Sunday, October 29, 2017

Where Everything You Gaze Upon Is New

An Online Reader Community Of 60 Million Is Revealing Fascinating Insights On Readers

“With some 60 million monthly users—90% of whom are Millennials and Gen Z—spending more than 15 billion minutes per month reading content on Wattpad, the Canadian-based storytelling platform is a goldmine of information about what’s most popular with young readers around the world. What’s unique about Wattpad is that fanfic is treated like any other genre, living alongside other forms of fiction. This makes it more fluid for readers of an original fiction to discover a new fanfic, or inspire a fanfiction writer to start a new story and bring their audience along with them.”

`Where Everything You Gaze Upon Is New' Patrick's musings ...

The confluence of a birthday, the publication of a book review and a note from my high school graduating class (1970) sent me back to “1969,” the first poem in No Word of Farewell: Selected Poems 1970-2000 (Story Line Press, 2001) by R.S. Gwynn:
“A dim-lit, smoky bar. Your twenty-first
 Birthday has brought a golden Benrus watch,
 A marriage, a degree, a double Scotch?
 None of which will quite satisfy your thirst. 
“It’s after one. The pianist is playing
 Procul Harum's `A Whiter Shade of Pale.’
 You scuff your side-zip boots along the rail
 And neither think of leaving nor of staying.

“Why bring it back again? Surely you know
 Your future guns his engine at the door,
 And soon enough he’ll steer an exit for
 A suburb where you have no wish to go.

“Why bring it back? Because you want me to.
 Because you want to light your cigarette,
 Clutching a scene which you cannot forget
 Where everything you gaze upon is new.” 

The “plot” might be Richard Yates’, from an earlier American era. Regrets, delusions. The speaker’s second-person is accusatory, suggesting guilt. We all sometimes wallow in nostalgia. “Clutching” is the operative verb, implying something desperate. Who doesn’t long for a time of innocence, real or imagined, when everything seemed new? Before we lost things and it all went stale.