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The internet’s different; no comfortable, outdated stuff should clutter it.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.
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 MY NOVELS WOULD MAKE TERRIFIC FEATURE FILMS WITH RICH CHARACTERS AND UNUSUAL, DRAMATIC PLOTS NOT WITHOUT HUMOUR
MADRID: SOMETIMES THE PUBLIC IN FRONT OF A WORK OF ART BECOMES AN INTEGRAL PART OF A LARGER, EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL 3-D TABLEAU WITHOUT KNOWING IT
BELOW THE TIGHTROPE
On a recent trip Amsterdam's Hegeraad Café where a debonair chap in a well-worn tuxedo with a large, cigar-burned 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...!
Or where Nietzsche gets called Noppeschjeby house critic Kees Lootzak
A man who likes Jugendstil, but only when it's windstill
The stage set, curtains open, magnificent props in place, the play ready to unfold...
THOUGHT DU JOUR
Anger should come from pain, not because it's fashionable
Puritanical = Tyrannical
Abstinence is a terrible vice
L' Appétit-d'être doit surmonter notre recherche de la Raison-d'être, probably our only hope
Don't be sudden
When the nation itself is your nextdoor psychopath...
He was twice removed from reality, and four times from three bars
She always writes the narrowest of something
The safest way to get murdered is by one's fifth wife
So many lives, unperceived....
In the right light everything is fucking nonsense, he sighed
It follows that brutal cultures came up with brutal religions
Democracy is not for cowards (or for nitwits)
I don't 'do' make-believe, no matter how caressing
Read 'A Funeral For Immortality'
Fairy Tales essay!
(Come ye sons of bitches, to be read in context and inspired by Robert Frost who wrote something like his: O Lord, I do apologize for my joke on you as long as You apologize for the huge one you pulled on me!)
The ruinous first half of the 20th century was due to raw, prolonged,
unevolved 19th century thinking.
The start of the 21st century appears to repeat this godawful trend
Given the state of publishing caused by an enduring Covid-19 pandemic savaging the market, Three Rooms Press in Manhattan has decided it won't go ahead with my new novel, below.
So sad, it is an exhilarating take on our times as seen through the eyes of unforgettable characters and not only meant for the ages but there to help facing life in the cauldron today with its entertaining, dead-on approach!
I must now consider crowdfunding and may need help!
Recent Revisions & Additions
But By Friday He Was Dead
its gripping factuality, its humor, its emotional depth
TALLER THAN MOST
AN AMERICAN PATRIOT
KILLED BY EVERYTHING
But by Friday he was Dead (Subtitle: McRae's Journey), is an explosive 202 page modernist literary novel narrating the deadly adventure of 3 rebellious Americans confronting our turbulent times each in their own magnificent 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 NYC. The work’s a stylish microcosm of contemporary western life offering 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 parallel 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 is what she reads and no prude thanks to her long-deceased gangland father in speech often on the unladylike side. Then again who gives a fig, there's sheer beauty beneath all that salty earnestness! A woman with a lover even taller than her by the name of Rufus, a beast in bed but devoting as much energy to the black Harlem street youths guarding his limo every night of the week. A man hired by Bernie, a brilliant little person, stock 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. For it is no secret he also wants to take diabolical liberties with Edna’s knees, the way it gets phrased...
One night this most colorful threesome bumps into McRae, a correspondent in New York taking 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 equally worry about how he carries on.
This is tragicomedy at its very best!
Rufus urged Edna to join him, picking her up with the limo asking her to sit close to him with only an opened Kleenex box between them. He’d been driving for hours, an instantaneous nomad, the vehicle a getaway car speeding not from a holdup or a robbery but from his unbearable pain; thinking, thinking about Bernie, that glorious little man, unable to take it, unable to be without him. A long, dark ship without rudder adrift on wheels lost at boiling concrete sea, zigzagging, crisscrossing the metropolis from Chelsea and 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 more colored lettering inside the usual hurly-burly, the normal percussion of the city, that of hurtling overhead trains, of klaxons and blazing sirens, everything suspended, frozen!
The soliloquy of the jackhammer, that concert of bassoons and oboes, those woodwind exhausts of Fords and Olds like mad metal dogs, this otherwise deafening Babylon become soundless, blind, his own bloody daily battle not won, but neither lost with time. Yet for now without his tiny passenger no destination alive and breathing or else any longer good enough; everything meaningless, done and why naked in his silent despair - light of day as beautiful as ever, but existence terrible right now – Rufus in his head beginning 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 upon thousands of trapezes but no nets; life on the outside savaging over and over again albeit with flickering traffic lights. New York City a ballet reminiscent of all the juxtaposed beauty and suffering danced in Merce Cunningham’s Rainforest, and yet not really free-dance as not only its dancers remain connected by invisible, moving strings, but all of us are marionets of some kind. Or else some 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, some, like the transparent jellyfish, from outer space no eyes at all and camouflaged to kill and eat by stinging, by biting, by swallowing. All this silent horror and where every good man asks himself… Why me, what did I do to be here?
The whole thing enough to jump to a conclusion 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 re-rolling car. Ending that nudity of his silence, till then a man in mute 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 little dude who’d immediately believed in him, not for one moment thinking of him as black, skin immaterial, all flesh pink, all bones white he said. That divine SO WHAT thing from a guy not outstanding for his size but for his spirit and his mind only allowing that he, Rufus, was covered from head to toe with some sexy birthmark like Marilyn’s, therefore 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 stock speculator’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.
And how he´d been prepared for the worst, not confident at all, discriminated against more than once, shocked he was to meet a rich dwarf who luckily took an immediate liking to him. Pinstripes making most people look taller, but not this short man, carnation in his lapel smelling like a rose treated with wary respect by the staff and served personally by the owner of the joint. How this man, for that’s what he was, a man, asked him where he was from, how old he was, what he’d done, forcing him to talk about himself, his divorce, mother gone, many, many fathers but not a single one of them his own. The resulting lack of family the real cause many of his kind find themselves shunned in a society calling itself liberal, modern, but often stuck in a moral time warp. With Bernie saying that the biggest crimes in the nation get committed not by the blind but by those unwilling to see and feel, the willfully ignorant, immediately creating a bond of understanding between these two men. And how they’d gone out and bought a limousine the next day, registered to his name for fiscal reasons he was told, but immediately sensing this was bullshit, that it was a measure of a man feeling that he should be able to drive away any old day free as a bird not beholden to a crummy job or a lousy patron. The man himself apparently feeling imprisoned despite his mouth, despite his dollars, stuck in a minute jail. And how he’d left that man for the day driving home with his new limo crying, his neighbors not understanding why he wasn’t jumping with joy; yes, on the jealous side but also ever so protective of him.
Afterwards and on new wheels how he quickly had to learn to get around the City, its passage ways, its shortcuts, its districts, its Boroughs, never having been anywhere except by bus and by subway. And that he had to dress up like his patron, grey suit, shirt and tie, never in uniform, no such thing as a demeaning black cap though he’d insisted on sporting shin-high, knitted white socks as a small symbolic black statement on his part. Picking up a smiling Bernie as an associate not as his driver, at functions and venues walk straight in as his equal, join the anointed at places where not so long ago he wouldn’t have been allowed in stopped dead in his tracks, but where Empire State of mind and matching license plates checked out it quickly became known that he owned his damn limousine. And therefore treated with certain decorum and tolerance in buildings where wealth whispers and cash stinks, especially with the well-founded assurance that here one will never, ever get begged for some.
Bernie so covering all the angles not demonstrating the slightest expression of privilege behaving as if he had a vassal in tow; so how now was Rufus not going to love a near brother prince of a man, even one with a sport zipper taking him to many a whorehouse in town, the last one a brand new one named Leave it to Beaver – offering a whole new connotation – and an I.P.O. he said he’d enthusiastically bought into; Initial Pubic Offering, that is…! One night wanting to play a fast no doglegs 9 holes not a single one, telling him how to get there and where never to park in the dark. Occasions Rufus didn’t follow lover boy in driving away to his own conquests, but having to watch the clock very closely or get shit. Once, after showing up on the late side Bernie loudly complaining about his sore dick, bragging he’d kept killing time by way of an extra half a dozen go’s!
-Sorry, Sir, but I fell asleep!
-Rufus, I told you many times, don’t Sir me and next time, don’t disappear!
-But sometimes you don’t come out for hours...
-The call of the wide! Only when I’m in love, and after hearing them moan!
-Are you sure they’re not faking it?
-What are you suggesting? Twit for twat?
-No, tit for tat!
As one of a tribe thought of as incapable of deep love, or lacking in personal focus as McRae would later have it when speaking of this entire present day generation, it still only represented yet another prejudice of which Rufus proved day after day, month after month how false it and how deeply loyal he was. Not only when it came to his now defunct benefactor, but also to the woman he’d just come to get, the only one able to fill his new cold void climbing in sitting down next to him closing her own car door. The same woman embarrassing him at a roadside diner in Queens after - envelope in hand - he’d walked in shouting… Edna, honey, your blackmail has arrived! For all to hear and by way of revenge embarrassing him for calling her his honey Edna ordering Eggs Benedict at the top of her voice explaining her chicken had hemorrhoids so she couldn’t have any at home. On another occasion pulling the same kind of stunt for the same kind of reason publicly declaring that she wanted a ginger male to come try the barstools she installed in her walk-in shower that week. Or once more with feeling, at some other greasy joint loudly asking a good man if in his experience goats have a clitoris and zebras a striped dick, all of it her unique way not only of punishing him but testing his patience and self-control. Yet if she really cared for him, and she did, shocking him dangerous and playing with fire for one day it could come to haunt her. Though to people aware of her damaged start in life and knowing that she wasn’t capricious by nature at all, this would come as no surprise; her strange behavior nothing if not predictable. For during all of her existence she’d remained wary of men, constantly needing to test them. Provoking the poor cat in front of strangers her attempt to tame her man, scare him off, not even dream of taking her lightly. When, ironically, by keeping his cool and quiet manner it was more a matter of Rufus taming her, which she didn’t quite get. Because all along he knew the size of her heart caring for the socially disadvantaged and physically broken and that this was a show of independence on her part, of showmanship and why even when trying it her ploy couldn’t, wouldn’t work for long. Especially out in public, where even if he’d wanted to he couldn’t react, but still outsmarted her the only way he knew...
Because look at her now, a sight, a mind to behold tenderly reaching for his arm as kissing him what she really wanted to do so very badly, but given the horrendous moment an impulse she knew to be out of place, restraining herself but producing a pain in her atop an already deep pain. Rufus immediately restarting the engine of his elongated vehicle ready to drive off, still without aim but together now and so they could talk. I’m glad they let you go, she said, still indignant about his brief detention, of being accused of Bernie’s murder, an insult on top of hurt as buildings, buses, Yellow Cabs and rubber-burning, hard-on Davidsons of sin and chrome slid by. But also pedestrians, bridges and slow moving ships not getting seen by her as she constantly choked up, forced to look away. And even should there have been some public grand-scale Chillida-style sculpture on her path quite unaware of it when normally one of these was the only conquest of space she cared for, the otherwise magical taming - this word again - of emptiness.
But by then Edna slowly started to return to reality in the end asking Rufus if McRae had been of help or also branded a suspect knowing that in a cop’s mind a perpetrator often returns to the scene of a crime, enjoying the sight of someone else getting clubbed or nabbed. The two of them in the car not only
immensely sad, but almost simultaneously deciding to find out what bastard had shot their friend, deep anger beginning to replace their tears visibly distorting their face, suddenly grim, most pale.
- Man o Man, who could have done this? My world just came to an end!
- If it weren’t for you, so did mine!
- HE was the tallest shit in town, not me! Body small, but huge on the inside!
- I still think that jealousy and fear of him killed him!
- What do you mean? Ponzi’s… that terrible pack…?
- Of course!
- Fencing with the wolves?
- More like rodents actually!
-Alright… jealousy maybe, but fear?
-The fear of getting exposed, their deals revealed!
- Ah, in that sense… OK so let’s use McRae to try and find out more; have him go in on the sly!
-See what’s really up… shake up their confidence, throw in a wrench?
After a while and a hundred or more red, amber and green lights Edna grabbing Rufus’ car phone from its bracket, dialing and asking the man from Reuters in the event that he was home if they could go pick him up. Inquiring where he lived, inviting him for a ride, a real one between new friends, talk privately, no one listening in. McRae delighted in being asked not only into a New York home like the other night, but this time entering a New York life. Lives he only mostly read about, this metropolis at the center of the world by definition incorporating all its sides, all ills, but also perhaps offering the solutions he claimed he came looking for. The reason for being here to find the truth, even though truth also something he could play with and deviate from towards ends unclear even to himself perhaps, one springing forth out of the lurking narcissist in him, and not so much an undefined, overbearing self-love but out of an even deeper sense of insecurity. Shifting, constantly wiggling even skirmishing with simple facts soothing his strong taste for getting attention, a man operating on 2 levels like so much of the society he’d come to examine and with a little help would end up judging, but always and as earlier noted neatly omitting to start with himself.
Then again fighting fire with fire sometimes does bear results and why it was a good thing he gave it a try, acceding to Edna’s wish joining them soon after she’d hung up. But also not before suddenly reflecting on that other towering woman in his life, his mother, despite her day-long absences and studies the real author of not only his acute curiosity, but this duality, that certain unacknowledged duplicity of his. And why Kansas roots can lead to national honesty simply by leaving and stepping outside the realm, but also give birth to and produce a new, a different kind of man… owner of peculiarities and traits far removed. A man not entering life merely to go to the bathroom unlike his pretty straightforward Mid-Western American mother apt to deploy multiple, mysterious ways…
Whereupon our distraught lovers soon picked up a man called McRae, seating him in the rear of the car where on Bernie’s velvet back bench he’d be more comfortable, but also where a short cane in mutiny still lay prostrate on the floor, lost, forlorn, like its former owner quite stiff and the new sad norm. Curious - I’m on tender hooks McRae admitted - the three of them driving a dozen times around a late Indian Summer Central Park already covered with wind-kissed, fallen Elm tree leaves; city dwelling squirrels, raccoons and geese all ready to winter up. A four wheel bubble of conspiracy with as only aim to uncover another much larger one, no time for parking or stopping off at Starbuck’s or even at some roadside traveling hotdog stand. With Edna occasionally peering in her side mirror to see if they were followed the way she did when she was small traveling in a black, bullet-proof Lincoln beast with her underworld father. At the time too young to fully understand why, but a reaction evidently if not well inscribed in her memory apparently well lodged in her genes.
Here’s the thing McRae she said, taking command and Rufus letting her speak as always in awe of her even though while no slouch himself. First of all we both thank you for coming to Rufus’ help at the precinct the other night; it’s deeply appreciated! But our biggest fear right now, since you had to tell the cops who you are, what you were doing in there and given Bernie’s prominence - I know the system, I know the minds - but did you get the feeling that this quickly went much higher, that now you’re also watched?
It was the second time McRae almost slipped off a bench in dealing with her, made to wonder what was going on, this thing taking on a completely different dimension, one getting ever more interesting! As a matter of fact, he said, I had to call someone yesterday to come fix my Internet connection, even my cell phone dead, or is this a small coincidence? It certainly never happened before he reiterated, London for a short while unable to get hold of him and seriously annoyed, the way he found out going on exclaiming… But then again you guys had no problem reaching me, as if it suited someone’s purpose... So there you go, maybe we ARE all under the scalpel, under some official magnifying glass!?
Whoever did it must have known the victim, letting him or her come up to his place Rufus said having overheard the cops indicate that Bernie’s door hadn’t been forced. The reason he said that he, Rufus, the first caller reporting the crime ended up on top of their list, plus something about a 12mm Beretta that was used, repeatedly asked if he owned a gun. That’s what I mean Edna said, and why this was no damn robbery, but a shit hit by a dark hand for a dark crowd!
-The proverbial one, hitting the fan?
-Placed, hanging, well before it began?
-Yeah, but absolutely nothing to do with no goddamn ceiling…
Well, McRae mused, but from this to make it into an international incident just because I’m around… It seems to me that this is a little farfetched! You don’t know the mood in this country, Edna retorted, paranoia here we come! This wouldn’t have happened thirty years ago, you the media feeding the frenzy she said, cracking her first cackles, tongue-in-cheek and in a round-about way accusing him and his confreres of not necessarily being the cause but still part of the national mess. Then adding, anyway they’ll soon find out as much but compulsively test all waters, visit all scenarios, after 9/11 there’s total psychotic metastasis… With McRae filling in the blanks by asking… a Boston Marathon fallout, no act, incident or fish too small for neurosis to set in? The public just as angry and scared as the cops are, ever alert and vigilant a living, contemporary Rembrandt city Night Watch?!
Wow, way to go the both of you, those words you use put to some use… You got the grasp kiddo Rufus told her, but also suggested… Babe let’s stick to the facts! I dig where you’re going with our new overseas pal here; journalists like bloodhounds always coming up with real facts before anyone else, Bernstein, Woodward, know what I’m saying? But also something Bernie would have loved; the kind of stuff he most admired, to that little muckraking fart fast action everything!
- Here we go again! Did you just say… Wow Babe, Kiddo and all that shit…?
- Oops, sorry, Sister….! McRae, did you see that beautiful fist fly? I’ll try not to blush…
Rufus is right Nefertiti ended up agreeing rubbing the back of her hand, forgiving her tall man this time. This blue-lipped lean machine, that black magnet without slick magic lover of hers….; the only time she really got mad at him when she tripped and fell on a Bronx sidewalk and he didn’t help her up, shouting TIMBER at the top of his lungs. Like some callous lumberjack, but only thinking of her in terms of strength never in terms of need, forgetting she’s as vulnerable as anyone, a woman today not making a scene given what was going on, the weight of it, the timing of it, this moment of utter distress for all of them.
You haven’t been to the place yet, but Bernie’s favorite hangout itself makes for a fascinating setting and story; maybe it wouldn’t hurt for you to go see what happens in there, the power plays building up every day! I’ve been there myself Edna admitted, Bernie inviting me for lunch a couple of times, never for dinner and not to save money either, I’m positive! No, just wanting to show me off to those lechers, the aging ones still awake and as possessively hungry as ever, but only afternoons, and not much later… And of course everyone there remembering Rufus because he does stand out like a sore dick; what I mean to say is that over there they know us both all too well, that we belonged to Bernie, that he was our man, when nobody knows you, and you’re not shy, with a good nose, so why not drop in, listen to what’s said, more specifically to hear what’s not always said but hangs in the air like brutal electricity!?
Edna my dear McRae replied, I’ll do anything to help, but things might be out of my hands. I can’t go in like a gunslinger; let’s face it, that wouldn’t help us at all! So I must be discreet, but wait a minute, something else altogether now…. Will your extraordinary work with those kids come to a stop now the King is dead? How are you guys going to make it financially, can I chip in? A gesture that instantly registered with them, so untypical they thought, perhaps a case of hidden decency at last spilling over into an otherwise cold writing machine, deep private indifference beginning to melt, even lasting perhaps…
- Oh, man, you, too, now!? McRae, did you just call me My Dear?
- Sorry, I didn’t mean that, Sister…!
- I don’t see you blush either, and you’re not even black!
Thanks for asking, but no thanks! We don’t accept foreign aid McRae they both asserted in response to his offer; and not to worry, with no inheritors in sight it seems we’re the recipients of an automatic draw from Bernie’s estate. Set up like a perpetuating endowment ensuring the children’s complete rehabilitation, even Rufus’ salary and the upkeep of his car according to Bernie’s attorneys who they said swiftly reassured them calling both at home only hours before.
- Well alright, let’s do it, I’ll go in! What’s the name of the place?
- You’ve got to be kidding!
- I know, an outrageous joke, but the name works for them, the place full mostly all the time!
- I’ll say…
- I’ll drive you! I’ll leave you right around the nearby corner not to be seen...
- Not today, though! I have to file a report…
- Deal! Nothing I wouldn’t do for a noble Egyptian Queen or her Prince Consort…
Edna thereafter quietly urging McRae to speak with Ponzi’s head honcho, suggesting he tells him that Bernie sent him, to first pretend he doesn’t know what befell him, the little guy unwell not able to come in for a few days. And then ask if per chance a 12mm handgun had been found, missing from his apartment but needed by him to defend himself and maybe having dropped out of his coat’s pocket the last time he was there. Only to watch the guy’s reaction she bristled, hearing if the entire place falls silent, I mean what was he going to say, no guns here!? Must be the only damn place in America but in this case only to see his initial reaction as a weapon always accounts for everything. Unless of course the pasta boss attended the Actor’s Studio she went on, knowing a criminal mind like no other, all the tricks her father had been up to. ‘Doing’ slain innocence to perfection, nailing it down though not very likely the case of this Cafone who spent his life at the races and at Knickerbocker games when not preparing menus involving Spaghetti Arabbiata, Fettuccine Alfredo or some other Italian cuisine plum, Gorgonzola included but never the Valpolicella wine. Exhibiting a professional finesse and devotion not to be found in the rest of his heart, but wait, how could Edna possibly know all this? What did this Italian man ever do to her; and even so couldn’t he be some sort of victim, too? Or was she simply as biased as all the rest of us, jumping to swift conclusions like those cops did with Rufus or for that matter the entire society that she loves yet berates at every turn? So who’s perfect and who’s not, time the only commodity delivering the truth with Edna unlike McRae and as always incapable of not facing herself and what total honesty does to people like her. And even making a few missteps along the way her imperfections making a lot of sense if compensating for her father’s dirty little Chicago ways. A case of Daddy dearest: his rackets, extortion, murders, the syphilis from having indiscriminately screwed around during and after a gangster’s night out; after serving time making his way to Florida where he definitely didn’t deserve to survive for a while. But none of this causing her to become a Sister or Nun the way she could easily have turned out and something that without exception everyone is most grateful for and about. Even God presumably, if one of these days He can be found in these parts…
After they dropped McRae off Edna asked Rufus to take her home. She needed to be alone, lock herself inside her bedroom while the children stayed downstairs in her helpers’ stupendous hands. After passing her front door crossing another one now, a bedroom door that sometimes opened to heaven, sometimes to hell, like right now. Her tall, sleek lover driving off because he had to and even though he seemed invigorated by that last minute resolute approach of hers, the one that Bernie also had always admired her for. Edna getting out of the car only to give him a furtive kiss on the cheek before running into the house where on the second floor and without success she tried suppressing tears that suddenly flowed like never before. Thinking of Bernie, missing that little man too much, her house having been ‘his’ as well, giving him family, no side benefits other than seeing heart rending compassion at work. Something he’d probably missed out on when he was young, nobody ever putting an arm around shoulders for being way too close to the floor, making otherwise considerate folks gently back off. She could still hear him huffin’ and puffin’ coming up the porch complaining about everything most of the time, but first caressing ‘his’ children’s before under her disapproving eye handing them a bag of chips or a Kit-Kat bar. Junk or not kids grateful and happy but puzzled to meet someone looking like them smoking a cigar, getting scolded for it and immediately sent back out to the landing by Edna, but also pursued by their sudden scoffing and near jeering. A new kid with a tiny moustache, short friend of a really the tall black man with huge hands and a winning smile who also frequently visited them, before disappearing upstairs into Edna’s bedroom most of the time. Soon followed by funny noises coming forth from there the mere thought of which making the alabaster Queen in seconds break into a tearful smile reflecting on all of this, the Nano drops of time that rule us all. How Rufus had swept her off her feet, Bernie man enough to let it happen, how only half nostalgic she’d seen the last century roll out, still not too old to worry about the new one rolling in. How her father had been a coarse and brutal gangster, a bad apple in honest times, his ugly stuff since superseded by more insidious, electronic mores and crimes. The new collusions, the climate of generalized indifference McRae described, himself infected he feared and that she’d begun to fear in him, a man also with long-distance concerns, never close up or nearby. Product of a society where for a certain class reserve is de rigueur according to every bloody British theatre production or film she’d ever taken in. And also the way Rufus had been with her at first, a man so much more valiant now doing something about himself, every new day; with her still so full of fucking self-doubt. Despondent at times wondering if she was good enough, never appreciating or realizing how she not America seemed to be everyone’s wake-up call, but at the same time that America was her. Even when not for one moment feeling like some Marianne, some Joan of Arc or a real Pharaoh’s wife, just a vulnerable woman trying to care, blessed with a bawdy mind and a salty mouth, this risqué to the point of raunchiness sense of humor of hers. No, definitely no prude, no saint when it came to her sharp tongue and full lips, but in her timeless way ever so compassionate. A woman who never wanted children, scared for them before they were born, but had them anyway huddling in their wheelchairs downstairs and watching Sesame Street because she couldn’t turn away, turn them away, turn life away. Only overtaken by one very short man, shot dead by the indifferent both he himself and later of all people McRae aimed their lenses and arrows at. The Brit revealing his stiff upper lip the others resilience, all exposing how luck always also courts the evil it seems. Death tolls and bank accounts in perfect sequence thriving from Vladivostok to Lagos to Palm Springs by way of the willfully sightless, these everyday civilians quick to accuse them, tag them, identify them with reverberating consequence.
Both a melancholy and angry harvest of thoughts crossing Edna’s mind before she pushed her bedroom window and lit a Camel cigarette, the birds in the backyard silent and understanding somehow. Who wondered what happened never having seen her cry before except that one time when a special child of hers finally got transferred to a more permanent hospice. Bernie and Rufus away at work dealing with this ordeal dead alone, pretending to be upbeat and optimistic in front of the youngster, but guts turned into a hard, hard ball and ripping her apart. Finished now with her cigarette and composing herself compulsively starting to polish her nails black, applying her pharaonic make-up, eyebrows plucked and pencil drawn, liner making her already almond eyes look even bigger, cheeks ochre-blushed and lipstick her mouth smaller, deciding to go out alone tonight come hell or high water. Whereupon above her stilettos she selected a silver dress thinking there had been enough darkness for one week, deciding she didn’t want to run into anyone, not Rufus, not McRae, celebrating a private wake in a common space for an uncommon man. One who’d never stayed over and slept with her, but with her suddenly beginning to think that maybe he should have, that it would have been a good idea. That this murder would never have happened if on that fatal night Bernie had been upstairs with her. The very thought and moment provoking the antagonizing onset of her stupid, her totally unfair-to-herself guilt trip; something only a stiff Daiquiri could fix but a notion on which all churches thrive out there. It’s when she heard Bernie whispering from his new grave… You’ve done me no wrong my sweet, you wouldn’t let me enter your castle, cross the moat, but would it have killed you to give me a little blowjob and make me a so much more relaxed public speaker…
-Really, Bernie? Stop flirting like that, you’re dead now! A below job, now what on earth is that…?
-It’s harder than you think! I’m the midget with the rigid digit, a soixante-neuf is all I ask!
-I’m sorry, I don’t speak French! I’m from Papua-New Guinea…! What do you mean by it?
-A sixty-nine, my love, but only half of one!
-A 34 ½?
-That’s it! Right on the ditty! Right on the dot!
-Jeeze, I still don’t get it… But if I did, don’t mess with a Cannibal girl; I’ll chew your little head right off!
The time and moment she threw a wry smile at her own parody, but still didn’t know where she’d go and drink away her sorrow. Because that’s where without fail she headed, never taking her indecisions lightly intuitively getting ready to initiate deep mourning in a bar full of life, as yet unfound as yet unknown, but waiting for her doors open. Where she’d be surrounded by people not unlike her, hurting yet strangely hopeful, each with their own story to tell, their victories, defeats, their hatreds and forgiveness, but if honest also about their bouts of cowardice. Yesterday’s and tomorrow’s stories containing tears, jokes and hopes all to be relived with bad and old ones never interfering with unborn ones. Edna always unable to forget the poor and illegal Mexican mother, who, when looking at her special need child told her that the Aztecs elevated and venerated cross-eyed people, and that everybody today should treat her nearly blind child this way. Edna the first one to attempt it and for whom the Latina later would pray to all of her non-inferior pagan gods. Aztecs not always busy sacrificing the weak, on the contrary, building some of them up even praising a handicapped child in size looking like Bernie. Precocious creatures in different ways worthy of celebration, and why upon losing the one that she most admired Edna wanted to go out drinking rather than drown in her own tears. Ending up she didn’t know where, but in a place full of real music, not electronics and deafening, violent, metallic deep drums designed to drive one to frenzy not to contemplation and love. Afterwards never even remembering how she got home, if she’d had made love, whether she was pregnant or not, the face of a possibility father forever lost. Edna later that night in a manner making it a memorable one, all alone but speaking with half a dozen folks, some pleasant, some sad, some stupid jerks nothing to write home about, others definite material to take back to her place but still best wisely left behind. Her headache the next day proof that she’d done the right thing, this the pain taking away some of the other pain and now in need of Rufus more than ever, the peace, the quiet of him, the restart of a life perhaps...
I have 2 more novels up my sleeve: A dramatic love story about a man deliberately setting out to turn his wife against him because he desperately loves her and knows she deeply loves him. But she's 15 years younger and he foresees that the day he'll die will leave her heartbroken and so wishes to spare her this agony by slowly making her come to resent him, the ultimate act of love...
The other one a story on a sneak love theft during a large public calamity, called: Under Cover of Chaos! About a man in a warzone plotting to steal a neighbour's pretty wife by anonymously denouncing her husband, having him not only arrested but eventually executed. Then patiently console the greaving new widow, conquering her over time with her slowly coming to think Who is this wonderful man who by miracle came into my life? Until....
Graham Greene had no truck with so-called U.S. Imperialism, but toyed with Stalinism and loved Caribbean dictators suggesting they were all ultimately its fault. But he discracefully overlooked that if it weren't for the Yanks a swastika would be flying over Buckingham Palace till this day, America, no one else, saving good old Albion and ironically his career...!
Now that you're free, setting yourself free 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: they feel discriminated against and blame their economic problems on refugees, Gipsies and Jews as usual. And all this because of their own 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 timorous to take the most elemental personal decisions. Born procrastinators because before the slightest expression of independence or initiative was considered a disloyal, punishable seditious act. So that all this results from decades of overbearing authoritarian intimidation, yet these folks now free to move and learn within the EU, change Leipzig for Bonn, Krakow for London, Budapest for Malaga, improve skills and build confidence then move back home. But wait, doesn't this take a major personal decision...?
Everything making the case not for reverse discrimination and ugly street bravado, but for showing real balls!
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 3 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 livelyanecdote only to say that yes self-deprecation and humility are fine, but self-humiliation not so much.
Stream of consciousness doesn't get to the point because all too often there isn't one, when real rivers have a destination and a destiny
Diderot, my kind of guy
Mallarmé was ill armed but well spoken
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, gay, obnoxious and short with indisputable writing talent, but managing to market himself to the literary establishment for being 'repugnant yet despite everything.... dazzling' ! With some of his life story true, but an awful lot of it brutally fantasized whereby lying beautifully becomes something that we must admire?
For gays don't go to sea to be locked up with 40 straight guys aboard a ship for weeks on end, they much rather become Christian Brothers and Midget League hockey coaches so that stealing from and blowing sailors in Barcelona probably is a tall story. Cab drivers maybe, as real sailors will massively frequent Putas, not Putos like him.
Yet unsurprisingly Cocteau and Sartre fell for his lines, big time!
(The following from my Twitter Account in response to a massively overwritten John Gray critique on Genet's life:)
On Vagabondage and Literary Chic
‘By embracing his own evil he would become an authentic individual’: Who? Jean Genet? Or Adolf Hitler?
‘ Harsh Gay Virility = Pride’ or Jean Genet, Marquis de Sade and Sacher-Masoch all rolled into one?
'Crime erotic to him': How to picture this? He got a hard-on when pulling off a heist? But then how did he get through the door?
‘To be is to be perceived' , but mainly applying to attention seekers like professional (literary) contrarians, non-conformist shit-disturbers (literally), and other con men.
‘Without disapproval he is nothing', so making sure that black is red, wet is dry, hot is cold, evil is good, betrayal not only ecstasy but supreme honesty, all the while claiming that no child is innocent and wicked like him so a good excuse not to have to take responsibility... All of this appealing by appalling, a technique perfected by Celine during the same years, one whose flame of infamy still burns all too bright.
And in Genet's case morphs into
'Short, clever, ugly, wronged, voluntarily cruel, but adorable!'
No wonder Sartre loved this bird!
On Relentless 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 that it has a political system modelled on the same phenomenon. With a single-column, uniform, straight-lined, top-down hierarchy and accompanying thought-mould constantly copying its own linearity, making everything is always written in stone.
With none of this precisely creating binary happiness as individual freedoms are made 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 and bits of noble history. But then this diety addiction was followed by a diet of staged royalty 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 that is if they even existed.
And oh yes, of course, then there's modern American drama as in Long Day's Journey, the Salesman,Who's Afraid Of, Streetcar 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, I'm getting pretty tired of this? At this point even postmodernists finding emptiness everywhere, because they are empty as someone once wrote.
For 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 not neurotic universality and if not to the classics or constant class conflict at least to classier more uplifting, less depressing, totally surprising and revealing, truly entertaining staged rites.
BUT HOW TO SNARE THIS HARE?
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 arealman should have had syphilis and the Légion d'Honneur, though not necessarily in that order. WhileBrecht,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. As if dragging a ladder up Mt. Everest, first placing then climbing it on its summit makes you the highesthuman. Oh, and never mind balloonists, austronauts and airline pilots because you made that ladder yourself... The exact same way that you constructed your ego....
What's In A Name?
Of course Agatha Christie could never hide from me that Hercule Poirot was not a Belgian, but a crafty overdressed Englishman from Bristol named Harry Leek. And neither could Florence Cocketoo, changing her name to Nightingale to give her noble pursuit more luster. Or else that Thom Chapman, or was it Thom Guybloke, became the much romanticized Larry of Araby...!?
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.
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 would be more to the point, but he still managed to create 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 these and other health problems to preserve his
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 much 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 it in Kafka's dreamy eyes exercised an authority far
beyond its real scope. Yes, the Prague Castle is as innocent as medieval castles on Spanish hill tops, in particular those high coastal fortifications and
watch towers in Andalusia constructed to keep exactly who out, as the only invaders up till then had been the Moors themselves!?
Part of some 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 some wily, incidental
Barbary Coast pirates or some other invader naval force. So that these castles
were not what they were cracked up to be, but more part of someone's lively
fantasy just like in Kafka's case.
Still, shades of
combatting windmills, 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 ever was!
Just found out that good old Sam Beckett, the Buster Keaton of Anglosphere literature, was a bit of a scrounger making 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 TempsPerdu in that all things remembered are in the past, making this a tautology. In Search of LostTime 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’sDeath 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. But then Volodya 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 so much like Vivaldi, his contemporary. Who stole from who, guys, and by what conduit? Some inter-church event?
O, the day the Valkyries will place me next to Sergei Rachmaninoff in Walhalla
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 that 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 and beauty 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 holds his entrance wide open 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 an 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 particular 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!
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 Forwards
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 forwards at least 10 years to immediately reverse from there, 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 even 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 else to go. For the grand irony is that he, like Ionesco in The Bald Soprano, 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
Overcompensating 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 ofFlaw 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?
- 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 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.
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
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 vanished long ago. Conformity and nostalgia a compulsive attraction, or is the thrill of doing something significant even in theory, too strong for small minds?(Moravia/Bertolucci, the film)
- 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)
Man should neither live
like mole afraid
nor as someone’s slave
‘ been given
Only taming himself
by feeding not stealing his other,
raging at injustice
and at day’s end,
any held out
(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!
Between two orders
of rotten Sushi
Aung San Suu Kyi
Auld Lang Syne
in shoddy local Sake
New Year's Eve's
slow Burmese death
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!)
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
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?
- 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 equates 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)
* * * * * * *
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...!)