Friday, January 11, 2008

You are a bit happier…

Well as I mentioned yesterday, I don’t think I have been laughing enough.
And well, Today has gotten on my last nerve.
And I can’t be all the time invoking menopause, ‘cause I don’t think that’s true.
(I drink soy milk for pete sake.) So... anyway...

I don’t think I’ve been crying enough either.
I had that thought this morning.
But, I didn’t have the time for any corrective measures.
And now, I’m at work. (that’s where I hurried to)
So screw that.
(And, I’m not a screamer. So screw that.)

Which is how I came to sitting quietly at the computer until I'd surfed into a neighborhood I didn’t recognize
and couldn’t tell you how I got there,
where I came across this book of poetry:

Tao Lin's, you are a little bit happier than i am

OH!
"Tao" – how cool
And the title – how true.
Then, I came across One Reviewer saying,

“Tao Lin’s poetry collection gracefully proves the theorem that nothing can be truly sad if it isn’t also funny.”

OH!
WOW!
I REALLY liked that.

So I have been trying to find a poem.
So far, so failed.

So I offer this excerpt from BigHeartedBoy who was good enough to post
Tao Lin's Book Notes essay on his poetry.

You are a little bit happier than i am is I think a non-fiction poetry book. The narrator is myself, "Tao Lin." I wrote most of the book to console myself against unrequited feelings, loneliness, meaninglessness, death, limited-time, and the arbitrary nature of existence, maybe. The reason the book today exists is because my brain used my body and the world of phenomenon as tools to create something to make itself feel better. My brain said to my fingers what to type, my fingers said, "Okay," words appeared on the computer screen, my eyes delivered the words to my brain, my brain processed the words, and my brain said, "I feel better, thank you. You're welcome."

Wow! This reminds me of the insight migraines provide… didn’t I write on that a bit ago? (PB talking here... now back to Tao Lin.)

When I was writing most of the book I think I lived in a studio apartment with my brother on 28th street in Manhattan. I was also working on two other books. A novel called Eeeee Eee Eeee and a story-collection called Bed. Each day I woke and ate cereal and brewer's yeast and flaxseeds and walked or took the train to the library and sat at the computer two to six hours until night, then walked to a bookstore and stared at books and walked somewhere else and stared and maybe ate dinner alone somewhere and walked back to the library where two to six more hours I stared at the computer screen (or sometimes I went to a reading and stared at authors), then around or after midnight went home and lay facedown or in a fetal position on my brother's bed. If my brother was asleep I hid in the bathroom and read on the floor, to not disturb him with light. I didn't see anyone really or have any friends, or talk, and slept on an air mattress. My life was optimized for writing. If I had a choice of what to do I would just think, "What will make my writing better," and then there would be no choice anymore and I would just do what was required, like a robot. It was good. ...

And that was good.

It made me want all the more to find a poem from you are a little bit happier than I am
But, all I was ever able to come up with were couplets
(are they couplets? Couplets?) ...

Anyway One Reviewer, while meaning to offer something like high praise

(“for every ounce of drear and self-pity, Lin inserts an arresting aside”)

mentioned these lines that finally made me realize that Tao Lin was
REALLY depressed:

this poem has all this between each stanza
…someone on the largest dose of tylenol cold in the history of the world falling off a sixty-story building at night.

Well, gee.
There’s an image.
This is actually Too depressed for me.
And suddenly, it hit me!

Hey!
You know,
I am a little bit happier than this guy! Tah Dah!

I Bow and exit stage right.
(Careful, Don’t trip over the curtain.)
Thunk...
damn this menopause, where's my soy milk?

1 comment:

ryan manning said...

the next night we ate whale