Whenever I write I like to dive into the paper. Kurt Cobain liked to play his guitar in the cupboard of his Lake Washington mansion. Me, I like to sit in a chair and develop an aesthetic that doesn’t involve admonishment, or evasion. I like to confront reality directly, get up real close enough to smell its perfume and laugh at how erratic, how ugly, how completely unreal reality is. I like the word ‘is.’ I like transitive verbs in general, though I also like nipples, greenhouses, and coffee. I like sentences that get sweet and seditious and slither through intricate ideas with the supple grace of an octopus. The whole business of consciousness is a fascinating proposition. But what is it? Who knows. There is a rise and fall to Wisconsin and Tennessee but a stupefying flatness to Kansas and North Dakota. What this says about consciousness sparkles with conversational potential. Am I a fiasco? I certainly feel that way most mornings. This is good for writing because it resembles fly fishing. If I see a totem of headlights I am glad. I feel connected to something spiritual. My existence on paper reaches for your eyes. I’m worried about our planet. It makes me want to grab a tube of Vandyke red and paint a sunset. This is a feeling founded on the idea that art can make a difference. But as soon as I remind myself that one of the attractions of art is its non-utilitarian side, I retrace my steps and tread more lightly on my dreams. The purpose of the chisel is in its shape. The purpose of writing is in its absorption. I’m antagonized by neutrality. Indifference is the real enemy. Conquer indifference and you’ve conquered a major evil. This prompts the question: can one write with passion and still remain open-minded? There is truth in wine. This we know. But why is that? And does one need to drink wine to feel the effects of wine? That is to say, is delirium a state, or a country? I see it as an eight-legged banjo. Or something wet and large like Great Britain. Comprehension is a form of drinking. The mind sips words and discovers that it’s snowing in England and sleigh bells are jingling and the colors of the sky are an alchemy of transcendent glory. This causes one’s writing to assume the murmuring ornamentation that occurs to woods like mahogany in the manufacture of desks. Time thickens into hawks. The heart flutters its raspberries in a seething cauldron of awakened syllables. One’s intentions become circular. Each pronoun is a forceps. The room is aglow with longhand. Nihilism feels rather good. Particularly when one’s thinking grows pinched like a museum. It helps to jump into the light of any language and realize that pain is sometimes sexual. There’s a certain despair that nothing can bungle except comedy. A brand new jackknife can stimulate rapture and if one’s words begin to float so much the better. Prophesy doesn’t come cheap. But who wants to prophesy? It’s a rather awkward verb to begin with. I recommend truffles. Discoveries are rarely made when we expect them. I feel the same way about orchids and birds. You need seclusion. Recklessness and talking and any aesthetic that bubbles out of the shadows groping for print.