Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The New Old

This isn't the post I promised but considering I'm the only one that knows about this blog, I didn't think anyone (I) would mind. I'd rather keep this active than let it stagnate trying to find an old review.

Featured today is another old work because of two reasons, 1. The subject of new works created from old, sourced pieces came up in recent conversation and 2. I suck and am lazy- wanna fight?
It's a cento* I wrote (perhaps comprised is a better word?) that was featured in the NY Ghost in June of '07. Though I started out simply compiling quotes that attracted me, I found a startling continuity within the chosen passages on the subjects of psychosis, masc vs. fem thought and duality within the self. Incidentally, most of the male authors I used are among my favorite writers but the women have the last say. That wasn't intentional.

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poetry, a cento is a work wholly composed of verses or passages taken from other authors; only disposed in a new form or order. The term comes from the Latin cento, a cloak made of patches; and that from the Greek κεντονιον. The Roman soldiers used these centos, or old stuffs patched over each other, to guard themselves from the strokes of their enemies.


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THE BEAUTY of the pneumatic rifle was that it could be fired with the muzzle inside the van without deafening everyone around it-there was no need to stick the muzzle out the window where the public could see it.1 Or, I could just sit in the bushes and pump the hand pump until the plumbing was superpressurized to 110psi. This way, when someone goes to flush a toilet, the toilet tank will explode. At 150 psi, if someone turns on the shower, the water pressure will blow off the shower head, strip the threads, blam, the shower head turns into a mortar shell.2
“You want all those retards in watchamacallit, Nebraska, staring at your Texas dick video on MTV openmouthed, blasting the ass, not realizing that it’s all a joke, getting cunt-tickled and fucked thinking that after you shot your girlfriend in the head and the slimiest red hot sexy ass Nazi guy she was partying with that you meant it? Huh? You didn’t dick for stuffing mean it, Leon. You liked the girl you shot in the head, a tasty blonde fuck. The girl you shot in the head was a flower to you, Leon. Your image, Leon. I’m just helping you shape your image, okay?”3
Tyler Durden is a separate personality I’ve created, and now he’s threatening to take over my real life.4 He talks so fast that even his friends have a hard time understanding him. It’s like listening to a foreigner and deciphering only shit, motherfucker, bitch, and the single phrase You can’t kill the Rooster... Asked how he came up with that name, he says only, “Certain motherfuckers think they can fuck with my shit, but you can’t kill the Rooster. You might can fuck him up sometimes, but bitch, nobody kills the motherfucking Rooster. You know what I’m saying?”5 When words fail him, the Rooster has been known to communicate with his fists, which, though quick and solid, are no larger than a couple of tangerines.”6 The first night we fought was a Sunday night, and Tyler hadn’t shaved all weekend so my knuckles burned raw from his weekend beard. Lying on our backs in the parking lot, staring up at the one star that came through the streetlights, I asked Tyler what he’d been fighting.7
“You are aware of only one unrest; Oh never learn to know the other! Two souls, alas are dwelling in my breast, And one is striving to forsake its brother.8 Why should I always be torn from the desire of my heart? Yet you had sworn you would be my companion, always beside me; That you swore by the stars, or by the light of your eyes. 9”
This would go on for hours.10 Barking and barking. Barking and barking.11 “Stop. Please,”12 I tended to lose patience with some of the longer dream sequences, but for the most part13 You can be as strong as you wish to be.14
“Bitch, I’m here to tell you that it’s going to be all right. We’ll get through this shit, motherfucker, just you wait.15 You weren’t really fighting me,” Tyler says. “You said so yourself. You were fighting everything you hate in your life.”16
“You exhaust me with your foolishness and reward my efforts with nothing but pain, do you understand me?17 I am becoming aware of just how lost inside my life you really are18 ”
“Hey, man, I’ve been a fan of yours like forever,” I hear him say. “Forever, man.” 19
I got the point. He needed to work here, but he didn’t have to like it. He had sealed his heart when he’d left home. His real life was in an unlivable land across oceans. He was a ghost. Hanging on.20 I wanted to tell (her) him that if only something were wrong with my body it would be fine, I would rather have anything wrong with my body than something wrong with my head, but the idea seemed so involved and wearisome that I didn’t say anything.21
I am not choosing between men.22

1. Hannibal- Thomas Harris (449)
2. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk (69)
3. Bolded Profanity- Why Are We in Vietnam- Norman Mailer (8,9,13,33,123)
The Informers- Bret Easton Ellis (157)
4. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk (173)
5. Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris (61)
6. Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris (65)
7. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk (53)
8. Faust- Goethe (11.1110-1112 p145)
9. The Art of Love- Ovid (The Loves- lines xvi)
10. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk (59)
11. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk (165)
12. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk (165)
13. Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris (92)
14. Hannibal- Thomas Harris (464)
15. Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris (68)
16. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk (167)
17. Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris (173)
18. The Informers- Bret Easton Ellis (125)
19. The Informers- Bret Easton Ellis (125)
20. Jasmine- Bharati Mukherjee (153)
21. The BellJar- Sylvia Plath (149)
22. Jasmine- Bharati Mukherjee (240)

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