My “Down With the Underdogs” tribute to the mystery scene
To the former punks
And factory workers
Border crossing saviors
To the inner-city players,
Of both style and substance
Silent geeks, the crazy kind
And other Fuck the World
Types or people,
My kind of people,
Down with the underdogs.
And now some context to this post:
I’m in the editing of my next novel, Down With the Underdogs, with no date in sight, but I am starting to think about things like tributes and photos and covers and working on expanding my network…that kind of shit.
Some version of this thing will go in as tribute in the book.
As for networking, I decided to go to any artistic or literary event I could find these past few weeks.
Tonight, I went to a mile-end poetry reading. And I’m a kid from the East, so you know I don’t fit in no fucking mile-end poetry reading. I also happen to be a poet who doesn’t really like poetry, or as Bukowski would say, “it’s all so boring! Where’s the guts?”
I mean, Cat Kidd was as impressive as I expected her to be, but the rest of it, I could’ve lived without. I mean, they can do whatever they want and who gives a fuck, it’s all good and well and everything, but it did make me realize just how much I could appreciate the mystery scene I landed in a few months ago.
Some of you I’ve met in real life, others I’ve only met online, but there is this unique meeting point of so many representatives of the working class in the people I’ve met. The bottom half of society is well represented with you and I wanted to say it, I guess.
I have known real love
Love met in the haze of
Love met in the hail of
And the still cold rain
Of early spring
I have known real love
In black and white
And the purest drive of passion
Made for music,
Made for movies
And the greater pages of literature
A love of guts
Like The Ring of Fire
Love is a Dog from Hell
I have met love for the ages
I really did
The stuff of legends
I swear to god
Love that drives you to madness
Love that drives you
To a life of pure
And honest labour.
Some men would rather die in the hell of battle
As other will lose their soul on a line.
I was the latter and still don’t know if I regret it.
I have met true love
Love stuck in the endless fights
Of ego, pride
And the trappings of ambition.
There really is nothing worse than ambition.
But I stuck with it
Or high water
I stuck with it.
And the best
It has to be the worst
Is I still can’t say why.
It’s Been Days and I still Can’t Name This One (poem).
In the eve
Of crashing economies
That never seem to collapse
And dissolving political landscapes
That never seem to change
We feel like rats.
We truly do.
Rats in a maze
Or ants in the sand
We are contained
And prayed upon,
Fed, yet controlled
Who never seem to fall ill
Once the rations go sour
And we are eating our crumbs.
Keep calm and carry on
God Save the Queen,
And manageable inflation.
If anything at all,
Four hundred years of “corporation”
Have thought us
Wealth always only goes one way
So we retract
We take shelter into small homes
That seem to be getting smaller every year.
We give in to simple pleasures of the flesh
Drink ‘til we’re numb
And fuck the pain away.
We indulge in the faceless idols of the world
The ever changing faces
Spoon fed, sure
But force fed, still
Through screen and paper
We receive their impossible iterations
And accept our feeble limits.
We feel irrelevant
We become irrelevant
Destined to fail
With no end in sight.
We find ourselves stuck.
Trapped somewhere in the middle
Down inside the limbo
Of desensitized aggression
And sexualized despair.
We seek revenge on people who have done us no wrong
We wish harm on those would could do us good
We take it all for fact
And to hell with the consequences.
We hate for the simple fact that it is easy
And natural to us
Hatred can be as natural to man
And any man,
There are no exceptions to this.
Hatred can be as natural to man as love can be
So why does it feel so simple
Why does it feel so seamless?
Why does it seem so fulfilling?
Maybe hunger has something to do with it.
There has to be a reason.
Debt and taxes and all the wars of the world?
The victims always sound the same.
Over 2000 years since Thucydides
And we have yet to learn a thing.
Same questions hoping for new answers?
Not a god damned thing, I tell you.
I simply wished for a simple life
A truly simple kind of life.
What could be more important than family,
Or a home at night?
Popcorn and pop
And a movie sometimes
Then the struggle with the baths
And the teeth and the pajamas
With a good night kiss and a hug
That’s just a second longer than usual
As the day fades away, solemn in the night
The safety of it all
Can hide the poverty
And the struggles and the pain
It makes you forget the warehouse job
And the endless flow of brown boxes.
It really does
It can hide the troubles and the bills
And the never-ending need for food.
And the pinch of daily grievances
A father and a husband,
Us against the world
Through a decade of one’s born days.
For a few moments
When the lights are out but the kids are peaceful,
Asleep in the nicest bed you could afford
And it seems to be enough
So you turn off the lights
And think maybe,
You finally starting to win.
Unaware that we already were living in Farenheit 451.
We had suddenly stepped into the world of 1984.
And so it appeared,
The number of the future.
I am about to announce my first “officially” published work, as I was lucky enough to team up with an up and coming indie of the publishing world, and I found myself thinking about the path that led me here.
Part of my intellectual process is to understand patterns very easily and part of my spiritual search is to understand the origin of such patterns (or paths) and their influence on the person I am today.
It is often said that any artist who’s “made it” had to fail time and time again in order to learn and grow. I can only say that the clichés are true as I was trying to figure out how many pages I had written and scrapped before getting to this point.
I did a pretty complete breakdown of everything I could think of between being a geek writing his own role-playing games when I was in fourth grade and looking into a chunk the huge market of mystery writing. (soon to be announced officially.)
3 role-playing games – say 90 pages total
4 short stories in high school – say 20 pages total.
2 personal essays in junior college – 80 pages total.
5 “short” political dissertations – 200 pages total.
20 smaller college works – 8 to 12 pages – say 160 pages total.
(I’m not even gonna count all the weekly 2 to 7 pages assignments)
About 50 songs (music and/or lyrics) – 50 pages total
1 really bad script – 90 pages
1 really bad novel idea – 60 pages
2 full length plays – 120 pages total
1 short movie script – 6 pages
1 good full length movie script – 100 pages
3 novels : say 800 pages
1 self-made translation : 140 pages
2 poetry collections : 160 pages
4 years of curating texts for the MainLine Gala for Student Gala.
An unspecified amount of arts events and designs
Plus plans for a series of 5 graphic novels which I have yet to count…
2166 pages of “unsuccessful” or DIY writing to get here. At least 420 pages of which I literally scrapped. Most of it I used but have yet to pay out and some if it I actually look to make small amounts of money from.
I’m not even counting the letters, proposals and blog posts.
@250 words a page, that’s over half a million words I wrote before I got a book deal. (541 500 to be precise)
(With all the proposals, treatments, blog posts, letters, homework, submissions… I’m confident I’ve hit the million words by now… but let’s stick to manageable figures for now.)
So I guess the message is this, If you write every day, or even every week. If you started young because it felt natural to you, keep doing it. Half a million words and counting…that’s what it takes.
If that number scares you, you should probably do something else.
“Until you die or it dies in you” – Charles Bukowski.
Crass is the danger of stillness
Crass is the will to action
Crass are the pitfalls of hatred
And the narrow paths of love.
These poems of ordinary havok
Are a call to arms
Entrenched in dirty realism
Grounded by raconteurs
And a heartfelt dose of satire.
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