January 18, 2020

Copy is terrible

Floppy copy, that pile of words wilted over itself ten times until folds become creases and creases become cold and snap into fragments of phonetic debris. Wind picks up and carries that debris up and you pick up the updraft breeze until you sneeze and some first paragraph splashes onto the screen, soaking through to software and deeper still into binary and then that little space between the ones and zeros. Suddenly, it’s all written up.

Whole-ass. Think about last time you whole-assed something. Maybe it was minuscule as an email, but you clicked send. And it meant something. The receiving end got a pocket vibration whiz ding tritone primal ear ping and picked up their rectangle to read your rubbish. Then they acted accordingly. You disturbed the universe. You whole-ass god.

Copy never feels more than half a cheek at most. That’s why there’s a clear natural division, so you can differentiate between what the werewolves are woofing at and what’s less. The fleshy full-moon Hendrix experience. Except instead of chopping mountains, you’re patting plastic dough on the silver palette of your keyboard. And others do the same. But their word debris gets watered down, mixed around and turned into some makeshift paint. They lay strokes, they design.

Done with design

Writers are designers. Idea architects. But designers are designers by name.

It’s a plain shame to see a work of art. Took an age to make and a brow-raise to eat. But you’re impressed by that eye meal. A design of any kind knows itself. It communicates how hard it was to hash out. Effort is immediately apparent.

Words take time to consume. A meat stick with retinas wriggles in excitement when it straw-sucks a petty poem. But real word-steak is thick. It listens to you, and you can’t possibly fit it in your mouth at once. Poems are hard, they stay—everything else is diethyl ether. Either here for good or gone.

Put your ear up close

Words are pictures. Everyone’s got their own mental museum. Picture a pink porous soft-puzzle brain. You might think it’s bubble gum mac and cheese through and through, but you’re wrong. Take an anatomy class. Brains contain little folders. Literal folders. They do. And those have pictures of every single thing you think you know.

Your own ear. Two, right? A mirror’s a mirage. You’ve never seen your ear. Put your ear up close to this. What does it see?

What we can make you do

When no one sees what you’ve said to them, there’s always someone syphoning the sound. In this case, it’s you.


It’s not required to follow the recipe.

This is the first musing after the first of ███s Newsletter has been sent out. I have many prompts that sound like they’d actually be of some use, but can’t remember what wise-ass things I’d planned to say when I came up with the draft titles. They won’t be written til I’m in the mind to whole-ass them.

Promise more whole-ass wise-ass words.


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