Experiment #1

Experiment #1

There once was a boy who looked like a bird,
when he dressed, when he spoke,
when he picked at his teeth;

when he sat up, and when he lay down,
when he put up his Christmas wreath;

when he looked out the window, to see something he heard;
when he opened up Webster’s, to look up a word;

he could look at a bug that crawled on a leaf,
or put on a hat, and call himself “Chief,”
but no matter what, I’m sure you’re assured,
all that he did, he did like a bird.

The boy’d been alone every day of his life,
he had no one but himself to play with.
The boy had no name because, being alone,
there was nobody there to give it.

(Chapter 1: The Child)

There was a child who lived in a clock tower. The whole thing was filled with gears and it was very complicated. For years it ran smoothly and quietly and the little guy didn’t know it was there. It did many complicated things he couldn’t even imagine and some of the things it did was deliver little cakes or visitors and show him things and help him to decide what to wear. But as he got older it began to break down. One day it made some noises and the child was astonished to learn that he lived in a clock tower.

(Chapter 2: He begins to take the panels off)

I want to write; I have ever since I was young. But, though ideas may have filled my mind until it would burst, action cannot be taken without motivation, and I could never find mine. I have spent countless breathes stating that I should write, but words are all speed and no momentum. Time goes by just as quickly when you don’t use it. Thirty is looming, and I have do something now or I’m going to be old – you might say thirty is pushing me. So, how to motivate myself? Like Richard Feynman, I believe the best way to solve a problem is to try something, and if that doesn’t work, try something else; but I haven’t been living up to it, even though I know, as an empirical fact, that if I continue to try, I will succeed, whatever it is I am trying. I wish I could try by force, or trying just for the sake of trying, but it’s just not me. Experimentation and discovery, though, are right down my alley, especially when I imagine my life as a wild experiment, and view myself as the subject. All of the sudden, everything I try has a purpose, and what’s more, I get to spite the conventional wisdom that says the subjective is separate from the scientific. So, I present to you:

Experiment 0: The Metaexperiment
Treat writing as an experimental science.

That is what this website has now become – my life as an experiment, a complete work of art as an act of subjective scientific investigation. And the first experiment in writing has already begun. With the help of my friend and dead-buddy Pat:

Experiment 1: Call and Response
One of us creates something, then the other creates something. Back and forth, each item in some way a response to what preceded it, creating one whole collective work. No communication is allowed outside the work – every response, including observations or mundane minutiae, must be included in the work itself. In keeping with the theme of this site, even play must be part of the work.

I have created a category for all things related to this experiment, and there is a link to it in the header of this page. We are using comments, it seems, as supplementary material to the blog entries, so please include them in your internal representation of “Experiment #1.” Thank you for reading. Pat?

I must give.

It is a strange thing to go through life knowing you need, and scrutinizing every face, every street corner, every whispered secret for a clue – what is it I need? You can never reach the point of trying for the thing, because you cannot even begin to identify the thing. Ten years can be lost this way; most likely, entire lives are lost this way regularly. But ten years is enough for me.

We all hear the platitude, “It is better to give than to receive,” but we do not think much about it. When the adults told us this, we understood that giving makes one a “good person,” and that this is something that the adults were trying to make us want to be. But forget all of that, assume that Jesus didn’t believe in good people, only good life, and read the sentence again. The statement is a paradox. The resolution is simple: giving is an experience, itself a thing that one can have, and you want to have it. You need it. So take it! (Or, rather, you know…) People will say, if you want to be a writer, just write. Perhaps this is good advice for one who wants to be a writer, but I do not think that is what I want. I want to give my ideas and my passion to others; I want to change the world. So I will just do that.

I had a dream last night that I was living at my mother’s house, and she was telling me some story about my “father’s phone call,” which she was angry about. I looked at her and told her she was insane, and I told her that she tries to force us to love her through anger and threats, and that her whole world was negative, and that I wanted nothing to do with it. And, of course, she told me I could leave her house then. I woke up as the thought crossed my mind, “How many times will I have to go through this? How can I not have escaped this yet?” After all, she has been dead for four years, and I told her ten years ago that I was leaving, never to return. But still she is in my head, in waking life as well as dreams. When I was fully awake, I wrote this essay.

tie a string