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Monday 6/21/21

* Have started the John Coltrane/Ascension feature for JazzTimes. Should go quickly. (What doesn't here, right?) Have a lot of it done in my head. Need to get that in, and this bundle of essays off to The Smart Set.

* I worked on many things yesterday in my head while walking. There will be a new story called "After Over Starts," which will be in sections. There are several sculptural stories I've done of late that are autonomous but also can work as a series--"Transitionings," "In-Betweens," "Coalescences," "Catharsi." The stories are comprised of sections with different characters--though "Coalescences" is the exception, with one woman being the central character throughout the sections--who illustrate an example of the kind of unit of life measurement stipulated by the title. In "Transitionings," for instance, everyone is in a period of transition, and we see how the sections knit up, in the macro sense, to present a life that subsumes the lives we've viewed on the micro level. The unit of measurement in "Catharsi" is the catharsis, which takes surprising forms--forms we'd not consciously think of, in some instances, as constituting catharsis. "After Over Starts" works as language as a noun, but it also works as an adjective. Depends how we wish to read it, and hear it, because it's deliberately euphonic. The story will be about how life is lived when that which had been determined as the life--the principle point of existence at a space in time--is determined as over. Or cannot be denied as over. A lot of what life actually is is what happens after over starts. We might also call that period a new beginning. It depends how we look at it. The space we are in emotionally. Mentally. Spiritually. Sexually. Physically. How we view our planar field, and how we're able--or not able--to view our planar field. This story will include, among other things, a wolf in the wild, and aliens in a forest. And a blues singer. A homeless person. A little girl with a dead grandmother. A trip to Santa's Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire. Two women at a bonfire. A school custodian. A racist internet troll. And more.

* I worked on "Up the Sea" and "Elvis Is Admirable" in my head. Came up with another story about a man ostensibly bailed out of jail solely for the point of impregnating the woman who bailed him out against the racial backdrop of 1960s Boston, with the man planning escape by getting out of town, but becoming absorbed in something else without meaning to at first. I have to work out more of it. The characters will tell me. I also began working through a horror story called "Possession Date," and have struck the tone and located the driver.

* I have to fill out an author questionnaire--I think it's for marketing purposes--for the Scrooge book that is coming December 1.

* "Head to Give" torches Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a work of art. It's a perfect story and so clean in its lines of perfection--it reminds me of "First Responder" this way, though the stories have little in common beyond their quality and their deft-dealing with--and revealing of--truth. I sent it to more places like Lit Mag, The Sun, and American Short Fiction where it will be ignored, even though it is better than anything they will ever receive or publish, because of my name, the concomitant hate, etc., and how they just hook up a certain kind of person and pretend it's about anything but this.


* It's later now. Wrote the entire Coltrane feature. 2700 words. Filed it. It's a little bit of money. Not much. Some part of me is always thinking about money. Some part of me is always thinking about Rockport. All of me is always creating. I ran a mile and a half. That's it. You get to the bridge to Charlestown, and you have to wait now for ten minutes for the light. You just run in place because of the construction. But I was just running mostly to clear my eyes so that I could come back and fix the feature. Someone asked me today how long someone else would take to do a feature like that. I don't know--six months? They'd talk about it, whine about it, brag about their "research," do fifty-nine shitty drafts. It'd be their thing for a while. Their project. Their ordeal. Two hours here. And it's infinitely better. But that, friends, is what builds the hate, the envy, the discrimination.

* Regarding "The Metamorphosis"--he doesn't do much with the story. There's not a lot of story there. The reputation is based on the gambit of the first line. It was novel. But the story goes nowhere. The entire enterprise is "dude woke up and he's a bug and I handle this matter-of-factly as the author." What "Head to Give" is absolutely destroys the Kafka piece as a work of art.

* Wrote a beautiful country song called "I'll Probe Your Ass, But Who's Gonna Probe Your Heart (Doctor's Decision)?"

* One must still try to laugh. (How great is Keith Moon?)


* Later again. Walked three miles.


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