Here is the first quote from my very first book:
What is this platypus doing in our lion’s den?…What’s this mammal doing in our order of birds?… Who put this bird in our church of monkeys?…What the hell are you and where did you come from?
Heavy Bags of Soul was literally twenty years of writing that I culled to form a sensible path to take a reader through my own soul and every experience that I accessed and could comfortably put in written form (meaning yes, the experiences are accessable to others, and FYI no drugs have ever been involved in any of my work.) My path took me through serious study of all the major disciplines, serious meditation, decades of work and study of numerous the paths. The result was extremely real experiences that I documented all along the way in many forms because the experiences become exceedingly more difficult to espouse accurately when the subjectivity of mind becomes involved, even while the body, brain, and consciousness are present.
What does this have to do with writing and stuff? I’ll get to it.
Another issue was that what we accept readily in books and movies becomes a very different issue when confronting belief systems or phenomena that are outside our normal range of living. So Heavy Bags of Soul was born. The translation of experiences used poetry, essays, dialogues, short stories and prose to come at the journey from a vast array of areas, each one significant and real. Honestly, it doesn’t seem like a documentation of anything real at all. But metaphors and analogies and writing from concentric circles, ever closing and deepening were the best way I knew to describe it all. Truth hides in fiction and it hides very well.
At the time of the documentations, often done in poetic form because poetry had the most lift for me (Rumi, anyone? No? Try e.e. cummings who knew the universe for what it was and whose brilliance is completely underrated), for explanation of my travels on this path, I neglected to think about the fact that the years of research I had done intellectually, leading me to a love of semiotics of all things, as well as eclectic deep knowledge of very specific parts in various disciplines, might not be an easy reach for a reader. Yes, this is a once sentence paragraph. No, now it isn’t.
Here is a review that showed that one person understood the format at least. He got some of the sly allusions and wordplay. I say some because really, would you get wordplay on the Mother Letters from the Sefir Yetzirah? Yeah, me neither. At one time I would have. But no, I didn’t reference any of it. Yes, that leads to the conclusion that one day I will no longer understand the intricacies of my own book.
This was by Johnny Masiulewicz
“Heavy Bags of Soul” paints a rather dour picture of the modern world. In this engaging collection of poems and prosody is chronicled the trials and pitfalls of an oppressive world that is as absurd as it is tiring. Yet despite this dim outlook on life the book does offer a sense of hope and unity that serves to offset the nihilism of the main theme. Woven throughout the collection – most notable in the author’s modernizations of the classic Socratic dialogue – this theme of unity maintains that although the road of life is an exhaustive one and that all on that road are laden with their own heavy bags, everyone is in this together and only through tackling the challenges of this world together, only through tapping the resources of the equally heavy bags of soul, will everyone can make it through.
Structurally, the aforementioned Socratic dialogues are just one of a variety of literary forms through which the collection’s themes are conveyed. The genre utilized here include both metered and free verse, terse maxims, essays on pop philosophy and cultural movement, and even the occasional bon mot as a punctuation point. This mix of literary formats not only manages to show each and every topical point in a number of different lights, but also challenges the readers who must themselves view each literary format in its own light. Also challenging is the author’s trust in her readers’ intelligence. Though not outwardly acknowledged, that trust is implicit in the author’s habit of using the most diverse and arcane cultural references possible. Citing sources that extend in relevance from Greek taxonomy through quantum physics and on to Top 40 Radio, the topical references may at times have readers wishing they had Wikipedia on speed dial, but do provide for an entertaining, esoteric and intellectually stimulating read.”
It’s true. For many years I had a habit of thinking everyone else- on the internet anyway- was brilliant, and definitely more brilliant than me (in real life hopes were dashed pretty darn fast.) So when I would get into one of my phases of intense study of the most arcane esoterica, or the most up to date quantum physics, or for an easier one, the kinds of logical fallacies everyone uses everyday (know those, anyone? I don’t remember them either, just that they exist- here’s an easy list for those who care: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies ), or whatever, I just automatically assumed everyone else already knew it. After all, I was a student of the universe studying all this stuff so I could learn it, so I sure wasn’t the guru. People on the internet, sometimes people in general, and especially some people on spiritual paths have a propensity to sound as if they already know it all. So I took everyone at their façade.
But apparently what I was, was someone with the ability to analyze intensely (my career bore that assumption out) and make leaps of intuition past the path logic could take one (leaving the intellectual side to play catch-up and find the data to support the leaps), and string it all together like puzzle pieces. Only I could see the finished puzzle and others sometimes only saw the pieces.
Don’t get me started on how the puzzle changes. That’s for a different post. Or book.
Writing a book, trying to get information across that already can’t be expressed in normal terms, with that mindset, well…it came out like it came out, but believe me, it was carefully constructed. It was and still is my masterpiece. I could write another one now that is more advanced (and less unrelatable believe it or not) but I can’t yet. It’s too soon. I may never, I don’t know. But that part of my life and brain was and still is the reason I want to rip my computer out when I keep reading and hearing platitudes that pass for wisdom. It was and still is why I am not easily engaged by writing that everyone likes because the platitudes seem so simple to me I want to claw out my hair.
I can’t write like that either. I could look at the kinds of writing I am talking about and force my way through that kind of posting. But no, I can’t. I can, but I just can’t. I will always be niche. The question is just how much. I mean, I used to find what I considered genius music videos and put them together to create a story. That niche.
So, I am not an easy person to understand (yes, we all feel like that.) So directions for the care and reading of KD are simple: just go by my normal happy internet speak and my lots of exclamation points and smiley faces, (which I genuinely DO mean) and you’ll be fine. Who knows, maybe we all have a snarky self-proclaimed genius ready to rapid fire bon mots of wisdom at passerbys.
I kid. I may still have some sui generis, but any modicum of genius has long since begun stumbling down the swiss cheese path of the aged.
I did make my first break into relatability with my new release, “The Brevity of Twit.” Combing through my tweets over three years, I managed to reign in my geekdom, make my delight for absurdist musings humorous and satirize the medium itself. So maybe there’s hope after all.
By the way, another post or maybe article I will shop around is going to come out of my first book too and it will be called “When Sex Doesn’t Sell.” That was originally going to be what this post was about but you know, narcissism and all, it ended up being this instead. But yes, the book I’m talking about in this post is full of sex. However, it doesn’t use the words people are used to. It takes the most erotic experience in the world, beyond mere physical sex, (yes, Kundalini exists) and tries to express it through and for the intellect (in parts, not the whole book.) There are poems about orgasms in there. Ha Ha. And no one even knew.
Or Sob. Whatever.
So anyway, I am working on getting more to my core in writing and less out of the frickin’ universe of abstract etherealism. My real voice is still succinct and terse and funny and geeky and doesn’t tolerate fools well. That’s why when I find other voices that are similar (very few) the poor writers are like “what?” because they haven’t read themselves in me yet. Because it doesn’t exist yet. But I’ve recognized some of my voice in theirs and that is a delight. Reading your voice in another’s is awesome (check out this: https://authorkdrose.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/john-hartness-cusses-a-whole-damn-lot/.) Ok, it’s not exactly my voice but it could be. He is essentially reaming the reader out and I laughed my ass off. Or check out Kurt Brindley who I don’t even remember what he wrote but I read something really short, like his “about” page or something and knew he had an acid tongue that would make me spill coffee if I drank it, should he choose to put it to use. Or Libby Broadbent or Lauren Hester who cracked me up simply in emails or blogs.
Sorry. Off topic. Anyway, it’s a delight to discover voices similar to your own, should you choose to use it.
Then of course reading what you wish your voice was like in anothers is even more awesome. Or depressing. You kind of get to take your pick.
This post is an example of why it’s so hard for me to write. To put this together, like I have done in the past with a few articles that actually are really good, takes a lot of effort because I remain a non-linear thinker basically, and for the time being, writing, at least posts, articles and books for mass audiences (“The Familiar” by Mark Danielewski aside) is a very linear exercise. So I still put puzzle pieces together and it turns into something like this: https://scriggler.com/DetailPost/Opinion/10722 or this: https://scriggler.com/DetailPost/Opinion/10797 but for posts, well, have fun with my eclectic connecting of dots because I ain’t doing the piecing together until later (though I will publish finals of polished pieces too.) I do promise to try to write coherently though. Try, I said.
But let me leave you with a positive. A quote from the book this post was originally about (see how I brought that full circle there.) It’s the penultimate quote, so congrats, you are getting the final piece of wisdom without the ride. Here it is:
Perfection is Not Static.
I leave you that to ponder and really, really look forward to your posts and writing. Because I still learn from everything. It’s one of the better parts in life.
PS. So what was this post about exactly? I’m the platypus.