I bring the sea in

by sophie

From ‘The Journal of Albion Moonlight’ by Kenneth Patchen

I work in the shadow. I stab out and many words fail to land on the paper. I bang away at the stone. Nothing but the essential must go into writing – but everything is essential. I take you into my confidence. I told you that I hated novels. This is only party true, for I also love novels. I love even the cheapest, most debased novels. You make a mistake in thinking that I demand purity in everything. Don’t forget that veterinaries have their place in the world. And pimps too. Even people who send schoolboys up in the bombing planes. There is a spot for everybody and everything. But this was nothing of my doing. Why should I exhaust myself shouting at a wooden Indian? What am I? a newspaper reporter? Why make a record of something that nobody can use? It is clearly my duty to come just at the right time, saying exactly the right thing. You have read many books. This book is reading you.
I exaggerate nothing. I am not a dealer in distortions. This is precisely the way I found the world. Imaginative people end by becoming tongue-tied. They talk above things. I operate from the inside. My feet never leave the ground. It is not my business that now and then the ground sinks away. I am heavy with the stars in my cap. I bring the sea in. I do no research whatever. Every problem to me is a problem of living. I make no attempt to translate. My speech is as much a part of my body as my arms and legs are. What have I to do with the cult of hallucination? Derangement is for the too-sane – everything under heaven cries to be arranged; I demand order and precision in what I do. The supreme cultivation of chaos has already been done…

Advertisements