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To The Store Is Where I Go

It’s hard to look at ordinary things and make a compelling story out of them.

I’ve seen writing classes and talked with writing teachers and sampled some of the sour grapes produced in the vineyard of creative writing. I’m telling you that you can’t learn it. You can work at it, but it can’t be taught. You could learn how to spell, but you generally don’t. Working at it is a lonely thing. That’s why it attracts so many lonesome people. Well-adjusted people can only write, dad was mean and mom ran off with the plumber once, and they’ll be fresh out of ideas forevermore.

A college education now qualifies you to type the sentence: To the store is where I go. You knew better than to talk like that when you were seven, but they made you forget it. It’s the price of admission. They promised you that you’d be running free while they slipped the dependent clause halter over your snout.

To the store is not where Guy Clark goes. Guy Clark goes to the store. Lyle Lovett went with him.

A kind soul might tell you how they did it, if you drill enough notoriety and years and money into their skulls to make them feel invincible, but for the most part they lie about it, or change the subject, because it’s a frog. If you dissect the frog it don’t hop no more.

Besides, if they actually told you how they did it, you’d ignore them, anyway, and ask for another answer.

Google Is Very Wise Indeed

Google is very wise indeed.

In the right-hand column of YouTube where I found this video, it suggested that I’d be interested in viewing Marilyn Manson debating Bill O’Reilly.

This is what I’m talkin’ ’bout. That there. That’s genius. It’s inspired. Google knows me better than I know myself. See, I thought I wanted to hear about the process of the creation  of a song I admire. It was just a bonus to see Lyle Lovett bang it out naked on a weird minor league TED Talk stage.

But Google knows things. Astonishing things. Ask the people that run it. They know everything about everything important, and that’s just the people that work there. They make the Genius Bar look like the short bus. Their thingie that searches the Intertunnel knows even more. It knows everything. It looks right into your soul every time you go lookin’ for something. It knows why you mistyped that gerund, even if you don’t. It knows that you’re just being oblique. So it’s a Slavic Bride you’re in the market for. Slavonic Dances is just a ruse to fool the fellow sitting next to you at the grimy public library computer terminal, isn’t it? Google knows.

I had no idea I wanted to see Marilyn Manson debate Bill O’Reilly. I still don’t, but I must. Google said so.

He’s Got A Face Like An Unthrown Pot

His hair is a potted plant. His voice is on loan from a bullfrog, and he’s three payments behind. He lists to port a bit. His guitar is still full of air from another state. He’s never worked a day in his life, but his hands are knobby and calloused just the same. He smiles from time to time. I think that’s what that thing his face does is, anyway.

Play guitar. Get girls.

I Write Fiction Now, Because I Want To Tell The Truth

It’s a busted old town on the plains of West Texas.
The drugstore’s closed down, and the river runs dry.
The semis roll through like stainless steel stallions
Goin’ hard, goin’ fast, goin’ wild
Rollin’ hard, rollin’ fast, rollin’ by.

And the mission still stands at the edge of the plateau.
A stone marks the graves where the old cowboys lie.
Asleep in a time, in a town just a youngster
Goin’ hard, goin’ fast, goin’ wild
Rollin’ hard, rollin’ fast, rollin’ by.

And the drive-in don’t play no Friday night pictures.
No big silver screen to light up the sky.
Gone are the days of post-war-time lovers
Goin’ hard, goin’ fast, goin’ wild
Rollin’ hard, rollin’ fast, rollin’ by.

And me — I stand here at the last fillin’ station
Where the wind moans a dirge to the coyote’s cry.
I jump in my car; I’m back out on the highway
Goin’ hard, goin’ fast, goin’ wild
Rollin’ hard, rollin’ fast, rollin’ by
Goin’ hard, goin’ fast, goin’ wild
Rollin’ hard, rollin’ fast, rollin’ by.

Robert Earl KeenRollin’ By


Tag: Lyle Lovett

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