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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 humour, its emotional depth

 

  

   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.

 

August 2018: Welcome to Anthony Steyning's homepage. ===========================================

 

Literary Fiction & Critical Non-Fiction Lab

 

anthonysteyning59@gmail.com

 

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

(Bogus XVIII)

 

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And don't forget my entertaining blog

at

    www.steyning.wordpress.com   

 

 

Ipso Facto?

Abso Lutely!

 

 

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 A Passion

 

I was busy explaining to a slow friend of mine how the 'inspired' and 'possessed', but probably epilectic Hildegard von Bingen couldn't possibly be Crosby's German love child when I shouted  'I don't believe it, that man writes like his sofa!', later blaming my small outburst on the premature evaporation of my drink. A writer I know was interviewed from his own living room on Twittish Television, the thing 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The internet’s different; no comfortable, outdated stuff should clutter it.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 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

                                                

Amsterdam's Hegeraad Café. A. Steyning in black sombrero & white scarf & rapt APPLICANT prime suspect: obviously waiting for Godot... to crash. Or is that Leni Riefenstahl up there? Singing her immortal I'm forever blowing Goebbels? (Read Truth & Lies)

 

 

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Howler in Caracas

(How courage met conviction)

Did you notice how at the slightest pop of a drone the fearless military parade in front of Maduro fled the wrong way, not towards him and his spotlessly attired, well-fed companions on the dais? Protecting them all with the might of their heels....

 

 

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Recent Revisions & Additions

 

 

I wrote this Fore Play to my Charlie's Not Home Much Anymore:

 

- Lord!?

- Yes, yes, what is it?

- Lord, I have bad news!

- Well, what is it?

- It seems, m'Lud, that we have intelligence on earth!

- Oh, SHIT! How did that happen?

- I don't know, m'Lud! An accident....

- So now what?

- I don't know, m'Lud! Search for an answer... meantime... at least pretend you care!

- Why?

- Or they'll fear that you set them up!

- No. I didn't. I have better things to do! You just said it, it was accident! So next time, let's be more careful!

- Next time, m'Lud?

- And only if these prove that they're worth it...

- It doesn't look that way! Too many morons and arseholes!

- So, then why do I have to pretend anything?

- I know, it's disconcerting! They even believe that prayer and sucking up to you fixes everything...

- No matter what I do, or do not do? I might as well not exist...

- You might as well, m'Lud! But let them pretend that you do, just in case...

- In case of what? This is getting very confusing! I had more fun making tigers and spiders and elephants!

- I do love those stripes you used, m'Lud...

- Don't be a fool, all I did was copy my wallpaper!

 

 

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But By Friday He Was Dead

 

 

I just completed my But by Friday he was Dead (Subtitle: McRae's Journey) and need help to protect my copy and film rights before the work gets placed on both sides of the Atlantic. It's a 153 page XXI Century novella narrating the deadly adventure of 3 rebellious but priceless Americans who run into McRae, a visiting U.K. foreign correspondent.

Like cool, sparkling water on a hot day this riveting read refreshes and is far more than a story about New York. The work is a stylish microcosm of contemporary life; it offers juicy character analysis followed by high voltage intrigue and the clash of cultures. What starts out as an entertaining Manhattan tale with mostly tongue-in-cheek subversive political overtones slowly slides into a thriller to kill for. Without swamping the reader it presents small but electrifying historical nuggets with deadpan humour!

 

This is tragicomedy at its very best!

Here's loaded, pivotal chapter VI to give you a pre-taste:

 

 

 

VI

 

 

 

As always Rufus dropped Bernie off at home that day. If the limo man got lucky he’d join Edna in the Bronx later on that night, taking command of his own sweet time. The tiny fart had been busy with a long, late and loaded lunch but still made a pile of money and finally sat down in a space his own, the sphere where sanity prevailed. No boots tonight he kicked off his hated platform shoes feeling tired but happy, terrific Edna’s dinner the other night as was meeting up with this McRae guy again. The food and drinks were out of this world, her nuclear tits over a super slim waist in overwhelming shape, his feelings for her, errr, the both of her, becoming deeper and deeper. So much so that the thought crossed his mind to invite her to the Met next week, take in an Opera at the Lincoln Center so she, tall, could doll up and he despite his large head and tiny body would look super smart next to her, something like the Kissingers gone ape. He’d first have to check what lyrical masterpiece was up, which lead singers performed in what roles, maybe something by Verdi, maybe Puccini, if they were lucky and he was still alive catching Pavarotti in Turandot. Edna Bernie’s unwilling Princess, he winning her by answering the three compulsory riddles of the story line; too damn bad she already knew his name so that in theory she could execute him as the plot goes… Nessun Dorma my ass, he thought grinning at his own audacious metaphor, they can None Shall Sleep and stay up all they want but one night I’ll Vincerò, vanquish her… All of which becomes a tantalizing possibility particularly in the fall, the start of the cultural, social show-off and forbidden love season for New York's tuxedo mob. And this new McRae guy a sweetheart who understood everything, not obtrusive, one he could use one day, always curious how others especially outsiders felt about him, his ideas, his place in a volatile society, run by giants, some nasty, some good, but always outsized.

 

For Bernie craved style and elegance. It’s clear to see where all this came from given his looks and nearly always finding himself at the receiving end of rather hurtful ones. He didn’t have many friends, mostly associates, so it would be good for him to make a new one, especially a Brit, an outsider. As for Edna, he knew how she’d cleverly set him up playing on his urges while lining him up with Rufus’s aims, but he forgave her, totally and truly convinced her motives were pure, but he’d still love to get into her pants. And he took it that this encounter with McRae was mere coincidence… but that it could still turn out to be a useful one. Funny how things unfold though, with her picking up this newspaper dude in a hip hop no ragtime dive, not far from where the man with the UK mouth apparently holed out, explaining to them that watching and reporting on a cherished game one’s got to remain neutral, live accordingly, but set foot in the locker room if given half a chance. Which he’d done, brilliantly, running into Edna, into himself, into Rufus, his driver and confidant, for let’s face it… where was this guy going to find better placed originals? The little man talking to himself, standing tippy toed in front of his mirror now, shoes kicked a little farther out behind his couch and busy looking at someone with money to spare, able to do anything and everything, needlessly wealthy among the heedless even wealthier than him, that wasn’t the point, the point was what else to do with his ridiculous existence, wrought by fate, placed in a worthless body, condemned from the start. No, he wasn’t bitter per sé, things could have been worse like living meaninglessly in the middle of nowhere, say in Joisy where Olive Oyl is Popeye’s goil and birds don’t chirp but boids choip, married to a plain wife with two fat kids, together running a hardware store from 9 to 9. Not to forget that shitty back garden, stupid neighbors and a horny cat barfing hair balls or bringing home dead sparrows and mice then beg to get congratulated, the cat that is, not the fictitious wife...

                                                                                                                                  

And why he wondered what daily life was like where this McRae came from, his Rock right across the strait from that other high peak south of Tangiers, together forming Hercules’ Pillars of renown. Beside this demi-god’s cave on the African side creating the magnificent doorway between a cold and grey Atlantic and a Mediterranean as warm and azure as the earth’s waters come. The place where on the other side Berber tribes dance and the Rif Range starts leading up to the even higher Atlas Mountains. Both rising and every day watching over these historically rich and turbulent bodies, way beyond nearby Trocadero Island of military lore only the greater ocean leading to the edge of the world. A canyon of water, earth and sky where the short-toed snake-eagle flies over trekking dolphins and killer whales, over giant floating man-o-wars, over Brits, their fleet, Trafalgar, Jebal Tarik, Gibraltar, Franco’s thorn in the eye meaning Tarik’s Mountain. Bernie reading about the spot, here, there, not a hell of lot, but enough to know it is the place from where the Moors took on Christendom in 711 AD conquering Andalusia then losing it until they tried again in Manhattan on 9/11 and no small numerological coincidence.

 

Bernie realizing it was the WWII spy nest from where the much vaunted Goldeneye operation was launched, sabotaging German U-boats threatening British shipping and supply lines. A little later where from the Allied southern headquarters Eisenhower directed the fight against the Axis and Vichy France, invading Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers with a little bit of help from Humphrey Bogart at Rick’s Café as we soon found out. But a war exposing mankind’s greatest weakness, the grand irony that despite 30.000 years of human progress over the Neanderthals, this didn’t bring us terribly far. Still, a location described by some as the vulva of the Old World’s Mediterranean womb that in no way resembled the New World’s erect and throbbing phallus better known as the Big Apple’s Manhattan. Even though the Gibraltar Strait by its very role is somewhat akin to the New York Narrows, but to situate it even better the Rock also nothing like Rikers Island, this heartbreak hotel, grand slammer and barbed carpet underneath which an affluent nation sweeps its human morsels, no shining light and no bargain basement.

                                                                                                   

Bernie then stepped away from the mirror guessing he wouldn’t want to eat again, still bloated after his loaded lunch with Ponzi’s inmates, Ponzi’s lifers, arguing loudly and drunkenly with them that afternoon. The hour he advanced his theory that unlike the most un-Zen-like wartime Jap, arrogant even in defeat, Dostoyevsky’s cloak and dagger, now polonium descendants convert their bottomless inferiority complex into shallow aggression. And only because borders and nations exist, frontiers not only an aberration but ugly scar tissue, the stretch-marks of history’s long ethnic pregnancies over time having to fade or converge into one magnificent landscape, a few centuries at most in order to finally create some sort of world peace. In the end Sharing the aim, not conquest, he claimed! Even though it goes against the grain of our modern geo-culture, according to Bernie’s law the current version of life, but also the moment he got laughed off the table. By people swearing by no taxes, no public spending, open markets, no regulations or enforcement yet the first to call the cops and fire fighters after their walled mansions get invaded and pillaged, going up in flames. In other words, in favor of fences, barriers, borders, armies, but only when it suits them.

 

 

- C’mon Bernie, get real! No national frontiers? That’s Middle-Ages stuff! City States all over again, forget it, man…?!

- And why not? No more missiles, no more nuclear warheads, all that borders are good for! Modernity totally stinks sometimes…

-But what about the stampede? Without borders the swarm just pouring in… Something’s got to stop those bastards!

- I don’t know! People always love where they come from but get betrayed by indecent rulers. Places that are badly in need of curing to be put under some sort of protective tutelage, one day soon!

- Hear, hear, now we’re talking Bernie Baby! Neo-colonialism here we come!

- No, you guys! Not for these to get plundered all over again, but shown better ways and better days by way of some sort of Marshall plan to undo all the murder and mayhem, people crawling through the desert, swimming across the Rio Grande…

- Well, be damned, and here we thought… Whatever… but ever since kindergarten… SHARING’s the word we most definitely despise…

- Turning you into febrile, pinstriped whores!

-  Really, Bernie? And you… any different? Or suddenly some kinda closet Commie?

- Life inside the pyramid, the inside trade, the dummy corps, the laundering, the tax evasion machinations…. I know all your slimy little deals!

- Don’t ruin the party, boy, or the Empire’ll strike right back!

                                                                 

That was Wednesday, he was going to bring up his nations notion with McRae, just the guy to test it with, strategically schooled and all that, no harm done, no harm meant. Something to develop as a theory by an ordinary citizen he thought, the two of them bachelors in search of one big family surely not the only or the first ones. After two additional late Bourbons as an advance on next morning’s hangover plus an unplanned almost automatic bagel with cream cheese but no lox our man Bernie suddenly getting the urge to call his newest, his latest, his British best friend. Speak to him, seek his comfort still hurting from having been branded a communist and a traitor, and all this because he feels freedom must be distributed fairly and justly when all it does is get abused, even in a land called of the Free and by the only sometimes Brave…

 

 

-One day getting back from the crapper those bastards even put a Baby seat-booster on my chair! All for the sick fun of it…

 

Producing this anger in him, but on an even deeper level the indignant American sensing full well that it’s not enough to be called free, but a matter of exhibiting profound defensive courage by everyone and why he spoke out so frequently against any kind of abuse. Jumping up and down now, in his socks and wildly gesticulating after he put his phone on loudspeaker to free his hands and as a point in question suddenly voicing that he never understood why Russia chose to be America’s mortal enemy. Except that it badly needed one and that in a perverse way this was some sort of compliment. Or could this be any nation, almost anyone by a government whose moral compass soon to be on disgusting display in Syria and eastern Ukraine? The reason why Bernie took the Serf as his example, at this point feeling no pain himself saying he didn’t want to single out anyone, but… Look at them, the boozing, hostile Slav with their slaves-of-slaves women of the ever vacant eyes. Eyes staring, staring never sparkling, with everyone there accepting to be treated miserably as long as it’s in the name of the Motherland; the hard to get rid of feudal illusions extended every generation into yet another three. The fear to be oneself, to be one’s nation; hell he said, the Volga Mongol should stop all this fake anger when life’s already so damn precarious. All this unenlightened Nineteenth century stuff so savagely outdated and every one of them so much better off if only they named themselves Servant, SERVANT TO NO ONE! Specifically at home, sooner than later marching on the Kremlin and its Silos of Death, instead of believing all the bullshit they’re fed and no longer act as if they have no private only collective guts. When all they have to do is shake it, wake it, Boris, Igor, Tamara my love!   

 

But then again let’s be honest Bernie mused, to a degree we all live in small worlds, occupy singular clouds pulled by invisible strings rightly or wrongly defending them, which is fine as long as these evaporate after we’re done and damn well gone. To this adding his mantra that nothing is static in the universe, but what lots of societies through people’s goddamn stodginess and self-fulfilling fears don’t live up to.  In this way keeping McRae on the phone for nearly an hour, almost as if he had a premonition that this was his last hoorah. Telling him what he thought about people half a world away acting like those heartless street thugs he knew worried his foreign friend; a people not praying and swaying forever banging their head against the wall only because it feels so good once they stop. Never having been fully free or ready to amount to something by showing healthy balls, only sickly swollen ones! In this particular case walk Red Square without armed parades like the Brits do Trafalgar and Yanks their Fifth or Pennsylvania Avenue, triumphant, confident, unafraid some force will come and take it all away. In this fashion Bernie again airing his view that there can only be total freedom unless a person’s private independence has taken place. No Nanny, no Big Brother, everything a matter of maturity and enough self-confidence to fight a State that itself became the biggest criminal gang in town. Led by a ridiculous little Supremo, his missiles his multiple erections but at the same time one who lines his pockets and fills other cavities while fake-messianically wrapping himself in his flag. A person whose image by now was well burnt into Bernie’s psyche for the obsession that he had become! Then again to a degree we’re all obsessed, fixated, the problem perhaps lying with those who are never troubled and unwilling to make a move. Like the man of the extremely uneventful childhood, who when asked if he had any brothers or sisters looking away pensively and saying: I don't remember...!

 

-McRae, you’re smart, you’re paid to be observant, did you notice that Proto-Slav had his face… how to describe it… Mongolized!? I swear to you, it’s what he did!

- Pulling a Joan Rivers?

- Yeah, but trying to look like Genghis Khan!

- Him and Joan, both actors, both inventions…no longer able to smile!        

-First the Botox, then the rain of body parts, left, right, south, west, falling from the sky… At least her shots across the bow were funny… Remember the one about Nancy Reagan’s knees staying together longer than the Mills Brothers?

-It won’t last…

-Nothing does, but meantime…

-Anyone thrown the keys of a kingdom turns that way. Perhaps even you and I…

-What I’m saying is that boisterous apathy’s the problem! People not questioning, not seeing, TRUSTING! It frightens me! I don’t want it to happen here!

-Like Lieber Onkel Wulf, Noel Coward’s Swine of the Rhine, not only insane, immoral and tragically stupid, but ADMIRED! And yet… and yet… all of it part of the miracle …!

-The miracle of life? What miracle!? Look at me for Chris sake…                                     

The point at which Bernie became truly unstoppable, getting on his high horse heating up big time, putting his finger on the problems with a nation of appalling pettiness constantly pointing its wicked guns at him, at all of us; its first lunatic sentiment and law he said, the getting furious and mortally offended by anyone refusing to be intimidated by it!

 

-Don’t you see how big we are? Aren’t you afraid? Aha, you’re scared of us… aren’t you?!

 

Put them up, put them up, pure Wizard of Oz he spoke, the kind of childlike logic making not only Aristotle cry but leading directly to perennial obstruction; not manufacturing anything of note seduction never the case and so never seen singing and dancing down yellow brick road. Instead masters of insidious, brutal corruption and the insulting BS Big-Talk, the eternal us v. them bit, the feeding of a sterile victim culture, nothing grey, nothing graded, no life in between, no fun, no joy, no Laurel and Hardy, no Buster Keaton, no Donald Duck necktie, forever that coalition of one. Fostering the perfect and unending paranoia that the only reason others are free and prosperous is not because they can and want to, but to put ‘us’ down. Followed of course by the brutal denial of this self-infliction, the eternal shameless denial of everything; denial, Bernie mimed, what’s that? Oh yeah, a river in Egypt, the way the joke goes. And ah yes, do tell me more about a leader who with tears in his eyes seeks glory in confrontation, one who’s so busy being ‘big’ shooting mosquitos with bazookas… that he forgets to be great. Plus that one can't be vicious and smart at the same time...

 

McRae knew all this of course; it was common knowledge yet for the international community something hard to deal with nonstop. So he was quite happy to let Bernie burst loose, unable to let go until he’d run out of breath. Not cutting him off deciding to let him hang it all out to get a better feel about what was eating Americans in a nation judged by some to be in a free-fall. But still, the only way out sometimes is to dissect the enemy and why McRae decided to let an intelligent man like Bernie spit it all out…. But how could this guy be great McRae, Bernie asked? Incapable of accepting the absolute truth of Nothing’s Everything, and therefore Nobody’s Everything despite the directed goose steps and under all those ridiculously blown up uniform hats!? This man a mask deaf to Rachmaninoff but not to generals helping him rule by crime, even when offering his people sans foreplay the occasional act of harsh love! An unremarkable sort handed remarkable powers Bernie said, for good measure adding… One who doesn’t know mountains and oceans still come and go…. the only side of life that deserves our awe.

 

Bernie so raging on and on, nailing it down lowering his voice to sandpaper roughness trying to give his argument more weight as already short and speaking in a pip-squeak voice just doesn’t pass muster, not here, not anywhere, not now. For while he was truly indignant he was also out to impress a foreign correspondent by saying Russia and Prussia had some of the world’s stupidest heads of state in Czar Nicholas II and Kaiser Wilhelm II, who as it turned out were distantly related in the way that idiots always are. Both of them big-time losers toying with disastrous, mindless wars, one with Japan the other with the rest of the world. And both duly removed of course, in each case the II surely standing for Second Rate and how the XXth century got off to that awful start, the stage set for all that better executed outright evil still to come… It was his way to play up to McRae wanting to prove that he’s no flunky, no clueless citizen B, one who knows the difference between Snoopy and Sartre, grasping human nature and understanding what’s at play, everywhere not just in the USA! According to him that age old case of not being the smartest or biggest choosing to be the cruelest to be avoided at all cost; the textbook but primal approach to success of a lousy, unsustainable sort... And a people that sets itself up that way, well, their own bloody fault, for tolerating a state where it’s strictly forbidden to hope! For being dishonest and willfully ignore how to stand up to the obvious, something this big hearted little fellow would not tolerate in anyone and always fought off. Even when realizing that sometimes it’s impossible to fight the ugly without... even more ugliness!

 

Bernie became super obstinate at this point, a dwarf without a sousaphone or marching bugle corps behind him but still busy beating a large drum in defense of America. Its way of life which he saw as becoming endangered through the ignorance of home-grown morons and assholes but at the same time sensing that in the end all the little guys could save it, control a huge national problem with their numbers, their hearts and right minds. But then just as abruptly as the instant he launched his tirade his tone turned most tender for he truly loved his nation open borders or not, only insisting it is great for all before suddenly and sentimentally reflecting… No, so much better a deeply humble but tough leader blessed with innate respect, a thoroughly decent not a vulgar man or woman who on a good day and almost as a tour guide will simply point away and say… Look folks… That’s our Capitol, close to where my little Oval Office is. The place next to the Ellipse Green where I declare as an act of treason punishable by death only the getting served Broccoli and where below or on my desk I occasionally cheat on my loud-mouth spouse! Ah, the absolute frankness, the total honesty, the humility of it all! And yes, the independence of it, the entire planet oval or an ellipse the kind of independence that I’m talking about Bernie said, starting to repeat himself, on a long roll while getting more and more corked and slurring his words, claiming again that absolutely nothing is straight in the Universe, that there are no square trees, that all things and everything must bend. Then ending his argument by insisting a Potentate’s not free, even when taller… smaller than him; a gilded-cage hostage who has as many sleepless nights as everyone else! A prisoner not only of his own acts, but of those keeping him on his high ledge until they have no more use for him, it so often turning out that when all is said and done he never was the strongest but the useful weakest of a rotten bunch! One who better has his own drinks and doorknobs double-checked… poison his State’s witches’ brew, the product of centuries’ worth of sinister art!   

 

 

- Most of the time prisoners are guilty as hell, but not us! Right, McRae!? You understand that, don’t you? We the innocents of small bodies, you from Gibraltar, and me...well, you’ve seen me, look at me!

- I escaped…                                                                                                            

- Because you wanted to and could, and only ONCE! But I have to escape EVERY FUCKING HOUR OF EVERY FUCKING DAY, not from my mind but from this goddamn body of mine…!

- Sorry, Bernie, I do apologize. I should have understood…

- As poor Kermit the frog sings it… It’s not easy being green! In my case people not taking me as a complete man, because of my size! I’m not green but I might as well be….

- Idiots, Bernie, idiots! I could cry…

- I know I do… But I didn’t quite expect YOU to…

- Only the smart ones know how to cry, Bernie!

- True enough... Unless they fake that, too! Everything can be faked, but no heart no sorrow is what I concluded a long, long time ago!

- Your sorrow’s mine, Bernie, honestly…!

-Honestly?                                                                                             

 

But following that lengthy phone call and by Friday he was dead, or set free depending on one’s point of view, a single bullet in his head, his ear not chewed off by a vicious Dali Dada lobster phone. Not having sensed how much he’d scared some of his contemporaries, those Finance boys, this short rabble-rouser at his deepest level unwilling to conform, a loner, always rejected, justifiably or not. Contrary to those who do the opposite, kill to belong, kill to conform, strongly believing in what probably doesn’t even exist, some kind of compulsion inside an abstraction. Unless this time it involved the mere thrill of committing a grave, a craven act on a common little shit-disturber, an agitator, hated, the unspoken, the troublesome adversary who ratted on and rattled deluded ambition and wealth’s wet dreams. Behind his back calling him TLBS, Tiny Little Big Shit, justification enough to one day pull the plug on him. That day arriving on top of an already feverish addiction to work fast, to work well timed, perhaps not calling on some Mack the Knife or Stagger Lee but on a Pasta Chef doing the cooking for them, with no qualms about tearing the latter down, block his savings, take away his business should he take off or otherwise refuse to play their dark and hidden game…

                                                                 

Come on up, Bernie had shouted into a house phone installed to fit his height, in a luxury pad situated on the floor at the highest elevator button his outstretched arm over pointed toes could reach, riding it alone arriving home late at night. Surprised by the unannounced visit of his Neapolitan pal and best betting buddy who owed him some dough, but what a class act, taking the trouble to bring it over, though he didn’t quite recall having told him where he lived. But it’s the instinct of prey to feel it coming, woe begun! And what really strikes in nature is prey never fighting back! No anger, no indignation, only relative silence, something that can only be described as unbearable equanimity, this matter of acquiesced brutality also common in parts of the human world. Like watching the Orca toss and swallow the Seal, the Lion jump not hump the Zebra going straight for the jugular, or the Crocodile attack the river-crossing Gnu, the Eagle the scurrying Groundhog, the Cobra the Rabbit, all victims expressionless, obedient in the face of fate, small proprietors of an incomprehensible sense of submission and lassitude…. But is it really normal to go gentle into that not so good night?  Bernie also instinctively recognizing his moment had come at the hands of a friend, subconsciously accepting it, never thinking of fighting back, unhesitatingly asking him to sit down, offering him a drink, all the fear and apprehension on the killer’s side, on the killer’s face.  But again, should there not be a limit to such exquisite accommodation? And yet it happens all the time, McRae another such case, and it wouldn’t have much to do with where he came from or the way in which he was raised, but by way of

a profound sense of personal stoicism. Or laconism, that height of civility, a display of impeccable manners showing one has evolved, in the end and even while getting murdered…. imposing an understated superiority!

 

-Touché! I say! The world would admiringly say!

 

And whereby finally understanding this one day all sons-of-bitches cease to be what they are! Unless of course to them the mere grasp of things still won’t pay them quite enough! The tragic most likely scenario as recidivists never take a break trying to give themselves a break and why they go by a name tag like a shame tag….

            

 

And here's my very first Internet critique:

 

I should confess this book 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 changes that happen throughout the book.

signed Christina Wolf

 

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

 

Some lady reviewer in overwhelming need of hero-worship one hundred years on enthusiastically writes that Virginia Woolf, masterfully gave.... meaning to the unfathomable!

Really? Including to those millions of WWI deaths she must have been aware of and despite known to be a disturbed, self-absorbed snob without an ounce of empathy?

Wow!

 

I much prefer Christina Wolf, see above..

 

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

 

Just found out that dear old Sam Beckett, the Buster Keaton of Anglo literature, was a bit of a scrounger which made 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 a 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.’ “

 

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

 

 

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

 

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.

 

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

 

Oh, to be buried in Walhalla next to Sergei Rachmaninoff...

 

 

I juxtapose to expose

 

 

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

 

Debussy was a French modernist composer, Depussy the lover grabbing him until he was Satie'sfied

 

Pinker is no Spengler, their odeurs clash

 

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 tranlate 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 that not Communism but Facebook & Twitter represent 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

 

 

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?

 

Overheard: An innocent question to a 97 year old man in an old folks home:

Sir, what these days is your favourite pastime?

Replied to with the delightful Jewish 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

 

Jean-Paul Satyr

 

All Polanski wanted to do was screw someone his own size

(From Jekyll & Hyde to Ejeculate & Hide)

 

Don Quijote de la Mancha translates loosely into Don Quijote, the Spotted Guy. Then again William Shakespeare is no Guillermo Lanzarote, so let's just leave them 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 common-sense intelligence based, then amorality is nothing more than dark stupidity

 

absolute leaders 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'll have a Ginger Male, she admitted, although I'll settle for 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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 It is 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)

 

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!

 

Middle East: And Aristoteles Wept

 

- 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?

- Couldn't kill her..!

- Cage her...?

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

-  Sonuvabitch!

 

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 morning swim. And where they meet after Frankie rises earlier, the way parents always seem to, afterwards having breakfast together, chatting, beefing, reminisce. The place from where the young man’s eyes never fail to drift towards northern Africa, beyond the azure, and 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 in this 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 colour of old blood and new, like its flag, its history, its dances, its afternoon, summer bullfights, yet this morning distant fishing boats quickly pulling in their bobbing nets, seagulls crying, warning each other, preparing for strong shears and gusts, and all the anchored oil tankers off the Rock solid but bucking nervously on their chains, agitated, like the young man’s mind. Not necessarily by those dark clouds rising on the horizon, it wasn’t the first time he had seen them, or his dog running wild and excited, chasing balls of flying dust, but because his father Frankie hadn’t come home last night and might have gone straight to the beach, take his ritual swim and wash off his nocturnal sins, at least it’s what he hoped.

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, and before letting himself drift over shallow submerged rocks so as not to get cut and ripped. Then step out, heaving himself out of the sea to let his wobbly legs carry him onto the shore. 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 rising, 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, the 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 froth already in distress, for Frankie was there all right and invisible to the few people walking alongside the beach, 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, 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 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, and for the masses, but what about the links between a father and son? No not between him and 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 the 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… the brain is like a face, pretty, ugly, elongated or puffed, skin marked or not, loose or tight, of colour indistinct, wrinkles deep, nose pointed, dull, long, short, chin double or tight, lips large, thin, ears flat, wide, eyes oblique, dark, myopic, below brows bushy, frown sudden, smile furtive, muscles of laughter relaxed, uncertain or fake, cheeks hollow, teeth not stained, but uneven,  gums pink, jaw sunk, suddenly jutted in ways undefined, hair patched, black, brown, blond on grey turf, memory inscribed long ago, opinions caked with acts to match, whether it is night or day, dry or wet, hot or cold?

Or more like a landscape, a voyage in it, through it, on it, in which case desert, forest, swamp, plain, mountain range, ocean, beach, ice field, a river, a lake?

 

Would it help navigating our fellow, our selves, circumventing calamity, heartbreak?

 

 

 

-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.

 

- In his hand, close to his mouth, he held something that looked like a smoking turd, but must have been a Havana

 

- 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.

 

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

-And A Reminder To The Haughty!

Never forget, Ma’am, sitting down at dinner, in your splendid gown, adorned with your finest jewels, that the waiter's balls, however-well-covered, dangle only 23.5 cm from your face.

- Now, may I have your over-reaction!?

 

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

 

       And then this small bed-time 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...

 

- 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 antilopes, 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

 

Read my 1 Act tragi comedy Charlie's Not Home Much Anymore! It's up under Plays, the objective to electrify. A blaze! Jake has tracked down elderly Charlie, suspecting him of horrible war crimes. He uses every trick in the book, including playing on the other’s evident loneliness and trying to speak and joke like him to gain his confidence. All of this to have the fugitive come clean without offering him any redemption or reward. Old Charlie’s been on the run all his life and uses every cunning device, speaking evasive nonsense and telling banal jokes to say absolutely nothing and in the first person singular at least, deny everything. What evolves is a hyper modern war of wit and linguistic acrobatics, both funny and immensely serious.

 

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

And

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

 

After the tourist season rolled by the natives would reclaim their rustic watering hole; Bergen a pretty village on the coast where everyone knew everyone. Which could be an oppression worse than the one intrepid tourism imposed, in summer, crowding roads! For is it good that in winter these folks can tell exactly who’s entering the establishment, at precisely what time, in the way the old door knob gets turned and the frontdoor gets pushed open, then closed? Hesitatingly, firmly, softly, or impatiently, with some sort of care or aggressive abandon, followed by the immediate certainty which anecdote will again be told, out of a collection of only six or seven, heard or overheard a hundred fold! Beforehand also knowing which drink will get ordered and imbibed, by whom, the tired waiter bringing the bill in the same amount, paid with the same reluctance precisely two hours on. In spring the invading masses welcomed back with predictable relief, a certain gratefulness prevailing, despite their foreign tongues, the loudness and the shouting clothing. Or would one want to 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?!

 

                    Confessions of a Feathered Friend

 

Here I am, sitting on the roof of collected notions, a construction put up over centuries by people wanting so badly to be wanted, that for lack of better, they invented someone doing just that. Then attempt making this invisible presence not only visible but permanent, by building this monstrosity, as if it changes anything. And only because sitting outside, on the grass, playing the same game, cannot be passed on, they think, although this would be so much more... genuine.

I landed on the parapet of what feels more like a gaol than a place of inspiration and 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 one of my own flights of fancy. They call it House of God, but up here wired it electrically while below and at dark shutting doors to keep out the tired, the hungry and the sick as if these suffer by the clock. And making me wonder how they built these enormous structures with a stiff neck, always looking the other way, yet endlessly at and 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. 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 Lord.

Here, hold 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 didn’t hurt anyone, releasing my droppings all over the place, spreading viruses or waking up the world with loud cooing all the time. That’s them and almost a business it seems.

Truth, by definition, cannot be prejudice, they say by way of self-defence and unable to take the slightest criticism, insisting that if hundreds of thousands of a certain kind do something, they’re all guilty and subversive to boot, especially if and when not of the same prayer. But even if I’m peaceful, clean, entertaining, providing and sharing, they’ll still insist they’re right about me. And that’s when I say, as long as there’s one who’s different, one with pin-striped plumage, they should never say ‘They’re all like that!’, don‘t you agree? Afterwards hectoring it’s all in the proportions, that true, nothing is absolute except their faith, and claiming all the same to be overwhelmed by us, when actually they’re the ones doing all the overwhelming. Implying we’re the invading kind, taking over their society, and certainly, we have our own vision, at least I do and so do mine and so what? Though we must learn 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 that.

No, more I look at them, less I want to be like them despite some of that fleeting success of theirs. Sure, sometimes I wished I could cross my legs and sit like them, and least when reading my newspaper, but as for the rest 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 dressed up, no longer able to hear the music produced by water and wind, by songbird brothers, and sisters, and others of course.

  

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 visible permanence. I can float, sail, rise, dive, crossing oceans on my own, eating, drinking, resting, feeling happy and living just as long, with those I love, flying along. And 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 an ornithologist... about that pigeon stool I use, to express myself.

- Oh, go practice onomatopoeias!

-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 were 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

 

 

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 the texts that as an insurance lawyer and later a Workman's Compensation Board verifier, engulfed him. He imitated the structures of 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. This triggered his Walter Mitty-like imagination, 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 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 one on a medieval Spanish hill top, 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 invading naval force. So that these castles were not what they were cracked up to be, more part of someone's fantasy, as in the case of Kafka.

 

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 victory. For Kafka is not only Don Quijote, Kafka is Dorothy, though a much better writer than she!

 

***

 

- 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

- 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 commotes, 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 patrician

- 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 may rinse my hare instead

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

- 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 a great success. Would that standards vary...

- 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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Contact Stella Bascuñan to obtain specific rights for certain countries and/or language domains at my posted e-address

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