fuck your jokes

FUCK YER BRAND, IMMA DO ME (/help me figure out my brand?)

[u shd probably read the NOTE(S) as they come up for cohesion, but do as u wish, obvi]

so there s a lot of things that have been going on here, on our dearly beloved htmlg. there seems to be an even bigger emphasis than ever before on attn. and i won t lie, it is nice to feel that w/e it is i might have written here might have been read or provoked a thought to someone—ANYONE—outside of me. but the reason i am writing this, right now is to set up a personal statement of sorts for how i want to use this site, as someone who regularly (?) tries to put stuff up…


I will refuse to care about being “cool.” I reject the notion of a grotesquely narcissistic coolness in an alt lit universe, where we are all nerds, when viewed through the larger lens of people who are not only unaware of this lit stuff, but also actively ignore its existence.

Perhaps I am just the biggest loser in the universe, but I like to care. If I did not, maybe I would not want to write. The reason I started writing was to figure out things I was genuinely curious about, not always in a healthy fashion. It was not to one-up anyone, not to be smarter in a gimmicky sort of way that will fade and might feel cheap in a couple of years.

HTMLG was one of the places online I constantly returned to when I was in a cubicle day after day doing shit I hated, trying to find a way out. To me, it used to be a liberating space, a meaningful forum that introduced me to writing I care for, and still value. Now, it is confusing. I have the hardest time figuring out the intentions behind what is being written. Sometimes I wonder if pressing “publish” was the entire goal of some contributor; I do not think it should be. [1]

Picture 1

An amazing book of poetry was loaned to me, to remind me of my incentives and goals. Ann Lauterbach is brilliant, even though she cares. Or maybe because of it. I do not write poems, but her intentions—as presented in the middle section of “Under The Sign” are ones I would like to have as ideals.

The experience of art

So perhaps caring is not so bad. I will not actively try to not care about writing; writing by those who don’t care does not interest me.

But to care, one needs to put something at risk. One must “open,” perhaps even lose a part of their “security”—usually stemming from exercising a controlled performance of confidence—by showing insecurity. Being clevererererer just shouldn’t cut it if one wants to be true to oneself. [2]

I like the way Lauterbach understands writing. I wish we all agreed on that a little more, but I won’t force it upon you, because that would go against my principles.



[1] It is entirely possible that the reason I feel this way about putting words together in a creative way is because I did not study it. Maybe the excessive studying of something leads some of my fellow HTMLG contributors to an insipid cynicism that is often reduced to “being smarter.” Maybe it has to do with the frustrations of a young writer—or new, actually— as an immaterial existence in a material universe: the rewards of writing are rarely fiscal.

money seemed
So yes, there is a relationship to be noted here that births frustration. But I do not think it should be our driving force. I will not let it be mine. In the Greek language there is no word that accurately translates to “writer.” The options for the translator are either “journalist” or “novelist.” Language depicts “realities,” to a degree. In the English language it might still be possible to be a writer at large. Someone who tackles fiction and/ or nonfiction. But rather than appreciate it, we are all beating this possibility; rejecting it, killing it.

The fixation on rapid success that is intrinsic in late-capitalism has infected our immaterial universe, stigmatizing creative intentions. And I am aware money is—and probably will be—an issue for a lot of us/ you/ whatever you want me to say. But to let it dictate creative intentions would be embracing defeat.

The rewards I value, thus far, are the kind and generous exchanges of ideas I have with individuals I admire and respect. I don’t know if they count as material or immaterial, but I do know that money cannot buy them. An email from Blake casually saying “hey man, i liked that thing you wrote” means more to me than a paycheck. Perhaps I am just the biggest loser in the universe.
Or perhaps I just prefer losing with integrity over winning without it.
[2] Or if it does, I don’t understand why such a person would turn to writing. Is writing not a resort away from “the real world?” The material world is the one I am willing to fail in with less hesitation; the immaterial one I have “chosen” out of no other choice: because I care.

Am I living in the past? Is anyone even reading this. Is “reciprocity” the recognition of who the smartererererer one is?

then fuck “you,” imma do it 4 me

Author Spotlight & Behind the Scenes & Craft Notes / 14 Comments
January 14th, 2014 / 1:30 am