September 13, 2008 at 7:56 pm | Posted in writing | 28 Comments

Discussion continues around the pool that every writer’s voice is an artificial construct, she says, crossing her long legs and wriggling her toes. The Japanese pornographer is indulging in what is known as cos play. She is dressed as her favourite anime character. She is wearing a very short metallic silver skirt and a silver wig and her wild eyes are framed in purple.

Well, it’s still largely a question of consent, isn’t it? They know at least that this character is not you.

Haha, scratching the top of one perfectly pedicured foot with the toes of the other. How many drunks have you tattooed this week? Did the man in the lift on Wednesday consent to you lifting his wallet? And what of the lipstick cameras in the guest room, McPaulus?

Well, they are men. I expect them to be able to defend themselves, he says gazing across the pool and remembering Martha Street, Paddington, his terrible handwriting like some hieroglyph code and Robert dying in the bathroom not even getting the needle out of his arm. Remembering stealing loaves of bread and knowing the shopkeeper knew but consented as an act of charity. Remembering being homeless for two weeks and being so ashamed that he had never told anyone until right now, telling you this, something noone has known before.

Consent is an illusion, she says, finishing her martini and clicking her fingers at the pool boy for another. It’s just a comforter for you, a way of avoiding taking responsibility for your power. Even when they offer their consent, how can you know that they understand? Every magician’s voice is an artificial construct and while you know that there is a ‘you’, they have only the code to disentangle filtered through their own languages and needs.

He doesn’t hear her. His attention has been taken by the young couple arriving at the pool. Newlyweds, contained in their own world. She is wearing a diamond necklace and the young man obviously is spending his father’s money. McPaulus looks at his watch. The Japanese pornographer smiles. Life continues.


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  1. There is such a thing as an authentic writer’s voice. There is such a thing. There is such a thing, said Dorothy as she clapped her heels together.

  2. This is wonderful stuff. And I agree. Nobody knows what in the hell we are really writing about, not even us.

  3. I could witter pointlessly at this point and that objective, with a nod to cleverness imbetween but I think your last two words sums it up. Let the game play on…
    p.s. I like her outfit. I think she should have orange toenails.

  4. wow.

    How many times has it been that I have read your stuff, and read it again, only to read it again, hoping that the next time I read it I would be able to better describe and comment what I love about it; what exactly it is, which, residing in it, holds me with its glittering eye? Well, that question might be rhetorical to pose but a valid one to which the answer is a figure whose count I’ve lost.

    Adjectives, reiterated in different permutations and combinations, only become clichéd over time. But it’s that ceaseless fluidity, where the gradient is not only flawlessly smooth but also inscrutably deceptive in changing its course.

    A writer like you is a magician indeed; and though the voice might be an artificial construct, it is only with such artificial constructs that the artificiality of our current social existence can be attempted to heal.

    Loved this piece.

    Remembering stealing loaves of bread and knowing the shopkeeper knew but consented as an act of charity. Remembering being homeless for two weeks and being so ashamed that he had never told anyone until right now, telling you this, something noone has known before.

    Consent is an illusion indeed, much like everything else, a big AMEN to that, my genius friend.

  5. a masterpiece gingatao without a doubt breathtaking

  6. Hmmm. brilliant pool backdrop disclosure. And so, life continues

  7. a magician’s voice, taking no responsibility for his power. consent is vision, but only illusion, surreal like smoke between your fingers

  8. maybe I am the fool- the non-literati. To be honest I often have trouble understanding/comprehending what you write but I always seem to create my own themes from your work and this I appreciate. I have always enjoyed literature that is open for interpretation- like Kafka, even though half the time I have not a clue what he is talking about.

  9. interesting piece, mr. squires. the thing that most stuck with me was the line ‘robert dying in the bathroom not even getting the needle out of his arm’

    as to the author’s voice being an artificial construct – i think it’s true to some extent and needs to be, especially in the case of a fiction writer, or it wouldn’t be fiction, would it? however, that being said – i do not see how any author can avoid inserting their own ‘code’ whether wittingly or unwittingly, because a writer writes to deliver his/her message to the reader, regardless of the device they use to do so. and in the end, it (fiction) is all an illusion, no matter what the character construct is, because it is still a part of the ‘you’ of the writer, is it not?


  10. Shows how many of our conversations are little more than permutations – well done.

  11. wow. yah everything sumedh said. fantabulous Paul.
    i find myself in puzzleness as i only realize how ignorant i am to these psyhologies. i guess thats why i don’t usually write fiction and if it is fiction, it always ends up being about me somehow. lol.

  12. well first congrats on hitting 50,000 readers/page views in a little over a year for some poem thingys

    it’s quite a testimony to the power and the glory and the poemthingys and you of course mr squires the magician hear/here dancing on and in and within and beside the pool–is that john doe i hear?

    consent is an illusion, she said again, waving the gin martini. (did the piano player eat the olive?)

    would you agree it is also collusion?

  13. “It’s just a comforter for you” by the way is my favorite moment in this followed immediately by the three memories…

    is the japanese pornographer the only one indulging in cosplay here?

    100 acorns indeed

  14. Wow.
    Love this:
    “scratching the top of one perfectly pedicured foot with the toes of the other.”
    I love it when you add in the little stuff to your big ideas. Wonderful Paul.

  15. I do so love your naratives
    you, sir, have a very distinct gift
    the conversations and scenes that play out in your head beat the shit outa anything I come across on the telie.
    “consent is an illusion” indeed. Friggin brilliant.

  16. tricks
    double backwards somersault tricks my darling Ebby, hellooooooooo (((((((((((((((((((((((you)))))))))))))))))

  17. Thanks everybody. I have run out of nonlinear time again, sorry I can’t answer every comment individually this time. But thanks you all for your wonderful feedback. This is as close as I can get to me typing. Haha, have fantabulous daynight thingys, everybody, woohoo,

  18. woohoo for nightthingys!

  19. Irreality. Indeed. The thing about your writing is … every time I re-read such, I walk away with a completely different story/image in my head. It’s like whispers that people think they hear and understand only to ultimately realize that their version has become totally perpendicular to the original angle of construct.

  20. I like the idea of consent that you are exploring here…

  21. I’d like to rent an anime character. lol Tell her to bring some scotch. lol Saki is nasty. lol warm rice wine bleh! Tequila or Captain Morgan might be o.k. I just posted another drunken song called Marshal Rayne. Check it out old charm. I have to come by and read, this is the only place pof refuge I have left, the spies are everywhere.

  22. I have been trying to find ONE concept in our seemingly grand world that doesnt mean Illusion. So far, so good, I havent found any. Enjoyed this piece and I know not why.

  23. Taadaa. And for my next trick, stepping from the one into Jazz that is synchopated rhythm. Two hands, woohoo, and then three, bye bye,

  24. Great story telling. You gave me a lot to think about here. I often wonder how much of an artificial construct I present to myself, let alone the fancy clothes I wear when I write for others. The link you made to the notion of consent sent me back to Joel Feinberg’s discussion of the ‘Spectrum of Force’ for a brief read before I had to go back to work. Damn!

  25. Beautiful! … I dont agree 🙂 … Consent is no illusion, just a disconnect between the eyes and the mouth …

  26. […] it is yours too but first my hopeless wizard friend we must get these chains from you. another Mistress’ spell on me just doesn’t seem quite right that i should be always be the one to dance for […]

  27. […] 11, 2008 The Japanese pornographer crossed her long legs and smiled. Hector won’t go a cent over fifteen thousand he […]

  28. […] is one of Paul’s blog posts for your enjoyment and illumination. Irreality. September 13, 2008 at 7:56 pm | Posted in writing | 27 Comments Tags: writing Discussion continues […]

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