The 11th of MAY, sub-divided into musings


Why, oh why, am I not writing all the time? I can feel my talent sitting there, waiting, kind of resentful, just impatient for me to get going again.


These last two or three days my body has been in Bartleby the Scrivener mode. Whenever I asked anything of it, it leaned away from me, muttering “I would prefer not to”. Today however, I am back in my juice. How does this happen? What, other than coffee, determines this exasperating cycle?


Reading Lydia Davis is making me reconsider my adjective-reach, adverbially superabundant writing style. As an artist one should be willing to change. But one should also be willing to try to perfect one’s own style, the alleged voice. Which of these, at this point of my inexistent career, is more important for me?


The one distinguishing hallmark of genius that I have been able to discover thus far and the only one I have no doubt about, is this: versatility. But what about the saying: Jack of all trades, master of none?


Today I should work like a berserker. I haven’t done so in a while. Time to change things.


I always want to read a book simultaneously with somebody else. But then I never do. And it never seems like my fault either. This is what makes me suspicious of the vibrancy of our reading culture. However, going to the OF in Zurich the other day dispersed all such fears to the seven (or so) winds.

There were people of all ages and brain sizes, standing in line, waiting to buy reading matter. At that point I was wishing that at least one of them was holding under their arms something with my name on it.


The only way to become a good writer is to set goals. The very least I should aspire to is to be the greatest writer of all times. Then, if and when I fail, I can always point to the impossibility of my ambition.



The first attempt should be to write a book of five to ten thousand pages or more. I should never be caught saying that it is a series of books or that one can read the different parts separately or admit any kind of divisibility. Instead, impatiently, I would inquire: “Well, before we even go any further and waste each other’s time, let me ask you this: have you or haven’t you read all ten thousand pages?” The sum of the happiness of my life will be boiled down to, encapsulated in, refracted through this question.

I will come to a minimal detente with my mortality by knowing that I am co-extensive with those ten-thousand+ pages, not necessarily the characters or the narratives, just the immensity of one page coming after the other for so long.

Even thinking about this scenario seems to be nearly enough. The way Pessoa imagined the Oceans and the distant, hazy shore lines of an unknown Pacific island.


I write that I must work like a dog. Then I go off and eat like one. I must understand that these are not the same things.


It turns out that the Swiss Textile Industry, like almost everything in the Universe, is pretty darn interesting. I will look into it. It is part of my job for an upcoming issue.


The thing about Dave, reading Dave, and I will call him Dave because, like anybody who’s read almost all of his books, I feel to be acquainted with him, can easily imagine how we would shoot the breeze at some SoCal cafe, is that reading Dave, the whole world seems about three to four times more meaningful. I opted for realism here, instead of hyperbole. You want to keep reading him because he adds depth to everyday that you wander through his narratives. So then, the next logical & terrible thought is that you, I, wanted him to keep on living so he could keep writing more stories for me to read: egoistic altruism. You ever wondered how altruism and all-true-ism sounds almost exactly the same? Me either. But then so anyway, the question lingers, despite all the psycho-biographical details: Dave, why’d you leave so early? Damnit.


When I wrote that the small moleskine notebook will teach me to be more economic with my wordoutput, i was probably mistaken.


I am often, for no good reason, & unreasonably, annoyed that I am NOT perfectly well-informed about everything there is to know. Yet every day, reading the news, one is reminded of what a boring place the world can be if you look at it with the same old eyes, again and again. The news repeat the lie that everything keeps repeating itself, though probably everybody knows better than that.


Is 10’000 good enough, high enough, schizoid enough a goal?

When it comes to the hellfire of creativity, gunning for anything less than writing on the order of multiple tens of thousands of pages seems limited. I would then, day & night, be writing, sitting in an almost erect homo sapiens sapiens posture in front of my McIntosh, letting the stories pour out onto the numbered pages, going back, revising, editing. Stopping to take either a breather or a shit, then coming back to the small, confined, venetian-blinded confines of my room.

The smell? Insufferable.

It is a matter of little or no concern if the fumes would inspire me or slow my progression down. If mixed in with the vapors of my body I would be able to detect the sour under-scent of anxiety and lassitude and premature defeat and utter, all-sided oblivion. I would keep writing, pretending that the black letters on the screen, those pixelated empty spaces where indeed the screen is selectively dead rather than alive to my frenzied typing, that these helvetica glyphs are an equivalent of the good, black, old ink. That they are digital squid-juice (have i written this before? Do i repeat myself like an ancient, grey person already?). That they stand for the immortality of the written word, even when it is not written, when in fact it is not even printed out.

Then I think of the death of woods, forests, large jungles, as coming generations, against all reason and ecological foresight, decide to print out the body of my work. That the body of my dead spirit, traced in 26 pathetic contorted capsules of blackness, brings death to many a tree. And thinking like this, I know it’s all just a petty fire of ideas that might not live to see the next laptop HD. In these radiant days of information technology.


My apologies. I will do better next time, I promise.


Wallace w/ friend


About tmabona

writer, reader [bolano, DW, bellow, deLillo], runner, badmintoneer
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2 Responses to The 11th of MAY, sub-divided into musings

  1. nomsa says:

    What can I say. I LOVED it. loved loved loved.

  2. tmabona says:

    Very happy to hear, Sis’ 😉 !!!
    Hoffe alles zum Besten in ZH,
    LG an Ray!

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