Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Me and the Blues

"Good Mornin', Blues, How Do You Do?" "Doin' Alright, How 'bout You?"
I sit in the rainy morning air, still so far, though I know as sure as I know anything the stillness will soon be bombasted away by the bulldozing intrusion of progress, fucking ass down-dragging progress. The rainy morning air is pleasing, really damp, though a fresh dampness, like a rain-lingering kiss on your full face, and, damn, I can't explain it, I mean New York City rain smells like everywhere-else rain and rain smell doesn't have anything to do with the rain's composition but that does, I assume, have something to do with the process of the sun sucking water up into its henchmen clouds and then them blowing open and spilling their watery guts out as rain, and therefore it rains, and all rain then smells like all rain and smells like rain to rain crows, rain gods, or plain ole human beings and the rain smells good as I try to unlace the shoes of idiomatic thinking I tied too tight in yesterday's post. I mean, Albert Murray has changed my life! No, not praise the Lard stuff like that, though some biscuits and gravy would sure please my hungry soul right now--"GROAT CLUSTERS!" "God-almighty I'm hungry!" My brain just keeps referring every damn thought I have to some point or some past or some memory of joy like the joy I get from remembering snatches of the old Firesign Theater things that used to crack me up when I was young and bold and brazen and bodacious and bountiful with pulchritudinous ladies and gentle-giant men friends, doing the upgraded boogie and hollering my "Rock Me, Baby" out against the old Tribeca night air rainy or not in nights of Scarlet A flip, floppin', and flyin' and reachin' for a god-damn moon every damn night, reaching for the moon of our young dreams, cloudy or not, moon dreams we could feel even if we couldn't see the moon, moon dreams that were real as long as we kept dreamin' 'em and then we got older and woke up one moonless mornin' and sure 'nuff there was a stranger standin' at the foot of our bed and we knew immediately who it was. No surprise. "Hey, Blues, how do you do?" "Doin just fine, how 'bout you?" "Life is like a dream, baby." "Well, Wolfie, me boy, it's time to wake up and start, like my man Albert Murray says, lookin' for that horizon of aspiration..."[Mr. Ed: Murray writes, But then I went on to point out that the universally appealing in art, which is to say aesthetic statement, is always achieved through the extension, elaboration, and refinement of the local details and idiomatic particulars that impinge most intimately on one's everyday existence...I was not at all concerned with writing about the South, but rather that I have always been more interested in ultimate metaphors about the South than in social science surveys about it. Because whereas sociopolitical reports in effect give circumstances which amount to predicament all of the advantages over incentive and ambition, the metaphor may be employed as a pragmatic device that functions as our most basic equipment for living, by which of course I mean self-fulfillment. The metaphor represents how we feel [Mr. Ed.: connotations] about whatever facts and figures [Mr. Ed.: denotations] are used to describe or define the concrete circumstances of our existence wherever we are. And how we feel adds up to our outlook or horizon of aspiration, which is the source of our incentive or lack of incentive. pages 3, 4, Albert Murray, From the Briarpatch File, Pantheon Books, 2001.]

First time I woke up to find the Blues standing at the foot of my bed, I wasn't scared, hell no, I sat up and started that same ole conversation with him--he's probably asexual--lot of Blues in women, so hell, the Blues--Madame Seulb or Senor Blues--I'm still conversing with the Blues, can't lose 'em, programmed into them, and even my horizon of aspiration led me over it right into the smack-dab middle of a Blues, a white boy's blues, yes, my South metaphors still based on the same metaphors Brother Murray uses--I can let my thoughts drift off--"a Mezzroll please! one of those bombers! what's that sess? say yes!"--on a viper high I can drift right back into the dryness of the days even the winter days of my Texas briarpatch youth, the sun always dancing high in the high skies above me and at night the only coolness was directly out under that high once sun-scorched sky now full of dark deep darkness all spectacularly lit with flying orbits lacing through a panorama full of winking novas exploding or planets reflecting the night sun--does the word soul come from the sun?--surely dumbass ancient man recognized the sun as a source of life--didn't they? Otherwise, what possessed these semi-beasts from being killed off by say baboons even?--or eaten by snaggle-toothed tigers and maneating eagles?--or what kept them from just dying of unrealized aspirations on the floor of the jungle? How did we silly ass man-monkeys evolve so damn far into the world's future--to be the world's destroyers! Boy, that "world's destroyer" appreciation statement should introduce anyone to the Blues. All the monkeys still left back in the dwindling jungles of our being-killed world must be proud of US their advanced cousins--monkeys look at us even now with much puzzlement on their almost-human faces. They're cute but scary, too, like Eugene O'Neill wrote about looking into the face of an insane man and seeing that man wasn't the insane one but rather Eugene was the insane one. Another predicament would be like Henry Miller said he was: too sane to be insane. My great-grandmother used insanity to escape the pain of knowing she was dying--insane she died in unnoticed peace, with a smile of relief on her mug, I swear.

Obama Is Running for President
Coming from the South, coming from Texas, coming from cynical roots, rather Calvinistic hopeless sort of dreamers, I was wondering their reactions to a black/white man running for president of the United States, something that could not have happened in their lifetimes. I'm imagining they would be surprised yes but I think down deep it would cause them to feel good. My ancestors throughout all their rambling around the South and eventually their congregating to match up and mix up out on the see-for-miles lone prairie of West Texas, always believed that all men were brothers and sisters (which doesn't necessarily mean they equal) regardless of their color or culture--my people were white drifter-individualists, tough-as-leather pioneers, especially the women--yet, many members of my closest family ended up close and dearly involved with the black music of our Texas part of the world, my brother was a swing fanatic who became totally brother-like friends with Artie Shaw and my mother played stride piano, W.C. Handy blues her speciality, and her sister played jive-ass C&W piano, a two-beat rockin' in the bosom-of-Abraham-type rockin', old Holy Roller church rockin', and I had an old railroadman, Uncle Mack, who played the harmonica constantly when you were around him, and my legendary Dockray relative who played the fiddle like it was an angelic harp, and like my cousin in Beaumont, half-Cajun, his father my one-eyed uncle the full Cajun, a piano-playing fool, who had d'rather live among the blacks than hang around white folks--many a night my cousin was tooling at the piano in the tonks of south Beaumont, on Railroad Avenue, putting the boogie to Hank Williams tunes, to "Anchors Aweigh," to Louis Jordan jumps, and he'd developed his piano playing while serving as an underaged sailor in WWII, going into the Navy at the age of 16, a veteran of the warring South Pacific seas by the time he came home safely when he was just turning 19, coming to my family house in Dallas and sitting down at the piano my mother had just bought little kid me and my sailing sailor cousin playing the most beautiful long boogie-woogie I'd ever heard in my life my eyes big and popping out and my little head a buzzin' with visions of me one day being able to sit down at the 88 and cuttin' my cousin; I mean, there was a sparkle in his eyes as his slim hands pranced and leaped across the full octaves of that sweet old piano--and he was still in his sailor suit, too--and his boogie was like his "freedom" song, man, releasing himself, because after that Navy experience, his boogie went on through some strugglin' times, especially suffering a bad marriage with a European airline stewardess, a beauty, yes, but a mother already, to my boogie-wailing cousin's bachlorhood, if he had kids he didn't know them and wouldn't recognize them if he thought he knew about 'em, and her two kids proved to be such pains in the asses and he caught her fucking around on him constantly--she was a lucious type, too, and even I remember how sexy she was the one time I met her while she was between flights one long-ago summer. After he got rid of that wife, he became classical. He quit playing the boogie and got a legit job with Ma Bell, became straight as an arrow, dedicated to small barely visible objects--like he built absolutely scaled to exact detail brass model train locomotives--he took up golf and became a fairly good golfer, then he married a local divorced babe with one grown good kid and he and this wife totally settled down so far below my horizon of aspiration, I haven't heard of my boogie-woogie-playing cousin in a decade or more--my relative connection to him, my brother, up and died and I lost my cousin in the fog of time, though the last time I heard he was living well, kicking his seventies in the ass--he'd be near 80 now. God damn, that's so fucking long ago now--see how easy it is to suddenly need to sing a good strong blues!

And I'd like to think my "civil" right grandmother would love Obama. "He's a pretty man," she'd say, "he's like an opening rose." And my mother would love Obama--same as she admitted one time to thinking a black man named Jerry who came whistling down her street every early morning, whistling along, jigging a bit, always tipping his hat at my mother smiling at him from her front window was a cool and handsome man. And I now assume she had fantasies about this black guy's charm. And the men in my family were all carpenters, workingmen, hardworkingmen, working with the braceros and the truckloads of black folks who travelled the "pickin'" circuit or joining construction teams and my father worked with Mexican-Americans in his pecan-thrashing business and his hiring man was a black guy we called Evil 'cause he was a very evil man, if the stories about him were true, but my dad loved black people so much he was always found in the black parts of town in Dallas, with his pal Mister Tater a guy who claimed he was celestially conceived, and later in West Texas and my dad loved going to the black churches and one Sunday morning he disappeared and ended up leading the singing at the Mount Moriah Baptist Church, a black church in my hometown, and a church that had a truly beautiful young black woman as a member and who I later one day met in my brother's bookstore, and what a charming woman, she'd just graduated with a Master's from Howard, she was a high school teacher, and then again later I one afternoon bolted in with young teen antelope enthusiasm through the front door of my dad's shop and galloped excitedly into his back workshop and then and there hit a whoaaaaa, stopped stunned amidst a Holy Moly!, lo and behold, there was this beautiful black woman standing with her back to me, putting on her very white bra over her very brown large breasts and wearing only very white panties in the doorway of my dad's little "rest" room as he called it in which he had a cot on which he claimed he rested throughout the day in accordance with his doctor's orders--my dad had an arrhythmical heartbeat that he said caused him to "black" out several times a day. That day I knew what he meant. I ran quickly out of his shop; they didn't see me. I sat in my car wondering what to do about such a shocking son-discovery, but then I got kind'a proud of my old man who'd already warned me that I was a ladies man and the hardships of being a ladies man, like him, and I knew he meant like him when he told me about being a ladies man. He'd gotten to make love to so beautiful a young woman, black or what not--that impressed me suddenly. Then I realized, well, hell, I have a thing for black women just like the old man. Damn, I'm continuing thinking, I have a black woman living with me now, what the hell's the matter with me? We've been a couple for more years than believable. Sometimes I don't think of her as black. That makes her mad as hell, too, which she is anyway most of the time.

So I think my family, rather conservative politically though they were, would have been surprised but OK with Obama's easy coasting to becoming the top dog in the Dumbocratic effort this year to run the Fascist rascals out of the District of Corruption and mend the levees all around our falling-to-pieces nation not only in New Orleans though especially there where I read there's a crack in one of those new low-level levees the Corps of Engineers rebuilt down there--white folks in New Orleans are high and dry, though, I'm proud to say--the Ninth Ward, where King Oliver, where Louis Armstrong, where Freddy Keppard, hell, where Buddy Bolden came from though is still left to rot or being stolen by Donald Trump (it is absolutely frightening what Donald Trump has done to the West Side of New York City! He's created a multi-hi-rise jungle of luxury buildings, I mean, the sight of these building-after-building, there are at least 20 multi-hi-story buildings all along the West Side Highway now--ugly as they are totally unaffordable for the average New York Citian--and they sit empty for the most part though you do occasionally see a tacky curtained lower-floor window with a cheap-ass table lamp all on the lower floors, the cheap seats in this huge conspicuous consumption move by the superwealthy of the world to own the land of the world and to therefore own the planet--like private individuals buying icebergs and towing them down and selling them as water to the waterless of the world--amazin'--and we hope Obama is sincere in his probably can't-believe-it trance he's in right now--sincere about "turning a page" about "change"--even though today he's kissing Israel's ass! Why do our politicans have to kiss Israel's ass? Aren't there more Latinos than Jews now in this country so why isn't he kissing Latino ass? Plus, he's still trashing Iran for it's nuclear weapons manufacturing--Come on, Obama, you dunce, the International Atomic Energy people who inspected the joint said Iran shut down there nuclear facilities in 2003--they haven't even gotten one of their nuclear power stations on line yet. And anyway, how dumb is continuing to threaten Iran. All for Israel's sake? For the Jewish vote?

Also, Obama is already saying "God Bless America" and I'm asking "which God," Obama? And why is a potential president obligated to bring this Christian-Judaic Yaweh God into our political arena? Like praying before public events start. Like boxers making the sign of the cross before they go into the ring to try and knock an opponent senseless as hell--back into concussion wonderland--plus, too, ironically the other boxer has made the sign of the cross before he started to fight--how stupid is such brutal reasoning? I say, hey, Obama, what about us atheists?

I have always found racism a very dumb way of thinking--it's the same as believing all the Christian hoodoo stories, all the Islamic hoodoo bullshit, all the hoodoo bullshit stories of "eternal life" and salvation from the fucking sky--rich or poor numbskulls--and the wealthy are still believing that because they're rich they are divine! Racism has its basis among white people in that Judaic-Christian Holy Babble of theirs--the story of Noah (he's called something else in the King's List of the Mesopotamians--I can't remember now) and his slovenly bred sons. You see old No-eee was drinking some Mogen-David one evening, you know, hell, he'd just survived the greatest flood the earth had ever seen (not a very big flood really according to geological records from that area at that time), ridin' the waves forty-days and forty-nights with all those fucking smelly animals and the snakes crawling up his legs and his wife's legs and the rats and mice, just think, how 'bout those elephants shittin' tons (what did he feed them?) down in the lower decks of Noah's mighty hand-made ship--a ship bigger than the Titanic--powered by sails I wonder? Do the Holy Babble books say whether it was a sail boat or steam-driven? Hummmm. So old No-eee was OK he was sloushed as hell on Mogen-David and so he decides to cast off his odiferous robe and lay back stark naked-ass balls-dangling drunk and sleep it off. So the robust filthy-ass dirty sons come in from cleaning out the tons of shit from below decks--wonder how they shovelled it out of the hold--over the sides I assume--maybe No-eee had built a huge wooden tray under the animals, like the tray in a bird cage that catches all the filth, anyway, it seems the boys came in from shoveling shit and Ham saw the old man drunk and naked as hell, his gnarly old genitals hanging raw down from his old yellowed-parchment stinking-dirty skin--and Ham probably said, "Jesus Christ, boyz, check out the old man's pecker--I got him beat with my big black one" and for that, Ham was turned black and shipped off to Africa to become a servant to all other men from that day on. Stupid story, right? But it's believed as the word of gods by millions of monkey-folks.

I have no respect for racists any more than I have respect for people who are faithfully addicted to religions--Seneca was wrong, man is not the reasoning animal--he's the dumbest animal. Dumb! That's Obama's problem. Is he as dumb as the rest of his fellow Amuricans? One thing I hope he doesn't do--it's disaster if he does--is invite Hillary to be his Veep. He should separate himself from Hill and Bill. He should also separate himself from John McCain--not worry about him, ignore his boring ass--just talk about what We the People want to hear--hey, Barack, are you serious or are you jivin'? that's the big question Obama has to answer.

for The Daily Growler

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