shining rejections. One of them wasn’t a big deal, I had forgotten I’d even sent the poems out. But the other one was a prose contest, and I’d sent along my novella which I’ve worked on for eleven years, on and off. This was the first time I sent it out (though I have shown it to a few people, and read from it at my MFA graduation—people loved it there), and I was nervous. The comments the editors sent confirmed my worst fears; despite having many “pretty moments,” they had too many questions, they weren’t sure how old the protagonist was, etc. Big sigh. Guess I’m just a poet and not a story writer, and must embrace this somehow. Or should I pick up Flood, again, and re-edit it some more? I worked on it six hours a day for six days before I sent it out this last time. Not sure if this is a case of “don’t let the bastards get you down” or, “it’s over, Rambo.”
I used to draw in black ink on white paper all the time. It was a reliable contrast. Lazier than drawing with colors, easy to make scratchmarks, black out empty territory. Leaving certain negative shapes behind. Many of the old notebooks I burned two weeks ago in my parents’ backyard were all black ink, page after page. Gradually I stopped drawing (and writing) in black ink, and moved on to blue, red, silver, other colors. Don’t know why, or when, exactly this happened. Something about the brazenness of black on white, the authority: it became too much responsibility. I backed away from sharp contrast, settled on pale blue, occasional bronze lines. Milder inks faking older postures.
If bad guys were any kind of shot
good guys wouldn’t make it through the fourth scene.
Scene one introduces good
two is for bad, a bookend.
Sometimes, bad comes first, and then we know the movie will be “heavy.”
Scene three is usually the love interest, or, if the good guy is deeply troubled, the lack of one.
And four, some sort of action—a shot at close range, always an inexplicable, expected miss.
The good guy is saved by a tree branch, helicopter, mysterious outstretched hand.
This too, could be love
but we won’t find out
until he holds out through several more
and many, many other little people and animals in the basement
Spent part of today watching vintage (antique?) cartoons on my parents’ TV. Here are a few pressing questions:
Why did the Flintstones chisel everything into stone? Cavemen had charcoal smudge sticks, much faster. And how did their feet stay so clean? They never wore shoes. The houses seem to be whole rocks chiseled out; much more work than piling stones together. And Wilma: were really there any redheaded cavewomen? So white, so unhairy, so unsimian.
And then, the Jetsons: why does George have to run between machines in his little office at Sprocket Co.? He has a big funny face master computer; shouldn’t it just tell the other computers what to do? This could be a case of not realizing what technology would become. When the show was created, in the early 1960′s, computers couldn’t talk to each other like than can now, they were more like giant factory machines than what we have now. And that’s what Hanna and Barbera drew: big, chunky computers with grids on their screens and giant buttons. One more question on the Jetsons: do their rocket cars run on oil? Plausible future in 1961, but not today.
I leave you with a quote from Judy Jetson, the only white haired teenage cartoon girl I know: “No! I won’t go to the dance with a man from another century!”