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Ghost commas

Tuesday 7/21/20

Every single last thing about creating prose art makes complete sense to me. The order I see, the purpose for everything that is done, that is behind everything that is done; the engineering, the design, the architecture. It's like something that goes a billion miles-per-hour, with endless variables, has slowed down so I can deal in every last possible part at once, or as though there was some switch that was flipped in the universe, a click, and I can see it all as I compose, that I am in time and out of time, that I am alive and here and also somewhere else and here all the more so because of it. I have no doubt, I have no confusion, I have no failure to understand, I know the implications and impact of every last choice, I know the reason for why everything is done. Nothing is left to chance, nothing is occurring that I am unaware of, on level upon level, and it is all so clean and orderly in my mind. An animal has a natural environment; what I experience when I compose is something immeasurably beyond what a natural environment is.


The final sentence of a work I just completed stacks the commas on the left-hand side; save one word, the words will possess a single syllable; there are minimal words between the commas; it's a bunch-comma formation. What I'm then doing is creating ghost commas--because it's a ghost story--on the right-hand side of the sentence. That is, I'm suggesting to the subconscious that this is a comma-esque construction, though technically, grammatically, no commas should be included in that concluding portion of the sentence. On the conscious level, a reader won't think, "there should be commas here," but on the subconscious level, there will be a comma-noting, if you will. Like a sort of deja vu. By stacking the commas on the left, and using brief and single-note figures, what happens is a downhill effect, where the reader powers through the second side of the sentence with a different kind of momentum than they normally would. There are no gates now, no dam.


This kind of thing happens thousands and thousands of times a week for me. New thing. It's not "well, let's use that technique from before." That never happens. It's always new, it always comes to me, it's always highly evolved and sophisticated, and I always know exactly why it has come to me when it has come to me and everything I am doing with it. It's instantaneous. I could say, "well, it's news to me," because I never know what it's going to be--the story, the work, the work of art, is going to determine what the forms and techniques will be. Someone has said to me a number of times that my work feels both entirely planned out, and also completely improvised. There is both impeccable order, and deathless freshness. This is the kind of thing I think they are referring to, or it's part of the explanation, anyway. The designed and the organic.