Tentative, ah, Rumblings

Just update every day. On a topic. I guess. I want to write an essay every week, that’s productive and in a way safe. I mean that I can refine my craft, but a little bit removed so that you don’t have to see the results immediately and think things like “huh” “what” or “this is really terrible, AndrĂ©”. Of course this assumes a “you”, there really isn’t a “you” for the blog and maybe I should work on that as well but how does a person do that in a way that’s not conniving, petty, or mean? Promotion just seems ugly to me at this point, I guess. This isn’t really worth promoting, you know? It’s just a thing. I shouldn’t even think in those terms, ever really.


This past election Chester Brown ran for the Libertarian party and defended his government grants with “Well, if I don’t take them someone else well, and it’s better that they go to me.” And in that sentiment were two ideas, wrapped up:

  • That he deserves the grant, because he is good and works hard.
  • That he deserves the grant because it could potentially go to someone who doesn’t work hard, or is not good.

Should I think in similar terms? Or start to? To me it just seems so mercenary.

But it does remind me of something one of my uncles (and I have many) said about my mom’s artwork and how he always thought she should be doing a better job of promotion. And maybe she still should, but I think she has improved in that regard. Related is the fact that her work has settled in a style that is “good” and that I think is “accurate”, does that mean I just don’t feel “settled” in that aspect? But her situation at 22 was much different than my situation now. But why would I even bring it up if I felt “complete” or “whole” artistically?

This post and the post below come from an interview with James Kochalka where he says that American Elf is a great way to structure his day, and to always remain thinking creatively. How he feels bad if he hasn’t made anything, because creating is a huge part of his self-worth. That’s also true for me. I do write usually. I need to get back to writing every day. Even if I don’t necessarily feel like working on what I am working on, I need to write a minimum amount of words. I need to stop worrying about things like what certain people will say. Maybe I need to update this every day too, so I can see what I’ve done and am doing. With at least one entry of substance, or that I am proud of, or that I like, per day.

I’m suddenly reminded of an essay Haruki Murakami wrote about writing for the New Yorker. I could find it for you but you could find it for yourself just as easily. Search “Haruki Murakami” “running” and “New Yorker”.

One thing that I am working on is making writing simpler so that it flows easier from point to point. I have a tendency to hold certain crucial details in my head, which works well for prose poetry but not very well when you are working on a long novel and what is in your head at specific points during the writing changes from day-to-day. I really think that for something short (a comic, a poem, a short story) you can keep the art inside and do a good job, but for longer things you have to focus on telling your story simply and making sure that it is a story, and that it is coherent, and the rest will fall into place. It’s interesting because I think four or five years ago I was good for plot, but I really had to work on style and technique, and now that I’m at plot again it is coming back to me, but slowly, because I spent a long time in the ghetto.

Some days you have to walk slowly. Consciously. Metering down, existing in a moment that is not quick-movement from point to point, an entire hummingbird-eye day. Some days you have to make little noise. Contain constant, enduring, rhythm. Listen to the pattern of life. Watch flurries of motion adjust their shoulder straps and clack in-and-out of your field of view. Be a happy inconvenience.

Calm down and arrange your thoughts in a pattern removed from “buckshot”. You are not the wide mouth of a shotgun. You are not a clicked and constantly fluctuating image. You are not an image. You are a reactive creature describing the world through its sensory input. Through interpretations of raw data, as well as implications and interpretations of raw data obtained from other sources. As well as implications of implications; hronir which constantly ascend to and descend from the apex of the eleventh degree.

Your thoughts are made of other thoughts. Your thoughts move to the tune of your body. Your ideas scale up or down based upon the status or “being” of your self. Slow down, at moments, to increase the scope and quality of your ideas. You cannot rely solely on “genius”, which is a highly malleable, unreliable, and reactive force. You must have some grounding in your intellectual self. You must fight to maintain that grounding, whatever the circumstances of your life.

My left hand is stuffed into my front jacket pocket, like Napoleon suffering from some kind of cold-active gout. For some reason the action causes me to sit up straight, and I feel as if I am riding a horse. My jacket is nine years old, a relic; worn because it is convenient (my most convenient) for bicycling.

I fiddle with the right pocket zipper at stoplights, but it’s stuck fast. Aside from the stuck zipper, there’s really nothing else wrong with the jacket. I’ve owned it since grade eight, and my thirteen-year-old self would be glad to know that Ripzone is such a good brand. It’s the last piece of clothing from that company I own, the second-last being an old t-shirt frayed everywhere but the collar, which is what I wore it for. It’s a look that’s in, but not when the rest of the shirt is in rags. At least, that’s what Lisa might have told me before she threw it out, though I’m positive she never qualified such a statement with a remark about how it could have at all, ever, been considered fashionable.


On the morning radio, a university student with a cocky edge to his voice reminds me too much of a frat boy: he’s intelligent but pretends that he isn’t to impress his friends, who are also being interviewed.

Why didn’t you vote?

“The election SUCKS, all of the candidates SUCK, their platforms SUCK. Why should I vote if the whole thing SUCKS?”

Are you ashamed that you didn’t vote?

“YEAH, I mean, my parents wanted me to vote but. Fuck, I don’t care. I guess it just didn’t mean that much to me.”

Later, an opinion voiced by a political student activist who hasn’t voted in the past two elections and says there are more important ways to make yourself heard… more important than the most symbolic and direct?

“I just… don’t see what the point is. I’ve voted before, it didn’t really… do anything for me. I think there are, ah, other ways you can be involved in the political process… I didn’t feel anything when I voted.”

What did you expect, a warm tingling? A clarion call? Why does voting have to do anything directly for you? When was it written that all action necessarily has to provoke some kind of stimulation? And why is the concept of stimulation so often mixed up with “mental sedation”?

High school AndrĂ©, why don’t you die? And why are you such a common archetype? This generation is disappointing, so far.


October 26th I will be at Canzine. It is my hope that I will have two short “zine-like objects” to sell. One will be 16 pages long. One will be 32 pages long (if it exists). I am mostly typing this post to bump the last from the top. Also, because it is exciting. I am excited, because I think it will be fun to have items printed and arranged on a table. I have never done anything like this before!

A detailed entry on the Canadian election.

A humourous, satirical take on family politics and our first “Thanksgiving weekend” as husband and wife.

An update on the writing of my novel. Which is being written in a more conventional style than I would have first employed.

“Data is secondary at the moment, unfortunately.”

So interesting that wild fluctuations of abstract concepts are being followed as if they are real things! I don’t mean to say this to be smarmy, or to provoke reaction… but in a world whose outlines seem to be made of “fact” and where men and women drink and eat “fact”, that a metaphysical system, tracing its movements in peaks and valleys on an exterior, two-dimensional plain, could captivate to the extent that it has, as well as inform our mode of living, and stir the hearts of otherwise cold and unthinking men to fevers of blind and all-encompassing emotion… it’s startling.