I am in the process of cleaning out old hard drives and old physical file folders. I came across this. I wrote it for a Critical Reading and Writing class at Columbia College when I was a fiction writing major. Way back in 1998. I was twenty. I think I was supposed to compare and contrast William S. Burroughs, who I loved at the time and Vladimir Nabokov, who I hated at the time. When I turned it in, it really was titled Essay Shit. Although I was really into Burroughs at the time and I was aping him as hard as my twenty year old self could manage, I was actually trying to channel this battle royal jam comic that Jay Stephens and Paul Pope did in Buzz Buzz Comics Magazine. In the comic their various characters and likenesses rumbled. It was the spirit of that comic that I was going for. And all things Paul Pope in general. At the time I really wanted to write how Paul Pope drew.
And, no, I don’t really expect you to read this entire thing.
Ladies and gentleman. Boys and girls children of all ages. Fanfare! Lightning! Thunder! Gods! Earth shattering ribbons and lights. Circus sounds and big fat lines. The invocation of the beast is at hand. Before you today lies the future spread out on an empty canvas. The whole world is watching the events transpire. All eyes are on this piece of paper today. The process of constructing a creative essay is the task. Are you up to the challenge? I know you are! Creation is the fundamental element here. Creation above all is important, but don’t stray far from the path today children. The bears and zombies are out today. Today is the one day of the year when the bears and zombies fear nothing. They fear no light. They fear no time. They fear nothing. And they are not afraid to come and eat your guts if you fail your mission or stray too far and ramble beyond salvation. Are you up to the challenge? I know you are!
Tonight only. One on one. In a brutal no holds barred cage match. Fightin’ Bill Burroughs and Vladimir the Bolshevik Bear Nabakov FIGHT!!! To the DEATH!!! See Fightin’ Bill cut up Vladimir’s precious texts!!! See the Bolshevik Bear knock the pretentiousness from the bowels of Fightin’ Bill!!! Hear the sounds of bloody conquest. TOTAL CARNAGE!!! For your eyes only. This is a one night event as the contestants will be DEAD tomorrow!!! Parents are cautioned – this is not for the squeamish.
Tonight at eight, don’t miss Ramblin’ Rory Rockenbury, as he tackles the untackleable, imagines the unimaginable, explains the unexplainable, offers insight into the uninsightable unfathomable world of the author’s head. Hear Ramblin’ Rory’s neverbeforetonight heard opinions of Fightin’ Bill Burroughs and Vladimir, the Bolshevik Bear, Nabakov before they beat each other dead at nine.