A Confidential Note to the Daily Growler Staff:
I have took me off alone...I should ask a horse if that's good grammar--like I'd ask the Big Bad Wolf if that was good grandma! "Whooooooo, mama, what delicious bazooms you have, Granny dear!" "Wolfie, you pervert, you can eat me, you bastard!" And then I saw this guy on teevee selling a documentary he's done on Dr. Hunter Thompson and I got to thinking about Hunter's last days, finished, in a wheel chair you know, going blind, finished, unable to write, his body wracked with pain and his mind mad at himself and his father and his life and coming to the conclusion that why hang around in such misery, unable to even speak, dying by the hour, and so he did what all authors who are finished should do--he like Papa Hemingway--like Ross Lockridge, Jr.--blew his brains out--what good were they, they were shutting down--he couldn't write anymore--you know what that's like? he couldn't drink or do drugs anymore, except morphine which leaves you off in dreamland which is supposed to take your mind off your pain except, as my good friend told me after the Big C had invaded his lovely brain and was shriveling him up into a fetal ball he was in such pain, he said he turned down the morphine--he said it reminded him too clearly that he was dying and in pain if he thought of dying he welcomed it--after he was dead, all those bottles of liquid morphine were found in his closet at his house--and jars of Percodan caps--and my old friend from high school and college days finally couldn't take the pain from his brain cancer and he gathered together all his friends and family one Sunday afternoon in January of 2002 and they watched a pro football game together and then my friend pulled his own plug and slipped on off into the next unknown, my dear old brilliant friend with one of those phenomenal minds, the smartest dude I've ever known--and I've known a lot of geniuses--brilliant men seem to find me curious--I make a good friend unless you need me to save your life someway, then hell, I'm no good above the conversation and daydream level--that's why I have to write--remember I'm a poet by genes! My great-grandfather wrote poetry, played the violin, had a beautiful tenor voice, but also loved likker--came home one night all likkered up fumbling at the dugout door--he and my greatgrandmother lived in a dugout, a house made by digging out the side of a hill, putting a front wall with the front door--only slits for windows--a tin stovepipe to carry the heat away from the wood stove--and my greatgrandfather came home drunk, very late at night--his young wife scared to death inside that insufferably hot cave--and she didn't know it was him and took her pistol and shot once through that log-wood door--shot my greatgrandfather in his upper thigh, she didn't kill him, but when she got him inside he was in such pain she took the whiskey out of his saddlebags and poured a dollop and a half of that strong almost gasoline rotgut whiskey straight into the bullet hole and then while he drank himself into further oblivion, my greatgrandmother took her Bowie knife and cut that shot out of her husband's leg--he recovered--and he walked with a limp after that--but he didn't stop drinking--he was a poet remember! Poets commit a lot of suicide, too. You have to be careful calling yourself a poet--unless you have a good income, like Wallace Stevens, James Merrill, and James Dickey, then hell, write tons of poems--but what if you're like Hart Crane--you just have to go on and jump overboard somewhere--like jump off the stern of the Orizaba--and once flying back to the US from Haiti over Cuba off to our distant left--I looked down into that Caribbean as we came past Cuba and I thought, somewhere out in that vast water is old Hart Crane--his troubles over--his greatest poem enough to keep him immortal--just think how much mental pain old Hart had to be in, too--and he had that young babe trying to convert him to heterosexuality--Peggy was her name--but still old Hart left her bed and went to the rail of that big liner and he thought his last poem and then overboard he went. Some people who survived "jumping" suicides say they get half way down from their jump and wish they hadn't'a done it. Like a guy who survived goin' off the Golden Gate Bridge--he said it knocked sense into his head and then thinking about what he'd done scared the hell out of him. John Berryman was a jumping poet! Off the Mississippi River Bridge in Minneapolis--I don't think it was the bridge that fell apart that afternoon back now so many forgotten years--and John, with a poem and the smell of a bit of alcohol on his lips, leaped into the ice cold waters of the Mighty Mississippi! I have a jumper poet in my family--well, my grandmother the librarian claimed he was a distant cousin--his mother was Sam Houston's daughter, old Mr. Sam the hero of the Battle of San Jacinto--and this guy was named after Mister Sam--his mother had married a man from my hometown and for many years she was the postmaster at the big post office in the heart of my hometown's downtown--and my grandmother helped him with his poems--lengthy romantic intellectual things--like the Agrarians wrote--and she sent them off to East Coast magazines and Ezra's girlfriend in Chicago's Poetry Magazine--and he got them all back with rejection slips--and one brilliant hot-as-hell afternoon, this relative of mine went up on the roof of the tallest building in my hometown, a 16-floor art-deco hotel, and tried to fly off into the poetic cerulean and instead, after a flight of only a few feet outward and never upward descended to land smack-dab face-first flat as a pancake, his good clothes exploded off of him with the splat, as he hit the North 3rd Street macadam--plus when they scraped his 19-year-old body off North 3rd Street, under him they found a sheath of his poems, all ripped, bloodied, soppy with guts and god-knows-what-fluids--the funeral home people later pitched the filthy poems into the garbage and long gone from this world were this poor ruined man's creations--on his legend as a jumper lived on in the legends of my hometown--my grandmother said she was sorry she hadn't memorized any of this man's poems, but, no she hadn't ever made copies of his poems for herself--ironically, my grandmother was a published poet, some of them OK for their day and time, but she lived to be 84 and in perfect health up until about a month before she just up and died--one day, she was tied-down in her hospital bed--by then she was totally out of her gourd and usually didn't recognize anybody nor did she say anything to anybody, except this one day. I was standing by her bed when she looked over at me and said, "Wolfie, somebody's ringing the front doorbell/Look's like it's your friend, Ted Snell"--that was it. About then the front doorbell rang--and, of course, you can figure this one out--it was the milkman--fuck my adlepated grandmother! Of course it was my friend Ted Snell--and from then on I noticed whenever she said anything, she said it in rhyme--a true poet that beautiful relative from a way back in the coming forth of my genes into the Wolf-Man I've turned into.
No, I'm not going to go off and shoot myself--Hunter Thompson's sad ending simply gave me inspiration--inspiration to not be a blockhead--old Samuel Johnson's statement made an impression on me, you see--and then I always admired Thorstein Veblen the economist/sociologist (his "conspicuous consumption" theory is still applicable in today's class situation in this country)--who in the middle of his successful teaching career at Wisconsin just up and disappeared--they later found out he'd exiled himself to a cabin far off in the Wisconsin wilderness--exiled himself with tons of books, which he preceded to start reading--seven years later, he came out of hiding and back on the scene--he had read hundreds of books on every subject--I've always wanted to go off somewhere and disappear--I tried Newfoundland but it was too god-damn lonely--more men than women, too--but I can pull it off hidden away right here in New York City...
Besides, this blog is boring me--I hear no readers--oh, I know, we have tons of readers, they're just such lazy assholes, like thedailygrowlerhousepianist who says it's too complicated to comment on this blog--he has to identify himself all the time--it's a long story--he's a stubborn man--but I know he reads the blog--and I know others who read it, too. I've a couple a dear lady friends who read it but who have nothing to comment about they say--"How the hell can we comment on what you write?--except I do like your innuendos about that one character you keep writing about who resembles me a lot." "NO," I scream, "It's all fiction, like everything is fiction! It's my accumulated observations, and I'm unpiling them out of my attic--I may even read this Richard Ford guy--he must be good he won a Pulitzer Prize"--and right up Fifth Avenue is a beautiful narrow gold-domed building and it was once the offices of Joe Pulitzer the Saint Louis newspaper emperor--it's a treasure of a building, though I'm sure some Chinese real estate developer would love to tear it down and build an executive hotel on the site--it has a great room up under that gold dome with high-glossy window panes--I've always wanted to go to the tops of all the buildings in New York City I admire--I've been of course atop the Empire State Building--up as high as they'll let visitors (read "tourists") go--I once was going to write a book about Empire State Building jumpers--there's been quite a few, five or six since I've lived in NYC--then remember the wild-ass Arab dude who went on a shooting spree up there not that many years ago now?--and I know my pal L Hat has been to the top of the Woolworth Building--and he's been privileged to sneak his way out a panel and onto the roof of the CitiBank Building as well--I guess it's called the CitiCorp Building now, but not when it was first built--built the way it is with its slanted-for-solar-power-roof because it was trumpeted as a technically perfect office building providing it's own energy through it's enormous solar-panelled roof--it never happened! Maybe Con-Ed told CitiCorp to go fly a kite--they weren't buying their F-ing power from them! Anyway, the CitiCorp didn't put in solar power and went with good-old bad coal-produced Con-Ed electricity! Now the building's rather plain and tacky--though it's so shoddily constructed it'll be easy as the World Trade Center to implode out of existence one day!
So, you see, I'm tired of writing the Growler every god-damn day--I've written thousands of pages of stream of consciousness writing--some blather, yes, a lot of rambling and babbling and a lot of freak-speak--but some of it was total fun writing--easy writing for me--but now I feel like--Fuck it--I'll finish this Jazz Story #2--but then I gotta read a ton of books that are piling up all around me--I gotta listen to all these tons of CDs I have piling up around me, a Columbia CD coming today, 20 remastered original masters of the music of Bix Beiderbecke--including Lester Young's favorite record--he carried it around with him in his famous trunk--"Singin' the Blues" with Bix and Tram--Frankie Trambauer, Prez's favorite saxophone player--he claimed--Ivey divey!
Keep the Growler going, I hope. Like can't you get up off your duffs and write something intelligent yet brutally sarcastic every day! Like Walter Crackpipe--I like his attitude--or what happened to that three-named woman poet who was gonna present new poetry on the Growler! Helen what's her name?--Kloos-DNA or whatever--or what happened to that Texan in New York?--that was a good idea, like Dennis Weaver playing a New Mexican policeman on loan to the New York City Police Dept. and getting to use his horse in New York City rather than riding in a squad car--yeah sure--hey, millions of blockheads thought that a great show--hell, they even thought Dennis Weaver was a great actor--he was a great pothead like Gilligan, wasn't he? Franny and Zoe, come'yon, gal, write some woman stuff! Am I the only person able to keep this blog going? Hell, BuzzFlash is claiming they need at least $50,000 bucks a month donated so they can keep their blog going! I was looking at the most viewed blogs the other day on this blog rating site and Adriana Huffington's blog is the most hit-on blog--her Huffington Report or whatever it's called. Wasn't she married to a rabid right-wing nutjob billionaire?--when did she become the broken-English voice of American journalism! And some blogs, like one that dresses cats up in human outfits and publishes their photos--that site gets 100s of thousand hits a day! Amazin', Amazin', Amazin'.
Anyway, keep the Growler going--reprint shit if you have to--I don't care--I'm gonna go talk to Bix maybe--except I don't like the smell of a flooded land--or a river runnin' at scary high levels--I remember in New Orleans how the Mississippi smelled so raw and grave-like earthy when it was packing tight and widely brown against that flimsy levees that hung just above the rooflines overwhich my New Orleans abode looked--except the levees over the Vieux Carre held firm--funny how the levee to break was the one supposedly protecting the most people--why can't those homeless people of New Orleans sue god-damn FEMA and the Corps of Engineers for ruining their lives?--for putting a whole city into ruin! And while California is on FIRE, where's Commander and Chief Bush? Why he's in Japan! Japan! you say, what the hell's he doing in Japan? He's attending one of those weird G8 Conferences or whatever they're called--so while California is burning away and the Midwest is still stomping around in the Mississippi mud and New Orleans still sits in ruins--this little warmongering pampered little rich son extravagantly spending ALL our monies and wealth on his foolish effort to impress his wimpy father with his illegal invasions and occupations and his taking away of all our privacies--he's spying on all our asses and the big telecoms are going right along with him--and they're doing so with Congress-approved-Obama-NutjobMcCain-HillbillyHill-approved impunity--and with all of this going on, Georgie Porgie is being wined and dined and treated like a king in Japan--attending a conference of rich fools and rich dictators and Saudi Royal Family goons and Commie Commisars of Wealth and heads of all BIG DADDY corporations as these men of great humanitarian intent gather together to study on how to squeeze more money out of those of us who have to WORK for a living--I saw no women at this big conference, except the Geishas sucking these rich fools dicks under the huge ring of tables at this world-private-conflab that WE-the-People aren't allowed to know anything about what the hell goes on at these things!
"Singin' the Blues" is playing once again in my head. Bix is right, pass that bottle to me! Nobody listens to my blues and jazz anymore--
I'm a blockhead...
In the meantime...good luck with the Growler--may it wave forever in the battlefield breezes of an appreciation of excellent wit and sarcasm--the pissed-off growlings of this wolf are gonna be silenced for a while...though like Fats Waller said, one never knows, do one?
for The Daily Growler--Sunday Edition"
Berenice Abbott: atop the Chrysler Building
Berenice Abbott by Man Ray
Berenice Abbott's "Night View of New York City"