this is not a trick . . .|
[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
[ << Previous 20 ]
[ << Previous 20 ]
|Monday, June 3rd, 2013|
Someday, they may find out what it's like.
Someday, they may find out what it's like "over there", where the wild things are.
Someday, they may find their brothers' boots on their chests, their uncles' hands on their throats, and their sons' teeth grinning like Punch.
Someday, they may find their sisters' songs cracking, their aunts' recipes poison, and their daughters' smiles wagging their hysterias.
Someday, they find out their grandparents DID have it better off.
Someday, they may gain the wisdom of the killing fields and the boxcars and the inquisitioning moustaches.
Someday, they may find themselves in a metamorphosis.
Someday, they may learn about the whispers of worms.
Someday, they may find themselves at the end of the ricochet.
Someday, they may find all the bridges burned, the doors locked, and the windows boarded up.
Someday, they may find the rubber bullets too tough.
Someday, they may find the cold concrete floor on their ruddy face.
Someday, they may find the thunderbird nests silent and empty.
Someday, they may find out where the busloads of bruises are going to so fast.
Someday, they may find a rock in their fist.
Someday, they may find freshly-dug mud in their playgrounds at dawn.
Someday, they may find the altered photographs.
Someday, they may find out what sustains the wilting gardens of the uniformed and wasp's-nest set.
Someday, they may find out that not even the nurses can save you.
Someday, they may find out what the blind can see.
Someday, they may find out what the teachers never taught.
Someday, they may remember the barricades of another, more ancient, smokey night.
Someday, they may remember the uses of rope, wood, steel, and chemistry.
Someday, they may find the rug snatched out from under them.
Someday, they may find the solution that feeds the flames.
Someday, they may find the Death card in their Tarot.
Someday, they may strike the Tower card on the forehead of the Kindly Ones.
Someday, they may unleash the Kraken on the ships of fools.
Someday, they may be willing to lay their sheepish life down for the shepherd.
Someday, they may face their reflection's nuclear option.
Someday, they may find out where Justice and Mercy make their beds.
Someday, they may be given their recompense.
Someday, they will pay.
Someday, they will wake up.
|Thursday, May 2nd, 2013|
Now I have to contend with the Buendia family. I might as well give up the idea of writing.
|Saturday, April 27th, 2013|
Dora knows she has all night to think about her answer to Rudo’s question, and no time more. A quick glance behind her reveals Rudo slouched against a window by the restaurant entrance.
smoking again, he said he quit, she knew better, knew he was a liar,
but of course she ignored her better judgment, the advice of her girlfriends
and her best friend Skylar, and now she’s paying for it with a front-row seat,
at a restaurant she hates, to witness her Rudo’s true intentions, infidelities
She could easily answer by stepping off the sidewalk, hailing a taxi, and disappearing back into the insular world of her parents’ apartment and cottage.
She could also answer by drawing out the small gun in her purse, taking aim, and then taking full responsibility before a court of law for premeditated murder, because hadn’t she been planning this perfect, public moment of revenge for so many months?
No, she is fully aware of her answer, and espying Rudo’s olive eyes glaring her way, hazy, rejecting, she smiles back and turns to re-enter the restaurant, the four-diamond restaurant she hates for its chintzy décor and miniscule portions, but not before reaching into her purse and carefully, discretely, pressing the button to a pager.
Six miles away from the Fransi, River City’s glory of the bourgesie, Caroline is sitting at the dining-room table of her apartment, fingering a rosary and flipping through a two year-old edition of a housekeeping journal. She glances at the clock above the telephone: eleven-twenty at night, and no call. She begins to suspect trouble, but she also suspects that maybe, just maybe, her best friend finally walk-
A buzz. A-buzz-buz-buzzzzz. The pager, which has been sitting on the table in front of her for three hours, silent, vibrates hard enough to spill a nearby glass of water. Caroline barely attempts to clean the mess: she rushes to the phone and dials a number, a number she’s been ready to call all night. A small comfort emerges: her phone is the last land line on the black, her grandmother’s number from 1951.
He never knew this particular street existed in River City.
He never knew there were four expensive, slightly-under-quality restaurants scrunched in between bars, law offices, and a series of trendy condominiums, on this particular street in River City.
He never knew that the particular restaurant he was sitting in - The Levinia, a “vegan-sushi-fusion concept establishment” - occupies the former home of River City’s most infamous gay bar (now closed), and was directly across the street from the city’s claim to upper-crust fame: Fransi, a four-diamond, AAA-certified nod to the rotted core of the Big Apple and Co., and also occupying the former home of a gay bar (now relocated on the next block to the east).
He never knew a bartender could look as hot as the one delivering to him, at that moment, the most perfect Myers-and-coke cocktail - or be as knowledgeable about Levinia’s historic locale
he told him his name: Nico
he told him his line: I’ll be your bartender tonight
he told him his two signature cocktails: a martini involving
muddling, twisting, clipping, infusing, and chanting curses of
Chthulu over sixteen local ingredients; and a perfectly-balanced
he told him the price: six-fifty, which was about market rate
downtown for a good rum
he smelled like Hugo Boss
he tensed in his arms like a wide receiver, and he’d make him
receive all his width
he smiled like Orion’s Belt
he looked the dream of an Italian stallion come true
and the historic locale of the Fransi - and could talk with the titillating blend of no-nonsense business and all-nonsense come-on that he was laying, slowly, above the rim of the Collins glass.
Skylar realizes he reminds him of an actor in a film he saw at the CAG down the block, an actor that stands out solely for his nose and the way it curves up to his squinting eyes when facing either the sun or an uncomfortable situation.
His thoughts are interrupted by the vibration of his phone.
Tomas and Anita watch a woman return to her seat four tables away.
she is beautiful
yes she is
would you go down on her
we would go down and then up together
just like heaven
paradise by the tea candle lights darling
husband boyfriend trick date cousin
i suspect a bad date
he doesn’t love her
i see that
he looks at her with eyes of commodity
he looks at her with the eyes of a wolf
he’s hungry like the wolf
in that dress so red
did he eat her dear grandmother to leave her so tear-stained
i should talk to her before he comes back
no darling don’t
it's evident this is her battle
yes a battle
a battle of wits
and who shall win
we shall wait and see
but should it go badly
then my darling we shall intervene
we shall swoop and rescue
our darling edible red-wearing
Tomas and Anita watch a young man - not the man who had been drinking wine with the woman before - approach the table and begin talking, frantically, with the woman in the red dress. The conversation is whispered, but Tomas and Anita can tell, it is serious and fraught with the tension of a potential wrong move.
She lives only six miles away from River City's downtown, but the drive there feels twenty, fifty, a lifetime. Caroline's car cannot go fast enough: an accident involving five cars blocks one street, while another is under construction and closed to thru traffic, and the lights are conspiring at each intersection to make her lose her patience and frett for Dora's life.
|Friday, April 19th, 2013|
The April 8th edition of TNY'er had an essay by Mr. Denk about piano lessons.
Pianos. Pee-in-yours, Pyango's. Pianofortes for days.
First piano ever met: the massive, ornately-carved edifice in the dining room of my great-great aunt's farmhouse in the 'Donia. The keys were ivory, half of them long-since vanished. The sound board was cracked, the strings rusted; it sounded the banshee when I furtively slammed my hands on it. Just after high school, I would find the missing ivory key tops in a plastic baggy, buried in a box in the basement.
First attempt at playing a song: attempting to pluck the melody of a song from the CRC Psalter hymnal, on the piano in my fourth grade classroom at the Christian elementary school in 'Utton. Someone heard me, or saw me, leading to my eventual taking-up of lessons in seventh grade.
My piano teacher: Mrs. Van Solkema.
Years spent taking lessons: 1-1/2. After my mother died in 1994, my father discontinued the lessons.
First piano books purchased: a compilation of Beethoven sonatas and bagatelles, and simplified renditions of Duke Ellington songs.
First piano competition entered: the State Solo Ensemble competition at East Hood High School, my senior year. I had just turned nineteen, and my ambition was to learn Rachmaninov's Prelude in C-Minor, which he composed at the same age. On a scale of 1-4, I was given a 2; my pedaling was muddy, my arpeggios far-too staccato. I was complimented, however, by the judges on my attempt. For not having had lessons in 4 years, for being self-taught . . .
First concerto attempted: George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," which is in the concerto/sonata format. I learned a solo rendition of the piece and frequently played excerpts of it for classmates and teachers, and at special school functions.
First music composed: "The Chadwick Rag", figured out on the Macintosh Finale music program in the computer labs at school. I went on to write 20 other rags and aspired to compose a "Hungarian Concerto" in the style of Listz and Rach.
First piano pleasure: teaching some fellow piano students at Wheaton College how to improvise off of classical music. I sat down with some Bach preludes, a Chopin waltz, and "Onward Christian Soldiers", and created my own jazz-style improvisations with the professor. I then played "In Your Own Sweet Way" by Dave Brubeck.
Pianists I have seen and loved: Marian McPartland, Herbie Hancock, Emmanuel Axe, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, and Danilo Perez.
First musical tragedy: the house fire in 2003, started by my father's girlfriend and her sister in a vengeful, drug-fueled rage, that gutted the building. While my room was unscathed by the fire, in the subsequent years I lost my clarinet, bassoon, the 2 playable pianos that were in the house, and the box of my composed sheet music, along with 30+ books of music I had bought from dealers over the years. All I have left are three rags by William Bolcom, "The Well-Tempered Clavier" by Bach, Kabalevsky's "Preludes", and an Armenian Christian Reformed Church hymn book.
First musical dream: to have a Steinway baby grand piano, in a house surrounded by fields of iris, where I can compose and create music without having to worry about food, clothing, or shelter. The only person I ever told the dream to was my high school band director, Mr. Thomas Peck.
|Tuesday, April 16th, 2013|
A heat wave had struck the city, and Kristos could not bear it, even with his apartment's air conditioning turned on full blast. He took to spending the unbearable afternoons on his terrace, drinking water and hiding in the shade of an umbrella. It was so hot he could not stand to even wear shorts; he sat in his wicker chair in a jockstrap, legs splayed out, eyes closed as he wished for the sun to set at evening.
After two days he began to notice that he could see the activity of the street below him from the seclusion of his third-storey apartment. Men, women, children: the throng of the city passed by, and he entertained the idea of someone espying him up there, his sweating balls visible through the cotton, and he grew weak in his own knees. The heat no longer fazed him; he lifted the glass to his lips and imagined a curious face glancing upward. Desire stirred within.
A week passed, and still the heat clung to the city's very gutters, unabated. Kristos now spent hours on his terrace, and had even grown accustomed to seeing the comings and goings of familiar individuals, unknown save for their timely passing below. He began imagining the more attractive of the regular passer-by's looking up, seeing him in his Greecian glory, sweating, available, and charging through the building lobby to his doorstep, where his throbbing erection would be waiting.
On the ninth day of the heatwave, Kristos noticed an unfamiliar face during the evening rush hour. Tall, broad shouldered, and dark as night, the man wore a dress shirt so tight his chest bled through. He had taken his tie off, and the open shirt front revealed a smooth chocolate ravine that sent Kristos into a dizzying pant. He whispered to himself, "Look up, look at me," and seized his erection until the man passed out of view. His hands stuck to the water glass and his cock, he sighed emptiness.
The moment had made him hungry, and he moved indoors to prepare dinner. He put on jeans and a shirt to keep warm in the blasting cool of his kitchen, and in good time: his apartment buzzer rang five times in quick succession, and he had to leave his pots boiling with rice to answer the door.
He caught his breath; the black gentleman stood before him in the same shirt and slacks, shy, awkward.
"Hi. I'm Harold, I just moved in next door."
Kristos held out his hand, mumbling his name, and on contact realized it was still sticky with cum. Harold seemed not to notice, only smiling and saying, "Nice to meet you, Kristos. I hate to bother you, could I borrow a frying pan? My kitchen stuff is still packed away, and I have vegetables to sautee."
Kristos could hardly hear his words, he could only smile and nod. He invited Harold into his apartment, apologizing for its disarray, he had been unable to clean, what with work and the stifling heat, but yes he had a sautee pan to borrow, and no there was no time limit on how long he could use it, he understood how difficult it could be to settle into a new place, unpacking, and if he wasn't at home he could always leave the pan outside his door on the small table where his mail was left.
Harold glanced around the apartment during Kristos' monologue, taking in the Greecian art and the small stack of men's fashion magazines on the coffee table. He took the pan with a thank you, and after leaving, Kristos ran to the bathroom to relieve himself; he had done everything to keep himself under control.
He did not see Harold for the next two days; splayed out on his terrace Kristos saw no sign of the pastel oxford-pinched man. He grew despondent; he worried that Harold would not return, that the magazines had turned him away; he assumed he should have been more obvious with his desire. At night he began to sleep on the couch, close to the door, waiting for the buzzer. He had forgotten about the sautee pan.
|Thursday, April 11th, 2013|
Viewing the weather from the relative safety of a coffeehouse, I'm reminded of spring storms in the countryside where I grew up, and watching ancient elm trees thrash in the wind. There would always be the lichen-strewn piles of branches and leaves, the muddy ponds in the driveway, and the occasional tree toads hugging the eave drains.
I can smell the iris and columbine, soaked underneath the pine trees; I can touch the Eliotous earth and feel the dried tubers yawning.
The bedroom windows would be open, so I could hear the rain, feel the winds, smell the dampness, and watch the grey patina course overhead toward the east and the farm fields I was always told to never explore when I was a child.
I would play piano to the sound of the rain; I would draw to the sound of the rain; I would lie in bed and wonder about the imaginary worlds in my head while the Deluge fell around me.
Waking up this afternoon, I checked online to see what my bank account held . . . Miracles of miracles! Financial glories earned through overwork and tenacity, and the debts finally paid. The idea of not having to worry about the beck-and-call of debtors and law firms and credit reports, the sight of three digits transforming to four and remaining there . . . I can smell the gardens of earthly delights, and there is a faint scent of hope.
|Tuesday, April 9th, 2013|
This is a story about a town.
The town is bordered on the east by The Chasm and Abyss of Everything Else. It is the edge of the world, shrouded in ethereal mists that smell faintly of jock itch and sour milk. It is also the town's dumping grounds, and where the sewer system empties. The citizens of the town pride themselves on this ingenious method of purifying their water supply, maintaining the quality of their soil, and establishing the aesthetically-pleasing sight of no plastic trash barrels on the sidewalks, and they could care less where the trash and sewage goes.
The people who live in an alterior-motive dimension, however, care quite a bit, and are trying to develop a reverse-vacuum method to force a return of the mysterious garbage that falls from the sky, coincidentally every Friday around two in the afternoon. So far, they are failing successfully.
To the north of the town runs a two-lane dirt road that connects to another town, whose name has been lost to local memory, so it is casually referred to as Over There. Over There is a post office, a restaurant with good food and bad service, and several houses that are occupied out of inertia.
The road is bordered by Dark Forests, Darker Ditches, and The Darkest of Nights. Squirrels are sent here to die, usually bound and gagged and writhing in fear.
South of the town is The Lake, which shimmers, and The Hills, which shine. Beyond them is The Unknown, which the citizens of the town are quite content with.
The west of the town is occupied by a comfortable variety of civic structures: the school, an ordinary cemetery, the Clubhouse, the Chinchilla Skinning School and Tannery, and the (now-empty) Community Chicken Coop. It is also where the Midsummer Gate can be found.
The Midsummer Gate is a white-picket fence that runs the length of the town, from The Unknown to The Darker Ditches and Darkest of Nights. Beyond it, one can see a vast field of wild grass, the occasional tree, and rolling hills composed of amber waves of grain. On a clear day, the citizens can see forever, espying purple mountain majesties rising above very fruitful plains; herds of cattle, sheep, and throngs of turkeys, grazing and pecking in peace; dear and antelope playing; and a man with a push lawnmower who trims the grass along the fence. The man, who calls himself Pyho Near, likes to talk about the weather, the herds, and the Four Spacious Skies. The citizens of the town (and especially the children) have only seen one of those skies, and assume he is high on crack.
In the middle of the fence is the Gate itself. No one has tried going through the gate since Geoffrey Muggles walked through it and disappeared three years ago. His parents, at first stricken with grief, were relieved to know that he was safe within the confines of a private school, where he was learning important life-skills like Mandrake Root-Pulling, which was especially necessary in the town since The Hills were covered in mandrakes, a delicacy best served sauteed with carrots and roast chicken at the Bad Waitress Cafe.
Indeed, no one tried going through the gate, afraid of facing a similar fate as Geoffrey, and so everyone preferred climbing over the fence in order to slaughter cattle, sheer sheep, and talk with Mr. Near, who commented on the disappearance with a simple, "I told ya so."
It is a frightening sight, seeing a smart-alecky adolescent brag about opening the Midsummer Gate, which no one had ever attempted, and, within seconds of crossing the threshold, vanish into thin air, thus assuring no one would ever open it again.
At least we know Geoffrey is passing his Spell Casting exams with flying octarin colours.
His mother, Clarity Moment, was proud.
I took a trip, over a week, with one Rose Macaulay, in search of "The Towers of Trebizond" . . . I saw them briefly, in the flash of a dream, and in the circumnavigation of a world I will never encounter. I fell in love with the eccentric British upper class that flocked, spies and book signings and evangelism and schizophrenic camels and all, to Anatolia and the Levant, bringing into my imagination strange cities and otherworldly encounters with people who never existed or, if they did exist, are dead and forgotten. The digressions involving politics, the conflict of religion and agnosticism (Anglicanism plays a secondary melody to the plot of Aunt Dot, Rev. Piggs, and the narrator), and the underlying undertow of romance and high espionage form . . . Something inspiring and indicative of a lack
in my life.
Looking at the scar on my ring finger, how odd that it should form an arc where legendary bands of gold should be, a numbing memory of self-condemnation made years ago. It still hurts, and to type on a keyboard or write long-winded accounts in the black, leathery journal leaves a tingle, a prick of guilt. Would my anger really be so great, so loud, so repressed, that it would seek this outlet, stitches and violence and blood and embarrassment?
I succeeded in registering my newly-acquired car at the S.O.S. yesterday, a $61 affair (I think I got off lightly compared to others) with a license plate and sticker, legality and legitimacy, a somewhat-trite claim of responsibility and "progress" on my individual path.
. . . I do miss, however, the glorious passivity and introverted nature of public transportation, how one simply enters, sits or stands, and becomes immersed in a self-contained universe, a world some folks fear and others could never understand. I especially miss the voices.
|Thursday, March 28th, 2013|
Glancing over the "friends" list on this journal's page, all I see are a number of abandoned windows and locked doors, empty fascades where once amusing conversations and photographs took place.
I think it's odd, how I've stuck around with just an isolated few, and so many others have taken off for other islands in the Internet Archipelago. Why not demolish the crumbling edifices? Why leave them standing?
The process of acquiring insurance for my car has been daunting. Everyone wants money in extreme, and everyone wants 1st month+assurance-of-future-payment money, and if not that they want the soul of your financial institution written in blood on a scroll to be locked away in the vaults of the Bureau of Hell. Even if I were to agree to take on a life policy and (maybe) basic health insurance, it wouldn't make much of a dent in the price. I'm faced with real decisions, and while the temptation to run away is prevalent, the idea of seeing this financial challenge through is more tempting. It's the idea of winning this ridiculous game of adulthood-a-la-Amerika, of having the last laugh at the end of it . . . What would
I have to do to have the last laugh?
|Monday, March 25th, 2013|
There is a restaurant, on the north side of town, by a highway, and I work there.
There is a restaurant, on the south side of town, on a 5-lane state route, and I work there.
There are two restaurants, of the same international chain, separated by two franchise owners, and I work at both of them.
What surprises me, sometimes, are the patterns I constantly fall into. I long for change, and commit to it so drastically that I endanger my stability and livelihood; I long for quietude, and commit to it so drastically that I kill off any and all energy and creativity.
I kept telling myself I wouldn't go back to the restaurant on the north side, not after the disrespect and ineptitude shown by the management . . . But sometimes, home is home, and that restaurant is as much a home as any. I care for it, which is shocking, but with no family, no lovers, and no over-arching goal in my life, the only thing I have to care about is
the restaurant. I care for it so much I grow possessive, angst-ridden if things don't go my way, and grab for any amount of control and manipulation I can exert.
They needed help, and I offered to go back if they'd have me. They took me back, and I'm going to milk it for all it's worth.
That means, however, the abandonment of so much else. It hurts. I don't draw any more, I read passively, and I'm too tired to write. While I'm thankful for the lack of a television, a phone, and a video game system, thereby rendering any distractions to my art-literature-music life nonexistent, I am looking around my room, observing the shelves crammed with theologies, travel memoirs, Lawrence Durrell, and photography books, and finding my Self cold and empty.
I hope this two-restaurant life is temporary.
|Thursday, March 21st, 2013|
So excited! My most recent delivery brought me biographies on Rachmaninov and Prokofiev, a collection of postcards featuring Ganesh, and Edward Gorey's two-in-one "A Halloween Treat" and "Edward Gorey's Ghosts".
The Gorey book is especially wonderful, because it features drawings that were used in Mazzeo's edited collection of short stories: "Hauntings, Tales of the Supernatural." That book was part of my mother's collection of massive hardcover novels that I wasn't supposed to read as a child, but which I somehow succeeded in sneaking into my room as I approached middle school. The Gorey drawings, mixed with other books on the occult and the wonderfully drama-rama that was "The X-Files", turned my imagination inside to out and back again.
I plan on attempting a relocation of that Mazzeo book, I like the idea of occasionally revisiting - even reviving - the dead of my graveyard of dreams.http://www.amazon.com/Hauntings-Tales-Supernatural-Henry-Mazzeo/dp/038509373X
|Tuesday, March 19th, 2013|
I found a most unexpected tome: "The Crooked Timber of Humanity", a collection of essays by Isaiah Berlin, and only 25 cents to boot! I came to Berlin on account of Akhmatova, who was recommended - recited, even - by a young man from South Haven. I can recall the Russian edition of Akhmatova's poems that he stole from the university library, where he was studying literature, and how it sat impressively on a coffee table in the apartment where he was living at the time. He read me a couple of them in Russian, translated them, and began reciting the great poetess' life and loves.
At some point, he mentioned Isaiah Berlin.
"Oh, the guy who wrote a famous essay, right?"
"'The Hedgehog and the Fox', have you read it?"
"No, I've only heard of it."
"You HAVE to read it! You HAVE to! It's amazing, dude, and you have to read Ahkmatova. She speaks to you, it's incredible."
His passion convinced me, and the next day I finagled rent money to buy Berlin's essay and Ahkmatova's "Complete Poems", and while the Berlin essay vanished into a box at a Goodwill store, the book of poems sits on a shelf, well-thumbed, well-underlined, but not as well-loved as, say, my copy of "Invisible Cities" or the hardcover "Mysterium Coniunctionis". I realized that, rather than buying Ahkmatova out of an honest interest in experiencing her being, I bought it out of an infatuation with the boy from South Haven. Her great poems sit in testament to an unrequited love.
But it was through Ahkmatova that I came to read Berlin, and thus learn about the incredible life of the mind and international politics and culture that he lived. His life makes me very jealous . . . And somehow, Berlin lead me to the writings of Walter Benjamin and Osip Mandelstram, also recommended to me by the boy from South Haven.
|Saturday, March 16th, 2013|
Today, I will be passing the 500 mark in terms of journal entries . . . Of course, I would technically have more if my previous incarnation still existed, but still . . . I looked back on some of my previous entries, and had a good laugh at some of my silliness, queenly attitudes, and general mayhem of journal writing. It is slightly comforting to know that little has changed save my willingness to now keep the minor-league details out, and maintain a certain level of dignified typenstance.
(did I just coin a new word there? "typenstance"???? hmmmm . . .)
After work tonight, had a run in with a former coffee drinker at a now-closed gay coffeehouse in town. We were standing outside a bar, having a brief cigarette before going inside, and he insisted on playing a tirade in my ear about how he was tired of being single and so, so lonely.
There is a point where I do not mind lending an ear to other single people, or those of the House of Broken Hearts, concerning the finer points of celibacy, singleness, and woe-is-me loneliness . . . I have woe-ed, whined, and tear jerked myself to others before, and the talking can be a medicine in its own right. However . . . There is a point where it is annoying, where it is just too much.
I wish people would just be content with their current lot, hope for the best, and learn to wait patiently, despite whatever emotional pain they may experience. It's not that bad . . . Or maybe it's just perspective being judgmental again. No matter . . . I told my friend to suck it up and quit whining. He was offended, of course.
|Tuesday, March 12th, 2013|
"We know that human minds have proved themselves capable of everything from imbecility to Quantum Theory, from
'Mein Kampf' and sadism to the sanctity of Philip Neri, from metaphysics to crossword puzzles, power politics and the
Illustrating my own edited version of "The Perennial Philosophy" is proving to be a chore.
|Saturday, March 9th, 2013|
Inspiration with lead and pulp . . .
Novalis' "Die Lehrlinge zu Sais" was cleverly matched with fifty illustrations by Paul Klee, for a translated edition from Archipelago Books. My imagination flared with the sweeping visions of Nature, and the way in which our relationship to Nature - conquest versus conquered by, love versus hate, industry versus poetry - twists and turns like smoke in the breeze. The concluding remarks by the teacher who presides over Die Lehrlinge are a week's worth of meditations by themselves.
"When we read and hear true poems, we feel the movement of nature's inner reason and, like its celestial embodiment, we dwell in it and hover over it at once."
Just when I think I have a knocked-out list, another one arises and asserts its Self.
There is no end; there is only a Borgesian library.
|Friday, March 8th, 2013|
While sitting in one of the last coffeehouses in River City that dates back to my first forays into the nightlife of chess games and theological texts, I came across this passage in Rene Crevel's "Mon corps et moi":
>>>But if I turn to books rather than nightclubs, I continue to find false revelations. Everything, here as there, has been transposed. Faked.<<<
I don't want this passage to be true, I really don't. The last thing I want to find that, after all these years of reading book after book, recording paragraphs and poems and entire sections of essays in journals, having moments of despair and mania and melancholy and euphoria over the fictional twists of ink on bleached sands . . . That everything I've walked through has been a waste, and lead me astray.
I've been through the nightclubs - I still go through them, although not as frequent - and always found them wanting of truth. Not that I didn't find the occasional direction to a high hill or a thirst-quenching spring, but I never felt comfortable and still don't. I was never deceived by the superficial smiles.
But to be told that my trek through Literature, and all the accumulated experiences, are but trash and facile resolutions . . . What am I, then? And who am I, with all of that thrown out the window?
With two paths revealed as dead ends, where to go now?
|Sunday, March 3rd, 2013|
I receive the emails every month, reminders of a life I could have potentially lived.
Maybe I could still live that life.
What would I give up, though?
. . . Everything, of course.
I'd give up my sexuality, my drinking habits, my books, my possessions, my attitude, my drug addictions.
I'd give up everything . . . Just to be a Christian missionary in Latin America, in Asia, in Africa.
I'd give up everything, if the time and moment were right, to follow a dream from another lifetime.
But would I be happier?
Would I be - Me?
|Friday, March 1st, 2013|
"She wanted to enjoy. Her life had been a long strain, one long effort to surpass herself, to create, to perfect, a desperate and anxious flight upwards, always aiming higher, seeking greater difficulties, accumulating victories, loves, books, creations, always shedding yesterday's woman to pursue a new vision.
"Today she wanted to enjoy . . ."
*Anais Nin, Winter Of Artifice
I am able to recall when, in deep midwinters, I enjoyed them.
They were, I kept telling myself, friends.
Now I only see the dangling wires, the broken posts stretching along the road.
The dial tone is disconnected.
Even with the jokes, the diner food, the piped-in muzak inviting drag-queening imitations . . . Disconnection.
I can never tell when it's a matter of them or myself.
|Wednesday, February 27th, 2013|
In all things tome-related . . . I began reading one of my recent acquisitions from Archipelago Books, Gerard de Nerval's "Les faux saulniers", roughly 2 days ago. It is something of a farcical adventure, a mad search for a book everyone seems to think exists but no one can find, about a man that seems to have existed in the public records but no one can verify the spelling of his name, let alone his actual existence. Along the way there are mad librarians, lovers' trysts, carriage rides, and political diatribes. It is funny in a way that "funny" isn't trying for much anymore; the understated one-liner, the wink-wink commentary, and the dragonfly stab of a witty saber-mouth. On politicians in Second Republic France:
"There are those who loudly protest that they would never sell themselves; - perhaps because no one would ever want to buy them."
On other notes . . . After a 2-1/2 year hiatus, I finally succeeded in obtaining my driver's license. During an inquiry with the Secretary Of State about purchasing motor vehicles without a license, (one can, it seems) I asked about my record; a driving suspension from Ohio (due to an accident in 2006) had prevented me from renewing my license in 2010, which was given up voluntarily; an accident in Ohio rendered me less one car and, for better or worse, more one difficulty in my life at the time. The clerk, a most helpful and effervescent brunette with an upturned nose, glanced at my record, scanned the codes and symbologies of which I knew nothing, and immediately placed a call to the capitol-located offices. Seven minutes of head-nodding, breath-mumbling, eye-roll-instigating silence on the part of the clerk, (interspersed with such interjections as "uhuh", "okay", and "hmm") and she turned to me to declare:
"We can override the Ohio driving suspension block, we just need $25 and this list (*hands me a list) of identification to prove your residency."
The amount of identification desired by my state government, just to obtain permission to drive a car, would have made Thomas Hardy tremble for its length and breadth. But prove my residency I did, and a license I did receive. Everyone I knew that I met that day was accosted with a temporary permit paper waved in their face, brusquer than Lady Windermere's fan.
I then commenced to sketch a version of Dali's painting "Asher" from his "Twelve Tribes" series, because nothing speaks of celebratory license-acquiring fun than copying a picture of a Virgil-like figure morphing into a knotted tree in a desert.
Next . . . Acquiring a motor vehicle that, first and foremost, is capable of moving forward and in reverse without breaking 6 laws simultaneously.