10.20.2018

Dallas vs. Miami

MIAMI: You think its easy. Lemme know how yor white-ass, racist-style deals with the shithole I'm in right now. Middle o'nowhere. You'd get your ass beat. About to get mine. But watch me fight, these racist rednecks. Watch me. You fucking bitch.

Motherfucker just told me a crazy story. Now I know how to pack a 9 millimeter. He explained it all in detail.

Maybe you get that from your adventures. But I certainly get it from mine. Thank God they don't want to fight me. They like me.

This redneck bartender fucking loves me -- I love her too. So go fuck yourself.

Now I'm in the bathroom alone. I jus needa psss, ya bish, ya bish.

But you're right. Gonna watch my back now, nonetheless.

Lemme not become a bitch.

But how about this: lemme jus taka psss, ya bsh.

Might still fight though. Would you?

No, 'cause you're a bitch.

Bartender keeps coming by me. Dudes are getting mad.

I will punch these retarded men.

DALLAS: You're bombed out of your head. Go home.

MIAMI: I will punch them very soon.

You have no idea where I am.

DALLAS: Recognize you are wasted. Get an uber and go home now.

MIAMI: Watch my punch, ya bish.

Angling right now. These guys deserve it. I might get arrested. Fuck it. And fuck you. You don't know shit. Throwing my phone after this.

DALLAS: You're a drunken fool. Go home before you fuck your life up.

MIAMI: Won that fight, kinda. Woman gave me her number anyway under the bar. Dude hit my head. Not happy about that. I hit him good too, but my hand hurts. In the Uber now.

DALLAS: You're a total fuckup and a moron.

MIAMI: Yeah, as if you know. Never been in an actual fight in your life. GO FUCK YOURSELF

DALLAS: You will read this when you are sober and regret all of this. Clean up your life bro. You are a fucking drunk and a nobody. A zero.

MIAMI: FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

Fuck you, going to the hospital now.

You don't know shit about a street fight -- you little faker. Well this woman. She just showed up. I love it. I'm bleeding everywhere. Thank God for her.

You shit fuck.

They're gonna take my phone, ok! You fucking but!

Go fuck yourself.

You would never bail me outta jail. You're a little bitch. Miller, Hem, Sal -- they have no faith in you. They'll punch you in your bigass nose. I will never support you, man. Ever. 'Cause you'll never support me. So wanna box? Name the time and place, asshole. Be scared, 'cause I will fuck you up. I will you fuck up.

DALLAS: You are a fool and a nobody.

MIAMI: Yeah. Would love to box you one day. No training. Gonna box the shit outta you. Name it. Let's film it.

DALLAS: We will set this up when you are sober. Go to sleep. You are just embarassing yourself right now.

MIAMI: It must be done. Chris will give us the venue. People will come to see this. I did get into a fight, btw. And my nose is bleeding, but I gave it my all. If I can take that bigass dwerb, I can take you.

DALLAS: You're a skinny wasted drunken bum. A never-was-been. Youre a waste of my time. Alcohol and courage are different things. Youre a mediocre man and a worse than mediocre writer.

MIAMI: Good, good. Get worked up. It will give you energy. Please don't be upset when I fuck you up.

DALLAS: Go to bed

MIAMI: This is why I'm gonna fuck you up. Let's plan this. Let's roil up your boring life. Don't worry, I will use gloves. And for the record, I've done this before. Back then, it was about a woman. Now it's about shutting your goddamn mouth.

DALLAS: Go to sleep faggot

MIAMI: Good, good. Keep trying me. Makes me stronger.

DALLAS: Was texting with chris. We both agree you are the next miami person to die.

MIAMI: Awesome. The truth is -- you've never been a friend to me. All you've done is diss me and my work. So it has come to this: I challenge you to a fist-fight.

Let's see who wins.

Seriously.

You fucking bitch.

DALLAS: Youre a drunk. Drunks have no friends.

MIAMI: Yeah. Drunks also punch people in the face.

DALLAS: Go to sleep bro

MIAMI: Fuck you.

DALLAS: When you read this nonsense later youll call me to apologize

MIAMI: This fool and "a nobody" has bigger balls than you. I don't care anymore. Go fuck yourself. What have you done for me, or anyone, as a friend?? Nothing, absolutely nothing. You have no friends, and that's OK, perhaps. You're a solipsistic bitch. We shall not speak again after this text. I have decided now to disown you as a friend, as I realize it doesn't matter to you anyway, right? Good. Then let it be.


7.28.2018

Human Side Podcast 21: Always Leaving

With Andreas of Austria. Topics discussed: Imprisonment in Burma; smuggling cocaine from Colombia to Ecuador; islands in the Pacific; the great state of Texas; and the danger in seeing too much of the world.

7.24.2018

Human Side Podcast 20: "Don't Pull the Knife Out"

With Andreas of Austria. Topics discussed: the absence of artistic greatness in contemporary life; marrying foreign wives and divorcing them; dating girls from Montenegro; Darwin's theory of Genetic Drift; Colombian knife attacks; and the silencing of the restlessness that forces a man to leave his home and country.

6.26.2018

Human Side Podcast 18: Corporate Slavery

To relinquish a hard-gained freedom and happiness for the stability and certainty of making money. But to discover the only certainty is misery. How is it that two men who learned this truth years earlier have returned to the West and gone back to work for it?

6.24.2018

Dear Omar

"Form is never more than an extension of content" (Robert Creeley).

Explain to me why the content of what you've written is best presented in a spontaneous form.

Kerouac had specific and carefully thought out reasons (religious, literary, and content based) for his use of spontaneous prose ("first thought, best thought" — Ginsberg).

One of my early criticisms of your first chapter was the interjections of a narrative voice that looks back and explains. Again you do this in what you've sent me and it does not work at all with a spontaneous prose form. Spontaneous prose is about energy and the moment — not so much the moment of your writing as an author (although Kerouac did this to great effect), but the moment of your character when shit is happening. Your sober, authorial interjections about where MDMA comes from, and good or bad batches of it, destroy any energy and momentum the spontaneous prose form might generate from Shay at his moment on the rooftop with the girl, etc.

So my assessment of this is the same as my assessment of the first chapter you sent me months ago: You are mixing your narrative techniques when they must not be mixed. This tells me 1) you are well enough read to know of certain narrative techniques, but also 2) you do not understand how and when to use them. You have not considered at a philosophical level how they can work with the subject matter and action you want to present.

It took me years of work and taking apart sentences and paragraphs to figure this shit out.

I have suggested certain books to you that would explain — much better than I can or want to here — narration as done by some of the masters. After you understand how these masters (Joyce especially, but all the Modernist writers to some degree — it hasn't advanced much beyond them) were able to create through techniques the images and feelings in a reader, then you will have to practice how to do it with your own material. That may take years. Or you may never master it enough to do it with any fluidity.

I'm not knocking your material. You may very well have a story. But you are murdering it with bad, uninformed and amateurish narrative technique. Its clear to me narrative technique is something you've never studied, but you will have to study it if you want to write better.

One of the earliest indications for me that you did not know about narration, came from an edit you made on my story "A Panty Shop in Bogota" in Simply Good. You added "my future wife" to a story that was a slice of life piece, a moment in time. It was information irrelevant to the story, coming from the future, an entirely unwarranted authorial interjection that broke the narrative flow. This was a genocidal crime of narrative technique — that unfortunately got attributed to the author, me. You made me look like an amateur with that edit. I was furious at the time, but you insisted on it and stood by it. It was then that I realized you had never thought rigorously about narration and techniques and how they work and when they are applicable. But I knew too and was comforted by the knowledge that nobody of any consequence would read Simply Good and my story in it, and that this magazine would fold and disappear just as your earlier magazine MAP (fortunately) did.

I have also recommended the translating of the Belgian poet as a way to improve your feel for the English language. Meditating for sometimes hours on a word and a sentence is most instructive. Especially as you are not someone who has traveled widely and learned how a word is used by different people in far away places and in other forms of life.

I know you think you're good with words, but I can show you even in your latest text messages to me where you criticize me about video games, how the words you are using don't actually work together.

Just as with narrative techniques, you show some familiarity with certain words, but you show in the awkward way you use them that you lack fluency with them. You're lazy Omar, and you know that. I want to make you rigorous. Uncompromising. To eliminate all the dross. You get by on showing off to tiny people in Miami. Yes, you've got enough to impress them. But to roll with the big boys you got to have more rigor and be more studied.

I am hopeful you can do it. You will be getting a late start. I did most of this work from the ages of 20 to 30. I used to sit in the American Library in Paris in the late '90s taking apart sentences to figure out why they worked like they did. I spent 4 years reading Being and Time by Heidegger. This was all necessary work. Could I do it all today? Probably not. It is the work of youth and youthful energy.

But I wish you luck.

Translate the Belgian. Meditate on each and every word and line. One of those poems should take you a month to translate well. Its hard work if you are rigorous. But you will learn the English language in a way you did not before.

And read those 2 books on narrative technique. Then begin to try out those techniques (from Maupassant, Chekhov, Hemingway, Joyce, etc). Get good with them.

Then when that period of work is done, the translating and reading, you will be able to apply a high level writer's abilities to your story of Shay and Miami and all that debauchery.

You have much work to do. But it is great work, the work that can make a greatness.
 
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