on writing: framing out the wiggle stuff

by Samuel Saint Thomas

I can't believe I'm still learning how to see. I figure if I learn to do that, I can write. I'm not talking about eyesight. More correctly, I'm talking about learning to look. I see too much. I want to look, as Martin Heidegger suggests, so as to allow for a clearing, as if to licht or light up a thing or thought. That way i'll get a chance to examine it apart from the rest of things. Allowing for a clearing saves me from the hoard of clutter in my head, the diverse stream of stuff of the world I live in. In a clearing, ideas and things get a chance to be understood and experienced.

When poking at things and ideas in a clearing is working, I feel I am writing. Just as I frame a photograph or compose a painting, placing my subject on its own is a way of framing out the clutter that might keep me from seeing a certain few colors, objects, or textures. That's my idea of story anyway, allowing people, places, memories, details as needed, to stand in a clearing. Perhaps, in doing so, I may get closer to stuff, understand stuff more clearly, and if I'm lucky, my readers will too. It's hard work though, trying to understand things in, as Alan Watts says, this wiggly world.

I think this too. What with Raymond Carver, James Joyce, John Updike, Amy Tan, William Faulkner and all the other brilliant minds in people's laps, why should I want to go through all the work? I remember reading somewhere of Bob Dylan moaning about songwriting, "There's enough good ones already." One could say that about poetry, prose, and all the rest of the hybrids annexed and prefixed with the words free, acid, flash, beat, jazz.

But for some reason, that I haven't figured out just yet, and despite the deep doubt that there's a hole on someones' shelf for a book written by Samuel Saint Thomas, still, I do it. I write. I like it. It juices me. And tapping away in the middle of the night makes me think I'm getting a wiggly thing or two of my life to sit still for a spell. Then something else gets wiggly. Then there's more tapping.

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on sitting: writer’s ass

by Samuel Saint Thomas.

At 10:45 this morning, I was half an hour into it, on the exam table, pants off. She felt around on the left cheek of my ass, searching for the exact spot. She was sorry about the cold hands.

“Ahh, Jeeezus, that’s it. Wow,” I said.
“You’re pretty inflamed there on your buttocks,” she said.

The doctor told me that some sort of sac in my ass cheek is the problem. Bursae to be exact. Latin for handbag. Turns out, there are 150 of these little Latin bags all over the human body. I didn’t know I had sacs in my ass. “You’ve abused your bursae sacs,” she said. Who would have thought I could do that? Abuse my own ass. I don’t strap myself to thin fiberglass and rocket down steep slopes. I don’t flirt with avalanches or tsunamis. I don’t jump from planes, trains or bicycles. And I don’t sit on the toilet during a storm. I’ll wait, thank you.

Rather, I write. Turns out that’s quite risky. Sitting on chairs and walls and stools and such, crushes the sacs in your cheeks. I’d laugh right now, but I’m sitting in a coffee shop, on a hard chair, writing about the risk of sitting on hard chairs. I’m taking the risk to write about the risk of getting a pain in my ass from an activity that gets the heart rate up to slightly above looking out the window at a woodpecker.

“But, I’m a writer,” I said.
“You might want to consider a different position,” she said.

I explained that I’d loose my thought stream if I get up for a stroll. I said they’ve invented a treadmill mounted with a keyboard, but that’s still in beta. I suppose I could elevate the kitchen table on cement blocks and write like Hemingway. But didn’t he have bulging veins by the time he finished A Moveable Feast? Virginia Woolf stood up for the task, but we know what happened to her. How about if I just strap myself to an inverter? Are there any sac bags in my head?

But I was still in pain. I wanted to get to the cause of this sac issue in my ass. “It’s my boney ass, isn’t it? Right? I mean, I don’t like to self diagnose, especially with all those certificates on the wall, but I really think I have B.A.W.S., Boney Ass Writer’s Syndrome.” She suggested an x-ray. I said I’d pass on the radiation thing if it was ok. Harmful rays down there could be risky.

Instead, I went for the two week supply of 600 MG Ibuprofens, rotating hot towels and bags of ice cubes. I’ll give the Hemingway treatment a try too. I could also switch to heavy cream and eat a boatload of chocolate. That way I can write, eat my therapy and sit on it at the same time. But not completely satisfied, I Googled “boney ass.” Seems FreshPair has these padded butt boxer briefs in Black, White, and Nude “for guys who want to look good both coming and going.” I have no need for the contoured push-up pouch. I’m ok there.

But perhaps the ‘strategically placed oval enhancement panels’ could reduce the risk of B.A.W.S and keep me on my ass. The paddies got mixed reviews though. Smarky69 said, “The padding is nice when you don’t have the meat.” A verified reviewer noted, “ Not that I was going for a J-Lo look… they were a little uncomfortable…they weren’t really moving with me… I wore them out dancing, huge mistake.” So, I think I’ll just stick with the drowsy, icy, fat increasing routine for now. I’ve scored some desserts and 60 white oblong-shaped tablets imprinted with 6-I. Seems it’s working.

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