Exercise in Stream of Consciousness

First let me say hello. I haven’t had a blog since I was sixteen, and ended every post with ‘lurvy curvy and steamy orgasms’. I have aged a bit since then, it would seem. The purpose of this blog is simple, I have a problem with consistency in writing, I write for weeks and then not again for four months. My novel has been sitting on my desk for three months stopped at 7 pages. (To be honest I’ve had other things to think about- student loans, visa etc etc) however, as my major is going to be creative writing, I feel as if I should take a serious approach to improving my craftmanship. To do so, every day on this blog I will try to at least write a paragraph or a poem. On the (likely) occasion I am doing something else creatively that day I will post that instead. the point is to keep me working, and create a structure so that I don’t end up re-reading Walden all day for the 27th time.

Here is my first exercise.

{{Stream of consciousness is defined as:Narrative technique in nondramatic fiction intended to render the flow of myriad impressions — visual, auditory, tactile, associative, and subliminal — that impinge on an individual consciousness. To represent the mind at work, a writer may incorporate snatches of thought and grammatical constructions that do not seem coherent because they are based on the free association of ideas and images. The term was first used by William James in The Principles of Psychology (1890). In the 20th century, writers attempting to capture the total flow of their characters’ consciousness commonly used the techniques of interior monologue, which represents a sequence of thought and feeling. Novels in which stream of consciousness plays an important role include James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922), William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury(1929), and Virginia Woolf’s The Waves (1931). (As defined by the Brittanica Encyclopedia)}}


Stream of Consciousness

Because… because… was there a reason? It comes with a price, this tender infinity lying in his hands. What was it really? A bunch of atoms thrilled into being by the sunshine, pigments bubbling just below the surface. How bizarre it was. How bizarre he was. But did flowers know, did they think, as someone plucked them from their capillaries?
A young woman, her flesh pink and soft beneath her summer dress took clicking steps past him, up down the much abused and gum-spattered sidewalk. She wobbled a bit as she walked. Did she know, he wondered, how bizarre we all were? He saw her with her absurdity, the lined eyes, the stained lips, the artificial tousled hair, (was she really blonde?), and walking in those ridiculous shoes that made her toes point and her arches ache. And for what, he wondered, for some social conception. For some ideal of fashion she had ingratiated herself. He watched her ass wobble with her steps, he loved the way they wobbled.
A woman threw a handful of change into his coffee. He would have told her to go fuck herself, but he was too busy with the universe around him. Besides she was of the ilk of Mrs. Dalloway, wealthy with a conscience. Fucking do-gooders, probably crochets jackets for cold penguins or something. He swore loudly to himself, trying to fish the change out of his coffee, as a mother stiffened and rushed her wide-eyed son past him, as if his very ambience was poisoning. He laughed at her, she was absurd too. Children were so much less absurd than adults, because they, of course, understood the absurdity of it all. The whole fucking universe was a fluke, a freak of nature. He dipped his fingers into the now luke-warm coffee, he noted that there was dirt in the creases of his fingers, and his jagged fingernails bitten to the quick. Did he bite his fingers? He wasn’t sure. He’d have to pay more attention to himself. He fished the change out of the coffee cup, wiped it on his dirty t-shirt beneath his well-loved hooded sweatshirt. He counted it- one buck and change. Plenty for another cup of coffee from the vendor on the corner, near the Hirshhorn.
He loved that gallery, the guards knew him, no one bothered him, it was assumed he was an artist-type, so he fit in there. With pompous art-critics, Chinese tourists taking pictures of dogs, and philosophy made into image and space. That’s what he liked quite frankly about the gallery; it was as if his very essence was reflected in the emptiness of the space, the pure white walls, and the building. His thoughts were Technicolor wax statues, make-shift folding chair galaxies, rainbows made of car cables.
It wouldn’t open for another two hours. He had spent the meager ends of his paycheck on the pack of American Spirits sitting in his pocket. He remembered them with a grin. Ah, breakfast he thought wryly to himself, chuckling as he fished the cigarettes and a lighter out of his pocket. He put the filter to his lips, lit and took a deep inhale. He immediately felt more whole somehow, more himself. He often wondered why he smoked, why did he even bother? It was expensive and bad for him.
Perhaps cigarettes were a way of coping with life, and thus the end of life. Control, that’s what people longed for, to create order from chaos. Society was based on this one desire, this one aspect of the human psyche. Organize, create, tubs, baskets, paints, buildings, books, words…. Categorize. Right and wrong, names, labels, all coming down to this universal need for rules. And for what? For what? He took another drag and watched the smoke writhe and echo into the slowly whispering clouds above his head. Another day gray.

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2 responses to “Exercise in Stream of Consciousness

  1. Good writing! An interesting angle to look at the world from, I really like it! Glad to see you’ve taken up blogging, tis most addictive!

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