A Requiem for My Wanton Words

The Purpose of this Delenda: A Limbo Between Digression and Deletion

During my last college semester I studied under a brilliant professor; he taught me to quiet my inner censor and to just write as I wish--despite my post-traumatic-professor-disorder which paralyzes me with self-doubt, these the war-wounds worn by so many students after years of terrible teachers, each either entirely apathetic or deeply entrenched within the utterly rote—their lectures just jaded regurgitations in Power Point, those slides cycling while the students fitfully sleep in-seat.I began writing a memoir for his class and I have yet to finish it; my writing has not been as clear and precise as it was while under my professor’s mentorship and I have more than doubled my original page length, though very little has actually been said therein. I am increasingly lent to my own obsessive compulsive writing tendencies. My prose has of-late been lost in loops and tangles of meaningless tangents—self-indulgent insertions of the beautiful words I love to taste in text.This blog is a collection of passages deleted from my memoir—an attempt to preserve wasted words, which are intrinsically sacred in spite of me. May they have their heaven here; may this final resting place, this Delenda, be better than nothing at all—better than true deletion.

If this unjust medium--this blog--be not the cure for my wild-fire writing, then surely The New School will be.

I was recently accepted to The New School in New York City for their MFA Creative Nonfiction Writing program for Fall 2010. Being accepted into such an esteemed university, being awarded such a coveted spot in their writing MFA program -- it's like winning the academic lottery. I have never been happier than I am in my dreams of a true academic setting. I know this will be the solace I have sought since being under the mentorship of my undergraduate writing professor.

This is me...

This is me...

This is me as well...

This is me as well...
In Death Valley, the Sand Dunes and Solitude Suited me Well.

May 11, 2009

Of Cuttlery and Cowards

~~Taken from "The University: A Solace for Scholars and the Academically Scorned" ...
Page 210 of Part 4--Restitutions~~

[Note: This tangent was likey inspired by a very happy memory of my last summer course (which I've mentioned extensively within this blog) when my professor brought his Veggie-matic to class and demonstrated how shoddy it was. I am not sure why I loved that so much.]

The relationship had been a fair-weather fling, and always I’ve thought these modern-loved romances—and specifically when we believe they are something more than such—are an act akin to those ineluctable late-nights when one succumbs to the seductions of an infomercial, peddling some shoddy product that you know you don’t really need yet for some reason purchase, knowing it will never look as-seen-on-TV; but everyone falls prey to the occasional con—those times when we are in a vulnerable state of mind, ever-more exhausted as the sleepless night wears on, and in a moment of weakness we wonder if this time could be different, forgetting that the last time left you with a slicer-and-dicer that did neither and, just like every bad breakup from our past, shiny new knives sell us on the hope that our last purchase was of the only set of dull-edged cutlery on TV and this twelve-piece set is surely the real thing—at some point, it’s safe to say, we’ve all been sold.

These relationships we try are like the late-night things we buy: we know, somewhere in our minds, the real price of $19.95, that shortly after receiving the item in the mail will break or bend or at best be used a few times before it inevitably loses its novelty, but the act of tossing the broken or useless gadget in the garbage would be an admittance of fault—making it impossible to deny the fact that this time was not different and it is never in life as-seen-on-TV—and because denial is so much more pleasant than buyer’s remorse, you won’t immediately throw it away; it’s likely that you will, at first, go to great lengths to make that impulse-buy seem useful, buying potatoes because, otherwise, your new spud-scrubber would seem rather silly. Like a recurrent relationship that becomes worse with each reconciliation, we all have times when we are decidedly diluted, trying in vain to make the slicers slice and the dicers dice until frustration drives us back to cutting-boards and knives. Sometimes we are strong enough to trash our past mistakes, our impulse buys and summer flings; but other times we’d prefer to keep pretending, to keep telling ourselves that the day will come when we’ll need that hand-held electric vegetable peeler, or the celebrity-endorsed rotisserie oven, and this is particularly true if the seller’s pitch was prefaced by but wait there’s more, in which case the item is sure to be so shoddily contrived and utterly useless, keeping it would have to be out of principal or perhaps because it hurts one’s pride to real-ize uselessness in the items we purchase posthaste.
Though the first time we find ourselves stuck with a 32-piece set of carving knives—everything is always a little lackluster once it’s on the other side of the television screen, from behind the glass and glow in narrowing-hours of night nearly anything can seem selcouth, but the splendor stays in television, and though the televised-items backlit in the gray-glow of screen-light will be a familiar kin of what you bought, it will be devoid of the splendor which sold you; in real life these limited-time offers that are able to thrive in a world behind our silver screens are instantly withered when removed, much like it is with wildflowers: if you’ve ever seen a field of them midsummer, flourishing in the place where they naturally belong, they seem far less fragile than they actually are, their deceptively adaptable nature, their strong, sticky stalks and stems blanketing entire acres of land where no one spread a single seed, and the sight of them as they rise to sky, outstretched in-midst a patch-work pallet of their kith, the poppies and marigolds, the assortment of sun-swollen hues painting in its path a spectra of sporadically variant colors, each flower a beaming fan of feather-light petals, and from budding tendrils to the fullest blossom in the season’s lull, always while in growth they’ll wear a vibrant hue, even in the wake of Fall, their unwavering luster has yet to yield to the passing weeks , most of the plants retaining the loveliness of spring throughout the warm-weathered months until slowly the summer-lush start to wane as gradually the earth becomes again winter-stark and barren, bewithered by an early autumn chill. But if you pluck a flower from the ground, severing its embrace with soil and sun, the plant will droop with grief, falling instantly insipid—dull where once it wept with light—and though it bears a likeness to the flower it was while enrooted with the ground, it—like the products we’re peddled on late-night TV—will never have again that quality that compelled you to pluck it—or to purchase it, as it were—thus we learn that flowers are lovely but best left where they grow, and equally is it so for an infomercial’s offerings, the veggie-matics and foreman grills like wilted wildflowers upon arrival at our door, far from the world behind the box and screen, a place aglow in an electronic-blue haze wherein even the most cheap and unnecessary contraption can be enticing, spellbound in perfectly pixilated pictures, slowly etching away at our better judgment as the images and mantras cycle repetitively, playing in hypnotic loops throughout the night.

When we do buy something useless, it’s hard to admit it to ourselves. In an effort to avoid doing so, we’ll hang on to these items for a while, keep them for a day never to come; out of sight and mind they’ll remain, banished to that drawer for the miscellaneous and misplaced—the actual location of Lost—the items within, an assortment of things to be forgotten, only found when you’re looking for something else, everything inside leaving only in mind a vague impression of having just-seen-it somewhere, but never will you remember exactly where, the item which you seek is surely to be found only when you no longer have need for it, and if we were to say there’s a place where things find themselves when we lose them, a definitive locale, acting like a cast-net adrift in the sea among many schools of swimming fish, this drawer, a place which captures the things that swim astray from that which we use every day, a mesh of things in the dark recesses of one’s home—lost in some place never looked, under a bed or in a box or a hollowed wall behind the cupboards. But always when searching for something useless I go to that drawer in the kitchen—and everyone I’m sure has such a place: a place meant for things without meaning, or the things we keep just-in-case—a small flashlight or a needle-and-thread, faded receipts with ghost-blue ink and wallet-worn business cards from strangers (a social exchange like handshakes you have to keep); it’s a strange place that seems to vanish from existence as soon as something is stowed away within, and even our awareness of what lies garbled inside seems a little less concrete while unopened and unseen, certainly more so than other places we keep things, unlike a chest of drawers where we keep our linens which never seems out of reach; when we get cold feet we know where our socks can be found, that chest of drawers never becoming a void in physical space, only vaguely real in mind like the items in a junk drawer where nothing lost is found; what is found—never lost.

If Lost were a tangible place it would certainly be the household junk drawer where useless things go to die, and, like the refrigerator light, it may or may not still be there after we close it off and walk away. Therein exists a whole farrago of these faddish contraptions—turkey basters and meats thermometers, juicers that don’t juice—along with take-out menus and junk mail, ambiguous parts and pieces that don’t belong to anything, renegade keys belonging to old doors with new locks, spare change…everything you can never find…all of this a jumble of junk in-waiting—a storage for those things in limbo, each in a state somewhere between necessity and trash. And there too is every single man I’ve ever wished I never loved.

~Rest in Peace, dear tangent~