Saturday, February 25, 2012


this is part of a longer fictional prose narrative work I am playing with... don't know what it is or where it's going, but I just know that it's continuing, at the moment, which pieces like this...

I brought some envelopes with me this time. And then I ran into the clowns. Clowns for jesus. Really they were congregating on the corner, in their full body patterned clown suits, their faces painted about grey beards and facial hair, and two of them used canes to balance and walk around. I got so distracted when I saw the clowns that I gave them each an envelope, told them thank you for helping to save the world from evil, and then proceeded to give the rest of the envelopes as alms in the nearest church. By the time I got to the parade I had little to do but hand out beads and drink cold sweet tea while the marching bands passed by. I believe I will embark on a new mission to fill red envelopes with messages of immanent despair. I mean, when the refineries are burning at full blast and the plastic cups turn to mountains in the muddy street in front of our most colorful houses, then it can only lead to one thing. Or a series of things that include bad air and damaged emotions. In the future we will negotiate with trees, for oxygen and shared ingredients for color.

Friday, February 24, 2012

I am rolling in
dog bark
dog bark
a semicolon seems best here, describe
a sentence on either side
or a hyphen
the dog on a leash
on a leash
tamed by a period, question
mark why are we sitting here when
there is snow
falling over ellipses
more ellipses . . . i get in trouble
for this when I speak
in ellipses
rolling over spaces
I perform in quotation(s)
mark the end
of each line
the line that signals a line break
in prose
gathered, like a block quote
according to MLA
swimming through textual
that has little to do
nothing do to
has not anything to do
with the content
of listening
and pleasure
the dog does a dance
a thought bubble above her head

Thursday, February 23, 2012

on Lolita

Having recently finished reading Lolita for the first time all the way through, it swirls around in my head. It is a heart wrenching story represented in a (meta) fictional/philosophical/psychological way that enacts the need for art in the articulation of experience. It is a book "about" aesthetics and morals, maybe, but it is also really a work that ruminates on, and examines, the relationships between language, human suffering, psychology, power, gender, and contemporary American life. The novel is painful and instigates potentially intense emotional responses in its depiction of power (H.H., language) and lack (Lolita, lack of language/point of view), and in its narrative arc that begins with the ending of death and destroyed lives. And yes, the writing itself keeps one engaged and moving through this brilliantly articulated psychological thriller while simultaneously tearing at its reader from the inside out.

from the Foreword:

This commentator may be excused for repeating what he has stressed in his own books and lectures, namely that "offensive" is frequently but a synonym for "unusual"; and a great work of art is of course always original, and thus by its very nature should come as a more or less shocking surprise. I have no intention to glorify "H.H." No doubt, he is horrible, he is abject, he is a shining example of moral leprosy, a mixture of ferocity and jocularity that betrays supreme misery perhaps, but is not conducive to attractiveness. He is ponderously capricious. Many of his casual opinions on the people and scenery of this country are ludicrous. A desperate honesty that throbs through his confession does not absolve him from sins of diabolical cunning. He is abnormal. he is not a gentleman. But how magically his singing violin can conjure up a tendresse, a compassion for Lolita that makes us entranced with the book while abhorring its author! (5)

There was the day, during out first trip--our first circle of paradise--when in order to enjoy my phantasms in peace I firmly decided to ignore what I could not help perceiving, the fact that I was to her not a boy friend, not a glamour man, not a pal, not even a person at all, but just two eyes and a foot of engorged brawn--to mention only mentionable matters. There was the day when having withdrawn the functional promise I had made her on the eve (whatever she had set her funny little heart on--a roller rink with some special plastic floor or a movie matinee to which she wanted to go alone), I happened to glimpse from the bathroom, through a chance combination of mirror aslant and door ajar, a look on her face...that look I cannot exactly expression of helplessness so perfect that it seemed to grade into one of rather comfortable inanity just because this was the very limit of injustice and frustration--and every limit presupposes something beyond it--hence the neutral illumination. And when you bear in mind that these were the raised eyebrows and parted lips of a child, you may better appreciate what depths of calculated carnality, what reflected despair, restrained me from falling at her dear feet and dissolving in human tears, and sacrificing my jealousy to whatever pleasure Lolita might hope to derive from mixing with dirty and dangerous children in an outside world that was real to her. (283-84)

Thus, neither of us is alive when the reader opens this book. But while the blood still throbs through my writing hand, you are still as much part of a blessed matter as I am, and I can still talk to you from here to Alaska. Be true to your Dick. Do not let other fellows touch you. Do not talk to strangers. I hope you will love your baby. I hope it will be a boy. That husband of yours, I hope, will always treat you well, because otherwise my specter shall come at him, like black smoke, like a demented giant, and pull him apart nerve by nerve. And do not pity C.Q. One had to choose between him and H.H. and one wanted H.H. to exist at least a couple of months longer, so as to have him make you live in the minds of later generations. I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita. (309)

Monday, February 20, 2012

dear mr. beckett

I have been waiting here, in this airport, in this state, in this state of mixed emotion, in this layered existence of sexual and independent free-thinking and socially programmed subject, in a moment of entirely stalled and stale air, under the spell of romance and flowered scents, under the impression that something good comes to those who wait, or who work, or who let go of attachment, under the guise of confidence and balance, under a bridge to nowhere and everywhere at once, for something to happen or for everything to stop, for someone to feed me, to sing to me, to call me confidant and trusted soul, for an array of color such that stops sadness and anger indefinitely, for an assertion of something genuine, for a promise of ecology that doesn’t end in chaos and death, for a promise of peace or negotiated treaty among my pet fish who battle for each pellet of food, for a sign of luck or love to accompany the dice, for the dice to roll splendid, for the splendid dice to result in hopes and dreams, for the dreams of splendid dice to open doors and sell cars and make poems and create choirs that inspire lady luck to become man’s skilled feminine side, for whitney to love indefinitely and intimately through a gospel incantation that stops time puts an end to this waiting, for an extended moment of nostalgia in which we remember the real or unreal situation of ethical thinking, for books covered in orange like Zami’s stories of intimate awareness, for intimacy that is more like trust and personal intellectual understanding, for each tree to begin blooming with the knowledge that on a Sunday anything is possible if one is able simply to suspend time, disbelief, and expectation for previously contrived plans, the wait for which may linger on.

Friday, February 03, 2012

we are hardly finishing anything these days. becoming distracted by jesus and whether or not he supports planned parenthood. they help women. blasphemy. they give out condoms. hypocrisy. they talk to teens who have nowhere else to go. sin sin sin. the babies will save us. or be the end of us. what do you care megachurch with your money and your fancy pop music? the babies I’m talking about are metaphorical or sometimes not babies at all. the students know this, at least until they are not students any longer. how many millions did you make last year and did you declare it on your taxes? most of my tax money helps fund this country. if you don’t pay taxes how can you claim to support anything. you are in favor of nothing except your own money. what’s in your wallet? hypocrisy? blasphemy? that’s a silly question. rhetorical then. you are a blasphemer. I won’t tell your church. but know this, someone will check your pockets and then they will know. you can’t trade one idea for another when you have already gone on record. the poor people will never wander over to your camp. you are finishing what you haven’t even begun. not properly. but it is better this way. better that we can all see this. you steal ideas from music stars and perform your own image. but your image is incomplete. you don’t even know who sang that song. and apparently you didn’t even listen to the lyrics. since you’ve never struggled or overcome anything.  freedom is another word for nothing left to lose. ok, well that’s a different song, of course. one decade or another. at this point S would say I am on a box. soapy. my own soap opera (since I auditioned for all of the others and no one would have me). fortunately S is out of town this week. well, but I miss her. sometimes I get on the box just so she will reign me back in. next time I hope she will just take me with her whether I protest or not. I do love vegas at this time of year. but I am busy anticipating a political mission. planning implementation. performing in advance the rituals of action. act up. occupy this. stuff those envelopes.