• 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

gitan

eclipsis

& 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.