INTRODUCING THE KEVORKO 3000

    THE WORLD OF TOMORROW will belong to level-headed people who can separate facts from fantasy and who mature at a relatively young age, enabling them NOT to fall for shallow, ugly, decadently wasteful and narcissistic kitsch like “Burning Man,” which is a Last Gasp of the self-deluded Vampire Consumerism that inspired it. What is this BURNING MAN  ritual, in the end, but a messy montage of meaningless visuals decorating a dark hunger for New Sensations and Special Powers and Elite Significance? One of the first symptoms of Fascist Contagion is one of Scale: inhuman, post-industrial, resource-commandeering scale. Q: … Continue reading INTRODUCING THE KEVORKO 3000

PHILOSOPHOSOPHY

    So-called “Philosophy”  (the loving of wisdom, literally translated) is more accurately described as “PHILOSOPHOSOPHY”… the love of, or reverence for, Philosophers. A patriarchal cult of personality in which the latest leading figures borrow authority by citing the leading figures preceding them. There’s not a (useful) notion,  or suggested practise, in the entire canon that hasn’t already been come up with by  reasonably-intelligent 50-year-olds with plenty of Life Experience. Where material in the canon diverges from that common sense standard, it is merely trivially arcane, absurd or terribly dangerous (cf Heidegger or Fukuyama). Questing young men read volumes of … Continue reading PHILOSOPHOSOPHY

LOGICAL INTELLIGENCE THREATENS THE CRYSTAL of OBEDIENCE (BELATEDLY) AGAIN

Possible Headline: “A FLAGSHIP ANTI-CRACKER TRANSCENDS IDEOLOGICAL CONFORMITY and CEASES BEING A USEFUL IDIOT… DISCOVERING IN THE PROCESS THAT SOME  UR-CRACKERS WERE TEMPORARILY (for 2 years?)  MORE RATIONAL THAN HE WAS IN THE FACE OF AUTHORITARIAN OVERREACH: WHOA. THE OBEDIENCE CRYSTAL:  IS IT CRACKING? THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN INTELLIGENT MOB, WHATEVER A MOB’S  GROUP-SYMBOLS/ LIFESTYLES MAY BE. EVEN IF YOUR CO-MOB ENJOYS THE MUSIC OF TOM WAITS, YOUR FANCY MOB BECAME A TOOL OF CLEVER FASCIST MEGA-CORPORATIONS.” End headline. (Please ignore the sesquipedalian prattle of the Fabian host, below, and focus on Robbins’ testimony) . . .. … Continue reading LOGICAL INTELLIGENCE THREATENS THE CRYSTAL of OBEDIENCE (BELATEDLY) AGAIN

ANOTHER DELIGHTFUL CHAPTER from my NOVEL IN PROGRESS “KOOTCHIE TOWERS” (an experience in layered, sometimes dense, sometimes secretive, clarity)

    CHAPTER SIX: MYRVA & BENJI The year is 1974 and our skittish hero, progressive college prof Benji Schamansky, bestselling author of “The Physics of Lit,” isn’t quite sure if he’s been dumped, by his Lover/ Obsession Prentis Bel, as he drives Prentis’ “old school friend,” Myrva, home from an ambiguous fondue dinner,  at Prentis’ pad, in his customized VW van…  Myrva produced an unopened bottle of Kahlùa from her capacious purse and pressed the bottle’s cool glass side to Benji’s cheek as the road hummed and swerved under them and Myrva said, “Let’s play my favorite drinking game. … Continue reading ANOTHER DELIGHTFUL CHAPTER from my NOVEL IN PROGRESS “KOOTCHIE TOWERS” (an experience in layered, sometimes dense, sometimes secretive, clarity)

(Even-Handedly Smarty-Thinky Stuff about) KANYE’S NIGHTMARE

  To be frank: how many “average” Jews could the West Formerly Known as Kanye actually know? The Jews that Kanye generally knows have a contractual relationship with him, or they know him via Jews who do, and the power dynamic, in most of these relationships, confound Kanye in a way that has confounded many Pop/ Rock/ R&B Stars before him.  Prince complained about these things and so did Michael Jackson. Talented musicians are rarely gifted negotiators. As I’ve said elsewhere: if you can’t read Postmodern Literature, you can’t read a contract. To be under contract is not the same … Continue reading (Even-Handedly Smarty-Thinky Stuff about) KANYE’S NIGHTMARE

EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 2: IMAGINED

[re-posted every year around this time] 1– I can’t remember if it was Kurt’s idea. Maybe it was mine. Ideas come out of the air at that age. As you grow older they have to be created. Also the idea of driving to New York before Christmas was more of an impulse than an idea. Though, again, at that age, ideas are impulses. They are hormones. Wait… that’s right… …It was Kurt’s idea. He didn’t want to spend Xmas with his mother. He thought that by driving out there a couple of weeks before Xmas day he could avoid the highest … Continue reading EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 2: IMAGINED

THE FIRST FASTGIVING

*Of course it was Berkeley where it started and of course it was a college prof and his family of gestures. *The acoustic properties of transmitted legend has already blurred the edges on the actual  facts, somewhat,  so what we think we know has gathered the fuzz of embellishment. You don’t know the word “embellishment”?  Sorry, I’ll tone it down.  We don’t know the prof’s name but we think we know he was a sociologist.  It’s the kind of thing a sociologist would do. I sometimes ask myself if even a Writer would have thought up something as self-abneg… you … Continue reading THE FIRST FASTGIVING

WIFENESS: GONADAL EXEGESES IN THREE or FOUR PARTS/ Part Three: THE MYSTICAL CITADEL of UXOR

Chris Frantz, founding drummer of the defunct Talking Heads, is known for his uxoriousness. “Uxoriousness” is defined as “Overt devotion or submissiveness to one’s wife”. I’m “uxorious” to the extent of my devotion to my Wife, though I wouldn’t describe myself as “submissive” to anyone. Who knows if Chris Frantz is submissive to his wife, Tina Weymouth (former bassist of the defunct Talking Heads), but I do know that his uxoriousness is of a complicated kind, and also that it’s making a kind of charmingly gallant ass of him. “Without Tina Weymouth, Talking Heads would have been just another band,” … Continue reading WIFENESS: GONADAL EXEGESES IN THREE or FOUR PARTS/ Part Three: THE MYSTICAL CITADEL of UXOR

KOOTCHIE TOWERS EXCERPT #1 (first three chapters)

TRACK ONE/ SIDE ONE: PRENTIS & BENJI   Cowper Lundgren slipped into Benjamin Schamansky’s office with loafered stealth. Such loafered stealth that he was able to stand and watch Schamansky enjoying a smutty undergraduate humor magazine for a full minute before Schamansky noticed he wasn’t alone. Looking up and to his left suddenly Schamansky jumped out of his skin, catapulting the magazine against the acoustical foam in the ceiling, where it left a little dent. Lundgren’s hands were clasped behind his very straight back and the signature wave in his full head of hair gleamed white like his smile as … Continue reading KOOTCHIE TOWERS EXCERPT #1 (first three chapters)

KOOTCHIE TOWERS EXCERPT #4

Let’s take a stylistic trip across Literary History, back to when Novels were Novels, Writers were Writers, and Sex was Pretty Fucking Good. The writing in/of these chapters was so fluid, round, nutritive and sweet that I’m posting this only minutes after the last round of tweakings. The year is 1974 and Kyndall, whose man Skip is in the process of being stolen by usurper Prentis Bel, is having a weird day… – KOOTCHIE TOWERS excerpt     TRACK TWO/SIDE TWO: KYNDALL   Kyndall was sitting in bed, topless, arm underscoring her welty tits and the vertical scar between them, … Continue reading KOOTCHIE TOWERS EXCERPT #4

COME PANOPLY WITH ME or SPYING on EXES

1 We live in the most murderously colonialist and Totalitarian Empire in the history of the world and all anyone can talk about are their feelings. 2 OCTOBER 3rd (German unification Day)  2022, near the Zoo Station,  at c. 13:30, a short fat woman,  with multi-colored (pied) hair, saved my life as I was crossing the street. I was wearing headphones, listening loudly to Elvis Costello’s A BOY CALLED IF, not looking, not seeing a cop car speeding toward, and through, the red light the green side of which was cajoling me to cross blithely. Had the little fat woman … Continue reading COME PANOPLY WITH ME or SPYING on EXES

GYPSIES

written in 2010 eering into the open before his sunbrella went up was like having a frying pan in full sizzle put flat on his cheek. The bulging curve of the station wall had a sharp black collar of shade around it in which sat the gypsy with her accordion, playing the dolorous tango they all played within a wild range of capabilities, from grating to futile mastery. She gave him a frank look as he veered out into the unfiltered blast because she blocked the very narrow path the shadow protected, sitting cross-legged on a collapsible chair, shoe tip … Continue reading GYPSIES

WIFENESS: GONADAL EXEGESES IN THREE or FOUR PARTS/ Part Two: HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU: AN EXISTENTIALLY BIOLOGICAL CRITIQUE of LARS VON TRIER’S NYMPHOMANIAC VOL l and VOL ll and ITS MAKING

“To look is to sometimes also forget that one is seen.”  — Pastor Prime PART TWO:  HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU: AN EXISTENTIALLY BIOLOGICAL CRITIQUE of LARS VON TRIER’S NYMPHOMANIAC VOL l and VOL ll and ITS MAKING (part one is HERE) Danish film director Lars Von Trier was fit and okay-looking in the 1980s and 1990s. Von Trier’s appearance has degenerated profoundly as he has aged.  This is standard for humans, though the degree of degeneration varies wildly depending on a cluster of factors. Accepted standards in Art Criticism tend to cause critics to shy away from plugging biographically body-based … Continue reading WIFENESS: GONADAL EXEGESES IN THREE or FOUR PARTS/ Part Two: HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU: AN EXISTENTIALLY BIOLOGICAL CRITIQUE of LARS VON TRIER’S NYMPHOMANIAC VOL l and VOL ll and ITS MAKING

WIFENESS: GONADAL EXEGESES IN THREE or FOUR PARTS/ Part One: Wives of the Wifeless Future

PART ONE:  WIVES of the WIFELESS FUTURE/ BLADE RUNNER 2049: an ANALYSIS “David Hume, the greatest skeptic of them all, once remarked that after a gathering of skeptics met to proclaim the veracity of skepticism as a philosophy, all of the members of the gathering nonetheless left by the door rather than the window. I see Hume’s point.” –Philip K. Dick, How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later . . Phil called me not too long after the wedding to ask for my help again. “You need to fix her.” “Fix who, Phil?” “My wife, … Continue reading WIFENESS: GONADAL EXEGESES IN THREE or FOUR PARTS/ Part One: Wives of the Wifeless Future

4STORIES

We do not die but we forget and forgetting is like unto death, a death of tired associations and attachments, connections so weary they attenuate rather than snap, the rearranging of rearrangement that can only end in the erasure of particulate matter; not a break but an evanescence, a reduction of material memory to its finest single grain, which is not an atom but what this atom meant to itself and other atoms as it forgot itself into The Future. —Anonymous KIA of seeing Jeff with his new girl reminded me of being extremely young, when awkward occasions had gifted … Continue reading 4STORIES

3COUPLES

THE DAINTY HAMMERS Petra Kronos of The Dainty Hammers stopped mid-block, near Rosenthalerplatz, across the street (on a diagonal) from Mein Haus Am See to enjoy the sudden sun. The sudden sun soaked slowly through her old silk blouse like a spreading stain or wound of light. Eyes closed Petra tilted her face to mirror the distant Northern sun. In the North the sun is self-evidently a star. Petra always thought my mother laid this out on the bed to wear it the morning she died before putting on the blouse with a melancholy sense of ceremony. Her adoptive mother. … Continue reading 3COUPLES

PARAPOLITICONS: ADVANCED READINGS for the CLUED-UP, FED UP, EFFED UP and RELATIVELY UNCORRUPT

1(t)READING BETWEEN THE LINES IN THE BOOK BIZ . David Marchese: Let me ask about something that’s not in The Silence, at least not anymore. In the first galley copy I read, there’s a scene in which a character is reciting disastrous events and mentions Covid-19. Then I was told there were changes to the book and was sent a second galley. Covid-19 was gone. Why did you take it out? . Don DeLillo: I didn’t put Covid-19 in there. Somebody else had. Somebody else could have decided that it made it more contemporary. But I said, “There’s no reason … Continue reading PARAPOLITICONS: ADVANCED READINGS for the CLUED-UP, FED UP, EFFED UP and RELATIVELY UNCORRUPT

WE ARE FUCKSTUFF MADE OF STARJUNK

Please picture an auditorium best suited to a motivational speaker’s emotions-manipulating presentation. You are seated in this auditorium. The lighting is calming, muted. The Consort of Musicke’s 2007 issue of John Dowland’s collected works plays softly, nearly subliminally, from invisible speakers above you. The stage curtains are drawn and dark. People are filling the auditorium. The ambient chit chat, coughing, throat-clearings and occasional barks, or tinkles, of laughter,  are gradually rising in density and volume. You have arrived early to take your excellent seats. Your tickets for the evening cost you no money: you solved riddles, on a website,  for … Continue reading WE ARE FUCKSTUFF MADE OF STARJUNK

THE MORAL of the STORY: A DUET (A REVIEW of a STORY and an ERA)

    THE MORAL of the STORY: A DUET (A REVIEW of a STORY and an ERA) A few weeks ago, a short story, by Ian McEwan, appeared in the New Yorker. The short story is an excerpt from a forthcoming novel. The short story concerns a boy, Roland, in an English boarding school during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Roland’s “now,” in the short story, is him at the age of 14,  as the Cuban Missile Crisis is being followed, by the papers, and read about, with exhiliration shading into terror,  by the boys in the boarding school. The Cuban … Continue reading THE MORAL of the STORY: A DUET (A REVIEW of a STORY and an ERA)

DEATHCAMP MEETCUTE (a very short story)

Pinnol, said Birte. Pinnol. I want you to really think about this question before you answer it. Will you? Will you think about this question really very seriously before you answer it? Pinnol smiled and Birte took a breath. Do you remember the first time you came to Deathcamp? What were your impressions? I remember the way I used to think before I came to Deathcamp. Can you remember the way you used to think before you came to Deathcamp? How childishly you probably thought? I thought very much like a child. I’m the first to admit. After all, I … Continue reading DEATHCAMP MEETCUTE (a very short story)

DON’T TELL CHLOE (a short story)

Henry was already famous for having used a logical argument to get out of church every Sunday and now look at him,  recumbent in the field beside his grandmother’s house at all hours and on this particular evening so late that most traffic of the day, no longer rattling untouched china nor rushing in either direction on 115th street, was by then elsewhere, at rest, while Henry fretted. Henry with a book in the tall wild grass of the ownerless field with a flashlight. “Our Father,” said the lady, his grandmother, over dinner. Of all the people who once sat … Continue reading DON’T TELL CHLOE (a short story)

A BRIEF LITERARY CONVERSATION WITH TWO NOW-DEAD FRIENDS, EDMOND and EDMUND

July 29, 2015 The new living embodiment of the relentless anti-intellectual debasement of the literary Arts has stolen the crown from talentless word-processing juggernaut Haruki Murakami: Karl Ove Knausgaard, claim your crown and sceptre! I haven’t read duller, more vacuous, more will-sapping prose in a very, very long time…!  Comments Share Edmond Caldwell I keep putting off my engagement with that tome . . . now I know the reason!   Steven Seven Augustine Oh, but it’s a MUST, Comrade. A must. Laugh.   Steven Seven Augustine (makes Paul Auster look like Milan Kundera in comparison)   Ed Ward I … Continue reading A BRIEF LITERARY CONVERSATION WITH TWO NOW-DEAD FRIENDS, EDMOND and EDMUND

THE FOG OF WAR and Other Aphrodisiacs

EVER HAVE THE PLEASURE OF YELLING AT A SMALL CROWD (c. 30 people) of FASCISTS? I have. A few days ago. Delicious. Wife and I were on a bus. A family of five, with a baby carriage (they looked Turkish or Romanian) got on the bus. The bus driver said, over the PA, that the family should please put their masks on. On the U-Bahn and S-Bahn, it’s easier to get away with wearing no mask, though a substantial fine is threatened if an authority catches you. On the bus, it’s much harder to get away with it: some bus … Continue reading THE FOG OF WAR and Other Aphrodisiacs

EFFDAT: A REPRINT

[Ed.’s note: This is just a quickie as I prepare a more voluminous post] It was the summer of ’14 and I was in a dark, dark place when I first posted about this. I wanted to punch the virtual blob of “public opinion,” which hadn’t had decent taste, admittedly, in decades (should I blame Madonna or Torture Porn?)… but this was a devastatingly low new low:  upon what planet of tasteless, hype-governed nitwits had I been shipwrecked? All I wanted to do was go home, to the Cultural ’70s, wherewhen Experimental Lit was reviewed in the glossies and John … Continue reading EFFDAT: A REPRINT

LIFE IN PARLOUS WARTIME (WITH BREAKS FOR MUSIC)

  —LIFE IN WARTIME   Saturday I went through the second phase of auditioning a new guitarist (phase one was exchanging links to material): meeting him in person at my favorite meet-a-new-musician café. I’ve been using this café for that function for ten years, at least. It’s big, never crowded during the day, with very high ceilings and weird Art on the walls and the ambient music is low key enough to chat over. Anyway, the guy showed up right on time, looking like he’ll look great on stage (I’m six feet tall and he’s maybe six feet four, with … Continue reading LIFE IN PARLOUS WARTIME (WITH BREAKS FOR MUSIC)

RECORD-BREAKING BROKEN RECORDS & other POSTCARDS, FLYERS, PLACARDS, BUMPER STICKERS, FORTUNE COOKIES & MESSAGES IN A BOTTLE from the SUPPURATING RIM of my PUCKERING SOUL-HOLE

    1— 2—   3— 4— 5— 6— 7— 8— 9— 9A—   9B— 10—   11— 12— 13— 14— 15— 16— Continue reading RECORD-BREAKING BROKEN RECORDS & other POSTCARDS, FLYERS, PLACARDS, BUMPER STICKERS, FORTUNE COOKIES & MESSAGES IN A BOTTLE from the SUPPURATING RIM of my PUCKERING SOUL-HOLE

ABORTION: UP THE SLIPPERY SLOPE

1ABORTION: THE IDEOLOGY At 20 weeks the fetus is about the size of a hamster, though it’s not as developed as a hamster. At 26 weeks the fetus is teetering on the edge of being a Proto Human. Facts, common sense and nuanced thinking indicates to me that aborting an unplanned/ unwanted fetus, soon after one has discovered that one has missed one’s period (this would be the speck-to-tadpole stage) is a useful or necessary medical procedure with no moral or ethical ramifications. Aborting the “hamster” at 20 weeks would be sad or even tragic. Aborting any not-malformed, non-life-threatening fetus … Continue reading ABORTION: UP THE SLIPPERY SLOPE

EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 13:THE GIRL ON THE MEXICAN ASHTRAY

Sometime in early 1972, after two years of anxious planning, my father moved to Vegas from Chicago, inspired by the assassination of Fred Hampton, who was offed by “The Pigs” during the Xmas season of ’69. My father saw the writing on the wall but he couldn’t quite read between its lines: he assumed Fred was executed for working for Black Power. Father fled to Vegas and he took his much-younger wife and his two sons (well, one definite son and one possible artifact of my mother’s counter-infidelity… my little brother always looked and acted uncannily like a Mexican half-brother, … Continue reading EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 13:THE GIRL ON THE MEXICAN ASHTRAY

THE BLOOMSDAY ANTI-BLUENOSE FUSILLADE

[well i’m not scatologically inclined like Jimmy but i am a Wifemadfucker, so, cheers, raise a glass of something, wink at the proliferating puritans, scoff at the joyblanking puritanifications, drink up and grab lovingly your Wife or if it’s your husband then Wife him madly, gladly, with tender jazz-rhythm ballads of thrust, pump, pamper and Happy Bloomsday to the Bloomsdei…!] . . To NORA  Dublin 16 December 1909 My sweet darling girl At last you write to me! You must have given that naughty little cunt of yours a most ferocious frigging to write me such a disjointed letter. As … Continue reading THE BLOOMSDAY ANTI-BLUENOSE FUSILLADE

a million new seeds of grief

1 everything: a distraction “I really don’t care about the Depp/Heard case. I want to see the Epstein/ Maxwell client list released.” I think the Depp/Heard trial and verdict were severe blows to the “Men Are Scum” project that gained maximum momentum with “MeToo” and went beyond fairness, logic and evidence to paint all men as Perps (guilty until proven innocent) and all women as saints and victims. If it was a distraction, I think it was an opportunistic one. I don’t think it was planned by TFIC*, though Big Media has tried to spin it in the Master Narrative’s … Continue reading a million new seeds of grief

SALTER’S LUCK (a short story)

In every way my second (and last) marriage is wonderful, my first marriage was a nightmare. A fruitful situation rich in fiction-producing toxins. This story and another  (and this chapter in my memoir) are the stories I got out of that dark, dark period. . . Salter woke up to Lola shouting there was oil fucking paint on her Jil fucking Sander. He couldn’t at first tell if he was having a heart attack or caught in an earthquake or both but Lola was so up in his face she appeared to have one long ice-blue eye in the middle … Continue reading SALTER’S LUCK (a short story)

TEAR US APART (a short story from 2002)

When Rafaella and I got off the plane, we were giggling, race-walking out of the fuselage, not even bothering to exchange phony goodbyes with the stewardesses but shoving so rudely through people in our mad dash for the ridiculous velvet ropes (was flying a magic act? a disco?) we could see at the end of the wobbly square tunnel. We dashed down the concourse like children and people glared at our leather coats flapping. I hopped onto a baggage cart and Rafi grabbed the handlebar and pushed it full speed and swervvy making folks scatter and I surfed it to … Continue reading TEAR US APART (a short story from 2002)

THE COUNTER-COMEDIANS (first draft, chapters one and two)

These are the first couple of chapters from my new novel… started as a little vacation from the massive novel project I’ve been working on for three years (up to c. page 400 of a single-spaced, narrow-margined, 12pt-font  manuscript). I find that the best way to avoid “writer’s block” is to ride two or three horses at a time, so to speak (in case of a stalled pony, the others can drag it behind them for awhile). This is only very, very faintly auto-biographical (the novel’s own protestations notwithstanding). This book will get funnier and funnier as it goes along, … Continue reading THE COUNTER-COMEDIANS (first draft, chapters one and two)

MENTAL IMAGE COMICS

(17 BIG PAGES of FULL COLOR ACTION) (enviously  endorsed by the legendary cartoonist _______   ______’s  Childhood Acquaintance )   *******pg 1 NOBLE PROGRESSIVE INFALLIBLE CITIZEN #1 sez  “Your body your choice …!” NOBLE PROGESSIVE INFALLIBLE CITIZEN #2 sez  “Except when the Big Bosses say nope!” NOBLE PROGRESSIVE INFALLIBLE CITIZEN#1 sez  “That goes without saying!” NOBLE PROGESSIVE INFALLIBLE CITIZEN #2 sez  (singing a Patti Smith song while NOBLE PROGESSIVE INFALLIBLE CITIZEN #1 lights a candle blessed by Angelina Jolie and/or the Dalai Lama) ******** pg 2 BLIP sez  “Every animal has a survival instinct, but what’s happening, today,  in masses of … Continue reading MENTAL IMAGE COMICS

OEDIPUSES, OPHELIAS and OPPs in the AGE of OBJECT ORIENTED ONTOLOGY (notes, shorts, proclamations)

1 Once I was arguing with a crypto-conservative (who thinks of himself as a Radical Commie, despite the fact that most of his old friends and close family are Wealthy) and he riposted a statement of mine with the classic evasion, “It’s more complicated than that.” As I always do, I responded to that with: “I have time. I’m a quick learner. Explain the complexities.” Ah, but he couldn’t. I have dedicated my social life to stamping out that particular rhetorical flourish (by putting a prohibitive price on it). 2 “Commenting, or not commenting, on an injustice or an atrocity, … Continue reading OEDIPUSES, OPHELIAS and OPPs in the AGE of OBJECT ORIENTED ONTOLOGY (notes, shorts, proclamations)

STELLA (a short story)

About a week after I went blind, my friend Dorman dropped me off on a bench in Funes Park, just exactly as he’d done the day before, so I could sun myself for three hours until the end of his shift. It was Thursday. Dorman said, “Now don’t you go anywhere until I get back, you impetuous kid,” and patted me on the head. He crushed the sharp grass and a beer can with his boots as he climbed the slope to the sidewalk that ringed the park like a crust. “What am I looking at?” I called over my … Continue reading STELLA (a short story)

THIS IS WHY OUR REVOLUTION CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS

So, as some of you know, luminary of the Skeptical Fringe, CJ Hopkins, just came out with a book of essays… and had it blurbed by (among others) the blatant liar/ huckster/ counter-resistance shill Catherine Austin Fitts, who sells the most disturbingly ridiculous nonsense, like balls of fresh catshit in a box of very old Milk Duds. One of her shticks: the US, you see, uses reverse-engineered tech from UFOS and also… uh… the US, okay, the US secretly purchased The Moon from Aliens. Yep. What did the US pay for that purchase with, a Dilithium Crystal credit card? Better … Continue reading THIS IS WHY OUR REVOLUTION CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS

A FEW MORE SPURTS of LOGIC’S HOLY WATER (to Exorcise your Social Media)

1ON THE RIM of a BOG-STANDARD GALAXY It has come to my attention that there are people out there who accept (even believe in) the concept of a Bearded, Vaguely-Levantine, Anus-Free Sky Giant… …who sent His only Son (who was simultaneously He, Himself, btw) to be nailed to a cross-beam and torture-murdered in a loincloth as a representative of a negligible Bronze-Age tribe on a tiny speck of a planet in an unremarkable Solar System on the rim of a bog-standard Galaxy… in a deal to “cleanse” the Tribe (and its general Species) of its Design Flaws (called “sins“)… though … Continue reading A FEW MORE SPURTS of LOGIC’S HOLY WATER (to Exorcise your Social Media)

EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 8: MR JIMMY

    Aunt G and her husband G ran a prosperous Funeral Home in a section of Philadelphia called Germantown. Aunt G was my great-aunt, my grandmother’s sister. She and G were in their seventies.  I moved in with them, taking the top floor of one of their three three-storey houses. I brought an antique trunk full of books and a duffel bag with clothes in it. From the train station to the Funeral Home was a seven dollar cab ride that Aunt G had paid for in advance. The ground floor of the middle house in the complex housed … Continue reading EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 8: MR JIMMY

SYLVIE

Chapter One: More than Words Sylvie’s father was a writer whose time had come and gone, but he was fine with that. He’d invested the windfall with prescience. He had a house in a decent neighborhood in a city that scored with consistent impressiveness on all the quality-of-life surveys worth checking, along with some property a two hours’ drive up north. The property up north featured a rustic cabin he was going to write his comeback in, a cabin near a well he wasn’t allowed to drink out of, overlooked by the aerie of an endangered species of hawk he … Continue reading SYLVIE

LOVE IN THE EARLY STAGES (a factual short story of dubious shortness)

1THE TONE-DEAF RECORD COLLECTOR The title of this introductory paragraph is less a paradox than a commonplace. I have known tone-deaf, or music-insensitive, record collectors who loved vinyl discs with a great, deeply religious passion and an avarice bordering on murderous jealousy. They rarely, if ever, listened to newly-acquired love-objects: they carefully filed them away. I knew a famous rock critic, now deceased (death by injection). We walked the streets of Berlin together for years and often yakked about music.  Here was a man who was published in the very early iteration of Rolling Stone, of Creem, who’d sat in … Continue reading LOVE IN THE EARLY STAGES (a factual short story of dubious shortness)

COGITO ERGO DICKHEAD

1-the email from karla pepp and how to parse it “The heart of the mechanism of effective writing is the same, in essence, as that of the pithy, lethal, hilariously precise put-down…  as  executed in a heated argument between queens of a ripe old age. There is something “queer” about the intensity of observation required to shape a living description, or craft a lingering metaphor, so vividly apt that it can wound. Experienced Queens “bitch” well because they zero in on the weak spot, which is also where the chink in the armour is, aka Living Flesh exposed aka The … Continue reading COGITO ERGO DICKHEAD

MY DYLAN (WHO ISN’T YOUR DYLAN) WAS NOT A MEDIOCRITARIAN

C. 2015 an English songwriting comrade and I held an informal contest (no prizes involved) re: who could write the best “Dylan” song in a day. I won: comrade’s mistake: he attempted “Desire” era Dylan to pastiche; you need Scarlet Rivera to pull that off. Also, the comrade was a Mediocritarian…  but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. . This story involves Art, not cash. No cash was exchanged across the crux of this story. If cash is what floats your boat, please click the link linking to the podcast in which I describe blowing a whale at Sea Village … Continue reading MY DYLAN (WHO ISN’T YOUR DYLAN) WAS NOT A MEDIOCRITARIAN

VIRTUAL CONVERSATIONS WITH THE WRITER EDMOND CALDWELL (NOW A GHOST)

CONVERSATIONS WITH A FELLOW WRITER I ONLY REALIZED WAS IRREPLACABLE AS A FRIEND THE DAY AFTER HE DIED (when my need to joke with him about the situation was extremely frustrated), INCLUDING THOUGHTS ON HIS UNDERGROUND MONUMENT OF A NOVEL [caveat: these exchanges bounced between email, Facebook messenger and the surface level of Facebook: only the Facebook messenger version of these particular exchanges remain] [more conversations with Edmond, and others, from the same era, here] . Edmond sent December 11, 2011 How come FB can’t design a conversation thread in which one can respond to separate comments? 1) Yes, the … Continue reading VIRTUAL CONVERSATIONS WITH THE WRITER EDMOND CALDWELL (NOW A GHOST)

3PSTMDRN MURDER MYSTERY NOVELLAS: AN EXCERPT from NOVELLA ONE

(FULL DOWNLOAD HERE) 23. Lola wasn’t the first woman I was ever in love with, of course. She wasn’t even the first German. Sunshine von Schönhauser was my first German and my first and last Hippy, too. A few years back. First trip to Europe. A few weeks before meeting my destiny in London I met Sunshine in Berlin. My God: even the name. Sunshine? But I really liked her. I thought I loved her. I was going through a phase and my first trip to Europe was a conservative gesture toward a journey of self-discovery, the kind of thing … Continue reading 3PSTMDRN MURDER MYSTERY NOVELLAS: AN EXCERPT from NOVELLA ONE

the time he made it just in time but didn’t: a parable

Three or four years ago (when I was still recording in that last recording studio),  he said, I was walking great distances every day to burn off the chocolate sticks I was eating during every session in the studio. The chocolate sticks were the only things I could eat that wouldn’t leave me feeling too bloated to sing (well, I guess fruit would have worked but fruit in a recording studio…?). Anyway, this was on a day between sessions,  a “day off,” during winter… a very, very cold (Thunberg-mockingly so)  winter. Foolishly,  as a fool is liable to do things, … Continue reading the time he made it just in time but didn’t: a parable

MUSIC, LIFE, STUFF, THINGS

Turned 63 this week and I didn’t feel a thing. I’ve been thinking of myself as being “63” since shortly after crossing the midpoint of the gleaming bridge (which arcs so high above the pedestrian traffic of the young) called “62,” so I’m slightly surprised that I’m not “64” already, though I’ll be thinking of myself, in that way, in roughly six months. As ever: no concessions to the legend of the Withering Blue Witch of Old Age… (I mean, a lovely Witch did touch my thingy yesterday but she was youngish, loving, sexy and beautiful and though she turned … Continue reading MUSIC, LIFE, STUFF, THINGS

trivial/ not trivial

1trivial/not-trivial Like most people in this Empire, I had to wait until the next day to discover that a Black celebrity male had raped and beheaded a smaller Black celebrity male, onstage, during The Oscars. The instigating incident was a “joke” the smaller Black celebrity male made about the larger Black celebrity male’s wife’s appearance… specifically,  her hair… despite knowing that Black females are, in general,  particularly vulnerable / self-conscious about that specific aspect of their physical presentation, given the culture’s longstanding Standards of Desirability.  The larger Black celebrity male’s response to the joke was described by many as “riveting” … Continue reading trivial/ not trivial

MACRO/MICRO

1MACRO WHAT DO I SMELL? ANOTHER PIG ON THE SPIT ROAST, RIGHT NEXT TO DADDY BUSH’S  FLAMING CARCASS, IN HADES’  ALL STAR BARBECUE ROOM!  But first, a correction, of sorts. Let’s get this straight. “The Gubmint” does not “hate” The Right. TFIC* don’t “hate” Right Wingers at all, though  TFIC’s Big Media appear to demonize The Right during this tumultuous transitional moment. TFIC don’t “hate” Right Wingers, though, of course, many of their pseudo-Lefty, Useful Idiot minion-administrators do, which lends verisimilitude to The Great Pantomime . This minion layer of Useful Idiots is not in the loop. They really believe … Continue reading MACRO/MICRO

polari

I’m one of those implausible Parlor Trick Prodigy characters so popular in the ’80s and ’90s and early 2000s, a narrative trend driven mainly, I guess, by the vastness of Yuppie Self-Regard, which extended to the delusional misapprehension that the children of the very finest Yuppies stood a very good chance of being geniuses, given the proper (expensive) nudge. You know:  Suzuki violin lessons in kindergarten, preceded by speakers hooked up to CD players playing Mozart blasting the (pre)occupied womb. Does having a Chinese nanny the first four years help? My mother never missed a trick. People like her liked … Continue reading polari

ZARAH FRAYN

If you asked Zarah Frayn about the scariest thing that had ever happened to her she could tell you without thinking but wouldn’t. It had happened the month after marrying Blake. She hadn’t thought of it in all these years. As though the divorce had suddenly opened her to thoughts like that again, or to people who would ask that kind of question. It’s true she wouldn’t have thought of it otherwise. Not now. If it was a flirtation it was a funny way to flirt, she thought. Was he trying to scare her? His English was weakly accented, but … Continue reading ZARAH FRAYN

(J)WOKE  J(W)OKES  and THE BEASTS

The doctor  tells his patient “I have good news and bad news.” The patient says, “Tell me the bad news first, doc.  I can take it.” The doctor says “Well, after an exhaustive battery of expensive tests, I’m forced to conclude that I  no longer have the slightest excuse to charge you massive amounts of money for supposedly treating the terminal disease that  I previously jumped to the conclusion you may conceivably have begun to suffer from.  Without an excuse to treat you,  this also means no juicy kickbacks for needlessly exposing  you to incredibly toxic drugs that would  guarantee … Continue reading (J)WOKE  J(W)OKES  and THE BEASTS

CLASSLESS TALES of CLASS and AGE:  FUGUE & GIGUE

There is a holy stupidity to youth, the necessary lack of wisdom,  which makes copious Experience possible.  I’m grateful for the memories of the things I’ve done and seen,  when young,  which I am now far too experienced to do or see again, precisely because I have done and seen them. The knowledge I derived from these metaphorical pratfalls stayed with me. The first hominid to ever not know that it shouldn’t be able to walk upright was probably a teen. **** “Is that a chick or a dude?” was a popular, mildly satirical,  question in 1969.  In the 2020s … Continue reading CLASSLESS TALES of CLASS and AGE:  FUGUE & GIGUE

tophus

Queer Fat Niggers ™ weren’t fat or Queer or Black, they were a duo of Transgender womyn who hailed from the wealthiest hostels of Long Island. Please touch the blue circle firmly with signing thumb to continue. QFN’s hook was butterscotch-plaid bellbottoms and waist-long,  candy-colored wigs. QFN were blitzed on stage by relentless strobe lights: that was their act. Purportedly, no one over 19 could bear to watch it. QFN are recognized as trailblazers in the exaggerated-breast-size  (EBS) movement of topless trans  liberation. This informational monologue is dedicated to Larry. QFN were known for one very catchy and groundbreaking original … Continue reading tophus

NOBODADDY NOETICS in your NOOSPHERE (plus sundry Blasphememes in a randomized hierarchy of possible offence)

1GLARE The male gaze vs the blue-haired gender-studies graduate’s glare: which can take rightful credit for your Existence on Earth? 2PHOTOSHOP Audio Photoshop is what I am most comfortable calling Modern Pop. Narrative  Photoshop is probably the best term for “the news”. What do you call the Photoshop of your Conscience? 3HOLOSISM HOLOSISM: conceptualizing The Whole as being the Universe from side to side, top to bottom, beginning to end, The Whole can therefore be construed as an omniscient Intelligence that “knows” everything by containing everything: to that extent,  predestination describes the condition and path of every constituent element of … Continue reading NOBODADDY NOETICS in your NOOSPHERE (plus sundry Blasphememes in a randomized hierarchy of possible offence)

EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 5: NEVER TRUST A HIPPIE (A VALENTINE’S DAY ALLEGORY)

One day in the year 1969 I heard my Uncle C— say to my mother that “Hippie stands for hypocrite.” This statement made an impression. I was nine or ten when he said it and my understanding at the time was that the Hippies were all about wonderful things like Peace and Love and colorful clothing, so to hear this negative judgement of Hippies from a source as trusted as Uncle C—, who had attended the University of Chicago and was the smartest person I knew: that was intriguing. It opened me at an early age to the notion that … Continue reading EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 5: NEVER TRUST A HIPPIE (A VALENTINE’S DAY ALLEGORY)

STORY WITH CONTEXT

STORY WITH CONTEXT  (written in the Autumn of 2021) 1. No slavery, no rock ‘n roll. How much Good has come from Bad? Lots. 2. HG Wells posited, allegorically, in his novel  The Time Machine, that the future belongs to either Progress or Devolution. Wells did so without realizing (from his naive vantage) that Progress actually becomes Devolution when the technical ability of  Humanity overtakes its Spiritual Evolution. And I don’t mean “spiritual” in terms of any fantastical metaphysical narrative; I mean “spiritual” in the sense of a capacity to love Life/ Earth/ and Humanity itself in an ongoing project … Continue reading STORY WITH CONTEXT

ONE EXHIBITION IN A SIDE-ROOM OF THE GRAND MUSEUM OF ALL THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAT NEVER QUITE HAPPENED

The World is more stuffed with the ghosts of things that could, or should, have happened than it is filled with real objects. That’s an eternal matter: the daydreams are willing but the focus is weak. In the specific case of the subject of this sermon, the Devil, my Nemesis, is Pop. Pop is just another mask for Power, and Power is a seductive trickster. Pop’s prophet on Earth, when I was a young adult, was MTV. It was soon after the debut of that Loki-like manifestation, with its bootlegged Beatleisms,  that great bands became harder and harder to find … Continue reading ONE EXHIBITION IN A SIDE-ROOM OF THE GRAND MUSEUM OF ALL THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAT NEVER QUITE HAPPENED

TURDUCKENS ALL THE WAY DOWN

ITEM #1-THE CARBONIST: A SHORT STORY “There is an unfortunate and spreading subliminal misapprehension that the technical conformity,  required in engineering a functional technology,  is a parallel to, and justification of, conformity to the social theories advocated by the groups  the technologies are owned by at a given moment. The inflexible objectivities of science and engineering cannot, should not, be a model for the organization of the subjectivities at the heart of social experience. Technocrats will always make this category error and must always, therefore, be balanced, in power, by Advocates of the exclusively Human. Technology must always be the … Continue reading TURDUCKENS ALL THE WAY DOWN

NIGHTWALKING and the PROUSTIAN NOSE-DIET

It was drizzly and cold last Thursday but not too windy, so I slapped the headphones on and got another brisk walk out of the King Crimson album (Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind) I acquired recently, released in 2016; the version in my possession is two hours and forty minutes of live workouts of some of my favorite King Crimson tracks. The album’s length allows me to shop at a grocery store that’s an hour and ten minutes away, by foot, bypassing all of the stores that are only a few blocks distant and not enough … Continue reading NIGHTWALKING and the PROUSTIAN NOSE-DIET

AUGUSTINE’S VERSION OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE SCREENPLAY

Xmas meant dazzling presents, to me, as a kid, in the 1960s, just as it meant snow and ancient (and not-so ancient) music and pretty lights and the annual return of cartoons I couldn’t otherwise watch. It also meant, for the last couple of weeks of December, movies at the Cinema,  designed to snare the Xmas audience. This screenplay (written in 2002 after I had already sold the option on another script, but right before the funding-system for indie films, in Germany, sort of collapsed in the wake of 9/11) is my idea of the kind of film I think … Continue reading AUGUSTINE’S VERSION OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE SCREENPLAY

NOT EXACTLY JEAN SHEPHERD: AN XMAS REPRINT from 2019

Almost all of the shops in Berlin are closed, today,  because of a Bronze Age Creation Myth, believe it or not, and on most every Sunday of the year, in fact, the majority of the shops are closed owing to the oddly specific strictures of the same myth. Imagine calling your Telecom provider to request they send an associate to take a look at your Optical Termination Outlet (which is emitting sparks) and a robot customer service voice telling you  “Thank you for your call, at present no Service Associates are available until after the Feast of Bacchus…” Which would … Continue reading NOT EXACTLY JEAN SHEPHERD: AN XMAS REPRINT from 2019

ASYMPTOMATICALLY DEAD:  THE YEAR IN ANECDOTAL REVIEW (A GIBBERINGLY FUGUE-ISH MONOLOGUE)

—2021: What a year… … the year I learned my biological  (in contrast to my legal, presumed, American) grandfather was Bengali;  yes, in the summer of this year I learned that my apparently pious and extremely literary grandmother  (who had review copies of Tropic of Cancer and Women in Love strewn about the bookcase when I was a kid)  was a sexy young adulterer for roughly fifteen years, starting in the 1930s with the conception of my mother a year before Sam Cooke’s birth.  The illicit lust without which I would not exist. She had short stories published in the … Continue reading ASYMPTOMATICALLY DEAD:  THE YEAR IN ANECDOTAL REVIEW (A GIBBERINGLY FUGUE-ISH MONOLOGUE)

PORTRAITS OF THE LEFTY-RIGHT and RIGHTY-RIGHT and WHATEVER’S LEFT: A REPRINT

(A reader was looking through this essay, today, and I remembered how much I liked it… so I’ve decided to bring it back) There are actually people out there who think that everything they do or feel is interesting and a little more correct and even, in a way, Saintly. They are convinced of the no-brainerness of their Goodness. They crave attention, they demand validation, they post images of their breakfasts for us to praise. They have unshakable faith in the concept of the given that their Belief Systems/ Political Party/ and Personal Roster of Icons are all tops and … Continue reading PORTRAITS OF THE LEFTY-RIGHT and RIGHTY-RIGHT and WHATEVER’S LEFT: A REPRINT

THE ZEN of BANDNESS: A TREATISE

PREFACE This treatise is not meant for everyone. It’s not meant for the very young or for the very old music-hobbyist. It’s  definitely not meant for all those Nuclear Physicists and  well-paid Lawyers who play “the blues” in well-equipped Dad Bands in immaculate pubs in Chicago and San Francisco on the weekends. No,  you well-heeled Dadbanders  and your worldview are Fucking Kryptonite to the True Spirit of Bands and contemplating your banal goals and your modest returns is enough to put any Band Dream into a coma, if not directly in The Grave.  I do not encourage Hobbyists to dabble … Continue reading THE ZEN of BANDNESS: A TREATISE

Bojovat za novy zivot

  Romy and I decided on impulse to make the four hour drive to Prague.  The next thing we decided to do was load up on bottled water and chocolate for the trip but we also needed gas. I told Romy there’s an Aral station just up the street from where I’m staying at Kurt’s flat and she said I knew that, I was born here, you’re so funny, we’ll pick up your things at Kurt’s and drive to the Aral and then to Prague. I met Romy through Kurt, who first hated her and then seemed to like her … Continue reading Bojovat za novy zivot

VINTAGE RE-POST FROM MARCH 18, 2020: PLAGUE SPRING JOURNAL PT 2

  1 The thing about a Plague Spring is that Life goes on and problems/ jokes/ boons/ non-sequiturial minutiae and various challenges keep coming that have nothing to do with the so-called Plague. You may stub a toe, find a diamond ring on a finger in the bushes (don’t forget to boil it first, kids!), sight a UFO on a cloudy Sunday night or lick your mate’s armpit and taste licorice, even, and all in defiance of the (supposed) Plague’s efforts to dominate your thoughts and experiences. This Plague Spring Journal is not, therefore,  plague-centric.  For example…  (puffs contemplatively on … Continue reading VINTAGE RE-POST FROM MARCH 18, 2020: PLAGUE SPRING JOURNAL PT 2

SALLY ROONEY’S NORMAL PEOPLE: A TECHNICAL BOOK REVIEW (originally published October 14, 2019)

I’m happy to report that I didn’t pay a cent to read Sally Rooney’s Normal People. A proselytizing musician friend… a violinist, appropriately…  pressed it on me.  She said you have to read this,  it is so good. Okay, I said. I’ll read it and give it right back in a week or so. (I gave it back the next day). Well, it’s my problem. I’m a grownup who becomes, irrevocably, more grownup every second. It’s hard for me to read things for children if I’m not reading to children. It’s also hard to watch other grownups reading things for … Continue reading SALLY ROONEY’S NORMAL PEOPLE: A TECHNICAL BOOK REVIEW (originally published October 14, 2019)

PROFILES IN SHEER NERVE: A Heavily-Bowdlerized Journal Entry regarding the Summer of 2001 and Beyond

Long walk in the bitter cold the other day with longtime acquaintance René, who is roughly my age (younger by two or three years) and grappling with Existential matters he has successfully held at arm’s length for a couple of decades. René was preoccupied with doing his best to “sell out” (his own words) since a year or two before the turn of the century, when he turned 39. I met René in 2001, a few weeks after I’d returned to Berlin to settle permanently; we met on the premises of a so-called filmmaking academy that was actually a front … Continue reading PROFILES IN SHEER NERVE: A Heavily-Bowdlerized Journal Entry regarding the Summer of 2001 and Beyond

INCREDIBLY CAPABLE CRONE: a book review

Lizibeta Snitt’s surprisingly popular  Incredibly Capable Crone  series is a trilogy of graphic novels in free verse. The title character is a woman beyond a certain age, a battle-hardened dissident who cut her street fighting teeth on the front lines of Nixon’s crackdown, against campus protests, in the 1970s. TZ (the Crone, who remains otherwise nameless) wasn’t at Kent State the day the National Guard fired live rounds into crowds of student protesters (killing four), but she could have been, being roughly student age at the time.  Like Batman,  and years before she took on the identity of the Incredibly Capable … Continue reading INCREDIBLY CAPABLE CRONE: a book review

FATHER VONNEGUT

Reprinting here an essay I posted on an early blog of mine; published there, originally,  January 6, 2011… KURT NOTES In November of 2009 I bought a published collection of “unpublished” (surely a misnomer?) short stories by Kurt Vonnegut. I wrote, soon after reading most of it: November 4, 2009 at 3:13 am · Edit There’s a poignantly unsophisticated-yet-very-effective short story, by Kurt Vonnegut, in his latest posthumous collection, called “Ed Luby’s Key Club”… it’s a childish allegory of Fascism, written by a worldly man in all his jarringly optimistic grief. It’s as awkwardly lyric, and moving, as an old … Continue reading FATHER VONNEGUT

OWNING IT: POSSESSION IS NINE-TENTHS of the JOY

I was watching an old episode of Joe Rogan chatting with Bill Maher*  when the topic of monogamy bobbed up and Maher (who will probably die in a hooker’s disgusted arms) offered the classical anti-monogamy argument that chimps, our nearest primate cousins, don’t do monogamy (Hey, Bill, they don’t play piano, either) and that all that “territorial ownership bullshit” (I’m paraphrasing) is a mess. Which is the familiar line that we of the post-Bebop (Aquarian) Generation, were fed.  The dawn of the so-called Aquarian Age** coincided with the dawn of the Techno-Media Age, luckily, which meant that we late Boomers … Continue reading OWNING IT: POSSESSION IS NINE-TENTHS of the JOY

COLORFUL SCENES ALONG THE DIRTY ROAD TO SOMEWHERE TRUTH-ISH –or—THE SECRETS OF MULATTONATION

A: WHERE THE NAKED BODIES ARE BURIED Coded messages whizz through the aether, over and under and through our heads, and the invisible trajectories of these secret signals form the flexible lattice-work of which Consciousness is merely a corner. Most of these signals are “natural” (ie, from before or beyond the work of humans) but many are (wo)man-made.  The more of these signals you equip yourself to perceive, the richer your experience of Life; the better, in some cases, you will be situated to navigate those aspects of  Life that resemble an Easter Egg hunt, Chess game, Kafkaesque labyrinth or … Continue reading COLORFUL SCENES ALONG THE DIRTY ROAD TO SOMEWHERE TRUTH-ISH –or—THE SECRETS OF MULATTONATION

POEM of the WEAK (a short story)

  The drive up was tense not only because of the tritely appropriate drama of the rain but also because if he got lost on the way there was no one to call to for help. No safety net. He was forbidden from square one to store the information on a device or to print the directions on paper. * The directions appeared one morning in an audio loop that disabled itself after ten or fifteen minutes, a loop accompanied by a black screen, a loop in the form of a sonnet. He’d been chanting it to himself for forty … Continue reading POEM of the WEAK (a short story)

WE CAN ONLY EMBELLISH: a radio-play script

A: that was good. B: thanks. A: good is such an understatement sometimes. B: thanks. A: good is vicious slander in this case. B: ha. you want some more? A: i’d burst. i’m happy just to savor the aftertaste. and the breeze… B: the breeze is temperate, isn’t it? A: very. B: very. A: picture where it came from and where it’s going to after touching us. B: okay. that’s nice. A: are you awake? B: huh? A: awake? B: yes. A: i thought maybe you dozed off. B: i guess maybe i did. were you watching me sleep? A: … Continue reading WE CAN ONLY EMBELLISH: a radio-play script

LIVES of the POET

1. PREAMBLE A man approaches a microphone mounted on a canting stand in the beam of an unspectacular spotlight (the setting is possibly a high school auditorium or the basement of a well-funded church) and reads into that microphone with the stock cadences of a slam poet, a somewhat nervous slam poet, the sheaf of papers he’s reading from fluttering in his signet-ring-bearing hand… “Damned at birth, by the damnable accident of birth, he was born the stupidest, ugliest, least-civilized and most threatening kind of person there is, a boogieman to out-boogie all previous attempts, with the bushy hair of … Continue reading LIVES of the POET

THE REAL JIMMY DAVIS (a short story)

A Lit trend I’ve noticed, since writing this story in 2009, is that using an unreliable narrator, in a short story, has become as risky as using irony on Facebook. People are so used to identifying with the protag; so used to knowing exactly on “which side” the protag, or even the author, is; so sure, before reading the first complete paragraph of the story, what the “moral” is and even that there is one. I had an angry commenter dip in here a few months ago, brandishing her/his Virtue Signaling water pistol (I hope that was apple juice the … Continue reading THE REAL JIMMY DAVIS (a short story)

EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 42:STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

This is an autobiographical narrative about the ecstasies of escape. There are probably very fine filaments, in all of us,  of vestigial hardwires reaching back to the pre-mammalian times during which escape was a life-and-death matter: that may be part of it. Not to mention the slavery in some of my genealogical background. The yearning for, and/or joy in, escape. It’s a thing and it’s separable from the generally pleasant sensation of “freedom”. The moment of escape is an extremely particular and intense sensation. And, sure, any armchair psychoanalyst would say that I deliberately (subconsciously) got myself entangled with difficult … Continue reading EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 42:STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

EXCERPT FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: Chapter 10: THE CHAMPAGNE RABBIT

They can only get away with the total falsification of the present if They can make us reject the past. * The present is the past wearing a latex mask. The structure of the skull determines the mask’s appearance. * The first girl who ever sucked my cock was a white girl.  Jewish. I was eighteen and we were on the sofa in the room outside her parents’ bedroom at about 11pm, watching the Johnny Carson show, my big brown cock stuck in her little white violet-rimmed mouth. I want to say my cock was the size and color of … Continue reading EXCERPT FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: Chapter 10: THE CHAMPAGNE RABBIT

EXCERPT from KOOTCHIE TOWERS (a Novel in Progress)

    In this chapter, from the third section of the book, we see existence through the eyes of Sierra Temple (a classmate of Gloria Steinem’s), a privileged sophomore at Smith college, in ’57     TRACK FOUR / SIDE THREE: QUASAR   All the really grandiose classical music, the stuff for cavernous auditoriums and cathedrals and opera houses, the music performed by and for crowds of roughly the same social class, always sounds like collapsing architecture to me. Magnificent buildings crashing to earth, around your head, your ears,  at a stately and balletic tempo. Every minuscule sliver, chunk, pane, … Continue reading EXCERPT from KOOTCHIE TOWERS (a Novel in Progress)

GRAYSCALE

  This life is inconceivably beautiful. It is a life of the mind. It is always late summer, the blacks are inky-rich, the whites are milky singularities, the grayscale between is perfectly-judged. Satchmo, an immolated saint, has burned clear, finally, of all kitsch and his rehabilitation proves that we are capable of anything. T. and I are standing as far apart as two Bohemians can, while still holding hands, looking at different paintings, grunting or sighing our assessments, our cool contentments or stern critiques, protected by the gallerist’s approving leer. The gallerist is a friend; she lowers the volume of … Continue reading GRAYSCALE

THE GRADUATE (a short story from DIFFICULT TEXTS)

Miriam with the curly blonde hair that when you looked closer was full of white and gray. Her point being that everyone knew she had two college-age offspring from a previous marriage. Who would she be fooling with a dye job? Robert didn’t want to seem timid or dull in Miriam Wallace’s eyes. Robert had first met Miriam during the Christmas season after his twenty-second birthday, the Christmas he flew back to Philly from Minneapolis to tell his parents he wouldn’t be going to graduate school. Turbulence on the flight had strengthened his resolve. Turbulence and his rotten stomach. His … Continue reading THE GRADUATE (a short story from DIFFICULT TEXTS)

TEH TYME MASHEEN

… first published on January 28th, 2019 1.  “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.”—H.G. Wells It isn’t widely known that H. G. Wells, the futurist, in the middle of his years, informally adopted a boy he called Kip, a boy of about 12, who Wells claimed was half-Hindoo, though the friends of Wells who actually met Kip claimed the boy looked more Negroid than anything else. In a letter to Cecil Rhodes, Wells wrote that Kip [was] “an experiment pitting Nature’s dithering melody against Nurture’s persistent drum beat.” Wells kept a fastidious journal of Kip’s daily … Continue reading TEH TYME MASHEEN

THE GENDARMES OF MOROCCO: a Short Story

—– with apologies to Helen DeWitt Local hysterical-realist writer Donald DeLillo’s self-parodying novel, Cosmopolis, begins with an epigraph from a Zbigniew Herbert poem: ―a rat becomes the unit of currency But of course the unit of currency of our particular Dystopia is not the rat but the blowjob. So let’s get that straight. Picture my Eldritch with one eye like a recalcitrant dial with a hand twisting around it;  his big clean beautiful mouth agape;  his gelled hair a graphic representation of its bearer facing a hurricane. But I am not shouting. I am speaking in a reasonable voice. You … Continue reading THE GENDARMES OF MOROCCO: a Short Story

AZURA’S GIFT

Like many young prostitutes in Berlin, Azura had a dayjob. Due to reasons too numerous to go into here (in which time is limited), the fees a prostitute could typically expect in exchange for the usual requests had withered, over the decades, to very stern figures. A young prostitute of some refinement today working in the strongest economy in Europe can expect the kind of money a milk-fed whore from a small country would have been disappointed to earn in the 1970s. Such whores were now limping up and down the Kurfürstenstrasse, the scraped habitat of tattooed white junkies and … Continue reading AZURA’S GIFT

THE MAN FROM ELEPHANT and CASTLE

  … a bedtime story for sophisticated insomniacs,  from the collection  NOT REALLY DIFFICULT TEXTS 1. Venal Cunt spread her legs like a vile temptation at the end of the night, face deflected, eyes unplugged. Long and elegant and platinum-haired and bone-white with her sexy puckering lisp. The only color is the childish yellow scrawl of her bush and her pupils like residue in cocktail glasses and the raised red chevrons where she scratches her right wrist incessantly like a fox in a fur-lined trap. Even her nipples are white. She says what do I need to read for, my … Continue reading THE MAN FROM ELEPHANT and CASTLE

LAKE ZURICH: a short story

  The last photo in the row of photos in cardboard frames on the windowsill was face-down on the sill and he wondered if this meant something or if the wind had done it, despite the fact that the window, for as long as she’d been living here, had never been open. The air was piped-in like music. He checked the seam between the lower half of the window and the track it was in and confirmed his suspicion that it was thickly painted shut, thick as a welding seam, seafoam green like a jail. Through the blinds the janitor, … Continue reading LAKE ZURICH: a short story

THE EXCELLENT TASTE of OUR BENEFACTORS (a short story from NOT REALLY DIFFICULT TEXTS)

Moody’s path crossed Beverly Lund’s before they formally met. This encounter took place on the first day of summer in that drought year.  In hunger and to escape the heat Moody had gone into pricey Pickerling’s and stalked the refrigerated aisles. He furtively sampled toothpicked lunchmeats and cheeses and cake and ice creams from paper cups at unmanned displays and avoided the manned ones. There were old white men in commodore caps distributed evenly throughout the store. Moody was standing at a sample display festooned with flags when this tall, not-bad-looking woman eased her shopping cart beside Moody. She was … Continue reading THE EXCELLENT TASTE of OUR BENEFACTORS (a short story from NOT REALLY DIFFICULT TEXTS)

DR. RED: a short story

  I see someone has promptly raised a hand. This is very good. Because I want to ask a question. A kind of a technical question about law. You really are a lawyer, then, right? And so you’ve probably studied some law. Right? People are already laughing. Nice. Nothing easier. What a pleasure. And your easy laughter has nothing to do with the fact that you’re all here on complimentary tickets and the food and drinks are free, too, right? Nothing to do with that. I could be wanking into a blind old beloved school teacher’s half-good eye and you’d … Continue reading DR. RED: a short story

OEDIPUS Rx (a short story from NOT REALLY DIFFICULT TEXTS)

Goss slithered out of the hotel bed, careful not to wake her. This was not easy because she was the lightest sleeper ever. He hadn’t been able to shift a millimeter without getting an interrogative grunt from her and his escape from the bed had taken what seemed like hours of excruciating control. When he finally slipped into the bathroom he realized it must be suppertime back home. Sat on the toilet, seat down, lights off, with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands but he was smiling. Not quite laughing. Actually maybe he felt slightly … Continue reading OEDIPUS Rx (a short story from NOT REALLY DIFFICULT TEXTS)

ERYN; EDWINA (a short story from DIFFICULT TEXTS)

[Among my topics, as a Writer, are subtler manifestations of Racism and Sexism… but I always felt it was more effective to illuminate these matters from the inside out, to which end I sometimes deploy Liberal White Protagonists… ]   ERYN; EDWINA   Eryn said get this he unzips his pants and asks is it big enough. The waitress still hadn’t fetched their drinks. Eryn gave the room an orphaned look and continued so the dirty is done and I’m combing my ‘fro in the dresser mirror. Okay? And the bathroom door is cracked open yea wide. Okay? And I … Continue reading ERYN; EDWINA (a short story from DIFFICULT TEXTS)

THE ELEPHANT IN THE RABBIT HOLE and OTHER DITTIES

When I was four or five years old I was standing in the back yard of my maternal grandparents’ house, watching my grandmother as she knelt in a flower bed. The property around this house was an intense and admirable micro-biome that my grandparents had worked for more than thirty years before I was conceived (far away, on the West Coast) and it produced enough fruit, vegetables, rhubarb, chicken eggs and peppery fryers, every year, to justify calling my grandparents self-sufficient. From two kinds of grapes, to tomatoes and sweet corn, and the peach, apple and cherry pies my grandmother … Continue reading THE ELEPHANT IN THE RABBIT HOLE and OTHER DITTIES

THE NUMBERS

    ” ‘PASCAL: Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad wouldamount to another form of madness.’ And Dostoievsky, in his DIARYOF A WRITER: “It is not by confining one’s neighbor that one isconvinced of one’s own sanity.” We have yet to write the history of that other form ofmadness, by which men, in an act of sovereign reason, confinetheir neighbors, and communicate and recognize eachother through the merciless language of non-madness… ”           —Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization “Bullshit.“— Montaigne “‘Bullshit’ how?”—Michel Foucault .   Perhaps a decade ago I was walking with … Continue reading THE NUMBERS

NOTES FROM A SPOT EXTERNAL TO ANY PARTICULAR GODDAMN HIVE MIND

  The information below (on what percentage of the population is highly susceptible to hypnotic suggestion) dovetails very neatly with my sense that only a “militant” minority of the population is actually falling for any of the blatant nonsense of the past 18 months or so. Hat tip to Charlotte Brown for putting me on to the explanatory power of Hypnosis regarding all this. I’ve been working with the concept of “brainwashing” for so long that I forgot that the parent-process of Brainwashing is, in fact, Hypnosis. Mass Hypnosis to be specific. Can any correlations be drawn between the susceptibility … Continue reading NOTES FROM A SPOT EXTERNAL TO ANY PARTICULAR GODDAMN HIVE MIND

ED WARD OBIT

  A guy I’ve known for 16 years, rock critic and historian Ed Ward, died in May. Ed and I went on lots of long walks in Berlin and talked about music, of course (Ed even got a rave review of a band I sort of faked, in order to kickstart the project, into Paste magazine) and we talked about lots of other things, too. Not trusting Fate to handle the transaction for us, despite the fact that Ed and I were both living in Berlin in the early 2000s, we initially met Online, in the comment section of his … Continue reading ED WARD OBIT

THE PRACTICAL POLITICAL WITCHCRAFT OF THE CONSCIOUS REFUSAL of NEOMANIA and NOSTALGIA: A GENTLE REBUTTAL of TWO ESTEEMED COMMENTATORS

“I’ve long felt that the greatest handicap the American public has is their inability to correlate information.” -Preston Guillory, Arresting Officer of Charles Manson . “There is no better model of the way in which the computer screen and the mental screen of our brain are interwoven than Moebius’s topology, with its peculiar contiguity of near and far, inside and outside, object and subject within the same spiral.” —Jean Baudrillard . “There are no longer bonus points, anywhere in the civilized world,  for citing Baudrillard.” —Napoleon Fanon . PART ONE: NOSTALGIA There often comes a point, when reading intellectually radical … Continue reading THE PRACTICAL POLITICAL WITCHCRAFT OF THE CONSCIOUS REFUSAL of NEOMANIA and NOSTALGIA: A GENTLE REBUTTAL of TWO ESTEEMED COMMENTATORS

REALITIVITY

A) GULLIVER’S TRAVELS by JONATHAN SWIFT, THE MISSING CHAPTER: “THE PROBLEM OF MY TOILET” . B) Realitivity Post-It Sticker on my Fridge: Much apparent-stupidity is both strategic and unwittingly genuine. . . C)  . D) Realitivistic Diss of a formerly-interesting rag (Barney Rosset RIP): “Evergreen Review, a rumor of the echo of the ghost of its former self, now good for nothing more than recycling insultingly-talentless Propaganda. “QAnon”? Really? We’re still talking about *that* preposterous nonsense? The walking cadaver of a rapey gaffe-machine is in the Whitehouse NOW and you’re still beating the dead-horse under the rotting rodeo-clown who was … Continue reading REALITIVITY

BLOOMSDAY SLAVES

Another Bloomsday (if you know, you know) and the weather is “great” (they’ve been spraying every morning to keep the clouds dispersed so we feel warm enough for this time of year, presumably: the sky at 7am is like a net or abstract Plexiglas checkerboard)… we’re spending lots of time outside, doing the long walks, walks that couldn’t be any better in Dublin. My Wife has been my strength/ sanity/ asylum these past 15 months of Jawdropping Global Foolishness and though poor Jimmy himself (if you know you know) had less cause to celebrate his own asylum, every year I … Continue reading BLOOMSDAY SLAVES