Beak is Flawless

beak is the best x-man

Look at him.  Just a few panels before he rageflips the whole board.  Who among us doesn’t have the noble spirit of Beak floating in tandem with our own?  He’s majestic.  He cares about the integrity of the game of Clue.  He treasures it.  There is no “toilet room” in Clue.  There is no Professor Sex!

Beak needs to be in every movie.  Not just in every X-Man movie.  Every. Single.  Movie.

The Fast and the Furious, starring Beak.  The Matrix, where every Agent Smith is Beak.  Finding Beak-o.  The Beakfather.  Forrest Beak.

In The Sound of Music, Beak could play Gretl, the youngest.  He’d squawk, “Goodnight” and scoot sleepily up the steps, molting as he went.

The Notebook, where Beak explains to his aging wife that they’re supposed to be in love.  He folds his claws over his potbelly.  A solitary tear rolls down his beak– the protrusion for which he’s named.  And, miracle of miracles, she remembers him! Everyone cries in the theater.  “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird!”

Juno, where Juno is Beak, and Paulie Bleeker is Beak, and the baby is Beak, and so is J.K. Simmons.

He wouldn’t even need a costume in Black Swan.  He could slip unnoticed into the background of Shrek or Avatar– what’s another strange-looking monster?  He’d blend in without a ripple.

In Trainspotting, they’ll inject Beak into their veins.  In Singing in the Rain, each raindrop will be Beak. Beak is the house in Up and every eighth balloon.

Inception is a Beak within a Beak.

His talons are blue as his grip on the floating door loosens and Rose will never let go (metaphorically).  His feathers are brittle with frost.  He sinks, black eyes bulbous and unblinking.


Sherlock Holmes, if Sherlock Holmes Never Noticed Anything Important

I’m lost again. Street names slide out of my brain without sticking; street names are the few words that have no meaning to me. When people talk about streets that are busy, that have roadwork, that are near to this place or that place, I pretend that I understand. I never learned to read signs and place myself there. My vision is so bad that once I read a sign, I’m past it. There’s no time to get my bearings. No time to understand where I am in space, and certainly no time to find where I am in relation to other places. To my brain, streets are all written in Elvish and they move around and no place is secure.

When I’m with people I let them lead, but I’m alone, so I’m lost.

Until I remember the purple of those flowers, so bright it was like a punch. Too bright to be real. Hard to look at. Clustered at the bottom of the trees in that yard.

And two houses past that there’s that spidery plant who once had seed pods but no longer has seed pods, just those bare stick-like protrusions that look like what’s left behind when I eat all the grapes.

A stained spot on the sidewalk. A flat acorn cap the size of my thumbprint. The people who don’t weed around the trees across from their sidewalk. Five houses down, the clipped branches by the curb. Three or four days if I had to guess, judging by the way the leaves have wilted.

A dried magnolia leaf far from any magnolia trees. Rose bushes. Maintained well. Probably by a gardener, judging by the state of the blooms. So many petals on the ground; they’re not being watered enough. The thing that I have to walk by quickly because it might be a dead bird except it’s probably a pine cone but I don’t want to linger long enough to know.

The world leaves a trail of breadcrumbs for me to follow home.

Seven Facts About my Writing

1. My obsessions feature heavily in my writing. Sometimes I get an obsession years before it worms its way into my prose. By then it’s an integrated part of my personality. I developed an interest in skeletons, for example, when I was writing about Adeline… it was a way to explore our shared fear of dead things. Adeline, because of the germs associated with corpses, with a fear of becoming “unclean.” Me, partly sharing Adeline’s concerns, but mostly just this primal tug at my guts when I saw roadkill, a sickness at decay. But I found an appreciation in the cleanliness and structure of the skeleton. A few years ago I developed an academic and aesthetic interest in Voodoo. Later on, the Voodoo and skeletons turned into Imogene. I’ve also gotten in a tizzy over plants, and I know a book is coming. I can feel the build-up.

2. I can never write in order. After I finish a manuscript, it takes me ages to assign some sort of chronology to it. I’m disorganized. I’m a wreck. Sometimes I have to carry around a notebook gridded out into days and literally color-code it into the right order.

3. I crave structure, but I struggle at imposing structure in my own life. If I’m writing, that’s all I’m doing, plus maybe one other thing. If I’m writing, I’m not eating well, I’m not exercising, I’m hardly socializing, I’m not showering enough, I’m not doing any art, I’m not reading. I don’t feel like I’m writing with the same passion and frequency I had in college and right after I graduated, because I had so much structure, places to go, things to do, deadlines and projects to finish.

4. I’m so inspired when I’m around people. I focus a lot on the details of what’s around me. I’m like Sherlock Holmes, if Sherlock Holmes never noticed anything important. I’ve probably taken notes about you in my notebook if I’ve spent any amount of time with you.

5. I see my notebook as my sidearm. I feel uncomfortable if it’s not on my person. It’s one of the five things I’d save if there were a fire.

6. I research to a fault. I’ll get so wrapped up in research that I’ll use it as an excuse not to write. Getting details right is vital. My Google search results will one day get me arrested on accusations of murder.

7. I do most of my writing on the Notepad program, then I copy/paste it into Microsoft Word to format it and spellcheck. It’s just useful to have that little window open; it makes it feel less formal and I’m less intimidated by the blank page. It’s almost like writing in my notebook.