Another writing exercise! This one quite simple, it was merely to write a piece starting with that first sentence about not having much time left. I was so exhausted when I did it that I could not write coherently, so I decided to use the voice of someone having some kind of systemic breakdown, like a stroke. It came out sounding like language poetry. Or word salad. (Okay, if there isn’t a language poetry journal called Word Salad, there really ought to be.) Something kind of surprising and fun happened: it randomly summoned this research paper I wrote on Richard Nixon when I was sixteen! Amazing how many factoids I still remember about the dude. Anyway, here it is–
I don’t have a much time left, and I still have a few things to say. First I’d like to know if there’s any way to get the grooves and bumps back, with some sort of emulsifier or something. 18 minutes hail to the chief someone has streaked black marker over the most important passages. Record silence over speech and the ribbon gets flattened. Expletive Deleted. The record the record the record spins again and the voice that has been erased laughs. It doesn’t matter; he will pardon us. Wait no, I’m sorry I cannot take notes fast enough. Expunged it’s expunged, see right here where he said cocksucker there’s only a crackling hiss; it’s like the ocean, peaceful. Abdication condemnation—infamy. That’s a nice suit nice coat not a crook respectable Republican cloth coat. What was the name of that sweet little dog? Check check Checkers Expletive Deleted. Not a Harvard man, what do they say about you, have you forgotten me already? Being dead is no excuse, no, again, it’s buttoned wrong I always liked your crisp white shirts five o’clock shadow, your dark face next to that fresh boy face no wonder they voted for the other but I always loved you best 18 minutes love you Expletive Deleted no. No, the Reds won’t get us look it’s safe, it’s safe all green and blue and gold, the sun melts it’s all gone, even the Catholic even the roaring sound even the dog—what did it feel like when you first held her? Like heat like dark like dirt like darts on the board in your heart it’s like that, the voice laughs, laughs, Expletive laughs Deleted laughs.
PS–let me just say that the phrase “respectable Republican cloth coat” might be even more fabulous than “perfunctory and pro-forma.” It makes my toes wiggle with delight.