Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 247 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis





Okay, if you don't like it when I go tangential and start gnashing my teeth and slobbering on the keys, now's the time to leave. I have a hard-on for certain aspects of the new millennium! I know, no shit, Sport. We couldn't tell. One of the things that really gives me that twinge in the groin is the plain vanilla prose that some "authors" (I'm really being loose in that choice of word) try to pawn off on the reading public as 'edgy' and 'risky'.
Take, for instance, a certain series of mommy-porn. When they included the color gray they pretty much nailed it. Gray is dull. Gray is non-committal. Gray is the color of the anonymous. What so many fell in love with was a grown-up game of "Simon Says". Unfortunately, there was less intentional cruelty, dominance and brinkmanship than you find on the average grammar school playground. Hell, this line-up made Bassinger and Rourke in "Nine and a Half Weeks" look like De Sade and Justine!
I would suggest to the author that, before attempting anything like that again, read a little Henry Miller or Andre Gide. At least accept that eunuchs don't normally dominate, even in fiction. Give the audience a little good old fashioned guilt and disquiet. Grow a damned pair.
Then there's the writers of fantasy adventure where there's less blood spilled than on the average Shakespearean stage. Everyone is put to sleep, or turned to stone, or made to forget they're the fucking bad guy with the utterance of a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. What's the matter, can't stand the sight of blood? Well, then, why are you writing something that is taking place in a period, and among people who should be quite inured to such violence? Again, pick up a copy of "Beowulf", follow it with "Grendel" spiced with the Brothers Grimm, in the original, and top it all off with a thorough accounting of Vlad the Impaler. Real good adventure happens when there's about a ninety percent chance of the good guys all dying horrifically!
For those of you trying to tie into an urban grit, slice of life, reality vignette thing - Uh, if you grew up in the suburbs and attended mostly nice, well funded schools, where you actually got to eat your lunch unmolested, and never had to think of an alternate route home that would give you the edge on an ass whipping, what are you thinking? If you didn't see your opportunities as one of the "Three P's" (The priesthood, the police department, or prison) you're already a little behind the curve. Try a little Bukowski, Gregory Corso, or Norman Mailer.
I'm not saying there aren't a lot of good writers out there who can grow gonads on a prepositional phrase. And I'm not saying that all of them are men or that they all grew up in some oppressive urban environment. What I am saying is, the ones who are writing fiction with brains, teeth, and BALLS are the ones who can apply both their intellect and an unconstipated dose of guts to the work they produce. This requires that you stop being afraid of the rest of the world's opinion. When you start thinking for yourself and act like you actually believe what you say, you rise above the rest of the dreck. When you venture out past the firelight into the darkness that the rest of the tribe turns its back on, you get the chance to materialize the real demons in any story, and they appear mostly as the men and women and not the beasts and monsters.
Prose, drama, or poetry...If it doesn't come with bumps, warts, boils, and bad habits, what the hell real fun is it? But then again, this is just my own humble damned opinion. Anybody got an empty beer bottle, I gotta whiz!
Just a helpful hint from your Uncle Dane.


Dane F. Baylis

You lay there in the middle of the night
Are your eyes open?
Or is this some really shitty dream?
One where you see yourself lying on the bed
Is it really that dark or have you gone blind?
If you summoned the balls for it
Could you reach out and
               Turn on the light?
But you lay there
Terrified you wouldn’t find yourself
Staring at the same ceiling.
The same patterns of cracks and stains
That you left right up there
When you turned off the light
              Just before
You curled up in the middle of a mattress
Smaller and more lonely than
              Your life.
You listen to – Are those – Voices?
Or just the eddies and currents of the night’s
              Ebb and flow?
This is slightly less frightening than realizing
You are wearing a second skin
Of sour, clammy
A muggy August urban amphibian’s
Which probably belongs to some niggling little
Did you have too much to drink?
Have you pissed the bed?
You wish you could wash it all
The sweat, the fear, the dark, the wondering
Down the shower
But that would require turning on
             The light.
Which would lead to discovering whether you were really
                     Or not?
You draw a deep breath and surrender to the rationalization
Being able to catalogue so much fear into
Neat columns of
              If this-----------------------------------------------------------------------------Then that.
Probably proves you haven’t yet gone
Stark raving mad.
And now you can sleep
Knowing you have something
             To look
                        Forward to.
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page. You can leave comments in the form below. I can be reached directly at dbaylis805@gmail.com . You can also find links to some of the sites I visit from time to time on the right. I'm also looking for submissions to the Your Work/Your Love page. Authors retain all rights.
Dane F. Baylis

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