People ask me, “How do you write?” or “What do you write about?” or “What makes a good story?” or “When was the last time you masturbated before and/or after writing?” or similar literary-colonmoving queries.
I never know what to say, especially on the spur of the moment. And especially when, these days of no time and less money, moments tend to be mere dead horses.
So I’ve composed a parable to offer up to the inquisitive on such occasions. I call this parable ACQUIRED TASTE. It first assumed electronic shape at THIEVES JARGON, one of the web’s stickier strands of living writing…
I was sitting in my studio at the bottom of a five-hundred pound writer’s block, when my critics surprised me. They knocked off the block. They grabbed me by the ankles. Dragged me into the john. Stuffed me headfirst down the toilet.
“Since you write about it…,” one began.
“Yeah!” another leaped in. “Let’s give you a taste!”
A third critic flushed furiously, accusing me of fecal materialism. They snaked my body through the trap.
Feeling my feet submerge into the bowl, I realized these people were only trying to be constructive. They were intelligent, perceptive, sensitive. And they were right. I am scum. So I let go; shot through the plumbing, out under the frontyard and into the sewer.
Down there it was dark; reminiscent of rough drafts, false starts, abortions. But drink abounded, and it wasn’t lonely. There were as many rats as humans in the city above. And many more roaches. Murder, rape, arson were unknown, although they happened. Above all, plagiarism didn’t exist – who’d want to even read this shit? The critics are right.
So I loosened up, and let fly. Which felt so good, I passed out; then landed on a strange planet, where no scum had ever set foot.
I opened the door to my craft, and stepped outside…
Qui legit intellegat. As always, mon cher lecteur, thanks for your time, your consideration and your considerable eyestrain.
Tags: acquired taste, literary criticism, literary critics, parable on writing, Thieves Jargon, Willie Smith, ws