Hemingway wrote

Hemingway and Faulkner wrote and wrote… and I still don’t like what I see.

Hemingway wrote, “and the sun also rises,” which is silly. So do Jesus and various types of yeasted breads. But we know that already, don’t we? I hate that book. Well, really, I haven’t much read it.

My point is: You can’t while away afternoons in a cloud of Parisian smoke and hope to write something revelatory. It took Milton decades and he had never heard of Paris. To top it all off, he was blind by the end of it — couldn’t see heaven from hell. Paradise Lost indeed.

What’s that? I’m thinking of Faulkner? No, no I don’t think much of Faulkner at all. Stuffed shirt of a dusty old — oh hold on a tick, didn’t he write about wrathful grapes? There it is again: a silly notion. Grapes can’t be wrathful anymore than we can say goodbye to weapons (I heard you, Hemingway — just sip your Semillon and sheathe the pen, would you?).

I guess my point (my other point) is: the best writers aren’t those who are silly and then we make them serious. That’s a topsy-turvy, all-hell-is-loose idea, isn’t it? And order is the make of day, which, incidentally, gives rise to the sun and puts heaven and hell in their respective spots on the chessboard (wherever those may be or if they be, but let’s not get into religion right now — it has no place in a rant on disbelief).

You see, I’ve spent the better part of the better part of my life aching to love all the flourished ink from writers like you, Ernest, and you, John, and perhaps even, in your barn-burning days, you too, Will. Still I come faster ’round to the rabble-rousing angst of J.D. Don’t misunderstand, I’m no fan of prostitution or deviance or whatever brokenness idealized, but it is honest, isn’t it? The worst parts of us are honest, yes, because who would make that up?

I hate that book (so sorry, Salinger). And I hate the temple of literature I sweated to love. I’m not alone, either — who reads tomes anymore? Nothing but knick-knacks on a page, tchotchkes in print. Back to the first square and we have to write the canon all over again. Something to weave in joy on joy and the better angels, but also the salacious fun of demons: the game to inflate us, before (oop) it wins and off to the next generation of pawns and Fischers.

On me I suppose? Sigh. Isn’t it always?

Yes, yes, I’ll get on it — just as soon as I’m sure the sun will, without fail, christen another battle in the thick of a morning I loathe to welcome on a day swirling in fog of which there is no sense to be made. A day that will, unavoidably, end with me angrily sipping a glass of wine and staring into the void, pondering my very next move.

But before I write: Checkmate.

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