance the use of adverbs, or free-form writing, or deus ex machina – and find in it something true to humankind. Writing about writing is writing about creating; and to create, even in the most mundane sense of the term, to be able to alter your environs, is a critical component to what it means to be human. And so it goes with creative writing: when you write about writing you should be able to find something to say about impalpable humanity. For instance, if you’re writing about why it’s so important to write everyday, you establish your concrete facts and propositions and then you strip away the desk, the pen, the writer himself and you get to the shadow on the wall — what does it mean to be able to write effortlessly, without ego?

This post is turning out to be a primer page. When I woke-up this morning I’d had the idea of getting into the debate about whether or not to outline before writing. I was going to talk about choices only existing in frameworks, say a few things about freewill, find a bunch of great links to share, but unfortunately I’m out of time.

Hopefully tonight I’m asleep Early As Fuck, and I get a great night’s sleep (writer’s rest), and tomorrow I can get back to prose-poetry.

Thanks for reading.