Plays

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Critique

Novels

Short
Stories

Selected
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Incidental

For Posterity

 

 


email:

anthonysteyning59@gmail.com

 

Should you wish to skip the Intro,

click on a finished work to the left

or on this page scroll down to

 

Recent Revisions & Additions

 

It's where all the new stuff first pops up, including an introduction to my latest novel

 

But By Friday He Was Dead

its gripping factuality, its humor, its emotional depth

(US Spelling)

(see below)

 

  

   Taking a breather before one of my public readings at the Shakespeare & Company in Paris,

 

but not before an insane cab driver tried dropping me off here.

 

December 2019: Welcome to Anthony Steyning's homepage. ===========================================

 

Literary Fiction & Critical Non-Fiction Lab

 

E-mail: anthonysteyning59@gmail.com

 

How Tweet It Is

 

   https://twitter.com/SteyningAnthony

 

* * * * * * *

 

Ah, to be born inside a puzzle...

or

Life's a bitch, but she ain't all bad!

(Bogus XI)

 

* * * * * * *

 

    

And don't forget my entertaining blog

(haven't worked it for a while, but still has many valid contributions)

at

    www.steyning.wordpress.com   

 

* * * * * * *

     

 

 A Passion

 

I was busy explaining to a slow friend how the 'inspired' and 'possessed', but probably epilectic Hildegard von Bingen couldn't possibly have been 'Der Bingle' Crosby's mother, when I shouted  'I don't believe it, that man writes like his sofa!'. I later blamed my small outburst on the premature evaporation of my drink watching a writer I knew getting interviewed on Twittish TV from his own living room; that sofa a brown, soft, dull monstrosity with flowery pillows, quite static and like its owner... utterly straightlaced.

The internet’s different; no comfortable, outdated stuff should clutter it. In this spirit my site proposes to be a living document: I frequently re-think and re-draft my texts keeping them fluid and relevant. In fact, following their evolution might be of interest to international readers sympathetic to my work, perhaps even ready to do some cross-referencing as my novels find their roots in my essays and my essays in my novels depending on which one was written first. So that constant minor changes are aimed at reinforcing coherence and occasional overlapping a vital feature, given that modern life also plays that trick on us. Yes, it all sounds very complex, doesn't it? But intricacy looms only here and there. Didn't Orwell warn us we can't over-simplify, that it leads to crypto-totalitarian or at least despotic 'truths'?

All this demands a subversive type of writing, digging deep and trawling wide, exposing where not only all that beauty but the hurt began. And on this bumpy, twisting road, cutting through layers of bunk, I frequently discover how matters really stand, affecting people in surprising or even insidious ways. My last move to recreate these findings through half-real or fully fictional characters and core dynamics leading to specific human drama. In other words, fascinating events relived not via more headlines or insipid generalities but through ordinary people, from their urgent walking shoes and the pavement of the day on up.

Now please select play, essay, critique or a novel from the navigation bar on the left for the first part/chapters/paragraphs of each literary work.

 

I collaborate with

www.aldaily.com

 

 

CLICK ON EACH PRINTED NOVEL TO ORDER YOUR AUTOGRAPHED, FIRST EDITION COPY

 

                                          Print

 

                             

Both hardcovers are in the collection of the Yale and Harvard libraries

The Applicant now on Kindle by Endeavour Press for only 2.99 Euro:

 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Applicant-Anthony-Steyning-ebook/dp/B01GHIEZKO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1464952529&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Applicant

Budapest My Love now on Kindle by Endeavour Press for only 3.99 Euro::https://www.amazon.co.uk/Budapest-My-Love-Anthony-Steyning-ebook/dp/B01FSXAF58/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1464100049&sr=8-1&keywords=budapest+my+love

 

  E-Novel

 

'Clowns' is now available as an E-Novel for only $ 2.99

Please order a copy from

http://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Clowns-ebook/dp/B006XXHSDA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1327922720&sr=1-1

 

This is my first critique, from The Unbound Underground:

 

This book is an immensely gratifying experience. Where plot, character, language and historical context are concerned this book succeeds, brilliantly keeping everything focused, factual, and against all odds, fun. This book is engaging and teases the reader with tantalizing foreshadowing, without becoming too enamored with its own literariness. It's intelligent and emotionally honest, while still maintaining the pace of international intrigue.

Pass it on!

 

ALL THREE NOVELS WOULD MAKE TERRIFIC FEATURE FILMS WITH RICH CHARACTERS AND UNUSUAL, DRAMATIC PLOTS NOT WITHOUT HUMOUR

 

 

Enjoy ...

     
       

 

BELOW THE TIGHTROPE

                                                

On a recent trip, Amsterdam's Hegeraad Café where after arriving from some violin concerto a debonair chap in a well-worn tuxedo with a large cigar burn sporting left lapel sauntered in. A roué who when called upon to explain his sartorial inconsistency looked me fearlessly in the eye, before retorting: 'One must never, ever overdress!'. A humbling moment indeed for A. Steyning in black sombrero & white scarf who stood corrected on the issue of understated elegance, but cleverly deflected this tense situation by asking his rapt APPLICANT suspect if that was Leni Riefenstahl up there, singing her immortal I'm forever blowing Goebbels...!

 

Mokum Madhouse:

 

Waar volgens de criticus Cornelis Lootzak en zijn vierkante vrouw Nietzsche helemaal Noppezsche is!

 

En waar Midas Dekkers uit Diemen komt om te zeggen dat hij het met niemand eens is...

 

Of waar het nationale symbool van Frankrijk niet Marianne of Jeanne d'Arc is maar La Vache Qui Rit, de ware Koe d'Etat!

 

 

**********************************

 

SCOOP DU JOUR

 

 

So many lives, unperceived....

 

 

In the right light everything is fucking nonsense, he sighed

 

 

Carpaccio was an Italian painter of the Venetian School before he invented the shredded beef salad, my pitoune assured Claude Balloun at Else's not far from Wilensky's on Montreal's Plateau, not long ago.

 

 

Argentinians run their country the way they dance legs intertwined: amazing to watch but it won't get you to the nearest bus stop

 

 

Democracy is not for Cowards

 

 

Avis Phoenix

The Phoenicians were great discoverers and conquerors who named themselves after the Phoenix, a noble bird always rising from its own ashes. But don't worry, Trump and Johnson are no Phoenicians....

 

Like the chicken and the egg, which came first? Erratic climate or erratic society?

 

Those drowning in self-pity are a danger to the world

 

Lying = Stealing

 

Beware of gothic signatures and the hounds

 

 

Struck by my erection my girlfriend immediately took up phenomenology

 

Irrational hatred is the drug that always kills twice, first your supposed adversary and then you!

 

anti-Semitism is never the answer, anti-Cynicism is

 

I don't like pulled pork; I don't want to know what he did last night...

 

The ruinous first half of the 20th century was due to raw, prolonged

19th century thinking.

The start of the 21st century appears to repeat this godawful trend

 

Read about the Death of Immortality in my

Fairy Tales essay!

 

St. Francis pleaded that all animals should be treated as citizens when these so often behave like animals...

 

Scottish Folk Song:

There are few outer labia on the Outer Hebrides...

(chorus)

So a sheep will do,

will do!

 

Or listen to this:

Hybrid Piece Of Splendour

a/k/a

History Repeating

 

https://youtu.be/yzLT6_TQmq8

 

 

****************************************

 

 

 

Recent Revisions & Additions

 

 

But By Friday He Was Dead

 

its gripping factuality, its humor, its emotional depth

 

 

As Amazon stinks and American publishers look the other way, I'll send you the full pdf manuscript once you click on PayPal and send

3 Euros or 5 US$

(all rights reserved, original deposited with international notaries)

 

LARGER-THAN-LIFE

BIGGER THAN MOST

 

 BUT BY FRIDAY HE WAS DEAD

 

Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf Picture

 

AN AMERICAN REBEL

KILLED BY EVERYONE

 

I've just completed But by Friday he was Dead (Subtitle: McRae's Journey), an explosive 190 page XXI Century literary novel narrating the deadly adventure of 3 rebellious but priceless Americans confronting our times in their own unique way. Then read what happens after they run into McRae, a U.K. foreign correspondent visiting New York...

 

Like cool, cascading water on a hot day this riveting read refreshes and is far more than a story about N. Y. C.. The work a stylish microcosm of contemporary western life that offers juicy character analysis twinned with high voltage intrigue and culture clash. What starts out as an entertaining Manhattan tale with mostly tongue-in-cheek subversive political overtones slowly slides into a thriller to kill for. Never swamping the reader the story is imbued with historical nuggets often to deadpan, dead-on effect!

 

The principal cast: meet strong, delectable Edna, deeply committed to the charity for special needs children she operates from her own Bronx brownstone: She's no prude and thanks to her long-deceased gangland father in speech often on the unladylike side; then again who gives a fig, there's sheer magnificence beneath her salty earnestness! She has a lover even taller than her by the name of Rufus; a beast in bed who devotes as much energy to the black Harlem street youths who guard his limo every night of the week. A man recently hired by Bernie, a brilliant little person trader/philanthropist and irrepressible pragmatist who not only sponsors Edna's therapeutic halfway house, but puts the entire world on his tiny shoulders with one additional dream. It's no secret he also wants to take diabolical liberties with her knees, the way it gets described...

 

This most colorful threesome bump into McRae, the correspondent who's in New York to take a good fresh look at America. He's Gibraltar born with an American mother and concerned about the course her native land appears to be taking, but this dude's no Druid for modern times who when criticizing should worry equally about how he carries on.

 

This is tragicomedy at its very best! Chapter VI had been up for a few months so I took it away. But here are the openings of Chapters I & V & VII (Immediately after Bernie got shot...)

 

 

I

 

 

What's your name, the pretty thirty-two year old with an elongated and alabaster Nefertiti neck asked, mechanically flicking the ash off her burning Camel cigarette? She took him in with long lazy lashes and tired but not bedroom eyes, uninterested as she was in applying for a missionary position or anything of the kind…

 

It’s said nice girls don’t stay till breakfast, but it also seemed she had no intention to hang out alone. The place a high ceilinged affair that the man she’d addressed instantly liked as it went well with her long legs, graceful neck, black un-lacquered hair, angular cut cropped on the short side presiding over emerald green eyes shining remarkably strong despite subdued lights. At least something and someone of interest he thought studying her large dangle earrings and a single rock on her finger as big as Gibraltar’s, the way this scene dished out soon helping him respond to her opening line. Her dress and especially her stiletto steel heels also intrigued him; the girl despite the high room towering but not intimidating as she’d deliberately selected the lowest barstool in sight. Which meant that as far as he and the night were concerned there’d been far worse starts and tarts and confirmed that hidden scars aside he was not the only one here with exotic taste. Now, if only he could light up this knock-out, that peculiar face of the mocking half-smile, melt the tip and the tits of the iceberg, survive the occasion, maybe get laid though it didn’t look particularly promising! Then again it never does, until it happens anyway...

 

It was well after eleven, more people entering now, the night scene speeding up as she spoke, a shot of single malt Scotch or two and this lounge empress talking to him setting the pace, and yes, the whole thing a cliché, corny, but hey, she’d started it, hadn't she!? Setting herself up this way by asking him who he was, a simple out of town dude in her opaque eyes probably the first if not the ultimate token sucker of the night. So no, this lady wasn’t for the taking, and certainly no match for a guy hoping for some cute but used and deeply desperate housewife. For as it turned out she was totally disinterested in potential toy-boys, not open-fly fishing whatsoever, just a tad tired and even a little bored yet completely bull proof while not shy in the least. After scrutinizing her McRae quickly concluding he could probably say goodbye to his halfie hard-on, that she was no hooker or some easy, unbearable lightweight, but possibly someone like him, suffering from cabin fever the way a trapper in boreal Canada must feel cooked up in some inhospitable abode for too many days and nights. A place where a piece of fur placed around a keyhole helps the poor jerk standing outside, shivering in the dark at forty below, grope for it key in hand and where solitary confinement causes wallpaper to start showing non-existent palm trees, coconuts and exotic dancers in its water markings and print design.

Yes, yes, right here in New York, why not, for all he knows in some digs three floors up, nights sitting in front of an outdated small-screen, black and white TV ending up speaking like they do in dozens of noir movies she had to have watched. So he chuckled and picked up the gauntlet, trading his carnal impulse for an attempt at humor despite her most inviting attributes. For had she had two handsome German weightlifters as bodyguards people would have remarked that she had an unbelievable set of Teutons, and gotten away with it.  Though boys being boys he could still of course try seducing her by way of divine deflection: insist she has beautiful eyes pretending to totally ignore the magnificent bosom she was evidently trained to defend at all cost. However, spotting something steely in her eyes quickly helped him enter into an almost celluloid, off-screen rather smoky dialogue with the woman sitting next to him at the bar. What the hell he thought, the whole thing no skin off his back, like water off a duck's ass as local parlance goes and with the firm belief one is casually sophisticated and well-mannered, or one is not!

 

- Hi! How are you? I’m McRae! Nice dress!

- You like it? Just bought it… Second hand!                  

- You must be Dorothy...

- Oh my God, I’m doomed! Why Dorothy?

- Because you look like...

- Dorothy Parker? Are you nuts? That was eighty years ago...

- So's the dress, eccentric, great...

- I'm Edna, if that's all right with you!

- Hello, Edna, you look stunning and utterly bored!

 

Etc Etc....

 

Or else this segment, a bit down:

 

The new phenomenon the rocky horror of a brazen, brutally coarse  metropolitan cowboy riding a Pogo stick through instant killing fields, but he himself the landmine, step on him and both explode…. A shambolic piece of work, devoid of friends yet not only a rustbelt, but darling of the nation’s sociopath set. One who’s in-one-breath mention of potholes and intercontinental ballistic missiles, of lipstick and satellites, the perfidy of mixing up migrants with all crime, and guns, and dope encourages national phobias. Provoking those kneejerk, infantile expressions of nothingness, the lowest-common-denominator hollow end-voice of ‘the people’ messing up real life for everyone, including and unbeknownst to them their own small slice of it… Cater to it, placate the uninformed or deliberately misinformed and a republic dies McRae then claimed, hopefully overstating the case.

               

Everything an almost truth, merely inaccurate or else perhaps an exaggeration with Edna impatiently taking it all in but first needing to figure out if this guy was for real. Merely a frustrated disapproving snob or just a morbid cynic and what happens to someone growing up under a raging sun, intense heat over time causing even legitimate illusions and pretensions to dry up and crack?

 

Etc Etc....

 

 

V

 

 

 

It wasn’t temperamental hubris, the result of some sort of Russian, always Russian never Norwegian or Swedish Roulette. It was a slow, planned betrayal the conclusion of which came to pass fast. Bernie found dead at home, lights out, End-Stop Paradise a movie well done and over, Vivaldi gone, a storm of strings defeated, no more seasons, equinoxes or solstices. Stardust to stardust, ashes to ashes, a man suddenly summarily rejected; no feathers, no Phoenix, no time for a written swan song or after four exalted days some other resurrection and so no hope of a new Lazarus rising. And not  a ‘love’ Crime Passionelle, but apparently a Flagrant Délit; the demise of a great dwarf as some planted rumors would later have it shot by a gambler upon a dispute about a long outstanding debt. A gun dropped near his body found soaked in a pool of blood, wiping off all fingerprints. The assailant fleeing undetected, supposedly having lost it under constant pressure by the owner of an unsuspected obstinacy streak for not paying up; even Bernie not always particularly noble it appeared.

 

Etc Etc....

 

VII

 

 

Rufus urged Edna to join him, picking her up with the limo asking her to sit close to him upfront, between them only an opened Kleenex box. He’d been driving for hours, the vehicle a getaway car speeding not from a holdup or a robbery but from his unbearable pain; thinking, thinking about Bernie, unable to take it, unable to be without him, forever alone. A long, dark ship without rudder, adrift on wheels lost at boiling concrete sea, zigzagging, crisscrossing the big city from Hell’s Kitchen, to Yonkers, Queens and all the rest of it, a new N.Y. Marathon! One after another along the main drags of this urban forest and brawl, all those fast-food drive-ins, newsstands and fruit markets seemingly dark, dead, closed. Thousands of garish billboards and cinema marquees no texts, all empty, no colored lettering and despite the hurly-burly, the percussion of the city, its hurtling overhead trains, klaxons and sirens, the bassoons and oboes of exhausts loud, barking woodwinds like large mechanical dogs, the deafening megacity still mute, most meaningless, its battles not won. So that without his tiny passenger no destination alive or any longer good enough; for Rufus naked in silent despair light of day as beautiful as ever, but existence terrible right now. And why in his head he began to paraphrase Iggy Pop’s ominous lyrics, applying them to Bernie in both prayer and eulogy as he drove and drove, rode on and on…

 

Oh the passenger                                

How, how he used to ride        

He looked through his window

What did he see?

He saw the bright and hollow sky

He saw the city’s ripped backsides

He saw the winding ocean drive      

 

Sunrise fucked; thousands of trapezes no nets, life outside savaging over and over again, New York City a ballet reminiscent of all the juxtaposed beauty and suffering danced in Merce Cunningham’s Rainforest, but with traffic lights. Or else a subaquatic Luna Park where they come from below, where they come from all sides, where they come from the top nonstop. Life and death on the reef, where they swim and they float, crawl and meander with dizzying colors and stripes, some with weird eyes, transparently liquefied jellyfish from outer space no eyes at all, camouflaged to kill eating by stinging, by biting, by swallowing, all that silent horror and where every good man asks himself…  Why me, what did I do to deserve this? The whole thing enough to jump to some conclusion but off the Brooklyn Bridge into the East River and Rufus’ contemplation before Desdemona, exquisite white woman, no Pollyanna, slid quietly inside her ever so un-jealous Othello’s immediately rolling again car. The nudity of silence, his sudden silence, a man in conversation with the horizon reflecting on how they’d all met, how his life was changed by her and that fellow a third his size now taken away from him. A white dude who believed in him, not thinking of him as black – That SO WHAT thing! -  but maybe as one from top to toe covered by some sexy birthmark, like Marilyn’s, beautiful, neither threatening nor different, in a positive sense nothing special at all. And how thank God he’d never let this man down, not once! Though Bernie had his own ups and downs and could be demanding, even rude at times, first meeting him after answering the trader’s ad. At a place called Ponzi’s, the cheekily named eatery that turned out to be the informal, the surreal hangout of Wall Street’s upper crust.

 

Etc Etc... 

 

And here's my very first Internet critique:

 

I confess this manuscript was really gorgeous. The content is so interesting you cannot even imagine. The whole text, the dialogues, the descriptions are great. Generally, drama is not my favorite genre, but this book allured me. The content, the description everything was really catchy. Drama is one of those genres, that if written badly it can seem too boring. But if written great, the book will be perfect. This is that kind of book. I would highly recommend you to get this book if you are a drama lover. You will be amazed to see all the exciting changes that happen throughout the work.

signed: Christina Wolf

Berlin

 

*************************************

 

 

HISTORY RE-MADE

 

Now you're free, setting yourself free's the last step

Europe's former East-Block citizens are angry, frustrated and restive, regressing to nasty old habits so soon after having been liberated; as usual blaming most of their economic problems on Gipsies and Jews. And this because of low self-esteem and still not learning how to personally compete in a liberal market economy. Yes, ill equipped because programmed to obey and incapable or at least way too timerous to take the most elementary personal decisions. Born procrastinators because before the slightest expression of independence or initiative was considered a disloyal or even sedatious act, punished as betrayal. The result of decades of authoritarian indoctrination yet all these folks are now free to move and learn, change Leipzig for Bonn, Krakow for London, Budapest for Malaga, improve skills and build confidence then move back home, for nobody will stop them... except they themselves.

And everything a matter of balls, not riots!

 

******************************

 

Despite agreeing with much that Fukuyama had to say, as titles go I always thought The End of History a lousy one, even a bit preposterous like announcing The End of Weather. And now I caught another one, Vattimo's The End of Modernity heralding the beginning of nihilism as a societal ethic. But this title doesn't cut it for me either even if it contains an interesting socio-political assessment, because it states something ridiculous, akin to The End of Gravity. So come on, guys, think your titles through, you're not playwrights selling balloons tempting people to come in off the street to see your play!

 

I really like Ferlinghetti and what he stands for, but when he writes

I am waiting

for the last supper to be served again

with a strange new appetizer

he should have left it at that, because in 2 lines he brilliantly says it all, and therefore not continue with...

and I am perpetually awaiting

a rebirth of wonder

which completely ruins it for me

 

Here's a fragment of my Fairy Tales essay:

 

All of which reminds me of Peter O'Toole, one of our greatest philosophers, whose favorite greasy, wine and whiskey stained jacket could no longer be cleaned and was sent back to him with a Dry Cleaner's note saying Item Returned To Owner In Unimproved State, a wording he so much loved that he said he would use it on his tombstone... And why not? For if so many behave like pets perhaps they should no longer speak of their Maker, but of The Owner! And with this lively anecdote only to say that yes humility is fine, but self-humiliation not so much.

 

PLUS

 

Easter Time, When The Living Ain't Easy!

It always reminds me of the German densities of a 3-hour Bach oratorio, Wagner's bombastic 4-hour power operas, Luther's countless laws or depressing Heidegger forever wasting my 'Zeit'....

Must be something in the (Black Forest) water supply!

 

Diderot reads more like my kind of guy

 

Mallarmé was badly armed

 

What the Foucault!

Knowledge = Power ( I didn't know that...)

Humanism leads to Stalinism (Of course, of course, in the way that generosity and empathy always lead to cancer...)

 

On Jean Genet

Like Capote, an ugly, gay dwarf with indisputable talent who managed to market himself to the literary establishment for being 'repugnant and despite everything.... beautiful'.

The French Legion is for FOREIGN mercenaries, so how likely is it that he got ejected from it for flagrant indecency?

And gays don't go to sea to be locked up with 40 straight guys on board for weeks on end, they become Christian Brothers and youth hockey coaches so that stealing from and blowing sailors in Barcelona is another tall story of his. Cab drivers maybe, as real sailors will go massively to Putas, not Putos like him.

But unsuprisingly Cocteau and Sartre didn't see it my way!

(This from my Twitter Account in response to a massively overwritten John Gray critique on Genet's life:)

On Vagabondage and Chic

‘By embracing his own evil he would become an authentic individual’ Jean Genet or Adolf Hitler?

‘Violence + Gay Virility = Pride’ or Jean Genet, Marquis de Sade and Sacher-Masoch rolled into one?

‘To be is to be perceived, except that no man is an island and so only applies to professional (literary) contrarians and shit-disturbers (literally) 

‘Without disapproval he is nothing, so the non-conformist makes sure that black is blue, wet is dry, sweet is sour, hot is cold, evil is good, and a child is never to be made innocent.'' morphing into

'I am wronged, dead wrong, and therefore beautiful!'

No wonder Sartre loved this bird!

Same ilk!

 

 

On Limitless Conformity

 

As a visitor walking down the street in a city where people act and look alike in what appears to be a totally homogenous society with a gene pool neither deep nor wide and so not offering much diversity, it doesn't come as a surprise it also has a political system modelled on the same phenomenon. With a single-column, uniform, straight-lined, top-down hierarchy and accompanying thought-mould that constantly copies its own linearity, everything always written in stone.

With none of it precisely creating binary happiness as individual freedoms are hard to fight for, let alone allowed to exist!

 

On Theatre and the Cha Cha Cha Man

 

Ancient Greek tragedy doesn't pit individuals against each other in daily life situations, so no personal conflicts, accompanying psychology or anything else quotidian, everything delphic, epic, heroic, administering applied mythology or bits of noble history. Too soon to be followed by a diet of staged diety addiction wrapped in Shakespearean language, or England's obsession with inbred Kings, Queens and many, many Witches and Ghosts caught up in ridiculous plots as if nobility were all who mattered.

 

And oh yes, of course, then there's modern American drama as in Long Day's Journey, the Salesman,Who's Afraid Of or that Iguana exposing deprevation through a depressing brand of realism, a pre-occupation with and preponderance of the mentally and/or morally wounded or otherwise disturbed, as always drenched in copious amounts of booze. This twinned with continental European existential theatre bringing down gods, demigods and monarchs, but creating a void by letting many hang mid-air, thinking... Right, so now what, where do we go from here? And at this point even postmodernists finding emptiness everywhere, because they are empty as someone once wrote.

 

And isn't too much made of agonising, alienated, aimless modern man living without passion or purpose when millions find perfect happiness and justification for life in a new car, dancing the cha cha cha or tomorrow's championship match? I see these folks and listen to them every day and while not admirable in any sense they do appear to be just fine and think of ultra modern playwrights as incomprehensible frauds who don't know how to live and only get admired by pretentious snobs...

 

So who's right in a situation whereby the outcome is still the same, sharing the same destiny what we got, at peace or not, nauseated by mortal combat with vacuity and oneself, or not? Whereby perhaps the time has come to turn the tide once more, return to relevant very specific, earthy universality and if not to the classics or constant class conflict, at least to classier more uplifting, surprising, truly entertaining staged rites.

 

BUT HOW TO SNARE THIS HARE?

WHO WILL RISE TO THE OCCASION?

 

Debauchery as Cure

A Rake's Progress, both the paintings and the subsequent opera, The Beggar's Opera, Lulu and The Three Penny Opera

were all created by sincere moralists posing as immoralists

 

 

 Gide, the French writer, suggested that by the time he's in his fifties a real man should have had syphilis and the Légion d'Honneur, though not necessarily in that order. While Brecht, the German playwright, acidly asked Why be a man if you can be a success? And speaking of the horse's mouth: he should know; by all accounts old Bertold was not much of a man, but in his day a great success.

 

It appears Hemingway was the Donald Trump of XXth century literature, his own wife writing that his making up for being such a loathsome man took great genius

 

What's In A Name

Of course Agatha Christie could never hide from me that Hercule Poirot was no Belgian, but a crafty overdressed Englishman from Bristol named Harry Leek. And neither could Florence Cocketoo, changing her name to Nightingale to give more luster to her noble pursuit. Or a certain Thom Chapman becoming the much romanticized Lawrence of Arabia...!

 

KAFKA IS DOROTHY

 

 

watch?v=ke1L_HUmpDI

 

Kafka’s is the art of comic exasperation, deploying absurd even paranoid pseudo-logic labyrinthine insurance company and regulatory double-thought and dead-end speak at one point probably convincing Derrida and the rest of deconstructionists to become plumbers.

 

Of course calling officials, their projects and indirectly the Government itself the Arrangement says a lot about Kafka's own state of mind. Personally, I think the Deranged is more like it, but he still created world literature out of texts that as an insurance lawyer and later a Workman's Compensation Board verifier engulfed him. He imitated the structures of the treacherously simplistic circular language so prevalent in his daily work. Additionally, the endless incompetence and deliberate deception on the part of both the authorities and the public constantly placed him in the middle of one contention or another. Which triggered his Walter Mitty-like imagination as a form of self-defence, his day-dreaming both escape and a distancing from recurrent nightmares off-setting them and other health problems to preserve his sanity.

 

 

The crows maintain that a single crow could destroy heaven. This is beyond a doubt, but doesn’t prove anything against heaven, since heaven means, precisely, the impossibility of crows!’ is a famous example of a statement of breath-taking incongruity. It only makes one laugh; even by correcting it to say the absence of crows wouldn't make it much clearer. Like some dyslexic atheist debating the impossibility of dogs instead of gods, unless the case at hand is the result of a translation problem as I haven't read the original. Anyway, the whole thing a bit like saying a statement by a person doesn't make sense because the man is mute.

 

 

Yes, Kafka was a great tragicomic figure, one for whom in the end even a fire hydrant represented some sort of totalitarian threat. His humour all part of that self-defence, as was the act of exaggeration. For I visited the castle in Prague; it's an innocent enough structure, housing contemporary government offices, but as it’s located on a hill overlooking the Moldau, in Kafka's dreamy eyes exercising an authority far beyond its real scope. Yes, the Prague Castle is as innocent as those other ones on medieval Spanish hill tops, in particular those high coastal fortifications and watch towers in Andalusia constructed to keep exactly who out as invaders were and had been the Moors themselves!?

Part of a paranoiac 'arrangement' in other words, the Moors ultimately getting defeated in the interior of the Iberian peninsula as was to be expected and by the Christian Kings, not by wily Barbary Coast pirates or some other invador naval force. So that these castles were not what they were cracked up to be, but more part of someone's lively fantasy like in Kafka's case.

 

Shades of combatting windmills then, and Don Quijote! Taken in mostly by the symbolism of the Prague Castle Kafka did set out to unmask that menacing old fool behind the curtain much like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, at the end of the day both lodging some sort of victory. For Franz is not only Don Quijote, Franz is Dorothy, even though a much better writer than she!

 

 

Just found out that good old Sam Beckett, the Buster Keaton of Anglosphere literature, was a bit of a scrounger which makes him even more human of course

 

God damn you to hell, Sir, no, it’s indecent, there are limits! In six days, do you hear me, six days, God made the world. Yes Sir, no less Sir, the WORLD! And you are not bloody well capable of making me a pair of trousers in six months!” (Tailor’s voice, scandalized.) “But my dear Sir, my dear Sir, look – (disdainful gesture, disgustedly) — at the world — (pause) — and look — (loving gesture, proudly) — at my TROUSERS!” (Samuel Beckett, Endgame)

 

Well and properly appropriated from this much older Yiddish joke:              

 

A traveller, arriving in an east-European Galician town orders a pair of trousers from a local Jewish tailor. Three months later he leaves town without the trousers. After seven years he happens to pass through the same place again and, lo and behold, the tailor comes to deliver the trousers.

 

“ ‘Well,’ the traveller exclaims, astounded, ‘God created the world in seven days — but it took you seven years for a pair of trousers!’ ‘True,’ the Jew agrees, quite unimpressed, ‘but look at the world, the shape it's in, and now look at my trousers, how perfect they are.’ “

 

Tut.. Tut.. Sam, mon cher ami, and there were 7 weren't there not 6 days according to deep lore!?

 

 

-Plus: Beckett's ugly beauty: When he opens Murphy with the Joycean, somewhat awkwardly phrased yet beautifully poetic The Sun Shone, Having No Alternative, On The Nothing New.... he admits that, by itself, the sun shining also has nothing new, so that what we have here is the Nothing New shining on the Nothing New, and not so much a reverberation, as perhaps a lazy start.

 

Remembrance of Things Past is a lousy translation of Proust's A la Recherche du Temps Perdu in that all things remembered are in the past, making this a tautology. In Search of Lost Time is only slightly better as search and loss are mutually implied with 'lost time' sounding like a factory problem. The latter also has no rhythmic quality whatsoever, and why I would settle for Of Days Time Forgot! But then whoever came up with the simple movie title Time Regained hits the proverbial nail right on the head

 

Vladimir Nabokov thought of Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice as an extremely asinine piece of work. It’s the story of a morally confused older chap infatuated with Tadzio, a pretty 12 year old boy. He then went on to write Lolita, which is about a morally confused older chap dangerously infatuated with a pretty 12 year old girl.

Personally speaking I dislike any work based on an unhealthy passion or on an untenable premise, no matter how beautifully it's crafted and even when meant as a grand metaphor. In the end literary merit must rest on what is said, not on how nicely things are put, the brilliance of nothingness.

 

 

Large parts of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos sound much like Vivaldi, his contemporary. So who stole from who, guys?

 

 

Oh, the day the Valkyries will place me next to Sergei Rachmaninoff... in Walhalla (N.Y.)

 

 

***************************************************

 

 

I juxtapose to expose

 

- First, learn how to spot them!

- Pardon me!?

- Then learn how to connect them!

- Spot who, the what?

- Dots, you fool! The dots!

- Oh, them...

Hope is like the electricity in the rabbit's Duracell battery

 

Yes, cruel human stupidity also forms part of the miracle

 

WE DON'T ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS

 

Tribalize = Trivialize

 

Defamation = Nameslaughter

 

Pinker is no Spengler, their odeurs clash

 

She wore success acquired by wearing not much of anything else...!

 

It takes 1 robot to replace 30 workers. It takes 30 workers to build and service 1 robot. It's not the machines that are getting smarter, it's the workers.

 

Schwarzenegger doesn't translate into Blackadder, but into stupid Baldrick's Austrian love-child...

 

I worked in the Golf property market once with my German partner Dick Wagner, we sold many Tannhäuser on the Lohengrin but then ran out of turf and epic fertilizer

 

Dear Ms Rand, please tell me it was all a bad joke, that it Ayn t so...

 

It seems it is not Marxism but Facebook & Twitter which cause the hollow end-victory of the proletariat

 

With figurative or classical painting the art lies wholly in the hand, with the abstract totally in the eye: the precision of nothing

 

 

With adjoining front doors on St.Catherine St. in Montreal a street level burger joint called Steerburger sits right below a Strip club on the building's first floor. So that each time and after their burger a bunch of guys walks out, the upstairs doorman invitingly opens his entrance and mumbles: This way, gents! Desert?

 

Canadians are cold fashioned, but warm hearted

 

On Mordecai Richler: 'Twas the bastard Davidoff, and his pal Old Glen whot got a damn fine writer and an exquisite man!

 

Overheard with my pitoune at Else's on Montreal's plateau, about the innocent question to a 97 year old man in an old folks home:

Sir, what is your favourite pastime these days?

Replied to with the delightful Jewish, faux-laconic sneer: Breathing!

 

-Giovanni, who wrote Hamlet?

- I thinka his name wasa Piece Acake, or Chesapeake...

-They named a Bay after him?

-Sì! In America!

 

 

Life everywhere in the cosmos is but a flame, popping up and burning bright then disappearing into waiting night

 

Existence is life inside a pinball machine

 

SATIRE IS NO JOKE

 

 It's not life itself that is surreal, but one in which Magritte and his mockeries are taken seriously.

(this is not a computer)

(this is not here)

 

The same for John Cage's 4'33 sound piece of utter silence, in particlar its 3d movement

 

Or for that matter Reinhardt's totally black on black Abstract No.5

 

And what happens when an ironic and prodding joke's no longer a certain piece of work..., but you!

 

Jean-Paul Satyr

 

Bertold Brexit

 

Britney's Pears

 

Miracle Bama

 

Moe Zart

 

 

All Polanski wanted to do was screw someone his own size

(From Jekyll & Hyde to Ejeculate & Hide)

 

Don Quijote de la Mancha loosely translates into Don Quixote, the Guy with the Stain. Then again William Shakespeare is no Guillermo Lanzarote, so let's leave both the way we knew them

 

On almost any anatomical diagram our lungs are shown to have the shape of a giant butterfly, its magnificent folded wings ready for take off

 

THE NUDITY OF SOLITUDE, THE NUDITY OF SILENCE

 

If ultimately morality is based on common-sense intelligence, then amorality is nothing more than dark stupidity

 

By implication absolute rulers are absolute murderers

 

Places like Russia have no natural enemy, it likes to invent one as an excuse to keep its power structure in place making that anyone who opposes it is automatically unpatriotic and a national traitor. Humanity at large does the same thing, it invents gods pretending that by adoring them it can overcome its own insignificance. But manipulating  destiny doesn't work long for anyone!

 

 

I have a Ginger Male, she confessed, although I'd prefer a well Hungarian!

 

Light of day is beautiful, existence terrible sometimes

 

 

In all my thinking what I need most is time. Let's face it I'm slow, but like the elephant not insignificant perhaps

 

 

Just had my stomach checked by a very pretty nurse, and in it she found three butterflies

 

Looking Back Forward

Days can’t be captured, moments only superficially by way of photographs.  But he would stop time, cage fleeting happiness with the simple trick of looking forward 10 years, then immediately reverse from there, so enshrining the now....

 

When only one of the two is inevitable, it's not life that is absurd, but death

 

Some men are so intelligent, they actually know how to cry

 

I showed up just in time for her sexual awakening, it was barely 7 p.m. and a beautiful moment

 

Sillas Salvaescaleras is not a Greek philosopher, but a Spanish stair lift

Depilación Indolora is not a Flamenco dancer

 

An aerial view makes a mass, circular religious procession look like a slow moving clusters of insects. But the same goes for the faster moving vehicles on a L.A. freeway, those mechanical ants on wheels driven by tiny humans who show how close by instinct they remain to indiscriminate nature

 

*********************

 

Wittgenstein struggled with his own super intelligence, which at times had no place to go. For the grand irony is that he had to use language to tell us language is a straight jacket and misrepresents. That the word or sound 'snake' for instance has nothing to do with the animal, but I think 'snake' is only an aural tag to differentiate it from 'shoe' or millions of other items, inanimate or alive. Yet when at a certain moment both are absent, become abstract, unable to be pointed at or touched, everybody understands exactly what's being discussed. So what's so misleading about this? I rather think a printed sound, by way of a reference number or barcode in the form characters made of tiny stripes and small (half) circles, promotes clarity and exactness in absencia of the real thing, so facilitating truth not circumventing it.

Unless he meant it is word sequence that wilfully misleads sometimes, attempting to impose or enforce a brutal lie.

But why do I have to guess? You're not clear Ludwig, my boy!

Victim of your own diagnosis...?

 

 

*************************

 

Dialectical Materialism evaporated when Marx & Engels evolved into Marks & Spencer

 

 

Maoism is ridiculous, Taoism without rites is not

 

Hostile acts emanating from a deep-seeded inferiority complex, not only confirm but perpetuate the rot

 

After dry cleaning not only did my suede jacket shrink, but logically also its button holes. Though not its buttons, so that as a result I cannot close the damn thing anymore. Let this be a message to astro-physicists: when the whole shrinks, the holes get smaller!. Or should I have studied gynaecology..?.

 

A State of Flaw and Border

 

People not only get the Government they deserve, they get the Religion they deserve, because man created God in his image in his attempt to obtain a survival placebo.

 

Unless of course a lonely God wanted a friend, someone to show off all that planetary beauty He created to, but that smart/stupid and ingrate friend got totally out of hand

 

 

Middle East: And Aristoteles Wept

 

 

- ON MODERNITY: I met her on the Internet, and her name was Lydia. When she signed off XL, I didn't know whether she meant Love & Kisses, that she is Full Size or a Roman 40 year old

 

 

- I was busy paling in comparison to almost everyone, when the phone rang!

- Who called?

- A savage beast!

- What kind of beast?

- Hope!

- A beast called... Hope?

- Truth can be killed, but not her..!

- What then? Cage her...?

- Can't live with, can't live without her..!

-  Sonuvabitch! We have a problem!

 

FATALISM IS DEFEATISM

 

         I have started drafting a novella under the working title

 

     

                                                   Ulysses and the Man-o-War

 

                                                                    Sub-title: Frankie & Billy

 

Every day early when a still gentle sun rises over an east facing promenade the breeze as always toys with waves rolling west and a young Frenchman named Billy walks his Labrador on its hard yellow clay. It is known as the Paseo Maritimo from where he hopes to catch a glimpse of his father taking his habitual morning swim. And where they meet after Frankie rises earlier, the way parents always seem to do, afterwards sharing breakfast, chatting, beefing, reminisce. The location from where the young man’s eyes never fail to drift towards northern Africa, the other side of the azure from where a generation ago his family had left.

But then, suddenly, that familiar scene changed; the weather as so often occurs within minutes turning radical. And it worried him, for he still hadn't spotted his old man if he didn't hurry up caught in some rapid squall born over the strait of Gibraltar where Mediterranean and Atlantic skies instead of kissing, sometimes brutally collide. Ochre the earth of the Spanish coast, striped with the colours of old and new blood just like its flag, its history, its dances, its afternoons and its summer bullfights. This morning fishing boats already seen quickly pulling in their bobbing nets and all the seagulls crying a warning preparing for the strong shears and gusts they knew would catch and rip their wings. And where all the anchored oil tankers off the Rock laid solid but still bucked nervously on their chains, agitated like the young man’s own mind. Not necessarily by those dark clouds rising on the horizon, it wasn’t the first time he'd seen them his dog running wild and excited chasing balls of flying dust, but because his father Frankie also hadn’t come home last night perhaps having come straight to the beach to take his ritual swim, to wash off his nocturnal sins.

But he saw no swimmers in the early morning water, his eyes scanning the surf for a bald man slowly trawling parallel to the sand as long and as far as he would last before letting himself drift over shallow submerged rocks trying not to get cut by them. Then step out, heave himself out of the sea to let his wobbly legs carry him onto the solid beach. The Romans calling this land Finis Terrae, end of the erstwhile world, but now a place where Frankie swam and dealt with his worries, his doubts and the constant memory of what Billy, the son, thinks continues to be his father’s greatest defeat.

The tide was also on the rise, the new wind whipping south-westerly, the waves already three metres high pulling away at a man and his struggles, a man in the centre of one, two, and now three storms, during this time of year the water chilly so that he would last half an hour, not more. A man dressed not in bathing suit but in an ordinary shirt and torn jeans, having raced into the kelp and the froth of the waves already in distress, for Frankie was there all right and invisible to the few walking alongside the water, including his son.  A man in a battle to leave it all, first the booze, suddenly, too suddenly, then the other pain, the constant pain of paternal betrayal, this morning in a state of delirium tremens, swimming with spastic, fisted hands, kicking, kicking ferociously into those empty yet loaded waves, thinking if not to beat them... what are these tides for? Tsunamis to be fought all along, like in his pastis, his mickeys, his endless pitchers of Ribera del Duero wine. Fight, kick those tides as if they were time. And time the space in which the trust between two men can get destroyed.

 

Ideologies are made for small people by small people and nearly always wrong, Frankie used to think. Even so, they too are tides, only for the masses but what about the links between a father and a son? No not between him and his Billy, the kid, but between his own Dad and him. Sure there are tides in paternal love as well, but never, ever the end of respect. Thinking, the thinking, the years of humiliation never letting up, intensifying every dangerous day, more, more, especially now while he battled and swam, the jellyfish invading him, a Portuguese man-o-war nearly engulfing him, stinging him into a swollen, bloody mess, cut into by the salt, blasted by the floating, pounding sands, on his eyelids, his neck, the still rising sun beginning to strafe from in between those sudden clouds.

 

(Only a start, more to come.... But in order for me to finish this classic story I need to spend 3 or 4 days in each Oran, and Marseille. It ain't far from southern Spain where I reside, but I just don't have the moolah right now! So I've been thinking about crowdfunding, or krautfunding as my Berlin friends aptly pronounce it.)

 

What If

 

What if we find the brain is like a face... pretty, ugly, elongated or puffed, skin marked or not and loose or tight, of colour indistinct but wrinkles deep, nose pointed, dull, long, short above chin double or lips tight, large, thin, reaching up to ears flat on either side, eyes oblique, dark, myopic, below brows bushy, frown sudden, smile furtive, muscles of laughter relaxed, uncertain or fake, cheeks hollow, back down to teeth not stained, but uneven, gums pink, jowls protruding, jaws suddenly jutted in ways undefined, then all rising again to hair patched, black, brown, blond on grey and hirsute turf, memory inscribed long ago though opinions caked in more recently... with acts to match, and whether it is night or day, dry or wet, hot or cold?

Or is an interesting mind more like a landscape and a voyage through it, travelling in it, its forests, swamps, mountains, oceans, beaches, glaciers, rivers or lakes, the ultimate process of discovery and courage? Even when finding that flatlands, plains, deserts and tundras produce equally barren people, who need some help.

 

And recognizing all this.... would it so help navigating our fellow, our self, circumventing calamity and heartbreak?

 

 

- Tombs filled with the ignominious: Are they also set free?

 

- There is nothing sadder than an empty theatre, except for a desperately hurting child outside!

 

       And then this small bedtime thought

 

- True intelligence creates awareness

- The first notion it produces, recognising the self

- The second notion, to ask the self a question

-This question: Why?

-The third notion, finding the answer

- The one immediately implied, pinpointing purpose

- Man in search of purpose as much as needing a morsel of bread, a gulp of breath

- The difference that he can make the former up, compromising his true intelligence, and a greater tragedy than death.

- Off with saviours and amulets.

 

 La Concha

I live below a cubistic looking mountain, about the size of Aix-en-Provence's Mont Sainte-Victoire, Cézanne’s domain.

No, it wasn’t painted by Braque or Picasso, but in the ever changing light of day appears that way, delineated against the endless sky, an anchor, seemingly altering its appearance every hour on the hour, its sharp yet subtle angles stacked upon each other, reaching up towards its Matterhorn-shaped top.

Flat planets are dead planets. There would be no life on earth without constant volcanic action added to solar heat: humanity following flora and fauna in their footsteps, the last one to join the biological fray, and why I cannot live without my mountain, my life, itself the child of tectonic might, tenderly watching over me.

 

 

- WHORES DON'T MOAN...

 

Did you pack your fruitcase, honey?

- My gay pal William who works for NATO in Brussels brags that each time he travels to Washington, he stays in a Five-Star General. (He doesn't like Rear-Admirals, especially in choppy seas)

 

- Woe, begun! What strikes me in nature is that prey never fights back! No anger, no indignation, something that I would call unbearable equanimity, and acquiesced brutality also common in parts of the human world. For is it normal to go gentle into that not so good night?

- I'm a friend of hours

-Gravity, that tireless sculptor of flesh and earth

 

THE CONFORMIST

    Magnificent! Nearly every frame a study in camera composition. I wish I could paint like this, in prose!

 

- Some will kill to belong, even when what they believed in has vanished long ago. Conformity a compulsive abstraction, or is the excitement of doing something significant even in theory, too strong for small minds? (Moravia/Bertolucci, the film)

 

- Do a story on a sneak love theft during a large public calamity, called: Under Cover of Conflict, like in a warzone plotting to steal a neighbour's pretty wife by anonymously denouncing her husband and having him arrested and eventually executed. Then patiently consoling her, consoling her, consoling her, with her coming to think Who is this wonderful man who by miracle came into my life?

 

- During her worst moments, the hours of profound loneliness, the elderly widow would grab a mop, turn it upside down, put on a tango, and passionately dance it through her kitchen, over and over again. No, not her last tango, and definitely not in Paris.....

 

Espermatozoïdes Caseras no es un filósofo Griego

 

- During an interview David Foster Wallace refers to "The reality I live in...", indirectly admitting there are other, in their totality larger, by definition more important ones.

 

 

A Dog Named Dylan

(push full screen button for extra canine effect)

 

 

Rage

Man should neither live

like mole afraid

of darkness,

nor as someone’s slave

‘ been given

sight.

Only taming himself

by feeding not stealing his other,

raging at injustice

and at day’s end,

 any held out

false

white

  night   

(now if only I could find a bulldog to record my Rage poem)

 

-Goethe, one 'good' old German, said he'd take injustice over anarchy anytime. But he didn't live under Stalin, Hitler or in someone else's police state. Where order remained the greatest injustice of all,  dictators early on slipping into moral autism, creating their cruel, their idiotic thugocracies.

- My doppelgänger is made of anti-matter, he rides antelopes, eats only anti-pasta and drinks anti-freeze. He is a semi-conductor who leads the orchestra half of the time, I do it the rest of the year.

-Godard equates age with space, as in: How much space have we left?

- Or as in: Time is the space one needs to reach someone else!

- The President of Brasil noticed the solecism of the Carnaval dancer, not wearing anything underneath her miniskirt, inviting her up to his tribune, then up to his palace, en-suite up to his private chambers. She wasn't around when he was forced to resign.

- The super-collider people have a point. This morning my neutrinos made it to the bathroom before I did.

                      

- I've added at least twelve poems to my collection, please scroll down under Selected Poems and check them out!

- You're in trouble when you think you're lying on a porcelain-white beach, a stone's throw from azure water, taking sun, when it starts to pour, and you look up into the suddenly grown-dark sky and all you see hanging up-high... is some damp, curly hair and two pink slices of roastbeef.

- C'est Emmenthal, mon cher! (Elementary, my dear?)

- Waugh, be gone!

 

Rangoon Night

(2009)

 

When

Between two orders

of rotten Sushi

Aung San Suu Kyi

deliberately

sings

Auld Lang Syne

                                                                 off key

I drown

sudden sorrow

in shoddy local Sake

And before

New Year's Eve's

slow Burmese death

So

should

She

 

Last Call

(revised)

 

A lush

and sultry

evening

A mist

of shadows,

a veil

of Blues,

a breeze

of fine,

white breasts,

in semi-darkness

A

low-cut

down-dress

waitress

loathing rush

and hushing,

making

leaving

slow

and

most

reluctant

As

that

late

night

beguiling,

she

the stage

Not

the

Act

 

Exactly what happens to me. Struck by a luminous idea, invariably told that I don't know what I'm talking about...

 

 - Rococo was Baroque's Dadaism, Postmodernism nothing but Neo-Retro, then again everything's Neo-Retro! And this is not art-wank!

- Poor bastard, always grabs someone else's convictions, and when they no longer work, steals another one! (See the Charlie play)

- The Veneration of St John the Fascist (See the Charlie play)

- When asked about the stunning shape I'm in, I tell them mornings I do a full workout including weightlifting, afternoons topped off... with a little shoplifting.

-Read about Tape's Last Krapp, in Waiting for Beckett (Essays)

- The man having the genital transplant was fondly re-membered

-Sorry, Pound and Eliot! I don't like poetry needing translation back into its own language. Deliberate obfuscation, go eschew yourself!

 

-The Axeman Cometh

 

                                                                    Café De Pilaren

 

The natives would reclaim their sacred watering hole after the tourist season had rolled by; Bergen a pretty village on the coast where everyone knew everyone. Intrepid tourism could be an oppression imposed in summer, crowding all roads! For only in winter they can tell exactly who’s entering, at precisely what time and in the way the old door knob gets turned after the frontdoor gets pushed open, then closed. Hesitatingly, firmly, softly, or impatiently, with timidity or aggressive abandon, followed by the immediate certainty what old tale will again be told, out of a collection of only six or seven heard or overheard a hundred fold! Beforehand everyone knowing which drink will get ordered and imbibed, by whom, the bored waiter always bringing a bill in the same amount, paid precisely two hours on. So that in spring the invading masses are welcomed back with a certain predictable relief, gratefulness prevailing despite the foreign tongues, the loudness and the shouting clothes. But why go to Bergen at all, let alone live there by the sea that most no longer saw? Only that door knob, not loved but feared if not by all apparently by most?!

             

**************************************

 

- Oh, go practice onomatopoeias!

- Oh, go fondle yourself!

 

-The Spanish writer Manuel Alcàntara puts it this way: Somos un pueblo estupendo para la pesca. Si tuviéra rio... ( We, the Spanish, are a nation of terrific fishermen, if only there existed a river!) ( He said it, not me. But the fleet is large!)

 

- En Español pueden ver y escuchar mi video sobre Beckett y Godot: watch?v=56SqMG0yFQY

 

                 Confessions of a Feathered Friend

 

 

Here I am, sitting on a roof of collected notions, a construction put up over centuries by people needing so badly to be wanted that for lack of better they invented someone doing just this. Then tried to make his invisible presence not only visible but permanent by building this monstrosity, as if it changes anything. And only because sitting out in the open and on the grass playing the same mental game cannot be passed on they think, even though it would be so much humbler and more genuine I think.

Yes, I just landed on the parapet of what feels more like a gaol than a place of inspiration or joy built believe it or not to keep out many of their playmates, but at least giving me the chance to rest and reflect after a flight of my own. They call it House of God, but up here wired it electrically while below and at darkness they shut doors to keep out the tired, the hungry and the sick as if these suffer by schedule. Which makes me wonder if they built these enormous structures with a stiff neck, always looking the other way or endlessly at and by implication after themselves.

And what about the prejudice that comes with saving your hide before saving the one of others by the creatures building these structures? Because even if they have no fur and no hair to speak of... hides they do have and thick ones, too, though no feathers as far as I can detect. Those telling us we’re unclean, diseased and defecating all over when they’re making a mess of things wherever they dwell. Mistrusting and killing each other when they feel like it, in the name of a slow brainwave they call The Lord.

Here, hold on to my horn-rimmed glasses and my cigar and my Manhattan and I’ll show you in the Wall Street Journal why we stand accused of infesting society. Though look, look at me, I don't hurt anyone even when releasing my droppings, but still stand accused of spreading viruses while waking up the world with my cooing and song. In my opinion this dirty matter is theirs or at least with most of them, and even as a thriving business sometimes.

By definition the truth cannot be equal to prejudice they say by way of self-defence unable to take the slightest criticism themselves insisting that if hundreds of thousands of others do something or another differently, they’re all guilty and subversive especially when not of the same prayer book. So that even if I’m peaceful, clean, entertaining, providing and sharing.... they’ll still insist they’re right about me and us. And if I state that as long as there’s only one who’s different, say with pin-striped plumage, they can never claim ‘They’re all like that!’, wouldn't you agree with that? Afterwards insisting that it’s all in the proportions, that yes nothing is absolute except their faith, at the same time claiming to be badly overwhelmed by all of us when actually they’re the ones doing all the overwhelming? Implying we’re the invading kind taking over their society, and certainly we do have our own vision, at least I do and so do mine, and so what? And so it's better for us to keep a low profile, not flap our wings too much because down there they’re in control, not up here thank who or whatever for this.

No, more I look at them less I want to be like them despite some of that fleeting success of theirs. Sure, sometimes I wish I could cross my legs and sit like them and least when reading my newspaper, but as for the rest goes they’ve lost it. Like if I built myself a granite coop with smart, stained windows and a huge, bolted door, coercing dozens of mine to sit inside and sing all dressed up, but no longer able to hear the music produced by water and wind, by my songbird brothers and sisters and so many other sources out there.

  

It’s good to be out looking in, it’s good to be up looking down, it’s good to be few and free and strong, when they’re many and weak. I know I’m sitting on their structures, but I can leave and they can’t, the price they pay for all that visible permanence. I can float, sail, rise, dive, cross rivers even oceans on my own, eat, drink, rest, feel happy and live nearly as long with those I love who fly along. Plus I’ve never killed or hurt anyone. So of those two worlds, which is the better one? And this Lord of theirs, does He know what company He keeps, what He has also wrought?

But now forgive me. I'm off to see my ornithologist about that pigeon stool I use to express myself, which troubles them.... As if they've nothing else to worry about!

 

 

***

 

- Courageously crossing Okeanos, Sir, performing months of strenuous field work in Greece, are you able to tell us: Do goats have a clitoris?

- I'm sorry, I don't speak ελληνικ!

- Not even with your new fiancée?

- Especially with her!

- Must be quite a beast, Sir

- Yes, but never use an old goat!

- When I was young I got some guacamole all over my ukulele. It was horrible, horrible...

- And why call it a watch anyway?. Do we call a pair of glasses a see? Our hand a touch. Our ear a listen. I have a pimple on my smell, did you notice?

- And what's with a fly? Do we call our dog a walk? A fish, a swim? Or if we can do no better than calling an orange an orange, isn't the very least we can do calling a banana... a yellow?

 

- Faculty Prince: Oh, no! Not another iconoclast!

- Maverick: Oh, no! Not another conformist!

- Faculty Prince: Sudden changes kill, structures protect!

- Maverick: Structure is past. Past doesn't protect, past confirms

- Faculty Prince: Anarchy's not the cure

- Maverick: Neither's apathy

- Faculty Prince: I'm neither a coward, nor a parasite

- Maverick: Then let me breathe

- Faculty Prince: How's that? Do I suffocate you?

- Maverick: No. Your absolute certainties do!

 

- The dim-witted never give death a second thought. It or le mal-d'être, strictly speaking the condition of suffering from your own intelligence. If you have any. The agony it sometimes creates. The anxiety of it. For better or worse, the ability to recognize yourself in the mirror of animate existence. Cognition commoves, doesn't it?

- Outrageous (White) Lies:

 

My son has discovered he's allergic to towels, the reason he can't shower

Posing naked is proving allergy to textiles doesn't leave me any scars (Starlet)

I refuse to read Proust, because of the recent French ban on imported British beef (British Political Commentator)

If you hadn't let him in, I wouldn't have slept with him (Arletty, the French actress, to her accusers, about having had a love affair with a Nazi Luftwaffe general, in occupied Paris, during the the Second World War)

- Having absolutely nothing to do with this: Many obstetricians are obstinate patricians

- My friend Scarlett O'Hara may have had a heart condition

- The Dutch word for 'accident' is an 'unhappiness'. An unhappiness occurred on the night of St Peter, when a bull broke loose bolting into Mrs Entwistle's porcelain shop, causing great damage and agony. An unhappiness, indeed...

- Read about arsenic and black lace around white thighs in A Kiss By The Clowns

- Political aside: N-K : Terrible societies where the young get a single career choice: become executioner or victim, nothing else. Whereas historically we have fought for and opened up the beautiful space that exists between these cruel extremes.

-

 

- Hitler proves Einstein wrong: contrary to common interpretation E = MC2 stands for Energy equals Madness times the Speed of Light, squared. The great physicist belatedly recognizing the limitless energy emerging from massive daylight idiocy and, somewhat embarrassed as you can see, accepting the amendment I formulated.

(Besides his brain Einstein also had one hell of a tongue, the tip of which nearly reached the end of his chin, suggesting he may have had some other expert abilities.....)

-The question is, can satire take satire and parody, parody?

- Today I won't scrub my rabbit, but I may rinse my hare

- I don't think it'll moose, but do you think it might reindeer?

- It's not easy being mediocre he must have sighed, and of course it's hard work. Nearly as much as being brilliant, he reluctantly discovered: Read COBB'S JOLT

 

                                                      - Cobb's hurting!

                                                      - What happened?  

                                                      - He got struck by her wallet!

                                                      - Was it full?

                                                      - Yes, or he wouldn't have been struck by it!

                                                      - Sure hope he doesn't get Ballsheimer's...

                                                      - Forgetting her? Forgetting us?

                                                      - I hope not!

                                                                                                                                               

                     

Fairy Tales: Cervantes wrote we're not immortal, but we should live life as if we were. This essay is not some tiresome Karma running over Dogma rant, but a passionate plea for dignity in human affairs by an ordinary XXI century citizen, hoping to eliminate 'truth' jobs once and for all. The Proctologist helping the Philosopher to get over himself. More like what Katherine Hepburn had to say, insisting We listen to the song of life...

Tradition: The Critical Core: Can't teach an old dogma new tricks (D. Parker)! Read about the treachery of tradition, how obstinate tradition is obsolete tradition, and the way in which Every man's a nation could change all that. How Michel de Montaigne already said it 400 years ago: If I can't govern the world, the least I can do is govern myself. With this author adding that the real, the only Body Politic is me, is you, plus that shooting new roots is always healthier than inheriting them...

Truth & Lies: "It's all a misunderstanding," Leni Riefenstahl admitted. "I had a mad crush on Adèle Fitler."  (You read it here first!)

Waiting For Beckett: read why I concluded that Godot is a deeply religious play, not in a conventional sense perhaps, but in the way that any Godot would do, as long as we are wanted ... (Because with this of course comes a sense of protection, the warming fairy tale that something or someone looks after us, that we're not mere clouds of chemicals going the same place as dead rodents.)

On Fundament: deals with robotic believers, obstinate literalists willing themselves to denigrate the metaphor, killing life for total lack of moral imagination. Could it be that Mars was formerly inhabited by them, viewing what was left behind...?

Humour/Laughter/Silence: paragraphs 5, 6 and 11 were altered, adding notions that the very best comics are always deadly serious, and that while some like to think of the Messiah as a joke, I submit that much to the contrary Humour is the real Messiah, or that the young Bororo men in Niger dress-up outlandishly once a year and humour a woman in order to win her hand, obliged to prove they can make her laugh and smile rather than impress with crude masculinity: not bad for a desert tribe. Or: Just line the street then march up to the gates of cruelty and incompetence and laugh out loud, before turning to your even louder silence. Damnation....

Plus... These days, everybody writing yet again about Freud, I make the link between him and that old Canadian trick of putting a small piece of fur round the keyhole of your front door, when it's freezing cold and dark outside and you're groping to get in... (track the name in my blog)

 

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Do support the arts, so vital to preserving free focus.

 

 

   

 

Those helping the cause are sent the full text of one story; a matter of kindness repaid.

(It's either this or I shall be forced to introduce a whole new banking concept, convincing rich amnesiacs to open trust accounts, then appoint me as trustee...!)

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Caveat Lector: In order to protect international copyrights, all my works have been deposited with EU & US based notaries.