As so it is

As so it is
so as so it is
as so it is so
so it is as it is so.

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Published in: on February 25, 2012 at 4:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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The American Way

In general, researchers and listeners are more interested in the answers than the questions (since the answers are usually more varied than the questions, and may go into related topics not directly mentioned in the question). A good rule of thumb is the more detailed and descriptive the indexing is, the better researchers are able to access the tape content. For example, writing “describes fears about not surviving and prayers he wrote in his diary” is more helpful than “fears in battle.” For examples of some excellent logs the Veterans History Project has received from participants, please see sample Audio and Video Recording Logs listed on our forms page.

Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 11:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Other Side – Dink

The Fargo Kantrowitz’z Literary Campsite

(An important message.)- the other side

We interrupt this sage. Yes. The other side is ridiculous. There is no other side. I repeat there is no repeat, wait, you can’t do tha…wait. Crunch. We interruput your air space with Albert Jones: People of the novel. The world is false. There is no here and there is no there, so, put down the novel and go outside and turn off the sprinklers. See if you can see that blonde who likes to undress by her swimming pool in plain sight of everybody around and it is everybody, Hank, Johnny, even over there on third street with his binoculars and all. Stan, Gus, Joe, Frank, Sam, Don, Bud, and Ron, Eli over from his roof on fourth street. The entire Clavicord family, whose last name I don’t know, but do know that sometimes he likes to play her when she plays it if you know what I mean. I can’t help it. It’s either never enjoy the stars or miss out on when the Mrs. leaves the shade open for ya. )

Jes kiddin, shit, she’d slap the taste out of your mouth and then you still gotta see her on Sunday. I’ve figgered it were more me to do what I do and that’s play bass. Ain’t got time for that kind of stuff. Leave it for daytime t.v. The world’s just not that bad that you gotta go there like a bunch of sniffy dogs in a neighborhood. My only real dream is to go on the road, go on tour. With somebody. Fuck it. So far we got Albert and…me. Oh well. We’ll get it going. The inner world society is doing pretty well, I guess. I’m getting the internet up since Albert is a moron when it comes to that stuff. Not a moron. No, I guess not, he’s not a moron. I[m more the moron really with me all I wanna do is play bass…

We got the stellar breeze inner world society going now, when stellar can make it into the Magi. He llives up in the hills collecting the milk of goats. They live happily and then one day Stellar will throw this email over to the gang and they’d read one of the mountain goat man’s poems for him since it was too hard for him to come down from the hills. But he would send ‘em and that was the stellar breeze inner world society, that name was Stellar’s, and he had the best poetry reading pretty much anywhere, really, that good. Anyway, Time magazine did a piece on him and then he was like, oh, now they think I think I’m something I’m not blah blah, but Stellar finally made it out of his cage on special occasions and it turned out one of these reasons was where he could see some of his poems performed at Albert’s The Fargo Kantrowitz’z Literary Cajmpsite. That was the best poetry reading ever done, one of the best with Stellar’s bathtub sit poetry reading, pink shower curtain, or the Porn Night! We were supposed to bring out mothers. Fucked up shit like that. Shows that nobody would ever go to, but they were packed. We saved Stellar, who was sort of like a non-lethal bullfighter and maneuvering round most any town since he was gay. Stellar was happy all the time. He was joyous! He had found something in his life and it made him light up almost as bright as Jesus but not quite. That kind of guy. Really can write too. He’s a serious poet, even does academic blah blah, but what I’m saying is this “character” was out there. He was the ken kesey of the east Appalachians, from New York City, of course…

Dink Merrick on living in Millsville 2010

Published in: on February 18, 2012 at 8:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Dream

The children were smaller, on a carousel facing inward, but not moving. It’s just where they liked to stand if they hadn’t “fallen off” and begun taunting each other, posing at each other, fists outstretched, legs bent down like superheroes, their crew-cuts, mother given, ugly as your knowledge of their predicaments locked inside their tiny white heads. I had gone to sit on a bench close to the street. You could see the cars going by and it was a relief, but then it hit me, I was a prisoner there. I would leave when they said so and no sooner. Even though I was 41, I was in no better situation than those children. We were all being kept.
It started when we were about to leave. Me and Christopher, but Christopher was fiddling with his camera. I saw the frightened faces of the Mexican workers and looked around and saw the man with the crossbow. I didn’t know it was a crossbow, but thought it was a rifle with a scope on it. He was about a hundred yards away and he was definitely beginning the task of pointing it at me, or my general area, as I crouched behind the car, behind the tire. I felt like the eyepiece was following me. Christopher seemed unaware of everything.
I sat in a white room with others. I don’t remember why I was there. Christopher would attack me at times. Run up behind me and grab me and hold on with all his strength. I tried to get through to him. One time I yelled into his deranged eyes “Christopher! Christopher!” and as they dragged him away I knew I had gotten through. A man looked closely at me and told me that I had fought back or something to that extent and I didn’t know if he was upset or pleased.
I was then called in for therapy. I am a large man, close to 270, but soon found myself being balanced on the legs of an average sized black woman who was probably about the age of 30. Somehow she could hold me using the weight of her body, her arms and her legs. I fell into it and enjoyed it. Then she let me fall forward and then would catch me. I was asked to relax and fall naturally, but I was almost too much for her. I noticed there were paintings on the wall, pastoral works and I saw prices written under the wooden frames. I don’t remember the paintings well, but they were of summer light in sad places, English hills, barns, non-descript browns and blues.
There was talking too, I remember now, but as she questioned me (it seemed as though the questions came when I was put into positions by the woman)…I can’t remember too well the questions, but the answers seemed to be about my life and my novel. I remember thinking about my mother, but do not remember the context. This seemed and still seems important. Progress was made, but no final answers given. The woman dropped away and then all I remember is being dismissed from the session by a different worker, this time a man and when he walked away I could see that I had just been another therapy session. That was the sadness. To feel as though you were being healed, but it was all a ruse in that you were just another therapy session. That’s when I walked away to the bench and saw the children on the carousel and knew the extent of the problem.
One other thing I remember is the therapists themselves, or rather, what appeared to be interns or something. They were young and they wore white coats and they walked in the glass door from the street on their way to work. I felt like they were giving me intelligent people to talk to finally. One of them had eyes that were very piercing, but I knew that it was in the service of knowledge and not me specifically which made me think of him a little bit like a robot. They all wanted to be therapists and were just learning. But their intelligence seemed like what I needed if I were to finally understand what had put me into this place where I could not leave even if I wanted to, but I didn’t know that. For now, I was just another kid on the carousel.

Published in: on February 8, 2012 at 4:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Second Literary Campsite

Welcome to the second literary campsite. I promise that it won’t be any better than the first, but I never promised anything about the first either. I get tired of competition and I’m not about to introduce it to myself as these damned missives to the world continue. You can go screw yourselves if that’s what you want.
Some time ago I got sick of being slick. I tried so hard to be slick for the sake of selling my words that I started hating myself. Now I just want to write and if it comes out as appearing slick (of quality) then that’s a good by product, but I won’t chase it anymore. It’s putting the cart before the horse when you do. That carrot ain’t so tasty anyway.
A lot of people know I’m a writer and they ask me how I can do what I do. Well, I would like to address that question here on the campsite today. First of all, for all of you who don’t consider me a writer, I welcome you to the campsite. Please stop reading now. For those of you who consider me a writer because I am writing now and you are a writer because you write I also offer you a hearty welcome, but writers are few. So for that one percent of you who are still reading because you are a manic word gobbler I will say this: I don’t know.
John Steinbeck, one of my favorite authors, said he had learned a lot of technical tricks on how to be a writer, but once he sat down at that blank page was as lost as anybody else as to how to do it. The process begs questions, unanswerable questions, to produce answers. What part of our minds actually does the writing? That’s a biggie because it asks you to look at your very process of thinking. That’s one that makes us lose fifteen years to the study of ourselves. If you pick up an addictive habit add five to ten years. To get out of it I went and got a graduate degree in a subject called “Mythological Studies with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology.” That added five years to my dumbfoundedness in addressing this question.

Now, having failed miserably in answering the basic question of how do we write, $30,000 poorer for asking, too, I come up with the same thing that your high school teacher came up with who didn’t get lost in the world of reality questioning, got a good stable degree, made 30,000 the same year I lost it: Writing itself is the answer. Put the seat of the pants on the chair. The answer comes in the process, the feelings you discover during the process, the uncovering of the mysteries.
The question cannot be addressed empirically unless you want to enter James Hillman Hell. This is a place where seeking types try to become scholars and yet the scholarship consists of believing that unreality has in its kernel, its core, the notion that it is just as real as the real. God is as real as Bread. The inner is as real as the outer. This is exactly what I believed as a child of an artist and spiritualist type mother. But you can’t just take it in. You have to forget you know it in order to know it. It’s all confusing and barely worth your time that Buddhist monks must say over and over for twenty years before they kick aside a pebble and for some reason gain enlightenment. In our society this is not practical. Trust me I’ve lost many very marketable years chasing after the answer.
In sum all I have to say about this particular question is “don’t ask.” Get a business degree, soup up your Chevy, get laid and please, find a pot to piss in.

Published in: on February 4, 2012 at 5:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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