Bees

Exhibit 1.7.6

Blind Huber by Nick Flynn

 

 

Things I Previously Knew About Bees

1. We shouldn’t let them near any of our favorite Culkins

2. They’re all dying and we don’t really know why

3. Nick Cave is probably why

4. I like honey

5. That one Futurama episode with the space bees is sad

6. There aren’t really space bees

7. Sadly

8. Probably

9. I mean, we wouldn’t really know if there were

10. If there are, we shouldn’t introduce them to Nick Cave or any of our favorite Culkins

 

To be blunt, Blind Huber is no Some Ether–one of my favorite poetry books–but it’s always a thrill to see a writer explore a personal fascination as esoterically weird as a blind French beekeeper born in 1750. Did the world know it needed this book? No, but apparently Nick Flynn did which is exactly why it should exist. I’ll never know or feel as much about bees as Nick Flynn must have to write this book, but for its short length, I got to understand what it would be like to feel such a connection to the unconnectable that one has to put it into words.

Projects like this don’t always lead to the best art but sometimes it feels like the purest.

 

Look at the nest in the rafters,

look closely. Those

 

streaks are fragments of your barn, paint

chewed to pulp. Everything

 

passes through us, transformed.

 

– from “Paper Wasp”

Comment / Posted in 2013, Bees, Poetry

Exhibit 1.4.18

A Primer on the Rules of Cricket, Pt. 4

31. The bowler shall be allotted one villain. The villain shall be allotted one nemesis. The nemesis shall be allotted one savior. The savior is allotted nothing. None of these parties shall be allowed in the stadium nor made aware of the game of cricket under penalty of scheming.

32. Tuesday, being The Duke’s day, shall be skipped in matches that go on longer than the time between an orphans breakfasts and all subsequent days reordered and renumbered in perpetuity or until the fifth ninth Monday of eighth September.

33. The gambling of shoes is required with the terms secured and held by a foreign national equipped with the proper deity and without want of a castle. Shoes shall be held in the castle with separate keeps to segregate the jodhpurs from the paddocks.

34. Upon the retirement of the butler, his wife shall be made aware of the affair.

35. After assessing the temperament of the bees, any player stung unduly shall be within his rights to engage a barrister and seek recompense from the opposing player nearest the bee at the time of trial.

36. Should fruit be provided oranges are not to be served until the conclusion of the most recent kerfuffle with the Boers.

37. The scuffle with the Boers shall never truly conclude.

38. In the yellow wicket a player may charge the officiate with “Possession” at which time the player will have three attempts to name the demon. Success earns the player the wizard’s hat. Failure and the wizard gets to hold the player by the hand and walk him off.

39. The failure to exclaim “That’s a feisty bowl of pudding!” after a particularly spectacular woogly results in the whip with no consideration given to the condemned’s spleen.

40. Spectacularity is to be determined by the dowager whose whimsy is least beyond reproach. Regardless of the dowager, during the cascades, players are required to say “That’s a feisty bowl of pudding!” in the ratio of sparrows to farthings.
1 Comment / Posted in Bees, Boers, Primers

Exhibit 14.19

On Editing a Novel #11

USING SIMILES IS LIKE USING GOLD. You may have noticed that the title of this segment on similes is like a simile except it’s not because it actually is a simile so is therefore not like a simile at all.

Similes are like word friendship bracelets. When you put one on it’s as if you’re creating a team of superheroes and when that team of superheroes goes out to save your readers it’s like punching the doldrums or like mule-ing a donkey and a horse or like eating Thai food as if you’ve never eaten Thai food like a starved person before.

Not just any writer should use similes, however. Here’s a quick test to see if you’re one of the writers who should:

A) Are you not a court reporter?
B) Are you Michael Chabon?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, it’s like you were conceived to use similes!

But you may only use these similes in your novel:

…ducks as if nickels
…The Netherlands is like an impish Denmark
…fast as Lent
…Lent as a pauper’s pockets past payday
…”The Other Side of Summer” is, like, totally my favorite track off Might Like a Rose
…cousins are like elbows, everyone’s got two plus or minus
…Colorado is like a sunglasses case filled with dim hope
…alive as dead won’t be
…who as a blindfolded birthday party
…dictionaries are like books of words
…love is like jazz and/or a bottle of gin
…positive as the other side of the battery
…March is like an impish October
…a voice like purple
…hungry as a Pope
…Magnetic Fields references are like impish, wounded deer
…wasteful as Thanksgiving night
…tuft as dapper snails
…eyes like a suitcase filled with white shirts and a circle of sort of hazely shirts on top
…as accidental as a Tuesday noon
…bees like empty soda cans
…dinosaurs as if kindergarten recess

And that’s it. There are no more. Ever.

2 Comments / Posted in Bees, Editing, Writing