Archive for July, 2012

I Am Complete

Twitch And Smoke And Rotate Endlessly

(Around about the 4th of July Meteor Blades put up “Thoughts Ahead Of Independence Day,” over on the Orange Place.

(That was a good Diary. It reminded me somewhat of something I’d penned myself, back in the 1990s. Not nearly as polished and precise, mine, as Meteor’s work; but then, after all, he is he, and I am me.

(Then, later that very same day—because sometimes that’s the way these things happen—I actually ran across the thing that I’d long-ago written. And I thought maybe I’d put it up for July 4th.

(But then that seemed like so much work. To retype it for the tubes.

(So I abandoned that idea: because, basically, these days, I’m fat and happy and lazy, and pretty consistently vote “no” on anything that seems like work.

(But then, for reasons that best remain obscured, I was galvanized to enter the thing—changed some, naturally, because the intertubes allows one to do that—after all.

(A day or 18 late, of course. And several hundred thousand dollars short.

(What’s interesting to me now, about this piece, is how angry I was then. Because I’m just not that angry anymore.

(But that’s a different Diary.)

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

I write along a single line: I never get off it. I said that you were never to kill anyone, and I meant it.

—Kenneth Patchen

“They’ve gone crazy.”

High above Second Street, in his nook in his cranny in the Chico News & Review editorial sukkah, journalissimo Jason Ross stood erect in full naked fulmination.

“They’re acting like it’s VJ Day, for chrissake,” he fumed. “And all they’re doing is putting up a flag. Ads all over the radio, live television coverage, Bruce Sessions beating the drum hourly—these people have lost all control.

“Look,” he demanded, freeing paper pinned to his wall. “Look at this.” Thrusts forth a Calvin Klein image, pleading to peddle Obsession for Men, flashing a giant b&w naked male torso: above, the head peers downward; below, a hand stretches open, and taut, the front of a pair of briefs.

That’s what they’re doing, with all this flag bullshit,” Ross declaims. “Looking at their cocks. That’s all it is.”

Though Ross is a direct descendant of the dowdy dowager who sewed the first stars and stripes, in a fetching but ultimately futile attempt to seduce George Washington, he was not at all impressed with the day’s flag-waving affair.

For this day, out in the asphalt lot afront Ron and Nancy’s, the Park Avenue steak & scotch joint where cigarette smoke goes to die, a zealous swarm of north valley idolworshippers planned to raise a massive banner in honor of some nonsense known as “America.”

Karma—and, more urgently, the need for money—had called on Billy Buck Naked and I to cover the erection. We’d stopped by the office on the way to the event to grab a camera, and to receive last-minute instructions from the international communist cabal that controls the CN&R.

“If there are going to be dicks on display I guess we better forget the pictures,” Naked now mourned. “Speer’ll never print them. I used to work here; I know.”

“Don’t worry about it,” I said. “These are Republicans; it’s against their religion to get naked. A lot of these characters aren’t really attired like you and I anyway. Bernie Richter, Wally Herger, Ted Hubert—those people don’t change clothes; they shed.”

“Then let’s get going,” Naked urged. “I don’t want to miss the blessing of the tanks.”


The Green Light

The very most interesting thing about the United States is that it died even as it was born.

As expressed in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, which must serve as the “great American novel,” for there shall never be another:

Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away. Until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes—a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.And as I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther . . . . And one fine morning—

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.


Turn On, Tune In, Lift Off

When I Worked

July 2012