04 March 2011

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! Rewritten for Uniontown Area School Board

This is a public service announcement.

Know your rights--all three of them.

Number 1: You have the right to negotiate! Unless it's with the Uniontown Area School Board.

Number 2: You have the right to food money! Providing, of course, you don't mind a little intimidation, humiliation and, if you cross your fingers, association which leads to arbitration.

Number 3: You have the right to free speech! (as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it.)

Stolen from Joe Strummer.

03 March 2011

Kerouac's Thirty Essentials for Spontaneous Prose

1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
4. Be in love with yr life
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
22. Don't think of words when you stop but to see picture better
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
29. You're a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

Every writer should know these. But some are more essential than others.

Be in love with your life

I think one of my philosophies has always been that it's easier to write when you have a wealth of experiences to pull from. Maybe it was my way of justifying a perceived sense of inferiority when I started hanging out with people who had received undergrad degrees in English or lit. (Telling myself Hemingway was great because of the life he lived rather than the degrees he'd received.)

Even if it's not true, it's a hell of a good way to live. Making a life for yourself rather than living what was given to you. Not sure if I've succeeded, but I'm working on it. Music, travel, friends, food and drink, sipping Jameson on my front porch and strumming my guitar, watching the sun rise over the Atlantic or the Alps or the Alleghenies. I've always believed I had to have the life I wanted before I ever got published and became wildly successful. Because no matter what, I'll always have a life I love.

Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition

Haiku, lyrics, photo captions, texts. All of these are acceptable. Who says it all has to be straight prose?

Believe in the holy contour of life

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. That's all we really are. Accept and live like you know you're not going to see tomorrow.

You're a Genius all the time

Damn straight, I am. It's just that not everybody's going to realize it. But they will. Hell, yeah, they will.

01 March 2011

THE MUSIC AND PRESTON BLACK The Clash, Bond's International Casino, New York, NY, June 13, 1981

Here's another show from The Clash's stand at Bond's. Kind of pulled it at random out of a folder and had it playing while I finished a final draft on my novel.

I know I went into some of this a little before, but Joe Strummer really gives me what I need to get through some shitty times. This business of publishing books is merciless--nobody ever told me otherwise. But listening to some of these shows reminds me why I'm doing it. I'm working on something I believe in, and I'm not going to wait for a gatekeeper to tell me when it's alright to put it out there. If I could bottle just a little of the intensity Joe had for his music...

I've been writing for ten years. For the first five I didn't have a clue. Then I learned about agents and querying and marketing and writing didn't feel as fun. But the changing market makes it all very exciting for me again. I think it's the idea of putting out what I want, when I want without waiting for a marketing department to approve it. Writing this way approximates the way The Clash released their music--on their own terms, even if they lost money. That's why they're the only band that matters, and always will be.

Here's the setlist from http://sugarmegs.org/

The Clash
Bonds International Casino
Times Square, New York (Evening Show)
June 13th 1981

Trade > CDR > EAC > WAV > Traders Little Helper > FLAC

Disc 1

London Calling
Safe European Home
The Leader
Train in Vain
White Man in Ham Palais
Radio Clash
Corner Soul
Guns of Brixton
The Call Up
Complete Control
Lightning Strikes
Ivan Meets GI Joe
Charlie Don't Surf
Magnificent 7

Disc 2

Somebody Got Murdered
Police and Thieves
Career Opportunities
Street Parade
One More Time
Pressure Drop
Washington Bullets
Armagideon Time
Janie Jones
New York Burns
Junco Partner
Brand New Cadilliac
White Riot

Download here: http://www.archive.org/serve/Clash1981-06-13EveningBondsInternationalCasinoNYC/Clash1981-06-13EveningBondsInternationalCasinoNYC.wma