Friday, February 19, 2010

Notes On The Inward City

I've been away from the blog, no doubt dispensing tidy tidbits elsewhere, none of which I can remember, but more than that, I've been laying pen to paper, in a big black book (not moleskine!)

for continual threads and bits and ejecta for the long fiction I'm working on. The long fiction is taking on the contours of a city in my head, full of more and more colorful and capacious denizens, especially as the parameters of the city I live in seems occasionally to shrink by the day.

I walk the pleasant five blocks to work, where I am five, six days a week, up a slight hill to a peaceful little crown of parkland with its view of industrial docks to the east and a red bald hill above my store and the downtown on my north west side. . .more often than not places of caffeine and cheap eats are also within walking distance. . .or we eat garlicky peasant food at home. I know people by name and face and their tendency to be drunk at noon, or just generally mute and peripatetic, like the old lady who just walks Bernal in aimless circles, occasionally stopping to smoke.

The shrinking outward city opens up the interior kingdom to more and more fevered immigration.

Sometimes the outward city looks exactly like the inward ones, like the other night when the fog seeped up from the ground like a B-movie and draped the struggling cypress, contorted like dancer's limbs, a vision of Hecate.

Living can seem a seldom-achieved balance between imagination and doing, even though the former is still doing and the latter can often be unimaginative.

The Long Fiction: the Uncanny is infecting it to an alarming degree, thanks to this really really invigorating "theory" book I re-found and am only reading now for the first time: The Secret Life Of Puppets.

A silly and misleading title, maybe, but its contents are just so wonderfully suggestive, almost as if the author Victoria Nelson is using criticism not to foster a comprehension of existing forms but to foster an exploration of nascent forms, or at least malleable forms, like the short supernatural fantasies of Bruno Schulz.

(More on him later. . .)

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