12 May 2014

The OTHER Novel About Bellefonte

I have been working on a long-form poetry/essay collection about Tesla for a few years now.

It finally feels like there is momentum behind it.

Not to say it's done, just that it's moving.

I spent the day editing poems and thinking about order. It's weird how there is a natural forming linear narrative happening in the work. It clearly starts with Tesla's birth and moves to a meta-physical place on his work and death.

Along the way Mark Twain talks about patents. And JP Morgan spends money. And Edison kills an elephant in the park.

And there's bottled fire and bugs and light bulbs planted like irises.

Again. It feels like something.

The same cannot be said for the novel. It's stalled in stall town.


But the first third is done.
Very much done-ish.

It's weird writing about my parent's hometown. Where I went to high school.

I recently read Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation. I was fascinated by the perspective on the 'Sci Fi' novel. So I went and read City of Saints and Madmen. The second book didn't grab me as much, but buried within was a moment that caught me off guard.

A character, who may or may not be VanderMeer is being questioned in a mental institution. He is asked where he is from. He answers Belfont, Pennsylvania.

It jumped off the page. I went to the internet.

Bellefonte is a town of 6000 in central Pennsylvania. It's main claim to fame is that the town has a natural spring with no known source and Jonathan Frakes is from there. Coming across this town in a book, a successful book, is weird.

VanderMeer was born in Bellefonte. But his family spent a lot of time in Fiji. That he claims the town at all is amazing.

I immediately paid more attention to his work, to his persona. For selfish reasons.

Because I hope my book will someday be the 'other novel' that features Bellefonte, PA.

Bellefonte, PA