Lew Welch reminds us that while doing something utterly necessary and ordinary, we should pause for a moment and say aloud, So it has all come to this!
Excuse me for a moment. I need to meet my monthly quota in order to remain a Cantankerous Misanthrope in Good Standing. So let me say just this. I am in Salt Lake City. I drove here in two days by myself. I left Minneapolis last Tuesday morning at about nine, heading south on I-35. At Des Moines, I turned west on I-80. I passed through Omaha and Lincoln, and had a dinner of sorts in Kearney (pronounced, it turns out, not as keernie but karnie) around seven in the evening.
The Tracery of a Pattern
I am crawling slowly through Invisible Cities. It reads like so many prose poems, with each subchapter devoted to describing a different city. I am moving through it more like a collection of poetry than a novel. An odd, and uncommon, experience.
What’s more odd, though, is that I keep thinking of Richard Brautigan. A somnolence enshrouds Invisible Cities that reminds me of In Watermelon Sugar.
What would this world be like if Brautigan had fallen in with the Oulipians rather than the Beats?
Walter Ong, Orality & Literacy:
The personal diary is a very late literary form, in effect unknown until the seventeenth century… The kind of verbalized solipsistic reveries it implies are a product of consciousness as shaped by print culture. And for which self am I writing? Myself today? As I think I will be ten years from now? As I hope I will be? For myself as I imagine myself or hope others may imagine me? Questions such as this can and do fill diary writers with anxieties and often enough lead to discontinuation of diaries. The diarist can no longer live with his or her fiction.