Anori Outtake: Bar Chatter

“Back to the grind.” The girl’s shoulders were thin and rounded, almost elegant.

“I have to show you this.” She clicked open her phone. “When I first started… What am I going to show you? I’ll show you when it comes up. I don’t know what’s the matter with my phone.”

“Did you say something about a ginger martini?” 20160628_220216She was still trying to figure out her phone. “It’s only in New Jersey.”

“You hear about Diane? She was in such a rut, especially after that stint at Benningtons.”

She had the app working. “My sister and the rest of them…I ran into Jennifer when they were leaving the city. She showed me this.”

“Wow.” She glanced at it and then the bartender. “Two ginger martinis. That would be so great.”

Ice Friday: Capi Blanchet’s “Curve of Time”

Margaret Wylie “Capi” Blanchet captures the dual aspect of nature throughout The Curve of Time, chronicling her boat trips in the inner passage of Vancouver Island:

That waterfall can laugh and talk, sing and lull you sleep. IMG_3514But it can also moan and sob, fill you with apprehensions of you don’t know what.

Anori Outtake: Not Waking Up

Dee lay in the dark, watching Apollo chase a vole, giant and puffed, at the edge of the bed, batting it hard and then biting, the cracking squish of the skull like broken glass. She watched him sitting straight up in the corner, chewing his vole, breathing out the bottom part of his jaw. She tried to get off the bed and couldn’t and fought against the muffled paralysis. IMG_3488She was going backward. She couldn’t see properly. The lights were off. There was something turned the wrong way. She hated being stuck, unable to move, to even see, and grunted and spat and pulled herself out of the dream. “Jesus fuck.”

She moved her arm up and twisted onto her back, raising her other arm, both of them now straight above her. She wanted her kid-self back, exposed, naked against the rocks, in the long cold light, and so stripped and edged to the shore, putting her hand in as she planned her brief plunge off the slippery green ledge, reaching out with her foot to shove the smaller ice out and dive in. IMG_4593And so that was what she did, into the cold and dark, panicked and frozen, and stood there dripping, like the icebergs, ready to drop off shards, almost happy with herself for a moment. She was awake now. She was almost sure of that.

Death’s Cha-Cha Step

Thinking is bad. Or more specifically trying to put your head in order, that is bad.IMAG1718There’s experience and caring and many, many other things. And then there’s death, being no longer. Cape Breton 029There is stone. Or nothing. Someone else might write that story. But probably not. There are no notes to be reviewed. No follow-up meeting. You’re done. Dead. 20160205_145103The world is only how you knew it, how you had it, your memories. But when that is done, whatever you did, good or bad, that is gone too.

Werner Herzog’s Notes on “Fitzcarraldo”

Some excerpts from Werner Herzog’s Conquest of the Useless, detailing the making of his Fitzcarraldo in the jungles of Peru:

A fairly young intelligent-looking man with long hair asked me whether filming or being filmed could do harm, whether it could destroy a person. In my heart the answer was yes, but I said no. Screenshot (190)A drunk spat at the monkey and almost hit him from behind. The monkey inspected and sniffed with great interest at the globule from the depths of an unhealthy lung, as it lay on the ground, greenish yellow and steaming. I said silently to him, Leave it, leave it alone, and he let it be.

The thunderstorm held off all afternoon, but then descended far off over the rain forest, sweating and steaming, as if out there an enormous, violent rape were being carried out. Screenshot (182)I had a violent, absurd quarrel with (Klaus) Kinski about his mineral water, with which he washes himself now. Suddenly Kinski started yelling again…calling Sergio Leone and Corbucci rotten vermin…Fellini a bungling idiot, a fat bastard.

This turkey, this bird of ill omen, is a pure albino, so it is quite a sight when it fans its great white wheel, spreads its wings, whose tips trail to the ground and puffs its feathers. Snorting in bursts, it launched several feigned attacks on me and gazed at me with such intense stupidity emanating from its ugly face. I pulled a feather out of its spreading rear end. Now the turkey’s sulking. Screenshot (195)Tumors form on the trees. Roots writhe in the air. The jungle revels in debauched lewdness.Screenshot (185)When I went into the forest to take a shit, a pig followed me , snuffling and waiting with shameless greed for my shit. Even when I threw sticks at it, the animal only took a few symbolic steps backwards.

Anori Outtake: Waiting

She looked from her tiny window to the wall, her back hunched against the cement wall, and closed her eyes, breathing only through her nose, slowly, feeling for her heart, waiting for it to stop and skip, finally lying on her side, keeping her hands around her legs, trying to fall asleep like that. But she couldn’t. She flipped from her side to her back and had her hand in her jeans, under her panties, tucking her finger in, not moving it, just keeping it there, cupping her hand over that, thinking she would never be free. IMAG4357She slept once the sun had left her window, nearing seven in the morning, and slept through the afternoon; she was happy to see her church iceberg as she had left it, its pyramid bright white and fluffy, its shirts every shade of electric blue. She was lonely and empty, sick with it; it was like a gas she couldn’t swallow. She didn’t want to be here. None of this had anything to do with her. There was nothing she could understand, just the rocks and ice and never-ending light. She needed something else, something to fight against. IMG_3185As much as she hated the hypocrisy and greed, the contradictions, the lies and hate, she needed them to work against. Without the avarice, she had nothing to despise, only the emptiness of space, endless and eternal and gut-wrenching, the same feeling she had looking into the water, into those depths.

Writing “Anori”: 4th Draft Notes

Some statistics after completing the 4th draft of Anori:

Time: 10 days (60 hours total)Screenshot (180)

Pages: Edited 13% of the text; 99,867 to 86,742 words

Problem Word: Suddenly, edited from 67 instances to 19suddenly

Problem Phrases: “Falling forward”, “it was there and then not”

Music: Fireworks (Tragically Hip), soundtrack during process, repeated 300 times.FinalHip (1)

Ice Friday: Lenny Bruce on Journalism

Lenny Bruce wrote that the reason journalists labelled him a ‘sick comic’ was their lack of creativity:

The motivation of the interviewer is not to get a terse, accurate answer, but rather to write an interesting, slanted article within the boundaries of the editorial outlook of his particular publication, so that he will be given the wherewithal to make the payment on his MG. 20150712_175323Therefore this writer prostitutes his integrity by asking questions, the answers which he already has, much like the cook who follows the recipe and mixes the ingredients properly.

That Best Beer: Crofters, Steam Whistle, American

Lager, ale, pilsner, Canadian, Scottish, Italian, Burmese, Czech, and, yes, American. Budweiser_can_AmericaThe key is the moment, the anticipation of that, mountains/meetings away, working through it, thinking about that thing…and then seeing it pour.steam whistleAnd then, yes, it cold in your hand, drinking and drinking, the glass all but empty, feeling the cold inside, finishing it, ordering again. croftersGood livin’.