Schedules are not my thing. In fact, I’d go so far as to say routine isn’t really my thing (unless it’s a routine of doing nothing; that I can live with) and I’m very happy to be surprised by the universe. That said, when I walk into work at 10am and switch on the computer, I am not prepared for something like this in my email:

“I’ve noticed that these days I’m either picking my nose or using earbuds in my ears or both. It’s like I just have to stick something up my nose or in my ear. Most of the time, there’s nothing to pick or poke at since I’ve picked and poked just hours earlier. If I don’t have an earbud, I’ll stick my finger in my ear. I’m positive my nostrils are getting stretched by my constant fingering. Do you think this is a psychological thing? I googled nose-picking and there is such a thing as rhinotillexomania. You probably knew about it but I just found out. Do you think I’m suffering from it?”

The central question was this: why do I strike someone, anyone, as being a person who would know about rhinotillexomania? When I wrote all of this to a friend of mine, they responded with, “Well, it’s obviously a OCD thing. Maybe a sexual root, given this finger-orifice thing that’s going on?” Of course my friend would completely ignore the fact that there’s someone who thinks I’m the person to contact when they’re manically digging their nose and focus on the nose-digger’s problem.

From nose-digging to blogging was an effortless leap and soon enough, we were pondering what kind of psychological dysfunction was being articulated by my addiction to opening blogs. Blogspot, WordPress, Posterous (RIP), Tumblr — you name it, I’ve opened it. Some blogs I’ve abandoned, a few I’ve been compelled to shut down, a couple I’ve deleted and at present, there are three I’ll admit to owning. If I didn’t restrain myself, I’d have about a dozen blogs. Seriously. It’s an addiction. I accept this. “Think of yourself as Sylvia Plath,” my friend wrote during our email exchange. Apparently there’s some theory that a guy came up with about Sylvia Plath’s suicide, based on “Lady Lazarus“, that posits death wasn’t the intended effect of the act. It seems she tried to kill herself every few years because she saw near-death experience as a rite of renewal. “You’re like that, but with blogs. As in you open blogs instead of sticking your head in the oven, but it’s all about wanting to make a fresh start,” I was told. (With friends like these, I tell you…) I don’t think I have anything in common with Sylvia Plath but I must say, “a rite of renewal” sounds so much better than “compulsively sets up unnecessary blogs”.

One of Kerouac's typewriters.

Except there’s a slight twist to my affliction. I told my friend I’ve been thinking about shutting down this blog. For reasons best known to them, my friend sent me a link to a list that Jack Kerouac drew up and titled “Belief and Technique in Modern Prose“. I wrote back saying I was deeply disappointed that while nose-digging had critical faculties firing on all cylinders, I had to settle for pearls of wisdom like, “Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea”. “Kerouac was a compulsive note taker,” my friend replied. “There must be something in that list that will tell you whether or not you should get rid of the one place that’s you’ve managed to keep as an online notebook for a length of time.” Which isn’t a bad attempt at obscuring the fact that my friend had clearly not been paying much attention to what I’d been writing in my emails all this time. Here’s Kerouac’s list along with my notes (in italics).

1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy

Secret notebooks with scribble — check. But SMS spelling, Mr. Kerouac? Really?  

2. Submissive to everything, open, listening

Submissive? Erm. I suppose 2 out of 3 isn’t bad. 

3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house


4. Be in love with yr life

Erm. That’s almost against my culture.   

5. Something that you feel will find its own form


6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind


7. Blow as deep as you want to blow


8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind


9. The unspeakable visions of the individual


10. No time for poetry but exactly what is


11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest


12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you

Daydreaming — check.

13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition

Hold on. Can you really be grammatically inhibited? While sober, that is. 

14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time

Erm. Ok. 

15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog

On the “Will Try” list.

16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye

So much for no poetry.

17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself

As in, write drunk?

18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea

Er, what?

19. Accept loss forever


20. Believe in the holy contour of life


21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind

And what if it doesn’t?

22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better


23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning

Have calendar, can do.

24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge


25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it

On the “Will Try” list.

26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form

Well, the numbers aren’t in yet for Hunger Games.

27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness

And then stick head in oven?

28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better

Sad truth: I’m not crazy. I’m distressingly normal.

29. You’re a Genius all the time

Er, no. 

30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven


If that list is any indication, I have neither belief nor technique. While this has not helped me figure out whether or not I should give in to the urge to delete/abandon this blog, at least I know Kerouac and I are not writing soulmates.

7 thoughts on “Nose It All

  1. I stopped reading when you said “thinking about shutting down this blog”
    Christ. Shut down a shitty blog.
    Or twitter.
    Twitter is like crapping on the internet. Tiny small bird like pieces of crap.

  2. Ms. Static, thank you for that. Missing vowels — just what I needed.

    TRP, I feel we are doomed to disagree on all things internetted. At the risk of sounding like… I don’t even know who to reference, Paris Hilton? Who is a flake on Twitter? Anyway, point is, I loves it. Twitter, that is. As for this blog, thank you for the vote (and in caps). I just don’t know whether I really get down to writing anything worthwhile given all the crap I’m writing anyway. Though chances are I’d probably open yet another blog anyway so I might as well just stick to this one. And change the template again. Or something. I don’t know. Gah.

    • Yes, I know you do.
      I suppose if you’re a mobile person twitter is tolerable.
      My phone has no internet.

      Moving blogs all the time. I just don’t see the point unless you want to change the url or platform.

      Also you’d lose all your archives unless you export, and then you’ve just exported your old blog.

      Maybe you just have commitment issues.

      I think you need to commit to this blog. This is a good one. It’s fun, it rambles, & the agenda is not so restrictive that you can’t deviate from it.

      Don’t ditch her and find some slutty, vacant tumblr style mistress. Love your wife Jana.

      Give her a quick makeover. You’ll feel the love again.

      I currently have 4 wives. The first 2 wives are the ones I present to the world, (they do all my PR for me, good work in the community and all that), but it was an arranged marriage. I don’t love them much.
      The 3rd newest wife is scheduled to update daily, I’m growing to like her but really she just needs to do her job along with wife 1 & 2
      The fourth wife is the one I lavish most time and attention on. But I can’t promote publicly. She’s my wife of shame.

      • Well, I originally shifted to WordPress because I liked its templates. Yes, I’m that deep. But over the years, I have to say I love WordPress as a platform. Blogspot: clunky; Posterous: boring and too generic in appearance; Tumblr: somewhat lazy and clique-ish. WordPress: ferpect.

        Commitment issues? That has a vaguely rockstar ring to it, which, tragically, I don’t think I can claim for myself. This blog has been around for about, ummm 4 years now. That’s not uncommitted, is it? I just think it — erm, I — used to be more fun before. But fun or otherwise, this blog is the only one I’ve stuck to and it has become something of a habit. Which is why I’ve only wondered about abandoning it rather than actually doing so. I have to admit, it’s been two days since the thought struck me and with every passing hour, I’m edging closer and closer to abandoning the idea of abandoning this blog. It’s been like a steady mistress (like Juliette Binoche was to Jeremy Irons in Damages). Once it was my dirty — okay, ranty more than dirty — secret of sorts, except of course it seems pretty much everyone knows I’m the one writing it so really, that anon in the url is a joke.

        You know, I was just thinking, your polygamous vision of your virtual self feels so much more … virtuous than how I treat my online partners. Aside from this one, I’ve treated them all like floozies. One I’ve tucked away, like a closet fetishist hides their gear. Mostly, I’ve gone to them out of curiosity, tried different things for a little bit and once the novelty wore off, I’ve abandoned them. God. I’m like John Malkovich in Dangerous Liaisons.

  3. well, i know you won’t dare to close this blog. (where is the shotgun emo when you need it …?)
    too many people have fun reading it, and some of us know where you live … 😛

    Kerouac really is not the measure of all things writing. i am not fond of his writing, but i am fond of yours. 😛

  4. Ah but I only treat my 4 wives well.
    I have multiple one night stands just to try out the platform.
    I have accounts all over the internet, my dirty love children, that I’ve abandoned in disgust.
    I don’t count them. So I’m morally i’m hardly virtuous.

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