Far in advance.

During a vacation last year, I wrote out what was later counted as 1,713 pages on yellow lined tablets.  I wasn’t in the best place to write, but I wrote a shit-load, as in 2 novels and a lot of stories, as well as a book of poems. When I sat down to transcribe the pencil stub scrawl to the screen, I was shocked to find that a lot of the work actually held up in my eyes, because I was worried that the words would be all escape.  One thing good that happened for me during that output of work was the re-ignition, if you will, of my love for description.  I was also able to learn about my writing even further, and pushed out my boundaries a bit.  By hand.  I hadn’t written in longhand for well over a decade, at least not in lengths of any kind.  Below is a small excerpt from one of the books I wrote during that time.  It is a long way off from being published, but here’s a piece of it, anyway.

***

A few hippies walked in and started setting up behind our table.  They carried cymbals and amps and cases.  I looked at their shirts and pony tails and sandals.  I paid the tab and we walked toward the ocean.  She leaned her head into my arm,
“I fucking hate hippies, Papi.”
“Same here.”                                                                                                                                       The whiskey and the beer had done right by the hangovers.  The trick was to get to a bar right away on Sunday and get buzzed again.  It negated the sickness, and stopping after a few shots and a tall backer was easier. The overcast made the day kinder, also. I fumbled for my sunglasses.  Empty pockets.  She reached into her bag and handed them to me,         “Afraid you’d have to go back?”                                                                                                    “Sort of.”                                                                                                                                               We stood at the edge of the dry sand.  The water was from everywhere, from places and times unknown to gods and Darwin.  All the beauty the sea holds hidden, the oldest of things beneath the fear of its depth, the mystery of all life tucked safely away in the catacombs of her body, in the hearts and thoughts of whales.  The sea floor more naked than the moon or Mars, more untouched by mankind’s infant comprehension than either of them.  The answer to everything waits in the recesses of her trenches, in the paradise of her undiscovered countries, a land beyond the throws of Shakespeare’s capture of death, beyond theory and faith.  The frost of a wave rolled up and clawed our feet.

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About Jeff Stewart

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