June 7th, 2013


Howard Hughes vs. A Cold World of Stupid

I predict that this will be a year without a summer for the Northeast. Supposedly the "Greenland block" that stole spring has broken down, but I see no real evidence of summer. Three days of heat? No. Given the way June is going, those three days were more of an anomaly. The ten-day forecast for Providence has us looking at low and mid seventies. Fuck it. The truth is that I'm just sick of the damp and cold of New England.

It's currently 60˚F in Providence. On June 7.

This is probably where I should step away from the journal entry....

But I won't.

The cover for Red Delicious is, sadly, not going to be anywhere near as tasteful as that for Blood Oranges (which was unexpectedly decent). Essentially, everything the cover of the latter did right, the cover of the former does wrong. Anyway, there's a long story here, though I probably only know about half of it. I will not ever be posting the final cover here. I may post the next to final cover, which was almost not atrocious (yes, at the last minute, it actually went from so-so to hideous).


I think that I only fool myself – rather convincingly – into believing that I care about any of this. I think it's a defense mechanism. I obsess and fume and rant over cover art, fonts, paper density, punctuation, reviews, etc. I micromanage. I hide in the details, because, truthfully, I don't think I've wanted to write a novel since I finished Silk in 1996. It's just what I do. What else would I do? And long ago this son of a bitch – who has long since exited my life – beat into me (psychologically) that nothing is worth doing unless you do it right. What he didn't teach me was that I'd batter myself fucking senseless in an effort to do a thing right only to watch lazy, incompetent people fuck up my work.

Day before yesterday I shelved "A Piece of the Sky." I worked on it all day and managed only 358 words. I've done nothing but email since then. "Shelved" is probably the wrong word, as it implies that someday I'll go back to the story when I know that I won't. I might recycle the title.


Back to the subject of Pink Floyd's The Final Cut (I'm struggling to remember that I can be genuinely passionate about anything), I found this bit at allmusic.com:

This is more like a novel than a record, requiring total concentration since shifts in dynamics, orchestration, and instrumentation are used as effect. This means that while this has the texture of classic Pink Floyd, somewhere between the brooding sections of The Wall and the monolithic menace of Animals, there are no songs or hooks to make these radio favorites. The even bent of the arrangements, where the music is used as texture, not music, means that The Final Cut purposely alienates all but the dedicated listener.

Yes. If you haven't sat down and listened, repeatedly, to every single word, you have not heard and cannot appreciate the album.* And all but the "dedicated listener" deserves to be alienated. Which, of course, is precisely how novels work. Read every word, perhaps several times over, or don't fucking bother. And if a book isn't worth the trouble, then why are you wasting your time reading it?

Fuck all that. We've got to get on with these... ~ Pink Floyd

Aunt Beast

* The same is true of many of my favorite albums, including Kate Bush's The Ninth Wave and the Decemberists' The Hazards of Love.