42.2 Feature: Craft Essay by Caren Beilin
Caren Beilin is the author of a novel, The University of Pennsylvania (Noemi Press), and a fiction chapbook, Americans, Guests, or Us (New Michigan Press). She lives in Philadelphia.
About What’s Going into Black Warrior Review
by Caren Beilin
“Less Then Zero” is a fan fiction of Robert Downey Jr.’s first film, Less Than Zero, which he starred in as drug addict Julian (in 1987). It’s hard to watch Less Than Zero on the internet but there is a youtube tribute to his death scene using stills with the spooky and twinkling soundtrack by Thomas Newman. Julian dies of cardiac arrest in the car, after a gruesome relapse, the most gruesome ones are the ones plumped from the fringes of hopes, while with his closest friends (Clay and Blair). Underneath the youtube tribute are only very heartfelt comments:
I wish someone could upload this scene, its one of the most powerfull scenes in cinema.
After everything he tried to do for him, even rescuing him out of the clutches of that perverse pimp. Julian OD’s , I remember being a total wreck , especially when blair started crying..
I remember watching this part where Jullian over dosed and died remember crying almost really hard. Drugs and alcohol kill people every year. Person having an od is sad and awful.
Where can I download the movie??!!! I hace tried to watch it again since I as 15. Please ley me know. This movie as s real impact un muy life.
Though they deviated from the novel quite a bit, I still liked the film.
I write fan fiction because I have no plots but I remember being ignited by stories, by combinations that could turn desirous anguish on. I write fan fiction to be inside of something I felt, I don’t know why I felt my heart. I take this premise—three rich high school friends reunite in LA because the one who left for college returns (for Christmas)—and their plotproblem—one will go.
In “Less Then Zero,” Jacaranda picks up Luella from LAX (I change their names) and takes her to the sea, but she can’t keep it straight, and keeps seeing a lake: The lake is so rough at night, Lu. It’s so full, like one of those bodies you hear about, that produces too much blood. Do you learn about those bodies, in college?
Jacaranda weaks—That’s no lake, Jac. We’re at the seaside. You took me here straight from the airport for a deranged old reason, to say you have to tell me something. You’re always saying that. You are seeing the sea—she weakens into the plot of my environment. I wrote it in Salt Lake. Living alone for a couple months before going, at the high rim of a canyon and I could see the whole lake. Committed to writing the sunsets at night from this scenic spot, where I fortunately lived, sunset fan fiction—what I wouldn’t write (or publish) in a story, too weak, heartfelt, insane with sentiment—from an apartment so expensive and large, most beautiful; 975 dollars/month. My partner of five years gone, just exploded with addiction, like a Cronenberg film, it exploded.
March 22, 2015
I came out too early. A mellowed day, a slow-yellowed dove. Mostly pale, yellow in the middle, the mountains not even silhouetted yet, but sunset. The lake having nothing to do with the water in it. Robin too prominent on the top of a tree. The houselights are not on, I came out too soon. But there is the goldest sheep in the air, only strengthening.
Having rained is the sunset. Birds in Utah, the sound of Pennsylvanian summer camp waking up in the bunk when it had rained on the tarp. A low blue cloud, purple-furred. Quails, it’s so funny when they use the path. Lake unseen, just some gold zags of water leading up to it, I think. Rain undoing the wood into aromatic being. I think it’s the stones I actually smell. Oh my god fuchsia lightning! The cloud line expels blue streaks of rain, can’t imagine the storm in those mountains. The fucking reckoning. Quails, your head tassel is such a gift to me!
Framed evening, birds breaking frame when they fly in. The blooms froze and have to begin. I can see, they are. New orange. The glow. The realness. More mountains behind and between the other ones. Quails popcorning from the bushes.
The clouds do a lot for a sunset. It has been basic, a basic dimming glow, these nights without clouds. No epic purple whorl, abyssish. [I wish you’d been more willing. Your willingness would have made all-difference.]
The wildest of warbling, explosion of wicker furniture in the mountains. And closer clucks and tweets. Daffodils in the yard bed bobbing. I swear I hear mooing, it’s pleasureful people screaming. There is so much togetherness I long for, that I do not have. Writing wrecks the world into a powerful plainness. This plain dimming down. Plainsong.
The sun in a cut out of sea-green pearl for a while before blue, or sunset blue air, air with a blue spice. Golden rips. The sun all ripped into shreds by the clouds. The bushes begin to disclose—birds. An intimate sound is in them. Silver thwack of lake. Laid down. Down there stunned. By the sunset. All bright-stung. For a bit. Plane silhouette, such sluggish bullet—off at diagonal, nose-lit. The blue air still, cream-pearl where it’s low.
The not yet of sunset IS sunset. Traditionally. Cuts and ships of color.
Language lull me in this time of nooneness.
Jess is here. Jess is part of the sunset tonight. She’s upset. I wish I had, for her, a cigarette. When she’s in the bathroom it’s different. Calm. The quails won’t come near us, now there’s two of us. Planes taking off. Mellow shell air. Hardly anything blowing around. Elegant silhouettes. Silver lake line. All fine. Mauve orangine, by the mountains. Slow blowing pine.
Hazy nonsetting, just whiteness going dim. There was no pint of sun. Just water of white color spreading. Woodburning. Such good birds.
The sun in its full circle, able to be wholly looked at, naked goldmaple, with redder striates, but not striating out, this whole, contained sun, this evening it is so graphically setting. Putting big fat yellow onto the lake. Now going down, behind mountain. Quickly. No rays. Just sun. Mountain-pricked but not spilling from itself. Violet light around it but distinct. So distinct. Is anybody else seeing this? Marty from the balcony, “There it goes.” Now violet where it went. Birds black against the dimming blue air. The red tulips have popped or become the dead daffodils in that bed.
Sirens, this violin behind the clouds. Sun, amber glass with a flame just under it. Marigold unfurling into bourbon. The slowly creeping down car. Down the hill. –
Sunset, big crows hurting peacocks by the tracks.
Sunrise, fuck the man, fuck the woman, the sheets are up and they are fucking.
Night, the orange who gags on a thick charcoal pill. The moon boings into its place of placidness and then velum comes. Dusk, a single flower is still souled with light. How is it doing it? There’s blood in the champagne, at sunset. Noon, the clouds being tampons. It’s so like the sunset, when it comes, to stick them in.
The sun, cunnilinging the terraform, the clitty cliffs all pink, all hardened in the tongue-set.
Lake, in some distance the long vermouth.