My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Dec 11

Tattoo #45

Tattoo by Fish, Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

So, my 600th post is about my 45th, and most recent, tattoo.

These lyrics are from what’s quite possibly my favorite Elliott Smith song, the not-so-known, Some Song. It’s part of a little three track collection, the Needle in the Hay – EP. The first thing that draws me to the song is that it’s written almost entirely in the second-person. If done right, second-person writing is so powerful, it pulls people into the narrative with such intensity. To me, it’s so underrated and under-used, in music and literature. It’s really difficult to pull off, but I think the pay-off is worth trying. The song itself sounds like it’s straight autobiography, Elliott laying out how he saw himself. It’s a very odd mix, he knew he had talent, that he could be who he wanted to be, yet he hated the songs he wrote, hated himself, and he knew he was broken and couldn’t get it together. I understand that odd juxtaposition of feelings toward oneself.

I know I write well, I have skill and my stuff resonates with some people. I know I have a lot of potential to write and do great things, the potential to be the fellow I see in my head. I also hate almost everything I create. I feel like a fuck up, piece of shit failure. I’m just about thirty and I haven’t really accomplished anything important, I’ve screwed stuff up. I’ve wasted chances, ruined things. I’ve made so many bad choices lately. I can’t seem to hold it together enough to be who I want to be. Maybe I’m stuck the way Elliott was stuck. I don’t know.

2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Apes December 18th, 2010 2:11 am

    I think all artists have days where they love or loathe their own work. Sometimes i look at my work, and absolutely cringe at what i see…other times, i take myself by surprise and think “Damn! not bad, kid..”

    It changes by the hour.

    Whats important, is that, even on the off days, you just keep doing it. You just keep making it happen because you have to, because its in you.

    Even if the words you type that day will never be your opus, even if they’ll never be seen by another living soul.

    Sometimes i spend aaages taking nothing but bullshit nothing shots. And sometimes the good stuff just hits you, and then your out of the slump, and and thats great…

    but sometimes its the bullshit that really surprises you…because when you build on something you thought was garbage you’re not afraid of losing the vision, the big ideas you had when you started…you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose.

    so fuck it.
    be a mess. revel in it.
    hate your words.

    only keep making them.
    because you have to.
    because you are a writer.

    Apes.

  2. David December 19th, 2010 10:26 am

    Michael,

    A few weeks ago I watched your episode of “This American Life” and then found your blog. I had to react to what you wrote about being almost thirty and not accomplishing anything. You’ve accomplished more than many people, just by living and writing and inspiring people. People read what you write and it moves them. You may not be happy with what you write sometimes but there are people who want to read what you have to say, even if it is that you had a bad day.

    So, I read that you’re depressed and frustrated – that’s understandable. Take a break from writing and experience the things that make you happy. Then, come back and tell us about your thoughts. You don’t have to do anything to be a success, because you are a success just by living.

    David

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