prose journalism

I just read this quote from a writer. The writer’s name is WP Kinsella. When people go by their initials they are often either British men or American women. It may be a man’s name but the female pronoun doesn’t get enough exercise so we’ll call this writer her. Let me look up the quote. Here it is: “Use your imagination! Trust me, your life is not interesting. Don’t write it down.” Exclamation points and italics really spice up a piece of advice, don’t you find?

I think that advice is unfair! Maybe it’s good advice—especially for poets; please, poets, take this advice but don’t try to make stuff up either, just stop writing—but then again maybe it’s just because she’s boring she assumes everyone else is.

I used to hang by one hand off a bridge that is 565 feet high. I killed a deer accidentally throwing a small rock once in the winter because I didn’t want to fix an electric fence. I had a dream about David Bowie kissing my ear and I didn’t mind it so much. I’ve caught geckos in Hong Kong, Italy, Bangkok, and Singapore. I stayed up for 105 hours without drugs or coffee. One of my cats only has one eye and the other only has three feet. The cat with one eye chases deer and killed a mouse with my dictionary. I wrote a screenplay in two days in Italy that is going to get made into a movie. I’ve had a bunch of girlfriends who were so crazy pretty that you wouldn’t believe it just looking around a regular beauty pageant. My handwriting is very beautiful and I draw well too. A crow told me to meet him in Chaco canyon once and I saved my sister from drowning at a Cub Scout picnic because all the adults were drinking beer and not really watching the kids. It’s a good thing too because she stopped me one night seven years later from going up the stairs to put a steak knife through our dad’s drunken eye. I got my black belt when I was fifteen. A six year-old girl gave me a rattlesnake tail. I can do a front flip on skis on one leg. I’m a straight guy and I don’t like blow jobs. One of my best friends used to pass my anti-government essays around his office when he worked in the CIA. I held fourteen frogs in my hand at the same time once. I had a pet scorpion named Cairo Bubbles who knew how to bark. I write haikus to punish myself for being a bad writer and I know how to say, “I jerked off last night because of you, you cross-eyed Japanese retard,” in Korean. I type 90 words per minute. My sense memory is absolutely perfect for the taste of a girl’s mouth. I can tell you what all of my girlfriends tasted like even when I can’t remember how they kissed. And to top it off I’m the only person I know who has the Roman numeral five after his name. So, maybe I never killed a Russian or cloned a dinosaur but I’m sorry, I think my life is at least a little bit interesting to maybe some readers some of the time. And the most interesting stuff isn’t even up there because it’s off limits. It would hurt people and I must have some privacy after all.

That writer has the same problem as Freud. She thinks everyone is boring because she is boring. I haven’t read her books but I’ll bet that even the stuff she makes up is boring because all the people I know with good imaginations have interesting lives because of that. Not the other way around. Please read one of her books for me (e.g.: Diamonds Are Forever, what an imaginative title, don’t you think?) and write me a letter to tell me if I’m right about this. But don’t buy the book. I don’t think she—or HarperCollins—deserves your money. Take your money to a used book store. Used book store people are usually the nicest people in every city. Then file your report with me. I hope she had some interesting friends who refused to talk to her after the quote was printed. Maybe if I mailed her a copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas she’d apologize.

You know Freud caused a lot of problems because he thought everyone wanted to fuck his own mother. The only reason he thought so was because he did. I never wanted to fuck my mother. My girlfriends don’t even look like her.

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