Over ten years ago, I decided upon Anori as the title for the first book of The Cx Trilogy. Meaning ‘wind’ in Greenlandic, the word is an apt metaphor for a number of themes of the book, including the acceptance of change. I was happy to learn recently that a Greenlandic wind turbine company used the name.
I was less happy to scroll through the film titles on my Air Greenland flight to Ilulissat and find a romantic drama of the same name.
And so that was it; no more Anori for me. My replacement title is Em, who is the clone of the main character, Dee.
I had a dream about a broken-down electric dog, its wiring hanging out, paneling split open, trying to climb out of a muddy hole, pawing and digging and getting nowhere. I didn’t like it.
As much as I might tend to deflect and joke about my current malaise, it’s what depression might be, realizing how pointless everything is. It’s a dark fucking cloud, not knowing what to do, which direction to turn, to carry on or not, giving up and admitting the failure. Drinking to that. It isn’t a good feeling. It’s shit.
And then it’s not. It’s something else. The light. A sound. A thought. Something to do. Not phone games or social media, but the work, things that need to be done. First things first: stuff the wiring back in and get up out of the muck.
I’ve made a lot of decisions as of late – or they have been made for me – that have brought me to here. And so I now live in fear. Not so much of the world and death and all of that but of the person I have become and what I am to do now.
Angoraphobia is the fear of open spaces and crowds – the Italian author Alessandro Manzoni famously suffered from this – and that is what I feel like I have, not of a physical space but what is now in my head.
I have sought to find something that means something outside of sex and booze and have put myself on a quixotic quest of words to make sense of that. There are no editors, agents or publishers out there as of yet that see my prose as anything beyond sophomoric and unsellable. And that is hard. And I guess the point.
And so I will fly to Copenhagen from here (JFK, if you haven’t guessed) and on to Ilulissat where I either affirm my sophomoric drunken self or write something of worth. Or both. It is to be the end of the trilogy, a book that has been sitting in wait for some years, the arrival to another place. Not here.
This is where my mind is most often. Not here, this godforsaken place where we’ve plunged into the digital wasteland, where words and thought mean no more, but out there, another place, where others have gathered to start the experiment again and find what the hell is so precious about a species fucking hell-bent on self-destruction.
And so, yeah, I live in fear. That is, when I bother to think.
My creative writing teacher in college, Viktor Coleman, told me that I obfuscated too much in my writing, meaning that I put up barriers to avoid sharing my genuine voice. His analysis pissed me off. “All this guy cares about is fucking his hot students,” I railed to friends. “He doesn’t give a damn about what makes writing work.”
I don’t shy away from sharing my thoughts and experiences in my writing through my alter egos Buzz, Dee and Davis. They’ve been shamefully drunk, horribly abusive and have fucked whoever and whatever they could, including a bean bag chair. They just don’t dwell on what they’ve done. There are no revelations. These things happened; they accept that and moved on. Like real people do.
Which Coleman and others might argue is where the artifice comes in: the arc, denouement and lessons to follow. I don’t agree, Life isn’t like that. Life is a teacher fucking his student and nobody giving a damn, including the students. There is no Me Too. No clever point of view. It’s just things that happen, and that’s it. The characters are still alive and looking for the answers in all the wrong places.
Things happened and here we are. That’s my narrative. That’s what I see in our world. My heroes – super or otherwise- don’t save the day. They takes care of themselves first and then whoever suits their needs. Nobody’s buying that yet. I just need a couple more years of scrolling and we’ll be there.
Nothing in this world can take the place of good old persistence. Talent won’t. Nothing’s more common than unsuccessful men with talent. So is John Lee Hancock’s biopic film of Ray Kroc, The Founder bookended.
You will be surprised to hear, as am I, that I am inspired by Ray Kroc, the fictional one anyway. It’s all I’ve got to go on now.
I’ve been frustrated over these some forty years of fighting to get something published. From my opening book, The Sacred Whore – which actually received brief attention from an agent – through Manitou Island, Black Ice and The Buzz Trilogy to the many Davis films and The Cx Trilogy, I have carried on.
The Cx Trilogy might be finished in a year, maybe Fuck Pedagogy before that. Persevering pathetically, proudly on, that’s me, on the way to…oblivion?
Having completed the 9th (or 11th?) draft of Anori, I have no clue what I have written. Some of it flowed just as I remembered. Others parts had to be reworked…to what effect I have no clue. Dee was consistent. I think. As was the tone. On the verge of death or already dead. Something like that. Anyway, I shouldn’t be blogging about this. I am a cotton-headed ninny muggins at present.
Instead I will offer this quote from Ken McGoogan’s book Dead Reckoning on the taste of polar bear cub meat: Apart from its tenderness, the cub’s meat had a particularly piquant taste, and we greatly regretted that the old bear had not had twins.
All editors are assholes because they think they know better than everyone else. I’m editing Anori for the nth time, and I know that I am an asshole. More than usual anyway. (Meant as a joke? Needed? Find a better means.)
Editing is about honing the narrative, dumping the meaningless characters, trite dialogue and extraneous description. It’s about writing something that has truth to it. (Truth? As in? Clarity needed here.)
Editing also ruins the simple pleasure of enjoying a film. (Why simple? And why film? Have you mentioned this previously?) Before going to bed, I went through the channels and watched bits of Coppola’s The Godfather Part II and Kubrick’s Paths of Glory. I have seen both numerous times, but they now came off as dull, dominated by weak dialogue and predictable archetypes, nothing more than melodrama.
The 2005 version of King Kong was more engaging with its sentimental ape and girl in a nightgown. Even the reboot of Hawaii Five O, with its B actors and trite Chat GPT script, had more entertainment value. It wasn’t pretending to be something it wasn’t. (What? You’ve lost me here.)
Less is more. That’s the mantra of the editor. Which would leads me to believe that none is the ultimate aim. And so why write at all? (Indeed. Consider deleting this post.)
I am amidst another edit of Anori, which is been smooth and terrible, satisfyingly angst-ridden? Anyway, I have dumped another couple of bits I previously adored. This is small bit of dialogue which did nothing in the end.
“I’m the captain.”
“Hubris, Pax, That’s what gets captains killed.”
“That’s what what makes them captains.”
“What happened to Cook and Bligh?”
“They didn’t kill Bligh.”
“I think you’re missing the point.”
The second is a scene that took the narrative sideways and just didn’t even work.
Nico offered her his hand. “I’m trying to understand who I am.”
“How did you get up here?” She went past him and looked out at the empty expanse. The sky had gone dark, the clouds coming in low. Dee crossed her arms. “Where did Pax go? Seriously, where the hell is he?”
Nico walked ahead. “You know, I was on the football team in high school. Middle linebacker. We won the city championship.”
“Congratulations.” He stopped suddenly. “I raped a freshman at a party.”
“What the fuck are you telling me this for?”
“I got her totally drunk. I was drunk too, but I knew what I was doing. I just did it mechanically, like it was my right, took off her clothes, stripped her naked, and, yeah, went at it. She was so goddamn beautiful. I was King Kong. That’s’ what I thought. And I loved the girl. I think I did. Evelyn. She never looked at me again.” He zipped his jacket up and then back down again. “I never had to face what I did. And I wish I did.”
Dee Sinclair did everything alone; it was how she walked, how she drove, how she sat on the subway, looking to be in her own empty pocket, as far as possible from everyone else.
She didn’t like people. They were selfish and greedy, yes, everyone like that, which was why the world would have to come to a bad end. In the end, she knew that there was little more than approximations of anything she hoped to find.
As I mentioned, I am in the midst of the tenth draft of Anori.
Which means that I go back and forth between feeling like a writer – at the exact center of a marvelously spinning wheel with moments and experiences flashing out in wonder – and a monosyllabic imbecile who blathers on about nothing. Or both at the same time, the wheel spinning out blather.
Well, at least I wrote this. It feels like something, even if it isn’t.