Wednesday, 18 October 2017
For the past couple of weeks we've been working towards a hardback book, collating things to photocopy onto various pages and then stitching them into signatures adding a spine, covers and fretting about uniformity. Except of course these aren't about being neat and regular. The pages are a mix of blank white paper and coloured textured papers and images of our things. The writing space I am used to is disrupted by stuff that I may be inspired by, irritated by, write around or have to skip over. When Sylvie first introduced the idea I was surprised at how unsettled I was by it. The space I was used to entering was already inhabited and I was going to have to negotiate it. This says plenty about me without having to go further. And enough for me to take the finished book in both hands, excited as to how I'm going to write in it, what I will write in it, in response to or against that which is already there.
I've been writing recently about the control I assume when writing, a similar control to what I inhabit when sailing: if not control perhaps then a calm resilience to face whatever, move through it or accept I cannot take the boat out that day. As part of this piece of writing I tried to write out all the expressions I use in speech (aka shout) with the word 'fuck', and then to string them into one sentence. I can trace this desire back to reading Joshua Clover's and Juliana Spahr's #Misanthropocene. Mine hasn't worked out like theirs (obviously), but I like it as a first dipping in of a toe to the waters of angry. There's plenty to be angry about, and plenty of reasons to channel that anger into articulate writing that still reverberates with the anger to the point that its tension holds the words together while threatening to overspill. Tripping myself up within the confines of a homemade hardbacked journal that will suddenly present something I was not writing about seems like a good place to continue the experiment.