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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

(see below)

 

  

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

 

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

 

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

 

Literary Fiction & Critical Non-Fiction Lab

 

anthonysteyning59@gmail.com

@SteyningAnthony

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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The internet’s different; no comfortable, outdated stuff should clutter it.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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- First learn how to spot them!

- Pardon me!?

- Then learn how to connect them!

- Spot who, what?

- The dots, you fool! The dots!

 

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Sophists are wiseguys

 

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Those who abstain don't deny

Those who deny don't abstain

 

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In some societies they never collect imagined shame enough to satisfy their lust for honour

 

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Many reputations are stolen or else infections caused by unprotected media sneezing and other spreading of unsafe opinions

 

 

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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 love those stripes you used, m'Lud...

- You dope, I only copied 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 may get placed on both sides of the Atlantic. It's a 156 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. Never swamping the reader, small but electrifying historical nuggets are woven into this story with deadpan, dead-on humour!

The principal cast: meet delectable Edna, deeply committed to the charity for special needs children she operates from her own Bronx brownstone, no prude a lady in speech often on the unlady like side thanks to a long deceased gangland father, but who gives a damn!? She has an even taller lover by the name of Rufus, a beast in bed but devoting as much energy to the black Harlem street youths who watch over his parked limousine all night. He was hired by Bernie, a wealthy little person and philanthropist, a moral giant who not only sponsors Edna's therapeutic halfway house, but constantly puts the entire world on his tiny yet heroic shoulders. This threesome bump into McRae who's in New York for a good fresh look at America. He's Gibraltar born with an American mother and concerned about the course her native land took, but this dude's no Druid for modern times and when criticizing should also worry about the way he carries on.

 

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, a sphere where sanity prevailed. No boots today 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 out of this world, her nuclear tits over her super slim waist overwhelming, his feelings for her… errr, the both of hers…. becoming deeper and deeper. So much so that the thought crossed his mind to invite her for a spin in the nearest Appalachian wilderness, meander and lay about, shoot the breeze, hoping she would give herself away, cave in for once. But should she be too much of a city girl maybe he’d try take her to the Met next week, to 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 during the interlude walking the lobby. A couple looking like the Kissingers gone ape, plus of course that life without music is such a lonely place. He’d first have to check and see 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 set. Either this or just take her to a ballgame, watch her eat a hotdog top of the 9th  2 batters out, dream of victory and her mouth like the rest of the crowd.

 

With Bernie it always coming down to the same thing, but he did crave style and elegance. And 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 she cleverly played his physical urges while lining him up with Rufus’s aims, but totally forgave her truly convinced her motives were pure even though he’d still love to get into her pants. And he took it that the encounter with this McRae character was mere coincidence, but that it could still turn out to be a rather useful one. He seemed like a sweetheart who understood a lot. 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 him. Funny how things unfold though, with her picking up this newspaper scribe 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 all this time, 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 more wealthy 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 Jersey where Olive Oyl is Popeye’s goil and birds don’t chirp but boids choip, the woiks according to every Oiving in town, 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 peak named Jabal Musa or Moses’ mountain just north of Tangiers, together forming the renowned Pillars of Hercules. 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 Moroccan Berber tribes dance in trance to  eternal drums and the Rif Range starts leading up to the even higher Atlas Mountains rising and watching day after day over these historically rich and turbulent bodies of which only the greater ocean leads to the edge of the world. A canyon of water, sand and sky where the short-toed snake-eagle flies above trekking dolphin and killer whale, above giant floating man-o-wars, over Brits, their fleet, Trafalgar, Jabal Tariq, Gibraltar, Franco’s thorn in the eye meaning Tariq’s Mountain named after the commander of the warriors of the faith Tariq ibn Ziyad in association of course with God himself. Bernie reading about the spot, here, there, not a hell of a 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 perhaps no small numerological coincidence.

 

Bernie also reading it was the WWII spy nest from where the much vaunted Goldeneye operation was launched, attacking German U-boats threatening British shipping and supply lines. A little later where from the Allied southern headquarters Eisenhower, aptly meaning strong iron-hewing man, 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 all know. But a war exposing mankind’s greatest weakness, the grand irony that despite 30.000 years of evolution and human progress over the Neanderthals, this didn’t bring us terribly far. And when this location still gets described as the vulva of the Old World’s Mediterranean womb it in no way resembles the New World’s erect and throbbing phallus, better known as the Big Apple’s Manhattan. But even then and superficially speaking if the Gibraltar Strait by its very role is akin to the New York Narrows the Rock's also nothing like Rikers Island, this heartbreak hotel, grand slammer and barbed carpet underneath which an affluent nation sweeps its human morsels, no bargain basement at all.

                                                                                                                            

He 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 all that shallow aggression of theirs. 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! Though this goes against the grain of our modern geo-culture, according to Bernie’s law not only the current version of life, but also the moment he got laughed off the table immediately. By the cantankerous 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 those 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, buddy boy!

- And why not? No more missiles, no more nuclear warheads, all that borders are good for! Modernity totally stinks sometimes! Once Germany united the troubles began, the shit hit the fan, millions perishing….

-The United Estates of America or something like that? 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 got betrayed by their own. Places badly in need of curing that one day soon should be put back under some sort of tutelage!

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

- No, you guys! Not for them to get plundered all over again, but shown better ways and better days by way of some sort of Marshall plan. Undoing 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 exactly the word we most despise…

- Making you act like underfed, pinstriped, urban coyotes!

-  Really, Bernie? Are you suggesting we’re that useless, even when society loves us, the whole world copying us? Anyway, mini-friend… Are you any different or suddenly some 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 little feller, or the Empire strikes 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 although this wasn’t a 3 a.m. existential crisis like he sometimes had, overcoming it by putting on Satie, Schubert or else some soulful jazz. Mainly 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 a compliment. Or could it be any nation, almost anyone, by a government with a moral compass soon on disgusting display underwriting Syria’s atrocities exclusively for ego’s gain? 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, churlish Slav with their slaves-of-slaves women of the ever vacant eyes. Eyes staring, staring never sparkling, with everyone 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 the next three or more. To hell he said with the Volga Mongol’s constant need for anger. Stop the fake rage when life’s already so damn precarious! Stop the infamy, the paranoia, the Nineteenth Century fear to be yourself, to be your nation, for wouldn’t Slavs be so much so much better off if they named themselves Servants, SERVANTS TO ABSOLUTELY NO ONE!? SPECIFICALLY AND PRECISELY AT HOME, sooner than later marching on the Kremlin and its primitive Silos of Death and Destruction ultimately aimed  AT THEM! No longer accepting the scary bullshit they’re fed, no longer acting as if they own no private wisdom with only swollen collective guts in play, when all they have to do is shake it, wake it, baby, we're not the hamster inside your stupid wheel!

                                                        

Nostrovia Sergei, Wassily, Tamara my love Bernie then toasted and roasted his dear distant brothers and sister as if at a political Friar's Club gala dinner, observing early on that in nations ruled by apathy the shameless get a free ride.  But then again let’s be honest he mused continuing to be enlightened by the late straight sauce, 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 hurrah. Telling him what he thought about people half a world away acting like those heartless street thugs he knew at one point worried his foreign friend; a people not praying and swaying, forever banging their head against the wall only because it feels so good after they stop. Tearing into these distant folks again insisting…. They’ll never be fully free or ready to amount to anything unless they start showing some healthy balls, not those sickly, inflated ones! Walk Red Square without armed parades like the Brits stroll 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 itself become the biggest criminal gang in town. Led by a ridiculous little Supremo, his missiles his multiple erections but at the same time lining his pockets and filling other cavities while fake-messianically wrapping himself in his flag in what for him must be the perfect setup. A person whose image was burned into Bernie’s psyche because of the obsession he for some unclear and private reason had become even though and on the other hand to a degree we’re all obsessed, fixated. The problem perhaps lying with those who are never, ever troubled about anything and so unwilling to make any sort of move, like the healthy man of the apparently perfectly uneventful childhood, who when asked if he had any brothers or sisters looked away pensively and said: I can’t seem to 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 with Adèle Flitler? The flamer?

- Yes, 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!

- What miracle?

- Yeah, exactly! The miracle of life! Look at me, for Chris sake…         

                           

And 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 daring to be un-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 Bernie spoke. In his view the kind of childlike logic making not only Aristotle cry but leading directly to perennial obstruction; manufacturing nothing of note seduction never the case and so never seen singing and dancing down yellow brick road. Instead he bristled 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. Or that one can’t be vicious and smart at the same time….

 

- A big kid in need of a severe spanking…

- Too late now!

- As reduced as he is… no knees firm and stern enough!

- Did you notice his Prime Minister’s even shorter than he is?

- Of course, so he won’t have to look up at him!

- You don’t like it either, nobody does!

- It’s what I mean! We’re both small and disturb, the difference is… that I have a heart!

                                                                          

                                         

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 rabbit like in Anatomy 1.01 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 refusing to let go, the shortest man in New York City taking on the world? Going on by saying… A man incapable of accepting the absolute truth of Nothing’s Everything, and therefore Nobody’s Everything in spite of thousands of perfectly orchestrated goose steps giving him goose bumps!? 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 ill-tempered, unremarkable and vindictive little cunt that loves to be feared but handed remarkable powers Bernie opined, for good measure adding… As if even in a classless society a man can’t show a little class. This man still not knowing mountains and lakes coming and going represents 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 physically unprepossessing and also speaking in a pip-squeak voice just doesn’t pass muster, not here, not now, not anywhere. 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, both of them bored with peace and as it turned out distantly related in the way that  idiots always are. Big-time losers recklessly toying with disastrous, mindless wars, one with Japan the other with the rest of the world. And both removed in due course, in each case the II surely standing for Second Rate and how the XXth century got off to that awful start, this ominous prelude, this stage set for the even better executed outright evil still to come… His way to play up to McRae wanting to prove that he’s no flunky, no clueless citizen B, but no Super-Leprechaun either, simply someone 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 caveman’s approach to success of a lousy, unsustainable sort... And a people set 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 after realizing that sometimes it’s impossible to fight the ugly without first inflicting… a lot more ugliness!

                                                                 

At this point Bernie becoming super obstinate, 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 also sensing that in the end the so-called insignificant ones, the ordinary blows of the land would save it, control a huge national problem with their numbers, their hearts and right minds. But then just as abruptly as when he launched his tirade his tone turned most tender for open borders or not he truly loved his nation, only insisting it is great for all before suddenly and sentimentally reflecting… No, so much better a tough leader who can never be humbled for being already so deeply humble, blessed with innate respect, incapable of lying through his or her teeth to cover up failure, thoroughly compassionate, not vulgar, one 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, only all the furbishing yellow, halls leading up it floors checkered like a living chessboard. The grand 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 significant other, so turning it into the Oral Office..!

 

 

Ah, the huge difference one single letter can make, but also 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 hostage locked in a gilded cage with 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 should check his own drinks and doorknobs as poison is the national witches’ brew hidden in Russian tea rooms wherever they are; this centuries’ worth of sinister craft served up inside each and every layer of a society itself a Matryoshka doll!    

                                    

                                       

-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 Kermit the Frog sings it… It’s not easy being green!

- Bernie? Bernie, was that you? It sounded like a sob…     

- The worst part of it, that because of my size… people take me as an incomplete man!

- You’re not green…

- I might as well be….

- Idiots, Bernie, idiots! Listen to me…You’re not green, you’re not purple, you’re a man and the absolutely tallest one I know…

- I’m sorry…. I did shed a.… I couldn’t help it… I must be strong…

- Only the smart ones know how to cry…                                          

- Thanks, McRae! Just gimme a sec….

- Take your time! Now you’re making me bawl…..                                          

 

Some fake their tears Bernie, exhausted, emotionally going on empty whispered after a short pause; everything can be faked but no heart no sorrow is what I understood a long, long time ago! Upon which McRae for once in his life truly moved, assured him … Your sorrow’s mine, my friend, I swear… But following that lengthy phone call and by Friday Bernie 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 who was never alone, justifiably or not always rejected. 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…

 

-Mr Zallone, are you open to murder tonight?

- Who did you have in mind, anyone in particular?

- It’s always someone in particular, isn’t it?

-I know, I’m a Genius…!

                                                                                                     

Come on up Bernie had shouted into a house phone installed to fit his height at the luxury pad on the floor at the highest elevator button his outstretched arm over pointed toes could reach, riding it alone late at night. If not having to walk up the remaining floors by stairs, which wasn’t his style and anyway their steps for him a tad too high. But right this moment rather surprised by the unannounced visit of his Neapolitan pal and best betting buddy who owed him some dough, and what a class act taking the trouble to bring it over to him 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 manner in which he was raised, but by way of a profound sense of personal stoicism displayed at the end of the road. Laconism the height of civility, that impeccable, staunch touch of class showing one has evolved even while getting slain...!

 

-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 this name tag, shame tag….

            

 

 

VII

 

 

Rufus urged Edna to join him, picking her up with the limo, asking her to sit upfront close to him. He’d been driving for hours, the vehicle a getaway car speeding not from a holdup or a robbery but from his unbearable pain; thinking, thinking about Bernie, unable to take it, unable to be without him, forever alone. A long, dark ship without rudder, adrift on wheels lost at boiling sea, Yonkers, New Rochelle, Queens all the rest of it, a new N.Y. Marathon! One after another along its main drags inside the concrete urban bowl and brawl fast-food drive-ins, newsstands and fruit markets seemingly dark, desolate, closed. Thousands of garish billboards and cinema marquees no texts, all empty, no colored lettering and despite the percussion of the city, the hurtling overhead trains, klaxons and sirens, the bassoons of exhausts... the deafening megapolis now most meaningless, mute. For Rufus in his naked silent despair no destination alive or good enough without his tiny passenger and while light of day still beautiful for most, in his existence it suddenly turned terrible. The point at which he in his head began paraphrasing 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

 

 

Sunset fucked, daylight savaging over and over again, New York City a ballet reminiscent of all the juxtaposed beauty and suffering danced in Merce Cunningham’s Rainforest. Or else a subaquatic Luna Park where they come from below, where they come from all sides, where they come from the top nonstop. Life and death on the reef, where they swim and they float, crawl and meander with dizzying colors and stripes, some with weird eyes as if from outer space camouflaged to kill and eat by stinging, by biting, by swallowing, all that silent horror but inevitably asking himself… Why me? The whole thing enough to jump to some conclusion but off the Brooklyn Bridge and Rufus’ contemplation before Desdemona, exquisite white woman, no Pollyanna, slid quietly inside her ever so un-jealous Othello’s immediately rolling again car. The nudity of silence, his sudden silence, a man in conversation with the horizon reflecting on how they’d all met, how his life had changed by her and that fellow a third his size now taken away from him. A white dude who believed in him, not thinking of him as black – SO WHAT! –, but as one from top to toe covered by a freckle or a birthmark and nothing more or nothing less than simply colorful 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 having answered the trader’s ad, this at a place called Ponzi’s, the man’s cheekily named eatery which turned out to be the totally surreal hangout of Wall Street’s upper crust.

 

And how he´d been prepared for the worst, not confident, having been 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 around him and served personally by the owner of the place. How this man, for that’s what he was, a man, had asked him where he was from, how old he was, what he’d done, having had to tell him about himself, his divorce, lack of family, mother gone, 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, creating that instant bond between our 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 sensing this was bullshit, the short man feeling that he should be able to drive away any day as a free man, un-beholden to some crummy job or a lousy boss. That man apparently feeling like a prisoner himself, despite his mouth, despite his dollars stuck in a minute jail. And how he’d left that man for that day, going home with his new limo crying, his neighbors not understanding why he wasn’t jumping with joy, somewhat on the jealous side they, yet protective of him. Then, how quickly he had to learn to get around the City, its passage ways, its shortcuts, its districts, its Boroughs, never having been anywhere except by subway. How he had to dress up like his boss, in a grey suit, shirt and tie, not a uniform, picking him up as an associate, not a driver, at functions, venues, always walking straight in to ask for him, places where not so long ago he wouldn’t have been allowed in, stopped, but where Empire State of mind and matching license plates checked out it became known he owned the damn thing. So therefore treated accordingly, with decorum, in places where wealth whispers and cash stinks, especially with the well-founded assurance that here one will never, ever get begged for some. Bernie covering all the angles while not tolerating the slightest expression of gratitude or have some sort of vassal in tow, so how now was Rufus not going to love a Prince of a man, even one with a sport zipper, taking him to many a whorehouse, the last one called Leave it to Beaver. Telling him how to get there, where to find it, the only time he didn’t follow him in driving away to his own conquests, but having to watch the clock at all times. Once showing up late, with Bernie complaining about his sore dick, bragging he’d kept killing time waiting… 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...

-Only when I’m in love!

 

Etc Etc

 

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

 

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

 

                   Confessions of a Feathered Friend

 

 

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

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 one of my own flights. 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 the clock. 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. The ones who tell 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 releasing my droppings, but still stand accused of spreading viruses while waking up the world with my cooing and song. In my opinion this case theirs or at least with most of them, and even as a business sometimes.

By definition the truth cannot be equal to prejudice they say by way of self-defence unable to take the slightest criticism themselves insisting that if hundreds of thousands of others do something or another differently they’re all guilty and subversive, especially when not of the same prayer book. So that even if I’m peaceful, clean, entertaining, providing and sharing.... they’ll still insist they’re right about me and us. And if I state 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 me? Afterwards hectoring it’s all in the proportions, that yes nothing is absolute except their faith, at the same time claiming to be overwhelmed by all of us when actually they’re the ones doing 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 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 wished 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.

  

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!

 

 

HISTORY RE-MADE

 

Here's a fragment of my Fairy Tales essay:

 

All of which reminds me of Peter O'Toole, the greatest philosopher of all time, 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 God, but of The Owner! And with this lively anecdote only to say that yes humility is fine, but self-humiliation not so much.

 

PLUS

 

Sisi was very hungry young princess, as soon as she hit Vienna she ordered herself a Habsburger

 

One hundred years on some lady reviewer in overwhelming need of hero-worship finds it necessary to write 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 Anglosphere 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!?

 

 

ABE LOVED TO DANCE, EVEN MAKING UP HIS OWN MOVES! THEY CALLED IT THE LINCOLN CONTINENTAL AND BECAME A HUGE FAD FOLLOWING THE CIVIL WAR

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Tribalize = trivialize

 

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?

 

Canadians are cold-fashioned, but warm-hearted

 

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

 

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

Sir, what is your favourite pastime?

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

 

 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)

 

And this is when the joke's no longer a certain piece of work..., but you!

 

Jean-Paul Satyr

 

Bertold Brexit

 

Britney's Pears

 

Miracle Bama

 

 

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 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 common-sense intelligence based, 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'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

 

 

Maoism is ridiculous, Taoism without rites is not

 

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

 

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

 

A State of Flaw and Border

 

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

 

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

 

 

Middle East: And Aristoteles Wept

 

 

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

 

 

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

- Who called?

- A savage beast!

- What kind of beast?

- Hope!

- A beast called... Hope?

- The truth can be killed, but not 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?!

             

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

 

- 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 patricians

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

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

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

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

-

 

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

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

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

- Today I won't scrub my rabbit, but 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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Caveat Lector: In order to protect international copyrights, all my works have been deposited with EU & US based notaries.