Saturday, October 01, 2005
I've been using writing procedures a lot as I write lately. Google trawling, find and replace, Babelfish, random spell check: these procedures all serve to remove the tyrant fromthe picture. I relinquish control to these procedures. I've tried various methods for doing so all my writer life. only recently, tho, have I felt that the results are 'mine'. partly I am more comfortable using these techniques, and partly, I'm allowing the processes to carry me. some people might worry that these proceses are too mechanical, but what could be more mechanical than squeezing words into metre and rhyme scheme? it is method, how one proceeds. I start with a text, which may or may not be especially 'interesting', which may or may not be mine. I may use phrases from it to do Google searches, in the hopes that this might turn something up (metaphor of fishing feels quite accurate). I may jostle the text via those computer techniques I mentioned. from there it absolutely feels like sculpting: remove what doesn't feel right and add what does. and play it by ear. the point is adventure. when you 1st begin writing, as a tyro, whether or not you are writing imitatively, you wreak a giddy flow. and that feeling, especially if you like the results, urges you to keep on. sometimes you find yourself trying to repeat the glory. I see that a lot in the work of Whitman and Ginsberg, but also in Keats' awful "Ode to Indolence". my own work shows many examples of that effort to return. playing with these techniques allows me to go somewhere else, bascially. find a different fountain. adventure is a good word.