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A portion of one half of a text conversation

Sunday 6/28/20

As the title says.


***


Exactly. Dead correct.


They were born with a silver spoon, they have no life experience, no clue how people are, what life is like.


And then it's a gated community. They lock arms. They keep out undesireables.


But people in publishing are very threatened by expertise.


The thing about my expertise is I am not pretentious with it. I'm inclusive.


And funny. And edgy. And self-deprecating. And honest about my own life and struggles. I'm not some dick there to pull rank.


Someone asks you a question on the radio, and you go.


You go right into your answer. You don't "um...ah...um...you know...um...well...at the end of the day...um...you know..."


It's that energy, the vim, the pace, the ability of the mouth to execute what's in the head with alacrity. That's how you have to be on the radio to be any good.


People don't have that. Orson Welles had it.


For a while--and even still--people think I'm reading something.


There really isn't much in the way of broken passages.


When you're on the radio, it's like playing hockey.


Everything is in the future.


It's not where the puck is


But where it's going.


You have to be able to see in front of you


Where you will come to later.


It's existing in multiple temporal places at once.


But with energy in the moment.


Energy is crucial to radio.


That doesn't mean shouting.


Energy is also crucial to writing.


Publishing people hate energy in writing.


That want that flat-toned, desiccated shit


The MFA voice


It's easier. Anyone can do it.


Okay, let's say you're in seventh grade


You have a paper, right?


You need to read it in front of the class


When you write the paper, you realize that it is going to sound flat when you read it.


You tell yourself that's just a concession of writing.


It's how it is.


It's not talking


A given. Comes with the territory.


But that's not what great writing does. There's no concession.


Hardly anyone has that ability.


They have the seventh grade paper reading monotone. They build in the concession for themselves.


This is easier to do


To teach


Imitate


They then stock the mags with it


No one likes it


But do what I'm talking about, and they can't recognize it for what it is


It's foreign


Doesn't bear the hallmarks


So, I come along with "The Roll of Words" or whatever. It's like they're used to Lawrence Welk. And here is the Beatles. Those chord changes.


So out it goes.


The work that people would actually love.


Then mix in everything else--the bonkers publishing record from someone entirely self-made, the hate, cronyism, classism, envy, fear, etc.


Justin Taylor: the monotone


laura v d berg


It's not about connecting.


You said it--it's showing off.


They want to prove they are smart


They're beyond insecure


But here's the thing


If you want to prove how truly smart you are


Connect with someone at the level of who they are with your work


That's what I do. That's why I never show off.


I mean, I could do their moves, the shit that sprains your eyeballs as they roll back in your head as you read it, because it's so embarrassing and forced.


But I am in service to that other person on the other side of the table.


And that is very different here.


What Granta takes, what APS takes, is all about what you said. It's not about connection, art, entertainment.


It's not about good writing


It's anti-writing


And it's anti-reading


And no one reads it.


Now, one might say these people read it


But they don't


They pretend to read it


They say something about it on FB


They go to a reading for a literary citizen photo op for a life that is less lived and more acted out as fantasy on social media


They shill


They get those things back


They don't compete


I want to tear the head off anyone else who writes. Well not literally everyone. But I want to wreck these people when they see what I can do. I compete.


I'm not some literary fucking citizen


Was Jordan a basketball citizen?


Beethoven a sonata citizen?


They wanted to eat people alive


Jesus, just saying this makes me want to compose a new one for the ages.


Anyway, this is a different mindset


They make it sound like chanting around the camp fire


One for all


But the reality is, these people, with their classism, are as discriminatory as anyone in America


It just doesn't impact that many people