saw a sex machine once myself


a story, that is considered and is considered for harpers. we are talking money. a friend that has e-mailed me, responding to thoughts of making money. we have these ideas. we have all this love to give. we are drunk. punch drunk. and to this i leave you with a lot of things that could ruin a lot of things... i love you.

I'll definitely get you something for your site.

Sorry I haven't responded to your long email before about stories-in-bottles. It was a good thought-provoking missive and I didn't want to just burp something back. This isn't the big response I'd like to have given, but here is a response to it anyway.

My first thought was that you're getting into thinking about design and art, which is also what I've been getting into lately. I've been approaching writing & design & art & photography projects with one guiding principle: the primacy of the idea. The idea has to be strong, POW, right there, something that hits home to some audience somewhere or that compels you to make the thing and keep at it. In other words, you have the form in mind (stories in a bottle), but at this point there isn't a strong idea behind it. You've got the jab with the form, now you need the uppercut with the idea, the content. It's definitely worth thinking about. I think about this kind of stuff all the time. What kinds of stories make sense in a bottle? What kinds of things make sense and go with the stories in the bottle? What's the idea that informs each part of the package: the story, the object, the container? As an idea, I did the Dead Bug Funeral Kit, thought of it as the idea first, then wrote the book of poems, added the objects, and found a great container. Wham. Exactly what you're talking about. Writing + object(s) + container. The idea drives the content, and everything reinforces and refines and expresses the main idea. This is design at a sophisticated, intelligent level, and approaches art. I think with some hard thinking, you or anyone else could arrive at that inspired idea that drives the writing, the objects, and the container (and, in your case, also the means of dissemination) to some pitch-perfect, right-on expression.

So that's my two cents. I've been real busy lately because I'm in the process of moving. I'm not making the kind of journey you did, but we are moving several states away, from Michigan to North Carolina. So I'm painting the house, gonna put it on the market soon, and hopefully move in May.

I'll get you a story for your site soon. Keep in touch with your design/art ideas!


David, it is good to hear from you. I am glad that you replied to my e-mail with your thoughts. That “original” idea was composed quite a while ago. It was actually an e-mail that I sent to my good friend Chris Holland. He liked the idea so much and provided a lot of positive feed back, that I decided to send it to some of my other friends and see if there was a similar feeling, want, need, or market out there for some thing like that. The original “idea” was just a primary rough draft of something that needed a lot more thought. And believe me I have been thinking about it, expanding, and practicing this very same thing. I don’t think I am the first to come up with this idea, anyone who is an artist/ or writer probably has touched on this, and I must admit I was quite embarrassed that I had sent you that e-mail, when I later went to your website and found that you were already doing something quite similar with your “dead bug kit” and your “writers specimen”... I love those ideas and that is almost exactly what I am talking about. The only twist is, and what is the premises of my idea, is the most difficult part of my overall vision for what I want to do...

I want to make it personal, publicly personal. In that sense, I want it to be a sort of art work that is surprising and unexpected, almost as if one is walking around a corner and finds himself starring directly at a Diego Riviera Mural that wasn’t there the day before. Here is the catch though; the art work would almost be directed entirely towards that one person. Imagine you came walking home like you normally come walking home and there is a huge picture of “yourself” panted right there on the wall. This is funny thought at first, maybe even scary but if performed in anonymity, and unknowingly, would with out have impact more than piece of art work that person has ever laid eyes upon. Now to make this idea broader is simply to open up the lens. In this day and age there are a couple of certainties/trends that I think this idea could dance upon. Now let’s say you are not sure the painting on this hypothetical wall is “you the viewer”, but god damn it looks so much like you. You relate to it and therefore it becomes very personal to you the viewer (this is coming more from my marketing experience.) coming back to the states I realize that were living in a pretty non-individualist culture. Not saying that you or I are not unique creative individuals, but as a whole our culture is like a sort of blend. A lot of drones, like worker bee’s, we wake up and shuttle off to work everyday, stuck in the same traffic as everyone else, watching the same TV shows, eating the same foods... do you see what I am getting at when it comes to a target market? They are all the same, therefore your chances of relating to a larger market on personal basis is greater! I think this is why Radiohead’s album OK computer was such a huge commercial success. Am I taking crazy pill? Maybe I am getting head of myself... ok so I want to go back to the stuck in traffic idea. Now imagine if you are trying to get down downtown Seattle, or where ever you live. And there is a large scrolling neon sign... kind of like the ones you would see if you went to times square. now imagine if that neon sign started talking to you, or at least addressing you, but then this neon sign started talking about its day, sort of rattling off random events that has happened to it, random facts, stuff like, “3 million people in the world have never made a phone, imagine that, and here we are stuck in traffic making phone calls, we are calling our loved ones, we are letting them know that we are late, to put the food in the microwave...”

David, imagine a neon sign spoke to you like, they are just glowing words dashing across a black desolate field, having so much personal impact in your day... that is where I want to take literature. I want to make it personal, but in this weird wacky media... putting this idea into practice, the mediums you can use for this are unlimited... That’s what I want to do... I think it would be fun, it would be great... I have already started. Anyway, there is somebody else here that wants to check their e-mail, so I am going to bail... hope to hear from you soon, and I hope this sparked something in you.