Posts Tagged ‘writing’

“Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind”: Jack Kerouac, creativity and academic writing

From Jack Kerouac, Belief and Technique for Modern Prose, in the Beats anthology:

  1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
  2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
  3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
  4. Be in love with yr life
  5. Something that you feel will find its own form
  6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
  7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
  8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
  9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
  10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
  11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
  12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
  13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
  14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
  15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
  16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
  17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
  18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
  19. Accept loss forever
  20. Believe in the holy contour of life
  21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
  22. Don’t think of words when you stop but to see picture better
  23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
  24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
  25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
  26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
  27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
  28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
  29. You’re a Genius all the time
  30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

Read Full Post »

Moon Language (1)


She sat, toes buried deep in the soft grass of the back garden.  She’d let it grow wild, not wanting it cut because of Dandelion.  Once Dandelion had gone to seed, the little birds would enjoy the feast.  She most especially liked watching red-breasted Chaffinch.  Their delicate feet, grasping the thin stalk like a tightrope walker to bend the seed head closer to the ground, were a delight to watch. The sun played chase behind the clouds, and the southeast wind felt brisk in the shade.

The day was idling away, like every day since she moved here.  She loved this place, the deep valley and rolling fields were a balm, but time slipped sideways.  No longer a linear procession, the sun rose and set in a tumbling circle of morning and evening, wrapped in a perpetual blanket of mist.  She forgot what day it was often, and her methodically plotted goals were gathering dust on her to-do list.

It should have been summer, at least, it ought to feel like summer–the way it did back home: a time for sandals, strapless dresses, and margaritas.  Here in Ireland, summer was often indistinguishable from early spring, and only the budding of tree and bush, and the lengthening of day, marked its arrival: and oh, what budding there was!

Gorse, with their full yellow flowers and fragrance of coconut, made evening walks down the lane a delight.  Creamy Hawthorn, its clusters of pale green leaves bunched along the branch like paper carnations, properly marked the beginning of summer.  The elf sized wild flowers, too numerous to count, shifted their carpet of color like Joshua’s multicolored coat: one week of yellow and one of white, followed quickly by the purples, pinks, and blues, with red perhaps the last color, as the flowers nervously waited their fruiting.

Tonight was the full moon, one of the few recurring markers in her newly strung spiral of days, and many voices would join her later in the Ring.  She had been collecting tokens: shells from her recent walk on the beach, compost saved from daily meals, and water from the well near the crossroads.  Since her move, much of her focus had been on learning the language.  Most of those living in the hedgerow spoke a dialect she was pitifully unfamiliar with.  In fact, once she had learned her first tentative words, she was embarrassed to realize everyone else on her ridge spoke the language, even other foreigners!  Why had her own people neglected it?

Now, as she sat, feet still hidden in the tall grass, she remembered those first days: how she grappled initially with the weather language, whose symbols were so different; how that language, as most of the others, was still challenging for her.  The syntax for most of the languages was melodic, and fun to speak, though all had their unique tricks–not all of whom she liked. Even now, she grinned thinking how early one must rise to speak Sun language.  For Sun does the funniest thing; strong when rising above the circle, but resting, or hiding, shortly after behind Cloud–like a shy young girl–and perhaps staying indoors all the day long.  This behavior was entirely unlike Sun of her native Texas, whose bold desire knew no bounds, pressing upon your flesh as though sitting after a hard days work, or like a greedy lover, unwilling to share.

Read Full Post »