Thursday, April 24, 2014

igor stravinsky, 1936

in the domain of music the importance and influence of its dissemination by mechanical means, such as the record and the radio—tho redoubtable triumphs of modern science (which will probably undergo still further development)—make them worthy of the closest investigation.  the facilities that they offer to composers and executants alike for reaching great numbers of listeners of acquainting themselves with works they have not heard, are obviously indisputable advantages.  but one must not overlook that such advantages are attended by serious danger.  in john sebastian bach's day it was necessary for him to walk ten miles to a neighboring town to hear buxxtehude play his works.  today, anyone living no matter where, has only to turn a knob or put on a record to hear what he likes.  indeed, it is in just this incredible facility, this lack of necessary for any effort, that the evil of this so-called progress lies.  for in music, more than in any other branch of art, understanding is given only to those who make an active effort.  passive receptivity is not enough.  to listen to certain combinations of sound and automatically become accustomed to them does not necessarily imply that they have been heard and understood.   for one can listen without hearing, just as one can look without seeing.  the absence of active effort and the liking required for this facility make for laziness.   the radio has gotten rid of the necessity which existed in bach's day for getting out of one's armchair.  nor are listeners any longer impelled to play themselves, or to spend time on learning an instrument in order to acquire a knowledge of musical literature.  the (wireless and the gramophone) do all that.  and thus the active faculties of listeners, without which one cannot assimilate music, gradually become atrophied from lack of use.  this creeping paralysis entails very serious consequences.  over saturated with sounds, blase even before combinations of the utmost variety, listeners fall into a kind of torpor which deprives them of all power of discrimination and makes them indifferent to the qualities of the pieces presented.  it is more than likely that such irrational overfeeding will make them lose all appetite and relish for music.  there will, of course, always be exceptions, individuals who will know how to select from the mass those things that appeal to them.  but for the majority of listeners there is every reason to fear that, far from developing a love and understanding of music, the modern methods of dissemination will have a diametrically opposite effect—that is to say, the the production of indifference, inability to understand, to appreciate, or to undergo any worthy reaction.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

vanya and sonia and masha and spike

vanya and sonia and masha and spike

i don't go to many plays.  i could probably count on one hand how many first-run plays i have attended.  i like to wait until all the votes are in and counted, until whichever play has been inducted staunchly into what we call, for lack of a better term, the great western canon of theater drama—alongside the various masterpieces of tennessee williams, eugene o'neil, arthur miller, harold pinter, simon gray...  (yes, a selection of twentieth century playwrights, whose works have, over a period of fifty years, hammered out a  distinct dramatic language and have ensconced themselves firmly into our collective dramTic psyche—more on this later...)

so recently i joined our illustrious theater going public whose lust for new plays is often mistaken for a desire to support the literary arts rather than for what it really is: just another excuse to get out of the house...  not that there's anything wrong with this.  the theater has this great tradition—most of what we consider great opera was debuted to  deaf ears, squelched in  the detritus of screaming, munching, drinking, gossiping and much much talking.  the theater was in the pre-facebook, pre-instagram  era (sorry) a social place, a place to mingle and hear the days news, the days scandals—lorentz hart  was on the mark when he penned "she likes the theater but never comes late..."  NOTICE TO THE LITERATI— (i am now whispering in your ear) "we're not supposed to take all this too seriously. "

on a side note:  the conductor leonard bernstein likes to tell an anecdote about a performance of the rite of spring, right between parts I and II which transitions  violently from the "Danse de la terre" to "cercles mystérieux des adolescentes"  (Mystic Circles of the Young Girls).  there is quite a dead space of silence which occurs and in the midst of this silence bernstein hears  two old ladies near the front row stentorian "...and i always use lard..."  in the many years since,  while conducting the rite, he have never not heard these words—never!

so, no displays of indignation, after all , it's not the spanish inquisition, it's just plain olde american theater.  

regardless, i feel compelled to ponder the following notion— have we completely lost our collective dramatic psyche?  have we completely abandoned  our once cherished english language, our strict adherence to the steadfast laws of english composition,  to the long tradition of storytelling, characterization, plot-points and literary themes etc... ???

the answer is yes and the  current exponent of this new literary trend is christopher durang's "vanya and sonia and masha and spike."

i'm not interested in doing a review of the play, my buddy and i did that ad-nauseam on the car ride home (we decided that it needed to be a drama and that it needed to written by Tennessee williams,) but  rather explore the idea that it's entirely my fault that i did not enjoy or "get" the play.  

i'm convinced that there are social and cultural and artistic relativists out there that will try to convince you that some native on some dark continent banging on some log—or some siberian throat singer straining the remnants of vocal chords tarred with those new fangled american camel cigarettes is on par and synonymous with our great western musical canon.  just as i'm convinced that the hackneyed prat falls and cheap grandstanding in durang's play is the musical equivalent to bach's die kunst der fuge to the front of the house, the season ticket holding, theater going, "patron"izing lackeys who had nothing better to do on a friday night and don't have the wherewithal to get the days gossip from facebook or twitter... 

i have to believe that spike's pathetic utterances and grunts were truly hilarious and not just the sound and fury of a loyal entourage, fearing the demise of theater and too embarrassed to guffaw and grimace at these pathetic literary gum balls.  like vanya's overlong monologue (possibly the only redeeming feature of the play, though poorly written and even more poorly delivered by what i can only assume was the understudy's understudy... we missed david hyde pierce and sigourney weaver for that matter) i too long for the clarity and artistic excellence of a bygone era (not the simplicity and superficiality of "leave it to beaver," which was vanya's lament—hmmm...  we did learn that these were children of literary and academic parents..? why the holy fuck is this couch potato whining about the demise of ozzy and harriet and the rotary phone and not george's monologue from "who's afraid of virginia woolf" or at the very least, "i claudius..?" )

there were too many anomalies to mention and like i said, i'm not going to critique the particulars of the play as it would take a lifetime.  i will say that it's possible to learn more from a bad play than a good one, at least in terms of what not to do (or watch)—the illusive and mystical elements of great theater being too mysterious to quantify and too dangerous to emulate.  

because nothing gelled in any kind of literary sense that i could relate to, i am convinced that i am a remnant of a now fading dramatic epoch, a dinosaur among cows in the pasteur imbued with the enzymes able to extract protein from grass (wait, don't dinasaurs have that enzyme? fuck it, i'm on a roll)—there is something that i am missing, something that is over my head and i refuse to believe that out culture has degraded to the  point where that native banging on a log is equivalent to jascha heifitz navigating the cadenza from mendelssohne's  violin concerto in e flat.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

miller's bathroom dialogues

people huh..., often come in here and get lost, as it were.   they’re in here for, i don’t know how long...  and i imagine maybe something happened, that they got constipated or something...  but it isn’t that, of course... they get fascinated with these pictures.  huh..., i myself, to tell you the truth, i often spend long minutes in here, reviewing them all, wondering where did i get them, why did i put them up there.  they run quite a gamut, from the buddhas to the whores to the maniac that made that beautiful castle up there.  in a way, it’a again very much like, it’s a sort of voyage, i look upon it...  a voyage of huh, ideas.  we’re traveling, not around the world, but around my bathroom which is a kind of microcosm, like the world, huh...  that’s one of the beauties about it... that they can take you anywhere, if you let your mind roam, as we say, one things leads to another... if you sit here and you’re relaxed, why, you’re free to make free associations.  now for instance, is really i think one of the most magical to me in this whole room... that neuschwanstein castle by the mad ludwig of bavaria.  he was truly a mad architectural poet and that is his greatest piece of work.  he ruined the state of bavaria, the kingdom, by the expenditures on his castles.  to me it’s a magic castle, the outside and the inside, all marvelous.  yeah...  

then, there of course is that crazy man, huh... tanizaki!  one of my favorites... japan’s dean of literature.  delightful old man who loved life, women, song...  you know, drink and everything... and his books are about love and often very perverse aspects of love.  huh, he wrote a book, among many by the way, which is called “the key,” and they made a film of it.  umm, very interesting story about a middle aged couple... huh, who huh...  each keep a diary, each keeps a diary, and each huh... somehow wants the other to read huh, the others diary.  they arrange so that they discreetly leave a key somewhere that the other can find and read...  huh, it begins with the fact that the man, a middle aged man, huh, thinks that he is becoming impotent... and his doctor recommends that he, huh...  finds some young man to fall in love with his wife, which will make him jealous and therefore increase his huh, ardor... you see.  and all this does happen.  but what’s interesting is, that each one records the experience... you see, that they had..., and that especially, let’s say, the experience with each other in sleeping together, because huh, one of the complaints of the old man is... he’s not so old by the way... huh, is that his wife is too passionate and at the same time too puritanical.  he has never seen her below the waste.  he doesn’t know what she looks like.  and that’s his supreme desire... that, and say... to touch her toes, and kiss her toes even.  well, to achieve this he resorts to a strategy of getting her drunk.  huh, it appears that she likes cognac, which if found really remarkable, japanese liking cognac, especially a bourgeoisie woman... but she does.  so they fill her glass over and over till she gets drunk.  then it’s her habit to go upstairs and take a very hot bath, and in, she puts it on so hot, the water, that she looks like a boiled salmon, you know...  and in on point of fainting also.  huh, they catch her several times asleep or semi-unconscious.  when they put her to bed, she’s not really huh, fainting... she’s not really asleep... she’s pretending..!  and she’s doing this so that her husband may take liberties with her, do you see... ha ha ha... and what liberties... he’s somewhat of a maniac, sex maniac.  huh, in addition to huh, viewing her and, he moves her about in bed in every position.  he gets a camera and he takes pictures of her and whiles he’s doing this his twenty year old daughter is looking through the keyhole at him doing this to her mother... ha ha, do you see...  so it’s a fantastic yarn huh..! and unfortunately, in cannes where i saw the film when i was a judge, they umm, eliminated it in favor of la dolce vita!  i was the only one who stuck up for this film.  

here’s another picture of, huh, hoki, my fifth and last wife.  a few years ago she came to america where i met her singing and playing the piano at the huh imperial gardens restaurant... huh, i think know she’s finished with her life as an entertainer.

ya see this man... huh, japanese, huh, famous actor and huh writer? tomi yoma, tomi yoma son fixit umm... he’s at the imperial gardens with me sitting in front of the piano and hoki playing, you know, and hoki can hear everything he says.  suddenly, huh, he says to me... “tell me, mr. miller, how many women do you think you have slept with in your life..! ha ha...  i was of course embarrassed, you know, and also puzzled and i said well, i have, i have never thought about that...  well, i said, maybe forty or fifty...  what did he say...  “i’ve slept myself with maybe two hundred and fifty, do you know, and you, with your reputation, you must have had a thousand, you know, all this in front of hokisan who was straining to hear every word... 

“who is that over there... bing crosby?”

you mean this guy?  bing crosby..?  farthest from the world... that’s my great, great, huh, idol, as a writer... blaise cendrais, the french writer, the man that i really adore, and huh, whom, like knut hamson fixit when, sixty years ago i wanted to imitate knut hamson.  if today i could imitate blaise cendrais i would do it with a whole full heart!  this is a man i really venerate as a writer.  he had his right arm cut off in the first world war.  just before the war he was an organist and blaise cendrais was a juggler, on that stage with charley chaplin, imagine it!  umm, of course, during the war, the second world war, he gave up writing, for three years he wouldn’t write a line.  he lost, i think, two sons in the war as air pilots.  then one night a friend visited him and as a result of that meeting he sat down and he wrote about six novels... and the most wonderful novels you can imagine.  he huh, naturally he had to type with one hand.  very very slow work, and his novels are big novels, long ones... 

right next to him is the most wonderful painter of all, hieronymous bosch.  his is the most unknown, mysterious life... his paintings likewise... they are absolutely unique, huh, and forerunner of course of the surrealists paintings.  

you know, the strangest thing is when i go up in an airplane... what happens to me... i’m slightly deaf, you know... but up in the plane i hear perfectly, and i not only hear, umm... imaginary, symphonic music, huh, coming from god knows where... but i hear celestial music too, what’d you call the music of the spheres.  i hear it, it’s as clear and beautiful and i can’t describe it either, because it’s like no other music that i ever heard... and it comes to me, you know, like over the ether waves... and i ask sometimes, i ask pirates..., i mean... ha, pilots i ask “do you hear that too?”  and they said “yes,” they do...  and they’re absolutely mistyfied fixit.  

huh, tom, over here in this corner... huh, i have huh... couple of photos that huh... i put up her expressly for people who want to be shocked.  there are people who have already heard a great deal about the walls in this bathroom and they imagine all sorts of things.  huh, if you notice, huh... if you look around, there’s nothing really very obscene on the walls.  they’re largely curiosities.  huh, but i, huh, put these expressly for those people who... what would you call them... who are looking always for... dirty stuff, do you know... huh, ah ha ha... 

huh, here’s a wonderful zen story.  it’s huh, about, huh,  a monk called roshi bobo, which in english means master of fuck.  now the title shouldn’t throw anyone and may not mean exactly what people think.  huh, but there’s one thing you can say about the master of fuck, that this fuck is an extraordinary one like none that ever was before.  and the whole story concerns a young man fifteen years of age whose parents sent him to a zen monastery to become a monk and of course to receive enlightenment.  umm...  he was a fairly bright young man, good looking, obedient and huh, as far as anyone can see huh... good material.  but umm, after a few years, huh, nothing seemed to happen, he didn’t seem to be getting anywhere.  five years past, nothing, ten, and even his masters began to despair of him.  finally after fifteen years he decided that he didn’t have it in him, he didn’t have what it takes, and,  he would go out and enjoy earthly, huh,  life, you know...  be a man of the world, if he couldn’t be a monk.  so he slipped out one night with his bag and baggage and huh, he wandered in to the red light district.  and there he encountered a girl... seemed to him like a geisha, and he went to bed with her, immediately.  well, it was his first experience with a woman, and umm... instead of being awkward though, and embarrassed and shy, and so on... he seemed to be very adept, his senses were highly attune from his zen training.  he was aware of her body, the touch, the smell... everything!  even when the clothes dropped to the floor... created a sensation in him.  so, in the midst of this huh, marvelous, huh, experience, he suddenly has what he couldn’t get in the monastery; the experience of satori.  he saw things as they are and were and always will be, once and forever, clearly, you know... which is, huh, really what enlightenment is all about, don’t ya know!  the important thing was he had allowed himself to go to the very end of doubt and despair.  had he not, you see, this would never had happened.  but he went to the very end of the tunnel and saw the light.  and huh, this is, of course, huh, something does not happen to people in psychoanalysis.  they may be adapted to our corrupt world when they’re finished, but they never reach satori, do you see...  and they never see things as they really are, in my opinion.  and of course, there’s another aspect to it, huh, and a very wonderful one... it’s like william blakes idea of going, of reaching heaven through hell.  it doesn’t matter what road you take to, huh, reach paradise.  and beside that even, one might say that paradise is not even just around the corner but right under your nose, if you, you know, if you happen to be lucky and aware enough, you know...  and i think that’s the great burden of it, that one should, huh, one should, how shall i say... accept his doubts completely, as the buddha once advised, you know... accept despair and anguish and frustration and see it through.  don’t go to a doctor, don’t go to an analyst above all, heh, heh heh...   

by the way, up there is one of my favorite men, you know, yeah, herman hesse...  when i look at him here it reminds me of goldmund und narcissus, which is almost the two sides of himself, you know, the monkish one and the artist.  and as you remember in that book he pays tribute, he makes the monk confess to the artist that he is the better one, that his was the greater life, more meaningful life... you know, which is very interesting because the artist, huh, led a umm... sort of... a wild profligate life, of adventure, you know...  women and everything.  and the monk is austere and righteous and so on... and hesse makes the monk say to him, you know, yours was after all the better one.  and even meaning the more spiritual one too...  

i don’t know if you noticed but most writers don’t look so hot.  writers are alone too much with their thoughts, you know... and they huh, huh, bent over and they’re wizzend fixit and they’re, thin blodded and they’re living in an abstract realm all the time, of ideas, whereas the painter is plastic, you know, (?) and the musician of course is living huh, well, this is not true but you would  think that he’s living an angelic life, he’s up there with the birds.  

right under that is a very strange thing.  this is, huh, chiseled into a stone and this is done by huh, jung, the great, uh,  psychoanalyst.  in a few words, what this represents is the whole of his philosophy, jung’s philosophy in these symbols.  it’s very very strange and very interesting  but i can’t make any of it out, you know, except astrological symbols, but what the rest is, it could be huh, hebrew or egyptian, uh...

there’s another very strange, very interesting one; the very opposite maybe of jung’s.  this comes from some, some very ancient chinese book of poetry and umm... and it’s supposed to be eh... absolutely inscruitable. fixit i’ve had, huh, chinese in here looking at it and they’re given me all sorts of interpretations, you see... some say that it’s probably a taoist saying, you know... others say no, that is has to do with legends much before the tao, you know, and lao tse tung, what’s his name, i was going to say mao tse tung! eh hah hah...  then of course other people have said why shit, it’s nothing but a commercial uhh... advertisement, you know, maybe for uh coffee or tea or... rice or something like that.  but, every chinese who’s been in here has given me a different interpretation of this thing.  uhh... it’s weird.

before committing suicide general nogis’s wife wrote a letter to her niece who was about to get married and it was as if she were giving her, uh, a prescription for a happy marriage.  and having read that thing, i myself believe that it’s the most wonderful prescription.  well, they went into many details, largely how the wife should behave towards the husband at all times and it even went into uh, details about the bed, about intercourse.  for instance, how uh, she should uh, not act uh, too passionately and unrestrainedly or abandonedly fixit because then uh, it would be acting like a whore.  although, between you and me you know damn well whores don’t go that way...  uhh, then she said and when you are through, of course, you get uh long towel for your husband and you wipe him carefully, gently and as for yourself, you know they use a sort of a paper towel, the japanese, she said now when you wipe yourself, be very careful that it doesn’t crackle, so as to disturb your husband’s equanimity, do you know...  very wonderful touch.  what, in what country would they ever think of such a thing, eh..?

this man gurdjieff... i think that of all the masters i have, uh, read about i really think that gurdjieff stands out as the most interesting to me.  and uh, as you know he didn’t want to be called a master and that’s why he led for twenty one years what would be called a blameworthy life instead of a praiseworthy life.  he didn’t want people to uh, uh, venerate him, or bow down to him as a great master.  a very great enigma, and it’s absolutely true.  what the hell, nobody seems to have a clear idea what this man stood for.  gurdjieff had come close to losing his life once in an automobile accident, in france.  and um, he was unconscious, lied at, lay on the road for several hours, i guess before he was picked up by a gendarm, and it was really, thanks this gendarm that he, that his life was saved.  he waits about three years, ah eh, before ever rendering thanks to this gendarm.  then he tells him to come to fontainebleau, he wants to honor him with a banquet for having saved his life.  well, the gendarm had forgotten all about it long ago.  anyhow, he did come, and he was uh, he was not a drinking man.  he drank his little glass of wine with dinner but no alcohol.  and gurdjieff, as you know, loved armagnac, he loved all strong liqours fixit and he could drink like a fish.  so, he kept uh, saying to the gendarm, now please, this armagnac won’t hurt you and it’s in honor of you, we simply want to toast you... take it...  and the gendarm shook his head and said... no... no, i can’t do it... it’s, i can’t drink it.  and gurdjieff said, now look, and he calls the young boy who wrote that book about him, fritz peters, who was then thirteen years old... now he said watch, i’m going to give him a glass of armagnac to drink and you’ll see, nothing will happen to him.  and he fills a bumper glass of uh, armagnac, hands it to the boy who, obediently, gulps the whole thing down at once, a powerful uh, uh... administration!  well the boy is really out on his feet.  he’s serving the table but he’s skating around, he doesn’t know what he’s doing, but he’s doing everything properly, you know, automatically.  it’s only five hours later when he goes to bed that he knows he’s dead drunk and then he vomits, you know, and is sick and, and falls over the bed.  that’s the ki, sort of thing that gurdjieff could do, eh..!

i suppose that here is where people linger maybe the longest, especially women, i think.  i don’t know why.  this fellow in the center is a really phenomenal friend of mine named uh, florrian steiner.  well, he’s a bit uh... like myself maybe, obsessed with sex... and here he’s got his friends lined up with their asses exposed and he himself grinning at us in his very familiar smile.  it’s wonderful.  and of course, this is his little nephew photographed when sexus first came out.  everybody loves it.  this is my good friend emil white in big sur.  now here, arrives one day, a school teacher who’s a virgin and he fell in love with her, i believe, and so he got her, surprisingly enough, to pose for this.  people always say is it real or is that a statue... you could take it for a statue, couldn’t you?  the wonderful thing is, the expression on is face.  he doesn’t look like a man who’s holding a naked woman, does he?  he looks sorrowful there... uh... and meditative, reflective... as though he was far away from her, and her rich backside, there eh...  it’s a wonderful trio..!

but umm... there’s one here tom... uhh... two... that i want to tell you a little about.  i am very fascinated by these two.  this is a chinese actress, i forget her name, a young woman.  and that’s a japanese entertaining girls in a bar maybe, but if you notice, both have that full face, full cheeks and very luscious big lips!  the lips that you want to uh, bite when ya see.  and i think, on this girl, the expression in her eyes is beautiful.  it’s something melancholy there.  

ah... ahhh... pretty good, pretty good..! yeah... so that’s the kind of babies you have here... eh..!  very good!  all in once piece too.  eh..!  ha ha ha... ah hah...  umm... umm...  yeah... yeah...  umm... 

you may have noticed that i have a number of photos of the buddha, from various countries, by the way: cambodia, siam, burma, i think, i don’t where these all come from, but at any rate, uhh.. but all my life i’ve been fascinated by the buddha, the story of his life, and this smile, this seraphic smile or beantific fixit smile that you see always on the buddha.  it’s an inscruitible smile, but it always denotes great inner peace.  uh... you may notice the absence of something here; i have no religious, uh, icona, iconography, as it were, from the christian world.  umm... though they talk about peace a great deal, the christians, you see... uh, to me they don’t exemplify it, and uh, uh, even jesus, i mean... the representations we have of jesus uh, don’t inspire me with this same feeling of fulfillment, inner security and inner peace and radiance that the buddhas always, uh, iminate fixit.  

for some reason i’m fascinated with this gauguin.  this is the early gauguin.  it’s a beautiful tonality throughout and a very wonderful expression too on his face.

yes... up here is probably gauguin’s most famous painting, a tryptic, i believe and what fascinates me about it, particularly, are the words that he inscribed at the top of the canvas: where do we come from, who are we and where are we going.  eternal questions, never answered, unanswerable... umm...  now, it may seem, uh, trivial perhaps to say that in some way this connects up in my life with this matter of identity.  umm...  i seem like i’m in... ya know, i have all my five senses and i’m not dotty yet, even though i’m 81, but throughout my life and especially in my dream life i’m harassed by uh, this question of identity.  who am i, often i don’t know where am i, probably i never ask where i’m going...  but, uh, i think the first time it happened, one of the times when i was in my early twenties i was on an elevated station in brooklyn, i was going to get a bit of rigleys gum out of the slot machine and as you know there’s a little mirror there that you look into as you push the button... as i did that, put the money in, pushed the button, i’m looking at it and it’s another face.  i was halucinated.  and i looked again.  still that same strange mysterious face.  now fortunately, i was on my way to a burlesque show... eh eh... eh... and uh, when i got down in the street and i entered the theater, where it had all dissapeared.  but this recurs to me more vividly, more strongly in dreams.  i have veritable nightmares, frequently!  and it’s always the same theme, it’s that uh, i was shaving perhaps, i looked in the mirror, it’s another face, i go crazy, i’m in the insane asylum and i’m in there an interminable length of time, i don’t know what is happening, i don’t know who i am, that especially.  just a nut like all the others.  finally, i escape... it’s a heroic job to escape, to get over the wall and then when i get over... awww... i breathe a sigh of relief, i think everything is fine, i see a couple coming down the street and i wave and i say it, i begin to talk to them and they look at me and it’s obvious they don’t know what language i’m speaking... so, i’m still mad... eh eh... then i wake up, usually.  

awww... know i know, now i know where i am... and who i am... back in that old shit hole, new york, where i was born, a place where i knew nothing but starvation, humiliation, despair, frustration, every god dammed thing.  nothing but misery.  every bloody street i looked down i see nothing but misery, nothing but monsters.  of course, this is the new york that i knew when i was being born, rather i didn’t know it yet.  later, when i begin to explore it, why, it’s a different city, a little more horrible, it gets worse all the time.  today i think it’s the ugliest, filthiest, shittiest city in the world.  when i was a kid there was hardly anything that we have today, no telephone, no automobiles, no nothing really.  it was rather quaint.  there was color even, in the buildings, but as time went on, why it got more horrible to me.  when i think of the brooklyn bridge, which was the only bridge then in existence, how many times i walked over that bridge on an empty stomach, back and forth, looking for a handout, never getting anything.  selling newspapers at times square, begging on broadway, coming home with a dime maybe.  it’s no wonder that i have these god dammed recurring nightmares all my life.  i don’t know how i ever survived, uh, why i’m still sane... in fact, i don’t know now whether i’m awake or dreaming.  my whole past seems like one long dream punctured with nightmares

Sunday, August 18, 2013

cold fusion i (working title)

Cold Fusion

cold fusion 
a stream of consciousness novela in prose/verse



movie quotes
conversations with henry miller

info on public relations and politics.  

books on mojave desert, vrom the culture point of view.  what was that book on desert communities?  

i should probably tell you why i play the flute.  first off, there is such a thing as the diminuitive arts; the hobbies and such; crafts etc.  why play the flute when you could play, say, the piano or guitar even... or why not just compose, direct to the page.  isn't that the ultimate?  all that music soaring through your skull and not enough time to write it down?  paul hindemith or dmitri shostakovich; rtftrrbkkhiitea for two on some phone app, killing time at some local coffee dive.  or at least guitar!  portable, contrapuntally enabled; all those styles and all those variables...  processors, amps, samplers, with a gibson1964 acoustic12-string and the right settings you could sound like a fender strat through a showman amp; dick dale on an indian summer prime entertaining the vampires in some lean-to, bombay beach or some condemned industrial park on the outskirts of the empire city.  why not..?  or a sax, pushing the envelope, eric dolphy and mingus exploring the bridge at ten-shin, rashand roland kirk with a set of screaming eagles dangling out his ass...  i mean, why not?  why not go for the stuffed mastadon or the goldfish on steroids?  well, i guess if i could answer that, i wouldn't have to write this story.

i can hear them downstairs, in the foyer or the vestibule, scurring about on the landing and balancing their quad vanilla lattes and 2.8 70-200mm lenses replete with wireless access and battery packs, 4k dslrs (they don't "take" pictures anymore, not in an conventional sense.  it's all video now...just point your canon 1d in the vicinity of some enginue beating her preemie and you're in-like-flint!).  i hear iphones are the bunk; they communicate now through flip-phones (yes, not unlike those infernally itenerate MCs, they have found the benefit of no-contract flip phones...and besides, let's face it, these guys are no william trust fund babies here;  these are pure bred white-trash, or the equivalent, sag actors on methadone, out-of-work blockbuster clerks and 2nd generation asians on ZX10Rs and bmw R1150GS(s) and who has the moxie to compete with that?).  i hear there is a paparazzi app!  hilary swank at some dyke bar in the castro, gweneth paltrow and her lumbar dimples pushing yet another screaming brat into sur off melrose and santa monica... the mind reels...

i love georgetown.  william peter blatty town.  an odd mix of social malaise, kennedy's gibe about the charm of the north and the efficiency of the south;  the women here are to die for; former darby winners and jaded miss havishems, gorgeous spinsters and librarians, and all of them hip to the cable food network.  (fixit more about culture and socialisms).  it's my kind of town, a way-station town, a passing through landscape with pretty pictures and clever dialogue, witty one-liners and petty cheek kisses.  all this recyclable faux colonial revival; an historical culture that never was... if i had a wooden nickel for every mid-western johnny-come-lately that knows the history of this town..!  this town is absolutely indesipherable and anyone who claims any different is either a liar or the editor of a famous etiquette book.  it's all debbie reynolds does desdemona and othello groucho marx, and that's all i have to say about that!

i've been having a wee little bit of trouble getting out of bed in the morning lately.  the limbs just don't operate the way they used to.  i think i might be sleeping on them wrong, something like that.  something about the blood not circulating, not quite reaching the extremities.  perhaps i spend too much time in bed, reading and watching cable.  my bed has become something out of who's afraid of virginia woolf, all new york times best sellers and the washington post, clippings of the arms services committee.  i need to get out and rumble, knock a few heads around... maybe even a walk around the block.  i have a pet theory about aging that i won't bother to bore you about; suffice to say that the body has a clock, a kind of internal time piece and as the body ages, the batteries need more frequent re-charging.  it's really that simple.  fail to recharge on a weekly, even daily basis and you can drop dead waiting in line at starbucks.  

maybe it's just the routine; the shaving and the finding and organizing of socks; a (trivial pursuit) i have lost all patience for.  or it's the big picture, a vision i have long since abandoned on my never ending whistle stop tour.  who was it that said beware of google upgrades that require a new mac book pro???  i'm sorry... that was in poor taste.  the quote i'm talking about is:  "beware of all enterprises that require new clothes..." and the gentleman's name was henry david thoreau, one of my early (but since abandoned) influences.  quotes are a minefield in this town.  you can tell the noob by his penchant for mark twain; no subject that cannot be improved through the fine prism of mark twainism; jumping frog analogies and innocents abroad; the least favorite of mine being "wagner's music is better than it sounds..."  it's not.  take my word for it, or get off your hydrogenated soybean ass and listen to sixteen hours of the ring.  

shaving for me is an exercise in existentialism.  i no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel.  god damn, confound, blast and fuck high-def video and cameras in congress.  why do we feel the need to date our representatives.  would we be listening to don giovanni today if we had youtube back in the eighteenth century?  if you knew that schubert was a pockmarked leperous midget with tooth-rot would you be waking up in a cold sweat to death of a maiden? 
(this bit belongs in the previous paragraph)
we pine for the monks in the field, clamor after bearded prophets and wandering sages, elevate the degenerate and unwashed poets of our ages yet when it comes to politics, it's all nazi chic; maximillian theo aldorfer and the severed head of john the baptist... "My grandparents went to Auschwitz and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!"  "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore..then confine them in chains to hell's kitchen!"  personally, i blame rasputin.

fit seth grundle quote here:

i am rotting in fits and starts, half-gestures and traded fours—i am the hoaried manifestation of father time, the reeking corpse of father zossima.  i have the seth grundle disease sans brundlefly (?) and that doesn't exactly sell papers.   somewhere along the line i got off the boat, traded in my principles for a saucer full of warm milk and a scratch behind the ear.  somewhere, though in polite circles we never talk about this,  are meth-heads and crack-whores dreaming about wasting away their lives in camarillo lean-tos (fixit 
more like thihs)and i had to get all napoleonic on their asses.  i have three kids in college, donna reed, a dog named cortez and a harley davidson road king classic and i traded it all in for a fixit , more like this (work in huey long), other politicians that got carried away, a face in the crowd) shot at the kingfish (

anyway, back to the flute;  something there is about the economy of the flute,  all  of life can be defined by the simple reed like qualities the flute possess, the ability to make a  joyful sound, a simple honest noise to add to the firmament, millers celestial spheres.  and what of these grandiose principles anyway—the center cannot hold!    mahler's ninth and mehta's 2 minute respite..!  all dog and pony!  see how they disentegrate and distill into simple flute like elements, flotsam and jetsam, the stuff of dime stores and vagabonds.  
Whitman's barbaric yawp.  i am  the nazi eichman on the dais cutting the competition to their (respective corners).  by the time marsalis leapt on the scene, miles had reverted into a kind of prehistoric tar pit, a mild cousin of the ancient Shepard lolling to sleep an itinerant flock of spoiled sheep, weened on chuck berry and pinning for the (something ninth chords) of jimmy hendrix.  

(suspect) miles wasn't much for pagannini anyway, so marsalis reaped nothing but guffaws from both miles and the audiences.   brothers didn't gong each other off the stage by mid 70s, that's all uncle tom.  

i sleep with the flute up my ass if i want to (if i were so inclined).  as it is, i keep it next to my pillow and no matter the time, i whip up melodies and scales to rival those of verdi in the midst of the triumphal march, wagner's prelude to act three (again, if i am so inclined).  clickity-clak go the keys, their breathless echo calling harmonic ghosts—i disturb no one at three in the morning with my bach sorties.  try that with a tenor sax, alto or soprano, a clarinet for that matter...  all dead—all dead air... kerplunk!!!  flutes, the score to gilgamesh, the most perfectly linear of all the wind instruments...  no three steps forward, two steps back.  a straight line as pure and evil as the driven snow, so hated am i with my purity, my high pitched sine waves that tourists quiver and scurry, whence and weave their ways to the exits, making their excuses, any, to extricate themselves from the diatribe, this nazi rhetoric.  too much obtuse objective!  not enough crosby, stills and nash.  

the truth is;  i step on no toes with my flute.  i anger no would-be coltranes.  i raise my hand in the back of the room and i am invited (forthwrite or twowhit) to the head of the class.  i accent the tenor, play any kind of shit behind the singer and with the proper accouterments, i can muster enter sandman to the delight of the aging pamela des barres.  of course the real treat is the abaondoend subawy terminal, 2 in the morning, me in my finest aqualung and just a few choice bums, the ones deafened by nugent and still reeling from the aftereffects of methadone (second methadone quote)


gas bottles for the 48.  screw the 4 gallon tank.  where the fuck am i going—riverrun..!  hah!  in a pigs eye...  i have no business traveling 150 miles on a motorcycle   i'm addicted to filtering anway.  just one quarter gallon (what is that in liters?) for emergencies

bits about converting standard to metric.  find interesting quote about metric system, a metaphore etcZ

something about walking down a street in georgetwon, ala chan parker nad 52 nd steet, going to the capitol, converging lines, washington architecute nad the homecourt advantage . 

work in leno and his brough, all medium etc

pondering the great cinematic seven year itches
la notte
who's afraid
bill and june, french film with delerure and truffaut

(before meeting publicity hounds)

upon entering my local starbucks;  dissertations in the  foyer,  perturbations and all relevant coinages, the wry sardonic witticisms of recently outted children.  on parade, fifth grade couture and housefrau logic somnambulists and armchair prophets, vagabond princess bag lady queens (or equivalent) the would-be lenny bruce and his bur-roughs cutouts.  i can't get a word in edgewise to the arab condemning the french.  but for sartre, he could do without the lot, clever sauces and all...  

a once fearless leader, an ex-open mic mc, now takes his cues from the windows of forever 21 and his sporting checkerboard shoes and has of late adopted a decide marxist bent in his dealings with the gallery.  i see failed heroin chic rockers, patti smiths on endless indian summer primes resigned to weekly romance endcaps and first monday book clubs.

farnsworth has favored us with an appearance.  his mastery of photoshop channels, circa 1995, has garnered the aplomb of go-go-dancers and a two year stint teaching adult education.  he sits alone now facing the wall fixated on a bearing shot coffee blender, he and his larry david converse and vintage members only jacket and like mingus, trolling central park with a nikon f strapped around his neck—awaits a fated call from george martin.  he will speak soon, and we will listen and we will hear...  with flying flem and decrepid sylvan tones,  like some revenge character from slaughterhouse five he gives the faithful their long awaited comeuppance:
one for the gipper
two for the passing of an arizona gunner
three for baby ingenue aping veronica lake (in relevant type of sweater and relevant coffee drink)

i've got two bugs up my ass the size of nicholas tesla and harry partch and will without provocation debate and dissemenate the finer lessor points of these two charlatans—rather their lackey acolytes who champion their misgivings to the rafters and ascribe to them the heavens and all who inhabit, the perpetual motion machine and the vanilla latte.  exalted to ever lofty heights by long dead beat poets whose stinking diatribes still echo in dilapidated castro lean-tos—they took the bus in from san bruno and all points san jose , border stock all, the stuff of fodder, ballast for dutchmen schooners.  these starry eyed scots, pooling their collective (repetitive) third grade educations, forever extolling the greeks and the plights of oedipus, elektra, persephone for diana durbins, sisyphus for rexroths—these tar-bound macadem and future serial killers.  i tell you—these are the sad palimpsests of the ages, trumpeting their tired credos and forever equivocating, ringing equally true or false so as not to offend the ears of the  ladies of the georgetown social club, non-discriminating tintinnabulations affecting alike the resident merchant seamen and would-be professors.  for them it shall be meat....

i make small work of the lackey yes men, the itinerant slant-maestros, the crisis handlers and spin doctors of the washington based public relation firm of leave the gun, take the canoli...  these ex-lawyers, part-time stock brokers and wannabe concert promoters have propagated exponentially in this town, like pond scum and chinese mainlanders...  they drip stalactite from the rooftops and the high ceilings of georgetown clambakes and infect the body politic with all thoughts jacksonian, the fine distilled principles of latter day marxists and hindu maître d's.   any off comment beyond the activities of the Bilderberg group and skull and bones will leave them in a quandry, so too the exploits of the second viennese school of music–steer clear of the libestode and sentences that contain the words godel, esher, bach.  a thorough working knowledge of the infrastructure of the death star does not a patrician make.  

now, six, an unofficial study which we undertook of this eventuality, indicated that we would destroy...

"huh... excuse me, sir?  excuse me..?  

...we would therefore prevail, and suffer only modest and acceptable civilian casualties from their remaining force which would be badly damaged and uncoordinated...

"sir, are you with us..?"

forgive me.  since the death of milton fixit i have resigned myself to movie quotes.  how i do go on...  now gentlemen, if i may direct your attention to the center of the stage... 


not the gravedigger, you miscreant offspring!   lawrence olivier..!!!  what do ya take me for—william jennings bryan!

"sir, we really must get down to business..."

quite right.   it's time to baptize our young counsel here...  

starbucks serves a wet cappuccino by default; owing to the difficulties of steaming up pure foam for 500 jersy housefraus every hour,  fresh off the path train.  also, large espresso drinks do not have an extra shot.  you're paying almost a dollar more for pure foam.  it's little wonder why these future hedge fund manages are so good at upselling!

i'll have a tall peter brady!  i then lapse into a kind of post-wategate, pre-reagan era coma, but it's all show, i assure you...

"excuse me..?"

you know, a tall  peter brady...  a small coffee with a little bit of room for cream...

"oh... okay.  never heard that one before..."

it's occurred to me in the pre-dawn of late middle age that i'm not going to be known for (particle physics design, revolutionary silicon chip invention, a coating that allows for greater dispersal of transistors—something to that effect) so i've come up with a logical alternative.  greg, peter and bobby if you're a guy and marcia, jan and cindy if you're a girl.  marsha and greg are for black coffee, no room.  the rest are for a moderate amount of room and lot's of room, respectively.  this would save starbucks  millions a year in un-dumped coffee.

i also have a joke:  what did eliza doolittle say to professor higgins on their wedding night?  "how kind of you to let me cum..!"  i keep waiting for someone to tell it to me.   

we have become a nation of flagpole sitters,  black friday campers, coupon-clipping amoeba-like single celled lemmings sucking up the (jacksonian diatribe)
"did you know sir, that under the czarist regimes over 90 percent of the population was enslaved...  did you know that sir?"   

this from wikipedia:  By the mid-19th century, the peasants composed a majority of the population, and according to the census of 1857 the number of private serfs was 23.1 million out of 62.5 million Russians, 37.7% of the population.  The exact numbers, according to official data, were: entire population 60,909,309; peasantry of all classes 49,486,665; state peasants 23,138,191; peasants on the lands of proprietors 23,022,390; peasants of the appanages and other departments 3,326,084.[9] State peasants were considered personally free, but their freedom of movement was restricted.[10]

did you know that these two guys, these cobol programmers, these silk screeners are responsible for the kerry debacle—no, not getting him nominated—after he won the primary...  it was tchaikovsky's 1812 overture conducted by john williams and the boston pops orchestra—probably the most recognizable piece of music ever written provided you're not the fourth or fifth generation of bostonian brahmins...  nobody knew the tune... not one person!  not one broadcaster or one producer, not one snot nosed wise-assed punk in the control room recognized this piece of music!  well, this was before shazaam, back in the dark ages of 04.  "well dave, this certainly is some energetic music mr williams is playing..."  "yes, it is frank..., some very energetic music indeed.  mr williams sure picked a winner!" 

a conversation with henry miller:

they came by the house don'tcha know—a lot of people did.  he was a quiet sort, kept his cards close—if you get my drift.  she was a beautiful woman, i mean really beautiful!  pure of heart, i have no doubt...  like some some sort of abyssinian maid, long blonde locks and a kind of flowing figure—you know what i mean?  she kind of floated about the room handing out garlands or laying alms at everyones feet.  but it is true, she was no genius... rather, she did not have much of an education.  but so what..! who cares.  she was beautiful.  but she had a minor flaw in her appearance, and i do mean minor.  i think she had some sort of accident as a child, some sort of injury that did not heal properly.  that was common enough in those days.  she had a kind of funny jawline, her lower jaw.  it did not line up straight and her teeth were not perfect.  but you never noticed this, unless of course you were looking for it.  but it kept her humble, it kept her grounded.  most women want to be beautiful and she was convinced that she was not beautiful, though you would never know that by all the attention she got from men.  nevertheless, i like to think of her as a kind of pure soul, uncorrupted by philosophical thoughts, which can ruin a persons character if they are not equipped to handle this kind of thinking.  most people are not!

end conversation with henry miller

you mistrumpet gogol...

"excuse me sir?  we really must get down to business.  now, the way i see it..."
"the way we see it..."
"exactly, the way we see it, we play the roark card.  the misunderstood genius, the penultimate man of action too preoccupied with saving the universe to be bothered with formalities... "
"or with manners or common decency..."
"yes...  wait, no..!  i can explain that too—we can.  you're... you're aloof!
"yes, aloof...  but in a good way.  a little preoccupied..."
"preoccupied!  that's funny.  he's freaking aspergers!"
"he's not aspergers..! you're not aspergers.  we don't use that word.  besides, according to the dsm-v, aspergers no longer exists.  no, we're going with aloof.  it's...  it's real.  it's accurate.  it's unequivocal."
"let's face it, he's an asshole and he's unelectable..!"
"who's talking electable, i'm just trying to keep 'em out of jail!!!"

i'll get drunk too jedidiah, if it'll do any good...

"lets all get drunk."

chapter two

i haven't taken prisoners in years.  i believe the correct expression today is i kicked ass and took names, but i hate that expression.  let's just say i don't suffer fools.  i just don't have the time.  i came into my own in my late forties after a marathon bout of michelangelo antonioni, a director i had always been attracted to but could never explain why.  the penitent afore vitti, her subsequent absolution, the melding of the philosophies, the absurdity of the universe filtered through the simple act of forgiveness, of understanding.  it knocked me on my ass.  but with nirvana comes a price... what now brown cow?  the monk routine courts little favor with me, i'm just not that bashful.  i want to spread the love, infect the laity and string up a few infidels.  i've since held a little inquisition of my own; hence the world of politics.  where else can you repress third world babies in a far away continent and look good doing it.    not getting my hands dirty—that's been my motus operandi since they gonged off the stage at the reno club, that's the bridge i crossed, cherokee, two days before christmas, 1939!

another conversation with henry miller:

bathroom monologue etc

end with "i see dead people!"

they dont teach that at sunday school or the whittier comunnity playhouse
i belive governor brown has a heart, even though he believes i do not... i believe he is a good american, even if he belives i am not...

more nixon quotes
i would like to give me condolances, but nixon can't etc

(richard dawkins is no substitute for john the baptist)
streamlining for prayer, minimalism, monkish works nd self flagelation
camus fall, the guilt of existance, the burden of intellectual curiosity
oppenheimer, einstein (check leeter to roosevelt or truman about atomic bomb)

philip levine and the wagner quote
i hear thosse clipped notes  (tones) and i want to...

signatories.  sartre's participation fln, french rule in algeria

all i really want to do is sleep and think about Shostakovich
with all these technological innovations, all i really want to do is sleep...
whichever (innovations) helps me to this aim/cause
something about the internet, social media that produces a kind of cultural myopia.  we no linger pine for the Europeans, nor do the europeans.  hence, the kids today know nothing of Shostakovich, have not the desire to learn nor the tonal and intellectual palate to discover...

but i can only think about him for so long n then i get tired and restless.  that's why i don't need to carry with me every book ever written q out him.  

composer of the first order, rank.  theories, written music, not just writing from an instrument, like Stravinsky, who is more purely musical etc...  n

our poetry is the recitation of poetry on pure celluloid;  gielgud afore the bat of malmsey (more)

durrell and his obsession with justine, millers tryst with brenda venus and teinka thiebold sp  the pursuit of pure beauty

imaginary conversations with henry miller on very intimate sexual topics
henry describes melissa, her innate beuty and  truth

more conversations, still more... etc

at starbucks:  my mind drifts upon fair maidens...  i project upon then scenarios and personas

ode to an 80s porn queen (busty belle)  her chance happening, the cornfred offspring of midwestern progeny...  her going thour the motions
i see her now and agina non melrose blvd, in and out of shops (the way she is dressed)

nobody much talks abouy bernsteins soliloquy

we must make a point of destroying false prophets, false sentiment, the caretakers of mediocrity.  read to them the texts of dead critics, deserta arabia,(fixit)the less than stellar passages of samuel pepys...  did you know that ralph Waldo emerson kept a diary?  reams and reams of equivocations, half-baked theories and speculation—you can't make an omelet unless you break a few eggs.  i see the progenitors of a once landed gentry, turning on to benzedrine and mickey spillane, plying their trade on the playgrounds and in the nurseries, preaching to itinerant choirs, infecting the congregation... did you know that the true translation of camus' the stranger is the outsider?  too vague, not enough punch, not enough bells and whistles to wet the kisser of little johnny.

(based upon my drawing that looks like tina, the way she states at me behind the counter—)

she has the sad tired eyes of boudica fending off the never ending sons of caesar , the marshall plan and the truman doctrine...  or the looks in the eyes of transylvanian baronesses upon encountering the suffragettes—exasperated, tired and defeated by centuries of playing the doormat, the steppes to the west and the east.  she stares through me, bores a hole through the back of my skull with doe-like eyes and an east european pallor, fearful of the summer sun and its stifling summer heat.  i inform her that we live in a swamp and i can tell right away that she thinks i'm one of those creeps, the lingering upper gentry, retired civil servicemen and ex-congolese diplomats who make her world a living hell.  i'm in love with her of course, but i think i've done a pretty good job of concealing it.  

most of my paperbacks are vintage dell editions, mass market bricks of the western canon, doggeared, coffee stained, foxed and mildewed, the likes of which i have repurchased more times than i care to admit.   do you know that the kids today won't read used books!  GROSS!!! they say..!  i know, i've tried.  you can pick these up for free in the dust bins at local goodwills or for a penny online.  better yet, befriend one of our many miss havishems, walk them round the wedding table and let them win at bridge and the lot is yours.  yet don't look for signed editions of ulysses or travels in arabia deserta—sadly, nine times out of ten,  it's all james michner and harold robbins with a little john updike thrown in to impress the bluehairs.  

to my mother and her ilk, the abdication of edward the vii was a beaton spread in life magazine and (see rags for wallace simpson) who has time for (characterize edward vii period) something about simpson being a man etc.  

for all my good intentions, i am grendel baying for my mother, my mute expression of agony, upward turned to a godless universe, a (des grendel, afro the dragon and after beowulf)

i revel in refernces to munches man on the bridge
birds, pawn broker, snad pebbles etc
to anyone that will liesten (there awre very w takers )

from tuchmans gusn of august "the egnlishmen think they can treat us like portugal" or something to that effect.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

le contempt

le contempt

she sat perfectly cross-legged, her head positioned just so...  her face was seemingly expressionless but the music danced across her eyes, its rhythms butchering a kind of fandango in a macabre psychoesque manner.  she held an affinity with villa lobos, or so she felt;  all those exotic latin phrases couched in european harmonies—bach sambas, astrid gilberto on the beach with a duport stradivarius.  she loved his works for cello, the Bachianas Brasileiras etc, but it was his guitar etudes that she loved the most.  she even went as far as attempting a transcription for cello but gave it up after a while.  all latin composers are guitarists at heart.

it was a marathon session:  all seventeen string quartets by hector villa lobos, played straight through with only two ten minute breaks.  a kind of exclusive rave for grownups and ultra hipsters;  no invintations, just word of mouth and the ability to sit for hours on end like some greco-roman tombstone frieze.  it was held outdoors in a huge backyard gazebo like structures, a natural amphitheater on private grounds forty minuets outside la.  dress, like all these affairs, was hyper formal— diana vreeland on crack, alice de janze after a bender, holly golightly on those rare evenings when she couldn't fanagle the powder room...    no supper, just hors d' oeuvres all freakishly designed and white wines from the russian river valley, so as not to corrupt the palate.

she shunned the after-parties, clambakes and assorted opium-den-like soirees unless perhaps in the company of a client whose taste borders on the hieronymousboschian, or when courting a particularly illusive contract.  no, it was more than enough to be seen at these events, to be gleaned tapping ones toes, preferably in-time and hanging out after the festivities with the performers, trading jibes on the last few years of arnold schoenberg and exclaiming in wonder at the prevailing trend to favor the second viennese school at leading american musical institutions.

oh my god…the poco andantino

this declaration was immediately echoed by all

…and that tempo!

perfect, they exclaimed to a man, perfect!

she held the ear of the cellist steadfast.  rapid quips regarding resin, humidity and that (choice of edits fixit ).  

did you hear about (relevant cellist teacher/repair etc fixit )  

no, she had not.  the chatter rose and fell intermittantly, pockets rising up; the violinist and his usual cadre of lackeys hanger's-on fixit, the violist and his anarchists and of course, true to any serious gathering of musicians, one player has usually bolted before the last harmonic dissolves into the stratosphere…  in this case, the second violinist, on retainer from some odd pool of usual suspects.  

she stayed though, just at the breaking point of congeniallity, to admire and console, to smile and nod, to give this occassion its proper due, knowing as she did, with perhaps only a mere handful of others, that this was a once in a lifetime happening, a convergence of constellations and appropriate prophecies the like of which will not be seen again in her lifetime, perhaps no other's.  


she awoke each morning to a selection of dialoques from various plays and film; bogart's asides to captain rainey fixit, bernstein's girl in the white parosal, a collection of monologues from the great george sanders, gielgud's fixit rant afore the bat of malmsey fixit, butley and that bit about the seminal fuck and of course burton and his roadhouse confessions, "when i was sixteen and going to prep school during the punic wars…,"  these alarums would manifest in her a myriad of dreams and situations; would emerce her in fantastical scenarios, sometimes troubling but mostly divine and revelatory.

she entered the underground structure through a dedicated lane whizzing at just under seventyfive, this parking garage, this maze of architecture and turned an immediate right into the reserved spaces.  she carried nothing but a sleek leather shoulder case and made her way pavlovian toward the etched steel elevators lovingly programmed to return to garage level during the first few hours of the business day.

parker posey stood all parkyposeyesque, as is parker posey's wont, in the middle of the foyer munching an non-descript something or other waiting with the patience of ten thousand suns on que for the ladies room.  

come with me...

she led parker posey through a set of inconspicuous double doors, down halls turning here and there and into a anti-chamber like room with shocking glass walls floor to ceiling and deceptively simple formica-like tables bereft of drawers or cabinets or any discernable artifacts save sculpted black high grade plastic pencil holders.  there were low lying leather chairs and couches and space...loads and loads of space.

parker posey sat upon an impossible porcelan structure contemplating a scene out of what she thought must be some (relevant renaissance painting/scene etc) with her impossible bangs and peed with the insciounces of ten thousand suns.

they each sat upon one of the low lying leather chairs and couches, she and parker posey.  she looked like rahda mitchell.  she was rahda mitchell, for all intents and purposes, so we shall call her rahda henceforth.  she had that slim heatlhy amazon look and those full heroin chic features.  her eyes were a constant exhausted green, as though she were perpetually tired of seeing, as though burdoned with intensely keen insights into the psyche and soul of the world.

they did not talk business.  that would have been rude.  the subjects were music, film and fine dining.

you know that scene i mean?
i think so...
you know, the one towards the end, the one where the theme builds and rises...  and there they are, just the two of them and that theme...
oh my god, that theme...
i know, i love it.  it's my favorite piece of music!
mine too!
...and then scorsese uses it.  but he gives it its proper due, as though restoring it to its rightful sainted place...
i don't remember that.
you know, in casino...that scene at the end.  although, i think he used it in a couple of places.
hmmmm, i'll have to look for that.
yeah, it's right at the end.
oh my god, i love film.
...and music!
...and music...oh my god!

but what i mean is... i want to use that... the juxtaposition.  opposing ideas;  that of the grandiose paired with the seemingly mundane...  but of course it's not mundane, is it?  it's all grandiose though we arn't at first aware of it.  it's that final realization, when it all sinks in...that's what i want to go for!

that's amazing!  you're just amazing!


at doobies the owner suanterd up towards the podium and like moses, parted the twentysomethings darlings who had gathered to gossip about the nights list.  

anything respectable?
that guy, you know, on that show…you know the one i mean…with that girl and that other guy…
the one with the…and his hair that looks all…he's in that movie…you know…with that other guy…
that's  the one!
who else?
kadaffi's wife hannibal…
oh, did she make it out?
is she bringing her maid?
are they getting along?
i thought there had been a reconciliation…
we could puree the steak tartar and she could suck it through a straw!
that's using yer noggin!
that's why i make the big bucks!

ahhh…miss mitchell.
yep.  she'll be here in twenty.  would you care to do the honors?
well, i don't wanna seem pushy…
no, not in this town.
well, maybe just this once.  i'll wear a reagan mask.
she'll love you for it!

like stretch limos and red carpets, valet parking had become anathema, the stuff of american idol finalists and the real housewives of tunis, samy's camera on fairfax.  no self-respecting restuaranteur would set up shop within a 10 mile radius of la but they don't tell you that in the guide to celebrity mailboxes of the rich and famous.  doobies was a converted case study house reject on the outskirts of malibu; a double X-layout, open beams and faux dooryards, floor to ceiling glass and unadorned walls, free of dogs playing poker or reproductions of eisenstaedt's kiss.  like cumulus clouds or popcorn ceilings, you were free to make up your own artwork.  

like the best ski resorts, you don't see a hint of their presence until you are upon them.  golf carts took you up an impossibly steep driveway lined with local fauna; desert chaparral and palos verdes stone walls in loving states of disrepair.  you sat in the back, always, near the infinity pool whose almost imperceptible movements washed the atmosphere with patterns of light and dark.  there was no bar but drinks were served in the expansive foyer and outside around the pool and if one were smart, one could schmooze for hours just waiting for a table or negotiating trips to the restroom.  

doobie had a mahleresque walk; every fourth of fifth step he took a little step, a kind of neurotic hop, no doubt a hazzard of being a genius, a moniker he deserves for managing to keep a restuarant open in southern california for more than five years.  he greeted radha with a modicum of wit and whisked her away along with parker posey down the odd configurations of X halls, neurotically but charmingly pausing here and there, producing a succession of disturbances with his funny walk, as though perhaps in the midst of recognizing a patron, monty hall or the mayor of the city.  

again this sly aversion to talking trade.  segues into metaphors and conumdrums, innuendo and conjecture…ceo gossip and rumours of ipos.  radha had one vice, an annoying habit of working ayn rand into every conversation.  not so much due to her philosophy, but that one photo taken off the boat, the one with the pre-veronica lake hairstyle and langorius mouth, all loretta young and knocked up.  she likens rand's excursions into objectivism to youthful exhuberance and a penchant for wagner, nothing to kick her out of bed for…  a detour on the path to enlightenment.  …and as to her steadfast philosophical tenets and embarrassing fiction; well, we all have bills to pay.  

what a fucking little nazi bitch!
yeah, well…they weren't all bad.  they banned smoking in public.
i'd rather die of cancer.  have you ever tried to read atlas shrugged?
of course!  it just needs to be editied but the institute won't allow it.
the institute..!  THE INSTITUTE!!!
okay, look… all philosophies go full circle and come right back to the same thing.  i mean, how many times can you rewrite dale carnegie's how to win friends and influence people?
what the fuck are you talking about?

she didn't know.  she just liked frank lloyd wright.  comtemplating fallingwater in public has lost her more contracts than ordering jug wine at maxim's.  

ya know, fine wine is really a late twentieth century invention…the romans watered down their wine!
you're an idiot!
...public drunkeness was frowned upon.
i want to fuck you.

they skipped the port.

--------  Kieślowski's

(aisles on wheels like some indonessian bazaar, merchants peddling their wares; their rice bowls, sixteen hour days peddling cardboard two stories high; the waste capitiol of the universe, a landlocked great pacific garbage patch in and about la's garment district.  syballine like structures, monuments and reliquries to billy wilder, obelisks to kubrick, gravestones of the wit and wisdom of george s. kaufman  all gnome guarded, these keepers of the gates of interchangeable culture, transformer pastiche, these would-be anarchists and future vagabonds(…) a wailing wall of douglas sirk, an oracle of roger corman, indistinguishable from their brothers post modernists, surrealists, 70s realism, the gung-hoism of james cameron, the stop-motion of ray harryhausen so as not to tax the minds of our newly landed gentry, (add much more) all on display sans judgment, a pure crystalline democracy of consumerism for the asking.  

at veni vidi vici (curb side dvd sellers like new york, sidewalk sellers and partial condemed store fronts) the aisles were ridicuously close.  you couldn't walk past another person unless you were prepared to get close.  thankfully, the place was virtually empty at this time of night.  the employees were indistinguishable from the clientele, or vice versa.  you could just as easily get as much help from a customer as you could from the owner and just because somebody was filing through the bins, organizing and alphbetizing, didn't mean they actually worked there.  the store occupied the bottom floor of a partially condemed building in a row of dilapidated structues, a once fashionable artist colony back in the forties.  endless aisles of dvds, vhs, laserdisc, even betamax.  the selction was daunting, (foreign, indian, bollywood etc) there was a basement for the privaleged, the 400, an E-ticket for the algonguin set fixit,  a wrought iron spiral staircase (pages of shirley jackson) led you to a sub-structure, a hoarder's wet dream, with a blatant and comfy disregard for wheel-chair access and local fire codes.  it was here that she learned all about paul thomas anderson from some phantom kid customer.  he gave her a series of dissertations on each of his films, textbook stuff, stuff out of columbia university, pte and philosophy, crackhead jargon…  "magnolia is the citizen kane of our time..!"  she was hooked.  he repeated his performance in the following weeks with bergman, antonioni, buenel, cocteau, herzog, kieslowski…it never stopped.  she tried once to praise him to the front desk but they had never heard of him.  just some random kid pulling his tour of duty at veni vidi vici, a future quentin tarantino or wes anderson. 

it's society out of control…
you're reaching.
the decay of morals, a godless universe!
they're just mimes, not german beatniks…
don't you see…the rules no longer apply!
no, i disagree.  he's never that deep.  it's more on the surface…more like; we make up the rules as we go along! why do you think he throws the ball back?  
it's in the script…
fuck you!
he's just doing what we all do.  we make it up as we go along..!
my point exactly; a godless universe!

So, there you are... I've been upstairs looking 
all over for you...
There is a moment of silence during which Anna's father deliberately ignores 
her presence. She stares at him intently, trying to determine his mood and 
wondering how she is going to tell him what she has to say before she leaves. 
Finally, he turns around and faces her.
Oh, I thought you were already on the high 
Anna is barely able to control her temper, but realizing that the discussion 
is about to take the usual sarcastic turn, she immediately checks herself.
No, not yet, Dad.
Her father fixes her with a long ironic look. Conscious of his daughter's 
haste, he is apparently trying his best to detain her.
Isn't it fashionable any more to put on a 
sailor's cap with the name of the yacht? 

No, Dad, it isn't.

she liked the reflection of the film on her windows.  a solid striking black patch against the backdrop of the city lights, all reds and yellows, and blues and greens.  she kept each film on for days, just let them repeat over and over, as if some random scene might strike an insight or revelation at her most vulnerable.  she didn't look for clues in any conventional sense.  she just let it happen in its own time, like cumulus clouds or popcorn ceilings. 


die kunst der fuge rang bell-like and bounced itself off the open beamed ceiling and sank in tulmult in what could only be mistaken for lush seventies shag carpet, albeit twice removed.  a piano transcription, vladimir fetzman, which keeps things nice and tidy, unmuddled.  she could take most bach in small doses but she could listen to art of the fugue all day; no overly clever melodies calling to mind mid 80s mustard commercials or east coast investment broker ads, just pure contrapuntal love.  her kitchen was something out of kubrick; pure light, over exposed and glistening.  a klimt-like reproduction lined the wall of the foyer to the streets.  the figures, all viennese bourgeosie, olympianesque poses and come hither eyes, floated up towards the ceiling, scandalous.

all things celestial, the conjunction of jupiter and venus, the comings of the march equinox, and the the lady of the lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that She, jenny snyder, was to carry Excalibur…and become General Store Manager of Starbucks #6153, an albertson's franchise whose steadfast refusal to accept starbuck's giftcards garnered a degree of snobbery second to none, save perhaps a cobbler within a 20 mile radius of the presidential mansion of ferdinand marcos.  the que was something out of dachau; durer's witches, half-naked, half supine, half prone, world weary stares, fatalistic smart phone gestures…  this was the main entrance to the port of the city and not radha's usual watering hole and to cement this point, the two baristas working the back bar were debating the finer issues of graphic novel illustration; the expository role of non-functional harmony in the early works of alan moore.  like two turkish aqaba gunners on the eve of the attack, they waxed, they wanned, they posited with exhorbitant glee and new found revelation.  

the  rain in sp in main in the pl


you can tell the homeless in libraries and at starbucks.  they all have huge laptops and dangling wall warts and they suck up bandwidth like twelve years olds; youtube,dailymotion, hulu, vimeo.  even youporn.  you'd think they would have the courtesey to wipe the toilet seat and tip the baristas a nickel.  
(note: this might be better for confessions)