Valentine is Henry Miller’s middle name.
Last week I told you I would revisit this. Last week I told the entire spindling World Wide Web that I would make something of this perfect and most fortuitous of monikers on this most saccharine of sainted holidays.
I love Henry Miller.
And when I write, my arm skates across the page or bends into the desk with swiveling doll wrists over the keyboard, and his tattooed words on my skin stretch like canvas over what I’m making there with the English. It’s happening right now in the world. I love Henry Miller. And I love him and his molten magma genius of language no more and no less on Valentine’s Day (which happens to be today, this day). But February 14th seems like the right moment to mention something (again) of my literary muse. An alignment of stars and hearts and red crepe paper for Henry Valentine Miller, my Mr. Valentine Miller, on Saint Valentine’s own day.
Here is my ode: You are blood on a page, Henry Valentine Miller. A crass bull with bones of bronze and delirious love for humanity. Hiding your face behind famously-shocking four letter words, fighting with an ooze of words to shield a constitution nauseously green with Love’s intoxication. You brilliant mad scientist in a fedora. You belly-ache of bombastic beauty. I would buy you a candy necklace today.
When I write, I remember Henry Miller. When I write, I try to write fearlessly and let something charge out of me. Like forest fire. Like wild fighting mountain goats. Or junkyard dogs. Without collars. Choker chains. Lunge lines. Without sense. I try to use the word “spit” like a beautiful piano solo. Vulgarity that sings out of the gutter. Singing like a gurgle. It’s hard to be unrestrained. It’s hard to have such control over the language that it runs endlessly feral and perfect.
It’s hard being a dumb kid who’s still learning and knows nothing.
Which is why I sweep myself into a low and ridiculous bow to those students of letters in the city. Which is why I offer them a long and ridiculous Henry Valentine Miller narrative hook on Valentine’s Day to introduce them – because I love them:
Join the folks at A Reader’s Corner Bookstore this Saturday, February 16th, at 4pm and do the same. Hosting a band of MFA Creative Writing students from Spalding University, A Reader’s Corner will present a special reading this weekend featuring the work of these aspiring writers. Offering light refreshments as well as fresh work, this free event will spotlight original student poetry from the local low residency graduate program, showcasing both traditional and experimental forms of the craft. Stop by and show love and support for those loving and supporting a literate lifestyle.
Happy Valentine’s Day. Roses are red. Violets are blue. Writing is immortality. Rhyming is overrated.
A Reader’s Corner Bookstore is located at 2044 Frankfort Avenue. For more information, call (502) 897-5578.
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