Journal Entry

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Like a Sturgeon, Tapped for the Very First Time...

Like a Stuh-uh-uh-urgeon, when your heart beats, next to my-ee-hi-ee-hine...

I just got back from a week at the Sycamore Hill Writer's Workshop, where I discovered that the crazy story I brought is of the Bakhtinian/Rabelaisian/BugsBunnyian Carneval.

Nothing like a week of critique, talk, and ping-pong with John Kessel, Richard Butner, Jim Kelly, Ted Chiang, F. Brett Cox, L. Timmel Duchamp, Theodora Goss, Kelly Link, Maureen McHugh, Mary Rickert, and Christopher Rowe to make you feel poorly educated and slow on the pickup... and to not mind that at all.

There were also many goldsmiths atop the mountain with us. Through an odd series of events born of their generous hospitality, Maureen's graciousness in accepting such, and the general giddy end-of-camp feeling, Maureen and I ended up giving a talk on Sycamore Hill in the middle of their Show-and-Tell last-evening ceremonies. Whereupon I read Ponge, and the goldsmiths liked it. They flooded up and bought all the copies of Other Cities that Kelly had on hand, and all the copies of Richard's and Dora's and Christopher's fantastic chapbooks too, and lots of copies of Maureen's and Kelly's wonderful collections. And they hungered for more, so I took money and addresses to send them more chapbooks. Like locusts they were, these goldsmiths. In a really, really good way.

Also the goldsmithy things they made (which were as much silver and lapidary and slate and whatnot) were really cool, including silver pea shooters and rubber band guns.

So, I've decided. My new target audience: goldsmiths.

You know?

Posted by benrosen at July 5, 2005 11:13 AM | Up to blog
Comments

I know.

At least, I found this entry full of whimsy and even wonder. I mean, silver pea shooters? How cool! I want one!

I have a thing against rubber band guns, though, but then I hate having a rubber band stretched menacingly at me. ::Shudder::

Posted by: Heather Shaw at July 6, 2005 06:53 PM

I demand a story about locust-goldsmiths.

Posted by: David Moles at July 7, 2005 08:09 AM

I'm game, but this was as far as I got in the five minutes I allotted for this project...

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They came from the east, devastating the crops and leaving tiaras and cloak-pins in their wake.

Posted by: Matt Hulan at July 11, 2005 10:14 AM

Wow, that's actually a great first line, Matt. I vote you allocate another twenty minutes and see what happens.

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at July 11, 2005 10:26 AM

Okay... But this is all you get :)

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They came from the east, devastating the crops and leaving tiaras and cloak-pins in their wake. As usual, my brother and I were assigned the cloak-pins. The larger items were divided among the older cousins, and the fine work - the statuary, the gem-encrusted medallions - was left for the adults. The argument is that our smaller fingers are more suited for sorting through the wheat-chaff and separating the pins from the stalks. I just think they donít trust us not to break something. Still, some of the pins are delicate, filigreed things of unparalleled workmanship, so I suppose I could just be grousing.

Tomorrow, weíll load up the wagon and off to market. For tonight, itís praising goddess, reciting from The Book, and drinking. Even my brother and I will be given a share of watered wine. I suppose once every five years isnít enough to turn us into lushes, like Fat Wilbur. Next time they come, Iíll be old enough to gather the tiaras. Iíll have unwatered wine, as well, and perhaps dance with RebeccaÖ

But thatís a fancy for another year. Tonight, we give thanks for our locust/goldsmith benefactors and sleep it off. Tomorrow, we sell their wares and pretend itís ours. Then, the rest of the year, we live off the hoarded harvest of the last five years, while we rebuild the fields and live our lives until they breed again. Until they come out of their holes and darken our skies with their wings and fill our ears with the ringing, tinkling din of the Golden Harvest.

Posted by: Matt Hulan at July 11, 2005 12:29 PM

Oy veh. I come here seeking Rosenbaumism, and instead am treated to a transendent work of short-short Margo Lanagan-esqueness (or maybe that's just due to my recent reading) from Matt Hulan.
Superb. Thank you sir.

Posted by: Peter Hollo at July 11, 2005 09:55 PM

Very nice, Matt. Thanks!

Posted by: Dan Percival at July 12, 2005 12:34 PM

grazie, gentlemen - it's always nice when your doggerel is appreciated :)

Posted by: Matt Hulan at July 13, 2005 10:07 AM
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