• billytombs

shi·loh rose

once upon a time...

i wanted to write a book - but i had no idea how... so i went off to the office supply store and picked up a small three subject notebook with perforated pages. it was a book because it looked like a book - & as far as i was concerned, that was a good start. each day i tore out a page along the perforation, put it into the typer and typed. when i filled the page - i taped it back into the notebook.

it took me around a year to fill those pages...

i scribbled the naïve ramblings of shiloh rose on the cover. & that was that...

i became obsessed with the discipline and the process. & the clickety-clack of the manual remington rand typer - it was loud - it was gun shots - it was music - it made it feel like something was happening... something more than nothing - something real... if one can call words on college-ruled-perforated pages real?

so i put shiloh on a shelf and went back to the office supply store for another notebook. - another year and change and the mountebank's prayer went on the shelf next to shiloh...

- then came:

the benediction of the fig



& the rosemary amethyst.

this was a decade worth of perforation and scotch tape :

rip, type, tape... rip, type, tape... rip, type, tape... day after day... month after month... year after year...

this was a decade worth of sitting in a 1966 fieldstar camper parked next to the 101 freeway in the san fernando valley. this was a decade worth of of clickety-clack bouncing around that same tin can of a house on wheels. this was a decade worth of a life i had not expected for myself, yet this was a decade worth of the only life i had.

i was possessed with a faith of unknown origin. i lived by the maxim: solitude is the price of greatness. i was solitary, to be sure... but greatness became a thing i had to constantly redefine - so as not to completely cave to the constant failure of measuring up. it was as though i was hypnotized by the keys... the words, the pages, the notebooks, somehow put a spell on me in order that i might keep pushing onward & upward...

- but objectively i must have seen that the cart was most definitely before the horse.

i prayed on my knees to whatever god might have me:

dear lord of tape & typer lord of rose & wine lord of solitude & silence lord of genius & muse lord of gypsy & vagabond lord of word & phrase - of criminal & thief lord of this & that - and of what & where lord of when & why - and who & whom lord of 20th century madmen lord of mystic smoke - of smoke & mirrors lord... of... i do not understand. i am trying with each passing day to do exactly that... to understand. but i do not. i am writing because i do not know what else to do. please... lord of pen & ink please... lord of white page and black ribbon please... lord of white serifed letters on round black keys please... please... make it worth a damn.

Recent Posts

See All


kən-ˈsi-zhən archaic : a cutting up or off the quality or state of being concise concision is using only the words necessary to convey an idea.

pat·ti smith

it’s the artist’s responsibility to balance mystical communication and the labor of creation. ~ patti smith