Back the Fuck off…sound advice from Dubus 111

Andre Dubus III made the case against outlining. In his warning against intellectualizing one’s work—“Do not think, dream”—he insisted that fiction comes to life when you stop trying to control it by working towards an ending planned out in advance.

dubus 111
dubus 111

We’re all born with an imagination. Everybody gets one. And I really believe—this is just from years of daily writing—that good fiction comes from the same place as our dreams. I think the desire to step into someone else’s dream world, is a universal impulse that’s shared by us all. That’s what fiction is. As a writing teacher, if I say nothing else to my students, it’s this.

I began to learn characters will come alive if you back the fuck off.

Here’s the distinction. There’s a profound difference between making something up and imagining it. You’re making something up when you think out a scene, when you’re being logical about it. You think, “I need this to happen so some other thing can happen.” There’s an aspect of controlling the material that I don’t think is artful. I think it leads to contrived work, frankly, no matter how beautifully written it might be. You can hear the false note in this kind of writing.

This was my main problem when I was just starting out: I was trying to say something. When I began to write, I was deeply self-conscious. I was writing stories hoping they would say something thematic, or address something that I was wrestling with philosophically. I’ve learned, for me at least, it’s a dead road. It’s writing from the outside in instead of the inside out.

But during my very early writing, certainly before I’d published, I began to learn characters will come alive if you back the fuck off. It was exciting, and even a little terrifying. If you allow them to do what they’re going to do, think and feel what they’re going to think and feel, things start to happen on their own. It’s a beautiful and exciting alchemy. And all these years later, that’s the thrill I write to get: to feel things start to happen on their own.

So I’ve learned over the years to free-fall into what’s happening. What happens then is, you start writing something you don’t even really want to write about. Things start to happen under your pencil that you don’t want to happen, or don’t understand. But that’s when the work starts to have a beating heart.

How the long is short the low is high we can’t see blinded by reality

Nature only has to sit back and wait.

We don’t need much help with our incestuous hate

Contrary to the adage ‘knowledge economy’ we become distant. Incongruent. Uncalibrated.  Disjointed. Destroyed.

The complexity of the want and Fuck u mind is the only economy birthed from this new notion of knowledge acquisition= economy

Dumb wits

Save the world they are killing it.

Nature watches the self cannibalisation

Disequilibrium based on disconnection from self

Alienation employs what it knows best: terror, we rust inside

kill yourselves oh how sad,schadenfreude



Late august, given heavy rain and sun


For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard’s.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre. Continue reading

He Killed His Self

How did he do it? He tried before! Backed out that time caught in the liminal what if? This time he probably put it around his neck and tried out the feeling, the sensation at least a week in advance.


He decided, and that was that, threw it over the beam didn’t let it dangle just did it. With a sacrificial tear in his eye he kicked the chair. The mind is blank, no thought, the hands and arms just have a purpose. There was no thinking or ambivalence. Of course if an emergency had awakened the mind in him, fire, fire, help me, we need you, the child is drowning! Someone help me please! Jesus help me the fire is burning my body.

The noose would have been loosened dropping down kicking the chair he’d have ran, he’d have called, he’d have screamed come on everybody help them .

Or imagine

If someone broke into his house and threatened to kill him what then? Then he would have fought, then he would have attacked to save his self, then he would have screamed and shouted ‘don’t touch me, don’t even try it I have a gun upstairs, his life is his to preserve. It is precious.

When it is his self the only entity, the only life in the soul that needs help, the back turns and leaves it to its own devices.

The energy is obsolete breathing out with hatred, fire in the belly mellows in abeyance. Who can you call? I want to kill myself. I can’t see a reason to live! These thoughts are making it seem that this decision is the right one. What is there to live for what would they think? Cry baby.

A grown man like me. I want to end it all. If you call for help it doesn’t leave a lesion, have the same emphasis as actually being found hanging. Then they know I meant it. It is crying like a baby, looking for attention, I want to commit suicide, I feel like it. How do you say it? It is complex, profound, exciting and all knowing if you ask for help you can’t mean it! What would you know?

‘nothing like the real thing’ then they know he’s tasted purity.

Life should be open for discussion not destruction!