In August of 2011, I was diagnosed with a terminal case of whimsy.
In making many small things, we make big things.
Yesterday, for example, I went to the library to check out a book by Marianna Moore who Ranger told me about at Halloween since she was dressed like a colonial man but was really dressed up as Marianne Moore who often dressed in a man’s colonial cape and triangle hat. (Is there a special name for this hat?)
I found a 45 minute recording of her reading her poetry and blithely commenting, though perhaps the comments were also her poetry, I don’t know, this my first exposure to her work.
At the library, with two of her books in hand, a book at the end of the 810 isle caught my eye, baby blue with ten hand-drawn yellow stars and the white script, THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF JOE BRAINARD. Inside are drawings and many pages of paragraphs all starting “I remember” which I don’t remember ever coming across except as a creative writing prompt which, after reading the introduction last night, I now know was derived from Brainard.
So, when intending to study Marianne Moore, I’m now absorbing Joe Brainard who writes little thoughts while stoned on the train, each entry separated by one long line.
I’ve always had a talent for copying. In the fifth grade, hanging out with the Vietnamese girls at recess, I developed a thick Vietnamese accent. I can’t help writing in the style of whoever I’m reading. Which is why I only read certain things.