Boat vs. Goat

I probably spent four hours trying to figure out what I should write to resurrect this blog. The choices were Edward Cullen, thoughts on the beast called Writing, why no one bothers to listen to what the fictionist wants to say, and this ridiculous fixation with Robert Pattinson (he’s in my dreams, bench-pressing a van). Most of these required me to think. I gots to save my mental bits, because the Big Kahuna in charge of the creative juices suddenly decides that a “short” story whose pages count 87 1/2 so far ain’t done yet. Gah. It’s about, what else, a girl. And another girl. And there may be some sexy times, but we’re not sure yet. Nuh-uh.

I did write a short story (really short, distressingly short) about vaginas. It is cool. Allow me to quote myself: “My cunt has a deep sense of foreboding,” Ann-Marie allowed herself to think. Boo-yah! Don’t worry, it’s not all about vaginas. There’s a Caesar salad in it as well. And a phone. And a mattress. Of course there’s a mattress.

Anyhoo.

It’s nearly 4 in the morning (I think — lost whatever tedious sense of time I possess) and you know me well enough that there’s nothing remotely smart in this blog entry. And to aid my flagging thought systems, we’ll do this mathematically. That’s the way I roll. Yeah.

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1 – I’ve noticed that no one really bothers to hear what the fictionist says (mostly because this fictionist has earned a reputation that is giggly, giddy, and inane in the “I like eggs” kind of way). The poets cannot be faulted for this, fascinating conversation-hoggers they may be.

I’ve realized (and it took the making of a CW thesis for me to do so), that I hate talking about what I am as a writer, that I’d rather just let the banging-away-at-the-keyboard do the talking. Lots of them other dudes seem to not have any trouble with the whole Poetics/Process/Fucking Genius-ness Speeches, with or without alcohol, preferably the former.

Well. Maybe it comes with age. Haha. Er. Yeah. Maybe it comes with one’s ease with the craft and the art, that elocution becomes as effortless. Maybe it comes with age–you know how family elders rap your heads with a fan/cane to make you listen to how the good ol’ days were, and how today’s just full of fascinating shit? Maybe it comes with genre? That is: maybe, in contrast with popular belief, poets are not the brooding dark forces that throw themselves off cliffs with a bottle of alcohol; they’re the rowdy ones, the sing-an-Irish-song types—and the “other” dude, the one no one really talks about because he writes—gasp!—prose, is in the corner, looking very bored with the whole thing, and half-eavesdropping in witness of yet another human ritual—the “Mas mataas ang ihi ko sa’yo” kind.

Or, maybe, as some of you may have begun to think, maybe I’m an arrogant, conceited ass, who thinks no one deserves my opinions, yeh poor, pathetic fools. (Cue evil laugh). Poets annoy me with their Greater-than-Thou gesticulations. Nonfictionists bore me. Playwrights have me scrambling for my Happy Place in face of their relentless volume. Wala ka sa Lolo ko. Blah blah.

Maybe I just can’t talk. People look at me when I talk. Jeesh.

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2 – Someday I will have the guts to stop disclaiming. The way I say, “Yeah, I’ve read the Twilight Saga, but for purely recreational purposes only.” And then launching into a feeble discussion about the dilemmas of entertainment vs high-brow Ooh-I’m-a-writer writing. And then saying, “It was a terribly written book, but it was very affective.” And then launching into a feeble discussion about literary merit vs affect. Blah blah and more blah.

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3 – Speaking of goats, it’s summer. Which means it’s the season for fiestas. Which means we need to have a lot of food. Which brings us back to the goats. I have fond memories of a goat tied to a mango yet-to-be-tree. And boats. Boats. I read Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. It was fun. I never thought I’d enjoy tigers so much. Although when he was talking about God and all that jazz, I had to put the book down and look for something subversive like, er, Memnoch the Devil. And you need towels in boats because you tend to get wet when you’re in a boat, and so, well, that brings us to Alicia Erian’s Towelhead. It was nice, as well. And maybe, with a little research, I can find a connection between goats and boats and Martin Scorcese and Julia Cameron, because I read her memoir, Floor Sample. She’s the one who came up with the hokey, but strangely effective, Artist’s Way. Ya know. Daily Morning Pages, Artist’s Date, and what have you. She’s also coo-coo crazy. And a sober alcoholic. Book gave me the impression that Alcoholics Anonymous peeps compose those Greek choruses that warble Awoo in the wings. Yeah. I’m not very sympathetic, I’ve discovered.

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4 – Here’s something from the introduction of My Mistress’ Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro, edited by Jeffrey Eugenides. Just the introduction, because that’s all I read, which means, [a shout-out to people who earn money], I want a copy! Please? I’ll name a character after you, and I can guarantee it won’t kill any puppies! There’s a copy in A Different Bookstore in Serendra. Kthxbai! :D

When it comes to love, there are a million theories to explain it. But when it comes to love stories, things are simpler. A love story can never be about full possession. The happy marriage, the requited love, the desire that never dims – these are lucky eventualities but they aren’t love stories. Love stories depend on disappointment, on unequal births and feuding families, on matrimonial boredom and at least one cold heart. Love stories, nearly without exception, give love a bad name.

We value love not because it’s stronger than death but because it’s weaker. Say what you want about love: death will finish it. You will not go on loving in the grave, not in any physical way that will at all resemble love as we know it on earth. The perishable nature of love is what gives love its profound importance in our lives. If it were endless, if it were on tap, love wouldn’t hit us the way it does. And we certainly wouldn’t write about it.

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5 – If you have nothing to do this Saturday — that is, if you’re not graduating or some other inane thing (hehe) — come to Conspiracy. We’re having an exhibit of all the people we sketched. A senior artist had to resort to emotional blackmail to make me frame one of my sketches, but it’s just an itty-bitty thing, nothing too distracting. Forge on ahead to look at pretty pictures. :) Oh, and, I may not be there myself, since I have to do Dutiful Daughter schtick and be at my mother’s bedside. We’re getting rid of her (thank you, Big Kahuna) non-cancerous lumps. So, love to everyone.

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6 – Why the fuck am I so giddy?

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About Sasha Martinez

Her sins were scarlet, but her books were read.

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