Vancouver - Montreal
All Day I Dream About Sentences. I just walk around inventing things to say to people. I don't smoke, but if someone gives me a cigarette I'll take it and put it in my mouth. Smoking makes your teeth yello-ow. I would like to play the cell-o. I am feeling rather mell-ow. Quelqu'un a vole mon vel-o. The reason I find it so hard to write poetry is that there are too many words to consider. For example, "otiose" and "sesquipedalian." What makes it worse is that a lot of the words I know happen to be both sesquipedalian and otiose. I think simple words are best, like "nice" or "pretty." Pretty is the best compliment I know how to give, because if something is pretty, that's enough. "Pretty" is a real word. The word "real" is too complicated. It's an otiose word.
At night, after dreaming about sentences all day, I lie in bed in the dark, with a notebook under my head so that sentences will dribble on to the page while I'm sleeping (the ones I'm self-conscious about saying while I'm awake). I suspect that there are some truly astonishing sentences in my head, but sometimes all I get is ear wax.
I've been in conversations with people and they say. "I know what you are going to say." But I haven't thought of what I'm going to say yet. It's embarrassing. They are thinking so much faster than I am; they can predict what I'm going to say before I have even thought of it. I have to try to anticipate what I'm going to say next. They say, "Go ahead. Say it. I know what you're dying to say it." Meanwhile, my mind is racing. I have to come up with something, fast. I know that if I write enough sentences, eventually, all on their own they will evoke something I could never have dreamed of. And I have the feeling that, whatever it is, it will be extremely important. Perhaps it is more accurate to say, I want it to be important. But the fact that I want it to be important, this thing which has not yet been evoked, the fact that I am quietly passionate about its importance - that in itself is important.
As of now, I don't know what it will be, this thing that I'm going to say. But I have big ambitions for it. As I lie in bed, I dream about writing a powerfully incendiary text, which will incinerate all ordinary paradigms and ignite everyone it touches. Lurking under my bed is the uncreated conscience of my race, which I have accidentally forged in the smithy of my soul. It is growling ominously and threatening to leap out and devour the universe. The text that I dream of writing is a semiotic jack-hammer; it's a smart bomb; it's a runaway dildo; it's a vaccine against vacuous thought; it's an amendment to the constitution of the human psyche. It's fantastic machine which will systematically dismantle itself, and leave the pieces lying around in shuddering heaps on the ground, for anyone who comes along to pick up and take home.
It's a roller-coaster thrill-ride made entirely of toothpicks and spit. It's written in language as elusive and dangerous as a snuffleupagus with a taste for human flesh. It contains words, but they are words composed of elements previously unknown to science, It feeds your soul amphetamines and erects a no vacancy sign in the parking lot of your mind. It is so surprising that people say, whoa, is that a poem, or are you just happy to see me? The text I dream of writing is deceptively simple. It evokes the colour blue and takes us back to the childhood we never had. It's a lyric poem that won't stick to most dental work. It looks as though anyone could have written it, but there is a secret trick. It will induce a meditative alpha-state conductive to the occurrence of things you would never have thought possible, like truth and beauty. If I were to condense it into a single, epigrammatic phrase, it would say something simple and elegant and irrefutable, like: "My other car is an automobile." I dream of writing an epic one-liner, a one-liner so mind-blowingly pithy, which encapsulates the human condition impossibly straight and true like the geometric definition of a line. Then the immense gravity of the next line I write will, in turn, alter the shape of reality, so that my stunning, infinitely succinct one-liner will curve, and they arc that it describes will be a miracle as meaningful as it is breath-taking. The text I dream of writing is a magical, wondrous, incredible thing.
However. The text I actually write always ends up being a rather modest construct, like a homemade birthday card. My ability to communicate thought and feeling is both as immediate and as unreliable as breath. I trade in all this passion and what I get in return is something smaller and more efficient that comes with an instruction manual and has a tag that must not be removed under penalty of law. We must embrace and make the most of the globalization of text, say the representatives of major industrial countries. I'm an adult; I know the difference between fantasy and reality. Life is much easier now, thanks to advances in microbiology and text processing and distribution.
What I'm trying to say here is either so complex that it appears to be simple, or so incomprehensibly simple that you will never understand it unless I complicate things for you. Looking at Earth from the surface of the Moon, all you see is a perfect blue-green marble. When, in fact, as you know, the Earth is a reasonably complicated place. What I'm trying to say is like that. Or else it is the opposite. But enough about me. I like your hair. Do you want a bowl of Jell-o?