Writing with Photoshop - something I wrote for APLANG in the beginning of the year. Reading this makes me feel one of two things: one, wtf was i thinking and two, my teacher mustve been like wtf too.
The continuous clicking defies my patience, silently taunting the white canvas to bloom into chaos. I hear the gears cranking into a soft yet clear motion of text. I smudge and filter the background with the ferocity of shifting keys. I type and type, but abruptly stop to brush in a few colors and patterns. Then I type again, trying to fill my screen of slightly covered craft. Dragging through the hovers of text and lines, I leave a trace of invisible pink remnants.
I click there or shift down to organize. I ctrl-x, ctrl-c, or ctrl-v until the program recognizes the listed order. My mouse glides within words per minute speed but never going beyond limit to increase the chance of a computer freeze. Then I repeat until each pixel is filled with color, crowded to the point of no detail left behind. I eye the blinking cursor. It’s waiting for a change in mind. The electronic time ticks and tocks slowly to remind me for new thoughts. The keyboard shouts to be pressed on. My mouse yearns for a ride to the menu for more ideas.
My cursor continues to disappear and reappear until all the pixels are customized to its perfection. It seems perfect, until I realize my design isn’t aligned to fit my standards or needs. I click a few more hundred times to undo and redo my words. The continuous and furious clicking acts like a normal breath. I clone and stamp to duplicate the portrayal of good quality. I search for new patterns and brushes to import for an altered canvas. The whiteness has bloomed into an illustration of complex words and sentences. My mouse shades from lucid fingerprints for the final product.
He stitched adoration through the cracks in my winter lips.
With each eyelash I find
That I claim as mine,
Fallen upon your face,
I make a wish so fervently
That they will never fall upon another face
“In praising Edgar Allen Poe’s control of the short story, [Charles] Baudelaire wrote:
If the first sentence is not written with the preparation of the final impression in view, the work is a failure from the start. In the whole composition, not a single word must be allowed to slip in that is not loaded with intention, that does not tend, directly or indirectly, to complete the premeditated design.
What Baudelaire was praising was structure. He was saying that each poem, story, or novel has an optimum number of words, an optimum number of pieces of information, that their order must be determined by the writer’s intention, and to go over or under even by one word weakens the whole. In fact, he argued that anything that does not contribute to the whole, detracts from the whole. ‘There are no minutiae in matters of art,’ he said.”
—Stephen Dobyns, from his essay “Writing the Reader’s Life” in Poets Teaching Poets: Self and the World, edited by Gregory Orr & Ellen Bryant Voigt (University of Michigan Press, 1996)