Just now a robin hopped

Just now a robin hopped to within inches of sliding doors on deck, then flew to deck rail and was at the northeast corner — but before I could write “corner,” it had flown away. 

I wanna say I first saw robins 10 days ago, maybe 2 weeks. But I do feel bad for them when there’s snow — how and what do they eat? Baby owls eat earthworms before they can really hunt. Documentary last night said owls hit their prey hard, with up to the force of 12 times body weight, in order to crush it. 

[From journal of Tues., 24 March 2015, Journal 206, page 64]

‘I never knew you could leave someone out of the two of us’: Exquisite Corpse poems, Fall 2021

Here are this semester’s Creative Writing classes’ poems written in the Exquisite Corpse method.  What I love about these lines is how they were created almost randomly but have a kind of weird logic. I like how some of these seem almost brilliant, in an obtuse way. See here for previous semesters’ poems. Punctuation was added, but the words below appear in the order they were written in the Exquisite Corpse poems made in class recently.

I never knew you could leave someone out of the two of us.

For the first time in time, we will see.

Your mom is always yelling about 20 years ago today.

I want to leave me alone right now.

Happy is how I feel sad.

Leave here is today’s homework.

When the crow squeals angrily, screaming bloody hell, murder on my little mind is.

I want to stop believing in myself.

Father is very cold when alligators are very rideable.

Cats and dogs tear flesh off the night.

Pretty girls make me nervous about little things like asteroids hitting the moon.

Time doesn’t always affect me because I rode motorcycles.

Is this the end of the end of the best part of me?

Extinct is what people call me.

Hard times are happening now.

Last week is way too long.

Can we please make out with friends and Clifford?

The solar system of equations in math will eventually kill me.

I just lost my knee.

Swim in a pool of your new sweat.

Wear your best dress. We will never die and stop and go, and, without it, there’s nothing.

Animal abuse is not ever going to stop at Stop signs.

Warm hot days are cracked eggs.

You need to get the teardrops on my guitar.

The right word can make other words.

The Bakers lived like no one watched when you are grilling my hot dogs in summer.

My friend, are you ready to go away and leave?

Do you think of me when I sing loud noises like fireworks exploding bombs?

Everywhere we go there is extremely sad and boring old teachers.

I don’t know what I am trying.

You’re a very special friend of mine; why are people alive any more?

OK, I was off my phone for a while there

OK, I was off my phone for a while there, but now, about 3:10 p.m., I’m looking at AVClub, maybe briefly.

Phone [is put] away a couple minutes later. There’s gray woodgrain on short perpendicular wall to my left. There is texture to some apparent saw cuts but I don’t know, can’t say for sure, that it’s not some veneer product, some pressed sawdust thing. But, you know, the beautiful thing is that I don’t need to! I mean, how much I used to criticize fakeness in my journals from my earlier days — aged 19, 20, maybe — (well, I’m remembering sometimes where I did that, at least) — but now I don’t seem to care so much. Those things don’t seem to matter as much to me now. Maybe I, like so many others, do just want to be fed, warm, comfortable, safe — all these simple things. And yet, (a woman, maybe? in mirrored yellowish sunglasses and hair off forehead and looking at a cell phone and sitting with her back to west wall, looked 2 or 3 distinct (head-turned times) as the rainbow-suspenders girl left — was sunglasses checking her out?) Perhaps there’s an impulse, perhaps I feel an impulse, to reconcile everything — sitting here in a Starbucks on a Monday afternoon with the white pine wavering in breeze but staying in place with the cars zooming by on the road — only way to reconcile these in ideas is to go abstract.

It’s banal of me to sit here and write — maybe not “banal,” exactly, but common, unimpressive — for me, at least, even if it’d be surprising for others, certain others, to do this … Anyway, doesn’t matter. It’s common for me to do this (“how sweet it is to be loved by you” — the tambourine-heavy, non-(pre-?) James Taylor version. It is a Carole King song, right?) And yet it’s also kinda incredible that I’m a living being (and all living beings have DNA, right? Except virus with its RNA? But that’s kinda incredible, too, right? Suggesting a common start to life?). Well, it’s 3:26 p.m. I’ve got M’s only transport. I should probably shop and get back, see what Easter candy is at Woodman’s. Could use some of those bird-egg malted-balls things. I’m getting banal in talking about what’s banal and what’s not! Ha. (“I’ll be there” song now. Mostly I haven’t noticed the songs.) Ah, well. There remain the issues — like how is it that I’m a living being sitting here writing shit down, thinking, using a symbol system common to my culture? I’m doing what all humans are capable of doing, and I’m using words and ideas that aren’t all that hard to find in the culture I grew up within (and was educated within). I’m not all that special just because I write. Maybe there is something relatively unique in my — in how I think, or in what drives me to think, or how I’d like l [colleagues] to talk to me (to address an earlier-this-writing-session concern), but that I also don’t care too much about that. Friends seem harder to make these days, but mostly I’m too busy and tired to worry about that anyway.

[From journal of Mon., 21 March 2016, Journal 224, page 36-8]

Covering up clocks and leaving TV and phone alone

M knows me so well. She came in after I had tonight’s burritos eaten. Stuff (fixin’s) still were out but I’d eaten all black beans. M wanted refried anyway. 1st time for that dinner in a few weeks. And M came home and saw both clocks covered by [self-adhesive notepapers] and she guessed I was doing some time experiment.

It’s odd that time passes, seems to pass, quickly when I’m not paying attention to it (when I’m in engaged mind) (and the evening routine I had was OK — as a routine, it was familiar, calming, but not all that satisfying). …

When someone (or I) says it’s hard to believe the fall semester’s done already, or “I can’t believe I’m 85 — what happened to the time?” (“Helen Wheels,” at Thanksgiving dinner), that’s only because you’re forgetting every moment. (It seemed a little mean to tell Mich. and Dan at Xmas that I didn’t like Helen, but, well, when old people are assholes, this is why young people stay away.)

Anyway, yes, so, it’s as if there’s this whole world, whole different mindset, different way of thinking of and living in the world, that is so close, so easy to switch to, but I seldom do — I tend to turn the TV on rather than sit in silence, or sit and stitch a book without distraction, paying no (OK, less) attention to clock last night. It’s like I was the dog — just, you know, not comparing now to then (an hour ago, 10 years ago — that, too, is abstract, is an abstraction).

6:40 now. I should go and leave time to drive — no call to cancel school came.

It’s something — being mindful is something I’ve tried doing before. What I did last night felt like a backdoor way to get to the same place (without the formality of mental burden of MEDITATION, that being scary thing (as Jen Kirkman said in her comedy special we watched last weekend)). And I didn’t suspect that it’d be as easy as covering up clocks and leaving TV and phone alone.

And somehow this all connects with my journals as particular, as not-news, but something besides that (not quite sure what), something more timeless possibly? And my journals — even today’s, once it’s written, isn’t all that different — doesn’t look different (except for dates recorded with the words) from journals written years ago!

Time, and temperature, too — knowing the number makes me colder. Prioritize subjective experience over facts/objective!

In mornings, though, before school, I am on the clock.

[From journal of Tues., 10 Jan. 2017, Journal 244, pages 150-3]

The cat with ear-edges serrated by frost bite.

M said religious people like to tell how all their experiences have meanings. That sounds like exactly what I have been trying to get over in the last several years. So, yeah, I’m not sure what is the purpose of reading (well, entertainment?) or writing fiction (other than, like with poets and poetry, one wants to craft a clever or moving performance for an audience).

Were I to argue with Laura Miller — see yesterday’s journal entry/journal text where I pointed out how harsh L. Miller was to Popova book. I mean, I trust my judgment as well as hers on literary topics. She’s not special, exactly — but I doubt I’d get her to share my values.

I watched just a few minutes — a couple minutes? Not long —of Today show this morning. I read on my phone for a long while. Yeah, I went to take a pic of vet instructions with my phone’s back-camera, and the pic was fuzzy and I thought lens was dirty but it was cracked and smashed in. Weird that I don’t remember that happening. …

I just had another few sticks of cherry Twizzlers — bought Thursday, brought home from school last night.

Saw the tabby cat at Mom’s house. It left the west-side deck and trotted south. Turn & look, or “stop and look at me,” I said — and then it eventually did, a cat move I wasn’t surprised to see. And I went in house and not long after, I saw what looked like same cat munch on what looked like a female goldfinch, as if cat hunts under the bird feeder. They hadn’t seen a cat kill bird there before, Mom and Bob said. It was the same place I saw a possum a week or two ago. And Mom said “mama cat” — a gray one who had some litters — I’m not sure if it’s the same one I was thinking of, which was the one with ear-edges serrated by frost bite.

[From journal of Sat., 2 March 2019, Journal 297, page 157-9]

Had they said ‘lazy,’ maybe that would’ve stung

[A student] wrote in her journal that other students around her were saying disrespectful things about me — “idiot,” and “r*t*rd” — and, of course, I have to wonder a little why, if [student] likes me, why she’d repeat these things — and yet, yeah, it’s not fun to be called names, but “idiot” and “r**ard” are so far from true that they don’t even make me flinch. Now, had they said “lazy,” maybe that would’ve stung, though, no, I’m not really lazy, either. I work hard, though maybe not as hard as some teachers …, but [student], or somebody whose journal I read yesterday, said I’m one of the nice teachers at [school where I teach].

[From journal of Thurs., 23 Oct. 2014, Journal 200, page 108]

Ideas seem more vital than feelings to me

I read a Tim Parks blog post last night (via Dish) where he says that fiction may be less necessary now than it was. Now, people can write nonfictionally about (openly admit to) abuse, adultery, etc., in a way that Dickens et all could not have. I’m not sure that’s the only or main reason to leave fiction — but it was interesting that he said fiction was a way writers would work out their own life-issues. It’s not really why I would use fiction, but then, I’m more interested in ideas than people. Were I to write fiction, it’d be a fiction of ideas. I mean, I’m realizing lately, thanks to this year’s recent Creative Writing stuff, I’ve been realizing that I really don’t care to read about others’ experiences and feelings. Maybe it’s rude of me, maybe I am a tidbit autistic, but shit, ideas seem more vital than feelings to me. Ideas are new, or can be. Feelings are endlessly recycled person to person. 

So many novels and movies have characters who make dumb choices, or impulsive ones, and I’ve never been dumb or all that impulsive. What seems far more vital to me are ideas on how, at any moment, there are so many different ways I can think. I can sit down and just have and let go of ideas. Say, sitting outside, I can look at the grass as a whole or particular blades, or I can lie back and feel like I’m gonna fall off the earth — “what’s holding me down?” — but these ideas aren’t even as interesting has having new ones, you know? 

[From journal of Sun., 26 Oct. 2014, Journal 200, page 133-5]

 

1986 vacation

Trip Down

Started at 11:00 6/7 from Ashton. Saw convoy of Army/camo vehicles. At 1:30 had a flat front left tire about 5 miles or less away from El Paso [Illinois]. Stopped down at 2 gas stations to get new tire. We got our tire at J.M.K. Tire & Wheel in Bloomington. We also had lunch at J.M.K. Tire & Wheel. Next we went to the Miller Park Zoo. 35 cents for us and 75 cents for parents. First tigers, mountain lions, snow leopard, Indian lions, which live 15–30 years. 13–15 years snow leopards live. Lemur, fox snake, tarantula, iguana. We saw spotted turtle, hognose snake, spiny mouse, screech owl, sparrow hawk, jaguar, siren[?] monitor, alligator, boa, snapping turtle, painted turtle, softshell turtle, king snake, ferret, piranhas, birds, sea lions, otters, raccoons, red fox, donkeys.

Then, we drove again, this time to a park north of Kewanee, the Johnson-Sauk Trail State Park. We decided to stay. First we registered. Then we went to site #48. We had supper at 8:00 and went to bed. It also sprinkled. We woke around 6:00. I had slept on the cushions next to the window in the camper. When we got up, we dressed and had some toast. Then we went fishing.

Our whole family went, and Nace used his new pole and a white popper to catch 5 bluegill, the largest 7 inches and the smallest 6 1/4 inches. Dan hauled a snake ashore while Mom read Deerslayer. For breakfast we had Tang[?], eggs, sausage, toast. Mom and Dad made it while I cleaned up the camp and Nace and Dan cleaned fish. 

Our stay at this park was part of Plan B. We were going to go to Kentucky and the Smokies, but burning oil and a blown front tire cancelled those plans. Instead. Plan B says that we stay one night in a state park and then go to Door County, Wisconsin, in our Suburban. I guess we’ll see if that plan turns out. 

After eating breakfast about 10:00, we packed back up. We then left camp and headed north, toward Morrison. At eleven we stopped and got 17.4 gallons of gas at a Conoco gas station in Prophetstown. Starting back at camp, I had been riding in front with Dad. At 12:00, we came to Morrison Rockwood State Park and Carlton Lake. We stopped near a bait shop and bought 1 dozen worms for $1.10. We then drove around the park looking at campsites. Mom and Dad liked #37. Next we settled down in a parking lot near a bay. Nace caught 2, 1 bass and a bluegill, and Dan got 2 bluegill. Dad and I only got bites.

Around 2:00 we stowed the fishing gear in the truck and went into Morrison to get an ice cream cone. We first went to a One Stop Store to get our cones, but their machine was busted. We then went down to a drive in-type place where we each had a medium-sized chocolate-and-vanilla-mixed ice-cream cone, except Dad, who had a medium chocolate cone. 

When we got back into the truck and started it, Dad and I drove just to the other side of the lot and bought a block of ice from a gas station. Then we were on our way back to Morrison Rockwood State Park. We drove back to the park to choose a campsite. We drove slowly and discovered #34. A little later a ranger signed us in. It was about 3:30.

From about 4:00 to 5:00, Dad and I rested and napped while Mom read and my brothers played around. After our nap, we had supper. Tacos, fruit salad, and Kool-Aid were on the menu. Then when we were doing dishes, chopping wood, and recovering from supper, we heard a sound like a truck was stuck. We heard it several times, and until we saw that it was a rainbow colored hot air balloon, we had no recollection of what it could be. 

After cleaning up, we headed down to the Lake Carlton. We got 2 dozen crawlers and a bunch of minnows. We started fishing on a dock for crappie. Two nice men over a little farther down on the dock caught some and gave them to us. Though we caught some. I had 2, Nace had 2, Dan and Dad each had 1. Mom ran the stringer while Dan ran the fish from the man [men?] to Mom. One of the men had blondish hair while the other was older and had black hair and glasses. Our family packed the truck with our gear and headed back to camp to clean fish. I used Nace’s yellow knife and scaled 3-4 fish.

After getting the fish smell away from our hands, we built the fire and had s’mores. We each had two. I tried to darken my marshmallow to a golden brown.  After that we got ready to go to bed and we got to bed about 10:00, June 8, 1986. 

6/9

This morning we awoke around 7:00. Again, I slept on the cushions around the table. We got dressed and had some cocoa. Around 7:15 we left our campsite to go fishing. Our family got down to Lake Carlton and we got minnows. After just a little fishing, the man with the blond hair named “Red” arrive[d] and caught fish which he gave to us. “Andy,” the other man, also came, but later. Nace caught a crappie and a bass. Dad caught a bass. We couldn’t have had many at all if Red hadn’t given them to us. Red and his friend caught crappie on little lead-head jigs with yellow, white, or orange color. I tried my beetle spinner like that but had no results. Before we left, I took the minnows back to the shop to take but he didn’t. Later we packed the fish and went back to camp to clean fish. Dad, Nace, and I cleaned fish while Dan stacked them up in a pile. When a fish would fall off the pile, Dan would patiently pick it up and set it back of the stack. 

About 10:00, we had breakfast. Friend bluegill and crappie went with toast and orange juice. Dad burnt some toast. After that I made toast. I got them nice and crisp, but not burnt. Following breakfast, clean up and messing around were activities performed. I rolled sleeping bags and straightened up the camper while my brother[s?] tortured baitfish. About 11:30 we finished packing and got on the road again, but before that, Dad threw the garbage in a container the ranger set out. Then we left camp. We drove on the toll road till [sic] we hit the next town, Dixon. When then drove through and out of Dixon around 12:20.

Next we rode through Franklin Grove, on our way to Ashton and Dad’s house. Maybe 5 minutes out of Franklin Grove when we reached Dad’s house. Following the stop at Dad’s, we took off to our house. We arrived around 1:30. Right away we started to clean out the Suburban, which we were to take up to Washington Island. Dad came up around 3:00 and helped us repack. Later, after repacking, we left about 5:30. I was riding next to the window in the short seat. 

We drove up to Rockford and got some gas [at] station by the airport. Dad bought us some cones there, which he made himself. After that we got on the toll road and paid the toll. The road went through Rockford. From there we drove along highways through Elkhorn and Eagle. Eagle is neat because the whole town looks older, especially the motel. Going out of town, we took the Kettle Moraine Scenic Route. Kettles are potholes formed by glaciers and a moraine is a hill with rock in it dropped by the glacier. Out of town, we came up upon the Ottawa Lake Recreation Center. We decided to camp here for the night. The campsite is #81. After arriving[?], my brothers and I set up Nace’s tent while Mom and Dad worked to set up Dad’s tent. After we got Nace’s tent up, us [sic] boys explored around in the trails. We discovered an entrance to the lake. Then we went back to camp. Right away we went back out to collect firewood, but we didn’t get much of anything. By then Mom and Dad had gotten the tent up. Mom took us for a short walk next to the woods. Then we came back to camp, but then left for the building which has restrooms, sinks, and showers, where Dad got water. We went back to camp and started the stove. Mom made ham sandwiches while Dad made cocoa. We had cookies after that. I cleaned out a space in the back of the Suburban, where I slept. Mom and Dad slept in Dad’s tent, with their blankets zipped together because the wind was blowing very cold and fast. It might have been 20–30 mph. 

We all awoke around 6:30, 6/10. Right away I helped the boys put away their tent because it was sprinkling. By the time we left it was raining. Anyway, we had cereal about 7:00. Mom made Banana Nut Bread in the shape of a pancake. We started packing the truck up and taking down Dad’s tent, and we left Kettle Moraine State Park. Ottawa Lake is one part of it. We left the park at 8:00 with it cloudy and raining. Dad was driving, Mom was in the front seat, Nace and I were in the second seat, and little Danny in the back. Around 9:30 in a Standard station in Mayville we got gas and Mom started driving with Dad next to her. We drove on Highway[s] 67 and 41 and didn’t run into any rain until we came into Fon[d] du Lac. We saw just a little part of Lake Winnebago around 10:00. Rain still came down when we went through many towns, including Algoma, Kewanee, and Manitowoc, Two Rivers, Alaska, and Pipe, all along Lake Michigan. We stopped at 2 rest stops, one in Manitowoc, the other outside Algoma. Mom and Dan [or Dad?] looked at a motel, but they didn’t like it. From there we went to the Riverside Restaurant and Drive-in for lunch. I had a Deluxe Burger with tomato, lettuce, and onion and a Dr. Pepper. We left there at 2:00. Dad got a paper on the way out.

At 2:30, we drove into Potawatomi State Park. We drove through the campsites to choose one. I liked either #42 or #48. Both were next to a cliff with rocks and were in the woods. We ended up with #42. We drove out and set up our tents. I climbed up the cliffs to the top. The climb is about 30 feet or more. Dad chopped two logs of pine. We went from there to the boat launch that goes into Sturgeon Bay. I picked up a couple of rocks, but lost them. We went back on the road and went partway up a tower. Mom stopped 2/3 of the way up because you couldn’t see much. We went to Sturgeon Bay. Roy’s Red Owl is a grocery where we bought our food. We went back to camp and had pork and beans, hot dogs, and soup. For dessert we ate s’mores.

I slept with Mom and Dad in their tent. In the night, one time it rained very hard, and another time it thundered and lightninged. We woke around 7:00 and had eggs, toast, and bacon for breakfast. Dad built a fire, but it was hard. After breakfast when Mom was doing dishes, Chipy the Chipmunk ran around rocks near our campsite. He ate from an apple core on the rocks. We let camp at 12:00. We went down to Sturgeon Lake to let Nace and Dan fish while Dad and I played catch. At 12:15, we left and got on the road home. We only stopped twice, one [stop] for gas in Appleton and one in a waystation outside Kickapoo [this location name might be incorrect]. We traveled on Highway #26 most of the way. At the waystation we had lunch. We hit a toll north of Rockford. Also, at the waystation, Mom and Dad changed positions. Mom drove the rest of the way home. We reached Stillman at 6:45, thus ending our 1986 vacation.

As a conclusion, we saw a rainbow when driving on North Cox Road. 

[From a pocket notebook entitled “’86 + ’89 Vacation Tactical Navigator Log.” I turned 12 in 1986.]

Live-to-paper performances!!

Had only a couple kids well, 5 or 6 — seniors here last hour as juniors in Rhet & Comp went to veterans’ day assembly (responding to that is the topic for today). I feel confident this morning after writing journals about how editing my writings for blog feels like work. And I also had thought on drive in today (a snowy, 45-mph hour drive — though I did pass a car on Route 72 eastbound, which car was doing only 35 mph) that I actually don’t want to be famous — not if I have to try to impress others — that would go against the whole aspect of my ideas that look not at myths or stories or extremes but at what’s here and now (though would it be OK if I got famous by being dull? Well, maybe, though maybe I still wouldn’t want to be too influenced by trying to amuse readers (as that fan letter I got at Daily Illini screwed up my process and my writing mind. That’s jeez, 23 years ago now and I still refer to it. I did write for AgriNews and WILL since then, though I never got fan letter. I did get recognized by clerk at a bookstore (Borders?) once and that was weird. 

But maybe that’s the last time I wanted to try to be clever for money/fame/attention I mean, Deadspin was clever but tediously so. Maybe I can be — can start to be — confident in my obscurity (and not bitter). That being obscure is, if not the point, then it’s adjacent, because my point is to be honest, to just be. Well, not to “be” anything but to write just what comes to mind to write when I sit down and write my journals each day, like this one here (though the pocket pages notes are more about the ideas themselves, maybe). Here I am now — I don’t want to be remembered later. 

A literature of being alive now: the Maynard Ferguson “Macarthur Park” and the students with heads down, mostly done with journals but see, even labeling what’s before me and with me isn’t the full point. It’s just nowness. It is now as I write this. I’ll be another now should I come back and read this. Of course I have hundreds of books filled with now-writings and of course none of them can be thrown away they’re not drafts but originals! Live-to-paper performances!!

[From school journal of Mon., 11 Nov. 2019, 4-5 hour., Journal 312, page 74-5]

Done with this hell-hole known as Tech! Back to civilization!

10:am

Done! Done with this hell-hole known as Tech! Back to civilization!

Just finished with phil. final … Final seemed too easy, but others finished early, too, so must not be too bad.  

Not too much else to do today. Catch up on this [journal], I guess, and laundry. Hope mom gets here early tomorrow.

I need to write when I get home.  I need to get active and forget doubts, like my ability to create a good character. I’ll never know unless I try. I need to create characters that speak, and not put words in their mouth.

Can’t believe I’m going home. In a lot of ways, it will be like regressing to high school. It’s weird to think I’ll never see most of the people I know now again, even though I despised them before. It’ll be odd to see Chris, Matt and Joe again. Living at home.  I’ll be different — it’s not that I won’t fit in, I know I can, but it’ll be weird to see these things and people in a new light after experiencing Tech. I just hope I don’t forget how much I hated it up here, in the winter, with the engineers, ’cause it already seems not as bad. I guess time heals all wounds, but I don’t want to forget this experience.  Now Tech seems really nice, but I know I couldn’t spend another winter up here.

I know I haven’t been as creative as I was in March and April — gala months for revelations. I’ve been so busy studying and worrying about going home.  Also, I just haven’t had as many new ideas — funny thing. A cyclical thing — fertile and fallow months. I expect to get a lot of new ideas with all the reading I’ll be doing this summer.

It’s funny — nothing I have to do today.  So weird. 

My hair is getting just too long. It’s in my eyes. I want to keep it long, but I don’t want it in my eyes. I look better w/ long hair, but not too long.

Drugs: there are a lot of people who are just yes-men for the “Just Say No” committee. They should change that to “Just Say No and Blindly Accept our Decree Without Thinking for Yourself” because that’s what it is. It’s fine to say no, it’s perfectly ok, that’s not what I’m saying.  But, as with anything you do, you should know why you’re saying no. You should always come from an informed position, when making any non-emotional decision.  

There are different types of people when it comes to making a drug-use decision. People who blindly say no — foolish. It’s much better (and people respect you more) when you have a reason. The person who is unsure of their wants is wishy-washy — not cool, can’t respect that person. I know it’s not always possible to have a decision, but at least be confident of not having a decision. Wishy-washy people just have no respect, aren’t cool.

While I was taking notes from my phil. notes, I realized that information can be compacted almost infinitely, ’til you get down to one word or one sentence. This is scary. This is like 1984, where Big Brother controlled the thought of the citizens by reducing the number and meaning of words. You can always take meaning out, but restoring meaning is tougher. So it is important to not overly-condense material so as to not leave out subtle meanings and nuances, which can be more important, have more meaning than blatant statements.

Rap is the only really new music form for our generation.  It’s the modern street poetry, the beat of our generation.

(Paragraph below typed 30 May)

I helped Andy move out.  I took pictures for Matt’s ASCE drawing.  Did laundry — got hot in dryer.  Ate by myself at Subway.  Went to Readmore for a few minutes.  Took nap and packed some more.  Mopped whole floor.  So quiet in dorm.  Started Dharma Bums — that book is incredibly bad! The dialog is corny and highschoolish (I think some of my dialog in “expurgators” was better) and all the other characters talk only about how great Japhy Ryder (Gary Snyder) is.  So different from the best book ever written, On The Road. If nothing else, Vonnegut was at least consistent.  Matt came back around midnight.

[From journal of Fri., 21 May 1993, typed 21 May except as noted above.]