The Art Of Waiting.

February 23, 2008 at 5:12 pm | Posted in writing | 14 Comments
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“In 1930, Samuel Beckett returned to Trinity College as a lecturer. He soon became disillusioned with his chosen academic vocation, however. He expressed his aversion by playing a trick on the Modern Language Society of Dublin, reading a learned paper in French on a Toulouse author named Jean du Chas, founder of a movement called Concentrism. Chas and Concentrism, however, were pure fiction, having been invented by Beckett to mock pedantry.”

Gotta love the Irish. A thin dry breeze is blowing from the western desert across the broad flat plains and tumbling down the mountain range into the river delta. There are more insects than birds. Flies, mosquitoes, tiny spiders, unknown multihued beetles seen once in a lifetime, cicadas are a constant highpitched love song which somehow is only heard when listened for.

“Never dangle a participle, except for special effect,” he said running his hand over his closeshawn rapidly balding head, a beast so hairy he is never naked, covered in close curls of dark brown and silver grey, in this country midafternoon, in this heat, nothing moves but insects,

Lazily, how long am I expected to stand at this door in this illfitting uniform, chain smoking in my mind and blowing smoke rings up arses? He puts the gun down. Thinks again and sticks it in his belt. Not what you’ld really call a ‘big’ gun, he thinks hitching his trousers, there’s gotta be a bar round here somewhere…

She peers over the rim of her sunglasses, payment will be in Australian dollars?

Half now, and the rest when Hector sees the girls. He turns to face her. And when they get off that plane, they better be smiling, you understand, and legal.

Haha, she said, I shall manufacture consent in someway.

There’s a cruise involved after all, he thinks and immediately regrets the implication. Stubs out another cigarette. How much longer must I stand at this door in this illfitting uniform? Ya gotta love the Irish, where are you, Shane McGowan, now we need you, I see trees of green, cicadas are a constant highpitched longing which somehow is only heard when listened for.


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  1. Brilliant, lead in with an invented theory, a trick, then moving away from Beckett’s non-circles (or in them maybe?)….. curls, mind rings (love these), sunglasses, smiles — all this beautiful tumbling juxtaposed against a hard reality. And the use of sound to wrap your (fiction). You’ve outdone yourself, Paul……amazingly amazing.

  2. Had to come back and say still thinking on this, still going wow……this is so vivid, so vital, so noisy; just incredible.

  3. I could smell the smoke, hear the sounds of sirens, and feel all the other asorted bits and bobs with this.

  4. PS anon was me…bloggers gone nuts.

  5. those cicadas… they could break your heart if you listen to long.

    There is a contentment in your voice; an anticipation of things to come without worrying about a possibly undefined course. Never dangle a participle … no, absolutely, definitely, maybe.

    oh those cicadas

  6. The circles continue to form, moving outwards from this piece, causing my mind to spin with thought.

    …manufactured consent…interesting…

  7. (Found Poem)

    The Art of Waiting

    I see trees of green,
    cicadas constant
    highpitched longing
    somehow only heard
    when listened for

    🙂 beautiful writing

  8. That is beautiful writing, Scot. Look at all those words I wasted. Compression is certainly a requisite skill for elegance and the subtle beauty and resonance of poetry.

  9. What would waiting be without cicadae?

    Well, it would be Billings, actually, but I digress… besides, if properly secured, you shouldn’t be able to dangle a participle.

    Oh, blather… now look what I’ve done.

  10. On re-reading this, i seem to pick up a certain literary cynacism drifting through…..

  11. “keep on, put one foot in front of the next, keep on.”

  12. Cynicism, it’s a very easy and bad habit to fail into, almost an admission of defeat, really easy to write too, it’s much harder to find a way to say this is a good idea, which I like, and will make people happier or whatever, without sounding like a wanker,
    but as Randall says, you either keep moving or you don’t…

  13. I like the way this one flows and your description of the cicadas is spot on

  14. ahhh, Becket… the waiting… ad infinitum…
    fortunately do not have to wait too long for one of your productions to arrive…

    [i do not move]

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