i'm sitting here writing a poem (or at least pretending to) while a photographer shoots me with a wide-angle lens. of course it's fake - this isn't even my office, rather the media lab at yeonhui in north-west seoul, a thousand miles from home(s), months ago, a million species of weird- ness, like a bastardised poet-model (po-mo) whoring myself out for that fabled publicity shot. the camera flashes, blips, whirrs, a semblance of a shutter, a studied pose, the stack of books as props, the obligatory globe. looking at the camera now, as i write, is harder than it looks. somehow it still feels fake ... especially in close-up. can the viewer see what i'm writing here and does anybody really care? these are the 'travails' of the modern writer distilled into one single stream of consciousness, etched in pencil. the shoot is done, it's time to go but fuck it - they'll just have to wait until my final line is written: #fml
In the ideal world, all writers would have a Catholic childhood, or belong to some other religion which does the equivalent for you. Because Catholicism tells you at a very early age the world is not what you see; that beyond everything you see, and the appearance – or the accidents as they’re known – there is another reality, and it is a far more important reality. So it’s like running in the imagination. I think that this was the whole point for me – that from my earliest years I believed the world to have an overt face and a hidden face, and behind every cause another cause, and behind every explanation another explanation, which is perhaps of quite a different order. And if you cease to believe in Catholic doctrine it doesn’t mean that you lose that; you still regard the world as ineffable and mysterious and as something which perhaps in the end can’t quite be added up. It could be summed up as saying “all is not as it seems”, and of course that’s the first thing Catholicism tells you. And then it just runs through everything you write and everything you touch, really. Plus, it’s good to have something to rebel against.