What Are You Writing?

We often ask “What Are You Reading“, or, occasionally, “What Are You Not Reading?

Since many of us are not only fans of literature but active writers as well, I’m curious to know, what are you writing? Tell us a bit about your works in progress or what style or writing has your attention lately. Are you working on some new short stories? Putting together a poetry chapbook? Perhaps you’re working on a novel or even a term paper that’s due tomorrow. Tell us what you’re writing — and feel free to share a sample or two if you need some feedback.

62 Responses

  1. What am I writing?Mostly
    What am I writing?

    Mostly nothing, really.

    I’ve written a couple of CSS stylesheets lately, but those don’t really have a literary bent, per se, although when it comes to what I’ve been writing, those are the things that took the most work. I’ve also been updating my blog in a quasi-diligent way, so there’s that, I suppose.

    I’ve continued not writing poetry, which is a different subject entirely.

    I guess the truth is that I’ve basically hung up that whole writing thing, at least for the time being, because my attention has been entirely diverted elsewhere. Occasionally, I’ll go back and read one of the dozens of stories that I’ve started and never finished, and more occasionally still, I’ll pick at it a little bit, wondering how all those words ever flowed from me so easily. I’ve always been a writer in starts and stops, meaning that I only write when the words are there, and when they’re not, I don’t try to force them. I’ve had some ideas pop into my head lately, but they’re not ready to be written yet, so I’ll wait for them. I’m patient.

    So anyway, yeah. Not really writing anything, then.

  2. Ha ha ha very funnyNot sure
    Ha ha ha very funny

    Not sure what the point of this is, other than wallowing in our (my) procrastination.

    I’ve contributed to a few personal projects lately. One, a novel about 2 men separated during war who go back to live one another’s lives. Two, this on-again off-again story about a guy who dies and finds the next life to be just as maddening as this. Three, a poem that somehow melted into a blues song.

    There’s also the periodic sketch written from barstools getting blasted:

    There are funny people walking on the sidewalk not knowing that theyre funny wearing broad striped shirts and bad hats and boots that are too big and heavy bottoming out the uneven motion and wobble and sway of their drunken direction.

    Stuff like that. I’ve had worse stages of productivity in my life, I know. But I’m still not finishing anything.

    I’m also crazily waiting for inextremis to send me the latest issue of our journal to publish. Not going to try to explain that.

  3. Patience is a good thing. I
    Patience is a good thing. I agree with you about only writing when the words are there, and not forcing them when they’re not. The thing I had to learn was not to worry about it when the words aren’t there. They will come in their natural time.

    As far as ideas popping into your head, I’m looking forward to that, whenever you do write again, because I always enjoy your work.

  4. We-e-e-ell, now…I’m working
    We-e-e-ell, now…

    I’m working on a short story which, when it’s done, will give me enough stories for a 2nd chapbbok (five stories). I’ve got an idea for a whole series of stories all based around a certain theme, but I don’t want to give it away just yet. I’ve already written three of those stories (one appears in my first chapbook). I’ve been sending things to publishers, mostly magazines, but no luck yet. Going to keep sending them. For fun and relaxation, I love to do cut-up poems.

  5. rock candy stringI basically
    rock candy string

    I basically write about one new poem a month, usually by coming up with a single good line that I like and letting this line dangle in my mind like a string that you dangle in a glass of sugar to create rock candy. I’ve had a line in my head for about two weeks now:

    “poetry is true karaoke”

    … and I’m waiting for the rest of the poem to show up. Any day now, I think.

  6. right nowi’m noticeably
    right now

    i’m noticeably silent at the moment
    when there’s a jam in the air,
    i jam as if the words can’t wait to pass through the turnstile

    it’s a faucet situation – turn it on and it flows.
    turn it off and it doesn’t.

    plumbing. there’s a lot to be said for plumbing.

    thanks for asking.

    my next chapbook will be published sometime within the next while.

  7. ListsI’ve mostly been writing

    I’ve mostly been writing lists lists; grocery, to-do, books to read, books to check out, enemies, etc.

    And email.

    Also, I was reading excerpts from a really badly written, poorly puncuated self-published cd-rom ebook on how to be a better parent by some lady with one of the Christian family values organizations, and I came across a phrase, that, if I wrote poetry, I might use in a poem of indeterminate form and theme. I can’t remember the context in which the phrase originally appeard, only that, upon first reading, it did not convey the intended message of the author (some pious hectoring to do with responsible parenting, likely)due to minimally literate sentence construction and/or punctuation, seemed to me to say something entirely.

    Anyways, after all that build up, the three words are probably kind of boring, but they were: “. . . opportunities becoming parents . . .”

  8. SnicketyAhh! Great question!

    Ahh! Great question! A few weeks(?) ago, Levi posted about the Lemony Snicket books and I am now reading the 2nd one to my kids-who can’t get enough of them, by the way.

    This brings me to what I’m writing now. Inspired by these books and the effect they have, I’ve been writing what I hope to be a series as well, for children. A sort of combination Snicket/Spy Kids, called The Top Secret Adventure Series. It’s about three kids who discover they have super hero powers and how they end up on governmental assignments to save the world. I’m on the third chapter, the writing of which is going smoothly, I think.

    As I’m writing, it’s becoming a little too obvious just how much influence the Snicket books are having on me! I’m afraid I’m going to have to run it by Mr. Handler when I’m finished. The style is just way too copycat!

    Here’s the intro:
    (Notice the friendly little dig to Snicket’s first book, hehe)

    Can you keep a secret? It’s imperative that you do, because the words I am telling you today are classified top secret. No one is allowed to know this story except those people who are designated by the government as “Authorized Personnel Only”. And chances are that doesn’t include you. But if you promise me that you can keep this story secret, then I will tell it to you. Do you promise?

    If you do, this means that you can’t tell a soul. Not your father, not your mother, not your best friend. Not even your pet dog or cat. No one is allowed to know of, or speak of, the fantastic top-secret adventures of the Remington kids. The reason being is that they work for the government and their job is to save the world. Not even their own parents know about what they do. As far as the Remington parents are concerned, their children are above average-of course, no parent thinks their own children are just average-kids that go to school, have friends and play like any other children. The Remington parents are clueless as to the true identity of their offspring. Not that they are stupid, mind you. As you know, most parents are extremely smart and adept at parenting and many other facets of life, as I’m sure your parents are. But in the case of the Remington’s, if they knew of their children’s special powers and subsequent recruitment-or employment-by the government to vanquish all bad guys, then that knowledge might just put their lives in danger. And I’m sure you would agree that that would not be a good thing. God forbid anything bad would happen to them and their lovely children become orphaned!

    So you can imagine the pickle they’d be in if word got out about their top-secret activities. This is why I need your complete and total confidence in this matter. You are never to utter a single word about this story to anyone! Am I clear? Good.

  9. Mucho SongsMy roommate and I
    Mucho Songs

    My roommate and I have gone insane in the old membranes – we’ve started writing and recording dozens of songs. My contributions are generally written and recorded within the hour, so it’s pretty spontaneous stuff. An example:

    Once they get here what do they do?
    Open a bottle and kick off their shoes.
    And confess of their struggles with loneliness too.
    Pretty women come in but they’re just passing through.

    Of course,there are 3 more verses and a chorus somewhere in there, but time and modesty prevent me from tapping out the whole damn thing.

    Some themes explored:

    Good breakfasts
    Nice bootys (booties?)
    Suicide as sensible option
    “Leave me alone, ugly one-night stand woman”

    So there you have it. CD will be available in the summer. SIgn up now for the hilarity.

  10. Cut-ups, you say? Have you
    Cut-ups, you say? Have you ever read Tristan Tzara? That’s where Gysin discovered the technique.

  11. the statue got me hightoday’s
    the statue got me high

    today’s story is about sloths.

    lately i’ve been writing stories mostly about animals… but that’s a loose theme. there’s the chimpanzee that smokes, this conversation/playlet about a rhino, another thing about a rhino. (i dont even really like rhinos that much… they just appear sometimes.) fox in the henhouse, the bowerbird, an interesting pimp of a bird. chilean penguins. and ernest hemingway fights the demon bear.

    also i’ve been writing stuff about dirty bombs and apocalyptism in genral. y’know, when you live in a city with a target on its back you think about these things. writing about it makes me less nervous. sometimes my imagination is so vivid i cant bear to imagine.

    and would you believe it i’m also allegedly writing a western which i occasionally gaze at from afar. it’s about train robbery. i just got a neat train book for research. no covers but it’s called railroad avenue. this is actually my most important project. the one longest in the works. too long to admit now constantly interrupted by death and famine and the sky falling. but there are 175 pages and maybe another hundred to go. we’ll see once i finally fall into writing the ending.

    also i have a bunch of poems i wrote last year that are about missouri and new york city. a lot of nature poems. and things about the farm that is the home i’m from. ‘why i am a nomad’ is its name. sometime i need to re-read the 90 odd pages and pare it down and bam i’ll have a book of poetry.

    not to mention there are the corpses of a couple other books i wrote laying around the house. well, one a corpse and the other a via manuscript if you can take prose with line breaks and a serious study of negative space for 247 pages. eat your heart out amelia earhart.

  12. dream journalAfter literally
    dream journal

    After literally hundreds of resolutions over the years to wake up half an hour earlier and write down my dreams, I have finally stuck by my resolution. I always look for the absurd elements of dreams, to give me that uneasy feeling of strangeness. Like last night, one of my dreams was projected bent sideways. I was breath hold diving in the ocean, in the blue water, going sideways when I was supposed to be going down. They didn’t know I was a champion and I didn’t tell anyone.

  13. i write profuselylike a razor
    i write profusely

    like a razor cut up the veins in the wrist

    i’m working on a play/multi-media thing—13 scenes 2 acts 13 in the number of songs you can program in a hr-16 drum machine…it is bascially a memory play–inspired by williams with a healthy dose of the absurd…

    for instance

    jacob – a pot bellied Marlon Brando from Street Car, dirty jeans, no shirt.

    sophia -a petite pretty blonde wearing newer clothes
    Scene 2

    Jacob (leaves front door)

    Sophia (appears pulling a wagon down the exterior walkway, takes a bucket of water of her heavy wagon and throws it on jacob)


    Hmm…it must be raining.


    So what did you last night?

    Jacob (song)

    It is a dirty town with a dirty bar with alot of dirty people around she did a dirty deed on her knows and she said it tasted like head cheese all i can baby please realize a man gots needs.


    I didn’t ask you who fucked. Who did you fuck?


    You don’t want to know


    Kami. I told you you shouldn’t be putting your dick in her.


    I thought you didn’t care.


    I hope you used latex. In fact I hope you covered your entire body with 3 coats of latex paint.


    You knew didn’t you?


    I had a feeling. I could smell her on you. Damn patrouli oil.


    You used to like that smell on me.


    You can’t go forever doing shit like that. Can’t you grow up? Do the right thing? You are always fucking up. You must make it to jail once a month.


    Its all part of the art, baby.


    Art. What has your ‘art’ gotten you?


    A few publications.


    And you live in a run down shack, eating rice, getting stoned, drinking every night not giving a damn about anything but your room mate.




    Yes, John your baptist. Doesn’t he immerse you by putting ‘beer in your ear’ every time you pass out.


    It gets the eye wax out.


    Well you don’t seem to be hearing what I’m saying.


    Why can’t we be like the old days and just grunt and each other? It was so much easier that way.

    Sophia (begins pulling wagon down walkway she is struggling)

    Jacob (takes wagon from her and pulls it along with ease.) Let me help you I owe you that.


    You don’t owe me anything.I am the goddess of gnosis aren’t I?You should watch out why you make such an idol of me but at the same make no effort to remit your crimes


    Dear, Com’on You read ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ there is no right or wrong. Besides if they only keep a night in the jail I can’t be all that bad can I?


    Goddamnit Jacob stop pretending to try (takes wagon and stomps off)


    (Jacob reenters the apartment, John is on the couch half passed out, he enters rear window during S and J dialogue)

    How the fuck did you get in here?


    I heard the static out front and figured it would be easier just to come in the back way.


    Where’s Cam?


    Cam was here? What was all that talk about telling her sister that you would good? (Cam leaves via bedroom window)


    As far as I know Kamala doesn’t have a sister. She just more schizoid every time I sleep with her.


    Why don’t you get to think that she is her own sister and hook me up?


    What the fuck is that supposed to mean?


    You know what I wish. I wish I was a jelly donut filled with peyote so I could eat myself and trip.


    I don’t know if that is the most stupid or most brilliant thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life. Hard call. It reminds of the time you wished you had a vagina so you drop a hit of acid in it.


    That’d be tight.


    Why do we do this? I know tonight your supposed to get the bed, but I need to dig a few quarters.


    For what a bottle of thunderbird, rolling tobbaco?


    Lets just say i need to wish the sheets and the fewer questions you ask the better.


    You fucked her in my bed?


    Your bed? We split the $150 in rent together. It is our bed.


    Oh so do you want to share it?


    Fuck you.


    Why don’t you get back with her?


    With Kamala?


    Your not with her. You just fuck her when your drunk.




    No, lady madonna.

    (Jacob goes to bedroom gets the sheets and walks out, lights)

    Also a novel about a child of a late day beatnik (age 50 now) searching for his father trying to reject his philfering ways

    and a collection of the stuff on litkicks for a chapbook type thing

  14. No, Doc, I can’t say I have
    No, Doc, I can’t say I have read Tristan Tzara. I did read that Gysin got the technique from Tzara, so yeah, I should look into reading some of Tzara’s work. Oh, and, I almost forgot – I’m slowly trying to expand my short story, Time Fades Into Next, into a novel.

  15. Have you ever tried writing a
    Have you ever tried writing a cut-up poem?

    And I like the rock candy string metaphor

  16. I like the sketch sample. If
    I like the sketch sample. If I read that, I would want to keep reading.

  17. There are some really cool
    There are some really cool children’s books. Yours seems to be promising. I like how you bring the reader into your confidence. I haven’t read the Snicket books so I can’t tell if you’re using the same angle.

  18. Wipe-out: Reality versus
    Wipe-out: Reality versus Fiction

    Hola Litkickers!

    Right now I’m at work finishing off a Webinar script and a press release. Yawn.

    More scary, however, is that I have been working on a novel I started on Litkicks called “Watertown.” It’s about a flood wiping out my home town. While the idea sprang from two actual floods in 1952 and 1993 that nearly wiped out my hometown, I am now nervous about sending it off for publishing given the worldwide attention on the Asia Tsunami tragedy.

    In Watertown, there’s a chapter where I describe the flood itself, including people hanging on for dear life to trees, bridges washed away, buildings floating away, livestock drowned, looters being shot, fires, explosions, and other related disasters.

    I’m worried now that some publishers might think that I got the idea from the Christmas Tsunami, though I have proof I started this long before that event.

    My concern is the perception some people might have about me that I am simply planting my flag in someone else’s major wound.

    Hell, I just wanted to wipe out my hometown and all the bad people in it…and pepper it with a story of a stranger returning home after a long journey, mixed in with a little Zen.

  19. yeah, jammer, i know just
    yeah, jammer, i know just what you mean about looking back at something you wrote and saying to yourself: “where in the hell did that come from?”

  20. erotic performance poemsI am
    erotic performance poems

    I am in the process of putting together a performance set of 15 to 20 minutes worth of erotic and love poetry that will be performed at the Artists Housing Gallery here in Baltimore on the 12th of February.

    I did a Love poetry reading back in 2002 at Funks coffee house that was spiced with LitKickers and had a blast.

    I am also setting up a web site called phantomdwellingplace.com that is an ongoing writing project and I’m in it for the long haul. The show should be going full tilt by spring.

    My big commercial project at this time is writing descriptions for mine and my wife Carol jean’s artworks that I am selling online at my new selling site Gallery-1209.com.

    Other constant poetry outlets for me include Litkicks of course, plus Arcanum Cafe.com, Studio 8, the Scroll, poetry.nu out of Holland and my new writing site at the Insane Writers Guild, add in my notebook writings and my daily reports in the construction world.
    Check out my poetry in the new Australian e-zine http://www.malleablejangle.netfirms.com/

  21. Well, I think…that I am
    Well, I think…

    that I am editing this manuscript to death! So I may as well just send it in…

    (I’m getting kind of nervous about this whole ‘book’ thing to be honest though.)

    Also, I’m working on a new design for my poetry chapbooks display cases. The chapbooks did sell well over the holidays, so that’s good!

  22. yes judih, you are jam
    yes judih, you are jam supreme and to jam with you is pure pleasure, loved your last e-poetry collection…..mark

  23. keep sending them Bill, the
    keep sending them Bill, the world needs your positive spirit…wired

  24. I’ve had huge gaps in my
    I’ve had huge gaps in my writing adventures, then in 1995 I had to really blow off some steam and I have not stopped since……Mark

  25. Taking a thought, a phrase or
    Taking a thought, a phrase or an inspired line and letting it flow,
    sounds like the right ingredients to me Levi…..Mark

  26. Sell….dinero….mullah….s
    Sell….dinero….mullah….sounds like you’re on track to me Sylph, keep those chapbooks coming…..wired mark

  27. Yeah Firsty, Bill’s right
    Yeah Firsty, Bill’s right that’s a very interesting start. Keep it flowing and growing…..mark

  28. Well mindbum, this sounds
    Well mindbum, this sounds like some good stuff. Especially the 247 pages of negative space. Maybe you’ll have to air that one out at the Bowery.

  29. thanks marki wrote the
    thanks mark

    i wrote the monologue for the next scene. i have figured the first 7 out.

  30. Isn’t it bad luck?Your
    Isn’t it bad luck?

    Your correspondent believes it’s bad luck to write in detail about unfinished work because all that really matters is finished work that’s ready to be published, because, after belonging to a writer’s group of middle-aged unpublished in 1989 and constantly being panned–the other members did nothing–continued on solo. Writing is more important than talking about writing or writing about writing.

    That said; your poster has 3000 words finished in longhand with 27 pages of handwritten notes to go through and a 600 word kernel that could be something big and hopes he hasn’t jinxed himself.

    Also, your correspondent is waiting on word back from someone interested in the second novel and never bothered with query letters for the third because it was more important to get some good work in the pipeline. The present work is more like the old than really good shit. The kernel holds promise.

  31. Jota! Good to hear from you.
    Jota! Good to hear from you. Maybe you could include a brief background in a cover letter to publishers when you submit the novel, not so much geared directly to the tsunami, but to convey the authenticity of the experience, and somewhow throw in your misgivings about submitting it after the tsunami, or something. Because I will tell you this: The chapters of Watertown that I’ve read are some of the best fiction I’ve read on the internet. That’s right!

  32. tzara was an amusing fellow.
    tzara was an amusing fellow. and the manifesto is neat. but his poetry actually sucks…for funny imported eastern europe word play try eugene ionesco. ‘jack, or the submission’ is my favorite and my the everything is cat comment comes from that…

  33. what they said. Go
    what they said. Go Watertown
    If you want witnesses to attest to the fact that your flood was an authentic pre-tsunami piece of disaster, we’re here ready to swear for ya.

    (and you know we can swear)


  34. Me? Write?Well, I haven’t
    Me? Write?

    Well, I haven’t been working on anything worthy of a Pulitzer, that is for sure.
    I have been writing in my dream journal.
    Here is an example:
    I am in a group – somewhat like bootcamp – and I am being ostracized. No one likes me and I am afraid. There is writing on the bathroom walls about me. I search for my husband. There are whisperings of brain scanning MRI’s but it is decided that I am not worth the trouble. I find my husband in a small room lying in bed with a girl who from the back looks like someone I knew in bootcamp. I say something to him to the affect of : “Is that the best you could do? She’s not even pretty.”
    He looks stunned, the girl turns and faces me, and she is actually a beatiful blonde who I recognize as his ex. I flee. I run into a male friend who is also unliked – he wonders why. I say its his whispering, that people think he is talking about them. Then I tell him I don’t know why my husband did this to me, the others don’t know me, but he does and he is supposed to love me. At least we didn’t get married.
    The end.

    I also have continued collecting the words of others. My recent favorite: Fearless, a song by Pink Floyd.


    You say the hill’s too steep to climb
    Climb it
    You say you’d like to see me try

    You pick the place and I’ll choose the time
    And I’ll climb
    That hill in my own way.
    Just wait a while for the right day
    And as I rise above the tree lines and the clouds
    I look down, hearing the sound of the things you’ve said today.

    Fearlessly the idiot faced the crowd
    Merciless the magistrate turns ’round

    And who’s the fool who wears the crown?
    And go down,
    in your own way
    And everyday is the right day
    And as you rise above the fear-lines in his brow
    You look down, hearing the sound of the faces in the crowd.”


  35. trifle busy, i’d say.The
    trifle busy, i’d say.

    The erotic poetry gig sounds exciting.

    And good luck with all your other ventures, mark


  36. Letter to Joe.My good
    Letter to Joe.

    My good brother,

    I’ve read that after rain falls,
    something like seventy-percent
    of it re-evaporates, forms another
    cloud and rains again somewhere
    downwind. It’s raining today in
    Brooklyn, and I still haven’t
    eaten anything, though I’ve been
    laying awake in bed at least an
    hour. I wonder if you’ve made it
    back to Kwamhlanga, yet? And
    what’s your weather?

    I imagine you must be baking,
    summertime ragtime blues,
    dust on everything, that’s how
    I imagine South African winter,
    anyway, like India but perhaps
    more dust and less excrement?
    But I suppose half the dust
    in India, especially
    along the railway, is derived
    wholly from human excrement, so–

    From your last dispatch, I see
    you had the good sense to find
    your way to an ocean– there’s
    an exhibition of a South African
    artist, at the Met, and he drew
    a cartoon of a beach somewhere,
    I think maybe I caught a glimpse
    of you in the background, the cliffs behind you down the
    strand of sand, the wooden changing-rooms, the folding canvass
    beach chairs and that hotel with
    a bar/patio on the second or third
    level; that’s where I can see you,
    Joe, drinking at the rail, watching the sea. Did you know some etymologists believe the word
    “soul” is derived from sea, or I should say “Saiwa”– the logic is
    that the spirit of a man passes
    over the water coming-in to be born, and makes the voyage back
    when he dies. I rather like that
    image, don’t you? Did I ever tell you my sister’s name means the Watcher by the Sea? And I of course
    am the Patron Saint– do you remember standing at the edge of the world with me, in Ireland? That was a fine time, Joe, we should do something like that again– lately I’ve been thinking about making a trip to Siberia– but I suppose you’ve had your fill of desolation, maybe we should keep to Europe instead, drink our way through France and Germany, perhaps sober-up in Spain– there’s a nice small city called San Sebasitan, that’s also on the sea, and I think that might be a good place to recover. Or alternatively we could stumble
    through Italy.

    Or maybe we should concentrate
    on the former Easter-bloc; I’ve never really wandered that way,
    and I think it might be nice;
    perhaps the advertisers haven’t
    yet managed to suck the life
    out of everything, the way they
    have in America, where a woman
    doesn’t know she’s beautiful unless she’s wearing a name on her face her feet her——-, and a man
    doesn’t believe he’s alive unless
    there’s a sound-track and a camera angle. Yes, America, where half the population gets its romance from day-time television; our country tis of thee, sweet land of
    liberty, let freedom ring– or is that somebody’s cell-phone?

    I’m half-convinced that the only real Americans are the ones that feel compelled to leave; the real
    America was always a frontier.

    Anyway, I can’t exactly talk at
    the moment, can I? I’ll just get
    going and buy myself the daily
    doughnut at the corner-shop, with
    a cup of coffe that tastes like grinds smothered in sugar; yes,
    I am an American, and as a matter
    of fact, my cell-phone is ringing–
    just let me take this call for a moment, brother–

    Hmm, it’s God… He says…

    Oh, He’s just calling to say hello. He wants to know how you’ve
    been doing, Joe?

    Haha! That’s a good one, God–
    yeah, take care of Yourself–
    I’ll see You around later, okay?

    Well… where was I?
    Oh, yeah– I should really get
    something to eat…

    Anyway, I hope this finds you well,
    Joe– and maybe you should get something to eat too,

    Your friend, as always,

  37. heh. plumbersxactlydigging



    digging for aqua vitae


    miss you and all my Litkick friends

    yes, i do indeedly do

  38. wowa poem a month?yeah, LeviI
    a poem a month?

    yeah, Levi
    I know just what you mean

    sometimes i hang on to a line for so long

    and when the rest finally, it comes, it comes
    like the torrents of spring

    thank you for providing this site

    you keep me sane and i thank you for refuge for all us creative nuts

  39. Oh, man…I kept thinking
    Oh, man…
    I kept thinking maybe this was something by Hemingway, but I know they didn’t have cell phones back then, so…hambone, indeed, this really grabbed me.

    I also checked out your profile and all I can say is:

    It’s voice was high but smooth
    Like the tubular muted pitch
    Your get blowing into a bottle or jug.
    It said, “I am Mister Plecostamus!
    “I have painted the oranges blue
    “And filled the washing machine with baloooons!”

    And Mister Plecostamus laughed
    With a giggle and a snort,
    Fish eyes twinkled, looking eye to eye
    With Jamie, for he was just that tall, as his black whiskers flicked water.

    Wriggled out of the aquarium wearing a top hat, he did.
    Jamie shivered.

    “I am Mister Plecostamus!
    “I dallied in the grass
    “And ran a fishing line around your Bicycle!”

  40. I am writing…Right now I’m
    I am writing…

    Right now I’m in the beginning stages of adapting a journal I wrote on a month long canoeing trip in northern Canada last summer into a series of travel essays or some such thing. I’d be happy to send the journal itself to anyone who wants to read it.

  41. Writa’s BlockOh, gee. I’ve
    Writa’s Block

    Oh, gee. I’ve got this idea in my head. I’m sure at least half the writers out there get an idea or want to write “the novel”. “A” novel. A book of stupendous creativity, and glorious feat. A few roadblocks are in my way. You see, I think that nothing has occured exciting enough to write about at present. I’ve already covered the past in short stories never published, never will- and I don’t want to write about people and places I know, at least, not as of yet. And so I think that leaves me the options of writing of passing by occurences or inanimate objects. But I think a book about foreign tourists walking by and my microwave would be boring. Oh, well, some write books about details and their phone conversations with people maybe that’s boring they still do it. I was watching Wonderboys and I was a bit jealous of that Grady Tripp character- complaining how he’s written 2,000 plus pages and cannot stop. Oh to be my problem. So I’ll either wait for something exciting to happen and let the novel unfold, write a tale of ridiculous fiction, or write a book about how I can’t write a novel. Sounds good!?

  42. Yeah, Tzara was a unique man.
    Yeah, Tzara was a unique man. Have you ever seen what he looks like? He looks eccentric, and very cool in a Poe gothic way. I don’t think his poetry sucks so much as his Dada vision never turned out right, and he settled into surrealism. I would say what he left the community of literature with was a sense of experimentation like none before. I think the cut-up style can be used to explore new combinations of words never before thought possible. It’s funny how Kerouac could take this, and do ‘automatic cut-ups’ in spots throughout ‘Visions of Cody’. But, sorry to say, Tristan never did see his ‘boom boom.’ He’s still fun to read for mind expansion and variety…

  43. Thanks for the comment, RE:
    Thanks for the comment, RE: Mr. Pleco., brings to mind a friend from my own childhood, a lovable
    Sucker (yes he was a bit of a Rube,
    pressing his fish-face against the glass of the store’s display).
    Hadn’t thought of him in years–
    I was very fond of him at the time, though, and used to sketch him in profile. He was a country boy from the interior of Brazil, one of millions struggling to get-by in the concrete climate of Sao Paulo; he made his living washing windows, as did many other boys from the trash-town on the hill, the slum. But I don’t mean to get sentimental about any of this… Mr. Pleco., though, I can’t quite remember what became of him– I suppose he must’ve died, and perhaps I buried him.

    Of course in all of this I’ve only just been describing the life of a fish, and perhaps it had been damningly glib of me to mention
    the life of a “Sucker-fish”, in the same wheeze as the lives of
    the poor.

    But back to my friend, Mr. Pleco.; to provide a brief memorial, he was
    perhaps four inches long, broad-bodied slung-low in an elegant curve like that of an expensive sports-car; he was charcoal gray;
    and of course his most prominent feature, was his ooing mouth, his great gob, his “sucker”; and although he never (to my knowledge)
    filled any of our household appliances with balloons, he always struck me as being a more substantial creature than the other inhabitants of my aquarium;
    I admired that he placed himself against the glass, as if he were an old man sunning himself
    in the daylight of his parlor.

    And to describe the young boys
    from the slum; at most one or two
    articles of clothing, often only
    one, that being polyester shorts,
    typically blue or red; without shoes or sandals; bearing a single bucket between the lot of them, and various rags which perhaps they might have been wearing otherwise. I often only saw them out of the corner of my eye– I cannot claim to have been an especially empathetic child, nor to have been gifted with any understanding of the world that had brought them to this condition. I was simply another rich little bastard, lucky to have been born in the right country to the right pair of people. I am ashamed when I think about it– the world, I mean–
    I am ashamed that the world which
    I carry within me, can only note
    the superficial, surface details
    of the millions of lives I have witnessed in brief, blinking encounters– I am ashamed that I can only think to describe the clothes of these boys, who were
    WHO ARE the same age as me, I am ashamed that I never once thought to look them in the eye–

    I am also ashamed that I never asked myself what it must have felt like, to be a fish,
    even a fish I admired– that particular curiosity only came to me late, and almost by default,
    whittling away the hours in front of an aquarium in an air-port terminal in New Delhi–

    Anyway, I suppose I’ve rambled
    enough about nothing.

    May this find you well, Bill,

  44. thanks j…..my mind just has
    thanks j…..my mind just has a need to expand, gotta keep on moving, gotta get on down with sculpture and the words.

  45. DreamsToday I had the day

    Today I had the day off. Time to time I like to take said opportunity & lay in the sack as long as possible, recharge my batteries. I do so because I have the most crisp & realistic dreams. Some fashioned from experiences I have had, others are not. Some involve real life friends & foes, most are fictional characters of the truest kind- the sub conscious mind. In this world of worlds things still go horrible awry, & events play out better than I could ever hope as well – they are the product of my own brain.

    My craft & hobby is writing, been so since I was 14. I have done a good job by pulling all my inspiration from the conscious world. If I could only tap the world that exists only in my sleep! I believe it would be a pleasure for any to read. This is the kicker. When I awake & the bits of dream detail rapidly become like a memory-once removed, like a memory of a memory, as if I had been drinking. Almost like, I try to access the information & get this message. Sorry Consciousness cannot open this memory because it does not know who created it. I believe there is a code in all our dreams. Artist or not, there is something going on at night whilst we sleep that is all together the other side of existence.

  46. Yea Bill, do the cut up
    Yea Bill, do the cut up thing. I had fun. Do you still have those?

  47. A Play ExcerptI’m just a
    A Play Excerpt

    I’m just a teen, a novice writer, but I’d like to share a short play I’ve been working on. Any comments would be appreciated.

    The African Sun
    A Play Excerpt
    After completing his 18-month term of relief work, James is leaving a war-stricken island off the coast of Africa. Nell, on her tenth difficult month, standing near the helicopter, hair blowing in her face, is saying goodbye. Evening is quickly approaching and dust is blowing.

    James: So Nell, I guess this is goodbye. At first, all I could dream about was leaving. But I wish I could have done more for these people. Who knows, after med school, maybe I’ll come back.

    Nell: Yeah James, sometimes I wish I could get on that copter with you. But I need to have my chance to help. I only wish, uh, that you weren’t going now too. I mean, I’m happy for you, getting into Harvard and all, but you’ve helped me so much it will be hard without you, that’s all I’m saying is, it will be different without you, but I know you need to take this opportunity, and I’ll really miss you, not just because uh, you know, of your help, but because you’re my friend and….

    (James leans in, African sun behind his head, and for the first time, kisses her).

    James: (smiles) I’ll miss you too.

    Nell: (with a grin on her face) The Paix Foundation sure hasn’t been an easy ride, has it James?

    James: No Nell. Damn, I remember everything so clearly, these days are never going to leave me.

    Nell: For sure.

    James: Nell, that kiss just now……well, I should have done it long ago. Not just before I leave this place.

    Nell: You know, we’ve all talked about how different things will be in the real world. But, I just hope some things won’t change. I just wanted to ask you…..

    James: Nell, I’m willing to wait to see about us. More than you know.

    (They kiss, this time, longer. Suddenly, George, the Paix Foundation pilot, comes running onto the tarmac; James and Nell spring apart, smiling in embarrasment).

    George: James, there’s been another attack on Nbongnoogo. We’ve gotta get out of here. This is the only flight opening there’s been for months. We can’t lose our chance. Nell, they need you back at HQ. We’ve gotta get those ambulances moving, and, you know, the whole proceducre.

    (Both look grieved about the attack, but not suprised).

    James: (softly) Nell, wait for me. I’ll miss you so much, Nell. Damn. It’s hard to leave you. (They hug).

    Nell: I’ll miss you James. It’s….this whole Paix Foundation has been inncredible. It just won’t be the same with out you. Have a safe flight, James. I’ll wait for you.

    (Nell runs back as the helicopter starts up, shielding her eyes from the setting sun, missing James already).


  48. I wonder if you set the alarm
    I wonder if you set the alarm clock to go off at an unlikely hour of the night, keep a pen & paper close by, and a lamp – try to write down some things from your dream as soon as you wake up.

    I’m intrigued by your statement that dreams are code.

  49. Secret — please critiquethe
    Secret — please critique

    the uncertainty a tragedy
    of minor consequence; no sense
    of empathy displaced

    you’re not a bottle, not a pill
    no standard addiction
    just bind her limbs to misguided hope

    in hiding, swelling, dreaming to burst
    no wall to contain you
    just another personal detail

    the nondisclosure of long-sleeved life
    hushed-tone voices just ads for
    rushed excuses

    maimed truth: four years of
    silence for the sympathy thought
    undeserved so concealed

  50. Ha…what am I *not*
    Ha…what am I *not* writing?

    Currently, my unfinished project list includes the following:

    1. a book about why and how I left Christianity and why this is significant to our culture

    2. a book about the cannabis subculture in America

    3. a fiction novel about a serial killer named Thomas, who happens to be one of the most innocent people to ever live

    4. a script about a man who is a closet gay, his wife (who is a closet racist), and his son (who is a closet atheist), and how their intertangled secrets lead to their downfall

    5. poetry, and poetry, and poetry, and poetry…

    Plus anything that comes to my head as I think of…I usually write at least 5 pages a day of SOMETHING…

  51. Finally, something I can
    Finally, something I can relate to !

    I’ve been thinking about how we love, or perhaps more importantly who we love (or have sex with, as the case might be.)

    I love the term archetype. Those familiar with Jung know this term. The thought is do we love the other person (in a relationship), or do we love the idea of being in love with someone? We we looking for Mr Right, or would any person with certain traits do?

    This is a sketch of an idea I’m trying to formulate.

    What is love?

    Is it the idea of love, or just being in love that keeps us moving to the next date, husband, relationship. I think we have an archetype we’re looking for, our Aphrodite, or Apollo or whichever. We’re looking for that magical person that can make us whole, or complete…but all we find are seconds, and also-rans.

    I’ve been in love many times. Correction, I’ve been infatuated, lustful, desirous, covetous, jealous by many women (and men), but I can’t say I’ve actually been in love with a woman. I’ve had sex with women, had intimate relationships with them, and fell for them, and made a fool of myself for them… And I’ve also spent that much energy avoiding them.

    That’s only part of the story. I’ve spent alot of time avoiding relationships with people, either personal relationships, or the intimate ones with those I want to get to know better.

    My part in this is that I’ve ignored people cause I didn’t think that she (or he) was “my type”, but without getting to know the person, I have a vague idea of what this person is.

    Perhaps this is simply a lament that I just didn’t get laid this weekend cause I didn’t bother to try to let anyone know what I wanted.

    When I see a pretty young lady, and she has a certain look, either in her face, or the way she carries herself, I, like all guys would, get interested. Being shy, I usually can’t bring myself to act on the desire, but I see many woman (and some guys) that I want to be with.

    I let them pass, and don’t act. But I have to wonder, with all those that I’ve been infatuated with, am I in love with that person, do I just want to get laid, or is it the archetype of the person I’m interested in?

    I don’t know how clear all this is, but it’s simply some ideas rolling around my head.

  52. ebbsand flowsmark of
    and flows

    mark of life
    and such

    stop talking,
    it ceases to exist

    stop writing
    it goes thence

    there’s alot to be said
    for plumbing
    and conduits

  53. Song LyricsI’ve been doing a
    Song Lyrics

    I’ve been doing a lot of revising of lyrics. And writing new ones. I just wrote a set of new ones called ‘Betrayed’. The last two sets of lyrics I’ve written have been about the war. The aforementioned ‘Betrayed’ and ‘The Victor & His Spoils’ are the most recent. I’m pretty happy with them. I find I spend more time writing lyrics then I do poetry because the temptation to fill lyrics with cliche or to make them overly arty is always abundant. You always want to write metaphors like Dylan and be some sort of hyper-literate Elvis Costello. I like my lyrics being literate without being literary. To use language creatively without becoming so obsessed by the language that the lyrics become oppressive. Sometimes honesty and just a bit of creative word play and wit are all you need to write a set of really interesting lyrics. That’s what I strive for, especially in today’s musical climate where so few good lyrics are even written.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What we're up to ...

Litkicks is 26 years old! This website has been on a long and wonderful journey since 1994. We’re relaunching the whole site on a new platform in June 2021, and will have more updates soon. We’ve also been busy producing a couple of podcasts – please check them out.

World BEYOND War: A New Podcast
Lost Music: Exploring Literary Opera

Explore related articles ...