Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Hunka Hunka Burnin' Symbolism

Each time I write something, Elvis creeps in. Sometimes, I suppress it, like trying to force a sequined jumpsuit in tiny, attic trunk no one knows exists. Other times, he leaps on the page and refuses to leave. In Chasing Midnight, a little-known song of his plays in a diner scene. In The Lost Highway, "It's Now or Never," became an important echo of the decision the protagonist faced.

I'm at a loss to explain it any further than to say Elvis is firmly entrenched in my frame of reference. Sunday mornings of childhood spent watching his movies with my Mom and cross-country treks set to his music probably play like a soundtrack to distant emotions and memories in my subconscious. How else can a cultural icon who died before I had solidified memories of my own make his way into the wildly off-center, non-women's lit stories I write?

Some artists forage a secret society with those who become faithful observers of their craft: a tiny thread connecting books, an obscure medium on the canvas or a brief image of the creator in a film. These fleeting glimpses into the mind of the artist become a reward to those willing to return again to see what comes next. Were these conscious choices on the part of the artist, then, or something that merely could not be contained in an attic trunk?
For now, in my current work-in-progress, Elvis has left the building. . .
Do you have any reoccurring symbols or items that surface through your work?


Sandra Ferguson said...

Who knew you were an Elvis fan? I love that a part of the real internal you shows up in your manuscripts.

From now on, I'll be looking--like the Hitchcock cameo--for your weave of an Elvis memory.

andrea said...

we got to hear Elvis in your short story, too. A