Plays

Essays

Critique

Novels

Short
Stories

Selected
Poems

Political &
Incidental

For Posterity

 

 


email:

anthonysteyning59@gmail.com

 

Should you wish to skip the Intro,

click on a finished work to the left

or on this page scroll down to

 

Recent Revisions & Additions

 

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

(See below)

 

But By Friday He Was Dead

its gripping factuality, its humor, its emotional depth

(US Spelling)

 

 

  

   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.

 

 

September 2021: Welcome to Anthony Steyning's homepage. ===========================================

 

Literary Fiction & Critical Non-Fiction Lab

 

E-mail: anthonysteyning59@gmail.com

 

How Tweet It Is

 

   https://twitter.com/SteyningAnthony

 

Plus

 anthonysteyning

 

'live' lit, wit and world views

 

* * * * * * *

 

Ah, to be born inside a slow, revolving puzzle...

or

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

(Bogus XI)

 

* * * * * * *

 

 

     

 

 A Passion

 

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

The internet’s different; no comfortable, outdated stuff should clutter it.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

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

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

 

I collaborate with

www.aldaily.com

 

 

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

 

                                          Print

 

                             

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

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

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

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

 

  E-Novel

 

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

Please order a copy from

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

 

This is my first critique, from The Unbound Underground:

 

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

Pass it on!

 

ALL MY NOVELS WOULD MAKE TERRIFIC FEATURE FILMS WITH RICH, FULLY DEVELOPED CHARACTERS, UNUSUAL DRAMATIC PLOTS, AND LOTS OF DELICATE HUMOUR

 

 

Enjoy ...

     

 

MADRID: WITHOUT KNOWING IT THE PUBLIC IN FRONT OF A WORK OF ART SOMETIMES BECOMES AN INTEGRAL PART OF A LARGER, EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL 3-D TABLEAU

     

 

Dónde ver el Guernica de Picasso en Madrid | Viajar a Madrid

 

 

BELOW THE TIGHTROPE

                                                

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

The other habitués' favourite mantra: Vrouwen trekken aan het kortste eind! (Heerlijk, toch...?!)

 

 

Though nothing like this Parisian theatre

 

Image

 

Curtains opening, stage set, magnificent props in place, a classical play ready to unfold...

 

 

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

 

 

THOUGHT DU JOUR

 

 

A doctrinaire leader must be morally autistic and emotionally wanting

 

Those who fear love, love to instill fear

 

A political system, like justice and the courts, should be balanced or else it's worthless

 

I assume my existence, but does He?

 

Delusion is a dangerous drug

 

On Faith: Killing in His name proves He doesn't exist

 

Convictions are not only cocoons but also goons hired to preserve and protect and therefore not likely bastions of wit and wisdom

 

Fascism is a human form of rabies


When placed in front of a large mirror in the middle of the jungle wild animals don't recognize themselves; it scares them, they jump and run or attack, only the relatively smart ones going on to look behind it.

Yet for all his marbles man also seems quite incapable of seeing himself for what he is!

 

Taking drugs is solace by needle

 

The man who couldn't regret

 

GODS DON'T MURDER MUCH, PEOPLE DO

 

On Fascism: The Scum Also Rises

 

Abstinence is a terrible vice

 

Phaedra is about lust and loathing, the story of not only hers but every life...

 

Taking drugs doesn't give bliss, what it gives is demolition derby of the mind

 

He was twice removed from reality, and four times from three bars

 

She always writes the narrowest of something

 

It's safest to get murdered by one's fifth wife

 

So many lives, unperceived....

 

In the right light everything is fucking nonsense

 

Democracy is not for cowards (or for nitwits)

 

Read 'A Funeral For Immortality'

in the

Fairy Tales essay!

 

(Come ye sons of bitches, to be read in context and inspired by Robert Frost who wrote something like his: O Lord, I do apologize for my joke on you as long as You apologize for the huge one you pulled on me!)

 

HISTORY REPEATING

 

https://youtu.be/yzLT6_TQmq8

 

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

 

Strictly Fictitious

 

 

Recent Revisions & Additions

 

Wishing to add an occasional touch of world-wise sophistication to your publication? Do... let's talk!

anthonysteyning59@gmail.com

 

BECOME A LITERARY SCOUT, HELP FIND AN AMERICAN HOME FOR

 

But By Friday He Was Dead

 

its gripping factuality, its humor, its emotional depth

 

BERNIE

LARGER-THAN-LIFE

TALLER THAN MOST

 

Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf Picture

 

AN AMERICAN PATRIOT

KILLED BY EVERYTHING

 

But By Friday He Was Dead (Subtitle: McRae's Journey), is a 60.000w, 210-page modernist, literary gem. It narrates the deadly adventure of 3 rebellious Americans - each confronting our turbulent times in their own unique way - before they run into McRae, a U.K. foreign correspondent on the prowl in New York who they'll try and sign up to their cause...

Like cool, cascading water on a hot day this riveting read refreshes; it's so much more than an entertaining NYC tale as without swamping the reader it uses a small number of global and historical parallels to dead-pan, dead-on effect. Which makes the work’s a stylish microcosm of contemporary western life that includes high voltage intrigue and a culture clash, but even if Manhattan in it gets described as America's throbbing phallus it really is all about people. In fact at its core it's a profound XXI Century individual character study that despite mainly tongue-in-cheek, subversive political overtones slides into a masterful thriller.

The principal cast: meet strong, passionate Edna, deeply committed to the charity for special needs children she operates from her Bronx brownstone. She is what she reads and no prude who thanks to her long-deceased gangland father in speech often projects an unladylike side. Then again who gives a fig, there's sheer beauty beneath all the salty earnestness of a woman carefully re-educating herself! A woman with a lover even taller than her by the name of Rufus, a peaceful black activist and beast in bed but devoting as much energy to the Harlem street youths guarding his parked limo every night. The man hired by Bernie, a brilliant little person, stock trader/philanthropist and irrepressible pragmatist who not only sponsors Edna's therapeutic halfway house, but puts the entire world on his tiny shoulders with one additional dream. For it is no secret he also wants - in the way it gets phrased these days - to take remarkable liberties with Edna’s knees...

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

A tragicomedy at its very best! Go for it!

 

 

These are the opening pages of my modernist masterpiece.

Let's see who begins to recognize this...

                   

                    

But by Friday he was Dead

(working title)

 

                          (subtitle: McRae’s Journey)                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                           

                                             By                                          

                                                                                                                                  

Anthony Steyning

 

 

June 22, 2021, definitive draft

 

I

 

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

It’s said that nice girls don’t stay till breakfast, but it also seemed she had no interest in hanging out all by herself. The place a high ceilinged affair that the man she’d addressed instantly liked and went well with her long legs, that graceful neck, black un-lacquered hair, angular cut cropped on the short side presiding over emerald green eyes and shining bright despite the subdued light. A tall girl in a tall room, at least something and someone of interest he thought glancing at her hoop earrings and the rock as big as Gibraltar’s she rocked on one of her fingers; the way this scene dished out immediately helping him respond to her opening line. Her long dress and especially her stiletto heels making that despite the high room she still towered but did not intimidate as she’d selected the lowest barstool that she could find. All implying that as far as he and the evening were concerned there’d been far worse starts and tarts and quickly confirmed that any hidden personality scars aside he was not the only one here displaying a somewhat exotic side. Now if only he could lighten up this knock-out, this peculiar face of the mocking half-smile, melt the tip and the tits of the iceberg, survive the occasion, maybe even get laid though a romantic Verdi Nile duet didn’t look like it was in the making! Then again it never does, until the curtain rises and the orchestra plays its opening score, which - like it or not – had unexpectedly started!

It was well after eleven, more people entering now, the night scene speeding up as she spoke, a shot of single malt Scotch or two and this lounge empress talking to him setting the pace, and yes, the whole thing a cliché, corny, but hey, she started it by speaking to him! Setting herself up by asking him who he was, a simple out of town dude in her opaque eyes probably the first if not the ultimate token sucker of the night. And no match for a guy hoping for some cute, slightly used, deeply desperate housewife on the rebound for as it turned out she was only a little bored, foolproof bull-proof and not exactly shy. After scrutinizing her McRae quickly concluding he could probably say goodbye to his halfie hard-on, that she was no hooker or some easy, unbearable lightweight, but possibly someone like him suffering from cabin fever the way a trapper in boreal Canada must feel cooked up for too many days and nights in some inhospitable shack. A place where winter hibernation is not only highly recommended for black bears but for Canadians, and where a round piece of fur placed around a keyhole helps some poor jerk shivering in the dark at forty below, grope for it key in hand and where once inside solitary confinement causes wallpaper to start showing non-existent palm trees, coconuts and naked exotic dancers in large yellow and brown water-stains…

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

 

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

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

- You must be Dorothy...

- Oh my God, I’m doomed!

- Why Dorothy, you ask?

- Don’t tell me, Dorothy Porker? Am I that fat?

- Don’t be silly! No, you look more like….

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

- So's that dress: eccentric, great...

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

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

 

Some women don’t immediately own a room until they speak, at which point all their inner beauty comes out to shine. Others only glacially beautiful like a placid mountain lake and not just wide of hip but slight of mind, finding peace and small comfort in the past, always the past, while discussing manicures or something else that nobody in his right mind ever gives a shit about. Owners of a double-glazed mind through which they can see alright but no air comes in; or like an elegant, well furbished but regrettably unoccupied five-star hotel suite, though Edna beat this rap on all counts. A woman of solid compassion and character totally in charge it would soon become exquisitely evident; one not allowed to smoke in here, but who obviously doesn’t give a shit if they should not. Proving her point with a small, bone cigarette holder pointed defiantly at a black ceiling covered with zinc air-ducts and silver metal taped wiring, thereby daring the olive-skin, five o’clock shadow bartender and his interrupted shaving job, here tonight apparently in sole command.

A man from a place where the four-letter name Pepe is a diminutive for the four-letter José, but where not to make things any simpler they used to call him by the four-letter Pato, Ducky,  apparently waddling like one when he was young. Then again Jack’s short for John and Chuck for Chas, so what the hell are we talking about here? And she didn’t know it or that it would have made a difference, but she needn’t have worried about this guy in any way. His own country the place where unlike Italians bursting into near lyrical verbal song, they don’t talk but erupt. Bursting into torrents of words apparently so re-assuring themselves that they’re alive, like a rattling push-button speech- machine badly in need of a few drops of soothing oil, but in reality directly leading back to lack of reflection and cluttered minds. No time for second wind here, going straight to fourth, in baseball terms a homerun in the park, except one that never counts or amounts up to anything by far.

The attendant crowd stuck in the stands aching to get the hell out, flee the coop, make it home as fast as it can for while it’s said that to listen is the most beautiful thing one can give someone, this noble thought surely escaping all too many Spaniards. Driving their many points home no matter what, leaving nothing to the imagination, verbalizing every annoying detail of what should have been a private life. Like Woody’s movies repeating themselves 37 times and counting, but what once was frank and refreshingly honest all too soon becoming repetitive, self-obsessed tripe. And so a nation where - as with the clarinetist’s Dixie gigs - celebrations for their own sake are the national sport yet nothing prevents anyone from simply walking away or out. Fleeing annoying social rites, then flaunt every religious and city law on the way home by casually robbing a bank or smacking a lover across the face later on still carrying an ornate sculpture of the Holy Virgin heaved on wobbly shoulders down a cobbled street. hoping that heavy breathing and the sweat on one’s back doesn’t belong to the guy behind taking his rapture a package too far…

Spain where one venerates but also obfuscates and life never changes and hopefully why our barman did something different by jumping ship. Plus helped by speaking lousy English learn how to finally hold his tongue, stand up straight and work hard like an American. Far removed from that land of jails filled with ex-ministers, ex-mayors and ex-bankers; pillars of society who instead of remorse express stern anger at getting jailed for ripping the public off. Or where debt chasers knock on doors dressed like Fred Astaire in top hat and tails, forcibly collecting and publicly shaming a sobbing widow or some other sad case… Now ain’t that some dance!?

All of this making it clear why this errant anarchist disguised as barkeeper didn’t give a solemn fuck, letting her smoke when this was highly illegal. Or surprised people who knew her well and therefore understood why she frequented this strange dive in the first place. No taboos, yet not set up like some tobacco Blind Pig or some other copy-cat, hello-suckers speakeasy behind a door with a hidden peephole; the training ground for doormen as aspiring gynecologists and without a doubt the running gag... This time a house with the dude-in-charge a non-American, probably moonlighting, not naturalized, not part of the national DNA, no parents’ or even a grandparent’s Doris Day, Danny Kaye kind of mind. Decidedly no I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo, Bobby Soxers, Zoot suit, Doo Wop, a Zippo lighter or other such way-back memories for him to fall back on. His only claim to experiencing a slice of nostalgic Americana – on his day off hiding from a rainstorm - watching the in his eyes stranger than strange long-legged precision dancers at Radio City Music Hall. Like any tourist finding refuge in this theatre where he unexpectedly discovered this chorus-line of beguiling Rockettes for him to later enthusiastically brag about. To anyone caring to listen, probably lonely after finishing work and therefore also a certain cry for help.  Ever in doubt whether to return home or hang around hoping something special in America would profoundly change him and come around. Ending up belonging, blindly adhering to sometimes adolescent rules and attitudes that no longer had much to do with his accent or where he came from, as if from Poughkeepsie or even as far away as Tucson at least in new thought.

 

- Do you come here a lot?

- I don’t know, you tell me!

- Strange place! Man, this guy serves some spine-chilling drinks! What's that you're    having?                                                          

- A Daiquiri...                                                                      

- A what? A small, Cuban lesbian?

- Frozen alright…You're a howl, McRae! I had to run into you!

- Ancient Egyptians believed that cats have seven lives...

- Always thought it was nine!

- Me too! But anyway, that on their seventh reincarnation they turned into humans...

- Does this have anything to do… with anything?   

- You look like Nefertiti…

- Who’s that?

- An ancient, drop-dead Egyptian queen!

- THAT old…?

- She was a timeless beauty!

- Fantasize all you want, I'm not a cat!

- But human?

- Ah, that's for you to find out!

 

Forgetting that according to lore both Schrödinger’s cat - or his dick for that matter - could be dead and alive at the same time and often pretending to prefer dogs over humans just like that famously cranky old Greek Diogenes, he had to admit he might be dead wrong about her. She was cool and strangely distant even though she had asked him for his name, which didn't quite jibe. He thought he’d napped a couple of hours, so an hour and a half probably that made him feel fine and energized, but also hoped that as far as subliminal advertising goes he hadn't ordered some useless lawn mower or a thong; only getting that respite. But respite from what one might ask, suggesting that right this moment he's for someone like Edna to figure and sort out and she by someone like him, the way if carefully listening to her she had implied.

 

 

- So, how come you're alone?

- Who says I'm alone?

- Why else would you ask me my name...?

- I'm so much more than one person…! I often dislike myself: bored, boring, predictable…

- A second one of you doing the asking right now…?         

- Something like that! Does it matter a lot?

 

During the day cats pretend to be domesticated, but at night they go out and assassinate, and if they were the size of a lion they would kill you on your own front lawn. Dogs the only really tame ones, for obvious reasons deeply worried about deforestation or a lack of fire hydrants, come evening retiring early and if they could… putting pyjamas on. Centuries ago and on the neurotic side Montaigne already asking… when I play with my cat, how can I be sure my cat isn’t playing with me!? And while she’d said she was no kitten she sure played like one, with McRae as her mouse and lucky at that for the two of them. Yes, the luck not only hers but also his, certain places at certain hours suddenly coughing up people like them. Men and women making the most of  things by killing boredom with mystery, no time for pre-obtained rights, certain privileges or stale regrets. So he didn’t want to start by asking whence she hailed only to get some evasive answer like the Panama Canal, or else Alaska perhaps. At which point he probably couldn’t resist joking if she was one of those frostitutes he’d read about, a street walker from below-zero Juneau or Anchorage looking to heat up on a hot, off-Washington Square sojourn where in this erstwhile mechanical-bull and waiters-as-rodeo-clowns last-chance saloon they’d just met. This former urban ranch hootenanny turned into electronic heaven a stone's throw from Wall Street and the New York Stalk Market where they’re in wait for you. The geography where on the outside and here on the inside turbulence meets turbulence, rip tides cleverly disguised as insouciance.  

McRae then took a quick look around thinking all those in attendance represented the new times, in his eyes... etc

 

 

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

 

FUTURE PROJECTS

(Don't steal, give credit where credit...!)

 

I have 2 more novels up my sleeve: A dramatic love story about a man deliberately setting out to turn his wife against him because he desperately loves her and knows she deeply loves him. But she's 15 years younger and he foresees that the day he'll die will leave her heartbroken and so wishes to spare her this agony by slowly making her come to resent him, the ultimate act of love...

 

The other story one on a sneak love theft during a large public calamity, called: Under Cover of Chaos! About a man in a warzone plotting to steal a neighbour's pretty wife by anonymously denouncing her husband, having him not only arrested but eventually executed. Then patiently console the greaving new widow, conquering her over time with her slowly coming to think Who is this wonderful man who by miracle came into my life? Until....

 

 

*******************************************+

 

   Sunset Prospekt

     (Of Chandeliers & Quiet Vitriol)

 

She’s imperious, she sulks a lot, she has a great dramatic past, she used to be loved and admired by millions but has been in limbo, stuck in a time warp, great in theory only now left behind somewhat. Her mansion is vast, her mementos full of dust, her gardens need work and her servant used to be married to her, he who opens the door to her self-loathing new lover and killing him should the visitor show her no respect.  

 

The posturing of anger, of madness, of passion, she a living shrine adored perhaps not for herself, but for the very need to adore by some needing badly to belong. For when deep down one’s the subject of contempt, one pre-emptively out-loves, pretending the lady doesn’t know what she’s doing, her denial and dismissals an anomaly needing to be corrected, even surgically if necessary and should that fail attacking her doctors of course.

 

Sounds like Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard, doesn’t it? Well, perhaps it is. Featuring Norma Desmond, the jaded star magnificently played by Gloria Swanson, attended to by Max von Mayerling, her silent, vaguely satanic butler and ex-husband brought to life by Erich von Stroheim, who keeps a close pulse on the failed writer Joe Gillis played by William Holden, caught in their net by accident.

Yes, it’s Mother Russia that I’m alluding to, the Urals Queen Bee to her jealous lover, the KGB (FSB), protecting her, killing her with kindness, feeding her delusions, forging her fan mail, murdering for her, ignoring her mind and heart, profoundly convinced only it knows what is good for her while keeping her locked in and up. The obscure and violent romanticism on the part of people appointed by her, paid by her, those servants from hell, but the professional incest palpable. People who look like Boris Karloff, faces like dogs, though more recently sleeker, on the surface kinder, even elegant, yet still chafing under suspicions brought on by those ancient, inbred complexes of theirs. A national layer of super-patriots in and out of uniform collectively called Max for the sake of this article and making it so nobody in that nation is really, really in full command.

 

Can you imagine her? Can you see her striking out, yet also at herself, lice deeply embedded in her pelt? That is Russia! And where they come from, nobody knows, but certain national characteristics seem to develop as if the germ of them is lodged in local drinking water. Of course, you could blame it all on the indiscriminate terror of Czarist police over the span of hundreds of years, but paranoia and heavy-handed reaction to it seem ingrained in the national psyche and Czars or not, must have slowly started with the people themselves, because everything always does. Including the very rejection of them, this rejection having taken place in other parts of Europe, terror reigning in most of Europe most of one time and originating in many corners, in many areas like in Robespierre’s France, Cromwell’s England and under Ferdinand II’s Holy Spanish Inquisition, but none turning into the type of cruel national fatalism and paranoia Russia exhibits at all levels, right up till today.

.

 

And why Russia reminds me so much of Norma, and the KGB (FSB) of Max and Joe the would-be but forever-menaced lover perhaps portraying the West, saying 'She used to be Big!', provoking Max's timeless retort 'She still is! It's the World that got smaller!'

 

 

History Re-thought

 

Updating harsh, archaic, revenge and retribution-based western Judeo-Christianity with the advent of Christ and later again with the Reformation followed by a Renaissance culminating in the Enlightenment, its arts, literature and the beginnings of modern philosophy, was the result of moral growth.

Proving everything is to be re-examined, spontaneously re-thought and transformed after the piling up of excesses and indecencies and applying to all religions, laws and courts, capitalism, socialism, certain industries and in some cases the entire nation.

 

But where are the truly wise and courageous..?

 

ISLAM

Islam or the issuance of a license to assassinate, that not so dormant mandate to kill with a blessing from a sanguineous God… But how to begin freeing oneself from sad and unforgiveable textual passions?

 

 

- Do I show you my Assisi, St. Francis asked?

- Please don't, she replied, it'll shatter your halo!

 

ON ETHNICITY AND THE LIKE..

 

It's wrong to be identity-classified, but it is just as wrong to use shared norms and experience as a coercive weapon.

Solidarity makes strength, but also enemies when leading to arrogance and exclusion.

For one shouldn't always entertain a recognizable group- attitude based on herd-opinion followed by predictable expressions and decisions.

Loyalty and mutual acknowledgment are one thing; individuality, character and outreach another.

 

Graham Greene had no truck with so-called U.S. Imperialism, but toyed with Stalinism and loved Caribbean dictators suggesting they were all ultimately its fault. But then he disgracefully overlooked that if it weren't for those evil Yanks a Swastika would be flying over Buckingham Palace until this day as America, no one else, saved good old Albion and ironically his entire career...!

 

I lost my shirt.... Oh, sorry, I lost my verse in San Francisco....

 

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

I am waiting

for the last supper to be served again

with a strange new appetizer

he should have left it at that, because in 3 lines he brilliantly says it all, and therefore not continue with...

and I am perpetually awaiting

a rebirth of wonder

which completely ruins it for me

 

Oh, and I'd change his Coney Island of the Mind, into Demolition Derby of the Mind

 

 

Here's a fragment of my Fairy Tales essay:

 

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

 

PLUS

 

Stream of consciousness doesn't get to the point because all too often there isn't one while real rivers have both destiny and destination

 

Baudelaire as in Buenos Aires

Poète maudit. Not just cursed himself, but on the satanic side. Breaking with VICTOR-HUGO-style epics dragging us into ugly sometimes spaced-out urban existence, with all its lowlife street-life including booze, off-sex, death, so one of us, a regular kind of guy, no Manet elegant garden scenes for him.

He liked POE, the macabre, also a bit off, translated him, even looked like him, died early like him, now that’s solidarité...  

 

Before him Diderot, my kind of guy

 

Then what the Foucault!

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

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

 

As for Jean Genet...

Like Capote, gay, obnoxious and short with indisputable writing talent, but managing to market himself to the literary establishment for being 'repugnant yet despite everything.... dazzling' ! With some of his life story true, but an awful lot of it brutally fantasized whereby lying beautifully becomes something that we must admire?

For gays don't go to sea to be locked up with 40 straight guys aboard a ship for weeks on end, they much rather become Christian Brothers and Midget League hockey coaches so that stealing from and blowing sailors in Barcelona probably is a tall story. Cab drivers maybe, as real sailors will massively frequent Putas, not Putos like him.

Yet unsurprisingly Cocteau and Sartre fell for his lines, big time!

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

 

On Vagabondage and Literary Chic

 

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

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

'Crime erotic to him': How to picture this? He got a hard-on when pulling off a heist? But then how did he get through the door?

‘To be is to be perceived' , but mainly applying to attention seekers like professional (literary) contrarians, non-conformist shit-disturbers (literally), and other con men.

 

‘Without disapproval he is nothing', so making sure that black is red, wet is dry, hot is cold, evil is good, betrayal not only ecstasy but supreme honesty, all the while claiming that no child is innocent and wicked like him so a good excuse not to have to take responsibility... All of this appealing by appalling, a technique perfected by Celine during the same years, one whose flame of infamy still burns all too bright.

And in Genet's case morphs into

'Short, clever, ugly, wronged, voluntarily cruel, but adorable!'

No wonder Sartre loved this bird!

Same ilk!

 

 

On Theatre and the Cha Cha Cha Man

 

Ancient Greek tragedy doesn't pit individuals against one another in daily life situations, so no personal conflicts, accompanying psychology or anything else quotidian, everything delphic, epic, heroic, administering applied mythology and bits of noble history along the way. But then this diety addiction was followed by a diet of staged royalty addiction wrapped in Shakespearean language, or England's obsession with inbred Kings, Queens and many, many Witches and Ghosts caught up in ridiculous plots as if nobility were all who mattered, that if they existed at all.

 

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

 

For isn't too much made of agonising, alienated, aimless modern man living without passion or purpose when millions find perfect happiness and justification for living in dancing the cha cha cha, driving a new car, or hundreds of thousands of times carefully roll a piece of rubber into a hole or else hit one into or over a net? I see these folks and listen to them every day and while not admirable in any sense they do appear to be just fine and think of ultra-modern playwrights as incomprehensible frauds who don't know how to live but get admired by pretentious snobs...

 

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

 

BUT HOW TO SNARE THIS HARE?

 

Debauchery as Cure

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

were all created by sincere moralists posing as immoralists

You know, those naught lads Gay, Hogarth, Wedekind, Brecht and Stravinsky...

 

 

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

 

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

 

What's In A Name?

Of course Agatha Christie could never hide from me that Hercule Poirot was not a Belgian, but a crafty overdressed Englishman from Bristol named Harry Leek. And neither could Florence Cocketoo, changing her name to Nightingale to give her noble pursuit more luster. Or else that Thom Chapman, or was it Thom Guybloke, became the much romanticized Larry of Araby...!?

 

KAFKA IS DOROTHY

 

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 would be more to the point, but he still managed to create world literature out of texts that as an insurance lawyer and later a Workman's Compensation Board verifier engulfed him. He imitated the structures of the treacherously simplistic circular language so prevalent in his daily work. Additionally, the endless incompetence and deliberate deception on the part of both the authorities and the public constantly placed him in the middle of one contention or another. Which triggered his Walter Mitty-like imagination as a form of self-defence, his day-dreaming both escape and a distancing from recurrent nightmares, off-setting these and other health problems to preserve his 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 much sense, because the man is mute.

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Well and properly appropriated from this much older Yiddish joke:              

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 Large parts of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos sound so much like Vivaldi, his contemporary, it's uncanny! So who stole form who, guys, and by which conduit? Scores intercepted by Pigeon Post? Or simply a priest and a church organist fighting over the same divine inspiration?

 

O, the day the Valkyries will place me next to Sergei Rachmaninoff in Walhalla

(N.Y.)

 

(I mean the Norse ones, not the fat, shrill ones that Wagner created)

 

 

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

 

 

I juxtapose to expose, or else to re-enforce

 

- First, learn how to spot them!

- Pardon me!?

- Then connect them!

- Spot who, the what?

- The dots, you fool! The dots!

- Oh, them...

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

 

Yet, cruel human stupidity also forms part of the miracle

 

WE DON'T ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS

 

Tribalize = Trivialize

 

Defamation = Nameslaughter

 

Pinker is no Spengler, their odeurs clash

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

Canadians are cold fashioned, but warm hearted

 

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

 

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

Sir, what is your favourite pastime?

Replied to with the delightful, Jewish snark: Breathing!

 

-Giovanni, who wrote Hamlet?

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

-They named a Bay after him?

-Sì! In America!

 

 

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

 

Existence is life inside a pinball machine

 

SATIRE IS NO JOKE

 

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

(this is not a computer)

(this is not here)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Jean-Paul Satyr

 

Bertold Brexit

 

Britney's Pears

 

Miracle Bama

 

Moe Zart

 

Moe Zarella

 

Lawrence Duracell

 

 

All Polanski wanted to do was screw someone his own size

(From Jekyll & Hyde to Ejeculate & Hide)

 

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

 

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

 

THE NUDITY OF SOLITUDE, THE NUDITY OF SILENCE

 

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

 

By implication absolute rulers are absolute murderers

 

Places like Russia have no natural enemy, it likes to invent one as an excuse to keep its power structure in place making that anyone opposing 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 perishability and relative insignificance. But in the long run manipulating destiny simply doesn't work!

 

 

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

 

Light of day is beautiful, existence terrible sometimes

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Looking Back Forwards

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

 

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

 

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

 

I showed up at the exact hour of her sexual awakening, it was barely 7 p.m. and a beautiful time

 

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

Depilación Indolora is not a Flamenco dancer

 

An aerial view makes a mass, circular religious procession look like a slow moving clusters of insects. But the same goes for the faster moving vehicles on a L.A. freeway seen from a helicopter, those mechanical ants on wheels driven by tiny humans remaining much closer to indiscriminate nature than they realize...

 

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

 

Wittgenstein struggled with his own superintelligence, which at times had no place else to go. For the grand irony is that he, like Ionesco in The Bald Soprano, had to use language to tell us language is a straight jacket and misrepresents. That the word or sound 'snake' for instance has nothing to do with the animal, but I think 'snake' is only an aural tag to differentiate it from 'shoe' or millions of other items, inanimate or alive. Yet when at a certain moment both are absent, not in the room, 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!

Right diagnosis, wrong prognosis...?

 

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

 

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

 

Maoism is ridiculous, Taoism without its rites is not

 

Overcompensating hostile acts emanating from a deep-seated 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 study 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 Aristotle Wept

 

 

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

 

 

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

- Who called?

- A savage beast!

- What kind of beast?

- Hope!

- A beast called... Hope?

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

- What then? Cage her...?

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

-  Sonuvabitch! We have a problem!

 

FATALISM IS DEFEATISM

 

         I have started drafting a novella under the working title

 

     

                                                   Ulysses and the Man-o-War

 

                                                                    Sub-title: Frankie & Billy

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 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, its perfectly delineated lines sculpted against the endless sky an anchor to me seemingly altering its appearance every hour on the hour, these sharp yet subtle angles stacked upon each other reaching up towards its Matterhorn-shaped top.

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

 

 

- WHORES DON'T MOAN...

 

Did you pack your fruitcase, honey?

- My gay pal William who works for NATO in Brussels brags that each time he travels to Washington, he stays in a Five-Star General. (He doesn't like Rear-Admirals, particularly 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 vanished long ago. Conformity and nostalgia a compulsive attraction, or is the thrill of doing something significant even in theory, too strong for small minds? (Moravia/Bertolucci, the film)

 

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

 

Espermatozoïdes Caseras no es un filósofo Griego

 

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

 

 

A Dog Named Dylan

(push full screen button for extra canine effect)

 

 

Rage

Man should neither live

like mole afraid

of darkness,

nor as someone’s slave

‘ been given

sight.

Only taming himself

by feeding not stealing his other,

raging at injustice

and at day’s end,

 any held out

false

white

  night   

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

                      

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

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

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

- Waugh, be gone!

 

Rangoon Night

(2009)

 

When

Between two orders

of rotten Sushi

Aung San Suu Kyi

deliberately

sings

Auld Lang Syne

                                                                 off key

I drown

sudden sorrow

in shoddy local Sake

And before

New Year's Eve's

slow Burmese death

So

should

She

 

Last Call

(revised)

 

A lush

and sultry

evening

A mist

of shadows,

a veil

of Blues,

a breeze

of fine,

white breasts,

in semi-darkness

A

low-cut

down-dress

waitress

loathing rush

and hushing,

making

leaving

slow

and

most

reluctant

As

that

late

night

beguiling,

she

the stage

Not

the

Act

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

-The Axeman Cometh

 

                                                                    Café De Pilaren

 

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

             

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

 

- Oh, go practice onomatopoeias!

- Oh, go fondle yourself!

 

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

 

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

 

                 Confessions of a Feathered Friend

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

  

It’s good to be out looking in, it’s good to be up looking down, it’s good to be few and free and strong, when they’re weak and many. I know I sit 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, I deeply wonder?

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, poor suckers!

 

 

***

 

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

- I'm sorry, I don't speak ελληνικ!

- Not even with your new fiancée?

- Especially with her!

- Must be quite a beast, Sir

- Yes, but never use an old goat!

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

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

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

 

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

- Maverick: Oh, no! Not another conformist!

- Faculty Prince: Sudden changes kill, structures protect!

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

- Faculty Prince: Anarchy's not the cure

- Maverick: Neither's apathy

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

- Maverick: Then let me breathe

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

- Maverick: No. Your absolute certainties do!

 

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

- Outrageous (White) Lies:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

                                                      - Cobb's hurting!

                                                      - What happened?  

                                                      - He got struck by her wallet!

                                                      - Was it full?

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

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

                                                      - Forgetting her? Forgetting us?

                                                      - I hope not!

                                                                                                                                               

                     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

   

 

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

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

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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.