Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Imitation of Lance Olsen

Went to the Lance Olsen reading last night @ ND with 401 class. I was interested in what he had to say about experimental fiction and I found his writing to be strong and completely accessible. In other words, I was expecting some kind of crazy free form jazz thing but instead found a nice little Miles Davis Kinda of Blue vibe instead. Of course I really did know better, for class we had to read an excerpt (dig around until you find the excerpts link) of his work from nietzsche's kisses, and i was surprised by how easy it was to comprehend even if he did play with POV.

Lance was very approachable and was very easy to talk to. After the reading a small group of us including Neil and Kelcey headed over to Steve Tomasula's house to hang out. Steve and his wife Maria were excellent hosts and even though most of the crowd was composed of Domers it was a great experience and I'm glad I didn't pass it up.

Below is the assignment from class to imitate the excerpt we read for class, no title yet, but the more I read it the more it grows on me.


You stand there and try to register politeness and interest on your face as you mask your disdain and try to ignore the pain in your lower back. The Patron talks down to you like a child. You smile and nod and repeat:

“Sir, I’m not sure I understand-“

But he cuts you off. Be nice you remind yourself. Keep smiling. The pain in your cheeks and back equal a 5% raise. You need this money. Your future self needs all of the money you can make now. It’s evaluation time and the boss is watching this transaction from his office. Your eyes begin to wander and you notice just how flammable this Patron is. His breathe is stinging vodka, his hair is matted grease, his skin is white flakes. The heat from the LCD screen that now stares blankly at you would be enough for this Patron to immolate himself. You hope that he will step closer; he would make an interesting sacrifice to the Library Gods.

“Sir, I believe you’ve been misinformed. What you are looking for is on the 3rd floor. Ask the information desk.”

You can’t help but notice he is now wavering. He is now falling. He is now bleeding from the head and peeing in his pants. The liquids run in opposite directions from one another. The security guard rushes over to the Patron while other Patrons gather. Some Juvenile Patrons point and laugh. You stand there with that smile on your face. It is now genuine. You marvel at how wonderful it feels to be honest.

1 comment:

Charmi said...

Now we're getting somewhere! Very cool.

I wish I would have known about the reading. I'm always a day late and a dollar short.