Been reading this collection of Bradbury essays on writing that got into my hands by a couple of moderately improbable events ocurring in sequence. It was the night that adam and I went to the Olvie Garden, which was packed because it was graduation weekend saturday, so it was like an hour wait. I suggested walking over to the nearby Border's. Wandered around a bit, went into one corner to make fun of the business section, and close to it was -- was it reference? miscellaneous nonfiction? I don't even remember now. But bradbury's name leapt off the cover of a book on the very top shelf and into my eyes somehow, and I stretched up to grab and inspect it. "Zen and the art of writing" is a hokey title, and I haven't seen any mention of any sects of Buddhism yet. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it wasn't Bradbury's choice. Nonetheless, these essays are just amazing. I found myself almost wanting to hate the poetry of them, it's so powerful -- it would feel easier, somehow, to believe that he might as well just be wildly laying on the metaphors and dusty, underused words from the lost corners of Roget's to dazzle an uncultured dunce like myself, and this isn't anything about Bradbury in particular, but just my general uncomprehension of poetry, and anxiety that I'm merely falling for some trick of smoke, mirrors and melodrama -- but it just works so well, and tears came to my eyes after being carried, pulled, crashing through such descriptions of the love of libraries, of the still-breathing and vital words of long-dead men and women, the distant magic of childhood nightmares, the passionate joy of creation, all full of poetry that somehow spoke right past my vicious doubting.
Edited to say: Oh, I am a fool. There was in fact an essay titled Zen in the Art of Writing later on, and it touched on the Zen thing, but only in a kind of silly way. But, finished the book, and all told quite a good find. Bradbury is just fuckin' awesome.