Thursday, April 08, 2004
Yesterday I wrote 1,225 words on "The Daughter of the Four of Pentacles." The piece currently stands at 5,054 words and it's hard to imagine it coming in at less than 10-11K. Which means I'm going to have to e-mail the editor and see if I can go over the word limit just a little bit.
I'm not like them
But I can pretend
Today, of course, is the tenth anniversary of the discovery of Kurt Cobain's body, the day that we actually learned of his suicide. It's a weighty day for me. I wrote about it in my preface to the Gauntlet Press edition of Silk:
When I began Silk, we were already nearing the end of punk's second wave, and bands like Nirvana, The Breeders, Hole, and Sonic Youth had just captured the attention of mainstream magazines like Time and Newsweek (which is to say they were very quickly approaching the dustbunny Purgatory of the momentarily unhip). Jane's Addiction had split up and Lollapalooza was all the rage; "alternative" had long since become a four-letter word among the avant garde. Then, in April '94, after I'd written maybe the first three or four chapters of the book, Kurt Cobain killed himself, and I sat for hours watching the reports on MTV, knowing that this was my generation's John Lennon, that Buddy Holly's plane had just gone down all over again, and whatever the musical landscape had been the day before, it could never be the same again. The backlash was immediate, confused, and unforgiving.
A few weeks after Cobain's suicide, I saw a wall outside a cafe in Athens, Georgia, where someone had spray painted "Kurt Cobain is God," and someone else had used a fat-tipped black Magic Marker to draw a circle and a slash around the declaration. That said it all. And if any single moment informed my efforts to understand the book I was trying to write, it was that first, unreal announcement of the death of Kurt Cobain.
That was written in January 1999, and I don't think there's much I can add. It was one of those days when doors open and close. We either step through them, or we stay behind.
Last night, Spooky and I watched both Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills and Paradise Lost 2: Revelations, which was really more than anyone should sit through, back to back. I grew up in the South and it isn't difficult for me to understand how this happened. I know firsthand the ignorance and hatred that saturates the Wal-Mart culture of most of the American landscape. I am only appalled that the convictions of Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols, and Jason Baldwin have been allowed to stand for ten years. We are not all simpering idiots, and this fiasco has long since been placed out in the open, where all the world can see. But the sentences following from the bigoted, backwoods justice of the original trial have yet to be reversed, and that, to me, is the astounding part of this thing. Anyway, I wanted to remind you once again that "Night Story, 1973," which I wrote with Poppy for From Weird and Distant Shores, will be reprinted in Arsenal Pulp Press' The Last Pentacle of the Sun: Writings in Support of the West Memphis Three. I also urge you to visit to wm3.com to learn how you can help.
And now I have to go write. Oh, I almost forgot. The sixth and latest chapter of Leh'agvoi's Nar'eth manga, "Foreplay," in now up at Nebari.Net.