A brown rainbow of adults waiting framed
where other brown people’s brows furrow in quick grabs
and a massive security guard
wanders by bored, gestures that he is watching The News. Bucket chairs mould
women borne down by frowns that don’t speak, the fighting couple
receive calls about their debts on a smashed iPhone, the techno ring breaks the
flourescent air and names are called which must have been given
by parents or DOCs to babies with brown and white and proud skin.
Rather than troppo. It’s a funny thing. My thesis has become a discussion of self-commodification, and how the pressure to do so is felt by many (I particularly look at hip hop MCs). Then, as a tutor, I am part of a course where we help students develop blogs and online portfolios. Fair enough. I am also interested in creative and critical writing and composition online. Double fair enough. But then, how do I go about branding my self while also quite aware of the bounded nature of doing so? For example, my creative side (a little quiet for a while but surely bubbling again) – do I mix it in with the academic self, that wouldn’t mind employment? Do I carve a brand as a creative, mixed up academic, because some places might employ such a creature?
You see, I have also nabbed a wordpress space for myself, a tumblr, and have an academic portfolio space. I am wondering how to divide and conquer it all, or whether to remain in the swim in this blog-o-space subject to my different thought currents.
I will let all of my imaginary readers know how I go.
The first was pointed out by my supervisors. I had overdosed on the word ‘arguably’. For some reason I must have read that it was a good term at some point. My supervisors pointed out that it is fluff, it obscures my argument, that I do have things that I say but that ‘arguably’ veils it, that I hedge. This is because I often see things in many ways, from many perspectives, am full of empathy for the other (plus a fair bit of self-doubt in there). However. I just did Apple-F, find all, and cut all of the arguablys. Radical. The argument was suddenly there, I was suddenly saying strong statements. Kind of like the ole’ creative writing chestnut: show, don’t tell. Just do the argument, don’t say arguably. I think it was something about worrying if the whole two reader/examiners that I will have may disagree, therefore I was putting in ‘arguably’. But they’ll disagree if they want to anyway. That’s why it’s called an argument. Why it is an argument. Ok, after mmmm 12 years of academic study, I think I am finding a way that I can ‘do’ argument.
I noticed that Christopher Hitchen’s posthumous collection of essays is titled “Arguably”. Now I’m a sudden ex-arguably user, I feel quite allergic to any passive “arguably”. Quite holier than thou.
The second lesson is cutting. Wow. Anytime I have a doubt about a paragraph, line (which happens because they are often from 2.5 or 3.2 years ago, therefore may be repetitious, or saying similar things in worse ways), I just cut it. Again, sudden clarity. It just didn’t need to be there. Instead of wrestling, cut it!
There you go. May it help others:)
I spied a sign glinting past, train-side: “refute greed”. Hand-painted, beneath terrace window: dusky golden hour flickering across my eyes.
” … uncertainty is wondrous, and … certainty, were it to be real, would be moral death. If we were certain of the future, there would be no moral compulsion to do anything. We would be free to indulge every passion and pursue every egoism, since all actions fall within the certainty that has been ordained. If everything is uncertain, then the future is open to creativity, not merely human creativity but the creativity of all nature. It is open to possibility and, therefore, a better world. But we can only get there as we are ready to invest our moral energies in its achievement, and as we are ready to struggle with those who, under whatever guise and for whatever excuse, prefer an inegalitarian and undemocratic world.”
Sorry, for some reason I have no idea where this is from now. If I find out I’ll let y’all know.
I must admit I wonder how to craft a bloggy review. Scholarly, creative, poetic, how much to edit, plan, research the thing? At the moment I’m going with just the brainstormy generative type writing with little or no editing. And as a somewhat scholarly person maybe that’s okay because blogs are part of the musing-reflecting-digesting part of the thinking, which is what scholarship mostly is. I’ll go with that.
Here’s another snippet I have found from past scribblings during a Sunday afternoon’s ‘long dark teatime of the soul’ (after Douglas Adams).
I might sit on it a bit and then re-work it.
holds safe keys of
sound secrets hollow
resonance into intervals
that shape the
distance of moments feeling
we each drop into
its river at the unsame
place again the depths
surround and the bubblenotes
drift up as we breathe.
allow our pain to be beauty and our every moment
frustrated thoughts walled to disintegrate
into an escalated run of
fingerfrets, bassic dropped instinct