The Grass is Black/The Air is Pink

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feel me/read me/follow me

#Writing

The Lingerie Theory of Narration(1)

There are many excellent ways to learn about narration- reading John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction and Gerard Genette’s Narrative Discourse, for example-but perhaps the most accessible lessons about such writerly matters as description, overwriting, and opening and closing stories can be found by reading (well,reading is probably imprecise) the Victoria’s Secret catalogue, that ubiquitous ninety-page glossy circular that most women (and some men) find in their mailboxes about once a month.

Over the years, I’ve tried not too pay too much attention to these catalogues. Mostly, I’ve just pulled them out of my mailbox, eyes averted like a Puritan’s, and deposited them straight into the recycling bin. Just flipping through those pages can make the average girl crave Prozac- how those women manage to look that glamorous in just their underwear can be downright depressing. (For many men, I imagine, it’s another matter…) But not too long ago I started noticing the similarities between the VSC and writing fiction, how both rely on a certain level of artful seduction.

In his book Story and Situation: Narrative Seduction and The Power of Literature (University of Minnesota, 1984), the literary critic Ross Chambers reminds us that the storyteller’s primary job in narration is to “excercise power” over the reader, to make him want to listen. In order to succeed at controlling the “other”, Chambers says, a story’s speaker must both “achieve authority” and “produce involvement.” But how does the speaker provide enough information but not so much that the reader feels alienated or overwhelmed?

All writers struggle at some time with the problem of balance between authority and involvement, seduction and revelation. Beginning writers commonly struggle with how much description to employ, and more advanced writers commonly struggle with how much plot is too much or too little. And there is no better place to find answers to such problems than in the Victoria’s Secret catalogue, where the arts of seduction and revelation are so commonly and successfully practiced. After all, the secret of the effective lingerie ad is the same secret at the heart of effective storytelling: to provide, moment by moment, the illusion of imminent exposure, to give the viewer (read: reader) the uncanny sense that something fundamentally compelling is always about to be revealed. In short, it is the art of the tease, the craft of selective “coverage”,that works to enthrall.

Words by Julie Checkoway
To be continued…

Filed under: Uncategorized

THESE.THREE.POEMS.

early Wednesday morning
I was “attacked” by my muse
he stripped me naked, forced me to look at my reflection…
and when he finished he left me with
THESE. THREE. POEMS.

written: June 29, 2011

Filed under: la vie poesie, regarding myself, Uncategorized

Interview

“Pleased to meet you on this Wednesday morning.
Tell me, please, what IS your name?”

I don’t have a name, I sold it for a relaxing fall evening about two years ago
You see, for me, life is uneasy and it has heaped upon me piles and piles of stress which have worn me thin, made me weak and even more susceptible to failure than I naturally am…

“That sounds FASCINATING!
What do you do when you are NOT blue?”

I read when I’m green and my flesh turns inside out whenever my heart is jerked from a strange love… when I eat, my eyes are crazy cat yellow… making love I’m gray… when I write my vision is black… when I cry my tears are white like milk… when I’m hurt, my hair turns red but yes, when I strongly desire the sweet kiss of death and my soul is numb and my heart is box-xhaped, I’m blue

“Tell me who your friends are…”

Well, me and coffee meet absolutely everyday… it helps me write poems or so I believe… sometimes, even twice a day… Tea I try to meet with every evening before I go to sleep, the bitch soothes me, what else can I say… Sadly, all of my poet friends are dead and a few are suicides… My best, best friend is alcohol and the things that it makes me feel, words cannot explain… it makes me numb but more in a liberating way…

“What sounds do you hear?”

I hear many sounds… I hear the wolves of Russia… I hear the secret language of deers… I hear the dreams of enfant children… I hear the poems of the insane… I hear the questions of the dead… I hear my lost childhood stumbling around in the dark… I hear my heart banging against my ribcage when I’m trying to sleep

“Where have you been?”

Been? I’ve been nowhere but lost… swimming in the vast sea of Confusion and I admit I can’t swim, therefore I’m blindly drowning… I’ve been alone in this life, searching for my other half but only finding skeletons, and I wonder what that means…

“And finally, where are you going?”

I’m going to be insane, one day, I plan on throwing my senses into the wild… I await eagerly for the buckled straitjacket, the sedatives and possibly, the padded rooms… I look forward to hearing MY music and seeing only what I want to see when I look into my cup of orange juice, that I’m to drink when I take my placebos…

written: October 20, 2010

Filed under: regarding myself, Uncategorized

‘Poem’ Labhshankar Thacker

The world is fast asleep
under the blanket of the adjective.
Shall I wake it up?

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

An Attempt at Rebellion

I wonder if I should just cry
when he touches me, making my body shake,
thinking about the fallen rose petals
underneath my window

Emotions tangled like spaghetti on a plate
I don’t know about him, where his Love for me ends, where my Love for him begins

I wonder if the poem that I wrote
after meeting him, was actually
about him…
His lips on my skin, I close my eyes
His hand on my thigh, I let him come in
to my life

written: June 14, 2011

Filed under: desire,desire,desire..., regarding myself, that crazy,little thing called love, Uncategorized