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"The Roll of Words", George Floyd/Coltrane "Alabama" feature

Friday 6/5/20

I wrote a short story on Wednesday called "The Roll of Words." If it is not the best thing I have ever written, I have written nothing better than it. Was not what I set out to write. I awoke and didn't plan to write any fiction that day. I decided I would think up a story and write that, which I expected to be quite short. I thought I was writing that story, when it changed and became something else, and the entire thing simply came to me.


Earlier this week I wrote short stories called "You've Arrived" and "Laugh or Two." On Monday I wrote this feature for JazzTimes on George Floyd, John Coltrane's "Alabama," and what is happening in our country and in the world. I am proud of this piece. I think it says things that one will not find anywhere else, in ways that no one says anything, and it is itself art about politics and art and culture and right and wrong and it has balls. Also, heart. It's a big boy piece of work. That's not a gender thing--it's just an expression I use. One knows exactly what I mean by it. Especially if one reads the piece.


Here is the conversation on Downtown from Tuesday. I talk about the protests, hypocrisy, what is destroying our culture and our humanity as much as anything, and then I transition to what MLB needs to do to fix itself and the opportunity at hand for the NHL. I think that's some pretty good radio.


Yesterday I walked six miles, ran three miles Wednesday. Got shorn at the barber's on Wednesday as well. Prices jacked 20%. Quite a production--chain blocking the door, things you have to do with the mask while the barber works. I didn't know you were supposed to book an appointment in advance, but they had an opening and took me. I don't like to overheat with too much hair for summer.


I've put up some powerful and well-written stuff on Twitter of late. Past couple days. One thing, even, I can use for the start of a short story (it was a response to something Pratt said; it was pure poetry). Just looking at some recent posts:


Re: 10-15%: As Flannery O'Connor knew, a good person is hard to find. A good person isn't the norm--rather, the precious rarity. You fight to find good people, while fostering truth, connection, and art--if you're an artist--and believing that can rub off on the not-so-good.


"The Most Dangerous Game" is a story by Richard Connell newly in the public domain. A man hunts humans on his island. We now hunt humans digitally. I've noticed more of this during quarantine, b/c we can't be with our own thoughts. We project, we hunt. Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha.


The word “literally” does not make, further, solidify, or cap one’s would-be winning argument. Many people in this country seem to view that word as a magic button that grants them rhetorical victory whenever they desire it.


I have been thinking about screams in music today, and will write a piece on the subject in the future. For best scream content, I’d opt for the Beatles’ “Twist and Shout.” Lennon’s entire lead vocal is a scream, and McCartney has his big scream moment as well.


Sitting in a park and a man is cutting grass w/huge lawnmower. A great smell, cut grass. No. 2 for me. 1st, the ocean. 3rd is the underrated gasoline.


Now, imagine if anyone actually followed me? There are like 100 people right now. That's it. We've been through this before--my numbers. What appears to be a curse, but for which I have also provided possible answers. Most people--people with huge followings--offer you little on there. They offer idiocy from within the echo chamber. They repeat each other. They are very one-note, limited it what they can come up with, lacking in memorable ways to say it. I add to thoughts, I add to days, I add to perspectives. Your brain, your life. I do this now because at some point the worm will turn, and 100 will become 1000, and 1000 will become 100,000, and 100,000 will become half a million, and half a million will become two million. I have to have that faith. Probably worth a follow, though.


I think I can beat these people of this industry. I'm thinking it more lately. And I wondered why I was thinking that. I frequently have no hope. Or very little hope. But then I realized--my own work is convincing me.