Instant Writing

Obsessed about a new kind of writ­ing, some­thing more inter­est­ing, and imme­di­ate, than what’s hap­pen­ing in social media or any­where else, cer­tainly books—and it was seen in the thrim and shim­mer of the ligh­trays and lush at a disco loft party last night. There for a sec­ond, a mir­rored moment alone, when my ancient idea of “instant writ­ing” was haunt­ing me hard, some of it came out quickly in great nat­ural clarity—it was strong, ver­nal, and maybe the only way out that was rea­son­ably possible.

Because look: I’ve cre­ated a moun­tain range of backed-up work in jour­nals and files and piles of pocket note­books all to tran­scribe, and there’s sim­ply no way to gather it en masse together and orga­nize it with­out stop­ping, and time, and mean­while more—the ideas keep gush­ing forth in their fast-flowing froth and I know that the most likely way of fin­ish­ing these big leg­ends and books is maybe to write them all out in real­time just as they hap­pen, and instantly with fast strokes & brushthought life is trans­muted to word.

A Visit From the Time Ghost

the time ghost

I spoke with William S. Bur­roughs a few times in the final years of his life. I miss him, and recently I was shocked but happy to hear his voice again — it was com­ing out of the pages of Dostoyevsky.

Yes, I’ve been think­ing of Bur­roughs lately, and I’ve encoun­tered him, and I’ve been think­ing about many other things that are appear­ing, too.

First pub­lished in Got­News as “A Vision From the Time Ghost.”

The Great Writing Caper

William S. Bur­roughs often sug­gested that one’s dreams are a valu­able tar­get for the writer to plun­der. But what he never said, nor made explicit, was how the dreams of oth­ers might pro­vide a writer with direc­tion and mate­r­ial. And yet it hap­pened to him: the dream of a lit­er­ary char­ac­ter, as it occurs inside a novel of the past, appears to have given Bur­roughs a mas­sive trea­sure cache.

The dream is Raskolnikov’s, in Crime and Pun­ish­ment. And it brings William S. Bur­roughs to life. His whole oeu­vre seems to spring from it, is out­lined in the passage…

First pub­lished in Empty Mir­ror.