Today Luke has shared a piece titled SKETCH 1. We're pairing it with a photo by Sam Horine - taken in the Park Slope Historic District of Brooklyn. Feel the New York vibes.
I guess a lot of us are dragging external hard drives around now. You move cities, a computer dies, and you hope these things’ll keep, you trust that the terabyte or two or three will always be there in case you need a refresh on the Myspace years (slimmer, not tattooed, happy-looking, fedora, Dashboard Confessional records) or how truly moving that undergrad essay on the Harlem Renaissance was that you wrote when you first read Jean Toomer’s book, CANE.
I have two here, a drive called BIG SILVER, an older number you have to plug the wall in to power, and another, Luke Wiget, as I’m starting to try to start this thing, this daily thing.
There’s nothing like having a few beers and getting lost in the hundreds of projects you never finished. Concept albums, half-done screenplays, (terrible) poems, short stories, bad memoir, auto and nonfiction, mood boards and playlists, graphic design experiments, letters to people I never sent, hundreds and hundreds of iterations of CVs and cover letters, and a surprising number of empty folders labeled UNTITLED or PICS.
I dig around and see I’ve been throwing decent money at bad ideas for the last twenty-some years. And maybe even bad lines like the previous one are due to the speed I need to outrun a tendency I have to edit everything out of myself and say/do nothing so that what finally ekes through is me wailing about this feeling I have and want to blame on someone. I’m thinking now I watched Donnie Darko at the perfect age so that it ruined me, maybe that’s the reason I became obsessed with something blue, with this thing that’s something of a Cloud Gate I’ve been trying to get at for so long.
Kerouac exercised his writing with sketches. Notebk, town square, long interrupted stretches of “unbroken word sketches/of the subconscious pictures/of sections of the/memory life an/imbecile genius resting.”
Everything is the same in these sketches. Everything is sacred and “alive.” I think they were from his dharma days. “The blue glass domes on tphone pole, the skittering birds… Write like at 18!” he tells himself. Okay, I’ll try. No, I will.
I met Jake Gyllenhaal two or three years ago when I lived in Brooklyn. He and I talked about New York City’s Caesar salad offerings. This at 5 in the morning, it’s still dark out. He’s post or pre workout, wearing Jordans and sweats, a hoodie, me dressed like someone about to have a lot of student debt—a lumberjack in the city—Redwings, Pendleton, Levi’s. I keep thinking, at some point, I’ll dress my age. Someone will tap me on the shoulder some Monday morning and say, hey, cool it, you’re in your thirties, and pass me a Kirkland polo tailored to tuck in. I think Jake ordered a black coffee with two shots of espresso dumped in. “Shots in the Dark” some shops call that. It was a drink we normally wouldn’t make for someone, but Jake had some pretty solid Caesar salad material.
So I’m clicking around these hard drives and remembering all the ways I’ve tried and failed and maybe the most honest bits, regardless of how fully executed, happened when I wasn’t being precious, when I applied Eno’s notecard method where you make rules for yourself and then make something. For me that was a first-take-only concept album called APPLE, which I hope to share some of here, or the few fast recordings I made during one of my first real honest and blinding hangovers after a groom-to-be and I thought New Castle was be an acceptable keg for a bachelor party. It wasn’t. His southern California friends turned out to be light drinkers and so the groom-to-be and I drank the dark, flat beer until it was gone and there was nothing to do but make music. There are other projects, assignments for school, quick music for small indie films, brittle piano songs I recorded in my living room. I can see now, looking through all this, I used to believe in more, I used to try a lot more. It’s also clear that I’ve always had a thing for this month — the songs, albums, stories, sketches and all, everything is all hosed down in December.