One of the tools I was introduced to as an English major was the commonplace journal.

The commonplace journal is a journal used to interact with a text.

Three things can be done with(but not limited to) this type of journal:

1. Record passages from a text
2. Translate or disambiguate what the text means
3. Write down what the text means to you and anything else related to the text.

My goal for this blogs use of the commonplace journal is to be able to focus on a text(s) in order to expand our perceptions of a text as well as expand our perceptions of an individual text through the postings of others commonplace journals.

{NOTE: Now, seeing that no one has visited this blog--why? its either just not that interesting or I have one of the settings set wrong and if its one and/or the other I would appreciate any feedback--for now it will be postings of my commonplace journal on David Lynch's "Catching The Big Fish". Since this is not the Oprah Book Club, any commonplace journal entries or discussion regarding literature [any form, genre, fiction or pulp fiction (or those taboo genres that will scare away people--especially those!)] are welcome to be posted and open for discussion on this blog.}



THE HACKWRITERS MANIFESTO in the form of a rant


TO CAPTURE THE MOMENT. I am living in hard times...hard times; subterranean or subconcious or subliminal hard times. There is a war going on but no draft...no realism. The media is so far from any kind of truth that only the safest find truth in it or some kind of community(commerce?).

I know that now is another hard time for me. Maybe I would be more optimistic(in context/contrast with my life here) if I knew the truth about what our American soldiers were going through in Iraq.

Never before have we had such accessability to the truth, yet, it seems that never before has the truth been so hard to find.

I, myself, it seems am in the midst of existing in my own destruction...I find it is much harder to avoid self-destructive behavior than it is to find it.

Still...haunted by relatives(family) that I feel too far gone(outside what is believed to be acceptable). I see them only in my dreams that are more like night terrors...people that I know and loved exponentially are always against me there...disgusted at what they see, who I am...in my dreams.

I am the worst of the hackwriters...a poser(or poseur),...fake,...phony,...only because...no, there is no singular--only. I am at odds with the daily practice of writing only because I think I am at odds with any form of ambition(I confuse for zeal) or success because each seems to be against or at odds vs. me...

I know this is bad writing which makes it painful to write but it(writing) is what or rather one escape that I have...time drawn out or passed through in ink...a time that is focused...letters, words like brushstrokes and form or figures.

It seems that literary competition not only exists(certainly it does and always HAS) but it seems that the writer of fiction(or any other form) has become the product for sale and not the fiction and/or writing itself...surely, this is nothing new to most excepting only those naive romantics(of which I once was and probably still am)...only because I choose not to accept reality where I seek to escape just that.

My mother bought a subscription to a writers' magazine for me and I found myself reading an issue with Ferlighetti on the cover...I was in my thirty-sixth hour conversing out loud with the text and came upon Cisneros hugging another beautiful woman and began to read...I found she(or was it someone else?) had formed her own exclusive club for writers of her taste and texture...MACONDO...(XANADU)...Lady of the Lake college...each writer had to be handpicked, have three letters of acceptance from the accepted few writers, have a published book, and pay tuition to become a student at MACONDO...Well,...I wanted to spit on that article...shit on that article. It sounded to me as though Cisneros had formed her own country club off the literary fame she found on Mango Street(It wasn't there but it was felt, so in turn my only reply is--fuck you too and double fuck you with an extra helping of fuck you.)

The magazine was for those with money, ambition, and talent(to what degree I don't know but every ad and article seemed directed at those with "the gift" and whom had already been published and praised by only those publishers and praisers deemed praiseworthy).

I want to be writing something else but this is what has washed upon and stuck to my brain...I am reminded or remind myself of Wollstonecraft writing essays for the rights of women only I feel(as in human emotions) that I am writing for the art of writing and writers...writing to be left alone by the elitists and to do so is to find a place of our own where all that enjoy the written word can enjoy each other...a macrocosm of writers without microcosms(SEE genres, subgenres)...really, anybody willing and wanting to know another persons story(whether it be written or told). To follow the path of the published is to narrow ones path of existence...and that is why these words, these feelings, only carry weight for me...because and only because I am not part of the elite and knowing from what little experience I have had amongst the elitist rank and file there is no place worse that I know of(for a writer or in context of writing) to feel the ongoing sensation/stimulation of a pretentious prick that only serves to further the deprivation of the mind...dull its senses, curiosity and imagination...reaching further and farther away from the source of acceptance and/or love that nurtures these more childlike aspects of the mind than anything adult ever has...for those that wish/want to feel/think that the cold razor thin blade of the swords blade turn warm...I ask only to put down the sword and make the pen bleed out that from which one looks to escape forever.


Countdown to What I Do Not Know

A few days days ago I set my all time record for staying awake--41 hours...in my psychology class on sleep that I took years ago I had learned that after three days (or 72 hours) the subconcious is actually forced into conciousness as REM sleep is the only way to relieve thoughts or images caught in the subconcious YET after three days I was told that hallucinations can occur and dreams can come to life as it were.

The only way I was able to stay awake so long was the use of stimulants which have both highs and lows. Once I was down, I had to increase the use of stimulants or route of administration in order to get back up and this was damn near impossible to maintain as I would have had to mainline amphetamines to stay awake and that was a whole other beast to which I asked myself WHY. I was alone and without needles albeit skin popping was a choice but goddamn there is nothing I fear more than getting so high that I never want to come down--it's just not possible in this city(Sacramento). The city is a dangerous place to experience euphoria at any great length or level. Atleast that has been my experience on my own. Maybe it could be done in a group but why? The odds are still very much stacked against both you and your gang of merry pranksters. The city has no sympathy or mercy for those that don't live by it's law and it's law is economics.

It's one thing to be a clean cut business man fueled by intraveneous amphetamine use and quite another to be someone out on the town looking to experience a different mindstate(as well as being unemployed or a freelance journalist/writer). The business man so long as he knows his business well can do just about anything in regards to pharmaceutical or drug use just so long as he is in the left side of the column with a few zeroes to fall back on--this is all cliche and...the city is just a bad scene all together. Sacramento has never seemed to welcome me with open arms nor have I felt that I belong...I don't know if anyone here does except for the few that are so beyond there means that they are not only living in Sacramento but another reality all together different from the huddled masses.

The rich and the poor and the middle class--there is an ever widening gap between the rich and the rest of us and the middle class is finding it harder and harder to climb that ladder and the poor have been left for dead. There is a war going on here at the home front. One much more savage than the one in Irag. One that has blinded people to their existence not only as human beings but as part of a human race. The public has become the enemy and it's people are more scared of each other than they are of a nuclear attack. These are bad times indeed and they are on an oil slicked high percent downgrade towards what I do not know only that it will be the first of its kind. I don't want to say civil war or class war or war. What is going on is much more covert? An invisible or stealth mind washing of the masses...maybe too extreme, but look around--how many people look like you? Say "hi" to somebody you don't know on the street and that will be your answer.
I live in Sacramento so my point-of-view is very limited--a microcosm of a microcosm. How is it that I live in a city but remain in solitude? I see people, I talk to people, I have dinner with them but my home is in isolation among hundreds of other units like mine with neighbors that say hello as if they are rushing to get to the toilet for fear of having their bowels explode before my very eyes AND what if this were to occur? Would they be any less of a human for being sick--no, they would be more human.
There is no thesis or main thread or point to all of this nor will there ever be but while trying to stay awake as long as I could I learned that a high school kid stayed awake for eleven days for a science fair project without the use of caffeine or any other stimulant. His name was Randy Gardner. The whole time I was up I couldn't help but think to myself how funny it was that a seventeen year old boy could stay up eleven days and for what else but a science fair. Randy Gardner is truly my Horatio Alger.