Monday, January 1, 2007

Cybernalia


What stands between my self and my e-self is a blog, a bit of cyber-literatia, or maybe cyber-inventia—maybe dementia—something I've resisted. A gimped knee has me web bound, Resistance is futile. The time is present. No time like...

Like the Beat poet Bobby Kaufman, it's as if I took a ten-year vow of silence, but the trance was merely a purgatorial haven or hell of my own creation. Initially, I blamed the silence on a near-fatal car accident (no, my life did not flash before my eyes), or I blamed the silence on grad school. Someone said they quit writing poetry in grad school. It burns it right out of you. With my MFA thesis's seven-year grace period about to expire, I know that one all to well.

But it comes down to this: who am I writing to and what for? The what for is what haunts me. Nihilism raises its ugly head.

Everything is post 2001 now. My old voice has fled, a victim of the mujadeen or the al Queda. Tired of writing about lovers gone bad (BTDT, been there, done that, the tee shirt is a holy rag or more like a holy cow), I grew weary of the rhetoric that inevitably follows writing with a political stance, I turned inward and with a number two pencil eraser, began to erase the inner markings, the deliniations of the soul, that force which drives us to create, to send our prodigal names out there into the world. But even that imploded.

At first, I was physically exhausted from a near-fatal car accident in June of 1997. I hadn't counted on the post-traumatic stress lasting for so long. Or my brain to go south for an extended winter. But I found that a punctured lung weakens more than the breath —for breath, the source of inspiration, is the root of creativity. Not as in God has breathed into, In-spire as in spiritus, but not sanctus. I'm a recovered Catholic enrolled in a two-step program sacred and profane.

Then it was onto to grad school to waken my slothful brain. I was fulfilling a decade old dream. And then I took the deepening vow of poverty a la Dante's Inferno–a poet and a student replete with student loans. Which was followed by a rebuilding of a life, such as it was. A decade of reinvention of the self from Ground Zero has led me back to my first fragile love, art. Poetry has gone on holiday. All that's left are the unformed stories.

And so, couch-bound by a bum knee and stuck in time present, I began to surf. I surfed my name to see how I fared during that decade of near silence and I was surprised to see that I actually had a web presence, though I'd never actively sought one. In fact, I shunned it. All my co writers and classmates were deep into the publish or perish frenzy while I was happy listing in the doledrums. (Been there, done that. Even seeing my name in print no longer inspires or thrills the way it once did. In my 30s and 40s, I was driven by a dark ambition.)

Fooled into thinking I'd find the time later to do what I want—all those big, unnameable projects looming on the horizon—but the horizon is dressed in death's robes and the passage of time is akin to snake-wrestling with cobras. Spit in your eye. Leave you with a Homeric blindness and no story to tell. Life and relationships have a way of taking over. It comes down to who does the housework. Who does the dishes, or scrubs the toilet. Poor Sylvia Plath, I'm beginning to understand her dark fascination with the oven. Did Ted Hughes metamorphose into the sly fox of art and escape domestic responsibility in order to achieve a fragile immortality of words?

But even now, I am afraid to let my cybernalia loose into the world, This blogless blog is bogged down in its aimlessness. Shiftless. No point of view. No goal. Who will read it? And why? Get a job. Going to the bog. Full of shyte. Call it initiation. Baptism. Begin. Regardless. Or take the anywhere approach and see the music of what happens.

Poets Mike Tuggle and Sharon Doubiago each said to write the stories down, you're a storyteller, I said no to that, thinking my stories weren't worth much. But then I said no to poetry too and perversely, it said yes to me, then shamelessly ran off with a lover. I don't know where. I don't have a burning urge to file a missing poems report. But I have to finish my MFA theses. Write anything. See where it leads. Jilted prose redux is what promises to follow during these august daze.



© 2007 Maureen Hurley
NOTE BENE) This blog post was indeed written in August 2007, but I had so much revised and new material to upload there was a logjam so I reorganized the blogs as I had created this site in January and then forgot about it. There was all this perfectly good cyberspace going to waste and I found that I could move the files around by date. And so I did. Since most of it is older work being revised, it really isn't date specific. So I opted for the genre approach. It's still evolving but Feb-Mar is early memory stuff, April is poetry month, May is mostly USSR stuff, July is reserved for my many MFA plays and monologues... then it's sort of calendar specific. I imagine it will keep evolving and shifting until I find an organic order. Drive the Technorati spiders crazy I suppose.

Guy Kawasaki says to write a blog like it's a book, good advice but the physics of it are all wrong as people stumbling upon it are not going to begin at the beginning. They'll either join in by subject matter or by newest entry...no way to read a book. SO there's no chronological attempt. Merely thematic.



To see some of my art go to
Maureen Hurley at MySpace.

No comments: