Tractatus Von Charybdis…

…und drang revisionist mingus,
mas ah um the wrongest way possible.

“The only things of value in the car were a paperback copy of Finnegans Wake and a borrowed hardback of Fear of Flying. She had read both books but the Erica Jong had one day plummeted from a hole in the floorboard during a parking maneuver in the rain. Kneeling in the gutter, she reached underneath and rescued it from a pothole-sized lake. Its owner wouldn’t be too thrilled upon its return. June never went to the impound yard to claim her nonpareil. It did, however, prompt her to write a thesis titled:

Fifty Ways To Spell Nietzsche
or
Why I Just Kant

A critical dissertation on 20th century reasoning as defined by elements of dystopian ideologies and their resulting cultural ethics, the paper was marked ‘Clever, but incomplete?’

The professor must have driven a Volvo. Or maybe he never had to wait tables. He probably had a spouse’s car to borrow or a AAA card eliminating worries about terms of transportation that kept him from considering how a broken-down Buick could be the main determiner of fate. Attempting to defend her treatise, she watched the professor place both elbows on the desk (the fingertips of both hands together) and rest his chin on the hook of his thumbs. His eyes glazed over in an institutional When-will-you-please-finish-torturing-me? manner. Finally, he raised his head and said, as if quoting from the Chilton Manual of College Instructors, ‘That, my dear girl, is what Mechanics is for. You need to pay closer attention to Pure Reason.’

It was not the first time she understood murder but she stifled a response.”

—the unthinkable Chaper III

A Lofty Log…

…of improbable, grand revisions.
Doing it all wrong and not any other way.

“…poetry was random and […] all of a king’s horses and all of a king’s men could storm in a light brigade and storm and storm and keep on stormin’ and it might all amount to much noise but very little sound. John Steinbeck proposed the automatic story in one of his novels, wherein an eyeful of pages open to let in an earful of tales. He understood that the twists of fate made patterns that patterned out to yet more patterns. One line to another, to a moiré, to a curving of space. This was the natural reinforcement of the infinite—Steinbeck’s Law: to let infinity take care of itself. The random perceptions, inflections, twitchings of ideas could neither be forced onto page nor into the air nor across anything resembling cyberspace. They could be wrestled with but once they are body-slammed no poetry results and only words have been yelled by thyroidian dwarves and fullback artistes who ache to be the village blacksmith smashing a metal dream into its hard shape. But smithies were hard to come by these days and such Neanderthal beauty was even more difficult to approximate.” 

—the unthinkable Chaper VIII

From Galicia to Milesia?

After a longer than normal break I’m back. Don’t everyone rejoice at once. Thanks to How We’ll Prompt... a Milesian story. Enjoy the pancakes.


“My good man, we have traveled far. From the Galician highlands through the northern seas. We come seeking the Frankie, the Gavin! Wherefore arth he?”

“Arth? I’m sorry, there’s no Arth here, my lord. Nor any of his square table.”

“No, no. We are not seeking Arth. We seek the Frankie, the Gavin!”

“Ooooh, forgive me. I remember now. Arth’s table was round.”

“We are not seeking Arth or anyone like that. Pray, sir. We seek the Frankie, the Gavin!”

“Frankie?”

“Yes. The Gavinish one.”

“Might you mean the one with the red fringe on top?”

“Perhaps we might.”

“I haven’t seen one of those in ages. But I do have a lovely turnip.”

“A… turnip?”

“Yes. A big, lovely, red and brown turnip.”

“We are not seeking your turnip.”

“Just as well. It’s not for sale. I like my turnip. And you can’t have it.”

“And I don’t want it.”

“Then why are you here?”

“Must I tell you again, good man? We seek the Frankie, the Gavin!”

“Ooooh, you must mean the pancake maker.”

“No.”

“Oh, but you must.”

“But I don’t.”

“I would love one of his pancakes right now.”

“We seek not pancakes!”

“No? Then you must be looking for a shark.”

“A shark? What do sharks have to do with anything?”

“They don’t, my lord. But I can poach a lovely mako syrup. Sharks are lovely with my turnip, hogwart and cedar sauce.”

“I would think not.”

“Why?”

“Because you are clearly not a wizard.”

“I am.”

“Are not.”

“Am.”

“Sir, you try my patience! For the last and final time! We have come from afar and we seek the Frankie, the Gavin! Do you hear me? THE FRANKIE, THE GAVIN!”

“If that’s what you want you should look in this log cabin.”

“Ah. Then the Frankie, the Gavin lives here?”

“No, sir, just me. I’m a hermit.”

“If you’re a hermit, my good man, why is your table set for four?”

“That’s nothing. My alarm is set for eight.”

One Perfect Second

marilyn00I resisted posting this because I’d already circulated it a bit, and some poet friends had lately been “de-blogging” since a number of journals frown on such entries as “previously published works.” This is nothing new, but I’ve never considered myself a dedicated poet and I won’t be able to sleep until I do this, even if it is the day after her birthday.

In 1953, Alfred Eisenstadt shot the timeless photos of Marilyn Monroe at home for LIFE Magazine. Despite the pure magic of those images, by today’s standards Ms. Monroe would be passed over by the casting agents and be advised to “augment” her looks by any means necessary. Personally, I would rather have one much imperfect Marilyn than thousands of selfie-validated, booty-praised and perfectly ’shopped faces that glow in the fading stream of Snapchats.

Light. Time. Breath. Without them our memories mean nothing.

f/16 ∞

I knew my kingdom, not on any map 
‘Twas there sitting on Eisenstadt’s lap
Focus, depth, infinity’s mile 
He never asked me once to smile

A Gram of Insta, Please

Feels like I’ve spent my whole life avoiding social “connectivity” even if it’s only been a little over 20 years since my first fling with “Welcome to Compuserve!” where I got addicted to those early chat rooms, and email opened up a rather fun (and efficient) means of communication. Ah, the 20th Century concerns that many of my 20th Century cronies disdained. I was finally part of the Cyber Age, like it or not. I still remember the first email breakup. It wasn’t traumatic. It was just… kinda… interesting. I accepted it; she wouldn’t.

I’ve gone into most social media kicking and screaming. But, as a writer, if ya wanna swim (and not worry about the Jaws of self-doubt), ya figure out what ya wanna do and how ya wants ta do it; then ya consult with some 12-year olds and do what they say and then sign yer ass up and gitcherself crackin’ on whatcha wanna do. Simple. Those 12-yos will respect and support you.

After Twitter, Soundcloud and YouTube, I’m now on Instagram. Conventional wisdom states that an author needs to establish his “brand” on all the SM sites. Nope. I know what I’m trying to do and I know not to fight on E=00_igtoo many fronts at once. The WWII Luftwaffe had great aircraft and pilots but their high command wouldn’t let ’em use those Me262s the way they were meant to be used. The Wehrmacht also had a horrible grasp on how to handle their V-2 program. Thank you, Mr. Von Braun, for defecting to the proper enemy.

I still refuse to do Facebook.

Fearless Gobbas! O Hey!

Wheeee! The How We’ll Prompt #7/100 challenge!
A Twit-story based on the words cosmic and street;
then expanded into a 100-word poem:


Sgt. F. Fosdick’s fists fondled vinyl, see,
from the 5th and Finnegan Fine-N-Fancy-Flea.
where finicky Finches flew forth and said, “Frank!
you’ve Flipper and Fear, a’fore and a’flank!”
“Found for near free, my dear Frau Finch.
Fantastic fandangos from which ne’er did I flinch.”

But Lt. G. “Cosmic” Grant grumbled gruffly, no glee,
“Greatly goofed, this grammar! Garbled gob of graffiti!
This ‘Gaggly Gabby Gobba Gobba’? What the hey?
O, grimace! O, gag! O, great ghosts of grey!”

Fulfilling five finales, Fosdick put forth, “It doth start.”
Groaned Grant, “I agree. This street used to be smart.”

Fools? The Product? FANATICS…!!!!

dboon_nwt01Good news? Bad news?

Well, the good news is that “Decline and Fall of Alternative Civilization” officially hit the digital streets on Friday, April 1—my targeted release date. The other day I successfully uploaded the .doc file to Smashwords and, after repairing one minor glitch, today it was approved for their Premium Catalog! Deadline met! Amazon, however, will take a couple more days. I’m gonna take the weekend to fix a few things (damn these file format conversions!). I can’t worry anymore. I’ve been thru the writer’s blogs; the marketing philosophies and surveys; done the research. You can’t prepare forever… it ain’t healthy. And I’ve always reserved the right to do things wrong.

‘Tis better to announce what’s been done than to glorify over what hasn’t been.

Years ago in the music, film, video and promotions businesses, working with, under, around, between, thru and against the egos, entities, entitlements and eczemas of artistic expressions, there was always the moment when you had to let go of preparations and expectations and kick that project out on its cranky little ass. Do or die. Ready or not. On stage, in front of the camera, warts and all. So, you shit yourself publicly? It happens. But you see what the fuck you’re made of. No excuses. Otherwise you’ve wasted your and everyone else’s time.

Tonight I might drink a little whiskey. Dig out the old fiddle I ain’t played in years, see how many tunes I can remember and celebrate the birthday of Mr. D. Boon. He was no pretty boy hair-rocker, no whiny hipster, didn’t have the greatest voice, but when it was time to play he made his mark. Some of us still have bruises but that was the whole point. Thank you, my man!

(and thank you, Spot, for the photo!)

I’ll See YerTube…

…and raise you 50 snarky comments. bk_cov02

This was a long term plan but I didn’t have the material to open my own YouTube channel til now. No wine before its time. And I wasn’t gonna throw up videos of cats as placeholders. Been done before, it’s still a bad idea, and I actually like cats. Don’t ask me about dogs. Or fish. Or birds. Snakes are OK (just ask Ray Wylie Hubbard).

Today, all I’ve got are the audio videos (?) from “D&FoAC” til further notice. That’ll do.

Enjoy at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu06mS90uApHOwlOo8J8D7Q.

 

Speaking of Roger Angell…

…one of the finest sports writers I’ve ever read, there’s a lot of his work out there. A regular contributor (and longtime fiction editor) to The New Yorker since 1944, his essays have been collected into books, anthologies, etc. Links? Uh uh. You’re gonna hafta find ’em on your own. Don’t kid yourself, you can do it. The games and players he wrote about had no links. From whatever rural perspiration or urban sweat they came, serious ballplayers didn’t just walk up to the mounds and plates of diamonds, they had to work for it to get there. Just like you can do with or without a seventh inning beer.

But without going into extra innings, Roger Angell was born in 1920 and is still with us, still writing. The other day I found his essay “This Old Man” from The New Yorker. Read it. The most certain thing about existence is death, and life is too short to be ambushed by superfluous gifs and extraneous links.

Floatin’ Like A Butterfly!

The other day I got caught up in some “discussions” on the subject of Sports vs The Arts. I’m not a huge sports fan but I do enjoy the concept of the game and of competition itself. This is not an endorsement of “militarism 101,” as a certain friend of mine will insist. If anything, fair sports play tends to defuse belligerence and violent hostility rather than promote it. Although, I do agree with her that the NFL is a crock of capitalistic shit and, furthermore, it’s my opinion that professional American sports are headed for a toppling of financial importance. But that’s a whole ‘nother rant, and I’m not here to inflict the evils of the game onto its players. Heroes or villains, they’re human beings who have their own share of problems that most non-players won’t understand.

Another friend, who I didn’t suspect of having any affinity for sports, put on the table the words of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton:

“…I just want to become relatable, you know what I’m saying? It’s bigger than race. It’s more so of opening up a door for guys that don’t want to be labeled, that have bigger views and say: ‘Well, I’m in this situation, I’m living in this environment right now, but I also want to be an artist, I want to be a poet. But I don’t have the means, you know, to necessarily do the right things at this point.’ As for me, I just want to give those people hope.”

ali01Smart man. Sounds like he’s got some stories to tell and I hope he writes them down. I’ll read that book, just as I’ve read classic sports writing by guys like Roger Angell and Troy Soos (whose novel “Hanging Curve” I recommend highly). But this whole thing made me remember the poetry of one of America’s greatest athletes and, like it or not, purveyors of pugilism, Muhammad Ali. I don’t care what anyone says, Ali’s poetry was easily on par with the comic verse of Ernest Thayer:

“I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale;
Handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail;
Only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick;
I’m so mean I make medicine sick.”

and

“Clay comes out to meet Liston and Liston starts to retreat.
If Liston goes back an inch farther, he’ll end up in a ringside seat.
Clay swings to the left, Clay swings to the right!
Look at Cassius carry the fight!
Liston keeps backing, but there’s not enough room.
It’s a matter of time until Clay lowers the boom.
Clay lands with a right, what a beautiful swing!
And the punch raises the bear clear out of the ring.
Yes the crowd did not dream when they laid down their money
that they would see a total eclipse of the Sonny.”

Once reviled, the man persevered and proved he was a king. He remains so. The Lord of The Ring. A great American who stood up, ready to fight for what he believed, and knew how he wanted to be remembered:

“I’d like for them to say he took a few cups of love, he took one tablespoon of patience, one teaspoon of generosity, one pint of kindness, he took one quart of laughter, one pinch of concern, and then he mixed willingness with happiness. He added lots of faith and he stirred it up well. Then he spread it over the span of a lifetime and he served to each and every deserving person he met.”

I salute you, Muhammad. Against the world may you have the last word:

“I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be who I wanna be and think what I wanna think.”