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What do you want me to do?

Tuesday 6/22/21

I didn't feel well last night. I had chest pains and shortness of breath. Also, a migraine. I didn't know if I might have a heart attack or it was the usual panic manifesting in yet another attack, so I took an aspirin and wrote a story called "Hedgehogs Are Dicks" and started another to try and pass the time of the attack. I'm really pushing the envelope these days. I am creating works of fiction that I look at and think, "Well, what the fuck, that is out there, never seen anything like that before." I'm able to go to certain places in my writing because of the exactitude of that writing. The surety of what it is putting forward. The total awareness of its own position. The definitiveness of work that knows what it itself is.

This morning I wrote a 3000 word short story called "Nantucket Potluck." It's a kind of potluck of thoughts from a man which, taken in totality, form a narrative--a kind of meal of words. You learn a lot about him, his make-up, his current family, the family with which he grew up, and also the world apart from him. This world that we live in right now. Parts of it are very funny, parts are disturbing, parts are devastating. It is all so real. Thing happen with, and play off of, limericks. Everyone knows one one about the man from Nantucket, whose cock was so long he could suck it, so he said with a grin with ear on his chin, 'if my ear was a cunt, I would fuck it.' That kind of gets the story going--slicing up the limerick, which pulls us into the real time of this man's life. The title is likely changing to "Get On My Lawn."

Also this morning, I put something into an essay on Joan Harrison at an editor's request. She was a film producer--and one of the first female film producers--who got her start working for Alfred Hitchcock as his secretary. The added bit was about their relationship. I touched up an essay on jazz pianist Freddie Redd and his 1961 album, Shades of Redd, as well as essay on Powell and Pressburger's A Canterbury Tale for Thanksgiving, for which I had to write a new ending, as what I had there before was a mess. Those three pieces, as well as essays on two short horror films, the Three Investigators young adult mystery series, and Otis Redding all went out in email.

Just touched up the story from last night, "Hedgehogs are Dicks," which is 630 words long. So, going back to Friday, you have that one, the 2700 word John Coltrane feature, today's 3000 word "Get On My Lawn," and the 2300 word "Head to Give."

An ungodly amount of work. An ungodly amount of art.

The line "What do you want me to do, to do for you, to see you through?" from the Grateful Dead's "Box of Rain" is the greatest line ever written in any song. It is the entire point of love, art, and life. What we, what you, what I, what art, does for another, seeks out what can be done for another, to help them along their way. I think "Box of Rain" is the best song a human has ever written. I feel so connected to this song like it has come from my own rib.


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