Friday, May 15, 2015

Coming Through Slaughter

“This last night we tear into each other, as if to wound, as if to find the key to everything before morning.”

More Ondaatje on the flight out to San Diego. I now only have one (novel) left - In the Skin of a Lion. Talking to a co-worker about Ondaatje the other day, I found myself thinking back to Divisadero and just how incredible that book was. How much I still think about Cooper. And Anna.

Coming Through Slaughter was simply splendid. Not that I'd expect less. It's the kind of music novel I've always wanted to read - and write. The blues of Bolden's lines coming through in the prose. The ellipses. The glancing, shimmering approaches to a story - shifting narrators and time and space. Angles. The clues to Ondaatje's later brilliance are easy to see here. And if anything it was too short.

We can swim out past the breakers...

A photo posted by Ben (@lonesomeace) on

Oh sweet San Diego. What to say. A trip up I-5 to Newport Beach. Somewhat surreal town of yachts and tiny expensive houses and that sunshine.. Learning my way around downtown SD on instinct. A quick jaunt to Coronado on Wednesday evening to walk the beach. On impulse I changed into my suit on the beach and ran into the waves. There's nothing quite like that first time under the water - the cold, invigorating, delicious salty water. The splash of the waves against your chest.

Read Salinger on the flight back - a beat up paperback copy of Raise High the Roofbeams / Seymour, an Introduction that I got at Crown Books for $0.50. I think I idolized him all out of proportion back in High School. Reading it now, it felt forced and juvenile and pedantic and cold. Finished Roofbeams. It will be a miracle if I make it through Seymour before moving on..

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