I sat down today with a comic book- the start of a new series by an old writer I loved. The feeling in that setting, getting some snack food together, finding a comfortable nook to read this thing, was something I hadn’t done in a long time. It felt automatic, dense with habit, oozing in not memories but the body intelligence from them, a routine of precise comfort I used to build for myself when I was a teenager. Sometimes I sit in the thrall of my creative dreamscape, all my ideas sort of swirling around three-dimensionally before me, like I was imagining the collective feeling of the whole-process vibe at once. I sit marveling at all the creative underground and/or under appreciated people who have continued to pump out their particular vision or perspective. Art is just another word for expression, and mebbe expression is the word that should be used more often; a collected body of work that is the voice of the creator. Like Wes Anderson films, maybe. There just seems to be a particular style in all of them and I like that.
I seem to lean more toward reflecting what I think is good, literature-wise, rather than publishing my own words, although through this zine I’ve put a lot of my words out there! I think my doing a zine is a definite reflection of reading those comics when I was a teen. I took that world with me and began self publishing my own comic, except that it happens to be filled with more than just sequential art. Perzine culture seems to interest people more, based on my recent reading of reviews in Xerography Debt, one of the larger zine-review zines out there. So perhaps that is what I’ll pursue, at least for a while. A perzine is a zine that’s of a more biographical nature. A zine is what’s in yr delicate hand right now. I was introduced to a term yesterday while looking up an artist (John Kannenberg) online : narrativity. Narrativity is concerned with how a work is presented and interpreted. You imbue the work that is to be consumed with your own intent and style. That old ‘medium is the message’ schtick but a bit more focused.
A distinguishable narrative voice plays a culture out, over time. A culture is created. I think letterfounder could be looked at like that. Issue to issue, it’s a pretty quick read. It was a monthly format, like a comic, and I could afford a little each month, to keep putting it out over the years. Looked at individually it seems a bit ramshackle, but I believe in the work and someday I’d like to collect them, year by year, in larger volumes. Just to see what I am getting at with this zine, this narrative. I’ve always thought it was important to speak across a wide spectrum of experience, where I’d try to have in each issue dense abstract poems that I liked as well as more linear and conventional styles. I like pop culture and the underground. I can’t help it. Anita Baker to Merzbow. Social Work theory and sigil magic theory, i think it all has its place. That concept of narrativity fits in well with the concept of the hypersigil. In pop-magik parlance, a hypersigil is a sigil (or spell) that plays out over time, that builds power through its continued actuation. Ok, that sounds pretty far out, but I view magic as being simply an angle that makes life more fun, trusting in your own meaning. Grant Morrison or somebody said ‘life plus significance equals magic.’ You just start to make connections, to feel with your gut, to take random walks (psychogeography) and sometimes you test out your intent by doing a ritual, or asking to be let into the world of significance through banishing and/or prayer work, meditation, singing, repetitive action or practice.. It was Jason Rodgers who mentioned to me that the act of making a monthly zine was the casting of a spell, of sorts. A hypersigil in and of itself. The word ‘spell’ has roots with the act of spelling- inscribing your intent upon the air or upon the page. Or drawing, drawing power into yourself. These are the ways in which the world dealt with the act of creation. Magic. Writing and drawing. That’s why all this should actually be written with a pen in my own hand, but that’s how tech-dependant I am. But these 26 letter keys are attached to the whole world, tech-wise. Maybe the message gets out there, through the typing somehow, entering the stream of binary code; the molecules of neo-cultural information.
How much of this day was a rehash of 100’s prior? Lurnt nuthin good that was new. Except that the library doesn’t really put yr donated book on their shelves, but sells ’em on these stands off on the side- what? I dropped $130 over months picking up the collected Invisibles trade paperbacks, donated ’em and never saw them again. Ha!
I have been yearning to write lately. My friend Jen H. said once that it builds up in her until she’s ready to pour it all down. I just wrap up work and at the end of a day I’m burnt out on people, myself, policy, food, responding, moving around.. I go home, pack a bowl, pour some vodka and Fresca and chill the fuck out. I’m into 40s-60s movies lately, times b4 I was born, where cinema diffused a vision out over white screens, horror too, in such a way that I plead for a nostalgia that isn’t even mine. Escapism, sure, but it’s part of the inside of my culture almost too intrinsic to be noticed. ‘The Apartment’ by Billy Wilder. Watching a movie without knowing anything about it beforehand.
Music is getting ruined 4 me. So many years dissecting it now if I’m not making it I can listen to Pandora and be fine. I have hundreds upon hundreds of discs and tapes and sorta listen to ’em methodically now, out of a sense of obligation to make sure I’m still enjoying them or picking up on an album i never really got into. It’s not that I’m not enjoying it anymore, I think the internet gets in the way! My music, my plundering reversing slowing down flipping stretching pitching.. ehh. I want to do a slow guitar-only folk album, I want to do an all-vocals beats album, where I use all other peoples’ electronic tracks and put lyrics to them. I want to continue making letterfounder. I started it the month i moved to Lewiston and it’s nearly 10 yrs later, 1 every month. letterfounder is community, wherever it’s been. If I did nothing else that would’ve been enough, as a vision. It makes very clear statements, when viewed over time. Don’t let language use you. Use language, see beauty, see ugliness, shut up more, view art as a free endeavor more and more, a moment when you are focusing creatively. Just having a moment that’s about you. That’s good enuff. We all need to have more moments. It takes much time to get to the point where we even begin to open up inside to ourselves, much less to other people. We seize up subtly before work, an hour or more before, and it takes at least two hours to completely unwind after, some days. Some people are just going seized up from work into having to care for their children all riled up inside from a pent-up work day. Almost everyday we do this, in the life we have literally bought into. That’s a hell of a sacrifice. Work 5 days to enjoy 2. The odds seem a bit whack.
I sat divided in this moment- sitting at a residential facility with my friend’s sister who called in a panic at midnight. Confused, shaking, asking if she were dying. She is. Slowly, but in a frighteningly short time, from liver failure. I get drawn in with wondering if she’s overacting the confusion just in order to get someone to talk to her about dying. And nobody is. I sat there and didn’t speak and watched a spider crawl around in the quiet hall outside the open door. The room is only big enough to have one visitor, pressed right up against the bed she lies in. It is frightening in its message of uncaring claustrophobia, making small single rooms doubles. I watched the spider more than her, hated being there.
Odd. It’s like steeling yourself for the next one, death-wise, as you get older. Another high school acquaintance this past week, from a knifing in Bodrum, Turkey.? Last summer, Amy Adams, from my class, due to cancer. She and I used to speak in an improv, made-up language in-between and during our classes. She was so fun. My aunt just had her third major brain operation for aneurysms and it leaves me in a state where I just don’t want to talk about it. You start living in weirder ways. Like, I never used to worry about people remembering me when I was gone, but now it’s as if I want a definite body of work to be ‘left behind,’ as if it’s going to be cared for and curated into some amazing cultural post-life that I’ll be able to look down upon, all smiles. It gets mind-numbing, the mortal worrying, the roving subtle search for hope everywhere, meaning in everything. But I suppose that, in the end, is what hope is.
My aunt yesterday laughed just after her surgery. “Come back? To this? For what?” I think she was a little pilled up but I laughed too, because it all does seem so ridiculous. That’s more about what letterfounder’s about. Just slaps of beauty and meaning and ugliness like quick gashes in the side of this amorphous vat of a life-being-lived. We are just pushing away the entire floating universe full of mostly dark energy that scientists know nothing about except to say it must be there cause all this orbiting would just cease to continue. And then we’re snuffed regardless, isn’t that a kicker? Doesn’t that create questions! We are born into a world where no one knows what the fuck is going on or why we are here!! Harr.. I will probably touch on this a lot if I am to continue doing perzine-style, but whatever- my heartfelt issues are my contribution to the inner life of this community, even if that community is mostly hopeful theory to me. It’s never been community the way I’d do it. Conservative fucks and progressive libs are all the same after a bit; boring, one-dimensional, sucking it up and spewing it out, working within a system that’s 1 step fwd, 3 steps back. Stupid and unimaginative.
I like rough around the edges where drinking is not frowned upon, where people aren’t trying to be smarter than they are, where egos are louder so as to exhibit meaning and heart in social dynamics, not hidden outta a sense of keeping up appearances (but just as felt), loose shoulders and campfires and husky voices and grounded people, people that are not in my life now! I know a bunch of uptight, needy people with no original thinking and no backbone. No anger. Just pissy-ness. Anger that is quick and fiery, that doesn’t linger around, I think is actually really good communication. Really to the fucking point. But b/c it appears out-of-control it is seen as inferior. Well, unfortunately, most anger IS out-of-control in this burg. Anger here haunts me, the viciousness, the meaninglessness of it, the shitty reasons behind it. Lazy anger. ‘Stranger anger.’ I wrote ‘drama’ on a poster at work today but below I wrote ‘communication breakdown.’ People are just too shitass scared to speak their minds, to let go, to not get crazy possessive in a heartbeat. Need that is that obvious is not to be trusted! R u kidding me? Need In, need Out, fuck that.
My head revolves sickeningly. Wendy was like ‘are you grumpy?’ today at work – fuck ya I’m grumpy. Every Fucking Day. It’s part of being a man, maybe, more than anyone will ever know unless they are a man (and a man can be anybody). We R trapped, in wut? Some bizarre pent-up pen of a life where we just go to werk, where being super-capable and always smiling are the benchmarks of a well-rounded person. Uh, no.. I won’t even get into it, but it’s obvious that these people are just as hurt inside as I am. Why do I feel the need to show mine? Pent up sublimated antiseptic gardens of well crafted personality and smalltown-cultivated cleverness. I can hardly stand people! Their werds combined w/ their shitty faces show me how they’re running through their emotions like lines for a part that they don’t even want to be playing in the first place!! It’s hilarious. !! I’m rofling. Please shut up more!
Community !S unfolding, and it has always unfolded agonizingly slow here. Community CAN be about personality, but I think it’s mostly about long-term consistency, oftentimes quiet people doing good things for a number of years. Community is fucking complex.