failure to launch

wrote a muddled piece on the vandalism of the cenotaph, and then left it for dead. for posterity’s sake, i retain the first two lines of the second paragraph: ‘the cenotaph was built by the (then-) present to honour their past and instruct the future. it’s doubly stupid that this future, spray can in hand, should first ignore the intentions of those that came before, and then assume that whatever he had to say was more important than what his forefathers considered worthy to carve in stone.’

some alcoholic days the words flow out like diarrhea, some days it’s more like squeezing an unripe zit. writing’s hard. it’s about the style, the words governed first by instinct and then convention… and then you have the argument. you don’t say anything at all, your logic doesn’t connect, you don’t make sense. you hear the critics and you agree, you give the practice a once-over and then involuntarily glance at the theory, thinking all the time bloody hell, the execution’s shit. but that’s the deal, and you know it well; like anything else that’s worthy of effort, you don’t go in there with the guarantee of success. so some heady days you trust yourself, and you trudge on – you do the whole bad cop/good cop routine with the words. you see the road behind the tumbleweed frontier, the shit finally becomes soluble, after a ton of chicanery you’ve the looks to go with the substance. but other days, dog days and days not necessarily in hell but definitely not in heaven, your crystallization is dessication. you know not even you are under your skin, and it’s sweet to give up and move on.

as a half-apology, in parting, ‘i keep a close watch on this heart of mine / i keep my eyes wide open all the time’… johnny cash, i walk the line, 1956. and bob dylan, starry eyed when caught: ‘when i first heard ‘i walk the line’ so many years earlier, it sounded like a voice calling out, ‘what are you doing there, boy?’ i was trying to keep my eyes wide opened, too.’

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