nerve + wire
April 11, 2014
Then again, the Internet is a new kind of barometer for keeping track of exactly how old you feel: how many things you don’t get, how many mini-Internet worlds you can’t find the door to; exactly how many crickets in the world you can no longer hear chirping. Unlike in generations past, when (I imagine) you just kept doing what you and your same-aged friends did, and aged into obscurity in comfort on a cloud of your own tastes and generational inclinations, until you died either thinking you all were still the coolest or not caring anymore about being cool, these days the Internet exists in part to introduce you to all these things you didn’t know about, but in part to remind you how much there is out there that you’ll never know about. The Internet is basically like being at a house party and trying to find the bathroom and opening up a door to a room where a bunch of kids are playing a game or doing a drug or having an orgy (metaphorically) or something and you get all flustered and say, “Oh, my God, I’m sorry!” and they all look at you like, “You pervert,” and you quickly slam the door shut. Everywhere you go on the Internet there are rooms you don’t understand, people playing games you don’t know the rules to, teenagers doing drugs you’ve never heard of and can’t even pronounce. And you just walk through the halls of this house party, aging in fast forward, until you open the one last door at the end of the hallway and it’s Death. Ha, ha.
April 10, 2014
You might come here Sunday on a whim.
Say your life broke down. The last good kiss
you had was years ago. You walk these streets
laid out by the insane, past hotels
that didn’t last, bars that did, the tortured try
of local drivers to accelerate their lives.
Only churches are kept up. The jail
turned 70 this year. The only prisoner
is always in, not knowing what he’s done.
The principal supporting business now
is rage. Hatred of the various grays
the mountain sends, hatred of the mill,
The Silver Bill repeal, the best liked girls
who leave each year for Butte. One good
restaurant and bars can’t wipe the boredom out.
The 1907 boom, eight going silver mines,
a dance floor built on springs—
all memory resolves itself in gaze,
in panoramic green you know the cattle eat
or two stacks high above the town,
two dead kilns, the huge mill in collapse
for fifty years that won’t fall finally down.
Isn’t this your life? That ancient kiss
still burning out your eyes? Isn’t this defeat
so accurate, the church bell simply seems
a pure announcement: ring and no one comes?
Don’t empty houses ring? Are magnesium
and scorn sufficient to support a town,
not just Philipsburg, but towns
of towering blondes, good jazz and booze
the world will never let you have
until the town you came from dies inside?
Say no to yourself. The old man, twenty
when the jail was built, still laughs
although his lips collapse. Someday soon,
he says, I’ll go to sleep and not wake up.
You tell him no. You’re talking to yourself.
The car that brought you here still runs.
The money you buy lunch with,
no matter where it’s mined, is silver
and the girl who serves your food
is slender and her red hair lights the wall.
October 30, 2013
Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse
Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse
October 3, 2013
Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth. Opportunity doesn’t do anything for creativity. Yeah it makes it easier, and you can get home sooner, but it doesn’t make you a more creative person. That’s the disease we have to fight in any creative field: ease of use.
September 10, 2013
I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.
September 3, 2013
The story was writing itself and I was having a hard time keeping up with it. I ordered another rum St. James and I watched the girl whenever I looked up, or when I sharpened the pencil with a pencil sharpener with the shavings curling into the saucer under my drink.
I’ve seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.
July 30, 2013
“So, there’s the Bechdel test.
I’ve got another test that works just as well. The Sexy Lamp test. If you can take out a female character and replace her with a sexy lamp, YOU’RE A FUCKING HACK.”
July 28, 2013
If you’re a writer, you already know it’s as fair as it is pretentious to describe writing as a challenge. If you’re a writer. If you have an honest job, here’s an attempt to explain: Remember that moment on your first day of work, when someone asked you to change the tanks, tie down the patient or feed the squirrel, and you realized, “oh, shit, I don’t know how to do that part yet?” That low-stakes fight or flight panic that stiffened your neck and tightened your stomach, because you had to figure something out so you could stop feeling like a useless asshole and get back to work? When you’re breaking a story, that moment is 12 hours long. When you’re not figuring out how to screw around, your job is to press your head against a transparent wall, staring at something you want on the other side. The worst part is, the wall is your own stupid limitation. It’s where your brain ends. It’s the boundary between what you know - which is currently useless, or else you’d be done - and the only thing useful, which is what you don’t know.