This is an extension of my previous post. Rather, the thoughts are an extension. What I am writing now is fueled by what I’ve found to be insulting over the years and the ignorance that has moved me to anger. For those of you who know me or my fiction, violence has often been a part of it—a part.
“All you write about is violence.”
“He’s a crime writer.”
Sometimes, true violence twitches at my fingers when I hear these things.
To say that all I write about is violence is to say that all a wedding band is, is just a piece of metal. All that baby is that you carried for nine months and suffered to bring into the world is just another mouth-breathing, shitting waste of oxygen. It may be arrogant for me to come to this page in defense of my work without fame or substantial literary recognition. And if you feel that way then you should stop wasting your time reading this and go fuck yourself. Better I put it in words here than come to your doorstep and stomp on your fucking teeth, grab you by your face and rattle them out of your head.
I write about suffering. Violence is sometimes simply an ends to the means. I’ve imagined human beings in situations and circumstances that people fear, that people pray to God to avoid, that people, if they suffered through the same circumstances, would most likely commit acts of violence themselves.
Suffering is what has given us the motivation to love and find compassion.
Should a man or woman push a child out of the way of a speeding car and save them only to be smashed into the pavement, bones and fleshed shattered and torn, you would call them a hero despite the violence inflicted on their bodies. When you told that story, you wouldn’t consider it only about violence. I write about people who have sliced the stitching of their soul and opened themselves the fuck up to a darkness you could not possibly fathom. I can see no love greater than that.
When I first got to grad school, one of the persons there asked me why I wanted to be a writer. I told her I wanted to piss people off. I eventually pissed her off when I titled my thesis, Nice Abortion.
My first public reading, I read Ice Shack, which was also the first story I ever published. I went on to publish three stories with that publisher up until last year when they rejected a piece because there was no room in the anthology. There was room; however, for the four editors of the anthology to publish their own work, which is a bit incestual, as one of my friends put it. I’m fine with rejection, but make it a rejection, not a fucking excuse. I digress. I finished this reading about a guy who kills another guy to save his best friend. When I finished the reading, a man approached me, obviously angry.
“What the hell was that guy doing sleeping with his friend’s wife?”
I was taken aback for a moment, wondering how the fiction I created had somehow offended this douchebag. So I replied, “Oh, I’m sorry. Was that your wife?”
A woman recently wrote me at The Opiate to tell me I was going to hell for what I wrote. My response was much longer than what follows, but you’ll get the gist.
While you sit there embracing a book about a man who let his own child suffer maddening torture and crucifixion and then his followers spout off with “For He so loved the world…” Fuck you and your insipid brainwashed bullshit. If He loved the world then He would have offered himself for slaughter instead of making his son suffer for a cause determined for him before he was even born. Mary’s birth was the Immaculate Conception because she was already destined to have a child that was destined to suffer and die for a world someone else created. (This is obviously a snag in the “Free will” theory and a topic for later discussion.) God has made countless people suffer just to test their faith and the Bible is a syllabus of His violence.
“If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off.”
Offended yet? Okay. Now scamper off back to your property tax exempt lair where you validate perfidious judgment on others between homoerotic songs celebrating the murder of a guy who socialized with sinners and whores. Pray for Jesus to cleanse those impure thoughts from your non-autonomous brain and enjoy your paganistic zombie/vampire experience with saltines and grape juice. God may speak to you, but He’s screaming in my ear.
So, here you are. Here I am writing about violence. Here I am feeding the critical beast that you’ve developed with years of experience in sophisticated plots, the pathos of character, and other astounding literary devices that you picked up casually while flipping through your TV Guide or your Bible. Here I am trotting up the streets of your literary neighborhood—the rabid dog ready to shake the fucking bones from road-kill.
I will forever do this. I’ll take the bruised, battered, tortured, raped, pillaged, neglected, hated, abused, angry, misunderstood, lost, lonely, hurt, torn, beaten, suffering and the fucking godless. I’ll take them all because they’re survivors. And that’s worth writing about.
If all I write about is violence and crime, then this is a crime of passion, and I’m going to keep murdering these pages until my wicked candle is put out.