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I've been thinking about picking up the pen again, starting to write again, rejoined the writing group that I worked with briefly last year, and have been reading more and more to get back into things, both my old material and some new authors to stir my writing style and habits up a bit.

I read some Sheri Tepper, which was fine, if mechanical writing. I re-read Tolkien and actually realized the depth of his work this time, rather than reading on the surface like I did back in high school and college. Last week, I read McCarthy. I was familiar with his work in film (No Country For Old Men, The Road) but I was not ready for the force of language, for the brutality of the written text, for the accelerated gravity of ones eyes that roll across a page and are unable to keep from reading the next line, the next word, and arrive at the terrifying and terrible events outlined in stark black ink against pale page, and the horror is naked and quivering in the dim bedside light.

Somewhere in-between the neurotic, womanly madness of Shirley Jackson and the meticulously architectural terror of McCarthy, somewhere been of lines of poetry penned by Leonard Cohen and the verse of Ian Curtis. There is a communication there, there is a conversation across genres, across decades, across media, and I feel like I am being informed by all of this dull, blunt terror. The shrieking madness of Jackson tempered by the steady time of Joy Division songs, the calm recollection of human failure noted by Cohen given flesh in unbearable prose in McCathy's text.

There is more, of course, there always is. These horrors are illustrated within the poetic imagery scribed by Alan Moore, there is the everyday apocalypse of having tea with Elliot, there are the cliffs in England atop jagged-stone beaches where a ship piloted by a dead man carrying coffins full of dirt smash themselves, there are swamps where cursed houses are sinking into black, sucking muck, there are forgotten castles where giant armor smashes the guilty, and a manor in Ireland where pig-creatures squirm out of the bowels of the earth, and...

And I am informed by it, attracted to it, absorbed in it. They paint a universe for me, and it makes sense.

A universe that compels only atheism in the face of planetary death, a present that demands walls to be raised around that which is loved, a time where the only shield from violence is apathy, and the only security is found in committing unfathomable quantities of violence mindlessly, effortlessly, thoughtlessly onto unknown entities squirming naked in the dark, screaming from respite in unknown babbling languages.


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September 2011
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