by Ryland Walker Knight
The last bit of fiction I wrote, from March 2006, can be found over at blogging buddy Jürgen Fauth's new website, Fictionaut. My "Author's Note" reads: "I wrote this during my first whirl through a year in New York. Evidently I felt crowded by trash." Click here to read the story.* Unlike the novel that inspired the name of this blog, this story is not really "about" me, which, I think, makes this little thing a whole helluva lot better, if equally a reminder of how much I feel I've grown as a writer-thinker-person. Jürgen invited me to join the site a couple months ago but I hadn't really played with it until today. I updated the profile with some words you might want to read (as well); and, to save you the trouble of clicking this link, I'll go ahead and post them here, too.
My name denies ethnicity at every six-letter stop but I still feel my white skin a needless arbiter, a lie and a limit. I like words, liquids and films -- not necessarily in that reverse-alphabetical order. Rivers are a favorite space, even a lifestyle, as much as a favorite metaphor; and I wish I was in them more and more. For so long I wanted to sing of myself, and I still do, but, as I am plagued by respect for the smartees who came before, I find myself sitting in front of blank pages far too often, dreaming of ways to excise elements of me from my words. Still, I persist. It just takes me a while, a little while longer. The process is the adventure, too. The toughness is to keep words from dying, inert, black on white and staid. The goal is to keep the picture alive and dancing. Thus, a certain navigation of abnegation and disclosure is necessary; this movement between avoidance and acknowledgment. I am more you here than me where I am but untethered letters. Especially in a flux like the internet, this Spinozian series of tubes linking disparate zones and voices and images and hearts and fingers and eyes and organs. My job, such as it is (or may be), is to fold all this into some kind of sense, a meaning made through concretion and flight, through attention, through realization of difference and separation and multitudes bursting past the banister (or, simply, the keyboard). Also, I like to laugh.
* Jürgen reminds me: "Fictionaut isn't public yet, so unless your readers have invites, they won't be able to click through... We're gearing up to change that soon." We look forward to it. If any of you silent readers out there are dying to read these hidden words, let me know: an arrangement can be agreed upon while we wait for the beta phase to end.