Sunday, May 10, 2009

a couple recent drabbles

Valentine's Day Drabble

VALENTINE, that insufferable savant. His shadow dimmed my university years. How everyone was smitten with his genius, his Byronic prettiness. Then there was his Via Cardiaca, which was published to such ridiculous acclaim. 'A monument,' alleged one reviewer. 'An epic poem hewn from a vast and boundless imagination,' wrote the New York Times. Valentine was a rising star; I was the lint to his socks. Our senior year I decided that Valentine should never feel the joyous love he wrote about. So I stole his heart. Literally. On Valentine's Day. And that, if I may add, is true poetic justice.

'Lake Lashley'

AN OLD MAN once lived alone by a lake in the fold of a tall mountain.
Every day he took his knapsack and fishing rod and went down to the
lakeshore. The old man rarely fished, though; for some reason the fish didn't bite. Instead, he read. A stranger passing by might see an old man reading silently, then, suddenly seized by a violent emotion, the man might snarl, 'Abominable plot!,' and fling the book out into the lake. Down below--the stranger might not notice--schools of fish hovered over a thousand upturned pages with cold unblinking stares.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Have been thinking more or less on art and what it means to be an artist. The artist who creates with words, rather. Imaginative writing. Whether it stands solidly up there with the other arts, and the infinite different nuances we evoke with language. The trials of the master artificer, the unfathomable hours of ingesting new words and new ideas, piecing them together randomly, ever so patiently, always one step behind an epiphany.

With all this in mind, I've begun to entertain a suspicion that the greatest writing--the very best collections of words--is not really writing, per se, but art. Intricate patterns pressed into words. And just as there can be no living person free of prejudices and biases, no piece of imaginative writing is free of style. Perhaps no writing is free of style. This makes all the more a marvel a great work of fiction. It also leaves me to ponder whether or not language was actually the first form of art, instead of music or drawings. Certainly a few neanderthal men uttered a last poetic plea before being pounced upon by a saber-tooth tiger.