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Note to a poet who don’t know it

If you aren’t doing so already you might wanna set yourself up a WordPress blog (they’re free, but your own domain will cost $18/yr, about three slices of the San Francisco pizza you posted so eloquently about) and after you spill your essays onto Facebook you can cut and paste them onto your blog. Instant posterity. It’s a shame to let pretty writing disappear into the Facebook quicksand. Your FB page is probably a goldmine of long forgotten gems just like the pizza one. Writers never write just one thing. The slightest thing, cold pizza even, brings forth a geyser of words. Look at me, we display like wanton birds of paradise, I can write like a motherfucker.

Of course, most people can’t write worth shit. They talk beautifully but get stiff and amusical putting it into prose. Writing, like just about anything else, involves a certain amount of innate skill, one that’s not yet an inborn human trait. Hell, writing itself is only 5,000 years old and the vast majority of people and their genomes who have ever lived and made babies never knew how to write anything. Wait a hundred generations or so—kids will be born writers. But natural selection won’t help people stumbling through paragraphs today. Look at them on Facebook, the poor bastards. They wax about as eloquently as I played the drums. In the meantime the ones who can write well ought to have their words preserved, if only for the sheer fuck of it.

You’re a writer, deal with it, embrace your inner egomaniac who knows that every word you put in prose is literature. You may not think so but the little twerp of a writer inside us thinks so. He’s in there, the little fuck, scribbling and scribbling, hoping someone will notice. Let him blog away so the other blogging twerps will find him. Dude, they’ll say, I really enjoy your writing, and you’ll smile and never tell anyone how cool that feels.

The Pill

If the birth control pill hadn’t been invented the year I was born think of how many more of you there would be. Look around. Double the numbers of middle aged people you see. Quadruple the number of twenty somethings. Octuple the children. The pill took care of that excess. Incidentally, the peak year for the baby boom was the year I was born, 1957. After that the numbers of babies born dropped like a bell curve, till only a precious few GenXers were brought into the world, coddled as children and ignored as adults. So be nice to them. Think of all the siblings they never had.

The miniaturization of civilization

I don’t gave a computer. I don’t have an iPad. My entire digital existence is conducted on an iPhone, and almost everything we do is digital. All our business and finances, a lot of our shopping, all our transportation, much of our medical stuff, all the social media, all the research and every last word I write. I didn’t realize this was strange until today. We manage our lives out of a red folder containing a few papers, two old fashioned and ink smeared calendars, a few sheets of scrawled monthly budgets on a clipboard (remember clipboards?), and this iPhone. That is the entirety of our transactions, interactions and communications with the world outside our house. The thirty two year old Brick would find the sixty two year old Brick’s daily life utterly incomprehensible and certainly ominous. And the 62 year old Brick wonders how the 32 old Brick got anything done at all.

Invertebratefully

The rush of inventing a word that would make the OED just the once were it somehow noticed before vanishing like one of those synthetic elements invented for the sheer physicist’s fuck of it before vanishing a millisecond later with no impact on the universe whatsoever.

Thus invertebratefully, perfectly logical for one second in one sentence and then poof, gone.

Sometimes I think writing is like a jazz solo in an empty room, perfect for just that moment and then never heard again.

The cabbie had never heard it in the pluperfect subjunctive.

Actually languages aren’t made from random mouth sounds, only a small portion of the wide range of possible sounds is used for language. The International Phonetic Alphabet can notate all the phonemes (individual sounds) of all human languages and does so with only I think 107 letters and around 50 diacritics (and a handful of other marks). English uses around 44 phonemes (a phoneme being an individual sound). There’s a language in the Pacific somewhere that uses only 11 phonemes. How I do not know. And there’s a click language in southern Africa that has I think 112. You could do amazing things with 112 phonemes.

There was a language in Turkey that had only two vowels and eighty some consonants. It is extinct now, killed off in the greatest consonant clusterfuck of all time. That’s a linguistics joke.

I know a funnier one about a lady in Boston who asked a cabbie if he knew a place where a woman could could get scrod.

Blue Planet 2

Blue Planet 2. Problem solving and coordinated group action by clownfish. Who knew? Besides other clownfish, I mean. And what’s with the meter long carnivorous worms? Teeth sharp as pinking shears, hence the name: Bobbitt. As in Lorena. David Attenborough left that part out. The damn things can get up to ten feet, I read, like the sandworms in Dune. They can lop a foot long fish clean in half. A Devonian Era nightmare, giant meat eating invertebrates. Acid visions of carnivorous trilobites. Thankfully trilobites went extinct long before we ever got here. (Nor were they ever giant, nor scary, nor anything but invertebratefully adorable, like the little darlings scattered about the bookshelves here.)

Then the scene with hundreds of reef sharks swimming menacingly above thousands of groupers. Suddenly l’amour drives the groupers mad and they rush upward into the sharks, shedding eggs and milt to the seven seas. The sharks go into a feeding frenzy and the surging waters are all blood and roe and sperm, a veritable fish fuck massacre. There seems to be something dreadfully amiss there. Or not. No one ever said natural selection was logical. Ghastly, maybe.

The clownfish were so neat and orderly and mannered in comparison. They’ll go far. Check back in a hundred million years. Groupers will have vanished and clownfish will be talking and thinking vast, deep thoughts.