Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Writer's Booth

Time to indulge in a little self-consciousness today. As of yesterday, this space has taken its place somewhere in the vast parking lot of the blogosphere. I have set up my booth. It reminds me of a character I once had, an unnamed writer who anonymously occupied a small windowless shack in a city and who typed (this was pre-computer age) little jottings, observations, micro-stories, whimsies, then fed them into a pneumatic tube which jettisoned them out into the wide world. People found them, the way we find discarded bubble gum comics on the ground--the literature of the sidewalk. They became popular, then mysterious, then alarming. What secrets did "The Adventures of Cock-a-Leekie, the Student Prince" portend? Someone finally traced them to the source, the anonymous shack. I didn't get that far in the plot; I was having too much fun writing the jottings. But I envisioned a panicky crowd pounding on the door of the shack until the pale writer emerges, blinking in the daylight. Do they punish him or welcome him? Not sure. Maybe they lose interest once they see he's just another schlub like them. But I'm glad that our cities are filled with writer's booths, and that they tend to have windows and the writers get out once in a while.

What do I have to shoot out into the world? I guess it's time that interests me--seasonal time, the orbit of the year, the arc of a day and what fills it, the character of each month; and time past, the spent part that seems to define getting old, but is also a rich nourishment of the present time. "There are places I remember..." What a killer line. Simple as a door opening, but so evocative, it can go anywhere. I bet Lennon knew he had the song in hand just with that beginning. My open sesame is the word up there: Almanac. From the Arabic: al-manakh, the calendar. Manakh, says my Webster's unabridged, comes from two words meaning "a place where camels kneel down." Through some route, it came to mean "climate or weather." Maybe it had to do with sandstorms. In any case, I like its abracadabra sound: almanac! Welcome to my calendar, my booth of days.

No comments:

Post a Comment