Monday, November 26, 2007

The Aloofness of a Wolf

Led Into by The Invisible Man
I'm stuck reading Ralph (his middle name was Waldo) Ellison these past few days--one time on an airliner and I hate flying--wolves don't fly, unless they're leaping up to phenom heights to catch a fat swan's sweet-meat ass for a little light snack and howl before the serious hunting begins--wolves remain aloof, especially Alpha wolves--and see how aloof I'm getting in just describing my wolf side, my yang side? or my yin side? I forget my Chinese "good" and "evil" nomenclature but I do know the yin and yang symbol (did you ever work in advertising and use semiotics to lure the gullible?) but I'm so damn dumb and lazy because I'm just a Google step away from a dump just full of yin and yang signs both ancient and modern and 1000-page essays on their semiotic significance in everything from abacus use to zen realization but especially in their symbolic uses in Chinese cooking.

But I'm wandering away from my destination point--so back to it and reading Ralph Ellison and I just can't stop reading this guy; he writes and thinks and reads like an old Cadillac Coupe de Ville used to ride the good highways in "the old days" at high speeds. This reply to an interviewer's question (unimportant), for instance, really grabbed my solar plexus and made me growl for just the joy of reading what this man said: "ELLISON: Put it this way: I learned very early that in the realm of the imagination all people and their ambitions and their interests could meet." "We all meet in imagination," I wrote in the margin of my copy of Shadow and Act, page 12.

What I'm driving at in my Coupe de Ville down the lone highway I'm constantly on is that all of my friends are imaginary--I made 'em up in my daydreams--even my very best friend--let's see, that might be thedailygrowlerhousepianist, who is a real person outside of this blog, but inside this blog--I don't know how real he is--he's only contributed one piece to this blog in the over a year and almost two years this Rabelais blog has been broadcasting out to the very thoughts of "youse" all through the fly-by-night OLD blackface pages of The Daily Growler now changed. Have I noticed? Yes. Do I like the new look? I do, I think--I think, therefore I do like it. It's a lot more civilized (culturally evolved) and easier to read than the old black-backgrounded one--the babble, the ranting, my full moon growlings as I go for the throats of these imaginary "demons" that I fight trying to kick them out of my imagination--my daydreams as Ralph Waldo Ellison said--my intuitions as Hakim Bey might say--my continual present as Gertrude Stein hath ordered me to say that that is what it is that I live in, that that is a continuous and therefore continuing as is continuing present and presence of mind and physique and being, existential yes, but also transcendental in that good ole American way that Ralph Ellison says is the way out of "the blues" or the condition the blues has put you in, especially the blues the black people of this country have had to bear since those European global enterprises enslaved them in their African real past and forced them into becoming Amuricans, except not full Amuricans, only a white man who owns land is the only "full" Amurican. Same with the blues Native Americans had to learn to sing or counter with a hymn--just think, we forced Native Americans onto reservations and denied them the vote but forced them to join the US Army--a tragedy that is seldom mentioned in any of our crack news-reporting presses and broadcasts--the tragedy of our aboriginal people, like maybe an in-depth reporting of their present situation--these are people who are instinctually much closer to Nature (plus they'd never read Adam Smith) than the Great White Father and his boatloads of indentured-servant white trash and white religious nutjobs fleeing the harsh authorities of France and England and Greece and Italy and Spain--fleeing monarch-ruled Europe for the supposed "freedom" to be found in the New World--which wasn't a New World to the Native Americans; which wasn't a New World to the indigenous people of Mexico, Central America, South America (Bolivia with the first-ever indigenous el presidente in the Americas), the Caribbean--or what's left of them--some of them decimated and left to turn to bones and dust in the places where they were massacred or killed from the strange diseases--like syphilis--old red-blooded Christofer Colombo and his gang of ruddy sailor boys brought with them on the Nina, Pinta, y Santa Maria. "Columbus had a one-eyed mate/He loved him like a brother/And every night at half-past eight/They buggered one another/Ohhhhhhhhh/He knew the world was round-O/His balls hung to the ground-O/That navigatin', calculatin', son of a bitch, Colombo." Damn, I love the old bawdy songs and backroom ballads--the creme de la hoot of folk music, brought into my ears by the still-surviving wonderful raunchy singer Oscar Brand.

And now I have drifted way off course from my destination point--maybe I'm avoiding IT (or Id)...

What I'm trying to preamble here is that I consider thegrowlingwolf a real person. I've often written here that none of THIS is real; it's all just one long piece of fiction, just as everything is to me, both in my real I and in my wolf I. Just as through writing Ralph Waldo Ellison was able to transcend his black situation--as a boy in segregated Oklahoma City and then later as a successful writer in Paris and New York City--tossing off the mask the whites forced him to wear (whites think of blacks as "funny" people, both in their looks, actions, and ways of thinking (there clever use of syntax)--it comes from the old days of white minstrelsy where a bunch of goony white musicians and tricksters went about bringing the "true darkey" to the eyes and ears of the wanting-to-be-meanly entertained white audiences around the 100-year-old USA--and Ellison is so thorough on this subject. He transcended his growing-up situation through music, through reading, through learning, through language, through appreciation of "higher" things, things you have to reach UP for. I mean, have you noticed, escape from this planet is always UP?--cathedral steeples point the way out--skyscrapers loom upwards searching the skies for places of heavenly safety from the riff-raff that prowls the lowest depths of mankind, street-level mankind, shit-cleaning mankind, ditchdigging and jackhammering mankind, criminal mankind--whoaaaaaa, I correct myself, the successful criminals live up in the clouds with the wealthy who are criminals, too--but anyway, our quest for higher floors to live on is like being in a race to some imaginary finish line--the higher you get the safer you feel--"Movin' on up"--the further away from the harshness of chaotic (as Hakim Bey said) reality the better. What is real?

I am not a real wolf; yet I am in my imagination. I am not a real writer because I'm but a character in a continually written book, a book spoken out in thoughts, or in some instances I'm a character who you might find singing in front of a band that transcends "normal" music and rhythms--or I might be that well-dressed fellow playing the piano and singin' the blues in some blues dump or blues lounge or I might be playing a little jazz piano with Manfred Percy Mann or theryefarmerfromqueens, who is a real person, too, in some rosy little noisy Lower East Side club where the cockroaches are hidden behind the plastic veneers.

All of this because of a comment from thewomantrumpetplayer from the other coast a few posts back, though, as irony would have it, she's a native New Yorker, which means to me she's a native New York citian even though she may be from Brooklyn--and I've known a couple of Brooklyn babes who I've cuddled and coddled for several moons of old time--one on State Street in a brownstone garden apartment I should'a stayed attuned to, an ex-convent Italian girl with eburline skin like one suspects in fantasies all nuns have under their habits, a gal reporter who took me to Sam Shepard's True West at the Cherry Lane and then to a Frida Kahlo showing--she looked like Frida Kahlo in fact, with dark heavy eyebrows above blazing brown eyes all on that nun-like-colorless-hairless flesh. Hair is considered sinful because it makes us look too much like the animals we are--"hairy" beasts--also, I forgot, shaving heads in the old Catholic church was a sign of humility--like what fun it must have been shaving the heads of the French, Belgium, or Dutch women who sexually caved in to Nazi Achtung-love--hey, they were horny and what better lovemaking than with the enemy, who deep down you might secretly admire over your own men who in not being able to stand up to the Nazi wild animals became namby-pambies in these desperate babes's sexual fantasies?--how lonesome and horny at the same time it must have been in any city where the Nazi assholes came goosestepping in so full of themselves and their legendary Aryan blood and virility and imposing their rule on an already culturally evolved society and to then turn it into a Nazi jungle camp where savagery goes without punishment and death by flame awaits those who don't know the secret codes of Aryan purity or whose noses don't measure up to Aryan standards. [To my friend languagehat, I must apologize for my fascination with Freud and his Freudian novels. When you think of Freud's work as fiction, can you then maybe appreciate him a Big Tiny Little bit? Like his piece on the Ratman!]

Fucking instincts rule us; I know this; this is why Ralph Ellison had to write; why all writers have to write, in spite of disappearing places to publish--EXCEPT...and you know I love sticking these "EXCEPTs" in all the time--like a bandelero at a bullfight sticking those colored-ribbon infested barbed insults into the bull's humped-up-in-anger neck, to weaken his shoulder muscles, to make sure he can no longer use his horns instinctually, to keep his head forced low, low enough to where el matador, el torrero, el macho can stick his sword (his deadly penis) into that one vulnerable place just in back of the bull's lowered brain (the back of his skull)(the entrance to the male's feminine regulators) where if hit just right the sword blade is swallowed up through that soft spot and pulled point-blank smack dab into the bull's heart--soon blood (life to the Spaniards--Hemingway writes in For Whom the Bell Tolls about the old hags lined up outside the Spanish abattoirs with their buckets waiting to fill them up with blood that they drink and then cook with--how 'bout some blood sausage, baby?) is spurting and then cataracting out of the bull's nose and mouth and out of the wound. Then the bull slumps down to it's knees still trying to gasp in a little more life until the little man in the Babe Ruth cap comes out and finishes el toro off with his little dagger. Then el presidente has the dude cut off a couple'a ears, a team of mules come in and el toro muerto is dragged off to be butchered to supply meat (T-bones and KC 7s) to the orphanages--thus justifying such a Dark Ages way of proving how man is superior to DEATH, the one thing we as a collective fear the most.
Dead bullfighter - Edouard Manet, c. 1864-65.
Aha, as Manet showed, the bull doesn't always lose.

This Has Been Difficult to Write
What my intentions were in this piece (post) was to justify my being rather aloof when it came to thewomantrumpetplayer's request to get together with thegrowlingwolf while she was back in NYC to celebrate the Holy Days with her family, I assume. thegrowlingwolf slinked over into his "contemplation corner" and began a steady growling into the wall there when one of the staff showed him her comment in which she excitedly suggested a "get together"--the Wolf Man's problem? He's not real. He couldn't respond to such respect and actually appreciation, which thewomantrumpetplayer has shown for Wolfie's One Spring Morning Off Spring Street, which ran through 33 episodes recently on The Daily Growler.

Is Wolfie shy, you ask. Shy in the sense a shadow is shy.

My intentions in writing this blog--and in the help I get, elfin help yes but help just the same, in putting this cumbersome chaotic blog to pieces every damn day--except the past few days when my timing has been totally warped and sent me into a mach-speed nosedive as my molecules turned into time-drugged wobblies and went into a massive series of comas (or a massive series of commas, even worse)--it was hard for me to get out of bed since our spirits flew back from the eastern sandy vastlands of the upper Mojave.

And the Wolf Man wrote thewomantrumpetplayer an answer to her request--and then, back in his den he began to ponder whether or not he was too aloof in explaining to this wonderful (obviously) woman who plays the trumpet on the other coast why he couldn't bring himself to be real enough long enough to meet her and reveal who he really is.

Does this make sense? No. But what does make sense in this world these days? Only the past? The past is the pool of garbled facts and fictions that writers try and make sense out of and turn into an entertaining play (book, same thing), for all we are are entertainers at our highest peaks--hoping to become celebrities though most of us remaining on the carnival circuits most of our entertaining lives. A writer is bound by the perimeters of his blank spaces, whether a blank piece of paper in a notebook or in a typewriter or on the screen of a computer--as long as he leaves these spaces blank he's safe--the minute he puts the first words down--"Once upon a time..."--then he's in trouble--the writing actually becomes a process of living all over again--a second coming--and that is powerful and what Ralph Waldo Ellison, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Hakim Bey, Philip Wylie, and all my other writing maestros have tried to impart to me in their guidance of my trip into a totally blank future--EXCEPT not Gertrude Stein--she just taught me how to write not how to live as a writer or then how to step out of your writing and be real. As thegrowlingwolf, I have not learned how to reach that last step.

for The Daily Growler


1 comment:

Marybeth said...

Hello you sweet old growly thing. I want you to know that I never intended to frighten you or make you anxious or send you into a tail spin of self recrimination for not wanting to meet me in the flesh. It's just that after reading your writing religiously every day for 3 months I was curious to see what your eyes might say. What depth and what light might be there. I'll have you know that I agonized about telling you I was in NYC and inviting myself into your life. I thought my approach was rather shy. (I guess it wasn't.) I expected you to refuse. I am on the west coast at the moment but am turning right back around to take a plane home again because my beautiful sweet father died yesterday. I want you to know that if you don't hear anything from me it is because I am in a well of agony and not because I've abandoned you due to your refusal etc. I certainly would have loved it if you had the capacity to meet me, but I don't appreciate your writing (you) any less because you don't. I'm telling you all this because you are a sensitive creature.