Any form of expression is arguably one committed “under the influence.” What we eat, what we say, how we walk—hell, human beings simply walking is really just a biological influence. But historically, for writers, one of the most iconic influences of all time is Absinthe—The Green Muse; a devastating liquor. Everyone from Ernest Hemmingway (his short story “Hills Like White Elephants” comes to mind) to Joey Goebel (with his novel Torture the Artist) has capitalized on the image of Absinthe. What better way to weave my own way into this cultural icon than by way of a lit mag called The Green Muse, with “Refill,” a story about a man governed by substance? I suppose a better way would have been for me to actually use the word “Absinthe” somewhere in the story. But I didn’t.
One of my writing heroes, Denis Johnson, has a few pertinent words on the topic of writing under the influence (of drugs and alcohol):
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“I think it’s silly for anyone to think you could write under the influence, but if they’d like to think that, I’d like to keep the legend alive.