Murray’s wife: “Murray, you’re a schmuck. You’re such a schmuck, you’re the second-biggest schmuck in the world.”

“Oh yeah?” responds Murray. “Why aren’t I the biggest schmuck in the world?”

“Because you’re such a schmuck!”

I’ve discovered a pattern in my writing.

The galgo, Cervantes’ invisible dog-narrator of Don Quixote.

Barsabbas, the alternate juror of the New Testament.

Testocles, a fictional account of the hidden man behind the enmity between Athena and Aegina.

Do you see the pattern? If not, I have other examples.

Several years ago, I enrolled in a non-fiction writing class called “Why should I read you?”

Classroom activity #1:
Write down everything you want to write, your best ideas. Now tear up the paper.

Classroom activity #2:
Write down everything you don’t want to write. Now start there.

Recoiling from the aesthetics of broken parts, I dropped out.

It doesn’t matter. What you don’t want to write shows up anyway.

Classroom activity #3:
Think of everything you don’t want to say. 
Hold it all in your thoughts while you write something else.

This is the burlesque approach to revelatory writing.

Shake your body, waving giant feathers.