“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture”: Google this quotation and you’ll find it attributed to any of a dozen people ranging from Thelonious Monk to Lou Reed, from Martin Mull to Elvis Costello to Frank Zappa. Doubtless there’s a story to be told about how this quip turned into the stuff of urban legend. But most everyone who has ever thrilled to a favorite song knows the force of it. I sure do. I’ve been writing about—or trying to write about—music since I was in college, driven by the sheer futility of it, but also by that deeply human need to communicate what is beyond words.
she was burying her feet in the sand—looking toward the seagulls’ wings—whispering “they broke a hermit crab’s back” please—i ignore her—she ignores me too “they broke its shell and it’s paralyzed forever-don’t understand how the sea stays level”
“Being born a woman is an awful tragedy. Yes, my consuming desire to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, bar room regulars—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording—all is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yet, God, I want to talk to everybody I can as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night.”—Sylvia Plath
Mixtape Methodology is a place for writing about music, for writing that wants to be music, for writing that wants the emotional immediacy of music, for those of us who want to experience the mental takedown of sonic oblivion through as many psychological pathways as possible, for those of us…
In contemplating this year’s AWP conference (The Animus of Writing Peeps or something), I spent a few maudlin hours staring at my closet and fondling various black sweaters. I needed some clothes that would imply that I had the ability to read and write, but also that I was capable of basic social interaction. You know, an outfit that suggests, hey, I’ve never been published in The Paris Review, but only because I’ve never submitted.
You’re probably thinking, Deirdre, writers don’t dress alike. Self-presentation has nothing to do with the profession. But think harder: What do writers have in common? We are always cold due to our sensitive natures.
Are we always cold because of our embittered, under-published hearts? Or are we always cold because we wear our feelings like a fleshy outer layer, subjected to the harsh realities of employment and human interaction?
“You shook off my anxiety like a great winter coat in early spring. You took my hand-wringing, my sweaty palms, my rapid heartbeat, my nauseous stomach, my cracked voice. All physical manifestations of the same dumb fear of love. And you took it. You held out your hands and they were so sure, so strong, so stable; they steadied mine when they couldn’t stop shaking.”—(via typewriterdaily)