Thursday, July 31, 2008
When I was five I didn't have six years to think back to. Childish statement. When I was five I could only remember back three years since I started remembering for good when I was two, in the summer, in a sandbox with two girls--and I've been in a sandbox with at least two girls ever since. And when I was 20 I didn't really want to think back six years but rather I wanted to think ahead six years though it didn't come out like I thought it would at all. When Castro was in the mountains in back of Havana, my roommate and I were trying to get to Cuba; we wanted to fight and be Marxian and revolutionaries though we only had a prep-school idea about any of that shit. Sure we read Marx. I liked Das Capital--it read like a reference book and I've been liking reading reference books since my grandmother baby sat me at her Carnegie library--"Go back in the children's area and read whatever's on the table back there." "I can't read, grandma." "Well, what better place to learn to read than in a library!" She had me there and right then and there I decided I could read whether I could read or not but by the time I was reading Marx I was also reading Havelock Ellis and Freud and John Dickson Carr and Robert Lindner and Dostoevsky (whose in that mouse hole?, why we're all in that mouse hole) and On the Road and my high school girlfriend and I read The Subterraneans together on her living room floor in front of her phony fireplace on a big furry rug, she reading, she was a good reader, while I lay beside her with my hand up the back of her skirt rubbing the insides of her high-school-girl thighs--
And that was thinking back more than six years--and I was intending only to think back six years. In 1981, I had moved in with this woman I'd been seeing and being with for 6 years--a seesaw romance, the kind I like, passionate as hell one night and stone-cold NADA the next night, the enigmatic woman, the woman who when warm was like blistering hot but when cool was stone-frozen cold--bitter-dark-deep-brown-eyes cold! After a month living with her--in the dead of one of the coldest winters in New York history, it was a February--this woman in one of her stone-frozen-cold cool moods kicked my ass out into the wintry night [insert Aleck "Rice" Miller singing "9 Below Zero"--"...now it's 9 below zero and my love don't mean a thing," about as cold as a man can get--the coldest moment in the blues is when you realize how futile something seems--and what a futile statement "and your love don't mean a thing" is. I walked out of her house at 4 am with nothing but a stupid-ass worthless winter coat--it was a Hungarian Army military jacket I'd bought at Canal Street Jeans--in their basement with all the seedy military surplus shit--from the Estonian Navy or from the Turkish Mountain Forces--pullovers, shorts, tees, those cool British Army pullovers with the leather patches on the elbows--who started that leather patches on the elbows shit?--guys who smoked pipes used to wear them a lot--does anybody remember any man who used to smoke a pipe! I never see any pipe smokers anymore! The first woman I ever saw smoking a pipe was during WWII in the Saint Louis bus station women's room--I was a wee mite of a kid then and got to go with my mother to the ladies rooms when I went with her on cross-country trips like the one we were on this time and in this Saint Louis bus station ladies room there was a VERY old black woman, surely she was old enough to have been a slave, who was sitting in that ladies room selling different things--and this old woman was smoking a pipe.
So, after my 6-year girlfriend kicked me out of her big warm house in 1981, I was homeless. I was unemployed, I was broke, I was like an abandoned child, and I abandoned myself on friends's doorsteps, bartering with them to let me sleep on their living room couches--or on their floors in some cases--or hell, I'd beg them to let me sleep in their cars--they'd at the very least let me catch some zzzzs in their spare room maybe, or certainly they'd let me take a shower, or surely they'd let me make myself a lunch meat sandwich--then they'd throw me out--it was like Henry Miller cadging meals and wine and cigars and money off his friends in Paris--remember the piss-soaked ham sandwich on the floor of the bathroom in Clichy after that party?--Henry was so hungry he squeezed the urine out of that sandwich and ate it right down, the true Beaux Artes way.
So homeless, weak, wearing my Hungarian Army coat, begging, borrowing, ass-kissing weak, I was by then staying with a friend and his girlfriend in their very large SOHO loft--but it was uncomfortable for them and me and she had an 11-year-old daughter just discovering that she was feeling strange things going on in her rapidly developing, both exterior and interior parts, body. The uncomfortableness of this living condition made me realize that gol-dernit (speaking Gabby Hayes), I had to get a job of some kind and quick--and I got a job--as a proofreader with a Big 8, remember them, accounting firm, in their printing and design department, in the Exxon Building in Manhattan's Rockefeller Center--this was in the early 80s when accounting firms, lawyers, pharmaceuticals, doctors, health-care providers were controlled in terms of their selling themselves--they couldn't advertise the same as purely commercial enterprises--I believe it was during the brilliant Ronnie "Raygun" Reagan's era that the rightwingers lifted those controls so that today every other ad on teevee is a big pharmaceutical trying to get the sick and demented to ask their health-care providers (that's what doctors, nurses, etc., are called in advertising) to prescribe them their latest "miracle" drug--big pharmas being in trouble right now--desperate for what they call a STAR drug to come along--and it looks like by another medical miracle one came along just this week from big pharma England--a new drug that "may" be able to "maybe" control "somewhat" "maybe" the unstoppable drying up of dopamine in our brains the older we get--we called it "senility" before the pharmas discovered old Dr. Alzheimer and what he called Alzheimer's disease way back in some early 1900s time. You see, with the advent of a Japanese-formulated drug they called A______, the Alzheimer's disease market in the USA became a multimillion-dollar-a-year business--more and more of us are getting Alzheimer's disease these days (using Teflon and aluminum cooking utensils and all the electro-magnetic fields that surround us day in and day out and penetrate our bodies like a microwave oven cooks meat--all these cell phones are based on microwaves--these microwave transmission towers are on the top of nearly every building in Manhattan--I look out my window and see one on a building behind me that is aimed right at my apartment--though it's actually aimed up toward the big major tower up on the Electro-magnetized Empire State Building which looms above my neighborhood)--nearly everyone you meet has a parent or relation of some kind who has Alzheimer's--the greatest piece of PR to hit the Alzheimer's disease boom was when the former glam-actress Rita Hayworth was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and the American Alzheimer's Association was formed with money from Rita's daughter, Yasmin, a child produced from the loins of the self-confessed world's most jaded dude back when I was a wee lad, the Agha Kahn, a Saudi fop of a dude who became jaded when he was still in his 40s after he banged some of the world's most beautiful women--and the old Agha Kahn banged young Rita (they were married) and the result was the Princess Yasmin, and it was the Princess that started the American Alzheimer's Association and then became its spokesperson running those old ads of Rita Hayworth dancing around and being so beautiful and vivacious and then the Princess coming on and telling you her mother eventually died of Alzheimer's and how there was little help for her mother in those days but now there's hope! And the only hope they had was this Japanese drug they were calling A______--yet, no clinical trial really showed beyond a whole lotta doubt that A______ really worked--and trust me, folks, not many drugs get approved that are doubt-free--wait a minute, I'd say NO drug is out there that is doubt free--most of them are toxic, that's how they work, like rat poison kills rats, prescription drugs work the same way in our systems--and all drugs are toxic--their toxicities controlled by their dosages that are set by the biochemists and measured out by pharmacists!--your druggist or chemist as he or she was originally known--Charles Pfizer who big-bad-pharma Pfizer is named after was a Brooklyn chemist who had his own drugstore, Charles Pfizer and Sons Chemists. My point is Alzheimer's NOW is a money-making disease for big pharma, though to this day there is no real proof a drug like A_____ does keep one cognizant (to a point) longer, which is all A______ claims it does! But that's how it works in the big wonderful world of lyin'-like-a-dog advertising. So you see how this big announcement of this new Alzheimer's-control drug is going to be a shot in the arm for at least the British big pharma who is backing the research and development on the drug--Glaxo-Welcome is the Brit big pharma--check out the biochemists and lab people and the clinical-control-trial doctors who created this new control of Alzheimer's disease--I'll bet they are all on the Glaxo-Welcome payroll--and I don't know--I use Glaxo-Welcome as an example of a big pharma--and every little pharma ad agency in the world is now coming up with presentation programs so they can go after the big-buck advertising budgets this drug's launch will produce.
Back when I was homeless and finally had to get a job and got a job as a proofreader, things moved fast in offices in those days, especially those that had anything to do with printing and design and publishing and graphic arts (we called it commerical art) and rough-draft manuscripts and blue-pencil-and-red-pencil editing and then the galleys coming and then proofing galleys, marking the "aa"s and "ea"s and "pe"s--and in this fast-paced world and by a stroke of devious luck I moved quickly up--I discovered a little backstabbing deceit going on 'tween the boss and the big-shot designer and I brought it to their attention and told them point blank that I'd found this knife in my back and it had their fingerprints all over it and as a result I was transported from proofreader to full-fledged copyeditor (I've always used it as 1 word--fuck the way it's 'spose to be) in a matter of minutes one fine day.
One of my first jobs as a new copyeditor was to help the old copyeditor who was leaving to marry his big-bosomed Jewish Princess girlfriend who was a pot-smoking hippy and we knew she was a disaster but Praise the Holy Lard he went ahead and galloped off with her and left me the Holy Copyediting Father of this accounting firm's printing and design department--but before he left he had orders from the networking boss to hire some more proofreaders and he assigned me the task of interviewing them before they saw him and he made the final decision as to whether to hire them.
Six years ago I was working on 42nd Street in New York City as a senior medical editor with a pharma advertising house--it was plenty hard work, but, by six years ago, I had worked at this house for nine years and had made beaucoup bucks while there for that short a lifetime. And that "lifetime" was good in that office after we won and then launched one of the biggest-ever drug launchings in the history of big pharma and soon AEs were coming and going and project directors were traipsing all over the wild place and the art directors were switched around all over the cacophonous offices and the copywriters were going off into tangents of experimenting with disruptive creativities and the meetings in the War Room were tragedies and comedies played out several times a day every day 24/7 if you had the stamina! The house got richer and richer and they hired more and more people and there was big-buck overtime every night and every weekend and then one day, as happens in advertising--BOOM--we lost our big STAR money-by-the-bales account--yep, we lost it! And when they started tightening their belt they came and told me I had to either become a regular staffer or I could hit the street, goodbye, they didn't want me anymore--no more freelancing, no more overtime pay, no more pay for weekend work, straight salary only on the yearly basis, take it or leave it. They offered me a big salary because they said I was special and they wanted me to stay on staff and their offer was damn good money, more money than anybody else on that editorial staff was making at the time except the boss--anyway, so I joined the staff and soon my boss was saying even though we'd lost the big star account, we still had a lot of new work (the antipsychotic drugs were becoming the STAR drugs suddenly and we had two antipsychotics that were hot drugs in the "crazy" market (after the pharmas declared schizophrenia and manic depression "treatable" as diseases with chemical drugs)) and we needed some new editors and did I know of anybody who might be looking for an editing job. Sure I did. And I called this guy that day and he said hell yes he was interested and I set up a meeting between him and the boss and she hired him and once again we were working together, except this time I wasn't his supervisor, we were equals, and they promised us private offices and instead he and I ended up sharing an office, his workstation tucked away in the back and my workstation right up open in the front of this dull, windowless, stale, dark (we kept the overhead lights off), dingy room, with walls so thin our least bit of enjoying ourselves was met with cohort protests (and we are loud when we're together--listening to the same music, joking about the same things, ridiculing the ridiculous, and especially loud in our being snide in our elitist ways about things going on about the office (or the orifice, as I called it). For as it so happened, in 1982, when I was interviewing for new proofreaders, this guy applied for the job and I interviewed him and I liked him and we hired him as a proofreader. He'd been working in the basement of a Doubleday Bookstore on Fifth Avenue--running to get books as they were ordered from above down into the CELLAR--the book cellar--"Doctor Zeuss 'Cat in a Hat' and make it snappy!" "Hey, where's that Carl Sagan book I called for about 15 minutes ago? What are you jerks doing down there?"
And when I became the Perry White of this Big 8 editorial and proofreading department, the chief, this guy became my right-hand man.
This guy was smart as a whip; I knew that right off the bat, impressed really by his having been at Yale Grad studying languages and linguistics with his focus on the Russian language and that he had given Yale the finger (remember, I hate Yaleys) and come to this city guys like us love, New York City, to live like an anarchist, as fucking free as you can in this Land of the Free (the only thing free in this country is NADA, NOTHING). He was a gentleman of the world and I liked that. He was born a Baby Boomer in Tokyo in the American Hospital there to an Arkansas daddy who was with the US Department of Agriculture and an Iowan mother of Norwegian descent, and he did his elementary schooling years in Tokyo, then his family, moved around, and he attended high school in Buenos Aires--and he became a big fan of Jorge Luis Borges while there (by the bye, I share a birthday with old Jorge Luis--it's also the same day in 79 AD that Pompei was engulped by Vesuvius)--he'll correct me if I'm wrong, of that I am sure--after high school, he went to L.A. to attend Occidental College, called Oxy by the students though when little ole me was hangin' around L.A. in the 60s we called it Accidental College, up in the Eagle Rock area of northeast L.A.--Barack Obama went there until he was a sophomore. He later went to Moscow and studied Russian with the Russkies, who were Soviets then.
One of the first things I noticed about this dude that impressed me was that he was constantly reading--why he could read while walking--I teased him about being able to read in his sleep--and when he dies, I highly recommend they bury him with a huge pile of his favorite books--I personally will pitch a copy of Lolita in his grave. He was an individualist, one of the kind of guys I like and attract, individualists who are smart, not dumbasses, and my best friend in high school was one of these types of men and I've attracted these types of men all of my life--I grew up with these types of people--my grandmother the novelist/poet/librarian--my brother the journalist and later author--my mother's brother, my uncle, was a very early filmmaker who tried to start a Hollywood of his own outside my hometown in a place called Buffalo Gap--setting up a movie studio in this historic little berg (he also was an early pilot and he built the first airport in my hometown)--so I grew up with individualists who pursued higher things in life than the status quo--fuck conformity--and that's what we all had in common, we bucked conformity--and we refused to believe in God and the many god fairy tales, nor did we believe in big government and rules and regulations, and we read the Russian anarchists, like me when young digging old Prince Kropotkin, Mikki Bukanin, and we believed in no government, and for awhile Burma looked like it was going to become an anarchist paradise--Burma went for several years without a government.
This guy at first wore the same brown slacks and matching shirt to work everyday of the first several years, until he met the girl of his dreams (nightmare) and she put him in new duds as soon as he married her--and, you see, my very smart-ass men friends all have gone through at least one wife! And one thing our wives both exes and present ones know about us and must contend with is that we have no commercial ambitions--hell, we have no ambitions at all except to observe and make declarations about what knowledge we've gained from our observations. We had another thing in common, we both loved words and using words. Today, I'm happy to say, my old pal now of 26 years is one of the world's top linguists as the popularity of his blog proves--why, I'd love to hear him debate his antagonist Noam Chomsky on linguistics--he dares to differ with anybody he thinks is WRONG. As editors, we were correctors of errors and as correctors of errors we had to be perfect--one WRONG on our part got us FIRED from both jobs and wives--that's why dumbass ordinary people who think they are important came to soon despise us--you think?
So in 1982, L Hat (yep, our very own languagehat) and I began working together--and soon we were very compatible as communicable friends, and there's a lot we aren't in total agreement on, and he became valuable to me on my job as, like I've already said, my right-hand man, covering for my worthless ass when as boss I would go to lunch at 11:45 every day and then I would end up down at Dawson's Pub (in Rockefeller Center under the Time & Life Building--it went out of business in 1983 and was replaced with a new-concept McDonald's (it had a bar in it)) drinking and playing Joker Poker on my privileged 3-martini lunches--'cept I was drinking whiskey sours in those days--an old New York City drink nobody in this town's ever heard of now I would cynically assume--and my man L Hat would cover for my ass--and sometimes I wouldn't get back from lunch until 5, just in time to dismiss the staff. What a life! I turned that damn printing and design department into a proofreader and copyeditor paradise and a printer's devil's playground--and I hired some of the smartest people I've ever met--and I at the height of my power I had as many as 10 freelancers a day helping my regular staff of 4--and my staff and my freelancers were actors, actresses, budding symphony conductors, jazz drummers and guitarists (one went on to become a pretty big star), poets, writers, motorcycle mechanics, world-class bridge and chess players; one a French horn-playing Irish-French beauty from Mill Valley, California, who went on to fame as a brass ensemble player; one a girl jazz drummer who is now highly respected in jazz circles (or what's left of them); one an illustrator from RISD who has become, I think, one of the world's great illustrators; and my regular staff, the god-damn best people I've ever--and most of the smartest (and in one case the most beautiful) ones from those editorial heydays are still my friends to this day--and one of our protegees is still working as an editor in the pharma advertising business--and there are coincidences galore in my life--it's part of my theory of parallel lines--all of us in that office were just all parallel-line riders--and never our lines joined but we got close enough to hear each other and touch occasionally but to certainly know each other deeply.
And L Hat wore his copyrighted Panama straws in the summer, from Ecuador, where real Panama hats come from, and his copyrighted grey Borsolino felt skypiece in the winter! He also wore a Greek fisherman's hat, too, when he was being a wanderer--standard apparel for wandering individualists in those days--and boy did my staff have fun for several years--several lusty years--and we all started making big bucks and I started making really big bucks hiring so many freelancers the freelance agencies began to take me to lunch at some of the more fabby places to eat in midtown Manhattan, going so many times to one restaurant we got to know the owner by first name and always got preferable seating when we showed up there on our own for dinner and stuff--and then at X-mas, forget it, the booze came in by the truckloads and then every X-mas I'd get my little appreciation checks from the employment agencies--$2000 every X-mas from one agency--and then one day, this Big 8 firm got the merger fever after they had successfully changed their brand from being CPAs and 2nd-story tax-return specialists (bookkeepers/auditors) to being Executive Management Servants (Services)--and EMS came into our vocabulary--and from that these old Big 8 accounting firms became known as Management Consulting Firms--and then computers came into our vocabulary and soon I had my first-ever desktop computer, an IBM--remember when IBM made PCs?
And when computers came along, L Hat and I began discovering the Hog Heaven aspects of them--and then when we got hooked up to the Internet, forget about it! We'd found a library within a teevee set that we could access in nanosecond speeds--with just the clicking of this little device they cleverly called a mouse--though I didn't get an Internet-access computer until I got the job with the pharma ad house.
I started there in 1995. The only job I had at that time was as a pianist-singer on Sunday afternoons at this downtown Manhattan neighborhood bar where the bar patrons hated me and my guitar-accompanying friend and our only pay was all the draft beers we could drink and whatever tips we got--I once got a twenty-dollar tip there and that's the only money I made there after playing there a couple of months. I was so broke I was living off a collection of Bicentennial quarters I had--all I lived on were cups of coffee and big Snicker's bars. The luck that went with this gig was in one of the bar's patrons, a big tall redhead who was to her the most beautiful woman in the world but who to me was just another good-lookin' bar babe type--except there was something familiar about what she did while sitting at the bar and drinking wine spritzers (the lady's drink of the day). She had a pile of typing paper in front of her and she occasionally got serious over it, marking at it with a pen that I later found out contained lilac ink. One day, after her dog and I became very friendly, I introduced myself officially and told her how what she was doing at the bar fascinated me and reminded me of a time when I did my day-job work at a bar, sitting at my spot in one corner of that bar working on my editing, and I wondered what she was doing--and, ah wonderful coincidence--she was editing--she was an editor--I told her so was I, one of the best in the city, and she looked up at me and said, "Get me a resume and if I like you I'll put you to work next Monday morning." I got her my resume the next Sunday and she glanced down at it and looked up at me and said, "Can you be ready to work in the morning at 9?" I could and I did and that's how I got into pharma advertising.
It was right before L Hat came to the pharma ad agency that I was given my own computer with Internet browsing capabilities, a Mac Quadra, and soon I was doing more Internet browsing than I was working--though I was on-call in the office for 15 to 16 hours a day--it was the big launch time--and though the process was slow when the work did finally come they wanted you there to immediately pounce on it and check it out before it went back for more rewriting or whatever--there were long chunks of long times between work and I took advantage of those lack times to be on the Internet. Soon I discovered eBay and thus began another phase in my multiphasical life.
When L Hat joined us at the pharma agency, I had moved on up to one of the first iMacs--I had a blueberry one--and when L Hat joined us and we shared our office together we started on iMacs and then moved on finally up to the second-generation iMacs--the screen on the swivel thing. One day in 2002, L Hat asked me if I'd heard of blogging. I hadn't. He explained it to me. He was seriously thinking of starting a blog. By now L had remarried--and a great catch he got too in the big sea of matrimonial possibility--and he met her appropriately over the Internet, which by now both L Hat and myself were totally devoted to--I mean it was perfect for reference nuts like us, for curious nuts like us, for nuts-for-knowledge nuts like us--and soon I had started my vast collectibles collection--actually expanding one I had started in the early 1990s--and next thing I know, L Hat had a blog up and running--it was blogger.com or blogspot.com before Google bought them and superslicked them up like they are today. You had to know a wee bit of html in those days to get your blog text to come out correctly. With the help of his son, L Hat tweaked it and retooled it and got his son to create him a banner and boom, in July of 2002, my friend and cohort L Hat launched languagehat.com--a blog concerning language and hats!
So it's July of 2008 [this was composed while it was still July] and www.languagehat.com is still up and running on a pretty phenomenal daily basis--he doesn't miss many days at all--except one time he did have to rebuild the L Hat site when spammers logjammed his comment section--he had to get a Website, though the spamming meemies are still a problem at times! So get the trumpets out, get the young girl's choir ready, and let's celebrate SIX YEARS of www.languagehat.com and my man L Hat (he gives his real name all the time but this is fiction so we don't use real names here)--soon to have the US edition of his book of curses released--sometime in the fall! But then publishing hasn't changed when it comes to releasing your book that you are shivering in joyous anticipation of seeing and believing! I'm proud to have known so brilliant a man as L Hat for now 26 speeding-like-a-speeding-bullet years. A smarter man with brilliant ways with words in what about 16 languages I've yet to meet. Cheers to Language Hat and many more years of good-time blogging to go! And when are you gonna compile a book of your L Hat posts???
for The "Belated" Daily Growler
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
What Is Poetry
Of boy scouts from Nagoya? The snow
That came when we wanted it to snow?
Beautiful images? Trying to avoid
Ideas, as in this poem? But we
Go back to them as to a wife, leaving
The mistress we desire? Now they
Will have to believe it
As we believed it. In school
All the thought got combed out:
What was left was like a field.
Shut your eyes, and you can feel it for miles around.
Now open them on a thin vertical path.
It might give us--what?--some flowers soon?
Is poetry anything a person calling themself a poet writes? How does one come to think like a poet? By reading past poets? By reading current poets? Everybody is a poet. There's truth in that, isn't there? Say 50/50 truth. A lot of poetry is lies--though how do you know?
Poets like to talk about "their language." Holy Rolling Christians say they talk in "tongues," a strange language only their God understands! Maybe only the pantheon of proven poets, like old New Yorker John Ashbery up there, can judge as to what is poetry. "As we believed it. In school/All the thought got combed out:/What was left was like a field./Shut your eyes and you can feel it for miles around." I would have said, "Shut your eyes and you can hear it for Miles ahead." But then I am not a poet like John Ashbery! I mean, come on, you can't argue with John Ashbery and his fans about poetry! You can't say, "John, you make no sense; it's like you learned to write poetry in the New York City Public School system? And do we want flowers soon?" New Yorkers grow up on concrete. Trees and flowers amuse New Yorkers. Zoos no longer amuse New Yorkers; zoos and libraries! No one in NYC today gives a hoot in hell that they have citizen-access to one of the greatest "main" libraries in the world! That could be poetry: "Without a library I created my poetry/Bookless, unjointed, unglorified, undecimaled/Endless shelves of being and nothingness/Pile upon pile of words piled up and going to waste!/Leaving libraries now like fields in which when you shut your eyes you find you are blind to both words and flowers."
(A Translation of John Ashbery's) "WHAT IS POETRY"
by Jill E. Brown (April 1995)
Should we really call traditional verse with its ornamentation andWay to go Jill E. I wasn't "interpreting" right--I thought John was lost due to his public school upbringing! It's funny, school to me encouraged me to go beyond it, to be creative on my own rather than on the basis of what I was taught! I hated school like I hated going to a white Christian church or rules on my deportment or criticism of the music I listened to...or! I loved college because in college I was on my own, to learn or not to learn, to learn about creativity on my own, back in the stacks of my college's great library! But then here we go with this library shit again. Yes, "the mind is like a vast field full of life, potential, and possibility./But they teach you not to see this and instead focus on a narrow path of traditional bull shit./And that's all it is: SHIT." Hey, Jill, maybe all all things are is bullshit! Even John Ashbery's poetry may be bullshit to some! Certainly, Jill, I'll bet you get bitten in the ass by the bullshitters a lot! You're mad and angry and so was John and Stella and Jackson Pollack, angry after a war that almost did away with poetry and music and art and culture--oh, there would have been Kultur all right, spelled Mein Kampf.
elaborate description poetry?
Can the acts of nature be forced into a linguistic box and then called
Why does one feel compelled to control nature by demarcating it with
imagery and lofty symbolism?
If it snows, it snows. We have no control over it. Forget about the
pretentious attempts to characterize it.
Is it possible to forget about ideas altogether (like I am trying to here)?
I don't understand why poets revert back to tradition when we see the
possiblility in new forms. How can they not see the inadequacy of
tradtitional poetry as we, the New York Poets, so plainly see?
It goes back to school, where they try to teach you to abandon
The mind is like a vast field full of life, potential, and possibility.
But they teach you not to see this and instead focus on a narrow
path of traditional bull shit. And that's all it is: SHIT. The
only purpose it serves is to fertiliz the field and grow
more precious flowers to describe in their endless
cycle of bull shit.
for The Daily Growler
Monday, July 28, 2008
by a. thornton
my grandmother used to drink a lots of beer, and she was on the Mother's board at church. My greatgrandmother hated her, and my greatgrandmother didn't go to any church, and she said that I was her best grandson, because I didn't go either.
my greatgrandmother is the only person in the world who ever understood me. And my grandmother never went to her house, but I didn't really care because my greatgrandmother knew how much my grandmother hated her. So, you can pretty well see it was a gotdamn stink going on all through my childhood.
whenever my grandmother drank beer, she would tell everything she knew. She said the birds got her mother's treasury. My greatgrandmother was quite friendly with them, and she could speak bird very well, and she even had bird features, all except her eyes; they were those of a cat. No. They were purple and blue, if I remember right.
my grandmother didn't favor my greatgrandmother. My grandmother was invisible and my greatgrandmother was, like I said before, a bird. But some of my grandmother was visible, at times when she was drinking beer. Some of my grandmother's children were chickens, and some were elephants, and I'm a cat, and I don't know how I got this way because I didn't even know my father, not really at all.
i'll tell you about that while I'm at it. I remember him vaguely. I was very young, so I might tell a lie or two along the way, but bear with me because I just might hit upon the truth. Anyways, when the war was going on--I am making myself seem young--a couple of times I remember when he was at my grandmother's house. Wait, allow me to tell you about that. My grandmother's house was only three rooms, a living room, but called the front room, a bed room--but called the middle room--and a kitchen, and the toilet was about fifty feet from the house, and it was just like those you find out in the country, and it was shared by three other families, who didn't seem to mind too much, maybe because everybody had their water faucet on the back porch and didn't have to worry about walking so far to get water. Also, my grandfather, he looked like a grape, had added another part to the house, which was called the little house, which in actuality was nothing more than a lean-to. Anyways, lets get back to the sleeping arrangement. In the first room my grandfather slept. He wasn't my mother's father, so he musn't been my grandfather. He wasn't too concerned about me either; I could sense that because he had very little to say to me. Anyways, in the middle room my grandmother slept on a divan, and me and my mother slept in a fourposted bed. And there was a picture of some people viewing a dead body at a funeral of one of my mother's friends, and there was a calendar on another wall, given to the house by some cheap insurance company that was in--what should we call it? It was a service, because most of the time anybody died, somebody would come around the neighborhood and collect a little money to bury sister jones or brother smith. Anyways, about my father, he slept in the bed with me and my mother. Let me tell you about the stove that my grandmother had in the middle room. That was really something. Kind of a large thing, and when you put too much wood in it or made the fire wrong, all kind of smoke would seem to jump out of it.
we only had three chairs in the itty bitty kitchen, but that wasn't so bad because in the summer time I used to eat out on the back porch. I could only go in the front yard in the late evening. My grandmother didn't like me playing there. I don't know why, because she didn't have a single blade of grass. Her yard looked just like a deserted desert which had been redeserted a couple of hundred times. She didn't mind her chickens playing there, but she did me.
these chickens really meant something serious to her, and I'm not kidding you. She used to grow them to kill them. And boy, couldn't she cook some damn good red beans. My grandmother was a good cook, but I really did hate her.
my grandfather didn't have all of his toes. I don't know which foot it was. He never told me which one, and my grandmother never got drunk enough to tell me. So, I was all the time looking at his feet, and he didn't like that any at all.
he had a car, which must have been a 35 Ford. He used to let me and my mother ride to Oak Cliff with him on Sunday when he was returning some washed and ironed clothes my grandmother had placed in an oval half-shaped black pot and boiled, then taken out and hand washed on a wash board; which is something you don't see too much of any more. Those black pots were really something, jackson. I yet don't see how corrugated tin and wood could clean clothes. I guess that's why my grandmother had big shoulders and itty bitty legs. Dig.
she ___?___ then wore white cotton stockings, and over them she wore colored socks. She wore a had-been headrag, and she never seemed to be without her apron. Even on Sunday when she went to church, she wore an apron with her white dress. But she didn't wear those crazy looking titty-type stockings. Man, she really thought she was looking good when she went to church. And many times I wonder if she was ....
my grandfather, who wasn't really my grandfather, never went to church. He would tell my grandmother that he was going to a different church, but he would forget and end up at the only theater which catered to apples, and he looked like a grape. But that didn't help any. It really didn't.
he used to tell one of my cousins about Tim McCoy, Tom Mix and Buck Jones and Tex Ritter, and somebody else whom I don't remember too well. My cousin would tell me everything he had said, because my grandfather didn't like me, and wouldn't ever tell me anything. Maybe because I looked like a cat. I guess that was the reason. People like that are always that way. They figure up things kind of shitty.
i never heard my grandmother say anything nice to him. I guess she hated him as much as I hated her. She didn't know that I hated her. Boy, what kind of hell that would've been, because as it was she would hit me with anything at her disposal. She would beat the gotdamn hell out of me----and I didn't even know anything about De Sade. Man, it was a daring set. But then again, I guess I was chump enough at my earlier age to give my grandmother just cause to lay her Masochistic bag down on me. Youth be a laughable thing, insomuch as it thinks out a proposition without realizing that it might have been out there before.
when I started to school I began to hear other fellows talking about taking showers. I told my mother about that, and asked my grandmother. Neither deemed it necessary, so I went back to school thinking that I had a good thing going, and asininely telling the guys that you didn't have to take a shower. And they all laughed at me. Real deeply.
i remember that all of the cousins then born, and because we lived close together, would all have to bath in the same tub of water. One at a time, of course. Luckily, there were no girls to embarrass us boys.
in my grandmother's backyard there were a couple of very large trees. I don't know what kind they were, but they were real big. And I know that always after the winter months my grandfather, who wasn't really my grandfather, would spend all summer trimming off dead branches. I think he did that because the tree was very close to our toilet. The limbs were very big and seemed to sag to the ground during the winter months; that's when you have a lots of ice in texas.
most of the summers we spent throwing old 78 rpm records at my grandmother's chickens. Sometime we were lucky enough to catch one standing still and break his gotdamn neck with one of them gotdamn old 78 rpm records. We must've been some disturbed little bastards without really knowing it. But like they say: you can do a lot of chaotic things when you're unaware of their nomenclature.
i'd like to apologize, but I really don't know why I should do that--because I haven't bad breathed anyone.
The above short story is from a handmade, homemade magazine called risoluto, the December 1967 issue. Under the head in itty bitty print, as the author would say, was "Not Suitable for Young Persons." On the back page is written: "risoluto is published monthly at ___ Cedar Crest - dallas, texas, by a. thornton and cohorts in distress."
I first met Allen Thornton in my brother's office at one of the big Dallas dailies. He was up there to drop off a manuscript of a book he'd just completed called conversations with myself, which turned out to be a huge manuscript, at least 600 pages of single-spaced typing and some handwritten pages, too. Later at my brother's home I tried to read some of it but found it impossible to read due to Allen's unorthodox way of punctuating his writing with the intent of his otherwise story of just plain-ole days as a kid living with his mother's mother and a bunch of relatives who aren't really his relatives and how in order to pass time he started conversing with himself--making up characters for all the characters that filled the daily pages of his crawl from that three-room railroad house down in the Trinity Flats of Dallas, Texas, up out of the flats to higher ground and this was back in a time when Dallas's black population was expanding, moving rapidly out from its original neighborhood, which was out behind the Texas State Fairgrounds and running from north up by Samuels Boulevard (later Thorton Expressway) south down to Second Avenue. Soon blacks were moving south across Second Avenue--the street that ran along the south side of the Fair Grounds--and into a formerly all-white neighborhood where whites who worked at the big Proctor & Gamble plant lived--Colonial Avenue and Forest Avenue--and soon the blacks had driven the whites out of what then became known as South Dallas--the black part of town--and soon blacks were moving west and crossing the Trinity Flats and moving into upwardly mobile South Oak Cliff--a section of Dallas that was across the Trinity River and sat on a high cliff, thus the Oak Cliff--Oak Cliff was famous in the 1950s as the home of the Old Scotchman Gordon McLendon's KLIF radio station, the original home of Top 40 radio--invented by the Old Scotchman. The Old Scotchman was the first radio station owner in Texas to mix white and black artists together in his Top 40 lists, which he claimed he based on Billboard magazine's Top 100 Bestselling Records list--McLendon played Frank Sinatra's hits right alongside Jimmy Reed's latest hit out of Chicago's blues scene--plus he'd throw in an old Louis Jordan jump tune occasionally--and he'd sometimes mock droopy drawer singers like Perry "Oh-so-Slow" Como or he'd play Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" and follow it with Pat Boone's terribly limp-wristed version.
When I met Allen he was living in Oak Cliff though he'd grown up out at the end of Second Avenue in the Scyene Flats or maybe down in the Trinity Flats--and Oak Cliff was "movin' on up" for him. Later I talked a long time with Allen--he told me he read Kafka a lot and from reading Kafka--and philosophers like Kant and Nietzsche--he had developed the ability to hear himself reason in several voices at once and so he had several voices going on at once in his head and that's what he meant by "conversations with myself"--one voice being his kid character--his kid character who hated everybody and, yes, everybody hated him, too--it is interesting to note that Chris Rock's teevee show about himself being a kid is the same sort of idea as Allen had back in the 1960s--Everybody Hates Chris--and another of Allen's voices was his philosopher character who could ramble on enigmatically for a straight hundred paragraphs without stopping. Allen used capital letters to suit himself. He usually didn't like to use an initial cap on the words starting his paragraphs! Nor did he spell dallas or texas with initial caps. Nor did he sign his own name with any caps--he was a. thornton--and yes the period was a part of his signature. But when you conversed with Allen, he was Allen. When you were with Allen and his friends he was Allen. Allen ran a shop & art gallery he called the Back Door and he was always proud to tell everybody that Allen Ginsberg had appeared through the wall of his Back Door one day and, as Allen said, he "Smiled and smiled and smiled."
I proudly say Allen called me one day and asked me to write something for risoluto and I did, two things, both jazz poetic spoutings as I called them in those days of "jazz (notated measures) and words" being toyed with--Mingus did it--Dizzy did it--and Kerouac put words to Bird solos--and Kerouac and Ginsberg always read their poems and books as though they were reading them to a 4/4 beat, why they were called the Beats, the beat and the beatific sense the beat left you in, left you cool and laid back and able to spin out awesome solos either on pianos, saxophones, or typewriters--and Allen published both my submissions and I still have the now-yellowing magazine and it's a bit soiled from being published now 40 years ago--and I was so young in those days and Allen wasn't that old, but my brother's gone now and I wonder about Allen. He'd be awfully old now so I'm sure he's probably gone. Allen was a part of a crowd of very avant-garde Dallas black artists who would go on some of them to become big stars--Allen was always at the Pink Mink, which was owned by his friend the pianist Red Garland. Allen also championed unknowns like the great unsung Dallas pianist Carl Henderson--as Allen wrote about Carl, "Carl Henderson the pianist and chemist who is unemployed at both"; or you could find Allen up at the Green Parrot hanging out with Fathead Newman and the great James Clay--or over at the Bronze Knight diggin' the Roger Boykin Trio with Roger on piano and Willie T. Albert on trumpet--or down at the Club Lark where Roosevelt Wardell was leading a group that featured the great Marshall Ivory on tenor. Yeah, I know it ain't great writing, but I found it gathering dust on one of my book shelves and I decided to publish it--I think it's quite quaint and I know it's pure a. thornton.
The Great Roger Boykin on the left and ultragreat William "Red" Garland on the right.
James Clay--one super dude, super musician, and acqaintance--I went to college w/James!
David "Fathead" Newman--also a North Texas State U grad/there along w/James Clay.
Ray Charles playing in Nashville in 1959: That's Edgar Willis on bass; Fathead Newman behind Ray; Hank Crawford, Marcus Belgrave, and the Raylettes. Willis and Belgrave, too, went to North Texas State--Ray came to Dallas and North Texas State every year to audition musicians out of the NTSU Lab Band (NTSU had the first college jazz program in the USA). Ray's playing a Wurlitzer electric piano, the first-ever electric piano!
for The Daily Growler
Sunday, July 27, 2008
War Hero John McCain III
They've already started--as early as 6 am this morning on local teevee (NYC teevee) there was a big 4-pundit teevee show on one of the silly-ass channels (Fox, Universal, and the old WB are now under Rupert "Bringing Australian Television to the USA" Murdoch control) discussing a recent "poll"--the poll wasn't really ever identified--this phony poll (it's probably from the Pentagon embedded journalism department) says that 74% of Amuricans versus 44% believe John "Nutjob" McCain would make a stronger Commander in Chief than Barack Obama! Come on, where the hell can you find 74% of any kind of American people who want John McCain for anything--maybe Tucson dog catcher! We are wondering, since when did being Commander-in-Chief have anything to do with choosing our presidents? This is the first election we remember ever hearing such concern over a stupid-ass dickhead man's ability to be Commander-in-Chief or not! What qualified G.W. Bush to be Commander-in-Chief over John "Vietnam Nutjob" Kerry in the 2004 stolen election? In that particular election (stolen by Bush, by the way, or have we said that already?--our new elections depend on who controls the digital voting machines now), Kerry's war record was attacked and kicked and beaten and ridiculed all over the place--even though G.W. Bush went AWOL from his military service, he still badmouthed old John Kerry, a fellow Skull and Knucklehead member, too; and Kerry volunteered for Nam duty but was called a fakir by Bush, called a poor, little, rich boy playing toy soldier for political reasons--remember they implied Kerry's injuries were rigged and really just scratches he got while scratching his ass in the middle of a jungle wondering what the hell to do? Remember when G.W. Bush said John McCain had gone crazy in Nam? Hell, Bush even said Max Cleland, the guy who lost both legs and an arm in Nam, was faking his heroism--he was nothing but a bum that let himself get shot up he was such a clumsy soldier? But based on how to measure a Commander-in-Chief according to our commerical networks, G.W. Bush, the AWOL boy-pilot, is a great Commander in Chief! --HEY, we announced yesterday WE HAVE WON THE WAR IN IRAQ! an illegally started war that now seems to be highly approved by the Amurican people even though the election of 2006 that gave Congress a Dumbocratic majority proved the Amurican people wanted us out of both these foolish wars on Terrerism--2 years later the Amurican people now accept both Afghanistan and Iraq as blessed wars? We don't believe that. We don't believe 74% of the Amurican people believe John "Nutjob" McCain is good at anything except maybe picking the right woman to dump his first wife over for political reasons--the Tucson beer-baron's daughter! The go-go boot wearing Mrs. McCain! Why not bring up that John McCain's wife has more money than both Barack Obama and his po'ass black wife put together! Hey, there's a point! Maybe Mrs. McCain can be Nutjob John's secretary of the Treasury--maybe she can loan the USA some bucks so we can pay off some of the trillions of dollars we owe the People's Republic of China, a Communist country who now owns the USA lock, stock, and barrel--isn't that amazing! Shouldn't that be an area of concern for the American people--the debt our current Commander-in-Chief got us into--and in debt to a Communist country! That would have been an impeachable offense during the Eisenhower (Idlehours) years when John Foster Dulles and his stupid brother, Allen, ran the USA.
So on and on it will go today on the corporate media--and that includes the New York Snob Times and the Washington Jackasshitching Post--the bullshit will fly high and go on and on about McCain this and McCain that and how McCain knows WAR, and he's a WAR hero! Where was Obama when his country needed him? Yeah, take that you N-worder bastard! And this is all a subtle form of racism on the part of our corporate media (mostly owned by a handful of old-time white-big-house-bosses moneyed players--Paramount Pictures owns CBS; General Electric (a big Military Industrial Complex company) owns NBC; Rupert "Bringing Australian Television to the World" Murdoch owns Fox, the UB, and the old WB; and of course the Disney Corp owns ABC--and what wonderful puff pieces the Disney dumbasses did Friday and Saturday on sInsational Miley Cyrus's (they now openly call her her real name rather than who
Miley's Bareback Photo--we love those bedroom eyes! What's RFK got to do with Miley?
she really is, a Disney character called Hannah Montana) fabby career as a Disney child porn star--hey, 14-years-old and Disney already has her in Daisy Duke shorts shaking her ass all over the stage and bucking her little tight pussy out toward the camera with that hipplebuck thing the Disney hardcoreographers teach these little Minnie Mouse clones and doing those sort-of-nudie-cutie promo shots, those naked back, those bareback shots--a little tiny edge of one of her tiny nontitties imaginarily showing a little tiny Mickey Mouse kind'a way, you know, clean but still child porn! Oh surely some nudes of Miley at 14 will pop up down the road--pop up like the nudes Brooke Shields's mother had taken of cute little naked Brookie in her little bathtub popped up in Mom's effort to make Brooke and herself rich even though Brookie had no talent at all, same as she never had great boobs! Now she's a horsefaced middle-aged woman, big boned and homey looking, though she's still living well off the millions and billions she made over the years simply by being Brooke Shields (she's one of hose women whose head looks too big for her body)--nope, not a great actress at all--a child supermodel, yeah--lost her cherry to Dean Cain (whatever happened to him?) (Hey, Brookie went to Princeton, where did you go to college?), then tried a Christian marriage to dipstick tennis never-quite-an-ace player Andre Agazzi, divorcing his ass, has she married twice again since Andre? or once?--Agazzi prayed night and day like a motherfucker to his Christian God to let him get it up for fabby Brooke but, and God didn't even say, "sorry," Andre was unable to get his dick hard when Brookie beckoned him naked from the bedroom--or at least that's how rumor has it and we all know how true rumors are! And why isn't it child porn when Disney trots out its latest corny-cloney-teenage-phenoms and has them shake their booties in young boys's horny faces?--I mean Disney's given our culture an unfunny really Mickey Mouse, a cartoon mouse, a whole busload of bimbo teenage goofball actors, entertainers, singers, dancers, including the multitalentless white trailer trash stars like Justin TIMBER!lake, Christina Aquilera, Britney "White Trash" Spears (and her whole trailer-trash family), Ricky Martin (wasn't he molested when he was in Menudo?), J "Big Fine PR Ass" Lo--I mean, Disney turns 'em out faster than they are making animated movies of ancient white fairy tales over and over--that's why Disney's great The Lion King was staged by a white woman! Disney now, absolutely, controls Broadway here in NYC. They not only own several theaters but most of the shows running on Broadway now come out of their special Broadway production division headquartered in Times Square--whether revivals of old successes or cartoons turned into musicals or specialty vehicles with interchangeable stars--and oh God do we have to suffer a remake of Evita (with J Lo as Eva Peron) or Hello Dolly (staring Dolly "Big Tits" Parton)--or how about a musical based on the life of Walt Disney--"Slip Him a Mickey and Watch Him Draw Flies"? "Hey, Mike Eisner, when's the New World Uncle Remus coming out?, you know, the one staring OJ Simpson as Uncle Remus. "The world waits with bated breath for controversial star OJ Simpson's daring portrayal of the New World Uncle Remus, an Uncle Remus who takes no shit off nobody, 'Fuck the tar and feathers, honkey, bring on the white bitches,' in Disney's New World series of films on the remaking of American history, called the Colombo Crime Family project, led by Disney stockholder and new board member Shaq O'Neal (he's changing his name to Shrek O'Neal for this new role in his active play life)."
We are told that the CABLE teevee show called Mad Men is a hell of a show! It's about advertising in the 1960s--supposedly! I don't know if the guy who conceived and wrote the original series was in advertising in New York City in the Sixties, but anyway, we here at The Daily Growler have several contributors who were in the advertising game, and that includes our own thegrowlingwolf--who made a surprise comeback--a sneaking back in in the middle of the night--in yesterday's Growler post--The Wolf Man worked on Madison Avenue for many a moon--ended up found shot dead for lying on his cramped cubicle floor one morning after working all night on a failed miracle drug's reintroduction campaign--his last words were, "So it'll kill you after a while, so what, we're all gonna die anyway."
To keep or reject digital teevee--that is the question!
What's it like to be television-less?
for The Sunday Daily Growler
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I crawled up out of a gutter, granulated with grit, gruff, and staggered in like a stag who'd drunk his fill to the lobby (the labia) of my building (full of popcorn-fart jokes like this and that) at 2 am, soused, yes, after a gorgeous bachelor-boy evening of eating Mexican food, drinking first pints of Harp Ale, then busting open a case of Spatens--I was being fished out of the sea most of the night--with thedailygrowlerhousepianist and my old pal from the wiles of formerly Chevrolet-Buick, Michigan, themuseumdirector--his wife and kid were off hopping about in the wilds of Connecticut so he invited the maestro and me over to his Upper West Side glory pad all full of his and his wife's art and their mask collections--every motherfucker and his dog in NYC has a mask collection--I keep mine on most of the time--and thedailygrowlerhousepianist and I and the director lavished around all evening nibbling on a pull-pork burrito and a huge crock of guacamole--avocados are called avocados because, yes, they are shaped like testicles, drinking Spatens, gorging on some delicious cheddar the director put out, and the thedailygrowlerhousepianist pulled out a mickey of Jameson's and the director put some Cuba jazz on his fabby new ProTools stereo system with $300.00 speakers and a nice new Mac Power tower, and a nice wide screen, running Leopard, what the hell is that, I'm thinking while looking at his tower, a G6? or whatever Mac calls their latest what used to be the PowerMac--and I crawled home--a nice crawl, it was a pleasant night--temperature a huggy one, you know, a huggy breezy night, cool as Miles Davis blowing on "Tutu"--and I'm listening to my old music and I'm listening to the director's collection of CDs and MP4 downloads--and he puts on a god-damn Andrew Hill CD with this vocalizing shit on it, and The House Pianist knows I hate it and he always puts it on to bug me--then shadows shifted and I was told there were no shadows, and I thought of a poem and desired to write it on toilet paper and went into the director's bathroom and the tub was so old it gave me the creeps and I flushed my poem down the big porcelain toilet bowl before I had ever even wrote it.
I woke up this morning safe in my own bed but feeling like someone had marched my throat out into the middle of Death Valley and left it there to wither in the desiccating
sun--and this Chinese doctor was following me around last night hollering at me, "You need sun! You need sun!" and I cussed his ass out and said, "I don't want son!" "You dumb son of a bitch," he said, and he was right, I was dumb drunk--sloshed--a brain full of sombitch beermares waiting to be dreamed as Jack Kerouac used to call some of his dreams [Jack Kerouac's Book of Dreams]--those dreams you have after you guzzle down a case of beer and eat several pig troughs of Mexican food--golly I gag--remember Holly Woodland? And why would I? But hell, I remember Holly Woodland and Hilly Michaels and here I go drifting back into some old-fashion used-to-be--memories, I should hate memories, though I have to loose them from my brain's belfry--loose them like bats loosed from their upsidedown roosts, or malleable macaws released from their cages, and I loose my tons of memories out the cerebral belfry--ding-dong?--loose them in order to cathartically write them out of my life forever--be gone, damn spots!
One memory I can't shake loose. It's a tragic memory really though nothing but love was killed in it. This certain beautiful woman came to NYC and looked for a certain man she seriously desired to be with, to let it happen with, and he was in NYC and then she was in NYC and she worked over at a restaurant across from Joe Papp's Public Theater and she worked there as a waitress and during her time off she called every name like his in the phone book though she didn't know he had changed his name in NYC and wasn't listed by the name she knew him by so she never found him by phoning every name like his in the NYC phone book--and then they had phone books in phone booths but then the phone companies figured they could do away with providing phone books and rather if you didn't know the number you were calling--oh hell, they simply found another way to bilk a few pennies out of you at first and then jacked it up to a couple of bucks--oh, shit, my head hurts when I think of the crooked phone companies now known as telecommunications companies now known as telecoms--oh bullshit hurts my head--any bullshit I spew is entertaining at least--
--and this woman then walked the streets all around where she thought this man lived hoping by chance to run into him--and this beautiful woman was in NYC 6 months looking for this man, rejecting other offers from men who slow-trailed her around at the restaurant where she worked and offered her either quick love or lasting love, whichever she desired, and she rebuked them and did instead keep searching for her man--
--after giving up, she returned to the town from which she came--she returned to her husband and two kids--she returned to her home to the man she had married--and she immediately had an affair with a politician and that led to her being admitted to the local hospital one night in the throes of depression-enforced deliriums--that sweet beautiful woman--looking for her true love--not finding him--then returning in humility to her husband and kids only to give her love away to a philandering stranger--a man who tasted and enjoyed the hot pleasure of his being inside this sweet beautiful woman who with her eyes shut blind tight was chanting to herself how it was her true love fucking her--though she knew from the pain from this stranger's thrusts that this wasn't love, this was self-destruction!
And I just suddenly on waking up this morning and laying there puffing away on my pipe of dreams and feeling lousy started remembering that sweet beautiful woman...ah life...it is so bitterly sweet when packaged in memories.
I'm dull. I need sharpening.
for The Daily Growler
The WAR in IRAQ! WE'VE WON IT! WE'VE WON IT! At Least That's What These Pundits Are Saying, Check It Out
By ROBERT BURNS and ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writers Sat Jul 26, 7:08 PM ET
BAGHDAD - The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost. Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years. But the Iraqi government and the U.S. now are able to shift focus from mainly combat to mainly building the fragile beginnings of peace — a transition that many found almost unthinkable as recently as one year ago.
Growlers Readers Are Screaming For the Firing of marvelousmarvbackbiter! A The Daily Growler Sports Extra
Yeah, I saw the comments and the letters wanting my nuts on a platter! OK. I'll give in and admit, Brian Cashman and Omar Minaya know more about baseball than I ever dreamed I knew. For instance, I've always spouted venom at Brian Cashman as a dumbass general manager, but he and Hank "The Son" Steinbrenner have laid me to rest as a baseball analyist. I mean, yes, the Yankees today cleaned the Red Sox's clock for the second day in a row and at Fenway, too, which is such a beauty of a ballpark--what a gem--and the Yankees have won 8 in a row now and Joe Girardi is making Brian and Hank look like they knew Joe Torre wasn't actually the greatest manager in baseball afterall and that his old-fashioned managing was cramping the young fast-paced millionaire Yankees's styles--what baseball ingenuity! Getting rid of Joe Torre has sent the Yankees into a hawg-wild spree--"Thank God ("Madre de Dios"), we did not like Senor Joe and his silly Billy Ball. That's why last year none of us could get on track--I mean, now look at us, we are the Champions!" And, yes, the Yankees have moved up, though they are still 2 1/2 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays. But, I'll admit, the Yanks looked brilliant today in Boston. The pitching (Pettite) was perfect. They all hit like maniacs (Derek Jeter and A-Rod have to be the best baseball players going these days). Robinson Cano hit a home run his first at bat today! They plastered Tim Wakefield, but then, how quickly we forget, Joe Torre swept the Red Sox five games last year about this time--and tied them for first--a great comeback from being 20 games under .500 to a first-place tie--to go on to Tampa Bay and lose 3 in a row and then to Baltimore where they lost 2 in a row--and that was the beginning of the end of Joe Torre as the Yankee manager.
And Omar, oh Omar, forgive me, brother, "Mi amigo, perdóneme los errores de mi camino." Boy, how the hell wrong was I about Willie Randolph! I guess I was living under the illusion that a guy who gained his managerial knowledge being Joe Torre's third base coach and then bench coach and then right-hand man would carry that knowledge on to help a team like the Mets get back into the championship mode--which he did. But, hey, how wrong I was. Omar knew Willie was a dud! He knew Jerry Manuel would be the answer to Willie's lack of talent as a manager, his inability to get his players to play at their highest potential like Manuel has done. Yep, the Mets are in the run--first place--in a wild division--Atlanta blew a 7-run lead today to lose to the folding Phillies at the last minute 10-9 or something like that.
And Hank Steinbrenner, yes, Joe did have the Dodgers in first place in their division while Joe Girardi was still 9 games behind the Rays--and, yes, Joe did take them back to first just three or four days ago, but then, like the giving-up manager he's become, the Dodgers lost two in a row and are back a game behind the Diamondbacks now. And what a screwy division that division is, with the Colorado Rockies, last year's National League chumps, er-ah, I mean champs, are back to within 6 of the Diamondbacks in that division.
Baseball is exciting as hell again this year--my spirits are not dampened by my inability to judge baseball and its players anymore.
So, OK, folks, I have admitted the errors of my baseball analysist ways and I beg of you--and we used to have some baseball commenters--they've long deserted us--forgiveness--at least, maybe, you can give me a second chance!
for The Daily Growler Sports Extra
|American League East|
|Tampa Bay||60||42||.588||-||40-16||20-26||26-18||9-10||13-8||5-5||W 1|
|N.Y. Yankees||58||45||.563||2½||33-22||25-23||22-19||14-15||12-3||9-1||W 8|
|National League East|
|N.Y. Mets||56||47||.544||-||31-19||25-28||20-17||9-10||18-14||7-3||W 3|
|National League West|
|L.A. Dodgers||50||52||.490||1||26-24||24-28||10-11||17-14||18-17||5-5||W 1|
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Obama in Berlin: No, no, no, that's not "that" salute!
We hope you aren't getting your progressive hopes up about Barack Obama. Did you hear him in Germany yesterday? He sounds more and more every day like G.W. Bush, our only-ever never-honestly-elected president EVER (OK, the Mafia in Chicago put Kennedy in the White House in 1960, we agree). By the end of Obama's whirlwind fact-finding trip from Afghanistan to Iraq to Israel (only 3 hours in Ramala but 30 hours in Israel) and then ironically from Israel to Germany, you'd'a thought he would be hollering, "For Holy Sakes, folks, after visiting these devastated places of war and horrors and tortured prisoners and peoples running out of food while the poppy fields are bursting with deep-red bloom and processing evolution--the juices of those ancient fields being sent to Europe and the USA for processing!--and then in Iraq I saw such horrors, filthy streets, backed-up sewers, the Tigris flowing with the deteriorations of all kinds of animal bodies and with garbage and sewage, and there is no electricity in some parts of this city of 2 million people, this city where the civilization we Westerners worship began--and there in the center of this vast city I saw the largest embassy in the world, a billion-dollar playground for the occupying army, and, yes, folks, that's what our army is doing in Iraq--we are occupying that country--Iraq is a military playground now and the only hope I see for peace there is for us to get the heck out--and then I was in Palestine, yes, I'll admit, I was only there for 3 hours, but I was there long enough to see ruin all around me and to hear about the human devastation just down the road in the Gaza Strip--and, yes, I did then spend more time in Israel, but then I've already stated that I'm biased when it comes to OUR commitment to Israel--that was included in my famous 'defend at all means' speech to the Israelis in New York City..." and this imaginary speech drifts off into nowhere because we created it out of smoke and it never happened. The speech instead really was a summation of his Holy visits, first to Afghanistan where he promoted more troops for that "righteous" war (invasion)--besides Afghanistan is going to be Obama's big war where he's gonna prove his Warrior worth to those who criticize him as being soft on WAR and Neo-Con ideals; in fact, Obama's still talking about chasing Al Queda into Pakistan whether Pakistan likes it or not and using nuclear weapons in case he has to, blah, blah, blah--and today it is revealed that the Bush Administration is sending Pakistan's (Musharif's) Air Force brand new F-16 fighter jets to help them in their fight against terrorism and the Taliban (yep, that's right, those are those dangerous jets that used to be too difficult to fly or some such futility like that--yet the Department of Defense (that offensive department) went ahead and ordered billions of dollars worth of them built--no money for the poor people of the USA who were hoaxed out of their homes by easy loans and encouraged to go over their heads by buying dream homes--they were bilked--yet there's no money for them--billions for the hustlers and gangsters working us dry in Iraq and Afghanistan--like KBR, Halliburton (now a foreign corporation), Blackwater (one man's private army made up mostly of ex-South American soldiers, especially those who fought with the coalition in Iraq--Peruvians, Colombians, Chileans), Booze Hamilton (a spy corp); then Obama was in Iraq, and instead of going out into the center of Baghdad where he'd'a drawn about a billion people--dangerous, yes, but, hell, he could have gotten Holy Sanctification from the Sunnis and Sufis and Soderites--he chose to be wined and dined in the Green Zone (the world's largest embassy) and playing soldier boy with the "brilliant" General Petraes (Betrayus), and Obama started praising this stupid-dick military man to high heaven, stating that he's a great American leader and that the military under his leadership are doing a bang-up job (and that's right, Obama, it ain't a "duty" anymore, it is a job--a volunteer army in which these geeks are hired, given a salary--sorry we apologize for letting our "anti-killing" feelings getting the best of us--we forget the USA loves killing, huge explosions, wild shoot outs, and people thinking of being murdered or how to murder and people being attacked and our women scared shitless from so many women being abused and beaten and tortured beyond imagination and eventually murdered but not just murdered but usually mutilated and then in some cases butchered, seeing this on television all afternoon long and then all night long and our news reporters constantly are throwing scares at us of detailed reports of hits and runs of children who are left dead or near-death or detailed reports of the cops blowing some crazed black man away because he waved a kitchen knife at them or detailed coverage of horrible fires or cranes falling in mid-town Manhattan or of Long Island couples getting bloodily murdered in their comfortable homes in their comfortable neighborhoods--that happens nearly once-a-month in NYC--even the stupid weathercasts are made with threats--"It's gonna be HOTTER than two Hades tomorrow, folks, so you'd better be CAREFUL or you could DIE")...and Obama yammered on about how our troops in Iraq are heroes--just big mouthfuls of bullshit coming from this man's stentorian mouth--and then he's talking more troops for Iraq and while he's at it he gets into some of that tough Amurican talk about "perhaps" bombing Iran's nuclear hopes down to ashes, though he quickly liberally adds that he will try to deal with Iran diplomatically but if he has to, hell yes, he'll bomb 'em back to the Stone Age. Obama's talking as though he's prepared to be a tough-ass, executive-privileged, George W. Bush-type, bullshittin', lyin' dog-type president--the change he's offering the Amurican people is not a change that will be progressive and improving our lots, no nothing like that, what Obama means by change is simply a change of faces--a change from a white to a black face (no pun intended)--but still the same old same old WAR over PEACE bullshit. Then in Germany, the Black JFK gave his version of the great profligate's "I am a doughnut" speech, assuring the Germans that he was going to go after Al Queda and all extremist terrorist groups and he's going to increase the NATO forces as they move for the first time out of Europe and into our righteous war against the people of Afghanistan--carrying on the old Soviet attempt to occupy Afghanistan--remember when the Soviets told us getting involved in Afghanistan was going to be our downfall?--how quickly we forget!--and, yes, Obama is for the missile sites in the Czech Republic (still Czechoslovakia to John "Nutjob" McCain and most American high school students) and, yes, in order to bring respect back to the USA, Obama told the Germans he's going after terrorists and extremists with more vim and vigor than G.W. "Pussy" Bush ever thought possible given the executive privileges old Georgie Porgie has set up for the next president to use! POWER, mama, POWER! DADDY'S GOT THA POWER, BABY! Obama is loudly and orationally aligned himself with "The War on Terrorism" tough talk--you see, Obama's trying to prove to the 28% who still are Bushbackers that he's able to become a toughass, mean-talkin' Commander-in-Chief since that 28% of Bushbackers is spreadin' the lie that John McCain is considered by most Amuricans to be a better commander-in-chief than Obama! What drivel! Commander-in-Chief--that title is such bullshit. Only Congress can declare wars, not the Commander-in-Chief! Such bullshit! Such anti-American bullshit! Fascists pigs! All these bastards are fascists!--Bush's fantasy wars have become devastating realities--besides, we don't even know how to deal with the hurricanes and floods and wildfires wiping us out! We are not even concerned about T. Boone Pickens buying up as many "water rights" as he can get his dirty mitts on in expectation of the US running out of drinking water before T. Boone's time has expired and we are rid of his schemes--unless he has a worthless son or daughter! Commander-in-Chief! Hell, Timmie and Lassie could make better Commander-in-Chiefs than the wimpy presidents we've ever "elected" with the exception of maybe Dwight David Idlinghour (Eisenhower--born in Texas!), who did warn us about the Military Industrial Complex, and anybody and his dog would make a better Commodore-in-Chief than the totally VietNam-vet insane (we here at the Growler believe all ex-Vietnam vets are crazy as hell--that war left our streets full of crazy homeless nutjobs) John McCain who was lucky he was able to dump his original wife and marry the Tucson beer-baron's daughter who's now worth, we read, over 300 million bucks!--Way to go, Johnboy!! So the New World Order will continue on into infinity as far as Obama's concerned, even though the majority of We the Dumbass People want us out of both stupid invasions and stupid attempts at occupation--to suck out the wealth from under them--and We the People want our rights back--we want our privacy back--we want our jobs back--we want our factories and industries returned to us--we want our lands back--hell, we want our culture back--we want our troops back within our borders protecting our borders and not dispersed all over the world fighting Paper Tigers! If our troops had of been protecting our borders on 9/11, if our Early Warning System, remember that farce put over on us during the Cold War (a made-up war, too)?--if that had worked those airline hijackings could have been avoided or at least shot out of the air by our Air Force fighters who are supposed to be on a 24/7 readied state, but NO, none of that worked! Our Defense System couldn't keep this terrorist attack from being a success though it claimed our defenses are solid everytime it asked for more and more millions of dollars from Congress every year. (It pisses us Growlers off, too, that Americans have totally forgotten that Ronald "Raygun" Reagan was the first president to put us into debt and that the Bush Family presidents have put us into the worse national debt ever--Georgie Porgie topping his old Pappy's debt-busting deficit record by a wipe-out margin, a debt we may never recover from--old GHW Bush is the dude who when told there was poverty in the USA said he didn't see it--hell, everybody he knew had two homes--where's the poverty in that he asked--such arrogance!) All Wars have been rigged wars since wars began!
So Obama, though he says he's for change, isn't for change at all--it seems this guy rather admires George W. Bush and his nonchalant attitude while the ship is sinking around him--and it looks like Obama certainly likes the executive privileges GWB has provided for the next bunch of hypocrites who'll be spending 100 million dollars in campaigning for a job that pays at tops $300,000 a year! IT'S THAT POWER THAT THEY'RE CAMPAIGNING FOR!
What a joke our politics is in this country; EXCEPT, it's a deadly joke and no one I know is laughing about it.
Also, everyone everywhere with brains has known all along that cell phones were little microwave ovens that could eventually cook all the memory out of our brains if we used them as often as the big newer and bigger and better telecom companies want us to so they can get richer and richer and richer off the profits of selling us more and more wireless (microwaved) communications devices. Obama turncoated on us by voting to give immunity to telecom companies who illegally spied on We the People of the USA under the orders of a criminal president. Turncoated? Yes. Obama first said he would back a filibuster against the bill--instead, he backpeddled and went right along with the telecom-designed-and-written bill--which Obama said was a compromise bill and wasn't so bad afterall (the Dumbocratic Party's official stance)--besides, once he's president he's gonna keep on keepin' on spyin' on us untrustworthy Amuricans anyway--WHY? well, hell, simply because he has the POWER now thanks to Bush and the Neo-Cons to do it--spying on us because since 9/11 all of us have been led to believe that We the People of the USA are responsible for allowing 9/11 to happen (our criminal leaders are of course projecting their inadequacies onto We the People)--even though We the People were working our asses off that day and we weren't all reading My Pet Goat and we didn't all run like frightened weak dogs to Omaha, Nebraska, to hide out like wimps at the SAC base there, or we didn't run scardy-cat like Unka Dick Cheney did to the mother's-skirts protection of our own mountain-bunker retreat--our own private hideouts! We remember the days of the backyard bomb shelters! scardy cat we We the People in those early chilly days of the Soviet nuclear threat--even though the USA is the only country so far to kill 300,000 people with two nuclear weapon attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan.
Obama is saying he is scared shitless of Iran and its at-best tincan full of uncleaned uranium while the country he's so religiously going to protect from nuclear attack has over 200 nuclear weapons of its own. How come Israel's nuclear threat to Iran's peace isn't given any consideration?
It looks like Obama's a dunderhead. Same old, same old. You might as well hope for an Obama-McCain coalition--in fact, Obama was talking "coalition" help in the War on Terror over in Berlin (a city that was leveled to the ground in WWII and Americans are killing millions and leveling villages and towns and cities in so-called revenge against a bunch of Saudi citizens and a couple'a Jordanians with boxcutters and limited flying knowledge pulling off one of the great guerilla attacks in warfare history by knocking down two of the world's largest edifices and killing 3,000 people, nearly a fourth of whom weren't US citizens), thereby justifying OUR illegally started wars that aren't really wars at all, they are invasion and occupation actions, and having a "coalition"--like Bush said originally--legitimizes worldwide OUR War on the Terrorism AGAINST the USA as being in actuality a WAR on FREEDOM and PEACE and diplomacy in favor of "bombin' 'em all back to the Stone Age"--the words of the creator (General Curtis LeMay) of the Strategy Air Command in Omaha, Nebraska, where Bush wimped out to when he finally got it through his thick skull that some force was attacking the USA. Wouldn't the successful attack on the World Trade Center towers make Osama bin Laden a military genius?
There a voices saying Obama's Berlin speech was one of the greatest speeches in US political history. What should have impressed both Obama and our press was the 200,000 Berliners who turned out to hear what kind of HOPE he was going to bring to this anxious world--we don't know if they heard what they came to hear--how about Obama repeating Raygun's famous dumb words, "Mister Goor-bo-chef, tear down that wall," yes, can you believe it, Obama said it, "Tear down that wall," as part of his cliched message of how he wants to "tear down those walls" all over the world, blah, blah, blah. One commentator critical of his speech said it would have made more sense to have given that speech in Baghdad where the US has walled in one whole section of Baghdad--or in Israel where Israel has built a wall between its Chosen People and the Arab dogs whose country it once was--or, hell, Obama, how about making that speech down on the US-Mexican border where you're going to inherit a WALL meant to keep feelthy-dog Messkins (our Palestinians--we did steal all of our West from Mexico) out of this country--"Senor Obama, derride esta pared!"
for The Daily Growler
From Our Pal L Hat, a Piece by Matt Taibbi from AlterNet
I am a single mother with a 9-year-old boy. To stay warm at night my son and I would pull off all the pillows from the couch and pile them on the kitchen floor. I'd hang a blanket from the kitchen doorway and we'd sleep right there on the floor. By February we ran out of wood and I burned my mother's dining room furniture. I have no oil for hot water. We boil our water on the stove and pour it in the tub. I'd like to order one of your flags and hang it upside down at the capital building... we are certainly a country in distress. -- Letter from a single mother in a Vermont city, to Senator Bernie Sanders
The Republican and Democratic conventions are just around the corner, which means that we're at a critical time in our nation's history. For this is the moment when the country's political and media consensus finally settles on the line of bullshit it will be selling to the public as the "national debate" come fall.
If you pay close attention you can actually see the trial balloons whooshing overhead. There have been numerous articles of late of the Whither the Debate? genus in the country's major dailes and news mags, pieces like Patrick Healy's "Target: Barack Obama. Strategy: What Day is it?" in the New York Times. They ostensibly wonder aloud about what respective "plans of attack" Barack Obama and John McCain will choose to pursue against one another in the fall.
In these pieces we already see the candidates trying on, like shoes, the various storylines we might soon have hammered into our heads like wartime slogans. Most hilarious from my viewpoint is the increasingly real possibility that the Republicans will eventually decide that their best shot against Obama is to pull out the old "He's a flip-flopper" strategy -- which would be pathetic, given that this was the same tired tactic they used against John Kerry four years ago, were it not for the damning fact that it might actually work again. (I'm actually not sure sometimes what is more repulsive: the bosh they trot out as campaign "issues," or the enthusiasm with which the public buys it.)
Naturally we'll also see the "Patriotism Gap" storyline whipped out and reused over and over again. There will also be much talk emanating from the McCain camp about "experience," although this line of attack will not be nearly as fruitful for him as it was for Hillary Clinton, mainly because the word "experience" in McCain's case also has a habit of reminding voters that the Arizona senator is, well, wicked old.
To read the rest of this: www.alternet.org/workplace/91927/
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
"I haven't given up on Charlotte Bronte's web of a novel yet. I'm still being lured into its bounds by sweet Charlotte, the only Bronte sis who experienced sexual intercourse--though just how much self-diddling or 'doing unto themselves what they wanted men to do unto them' the sisters did, I wouldn't know--Elizabeth Hardwick is to blame for me getting so involved with this silly Jane Eyre--the same as I question the popularity of the Hairy Potty books, I question how Jane Eyre got on the Great Classics shelves in the libraries--'Smith girls must read Jane Eyre before they tackle "the embedded" Marcel Proust!'--just how Jane's classic-stance in this country occurred I can't say, though I'm sure it was carried over from England and from there it got into New England curricula, because only, to me, an English washerwoman's daughter could get excitement from 'these lonely Victorian girls desiring to be penetrated by castle-dwelling neerdowells who steal their hearts away by casting presentiments onto humble but obviously lithesomely and virginally attractive eyes and ears and bosoms, mouth-foaming-mad fops who are mostly the failed and wastrel sons of country manor squires who left them wealth and fine places to live and money enough to hire young innocently alluring servant girls, which they then use to make the women they really want envious and cunning, and they always want one of those young, fresh, bosom-showing, fantasy-headed, bimbos whose good old daddies are worth millions of pounds and their estates have acres and acres of land--and it's all about the knaves and their way of respecting and taking advantage of the goodness they can finagle out of their betters (though it's awfully hard for this preacher's daughters (referring to the Brontes) to find any goodness at all in their betters, only strangeness--however, it's a strangeness that is alluring to these so properly raised girls--and that includes Smith girls, too, not just the Brontes) and from that goodness they hope to luckily prosper and gain a shelf of respectability no matter how low down on that community of shelves that shelf is--in Jane Eyre's case, she wants to open her own private school one day with backing from one of the estate-owning fops she finds work with (Mr. Rochester--Jane's male hope)--which was probably Charlotte's desire as well (having her own private school). Charlotte still amuses me--amusing me especially by using words like "dandled" and "diablerie"--or using a "How d'ye do?" in one place--or writing, "...young ladies have a remarkable way of letting you know that they think you are a 'quiz'..."--then in one scene Charlotte has Jane drawing a face--and she begins to talk to the face she's drawing and then she begins to talk about she's drawing herself a friend since she's being given the snub by the castle-bred daughters of the evil place she was taken when she was an orphaned baby to be raised by her evil, evil aunt, Mrs. Sarah Reed--yet the always very Christian Charlotte has also very Christian Jane go back to the source of her childhood horrors and abuses when she's summoned to the evil Mrs. Reed's bedside by a manservant (and damn there are a lot of servants in this novel--and a lot of rich fops and their families in it, too--ah, those sparkling early days of the glorious British Empire--when you needed bevies of servants and waiters and houseboys and gardeners and shit-shovelers and stable hands and coachmen and nannies and governesses--holy Christ, it was a servitudinal mess in those old Halls that poor little smart-ass, and she is a little bitch, Jane has to dwell in and make her living in--though Charlotte and her sisters grew up in a fairly nice parsonage--though with a bitter, bastard, fart parson father, no mother, and a totally worthless brother, who Charlotte puts in Jane Eyre as the infamous Johnny Reed who squanders his inheritance in London by gambling, drinking, and whoring himself to death. And then I was reading a very "girly" conversation Jane and one of the Reed girls were having--she was bragging to Jane of her time in London and how spectacularly beautiful London society thought her and how she attracted the attention of some of the true upper swells of that whirling world and then she confesses in whisper to Jane of "a titled conquest she had made..." while caught up in the rapturous middle of her London affairs. Whew, Charlotte, you got me rubbing my crotch. That's when I started wondering if young girls dared to masturbate in those days! Like the Bronte Sisters were pretty close in age--and Emily and Charlotte spent a year together in Belgium--and in Belgium Emily was certainly aware that Charlotte had the hots for the master of the house where they were staying while learning French--and I got to wondering if maybe the sisters sometimes bundled up a little close during a cold winter's night--you know, a little touchie-feelie through their muslin gowns--they didn't wear bras in those days--did they discard their undergarments at night?--you know, to cool things off! You see I'm a male and you see how males degrade women? It's just natural with us--I mean, it turns men on thinking about a bed full of young sisters and then extending the fantasy of that thrilling-enough situation to include some breast feelups at least--surely they felt each other's breasts--maybe, you know, like kissed each other's nipples! Now the men are steaming up in this extended fantasy of the Bronte Sisters in bed together snuggling and doing some undercover learning as well--maybe some finger stuff--WOW--how about a novel by Charlotte's husband, the guy who eventually got in her pants! I'm partial to Charlotte for some reason, though she isn't the writer I was hoping she would be--her best writing comes in her descriptions of Mrs. Reed, the nasty old witch of poor Janie's childhood--the woman who sent her off to die as far as she was concerned to Lowood, the typhoid school located in the mid-England swamp--what an evil woman, and Charlotte writes her best when she's writing about Mrs. Reed and her worthless family--the very epitome of the evil woman to Christian Charlotte who forgives everybody of any wrong they ever did to her and this includes her eventually forgiving the very eviliest of all women, Mrs. Reed, though Mrs. Reed never accepts her forgiveness and dies considering Jane an awful, horrible, pipsqueaking, whining, snide, and insulting little bastard bitch--and then as Mrs. Reed finally dies, Jane goes back into one of her puzzling modes--death and the afterlife are puzzling to rather atheistic-leaning Jane throughout the novel--Jane, I assume, is assumed to simply be British Christian and that's that--though she doubts God all the way through the book--so far. I can't quit reading the damn book even though I've got a much better Toni Morrison novel I'm reading, too--I'm learning a lot from Toni "My Babe" Morrison--a lot about women and the strange presentiments that evolve into such strange situations within their breasts, their souls, their wombs, their vaginas! Women I can relate to in terms of time and generational shit--but the women of Charlotte's time--I can't imagine? Did they stink? In a John Dickson Carr novel, the hero is making out with one of the hottest London socialite ladies of the 18th Century--and when he gets her clothes off he gets hit in the face with many foul odors exhausting from her body--especially that valley between her breasts smelled or so the hero thought as he dived into them with ruddy lust--and I'm sure he stank, too, right? And then as he's pounding her and starts to French kiss her he sees in the London-foggy-moonlight her rice powder washing off her face from their mingling sweats and then he sees how this gorgeous woman's face in reality is scared and pocked, a bloody mess, caused, as John Dickson Carr so well puts it, by nearly every woman in London in those days getting the pox--and the pox leaving their faces scared--that's why face powders were invented! Eliza Reed, one of the evil Mrs. Reed's daughters, I came to enjoy--Charlotte describes her as lean and mean, bound to her own schedule, bound to her means of income, saying at one point to her worthless sister (the babe who got laid in London society), 'Instead of living for, in, and with yourself, as a reasonable being ought....'--I imagined this Eliza, she wore religious-like clothes, dark dresses with white collars and a crucifix hanging over her bosom, to be modeled on Emily Bronte--the dark Bronte Sister--doomed worse than the other two--though they were all doomed--remember, Charlotte was the longest-living Bronte Sister and she died at 39--though, like I said, she did get to experience sex--she had a kid even. No, I'm not going to read a biography of Charlotte! Liz Hardwick wrote, 'How to live without love, without security? Hardly any other Victorian woman had thought as much about this as Charlotte Bronte.' By the bye, Jane Eyre was an artist--she said she would just take a box of pencils and some paper and sit and just start drawing, images she gleaned from what she said was '...the ever-shifting kaleidoscope of imagination' she possessed. Then she describes what her drawings may eventually be: 'A glimpse of sea between two rocks; the rising moon and a ship crossing its disk; a group of reeds, and water-flags, and a naiad's head, crowned with lotus flowers, rising out of them; an elf sitting in a hedge-sparrow's nest, under a wreath of hawthorn-bloom.' Don't tell me, but I can't wait for the irritating Mr. Rochester to go blind!"
Charlotte Bronte (above)/a drawing by Anne Bronte (above)/Anne the drawer!
Actual photo of Charlotte Bronte
In Case You'd Like to Read Mrs. Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Bronte:
Note: Only Volume 2 is online.