People think that pipes grow in their homes. But they sure as hell don’t! Look at my knees! Look at my knees!

If you haven’t bought the new David Lynch book Room to Dream, get off your ass, man. It’s good stuff. The way it works is that one chapter is straight biography by journalist Kristine McKenna, and then the next chapter is autobiography by Lynch, recalling various memories about the period covered in the previous chapter. So you have a good authoritative biography, but you also get the conversational style of DL going off on crazy tangents. 500-some pages, lots of photos, lots of text. I’m not done yet, but it has been great so far.

(I’m going to ignore all the political back-and-forth that came out of an interview he did recently. If you’re into that sort of thing, look it up. I’m not.)

The book makes me think about what films of his I’ve seen in theaters, where I was when they came out, when I discovered them on tape, etc. I’m too young to have seen Eraserhead in the theater, at least in the first run. I was looking back through old journals recently and found the one I wrote when I first saw it on tape – I got so excited about it, I wanted to go buy a film camera and make my own movie. I also remember when Lost Highway came out on video tape, I rented it and watched it over and over. I didn’t get it during most of the first viewing, and then at the very end, it clicked and was a “holy shit!” moment, and I immediately had to rewind and watch it over, and that went on all weekend. Never saw Mulholland Dr. in the theater – it came out right after 9/11, a confusing time when I don’t know what I did. Anyway.

Weird trivia – I am exactly 25 years younger than Lynch, to the day.

I should probably try to re-watch Dune this weekend, while I’m delirious from the heat.


last night’s dream

i had a dream last night that i was taking an autocad class in the basement of a methodist church, taught by chef robert irvine and david lynch.

irvine had no syllabus and kept yelling at the dozen or so students asking what they wanted to learn, and nobody would say anything. he was like that urban legend professor that came in on the first say and asked “does anyone have any questions” and taught nothing else, until the people caught on that they needed to ask him what they wanted to learn, except he was much more mean.

i spoke up and said i thought it was neat that you could draw a two-dimensional spindle and then rotate it on one point and create a three-dimensional shape. i wasn’t sure if spindle was the correct term, or sprocket, but i drew a trapezoid on the ipad-like controller and spun it around to make a donut shape.

lynch was infatuated by this and kept saying “spindle, spindle, spindle” and talking about how film turned two-dimensional shapes into three-dimensional hallucinations using our mind. He drew an odd squiggly shape, rotated it, and it became a perfect pizza.

we went upstairs and crashed someone’s wedding and stole a bunch of cheese.


Look at my knees! Look at my knees!

First things first: go to The Lit Pub and read this review of Thunderbird:

I am still working on two projects, switching back and forth when one gets to be too much. One is just starting, and the other is getting close to 100,000 words, but is still very vague in its overall structure.  That’s keeping me busy, but it’s also taking all of my time, which is why I haven’t been updating much.

I have been obsessed with the movie Eraserhead for the last few days.  This started because I went to Amoeba records this weekend, which is my favorite record store, although I usually associate the name with their big store in Hollywood, because it is the record store in LA.  I don’t go record shopping anymore, and buy everything from iTunes, which I don’t tell musicians, because that’s sort of like telling old people about Obama.  But I used to love going to record stores, and walking the racks from A to Z, looking for stuff I hadn’t seen elsewhere, rarities and imports and bootlegs and whatever other oddball stuff I could find in the wild.  And Amoeba is a cool store, a wide selection with a lot of unique stuff and a cool staff, so I grabbed a few things I hadn’t seen lately.

One of the things was the soundtrack to Eraserhead, which is this twisted combination of ambient noise, wind sounds and radiator hissing and layer after layer of dialogue and dirge and destruction.  It’s the perfect writing music, because it’s ambient, but isn’t new-agey and won’t put you to sleep.  The only problem with it is that it pulls me down this rabbit hole where I need to watch the movie again, need to read all of these articles and interviews and find out what was in Lynch’s head as he put this whole thing together, and it’s an unanswerable question.  I can’t even find the real script, which is some 20-page oddity, a prose poem with weird drawings all over it.  But I find too many articles about the movie, and they keep me diving through the internet, coming up with more questions.

One of the things I wonder about with Eraserhead is if it’s possible to write such a minimalist surreal work in print.  My writing tends to be the opposite, long sentences with lots of twists and turns and terminology, very manic and frenetic.  I don’t even know if I could write something so subdued.  But I wonder if it would even work without the film element or the soundtrack, just the text itself.

Music makes me think the same thing, because I listen to a lot of drone music, stuff like Boris or Sleep, where the same riff or guitar feedback is sustained or repeated over and over, building this long-form sonic texture.  I don’t know the literary equivalent of doing that, because if I just repeated the same text over and over, it would get stupid fast.

Nothing else to report.  I’m trying to cram in as much writing as possible before a flurry of appointments and travel and other distractions come up in the next couple of months.  I’m also getting close to the book purchase lockdown that I have to enact before the holidays so I don’t buy duplicates of gifts.  That means I’m buying too many things now, and I have a stack of reading taller than me.  What about you?