Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wordstop

Ever wonder why the words stop? Sometimes, they just stop. This is one major reason why I could never get a degree in English or writing (aside from the fact that I think degrees in creative writing are basically bs); bc when the words just stop, you can still make words. They're just really really bad words.

Back in the alter heim, my sister and I have a weekly open mic that we like to go to. It's about equal parts musical performance and poetry. There's this one guy who gets up there every single week and just rants about whatever he feels like ranting about. Bush usually. Artsy liberal leftists. Some weeks its more heavily musical, some weeks it's almost all poetry. Just depends on what the cowd is like that week.

We come for both, being from a family which is both intensely literary and vaguely musical. But I mostly go for the poetry. You get a lot of ammatures, who's work is quite frequently embarassingly painful, but just as frequently, just enough so it's funny. (Mean, I know. Look, I write bad poetry too. I just have enough sense not to read that stuff in public.) And then you get people who are so amazingly talented that all you can do is sit their in awe as the words stream from their mouths in a harmony of rythm and emotion and meaning that just blows you away; so that afterwards you're left turning over the phrases you liked in your mouth, savoring the taste, and so so frustratedthat you will never, ever be able to write anything like that.

It's usually after such experiences that I manage to write my best stuff. Inspiration, I guess.

But it's those long stretches of time when nothing flows, and everything sounds contrived and fake and cliched that get me. I tell myself I'm gathering material, that you can't write a good poem without having anyhing to write about. This is a period for gathering experience, not for being productive.

But it's frustrating as a motherload of maggots when you want dsperately to say something and have nothing to say. I need Divine Intervention: dear G-d, please pour Your words over me so that I may be a vessel for your Work. G-d writing through me, not me actually writing at all, just moving the pen across the page. That's all great poetry really is. That's all great literature really is. Even the atheistic stuff. Sometimes I think G-d wrote all that Himself, in order to bring forth a new aspect of the human condition; which is, after all, a microcosmic metaphor for G-d.

Sometimes I wonder if G-d is an atheist. Wouldn't that be something? A G-d as truly complex and confusing as we are. I know that it makes no sense and sounds like pretentious poser-intellectual babble, which is partly bc that's what it is, and partly bc it's currently after four in the morning. Nevertheless, the more I consider the idea the more I like it.

I should just go to sleep now, shouldn't I?

12 Comments:

Blogger Nemo said...

"It's usually after such experiences that I manage to write my best stuff. Inspiration, I guess."

Inspiration? When I went to school that was called plagiarism.

9:48 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

I think in order to write well, you need to experience A LOT of things. Deeply.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Tobie said...

I know exactly how you feel- the itch is there, but there is absolutely nothing to say. For me, it's compounded by hearing things I admire- they usually are anything I could possibly attempt to do, but taken to a level that I will never achieve.

2:32 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

nemo-
I never said that I re-write what I hear. THAT would be plagiarism. Something about the intensity of the experience triggers something, frequently by making me realize that I do have something to say, and regulating myself to a rythm helps me to get it out.

e-kvetcher
I agree.

5:06 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

Tenet insanabile multos scribendi cacoethes

8:31 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

e-kvetcher
um....thanks. you too.

2:54 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

well, did you look it up?

6:22 PM  
Blogger Pragmatician said...

They do stop, as a favour to us, no?
:)

7:33 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

e-kvetcher
no, I don't know how to look up a random phrase in a oreign language.
I'm a little inept with technology.

Pramatician
as a favor to us? how?

9:36 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

miri!

Google!

10:19 AM  
Blogger nuch a chosid said...

maybe, so we can appreciate more the talent Hashem gave us, when it comes back to us

1:34 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

e-kvetcher
Tobie looked it up and showed it to me. I think it's a really nice quote, thank you for sharing.

nuch a chossid
that's possible. also maybe to appreciate that it really comes from Him and not from us?

3:02 PM  

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