tramps over travel writers

by uzwi

Because, “mad or chill/obsessed with angels/or machines,/the final wish/is love”. It’s freezing cold in here & upstairs one of F’s students is playing Three Blind Mice on the keyboard over & over. I’m making lists of authors, carefully grouped. Ginsberg, Burroughs, Pynchon is one group, for instance; but Burroughs, Pynchon, Denis Johnson, Robert Stone, that’s a whole other thing. Turgenev, Chekhov, Mansfield, Isherwood, Bates, is an aspect or axis; Turgenev, Chekhov, Gorki, WH Davies, Genet, Eric Muspratt, that’s another. Are you going to put Burroughs in there with these guys ? How can you not ? Well, it’s as much of a problem as, Are you going to, at some point, admit that you need to make a bundle which includes Robert Stone & Charles Williams ?–which you should, really, if you think about it. The writer who appears in the highest number of bundles, over the longest number of years, is that your “favourite” writer ? Or is that the writer who appears in the fewest ? Or is the writer who’s your “favourite” the one you forgot when you were 13, because this is what happened: one day a mysterious book with no dust jacket, no blurb, no author’s name, no title on the spine, appeared on the library shelves; you read it & have been seeking it since in everything you read or watch or listen for, in everything that’s invented & everything that isn’t. You’ve been trying to write it into existence again, between covers that aren’t any colour at all. It was the Robert Johnson moment in your life, everyone’s had one.

Reading, Poe’s Children, ed Straub. Listening to: “Like a Rolling Stone”, on repeat. Here’s a picture for you, thick frost on the balcony, bright sun in the tideway just past these streets, a single contrail diagonal to all else; a piece of medieval-looking scaffolding, up against the next house along like a thousand years of logic. The usual obsessive compulsive morning in village Barnes.

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