And when I was a precocious five-year-old I thought to myself, why is it that children of talent have made names for themselves in music, mathematics and so many other fields but not literature? (Apart from Ashley Daisey but then again her book, written at the age of nine, was a pile of tripe on trifle.) At five I realized that I had my work cut out for me and I set about reading and writing in a rigorous regime that covered everything (imagine a Rocky montage but with a kid doing push-ups over a pile of Penguin Books). And so four months ago I started this site, which begins with a Moby Dick kind of first line, and I’ve been writing a short-short story everyday since. Each day I pretend to be somebody I’m not in order to play with various frames, after all fiction always comes encased within at least one narrative frame or another. Well I threw myself at the idea of creating a story within hundreds of frames. Imagine that Rocky montage again but this time with Robert Rauschenberg – R.I.P. – in his heyday placing a frame within a frame within a frame within a frame, and on and on over a hundred times.  I wanted to create a literary equivalent of that. I figured that would get a nine-year-old some modicum of recognition. So without further ado: hello, my name is Andrew Kincaid.

   And here I am embarking on my head start to a literary career.

   Because I know puberty is going to fuck me up for a while.

 

Rejection

 

   I know I’m neurotic. I know one of my strengths is that I’m neurotic. I think that’s one of my strengths. You see, an hour ago I was trapped between two decisions which had grown to such a size that I felt – figuratively speaking – that I was squeezed in between two walls. The choices were pressing up tight against both sides of my body. I couldn’t move. I was standing outside in the mid-day sunshine trying to decide whether or not to post something. My right hand held a large manila envelop over the mouth of a mail-box. If you post this you will become a pariah of the publishing industry, I heard a voice inside alliterate. I usually try not to pay any attention to that inner alliterative voice because it’s simply niggling worries megaphoned into something noisy and distracting. My theory is that I have a subconscious stutter which manifests itself into alliterative thoughts. I mean that’s just a theory but it’s odd that my inner voice always comes equipped with at least three parallel consonants. I mean why? So there I was in a stand off with a post office box trying to decide whether or not to mail that envelope which contained a creative non-fiction submission for a magazine contest. The piece itself consisted of critiques of fifty rejection letters that I’d received over the years. I thought it would be funny to write reviews of all the rejection letters that had piled up in my closet from PRISM, sub-terrain, Geist, Event, the Walrus and Prairie Fire. In a high-falutin’ stuffy tone, I trashed the editors’ choices of verbs, nouns and logic, e.g. “Ostensibly, Anne Polter’s central motif of ‘enjoyed reading this but we’re going to pass,’ is muddled and evades the central issue of whether the work is good or not. Once again, we find her pussy-footing around prose.” I held all these damning critiques of reviews wondering if they’d be enjoyed as literary caricatures or despised as bitter volleys against individuals. I mean the idea came out of frustration (tepid frustration) but I was hoping that my “artistry” had turned the piece into something more. But I wasn’t sure. My hand wavered over the top of the mail-box until I finally put it to use. I sat down at an empty bus-stop bench a couple meters from the mail-box and started writing all this on the back of this envelope. An extra introduction to frame “Reviewing the Rejection Letters”. A last minute confession of fears. I’m neurotic but I think that’s one of my strengths. It keeps my pen moving and you’ll be hearing from me again and again no matter what. I think.

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