– Kate Zambreno, from Heroines (via rustbeltjessie)
I think what publishing can do is help cement one’s own self-identity as a writer - one can do without it, of course, but eventually most writers feel some need for readers, for a communion with the outside. But perhaps the Internet has changed this - perhaps the very act of having readers now makes authors of us. Self-published. Xeroxed in zines, blogged on LiveJournal, later Tumblr, Wordpress, Xanga, Blogger, in micro presses, in comments sections, we write in the margins.
The girl-student with her Marilyn Monroe purse who told me she wanted to write, desperately - but didn’t have an agent. This is the idea we need to destroy. We need to foster our own method of agency.
We cannot wait around to be discovered. If you can’t write masterpieces why write? the doctors said to Zelda. Perhaps the goal is not to be the next Great American (Male) Novelist. This is perhaps closed to us anyway. The point, perhaps, is to write - by god to write - to write and refuse erasure while we’re living at least - and to use up all the channels possible through which to scream, to sing, to singe. All of these things. To write because we desire to, because we need to - and to refuse to be ignored. Or stopped.
The key is to convince ourselves, as Fitzgerald and Flaubert, Eliot and Ezra did, of our eventual genius.
A new ritual I practice, as I get ready to write, I put on my new 4-inch platforms and stand in front of my floor length mirror, sometimes as I’m eating chocolate almond-milk ice cream, and I intone to the mirror to myself: You’re a fucking genius.
Now you try it.
The only way our narratives will be told is if we write them ourselves. I urge you to write your own selves, your true and complicated selves. My scribbling sisters. We are amateurs. We are dilettantes. We are all those terms they use to dismiss the girl writing. We need, perhaps, to reclaim these terms, as well as these categories of “minor” or “outsider” or “illegitimate.”
If I have communicated anything to you I hope it is the absolute urgency to write yourself, your body, your own experience. The absolute necessity for you to write yourself in order to understand yourself, in order to become yourself. I ask you to fight against your own disappearance. To refuse to self-immolate. Or to launch yourself as a burning, glorious spectacle into outer space. To scratch yourself out and begin again, to die and resurrect.
A different sort of nerve is needed. To say fuck you to these internal and social prohibitions dictating what literature should be about. Fuck you to the objective correlative. Fuck the canon. Fuck the boys with their big books.
For, after all, we must be our own heroines.
We have 2 copies of Magdalena Zurawski’s Distressed Properties, a new chapbook from Fred Moten’s Three Count Pour Press, to give away! First two folks to favorite this post get ‘em. xox
edit: all gone! follow us on twitter for future giveaways, which we do often. @birdsoflace
It’s a night when all the books in all the damn– Carrie Murphy, “Idea of a Road,” published in H_NGM_N (via nps2013)
libraries are opening softly like wings, rustling
along while the world’s most luxurious car is telling
its driver how to get home. In 500 feet, make a right
turn. In 1000 feet, bear left. Your home is about
to offer itself to you. Will you take it?