A single man in New York City. Not a mean guy. An attractive guy. Why? How do you know he's attractive? It's something about him that makes you look at him. Like when you pass him in the street. You know? Like on the street when you are first aware of him. He doesn't stand out until you are coming upon him. You know (and knowledge is important)? Then within the fringes of where you take your first glance you catch him coming at you and pull that glanced image into your attention zone. Now, at that moment, you start filming first your notice of him--then your glance at him--then you reach that moment when you have to look at him finally. Your first look is a glance, not really a look (as in staring)--you are not yet looking at him directly--and certainly not deliberately looking at him--you don't deliberately look at anybody ever anywhere in New York City--you don't stare at anyone--and certainly not like a character that attracts your attention one way or another--like one on the prowl for a face-to-face confrontation--like perhaps you're a father-love-hate image in his child-abused insane mind--or you avoid staring (looking closely) at one so outrageously distracting as to be deliberately begging you for your attention, or perhaps it's one seeking your attention in order to revile against you, you know the kind, the kind that holler at you to get your attention--with maybe a, "Hey, you, pal....," and if you respond by looking at them they start accusing you of all the world's unfairnesses that have been stacked upon their shoulders. No, this guy is not playing one those kinds of attractive characters. This one is not begging for attention, though some may feel he's asking for attention. Some may even say he's demanding attention. As though he expects it. As though he's calculatingly expecting it.
So when you LOOK at this guy, that one chance to really look at him closely without distracting him from his focus, as close to directly in the eyes as you can get without alarming him--and then once you see his face, BOOM, then you abruptly say to yourself, hell, this character's an actor; he's not real. And why do you say that? Because this guy is wearing shades that's why. Sunglasses. He's hiding his eyes. He's hiding his true identity. His eyes reveal too much, so he's hiding them. He's playing a trick on us all. He's hiding just where HIS eyes are looking, too. His sunglasses are ironically themselves very attractive in a cross-purpose way. First of all, it seems you can actually see his eyes coming out through them in spite of their orange-smoky opaqueness. Their effect on his face is: they make him look ancient and modern (up-to-date) at the same time. They are that declaring in his head-on facial image. It's a split-level face. Then you notice that that's his whole image, his whole body image, the ancient and the modern hooked together into a two-faced character appearance like a Janus character from the ancient dramas. Like Janus, too, he's projecting, as though on stage, both sides of his duel characterizations. He's a stage hogger, you think. Maybe a ham. Distressed jeans. He's skinny so they hang. Maybe he's an ancient rapper, a raconteur. A jean jacket, ancient in design, yet covered with very modern-looking pins and pinback buttons, as though he's a decorated warrior of some kind, the biggest one you can easily see being the brassy-glowing image of a Douglas DC-7 two-engine propeller-driven modern-designed airliner from a past-century's mid-time. He could definitely play Punch in a Punch & Judy show. Even his jacket is staged. His living and breathing and walking along is his stage. Whatever character comes his way is his reflection. He's a mirror image of two sides of life. This guy is parallel lines walking
That heavily medaled jean jacket, his pins must be his medals, must display a history of his experiences. You know he must have had many experiences--he's not young--though it's hard to tell just how old he is. He's like an actor, able to lie about his age up into some very late years. Then there's the fact that he's wearing a tee shirt under the heavily metaled jean jacket and with its tail sticking out above the distressed hanging-low jeans. A plain cheap teeshirt. The one he has on now is red. But the last thing you notice is that he's wearing a dark blue baseball cap, but not an expected Yankees or Mets cap, but rather a dark-blue sidelines-type football-genre cap with big white bright neonish letters you can see easily glowing off that dark blue signboard front..._UNT.
After you pass this guy and the cap is still floating visibly on your mind, you wonder: "Did that cap say what I think it said? Did it say 'CUNT'?"
You laugh to yourself. If you're a man and have been in the army you could remember a "cunt cap." That word's so funny suddenly to you. Cunt. It does sound awful. It really is a "dirty" word; therefore it must be expressing the sanitary condition since what we men normally think of in terms of "good enough to eat" we lovingly call "pussy." Therefore, a cunt must be a dirty pussy; otherwise, why is it a dirty word? Oooooh, god, my thoughts are packing together like sardines willingly being stuffed into the tightest of sardine cans. But surely this man's cap didn't say "CUNT"--maybe "PUNT" or "RUNT"--now why would it say "runt"? Maybe it said CUNY--you misread the "Y" for a "T"--maybe that was it--he could be playing a absent-minded CUNY professor type. Wearing a word like "CUNT" on his cap just didn't fit the character you just passed who was wearing that cap bearing what you thought was the word CUNT across its semiotic signboard front. If you're a woman I'm sure you do not think of your vagina as a cunt. If you are a man and you use "cunt" for vagina, then one could assume you were perhaps from the tough side of life, like trying to overcome your oppressions by being macho! It is macho to say, "Hey, cunt." Crude. Yes. Crude. Maybe the macho use "bitch" more than "cunt." I'm so behind the times. Besides, I am not a moralist, cunt or cock or whatever.
Don't you get sick and tired of words sometimes? That's scary for a writer, a driven writer, to even humorously consider. What if everyone just suddenly got tired of words and quit using them? Like "Twitterers" now--a whole stupid "my little pony" new world of communication--or the acronymic language of text messaging. Doing too much considering on that subject will make a writer neurotic as hell. A driven writer now. Not an already successful writer! Driven writers will commit suicide if the words don't come anymore--that's especially true of driven writers like Ernest Hemingway, John Berryman, Hart Crane, Sylvia Plath (her cry-for-help poems were praised but not understood), and Doctor Hunter Thompson--two by blowing their worthless-now brains out and two by drowning--one by jumping off a Mississippi River bridge and the other by jumping off the poop deck of the USS Orizaba as it sailed past Cuba in the moonlight, and dear Sylvia by sticking her smartass head in an oven where in her suicide dreams she was depending on a last-minute rescue. The writers who are not driven--you know the ones who hit bestsellers right off the bat and get such critical claim they have to keep writing to earn a living--writing being such a horrible way of having to earn a living--almost as horrible as trying to make it as a musician...or an actor. These are writers who become alcoholics and kill themselves that way--William Faulkner (little-man complex), F. Scott Fitzgerald (the phony Ivy Leaguer who married an expensive woman), the real Thomas Wolfe (who was a driven writer but a totally uncontrollable driven writer who had an editor willing to root out the best of his writing, and all writers know how heartbreaking it is to see what an editor does to some of what you think of as your finest passages. The guy who wrote The Magus, John Fowles, wrote that he once worked all night long on an "Alice in Wonderland" parable for a novel he was working on. He went to bed thinking what he had written was brilliant--like directly from a muse sitting on his shoulder. The next morning without looking at what he'd written, he said, he let his wife read it. He was expecting her to bowl over in much excited praise of his small masterpiece of writing but instead, he said, she looked at him with a puzzling grin, threw the ms pages back at him, and told him she thought it was the worst shit of his she'd ever read. He then read it and immediately realized what it was, trash, tore it up, and threw it into the waste bin. That's quite common among some driven writers, too, especially rapid-fire writers like some I know and meet in the street occasionally).
And, yes, I think Faulkner was a driven writer, though he was driven differently than Hemingway or Doctor Hunter Thompson. Wolfe was driven, too, but I like I said uncontrollably so. Plus Wolfe tried to live out his novels, his huge long novels that even after Maxwell Perkins honed them down as much as he with-good-conscience could they were still long and moving constantly and never sitting still--and this big lumox of a man moved in and out of fame and homesicknesses and loves and drunken binges (he wrote one of the longest film treatments ever submitted on request to a Hollywood studio)--I mean this lumox had a beautiful and wonderfully minded woman madly in love with him--willing to give up a married life in New York City high society to live with this big lumox in a Village loft--a love the big lumox rejected--he loved his writing and his bottle that gave him the juice to write more than he did a loving woman. He, like Jack Kerouac, too, was enamored by a brother who'd died when he was young, an idolized brother--idolized by the mother and father--the big lumox, like Jack Kerouac (a lumox also in a way), constantly rejected by parents and society and culture alike in favor of the "lost" brother, the perfect brother--Kerouac referring to his lost brother as a saint in the Catholic Church. Both writers literary runaways--and all these guys, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Wolfe, and Kerouac (he died with his head in the toilet throwing up from the results of a several-day binge--in October of 1969) were alcoholics--and alcohol finally killed them.
[As a note, maybe the second-longest film treatment ever submitted to a Hollywood studio on request was Malcolm Lowry's film treatment of his own Under the Volcano. Bye the bye, Under the Volcano was a novel the driven-writer Malcolm Lowry poured his everything into--ridded his alcohol-soaked mind of having to think anymore. The novel though not a bestseller was a critical success and it got Lowry an invitation to New York City and a round of lavish book parties and cocktail parties and radio interviews and book signings and contract signings--and soon that brief bit of fame and a little fortune drove old Malcolm so deep into that salvation bottle of high-class gin, one evening in a small cottage in a distant English village, good ole Malcolm Lowry choked to death on his own vomit after getting soused to the gills on a new bottle of gin his wife had brought to him (some say) and then trying to eat a ham sandwich. Rumor had it, Majorie Lowry, Malcolm's wife, had something to do with his death. She was downstairs with the landlady when they heard a thump on the ceiling above them--good ole fun-loving alky Malcolm had hit the deck for the last time.
[Dylan Thomas, too, remember, certainly a driven to write poet and pub character and national treasure drunk--fame and fortune and a visit to New York City where young NYU girls tried to seduce him away from his loving wife and kiddies back in London and induce him to write more great poems and he tried, but the drink had dried him up by then and he admitted to the doctors trying to save him after he collapsed in the White Horse Tavern down on Hudson Street here in New York City and they rushed him to Saint Vincent's Hospital that he was in such mental and physical pain that he was begging them to let him die and find the peace he'd really always wanted from his drivenly written poems. How many writers were ruined by alcohol--whew, a hell of a lot of them. I need a drink now myself after that long note.]
A driven writer is currently writing words nobody will read (and I'm speaking in probabilities). Newborn writers are in the meantime learning a whole new bunch of writing languages--skidding past as though on a long patch of black ice far in front of today's word-driven driven writers--the youth an avant garde of electronically produced literates--the world now so small--no one any longer cares about a driven writer's world experiences! So what! Who cares? F Ri Ters Hoo Uz Wrds!
I am returning to poetry! I am again writing poetry...
While politically the world is spinning off fastly into a Fascistic moiling sea of no hope, I know there is no hope. Admiral Stockdale said, there is only "faith in yourself," which is faith in the fact that no matter whatever occurrences make it tough for you to keep on living you are tougher than they are--I mean when threatened with death by the Cong in the Hanoi Hilton, old Admiral Stockdale slit his wrists right in front of them saying, "I'll kill myself 'fore I'll let you bastards kill me." Now that's tough, folks. And I'm trying to toughen up for the tough road ahead for I this driven writer--whose head seems constantly swirling with thoughts--thoughts knotted up like the wasted entrails in the old-timey gutbucket on the slaughterhouse floor or under the morticians guerney, from which a gutbucket blues idiom developed--listen to the Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor." Yep, even writer's have to go down and face the killin' floor every now and then. As the blues great Freddie King sang in his song in tribute to The Wolf Man, "Hey, Wolf Man, why do you carry that big long knife for, man?" And the Wolf Man replies, "'Cause I'd rather go to your funeral than have you come to mine."
I should'a quit you, a'long time ago
I should'a quit you, baby, a'long time ago
I should'a quit you, and gone on down to Mexico
If I ha'da followed, my first mind
If I ha'da followed, my first mind
I'd'a been gone, be no second time
I should'a went on, when my friend come from Mexico at me
I should'a went on, when my friend come from Mexico at me
I was foolin' with ya, baby, I let ya put me on the killin' floor
Lord knows, I should'a been gone
Lord knows, I should'a been gone
And I wouldn't've been here, down on the killin' floor
by Chester Burnett a.k.a. The Howlin' Wolf
Chester Burnett way back when.
Puttin' my shades on to go for a walk in the streets of New York City,
for The Daily Growler
BEWARE: Obama Is Scared to Death of a Handful of Repugnican Neo-Nuts
All kinds of Fascist shit is going on in Israel as a result of the Israeli elections that ended last night. Worst of all, the Lieberman Fascist Right Wingers came in third and are now the coalition seats needed for the two neck-and-neck winners, the Arab-hatin' woman and Ole Ben Nut-and-Yahoo (who Pastor Benny Hinn said God told him would be the next Israeli ruler) to succeed at putting together a ruling government. Lieberman's for taking away Palestinian's Israeli citizenship if they say anything truthful about the Israeli government or military or if they say they are for the stopping of invading and massacre-ing Gazan Palestinians in the name of getting rid of tomato-can missile lobbing HAMAS terrorists--Israelis saying Jews are scared shitless of Palestinians like the Plantation owners in the good ole slavery days in the land of the free and the home of the brave were scared shitless of their slaves revolting. But like Lieberman in Israel knows from reading Fascist and Nazi histories, there is a Final Solution to the Palestinian "problem"--the disgusting pariah dogs, not humans, only the Jews are God's real Chosen humans, the New Aryans--the rest of the world are dogs--lower than dogs, especially Gentiles--except, whoaaa, Israel needs Gentiles for its existence and military might. Wasn't it great how Helen Thomas's first question to President Obama at his first mumbly-bumbly press conference was "Who in the Middle-East has nuclear weapons?"? And Obama ducked and dodged answering it. Of course the answer is Israel.
Obama's showing the same fear of Repugnicans that the Dumbocratic Party showed after they won the house-sweeping Congressional elections in 2006. The Repugnicans are still enforcing the regulations that put us in bondage--still enforcing those executive orders that excuse war criminals from even being charged with war crimes--that excuse private armies massacring Iraqis and Afghanistanians--that say giving tortured prisoners in Guantanamo a fair trail would reveal National Security secrets...what a bunch of hooey! Total hooey! And Obama is talking hooey, too--and that's such a shame. His appointments are stumble-fumbling all over themselves with wrong suggestions and advice and no-solution solutions--his Treasury Sec'y is such a shame, such a jerk, such a Power Elitist snob, such a stupid backwards-thinking Milton Friedman economics fool. The trinkle-tinkle-down theory is a failure. David Stockman it's inventor admitted it in a book a few years back--even old Milton Friedman himself said it before he croaked--and during Pappy Bush's days of Voodoo Economics (or Reaganomics) it didn't work, or G.W. Bush's Neo-Con Economics--it didn't work, or Milton Friedman Economics, which the stupid Repugnicans are now projecting onto the Dumbocrats as Keynesian Economics, which, yes, the USA used during WWII and after WWII and it was deficit spending but it was deficit spending needed after that devastating war to rebuild Europe and Japan, etc., which it did--the Lend-Lease Program--the CARE programs--the total rebuilding of Japan's infrastructure including its railway system, including redefining its banks on the US style of banking, of retooling its auto industry, of retooling its television, radio, camera, and appliance industries. At the highest, the debt we were in after WWII is nowhere near the national debt Reagan's Voodoo Economics caused in this country. A debt made even worse by George Herbert W. Pappy Bush--gotten under control, though a little deceitfully, by Slick Willie Clinton and his banking and insurance deregulation posse (including Warp-Brained Larry Summers)--and then made even worse--well, made THE WORST EVER by spoiled-brat Little Boy Blue "Georgie Porgie Puddin' Pie" Bush, now living like a squire in his cheapass foreclosure mansion in Dumbass Dallas, Texass--a criminal who excused himself of his own crimes--who'd G.W. pardon when he left office? He pardoned himself!
And the Repugnicans are raking Obama's pick for labor sec'y over the coals because she's for the workingman--the laborer, who the Repugnicans hate--pure and simple--same as they hate uppity N-worders like Barack the Magic N-worder--and they hate illegal immigrant laborers who are coming to this country looking for the dream it offers its white citizens.
I think Obama should move his Oval Office down to a cell in Guantanamo. Or move his Oval Office to the soon-to-be 200-million-buck-renovated US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. I just heard that our President of Afghanistan, Karzai the Oil Black Market Expert's brother is Afghanistan's leading drug dealer. Hey, welcome to the world of American democracy. Drug dealers, you see, folks, are members of the Power Elite, which has so many skeletons in its so many locked and secret closets.
What are National Security secrets anyway? Oh, that's right, they're secrets. You know what the truth is? They're secrets because there's nothing in them. NADA. The reason they won't prosecute in a fair court of law these tortured prisoners bringing suit against G.W. Bush and Unka Dick Cheney who both bragged about how they approved torture methods and encouraged the CIA to use them whenever they wished or deemed it necessary is because these National Security secrets these trials would release contain NOTHING. Secrets as secrets are nothing. No evidence--nothing. The reason these guys were picked up, sent to Guantanomo and tortured--all National Security secrets, which means there's no reason there--NONE. National Security secrets (read: how to profile Arabs and Muslim-looking terrorists), you see, are really explanations of the consistent fuck ups by the FBI and the CIA and Homeland Security and FEMA and Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac and the Federal Reserve and the Defense Department...our National Security secrets simply is a list of our national security failures.
for The Political Daily Growler