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Amber Paulen

I Am Henry Miller and Annie Dillard's Love Child

3 July 2010


Everything is packed into a second which is either consummated or not consummated. —Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

Copulation must have occurred on the man’s death bed because I am Henry Miller and Annie Dillard’s love child. Words were birthed convulsive and steadfast, soothing whilst sitting at the edge of your seat. Yes, a hopelessly mismatched pair, though both Americans, one over there and the other over here. It is not for outsiders to understand a couple’s chemistry, that’s for the realm of poetry.

If you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted with pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. —A.D., Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Annie Dillard’s got the poetry. With her sentences like a lyre strummed with gold fingers, their rhythm bounds explicitly on balmy air. Oh! how I hunger to lie below their sound’s sweet shower, with my mouth open for each viscid drop. Or, her words are a sea so I to go down to the shore and bathe in them regularly. Poetry is divinity, it is the music of the spheres. Annie Dillard has learned how to listen and translate what she hears.

Annie Dillard is Hard Core. She’s the professor, she’s built the rules and techniques; she’s a work horse or so I imagine her pouring over her labors dawn to dusk in a cabin without heat or windows. Pleasure comes second hand, through the glory in a glorious sentence.

I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive. —H.M., Tropic of Cancer

That’s why there’s Henry Miller on my ribald side, sparking the good glow of spontaneity. To say: “Fuck the Facts! I think I would rather go with my bloody insides.”

But the question that must be bothering you variety of bystanders is, What about the bedroom? For in the bedroom, says DH Lawrence, is where we find our true compatibility. To separate fact from fiction with Henry Miller would be impossible: he is made out to be over-sexed but has claimed to be not as sexed as people think. Yet no one argues sex steams from his works and that in Annie Dillard there is a sexual desert. Perhaps they have solved this important aside by laying somewhere through the middle.

If I try to hold a steady zig-zag between the two, touching off here for bombast and dipping there for the flow of painstaking prose, maybe I too can be The Writer. I am! I am their mystic love child, wrought from texts like wombs, where they inevitably meet and veritably collide.



Commentary for I Am Henry Miller and Annie Dillard's Love Child


1 On Saturday 03 July 2010 Mike Walker wrote:

Hey, Mom & Dad never told me I had a sister!

2 On Sunday 04 July 2010 Amber wrote:

Awesome! This gets better and better. I wonder if there are any other unknown siblings we can find…

3 On Monday 15 April 2013 Annemarie wrote:

Here is one — all recessive genes aligned: red-haired, green eyed and freckled.

Joy, Peace and Blessings in your day, Annemarie

I shall return time again. Surely, such deep and convoluted shared wells converge amidst subterranean blues and greens.

P.S. Please, what service are you using for your webpage?

4 On Tuesday 16 April 2013 amber wrote:

Hi Annemarie, Thanks for reading! I take it you like Henry Miller and Annie Dillard too? A strange, delightful combination to be sure. And in answer to your post script, the site in hosted on Textpattern, and built lovingly just for me!
Happy reading,


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