For a few years now I’ve tallied the absence of words I write myself on this website, this blog, with a kind of apprehensive anxiety I don’t know how to name, let alone measure.
I used the word write in the sentence above, but the word I suppose I want, the right verb, or righter verb I want, is the blogging verb post. See, I write things—posts, riffs, bits of riffs, rants—and then I delete these things, or let them languish in a drafts folder for whatever small eternity they might be afforded. I write a bit and then decide that the world doesn’t need my (half-assed) opinion or impression or interpretation or whatever on, say—
—Don DeLillo’s novel The Names (his real 9/11 novel), or the aesthetics of breakfast in Claire-Louise Bennett’s story-novel-thing Pond, or the cinematography in Sofia Coppola’s reinterpretation of The Beguiling, or my inability to get through the first 100 pages of William H. Gass’s The Tunnel, or Transcendentalism in the Predator films, or finally reading Eudora Welty’s short story “The Death of a Traveling Salesman” and being utterly stunned by its strangeness, or having to suspend all my cynicism and ironic impulses to find a spark of joy in Ava DuVernay’s film A Wrinkle in Time, or the small connections I note between Iris Murdoch’s The Bell and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Blithedale Romance, or watching Hayao Miyazaki’s film Ponyo in the theater with my children, or my strange joy in the “steamed hams” microgenre, or etc.—
—so, I guess what I’m saying is—
I’m going to try to blog on this stupid blog more, in a freer way, without the pretense of applying any kind of strong critical acumen to what I’m blogging about. For years I thought of this blog as a sketchpad. Then I started taking the reviews I wrote more seriously, then too seriously. This blog has been an excuse for me to learn about things—a kind of mixtape of quotes and art and etc.—but the more I’ve learned the more I realize that I really know almost nothing about literature and art, and that I usually cannot say what I mean to say (about how I think and feel about what I do know and don’t know about literature art) clearly, so I should do better to pass over in silence (etc.). But this silence mutates into an applied anxiety; it hangs like a big non-attempt in the shallow back of my mind—this silence is its own kind of pretension, or cowardice even, if I’m feeling cruel towards myself.
So like let’s try a Thing on this blog. What if I try to, like, just blog about something every day this month? I could title each post “Blog about X” (let X stand for any old thing—a Gordon Lish sentence that I kept tripping over, or a ditty on light in certain George Frederic Watts, or maybe my recipe for caramelized onions and peppers). How many days are in April? 30 I think? I’ll look it up later. I guess I’ll try to commit to post 30 of these things and see how that feels, although it might feel terrible and I might even let myself fall way short of that goal. This particular Easter Sunday/April Fool’s Day seems like a good day to start a bad project though—an earnest hope for fresh newness as a sort of fool’s errand. So I’ll be the fool.