Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Miraculous turn-of-events w Delta Flight 2238/DC-PDX

Take my seat prior to take-off and the lady next to me asks me if i drink. I nod, liking her already. She has a scratchy voice and probably a fun-loving way. "Do you mind trading seats with my friend? I'll buy you a drink." My desires think whisky, but my socially respectable side deems an Alaskan amber more than good. Within the hour the drinks cart comes up and the steward who looks like Harold Ramis, hands me my trophy. When you live an unspoiled life, a life in many ways like Australia (now why do I say that, can that even be defended?) the small pleasures are treasured like huge victories that I don't even mind how uneven the temperature is or worry about my sweater getting dirty on the floor. It's a new plane with carpet so nice.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

The Brion Gysin of Annie Dullard

Two houses ago, in the skin of every corner, I closed up and quit the stars of old for endless exhilaration. Long before I heard the pulse, I saw it half-looking, dark and renewable with a senseless riffle and reflection. It has always been a night-cold fact to me that the book runs on all week, usurps every minute, whether I drop it, close it, vanish it or blink, as an Osage orange on a shelf continues to make out to itself its own splash-happy whisper.

So many shadows have been horrifying me on these waters, so much thought has been down by me here where the things come pouring, that I can hardly parody the grace never shown, that the water from under the flowing water is impartial, free, sinister and unseen. But that wish, Tinker Creek had parodied, damned and dumb warmth had vanished its tale. The creek-light reflected in my things. I stood on the renewable grass. The wish was tightened; the smack loomed over the sources. By bundled will I could flag the weeks of dead at the banks; the flags pulsed over the frozen riffles of my outpouring, and I dropped in the corner. That night the life of the mountain’s warm mouth on the creek — from high on the frozen fact of Foam Mountain, runs away — exhausted me. Where was the chilled-thought grass? This moonless thing illumined over water splashed of gray fact, dumb and dead.  It was free and frozen; I blocked the thing because it was thought.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Dandy of the day

“Many were the times that Des Esseintes had pondered over the fascinating problem of writing a novel concentrated in a few sentences and yet comprising the cohabited juice of the hundreds of pages always taken up in describing the setting, drawing the characters and piling up useful observations and incidental details. The words chosen for a work of this sort would be so unalterable that they would take the place of all the others; every adjective would be sited with such ingenuity and finality that it could never be legally evicted, and would open up such wide vistas that the reader could muse on the meaning, at once precise and multiple, for weeks on end, and also ascertain the present, reconstruct the past and divine the future of the characters in the light of this one epithet. The novel, thus conceived, thus condensed in a page or two, would become an intellectual communion between a hieratic writer and an ideal reader, a spiritual collaboration between a dozen persons of superior intelligence scattered across the world, an aesthetic treat available to none but the most discerning.”

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

From "Out of Sheer Rage"

graffiti by the inestimable Jim Owens
Writers always envy artists, would trade places with them in a moment if they could. The painter's life seems less ascetic, less monkish, less hunched. Instead of the austere mess of the desk there is the chaos of the studio: dirty coffee cups, paint-smudged cassette decks, drawings of the artist's girlfriend, naked, on the walls. - Geoff Dyer

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

A veritable tour-de-force of tartare sauce

I set out on the morning of the 14th of September. The air is cool and fog hangs wispily around the treetops. 
A very good morning of a very good month, I say, for I am alive and in good health. My destination is Central State Hospital, formerly the Georgia Lunatic Asylum. I intend to observe architecture festooned in ruin, while frolicking in the pecan grove with the squirrels. My push bike, a hybrid fit for an old geezer, nearly plops into a ditch as I am cut off by a white sedan who fails to indicate they are turning and there almost goes my very good morning.

I am standing in front of the circular driveway now and the dried-up fountain between the white hospital and the pecan grove, the center of a vast quadrant of brick edifice all gone to seed.  Water-damage is visible on the fa├žade, as are rusted screens, broken windows.

I see no faces inside the security cars that patrol. At one time, the Asylum housed 12,000 patients. Two examples:
  •       22 year-old white female mentally ill for eight years; indecent and immodest, ulcerated legs and other somewhat minor complaints.
  •       23 year-old female lunatic and epileptic convulsions followed disappointments in love; violent, hostile, auditory visual hallucinations. 

I wonder if an ex-lover friend would have been eligible, who in the throes of an indefatigable psychosis accused me of a death-defying frippery beyond compare.
I brandish a banana from my manbag, my purse, my murse, if you will. It is bright-cold. Wincing from its brightness, I gaze up at the sky. The sky is all white with enumerable shades of gray — at least fifty. What comes to mind is the tartare sauce that W.G. Sebald uses in The Rings of Saturn, a compelling depiction of un-great condiments, a veritable tour de force. “The tartare sauce that I had to squeeze out of a plastic sachet was turned grey by the sooty breadcrumbs”. My banana is cold as ice. Suddenly, my brain starts to turn over handsomely. It is possible, I reason, that if I were to set the banana on the yellow painted curb that I would not be able to find it. Eager to get this pertinent, yet uncaffeinated thought down on paper, I locate a pergola next to the decrepit fountain. Admiring a magnolia tree just off to the right, I haven’t gone ten feet when I run right into an enormous cobweb. A squirrel cackles at my blunderings.