Video: Amanda Gowin at Sylvester Memorial Library

the video!!! took forever to get this mess uploaded. i realize it’s an hour long, but at least stick around long enough for the church fire anecdote… plus i read a story. mainly i ramble. but i think it turned out pretty well! 

grey matter & llamas

i can feel quite clearly my brain has come loose from its moorings, sort of rattling around in there, clonking off the sides of my head as i tilt it – each pressure point throwing up a random image or memory – tilt forward – clonk – scene from buffy where spike threw his arms over the cross and smoke rose – tilt to the right – rattle and smack – did herman melville’s work process for moby dick look ANYTHING like i picture it? at the begininnig with him MAD with ideas, pacing at the front of a stuffy attic room full of ramshackle desks, gathered vagrants, poor students and generally confused hopefuls bent over books and pads, or scribbling general knowledge, others sketching rudimentary sketches of whales and their anatomy, unable to spell but drawing the pictures up from their minds, coaxing them out, all with the dust swirling in the light from the one open window, and melville as i picture him, pacing and feeling a bit of the ahab as he watched the information accumulate and pile into stacks of gorgeous paper and the idea and obsession clogged his head and he smoked and stopped to scratch snatches of prose or single interesting words or effective descriptions – tilt right, pop neck, smack – they can’t seriously be thinking about putting more animals in that field. what is that? buncha horses, two llamas, two miniature donkeys, a regualr donkey, a rabbit hutch, and  now a  chicken coop?? dumb fucks. rednecks with money are ten times worse than poor rednecks – head shake, eye scrunch, shake rattle and roll – how many times can you come apart without doing it safely under the cover of night and not end up divorced? and how much sleep do you really need to survive? and how clean does a house have to be to count as clean? does it have to be MORE clean if the judges are landlords? what about landlords AND relatives? how many books are enough for a two-year-old for one day? ten one day, one the next, zero, then two, five, five, four, two, ten, none, etc and on… does the inconsistency make for inconsistent brain development? how much m- c- has to build up in your system before m- into c- m- and start causing headaches and sickness? is there already tissue damage, organ damage, brain damage, irreversible damage, by that point?  if so, how much? – big sigh, chin on chest, squelch sound, brain resting against back of eyeballs, pushing them forward in sockets – how long before i short out? – tilt back – i haven’t watched titus andronicus in like a year, i’m really in the mood for some gorgeous violence and shakespearean monologues “OFT I HAVE DUG UP THE BODIES-”  – yawn, feeling grey matter run down the back of throat, acidy phlegm, don’t cough, that’s your brain, swallow hard – if solitary bees build nests of flower petals, how do they become solitary? what makes them suddenly break free? or are they cast out??