Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Thank you much, for the walking stick."

I suspect this post will lack cohesion. Mainly, because that's the way things have been lately. I realized the other day that I live in a cave. Sure, they called it a "basement studio apartment," but mostly it's a cave. I sleep below the ground. There's a yellow light in my cave. It comes from a lamp I was given by my Dad. He and my mother made it out of a ceramic flower-pot they bought in Jerusalem. It's the only light I carried with me across the country. That sentence sounds more melodramatic than it actually is. The cave smells like freedom.

Things seem to be happening far too fast for me to process them. I have a new job at a specialty pet-food store. It's a pretty great gig and has provided the hound-dog with a treasure trove of upper-crust dog stuffs. He's chewing on a deer antler right now. I've seen the error-free (to my and my editor's eyes) fifth galley of my first book sent off to proofers. I've seen a draft of a friend's exceptional cover art for said book. There is an online teaching position on the horizon, which I'm excited about (as I thought I would, I already miss teaching...). Seattle continues to surprise and delight. Strangely, as I prepare to move and am aswirl with new responsibilities and existing obligations, I finally feel at home in my new city.


Killer first line of the moment:

"Each day grows old, no minute ever new."

from R.H.W. Dillard's "Without You"
(Sallies, LSU Press, 2001)

(The above is the text of the entire poem, a one-liner.)





The seminar is taking place on the second floor of the Dampkring's forward-looking modern branch, whose decor tends toward diamond plate and brushed steel, in deliberate disdain, the owner tells me, for the hippy-shit aesthetics, smoke-browned Hendrix posters, and Jamaican tricolor of the last-gen Amsterdam dope joint. Despite the ineradicable skunk's-tail perfume leaching from the Sheetrock, the shop this morning is a pretty faithful imitation of a high school classroom—from the distracted bespectacled lecturer (a representative from a nonprofit drug-counseling agency) futzing with the overhead projector to the two icily pretty cheerleader types giggling in malicious-sounding Dutch while stocking their desktops with schoolgirl tackle (moisturizer, makeup, chocolates, tissue packets) to the rearmost dunce row, where I've been quarantined with my translator, who told me to call him Harry Resin. A merry Canadian in his midthirties who has lived in Amsterdam for the past decade or so, Harry was drafted into translation detail by Dampkring management and is not delighted about it. "I haven't been up this early in years," he says.

--Wells Tower writes in GQ about his experience as an Amsterdam coffee-shop barista



Roy said...

Hi Luke,

I came across your comment on a blog post from a long time ago and was hoping you could help me out.

I am interested in applying for a MFA degree in Non-fiction but since I did my under-graduation in Mechanical Engineering, I have never formally studied writing or literature. Writing is something which is much more than a hobby to me and I would really like to work upon my skills. I was wondering what would the best way for a person with a non-arts background like myself to apply for such a course if indeed it is possible at all! All the MFA courses including Hollins require recommendation letters which might be hard to come by in my case. The other criteria like a GRE score and TOEFL score (for non-native English speakers) are manageable.

I did win an all India essay competition organized by a national newspaper in 2008, and hence have kept feeding my delusions of taking up writing more seriously.

Any advice at all would be a big big help. My apologies for the massive length of the comment!

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