This is a short story I wrote for English class in 12th grade. It was published in the Canadian literary magazine Raw Fiction, and I got paid, making this my first and so far only paid published writing. I was obsessed with Tuesday Walker; as any sensible person would be.
This is a game called lipsquiggler. I made this up in 2000. You make a description of someone by choosing one word from each column, in order. For example, “candy smurfing lip squiggler”, which is what I call myself.
I wrote this on New Year’s Eve 2001 while tripping on psilocybin mushrooms. I wrote it on a Mac in the Post-It note application; hence, I call it the murdermuffin post-it:
even standing in the halls at Best Buy
leaving little notes
[and writing on the back of pics]
[edited for television]
repeat that phrase forever
write a book,
spend your life writing books
would be okay
slither in here,
(go crazy, it doesn’t matter, live wildly and fun, we’re gonna put this here and that there, we’re going to redecorate!! (in quotations) going to redecorate and have childish fun)
abundance in everything
what can we create from this?
friekish fun is impossible to fathom, though, for (mere mortals)…and from their point of reason it is insult, it is scathing mockery, it is diabolique, mysteryschzism, intangible murderfrockery, middlewatschmoffining, sallygaggingmizzteryhocclingwandermuffiningspellbindery!
write plays where people are the extremes of obscure characterization, poetry consisting all of one syllable, syllableschisms, poetry consisting of just one word, forget about publishing….redefine the medium.
redefine the medium
[expand candy-smurfing zipsquiggler and call Mattel]
[it’s improv poetry and a party game all slammed into one]
[make weird packages and send them to CEOs…proposals…explore eccentricities]
redefinition of a syllableschism
plays that are just wordplay…drama just two characters spewing otherwise unutterable nonsensical strings of paradise, muffinfucker paradise, the gamo-globulan universiary syllable…one hour of that, incomprehensible by most readers and audience members, unshoulderable by most actors, the most brilliant dramatic
don’t take risks…live (conceptually) up against the wall of weird, oblivious to the box
don’t edit anything.
hi. i’m brilliant.
[entire books of logical syntactic wordplay]
make them come to you.
no capitals. all punctuation. everything.
attitude. the works.
[entire book written phonetically]
forget the box.
[words from computers]
gate no. 17
robbing monkeys blind eyebrows
write with no punctuation, no articles, no discernable fantasy
write a few more things down.
[alphapussy…alphabet book of poetry, absolute literature, a is for…, b is for…; a page for every letter; a page for every guideword in the dictionary]
how ’bout later?
how about now.
[entire dialog of that, then eight other scenes equally abstract, a pinch of cumin, call it play]
[weird punctuation in alphapussy…like the punctuation from a dictionary on mushrooms]
the rest is history.
massmedia cultural redirection (genocide)
welcome to next.
the importance of mixed-media genital re-improvosation
[call emily…do a language show]
reenergizing murdermuffin protein
[spell everything phonetikally]
note to self.
[instantaneous vehicular re-appropriation]
murdermuffin maladies [title]
that’s the whole thing.
[game that comes up with?] ad slogans
fake ad slogans.
intentional misspelling. [corrected]
bipartisan lingual reposession.
the wacky particle.
worrysome wizard. wobbling. worrying. whenever.
whwnwvwr [get it?]
murder club candy.
[go in and post notes everywhere…reclaim a coffeehouse…take over, placing notes, a happening, ]
it’s just. but–
doctor happenstance is in the house
rap. monkey. is in the house.
in the house.
off the hook.
[decorate bill tudor’s house]
you’re not dreaming.
winnebago. boulevard. zapfchancery.
straight to classical.
[encourage rapid evolution of the English language]
play classical loud.
re-muffin-ize (as in, we’re going to … this whole place)
resubtract and redouble.
aim to tolerize.
56. 57. What’s next!? 58?
instantaneous realphabetization complex
i’m through with chess.
that fucking billionaire.
what’s your perception?
just one critisim.
hold that thought.
i wont kiss.
i’ve changed everything.
new slogans all around.
it was nothing.
not with you.
we’ll take parts of it.
doesn’t it feel ducky?
i mean the feeling.
it’s my favorite place to sleep.
you’re not it.
the words are real.
i wish i had my list.
protect the innocent.
really mathematical thinking.
before I learned to talk.
hello my kittae.
reinitiate pregnant pauses.
reactivate the pregnancy.
you didn’t say that.
partially retolerable waste.
partially retolerable byproduct.
extra virgin. extra wide.
[r]iddle me this.
boulevard of broken pencils
[m]ovies with millions of movie references
with a through line and characters, drama, literary, but supermodern
m is for movies, but we never say so
[with diagrams like in a dictionary]
remalady the zhivago.
all the way.
different every time.
keep the pants. lose the hair.
I hope you’re having a lovely time.
I wrote the left half of this poem in 1996(7?), and the right half in 2000. It’s a two-voice poem :: you get two people to read it to you in unison, one in your left ear and one in your right ear. This is how me and my friends used to entertain ourselves back then. Jim Brooks at CJ (my high school (one of the three)) recently told me he uses this “every year when I have my creative writing students do their two-voice poems. They always enjoy reading yours.” That is incredibly meaningful to me, that this two-voice form is sparking creativity in high school students in Ohio!! Mr. Brooks continues, “Some of my students really enjoy writing in this format, and a few of their products have shown up in our anthology. I may try to pass a few of those on to you.” Please do!! With permission I’ll publish them here.
Watch and Sway (Emily Olmsted)
excerpt from note from me to my high school calculus teacher:
“I hope your life and world are wonderful!! I was excited to see that you still teach at CJ. I wasn’t the most attentive student in your class, but that was more about my own pacing. I remember, and always will remember, that you reached out to me to attempt to connect me with math-related subject matter, loaning me your fractal books among other tactics! Thank you so much for your care at that time.”
excerpt from her reply to me:
“For what it is worth, I don’t really remember you being inattentive. What sticks in my mind about you is that you always had such a nice smile. It was a calm smile. High school teachers appreciate little pools of calmness in their day.”
I just wrote a couple of high school teachers…mainly bugging one of them to see if he had a copy of a poem I wrote back then that I have since lost.
Thinking of those teachers, and thinking of me at the time that I knew them…that was a time that was very hard for me in some ways (due to the process of adolescence!), and a time during which both of those teachers and some others showed me some basic, simple kindnesses that, when writing them just now, I realized I will never forget.
I have not always been kind—and I think, with some experience, that kindness isn’t appropriate with everyone—but I hope as I age that I can be like those adults from that school who were kind to me.