Saturday, June 2, 2012

anxious to be recognized as one

Started a new novel recently. Don't know if I'm ambitious enough to participate in the unofficial June NaNoWriMo thing, but I'll certainly work on it every day this month and see how far I get by the time July rolls around. I've got some short story ideas too, finally, so this might be a productive month for me. It needs to be. I've been idle for too long, creatively speaking, and whenever that happens I feel like I've forgotten how to write altogether.

My buddy Gavin St. Ours is working on a novel, too - I have his short story collection since he was in my MFA graduating class, and it's damn good. Gavin's most obvious gifts are his ear for dialogue and his smooth prose that feels both effortless and full of energy. The title story of his collection, "Soothsayer In Aisle Five," reminds me of the crazy religious lady subplot from "The Mist," but minus all the heavyhandedness King employs when he thinks he's being socially relevant. Order Gavin's book and give it a read - you won't be disappointed.

I'm also reading this Jacket2 article about poetry, New Sincerity (a term I'm really starting to hate), and the aesthetics of failure. I guess poets are embracing the fact that no one reads poetry anymore and rolling with it, and/or they're making a big show of straightforwardness and simplicity in their work, which the article calls "a simultaneous abandonment and seizure of authority," because it's no fun being ironic anymore and writing in dense chunks of abstract, representational language has run its course. I'm okay with that - language poetry gets really New Age and touchy-feely after a while, which makes discussing it a nightmare if you're like me and you think astrology is bullshit and the importance of poetry in 2012 is really insanely overestimated by poets. If this new crop of writers is letting that attitude fall to the wayside and trying to really communicate with people again in a way that TV and most movies haven't even attempted in at least ten years, more power to them.

But I digress. It's a nice day outside, so I'm gonna go stand in it for a while.