Through Wars and Hangovers

17 Mar

Oh don’t get me wrong, I am un-inspired most of the time. Just like the rest of us. I make spelling mistakes. Can’t remember the definition of crepuscular. Turn left through a red light. Haul bags filled with processed foods and cheap wine up six flights of stairs. It’s not simple walking across the floor to a cracked mirror. Looking at yourself in the mornings. After wars and hangovers. Bloated and bloodshot eyes. Everything is fragmented and the pieces cut into the spleen, leaving me un-inspired; simply hired here. I know what matters most is how well you walk through the fire, but I am a coward. I don’t wish the fire to be there. I don’t want to have any kind of courage.
There’s a man down at the convenience store, an Indian man from Chennai, who says it like this:
–Noncent.
Nonsense. It’s how he pronounces it. Noncent.
–Gimme a pack of Basics and a lottery ticket.
–Good luck, sir.
Noncent.
What’s placating about lack of inspiration, idling, my life, is the weird contentment. Not really a happiness, I wouldn’t call it that. More like an inner balance to make up for all the fights, the wars, the back alley muggings, the hours spent drinking trying to run away from monsters. Cajoling and nursing the condemned, the wounded, the insane. Hangovers. Hospitals. Crippled men with homemade signs asking for money. Factories. The road. Stale, yet fluctuating factors. This weird balance settles for everything. Even age; old age.
Age is the total of our doing.
And un-doing.

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3 Responses to “Through Wars and Hangovers”

  1. dr. zombieswan 17/03/2008 at 6:44 PM #

    one of the students who was at the poetry club meeting last night was talking about how he likes flash fiction (he’s one of my former students; quite a good writer & a favorite). But we sort of discussed how close good flash fiction can be to a kind of poetry.
    It’s been a long time since I did much flash fiction, but right now, the poetic muse seems to be favoring me a bit. Anyway.

    Your comment of juxtaposing feminism & porn– I didn’t quite think of myself as doing that but I guess I do/did. I’m one of those “sex positive” feminists, but I don’t like “icky” porn–which is what the blob of sex organs did for me. Creeped me out.

    But yes, it’s too complex of a conversation for blog comments. There’s a good collection of essays on this called Jane Sexes it Up edited by Lisa Johnson. Anyway. That’s a good intro to Third Wave feminist thought on it, should you be so inclined to foray into theory on it.

    Now, to go grade a stack of awful papers. At least I can do it on my porch, with a coffee bev & maybe, if I get inspired, a hot cinammon scone. :)

  2. (S)wine 17/03/2008 at 6:50 PM #

    I didn’t imply you did that; I was just thinking outloud; wondering what Friedan et. al might be thinking (well, I think Betty passed in ’06) is going on culturally right now. I see many of the pillars of early feminism being taken down by aggressive advertising as well as television programs heavy with misogynistic ideas and philosophy.

    I think flash-fiction is something approaching modern poetry, only in my opinion, modern poetry ought to be even more urgent and short. It’s almost like: flash-fiction approaches modern poetry approaches the haiku. And so, the past is new again.

  3. Slyboots 17/03/2008 at 7:34 PM #

    To chime in on this one- I think it’s kind of sad that we got saddled with a main cultural religion that hates sex. No healthy incorporation into the zeitgeist – just this aversion/guilt thing. Feh.

    I blame God. so there. Now on to some coffee and my own rant of the day.

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