Friday, September 28, 2012

Brian Allen Carr, On Reading

"At the moment, I'm not a fan of books. By that I mean, I'm not a fan of lots of books. I go through phases. Sometimes I can sit and read anything, sometimes I'm waiting for something, what, I don't know. I get book hangovers like a mother fucker. I finished Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou a few weeks ago, and everything I've read since has seemed hollow. I need to get the rest of his books. I've got shit tons of books I haven't read. I'm staring at my shelves, nothing's calling. They will. It's odd. I'll look at something's spine 100 times before I decide, 'I'm reading this fucker right now.' I wonder what causes that.

I know this, if I want to read a book, I need it now and forever until I've turned the last page. If I'm suggested a book the chances of my liking it are reduced dramatically. The best is when you happen on a book. It stumbles across you. You're locked in that intimate dance.

Then there are the books I can always read because they just found me at the right time: The Stranger, The Little Prince, Jesus' Son, Norwood, Paris Spleen, Tomato Red, As I lay Dying, and the earth did not devour him.

We can't help the things we're in love with, the flavors our tongue craves. I can't talk my eyes into liking any sentence. I can't tell my mind to cry at a narrative. It's magic, that.

Some books seem fantastic until you start them, and some books seem terrible until they're finished. Which is the fist and what is the palm and who gets to make these decisions? It's peculiar, frightening, worse than nostalgia. Worse then the dances they used to make us go to, where the one you wanted to dance with was the stiffest body of them all, and someone you thought boring dragged you until you understood the music wasn't coming from the speakers, it was playing through their souls. Then you just turn into the kind of flower that no one would buy a bouquet of, but that smell sweeter than all the bullshit. Then you don't need to look pretty. You just fucking feel it.

Maybe I'll read the Bible. Maybe I'll read Henry Miller. Maybe I'll draw a picture with a crayon of an ocean and try to drink it off the page."

Brian Allen Carr's book Vampire Conditions is out with Holler Presents.}