Tuesday, August 18, 2015

weeds words

back again!  never quit!

summer summer summertime

I'm in the TV room of my parents' home, kneeling on the carpet with my laptop on the coffee table, with ice in my glass and poison ivy on my leg.

I'm listening to a youtube sampler of of "appalachian traditional artists" that Jim Lloyd put up on facebook.  It's people pickin' at galax and in living rooms.  It matches the way I feel right now.  A little hyper, and satisfied with where I am.

I've been using my instax camera to try and get some of the lushness of right now in the mountains of Virginia.  I'd like to be able to use words to communicate things like that as well.  Something about fields of corn, something about crows, something about tiny fishes in brown water, something about forest green tunnels, shoes wet with dew in the morning.  Trees and hedges just standing while the insects buzz on and my car motor just runs on.

I heard an interview on the radio recently with that author David Foster Wallace.  He spoke about feeling a fear to express anything earnest in this cultural climate that watches a lot of TV and that uses irony as a personal brand, etc, etc, and I get it, I really get it and that makes me want to read some of his essays.  I picked up his unfinished (not finished before his death) novel The Pale King at the library, and while I eventually gave up and returned it because it was probably too ambitious as my introduction to David Foster Wallace, it did have this very beautiful passage right in the first chapter on the first page where he writes this gorgeous paragraph sentence of meadow weed names.  It runs through my mind a lot especially as I look around here and list in my mind the flowers that I know and as I think about ~*Appalachian*~ themed writing whatever that means.

Like, I know David Foster Wallace was talking about a general midwestern specifically-nonspecific thing and the paragraph in The Pale King is in a context of human structure and that's what makes this block of text with the human names for natural intricacies so effective.  BUT I'm kind of interested in doing exercises about ~*writing what you know*~ and writing about a PLACE and I'm interested in there being Appalachian voices out there in the discourse.

BUT ANYWAY of course this is all a lead-up to me listing weeds:

Jewelweed, red lobelia, ironweed, goldenrod, chickory, sunchoke, aster, comfrey, morning glory, bindweed, mouse ear, sorrel, curly dock, burdock, red clover, queen anne's lace, black-eyed susan, canadian thistle, mustard, rape, blackberry, poison ivy, stinging nettle, yarrow, water hemlock, huckleberry, wineberry, black raspberry, dandelion, daisy, milkweed.