Friday, September 21, 2007

SENTENCES

“Imagine me Hon. Potash, M.P, LTE- Legal Tax Evader. I want to be the first kid to bring a tax-free salary, or any salary for that matter- to the ‘hood.”


It is midnight here. Half past midnight to be precise. I have just been working on this piece for some (Insert journal of choice, if this is not for them then you can be sure I will be writing for them next) and it feels done. I revised, for God's sake I revised. Now I got a bunch of sentences in there that feel so neat I cannot recognise that I wrote them.
I kinda like one of the sentences:

“They die deaths so painful and laboured for they have mastered the world- caught a view of the living from across multiple planes of existence- seen, heard, walked with the whispers of the Great Winds creasing their ears as their toes crunched the sand on the receding shoreline of mortality.”

Can you spot the punctuation? I do not know man, but in the last one year I have learnt a thing or two about the craft of writing. In one year I have moved from a self styled street philosopher and pseudo-intellectual into a Writer. Yes, I have become a bore.
I open a document with my entire blog that a so called groupie sent to me. I read two pieces from the street days and tears come to my eyes. It suddenly occurs to me that I haven't blogged in ages and I become aware of the fact that it isn't that I have been too busy to blog, it is just that I cannot do this blog justice.

For many years I went on and on about how much I wanted to be a writer, but now that in the circles of writers my name is mentioned, I do not write no more. It is true that the best path in life is the one of learning, improving, even perfecting your trade- in a word, growing- but growing for me means I have lost the best part of me. I am at that point where art meets commerce and being the kind of person that is not averse to prostitute what their mother gave them, I have shunted the art to the back burner to pander to the philistine pursuit of life, lucre and a ranch in Laikipia.

Growing means that I I write and rewrite/ revise- okay let us be frank, I just do some significant plumbing of the prose and chuck out the messy adverbs. It means that the honesty is gone, the angst and heat of the moment is yanked out of sentences like:

“But mama needs her insulin and Pfizer didn’t get big doing Pro bono, see? It’s the money or she dead- deader than The Rainbow Alliance.”

It is when I read that sentence that I decide to call a future writing partner- the one I intend to collaborate on my A Laikipia Ranch for Potash project- to share the earlier sentence, the one from my new story.

“wee mzungu”
“sema”
“I just wrote a sentence that I kinda like...”
“oh..”
(I read out the sentence.)
“hmmm...”
“You know, more and more I am beginning to sound like one of those MFA types...”
“Cool stuff...”
“No, that actually is the problem..”
“Huh”
(There is a thump on her end)
“You funny chick... what are you doing?”
“I was crushing a bug that fell out of nowhere.”
“Eish, you see why we need to work on that writing project: it is so that I can get me a ranch in Laikipia...”
“That ranch will be part mine funny boy...”
“That's fine- you can be the memsahib of the house and instead of worrying about bugs you can trouble yourself with more meaningful things like how to get decent help.”
“My own masais you mean?”
“I don't know ma'am. They don't make masais like they used to!”
“So you... what about the sentence, anyway, Mr. Sketchy Boy?”
“Dammit, quit calling me boy. If you call me that in Laikipia the neighbours will think I am the Kitchen Toto in my own house.”
Sawa. Tell me about the sentence, Bwana!”
“Ahh.. let me just get back to my writing. Shit's gonna get me paid like fucking soon!”

9 comments:

muthii fulani said...

ok then man! quit mucking about and get your arse to work!!

Saint said...

You do NOT want to know what I typed into Google to end up here....that said, GET PAID! I'll be back.

am mdkims said...

@ muthii fulani ... ai man, cut the guy some slack

@potashke ... yep, those wazungus can really get someone's nerves on edge, i had to attack them through a post in my blog too ... lovely read it was!

Clip seven said...

I hear you man. Havent done justice to my site http://austinetalks.page.tl either.

The muscle of writing never goes if you only bench press once. Gotta do it over and over again

Anonymous said...

Potashke, have you seen what those jamaas at Adam have said about you? Maze this takes the cake when it comes to PHD (Pull Him Down). I think you need to do a come-back on this Adam guys. Who does oyunga Pala think he is, he can barely write one column leave alone a blog. If he has let him show it to us.. Man this just ain't right!

bantutu said...

Now the Adams thing has me curious...The post-evolution(Grown?)-pseudo-intellectual is still kicking it like we expect...Acha kujishuku...Si ata mimi bana nahitaaji kutwanga kitu kabla nianze kuongea mambo ya Growth..hihihi!!

Rista said...

@anonymous: no such thing as bad publicity.

Cant-'e' said...

Am feeling U bro!
We are all in the same situation.Blogging is surely not as easy as it appears to be and am not talking about the one time monthly posts as I am constantly doing.
Hehehe!!!
The real posting of good material!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Potash. When will you blog again. I miss you.