Limited stair-running today in the rain while listening to New Order's Technique. Bandaged up the toe, but it hurt and I don't want to make it worse. It was important for me to run the stairs today. To physically be there. Sometimes you have to show yourself something about yourself, no matter how many times you've already shown it to yourself.
This is a letter:
There's nothing better than this. I would suggest you read it as soon as possible. It's 1800 words. I wrote about its quality on the blog and what would happen with it if the "right" person wrote it. I don't want to downplay certain stories, which is what it seems like I'm doing when I mention some and not others. That's not what I'm doing. But this work, "Desilva," "The Everything," "The Parable of the Woodpecker," "The Girl Who Couldn't Cry": there isn't anything before my lifetime close to any of them. I have so much material all of a piece, but it'll be hard to leave this out of There Is No Doubt.
You've known me since I was twenty-years-old, N---. You've come the closest to reading it all. Millions and millions and millions of words. I think you will read this, put it down upon finishing it, and simply shake your head that this was done. And, of course, that there is no one in the whole of publishing who will let the world see this, because it was done by Colin Fleming. When I say that something is infinitely better than any story The New Yorker has ever published, I mean infinitely better. I don't mean eighty percent, or three times better. I mean so much better that it is not possible to measure. There is no comparison. I think that is obvious to anyone who does not have an agenda against me.
Some specs: I began this last week, on Saturday. Was mostly all done in that single sitting. I simply made it up because I wished to. I worked on it a couple other times this week. Then I worked on it this morning, and quite a bit at that. Gave it a last read after running a couple thousands stairs in the rain. On to the next.
Last night I began coming up with a story pertaining to trans swimmers, seen from the perspective of a young woman who loses to a trans swimmer. From within the context of her life. Like a "Fitty," an "Eyejaculator," a "Six Feet Away," a "First Responder," it is a story of our times, for all times. Or it will be. I also came up with something about a soap bubble. A story in which a soap bubble is the main character. But we will see.
It's raining rather hard now. I stopped at Haymarket and acquired twelve peppers for my heart. Normally I eat either a pepper a day, or mushrooms. One or the other. Both for the heart.
The Jelly Roll Morton piece I have still yet to write will probably be out next week. Soon I will start the piece on Radiohead and "Creep." I'll begin to get ready for that today.
"She reaches for words she’s already sewn into pockets of skin in the sides of herself, above her hips, where she narrows into ribs, and her journey resumes, continuing onward for the making of the toast, which is all she wants to eat, what she thinks she should eat, and all that she will be able to keep down, noting how cold and smooth the linoleum floor of the kitchen feels beneath her bare feet."
That was from "Certain Human Lips," made today. Some of the words existed, but not the opening conceit of the sentence, and then there is movement and parts join to make a whole. There's something just insanely sophisticated that happens in this story with the word "quarters," structurally, phonetically, ambulatorily, and thematically speaking. If you know anything about writing, and you see it, it's just game over. There's no competing.
Coming back from the stairs today, I saw one of the bros of the building out front loading a thirty pack of beer into a car and on the cusp of wheezing, with both his ass crack hanging out, and his gut. Ah. Pick your pleasure.
Acquired three Gothic novels by Brockden Brown for a cheap price.
More work on Just Like Them: A Piece by Piece Guide to Becoming the Ultimate Thinking Person's Beatles Fan. Just under 11,000 words at present. Another thing to be noted about this book, and I've heard my Beatles writings discussed this way by Beatles people: the actual prose. I saw some people discussing in a Facebook group how I was the leading prose stylist when it came to writing about the Beatles, and then they were also discussing writers whose writing I had been critical of. There are not prose stylists when it comes to writing about the Beatles. It's nuts and bolts. Someone else heard the interview I gave the other day, and said that it was remarkable how I could make a point about Lennon and his changing voice from 1964 to 1965 and make it so casually, so compellingly, and it was applied knowledge. They asked me, "What is the point of another Beatles book from anyone else? They're the same things. I go to the bookstore, flip through them, and there's nothing there. No need." They actually hadn't read the intro to this Beatles book yet, which I posted a few entries back--I can give away the intro for free--and which talks about the only kinds of Beatles book there are, and how Beatles-related thought has ossified.
Anyway. I smell like wet dog. It's noon. I shall shower and get to the cafe to do more work. Will acquire sugarless cranberry juice and no fat milk, also for my heart.
Watched an episode of South Park, which I hadn't done in many years. Cartman was a realtor. It was okay--padded, though.
Need some good news soon. Something.
Also need to do better than whatever you did today, man. Garbage performance. You want to get this done and live the life you deserve, you need to work harder than you did today. I said I wasn't going to mention this anniversary today, but you know what? If I want to say something here, I will not stand on ceremony or be hemmed in. I should try and think, okay, on this tenth anniversary of a day of great trauma, and lasting trauma, that has not diminished, you went out in the Boston rain to run stairs next to the same building in which you were married. You let nothing deter you. And on this same day, ten years after that day, you completed a short story that no other writer could touch. A story for the ages. Okay. I should give myself that credit, but I don't. I don't even really think I should, though. I just care about what is next. This record, meanwhile, lays it all out for the biographers. I have made the job easy. At least so far as these years go. Between this record, and the millions of emails, I've done the work for any biographer or scholar who comes along. Just take it from there. I've laid it out.
I came up with more story ideas, an idea for a football essay, and for a piece on Paul Gonsalves pertaining to a little-known version of "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue" that arguably surpasses the famed 1956 Newport rendition. I readied other blogs on here.
A bigot would be mistaken in thinking that the best way to handle me is to do nothing. That is, to continue to ignore what I am offering, as has always been the case, if that has been the case, or to continue to ignore what I am offering as became the policy at a certain point. This will not save you from going up on here. It will not save you from Google. It will not save you from this record--which is fair, factual, and grounded in undeniable truth--being what people see about you and what they know you for. The only thing that will is to cease discriminating against me. You may handle that however you choose. You need not offer a mea culpa, you merely need to pick up and begin. I'll even help you out. You want the amazing book? Okay, I'll listen. No need for prefatory remarks about the past. You want the amazing story? I'll listen. Want a great music piece? Same deal. Granted, most of these people have the social skills of a smear of mucus, so saying anything remotely human is a challenge, but one begins by saying, "hey, I know it's been a long time, lot of water under the bridge"--you can even use a cliche--"but I was looking at blah blah blah last night, and I would like to blah blah blah, if that's something you're open to." Easy. In theory. It's almost like when someone steals something, and the person who has been stolen from says just return it, no questions asked. Knock it off, move forward. We can loathe each other. As I said, I refuse to let people charr my heart with hate, but I can't un-know what I know about someone. But I can put it aside. Because all that matters is the work. Believe me, there is a long, meticulously maintained list, and everyone on that list, in time, will be exposed in these pages. Silence doesn't protect you. It's not your way out of this. The approach of "I'll just hope nothing happens" will not forestall what will happen. And once you go up on these pages, your journey here is beginning and to mix metaphors somewhat, it will follow you around for the rest of your life. It will often be the first thing anyone learns about you when they look you up, and it certainly will be at some point or other, as I continue in my journey. Because I will never free you from the hook upon which you dangle. Your only chance to come down from that hook is if you do the right thing. It continues on indefinitely, because that's how busted you are, how much evidence I have, and continues until you stop. There's only one way out of this--treat me and my work as I and it deserve to be treated. You're going to pretend that someone who sucks at writing like Justin Taylor doesn't suck at writing, when we all know he sucks at writing. The only reason more people aren't pointing and jeering over how much he sucks at writing is because there are no eyeballs present, given that this sick subculture has killed off reading for normal people, so it's just the sick people pretending what they pretend, and they're allowed to get away with it because they've made it so that no one else sees what they are doing. You want to put one of his stories back-to-back with one of mine on here (more along these lines will come shortly in a new entry), and have me say, "such and such a bigot will tongue this person who writes this, but meanwhile, because I do this, this, and this, they won't run this, which we can all see is demonstrably, immeasurably, inarguably better?" You don't want to be one of those people. Or, you want to stop being one of those people. Or, you want to make believe you're not one of those people, to save your own ass. Either way. I really don't care. All I care about is the best work getting a real chance and what it deserves. Of course, that's all anyone with a soul should care about. That's neither here nor there, though, in this industry. But I am here. And this is not going away.