Archive for August, 2014

The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Word II

[see first The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Word I, here.]

“George, don’t make no full moves. Please make it quick, fast and furious. Please. Fast and furious. You get ahead with the dot dash system. Oh, oh—dog biscuits! And when he is happy he doesn’t get happy. No hobo and pobo I think he means the same thing. I am a pretty good pretzler. Don’t put anyone near this check. In the olden days they waited and waited. I don’t want harmony. I want harmony. There are only ten of us and there ten million fighting somewhere of you, so get your onions up and we will throw up the truce flag. The sidewalk was in trouble and the bears were in trouble and I broke it up. You can play jacks and girls do that with a softball and do tricks with it. I take all events into consideration. No. No. And it is no. It is confused and it says no. A boy has never wept nor dashed a thousand kim. I am sore and I am going up and I am going to give you honey if I can. Mother is the best bet and don’t let Satan draw you too fast. They dyed my shoes. Open those shoes. I know what I am doing here with my collection of paper. Come on, open the soap duckets. The chimney sweeps. Talk to the sword. French-Canadian bean soup. I want to pay. Let them leave me alone.”

—among the last words of Dutch Schultz

Even here on the tubes, human beings strive to use language—words—to communicate with one another.

Not everybody thinks this is a good idea.

William Burroughs insisted that language is a virus from outer space, one that is up to no good. For “a virus operates autonomously, without human intervention. It attaches itself to a host and feeds off of it, growing and spreading from host to host. Language infects us; its power derives not from its straightforward ability to communicate or persuade but rather from this infectious nature, this power of bits of language to graft itself onto other bits of language, spreading and reproducing, using human beings as hosts.”

Leonard Schlain, meanwhile, argues in The Alphabet Versus The Goddess that language rewired the human brain, shifting dominance from the “feminine” right hemisphere to the “masculine” left hemisphere, thereby allowing brutal patriarchies to supplant worldwide more pacific matriarchal cultures.

Schlain’s brainshower seems to fit with Burroughs’ blood-curdling description of how the alien language virus reproduced itself in early ur-humans:

[A]lterations in inner throat structure were occasioned by virus illness . . . This illness may well have had a high rate of mortality but some female apes must have survived to give birth to the wunder kindern. The illness perhaps assumed a more malignant form in the male because of his more developed and rigid muscular structure causing death through strangulation and vertebral fracture. Since the virus in both male and female precipitates sexual frenzy through irritation of sex centers in the brain the males impregnated the females in their death spasms and the altered throat structure was genetically conveyed.

furthur=>

The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Work

When I think of antiquity, the detail that frightens me is that those hundreds of millions of slaves on whose built all citiesbacks civilisation rested generation after generation have left behind them no record whatever. We do not even know their names. In the whole of Greek and Roman history, how many slaves’ names are known to you? I can think of two, or possibly three. One is Spartacus and the other is Epictetus. Also, in the Roman room at the British Museum there is a glass jar with the maker’s name inscribed on the bottom, “Felix fecit.” I have a vivid mental picture of poor Felix (a Gaul with red hair and a metal collar round his neck), but in fact he may not have been a slave; so there are only two slaves whose names I definitely know, and probably few people can remember more. The rest have gone down into utter silence.

—George Orwell

The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Real II

[see first The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Real I, here.]

When we broke for lunch, he sat down at the piano in his living room and played let's crawlwhat he said was “the music of the spheres,” based on his theory that the distances between the planets can be patterned on or related to the spacing between the keys on a piano.

Leaving that evening, I commented on the beautiful post-dusk grey light. Walter responded, “And this is the exact level of light that is broad daylight on Saturn.”

—Michael Ondaatje, The Conversations

The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Feel

He moved his arms and his legs. He opened his eyes.

He looked about the room.

He tried to stand, but he lacked light wash 1equilibrium and coordination.

He opened his mouth. He made a gurgling noise.

Then he screamed.

He fell off the table.

He began to gasp. He shut his eyes and curled himself into a ball.

He cried.

Then a machine approached him. It was about four feet in height and five feet wide; it looked like a turret set atop a barbell.

It spoke to him: “Are you injured?” it asked.

He wept.

“May I help you back onto your table?”

The man cried.

The machine whined.

Then, “Do not cry. I will help you,” said the machine. “What do you want? What are your orders?”

He opened his mouth, struggled to form the words:

“—I—fear!”

He covered his eyes then and lay there panting.

At the end of five minutes, the man lay still, as if in a coma.

“Was that you, Frost?” asked Mordel, rushing to his side. “Was that you in that human body?”

Frost did not reply for a long while; light wash 2then, “Go away,” he said.

Then Solcom asked the question:

“Did you succeed, Frost?”

“I failed,” said Frost. “It cannot be done. It is too much—”

“Too much what?” Solcom asked Frost.

“Light,” said Frost. “Noise. Odors. And nothing measurable—jumbled data—imprecise perception—and—”

“And what?”

“I do not know what to call it. But—it cannot be done. I have failed. Nothing matters.”

“What were the words the Man spoke?” said Solcom.

“‘I fear,'” said Mordel.

“Only a Man can know fear,” said Solcom.

“Can a machine turn itself inside-out and be a Man?” Solcom asked Frost.

“No,” said Frost, “this thing cannot be done. Nothing can be done. Nothing matters. Not the rebuilding. Not the maintaining. Not the Earth, or me, or you, or anything.”

Then the Beta-Machine, who had read the entire Library of Man, interrupted them:

“Can anything but a Man know light wash 3despair?” asked Beta.

Mordel did not hesitate:

“He spoke to me through human lips. He knows fear and despair, which are immeasurable. Frost is a Man.”

“He has experienced birth-trauma and then withdrawn,” said Beta. “Get him back into a nervous system and keep him there until he adjusts to it.”

“No,” said Frost. “Do not do it to me! I am not a Man!”

“Do it!” said Beta. 

“Transmit His matrix of awareness back into His nervous system,” ordered Solcom.

“I know how to do it,” said Mordel, turning on the machine.

“Stop!” said Frost. “Have you no pity?”

“No,” said Mordel, “I only know measurement.”

”  . . . and duty,” he added, as the Man began to twitch upon the floor.

—Roger Zelazny, “For A Breath I Tarry”

The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Real

When Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower of London, he occupied himself with wrong & rightwriting a history of the world. He had finished the first volume and was at work on the second when there was a scuffle between some workmen beneath the window of his cell, and one of the men was killed. In spite of diligent enquiries, and in spite of the fact that he had actually seen the thing happen, Sir Walter was never able to discover what the quarrel was about: whereupon, so it is said—and if the story is not true it certainly ought to be—he burned what he had written and abandoned his project.

George Orwell

The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Wind II

[see first The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Wind I, here.]

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

—Job 38:1-2

Once upon a time my daughter was transformed into a hurricane.

Rude and abusive things were then said about her.

Such as: “despite becoming a monster [a monster?!], she will not pose any danger to land.”

Of course not. She’s always been a good girl.

As a hurricane, my daughter blew with winds of about 125 mph. Seems a fair breeze. I presume that all water creatures—birds, fish, boat-people—had sense enough to steer clear, as she churned through the Atlantic.

Because I live in the age of Science Men, I know that wind is a “meteorological phenomenon.”

The flow of gases on a large scale. Movement of air in bulk. Generated by pressure differentials. Deflected by the Coriolis effect. Etc.

I know that wind no longer has anything to do with bumptious folk like Boreas, or Njord, or Fujin, this last the venerable Japanese deity who let the winds out of his magic bag in order to clear the primordial world of mist. I know that Stribog may be the Slavic grandfather “of the winds of the eight directions,” but I also know the guy was placed in a Home, long ago, and no one really pays attention to him anymore. These days it’s all about specific heat, equations of motion, anemometers, and the Magnus effect.

But you know: why not both? Why can’t a hurricane be both an area of low atmospheric pressure, driven by the release of large amounts of latent heat of condensation, and also a pissed-off dude with a hundred hands and fifty heads, whipped into the world from the stormy pit of Tartaros?

Or my daughter, turning over in her sleep, in dreams venting spleen at the hoary-handed robber barons of Kaiser?

furthur=>

The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Word

We are told, in the very first words of the Gospel According To all it isJohn, that:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

But we are not told what that Word is.

I know what that Word is.

fucking

The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Void

I’m afraid of America. Whenever I’m in New York I always have the feeling that it’s going to cave in and all I can think about is how to avoid being there when that happens. The same goes for other places in America. You don’t get all those people and all that noise in the streets of California as you do in New York but, bye byein turn, there’s a huge number of cars going to and fro and I always have serious doubts as to whether there any Americans inside. You know: who’s inside? I’ve always got the impression that those cars drive themselves.

—Krzysztof Kieslowski, Kieslowski On Kieslowski

What I find most interesting about New York is that, before the white people came, the island was home to some 15,000 Lanape people.

This means that 15,000 is the number of human beings the island can naturally, comfortably support.

And that, save for some 15,000 souls, all the rest of the eight million-some people currently suffering there, on that island: they need to—and will—move on.

What I find most interesting about Los Angeles is that, once the white people came, the first building erected there, was a jail.

The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Wind

“Man,” said Mordel, “possessed a basically incomprehensible nature. I can illustrate it, though: he did not know measurement.”

“Of course he knew measurement,” said Frost, “or he could never have built what it ismachines.”

“I did not say that he could not measure,” said Mordel, “but that he did not know measurement, which is a different thing altogether.”

“Clarify.”

Mordel drove a shaft of metal downward into the snow.

He retracted it, raised it, held up a piece of ice.

“Regard this piece of ice, mighty Frost. You can tell me its composition, dimensions, weight, temperature. A man could not look at it and do that. A man could make tools which would tell him these things, but he still would not know measurement as you know it. What he would know of it, though, is a thing that you cannot know.”

“What is that?”

“That it is cold,” said Mordel, and tossed it away.

—Roger Zelazny, “For A Breath I Tarry”

Make Way

Executioner’s Song

I have worked in the criminal-defense field for something like 16+ years, and before that, I wrote, as a reporter, about “crime” and “crime news,” for an additional 25 or so years.

The first and most important lesson I learned, in this realm, and when again and again and againstill in my very early 20s, can be summed up thusly: “all cops, always lie, about everything.”

There is, at root, something seriously and medically wrong about any person who would voluntarily giddy-up to a job where one’s entire being is dedicated to roaming the streets in order to scoop up other beings and lock them away in a cage.

Such people are sick. Deeply sick. They require medical attention. They are deeply, mentally ill.

Directly below, is a live video capture of the killing of Kajieme Powell, by deeply sick motherfuckers, deeply sick motherfucking cops, who swagger around all day, and all of the night, white, with badges and guns, ready to shoot any motherfucker, they might just feel like shooting.

And that’s just what they do here.

They are barely out of their car, hoisting their pants up above their donut-asses, before they are firing bullets into and killing a mentally disturbed young black man.

Because they can.

Because they don’t give a fuck.

Because this country says they can.

Because this country don’t give a fuck.

They are literally mentally ill, these donut-assed white cops coming out of the car to immediately fire nine shots into the sick black man.

All cops, everywhere in this nation, are literally mentally ill. For they have voluntarily signed up for a job where their focus in life is to kill other human beings. By either riddling their bodies with bullets, or locking them away in cages.

All these cops, must, immediately, be relieved of their badges and guns, be discharged from “the force,” and be diverted to immediate and intensive medical treatment. Only after a minimum of six medical professionals have determined that these sadsacks have been resocialized so that they no longer regard a fellow citizen as a target, may they be released back into the World. And none of them—ever—will be permitted to lay hands on a deadly weapon again.

As I said at the outset, it is an absolute fact thatall cops, always lie, about everything.”

We see this in the execution-video embedded above.

Originally, here, the pig chief, as always, as always covering for his dutiful piglets, who killed the black man, the chief pig, he oinked loudly, and publicly, that the executed, and ill, black man, had “come at” his little donut-addled oinkers, with a knife, and a knife wielded in an “overhand” position.

This is a lie.

The video, reveals it to be a lie.

Pigs—killer pigs—they are not used to citizens filming their lies.

They are used to getting away with—all the time, every time—”all cops, always lie, about everything.”

The Reality of Ferguson, Missouri, and environs, is waking not only the nation, but the world. To the fact. That there is nothing. More disgusting. More de-evolved. Than a police officer.

Except, perhaps, rat shit.

Or, more precisely: rat shit, bearing plague.

Or, maybe, a serial killer. Deploying to a foreign land. There to kill, for money, for penile purposes, people who are not him.

All, sick motherfucking you, you are over. Cops. Plagued rats. Shitheaded shitheels hooraing to go kill in foreign lands.

We are no longer in your hands. We are free.

We—free—feel this now.

And, so, you, all you all, are done.

Sing it!

NO COPS. NO GUNS.

ONLY FREE HUMAN BEINGS. ALIVE ON THIS EARTH.

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

Don’t you understand? I have arisen not from the dead but from the living. I am not a voice crying in the wilderness. There is no winter here. No dark. No despair. The lights are going on in my house. I shall not allow the President of the United States to enter here. There is no darkness anywhere. There are only sick little men who have turned away from the light. I have all my lights on. And it is my own face I see in the blazing windows of all the houses on earth.

—Kenneth Patchen

How It Feels

Strange Fruit

for the lady & nancy & ala & robin & grace & denise & joan & conk & mally & adept & time & princess & sephius & radio & for sure certainly for joon, and everybody the least bit dusky, and thereby, in this nation, devalued, dismissed, discarded, doomed: potential targets, alpha and omega, of every white-ass de-evolved un-monolithed knuckledragger extant, unto forever, amen, and again, and amen, and again . . . .

So, I guess, black men, they should just get small.

Remain—at most—maybe two feet tall.

Like, you raheemknow, gnomes.

Maybe, maybe, they might then have a chance to survive.

First: the NYC cop chokes to death the black man. Because he was big and scary. Then: the Missouri cop shoots to death the black man. Because he was big and scary.

Black men: let’s face it: they are fundamentally big and scary.

Fuck it. Let’s just kill them.

People think Spike Lee directs films he just makes up. Films that are “fiction.”

No.

Spike Lee, like all high filmic artists, presents but documentaries.

Lee’s highest work is fact.

“Ecstatic truth,” as Werner Herzog so precisely described it. Work more Real than “reality.”

And so, this July, on the streets of New York City, a knock-kneed pissed-pants yellow-livered never-seen-the-monolith retrovert knuckledragging white racist motherfucker of a cop chokes to death a black man.

Because he can.

Because he wants to.

Because that’s what cops—all cops—are all about.

Killing.

Lying and thieving—sure, there’s that too.

But mostly killing. Killing and cagekilling and killing and killing and killing.

For if they can’t kill the body, they kill the soul. By locking the body away in a cage.

Your job, if you’re a cop, is to strip people of their liberty, and lock them away in a cage.

What the fuck is wrong with you? That you would do that?

As Lee had seen. As Lee had seen. As Lee had seen. Years before. In Do The Right Thing. And, seeing this, seeing in “reality,” the white motherfucker cop, on the late July streets of New York, choking to death the black man, Lee, now, in real time, takes to the tubes, with a “mashup,” of what is “real,” and what had been his “film.”

Graner. On the street. Raheem. In his film.

Strange fruit.

They are the same.

Art imitates life imitates art imitates life imitates art imitates life.

There is no difference. In high; in high art: they are the same.

Spike needs now—and I know he knows this—to mash another. This time, his Do The Right Thing, with “life” in Ferguson, Missouri. Recent dead-black-man events there, they are tracking his Right Thing, even more closely, than the choking of the black man on the streets of New York. Unto black folk showing up the morning after, to clean up the debris, of the stores vandalized, by their people, the night before.

As far as I can determine, the entire state of Missouri needs to be deported.

First, extract all the brown and black and red people. And then get a big saw. And carve the place out of the United States. Drag the state bodily across Iowa and Wisconsin. Then set it afloat in the Great Lakes. It can there sink. Or, maybe, it can swim.

In the place where once was Missouri, can rise an eternal flame. Burning, eternally, in remembrance, of the millions and millions and millions of black people, killed maimed raped displaced mocked devalued dismissed locked away spindled folded mutilated, the strange fruit, rotted, to make this nation “great.”

There in Ferguson, Missouri is a white-ass loud-mouthed one-legged prosecutor who’s been vengefully and gleefully jailing people for decades in obvious overt explicity-stated revenge for his cop daddy getting killed on duty when the white-ass was but 13 years old. This same prosecutor the white-ass nimrod who orchestrated the Radio Raheem “robbery” press yeehawconference. This, the same prosecutor, the white-ass “official” “officially” in charge of the investigation of Raheem’s death.

Yeehaw.

And the banjos, over the strange fruit, they do play.

For a while, I thought maybe something would really happen. But I think that no longer. Now—I know—no one will care. Because, Radio Raheem—shot dead, unarmed, brains splashed onto the street—has been successfully smeared as a big black scary ooga-booga “strong arm robber.” Really well-played. All you liars. All you killers. I thought for a while maybe people would care. But no. Because they now can cling to an excuse not to. And, so relieved, are they, to do that. Not care. And they can, be so relieved, because, as always, has been deployed a “reason.” For the killer cop to kill. To pour the boy’s brains out on the pavement. To keep his shrieking heart-over momma away from his body, while they, the lying killing heart-cold cops, swagger back and forth, round the corpse, four hours, in their fat white boy impotent cop pants. Killers. Liars. Killers. Liars. KILLERS. LIARS. Now I know that no one cared in the 1990s when NYC cops stuck a broomstick up black Abner’s ass, and shot black Amadou 41 times because he reached for his wallet. But I figured that’s because everyone knows that NYC is a disgusting animal compound where it is an actual job requirement that a cop be both corrupt and a killer. Thieves. Liars. Killers. THIEVES. LIARS. KILLERS. But this Raheem killing, there in Missouri, was in the “heartland.” So I thought maybe people would care. But they won’t. The killers will continue to lie and kill and lie and kill and lie and kill and lie and kill and kill and kill and kill and kill and kill and kill. Local cops kill hundreds of unarmed people every year, and no one cares. Because there’s always a “reason.” Just like people don’t care when the serial killers go overseas and kill. Because there’s always a “reason” there too. Get yerself into a uniform, overseas or stateside, and you get to kill. Simple as that. Kill and kill and kill and kill. Lie. Kill. Lie. Kill. Lie. Kill. Lie and kill again. And you’ll be worshipped. This Christmas Americans will stream into the theaters and there Thanatos-orgasm continuously as they watch the worshipful biopic of Gomer Kyle, premier serial killer, so universally loved that even the “liberals” of Daily Kos deploy drones to hellfire off their site those killer white-ass mofowho refuse to publicly fellate him. What a country. Every little detail of how Robin Williams took his life is slapped all over the news before his body’s even in the ground, but it basically takes an act of Congress to get the name of Raheem’s killer, and getting an actual police report on the killing is more difficult than landing a man on the moon. Because these killers are worshipped in this country. Lick that uniform, people. That’s what Americans love to do. “Thank you for your service.” Horseshit. Horseshit piled so high, it takes wings, to rise above it. No thanks from me. So sorry. The only thanks you’ll ever get from me, overseas or stateside, is when you put down your gun, forever, and go home.

Strange fruit. Here. There. Everywhere.

Liars. Killers. Thieves. Killers. Liars. Thieves. Thieves. Liars. Killers. Killers. Killers. Kill. Kill. Kill again. That’s what you’re there for. The only only only only reason you put on the uniform. So you can kill. And, in killing, come in your pants. And thereby be praised.

Curfew now, I hear announced, for tonight, by some other worthless white-ass, some governor with the atavist name of Nixon—a name that, thanks to Richard, will give off a foul stench for a thousand years. Just ’cause of the name, this white-ass should resign and go sit in the desert and scrape his flesh with pot-shards. But no. Instead, he gonna make the scary black ooga-booga animals stay indoors. So as to keep the streets safe for the knee-knocking belly-crawling yellow-livered po-lice.

A couple decades or so ago, when I ran across this from Schopenhauer:

Whoever lives two or three generations, feels like the spectator who, during the fair, sees the performances of all kinds of jugglers and, if he remains seated in the booth, sees them repeated two or three times. As the tricks were meant only for one performance, they no longer make any impression after the illusion and novelty have vanished.

I felt kinda smug and superior. Yeah, I see that. That makes me some kinda elect.

Oh, foolish youth.

Today, I feel as dark and dismal as Schopenhauer—clear to me now—obviously was when he wrote it.

I mean: why: why do I have to live to see this? My teeth are failing, my hair is greying, my rod don’t rise like he used to, the corporeal container is clearly nearing its pre-programmed end, but still I don’t die, still I have to wake to witness these fat oafish buzz-cut disgusting white slob cops “controlling” the black people with the snarling straining racist bull reduxBull Conner-style police dogs, there, today, in Missouri, just like they did back in Birmingham in 1963. At the dawn of this particular being’s incarnation’s age.

But it’s like nobody, in all that age, learned anything. Even though all you have to do, is squeeze through even a small portal of the brain, and you’ll be in the great wide open. Where all is possible, and all is Real. Where you’ll know we’re all supposed to go into the Opera House. And all and everything is working and flirting and yearning to take us there.

But no. You’re still with the dogs.

And the firehoses.

I suppose you’ll deploy them next.

‘Cause you gotta have. The strange fruit.

And it’s doubly all so mad because the white-ass motherfuckers are simply over.

As Gore Vidal noted in Virgin Islands, white people constitute but 13% of the human population in this, the 21st Century.

White people had a good 500-year run, but they’re done now. In another 500 years, they won’t even exist.

As was observed in the true-life documentary film Bulworth, when human beings, as they every day pleasurably overachingly are will be do, “just keep fucking each other” they will attain that state described by the unconscious anthropologists U2 as “all the colors/bleed into one.”

And that color, bled into one, is brown.

Brown is soft and creamy and strong and sexy.

White is hard and frigid and failed and frail.

White, it is simply over. Brown, it is all there is. The great wide open.

We are, today, in the last white throes.

With brown brains smeared on the pavement. And every a-feared retrovert white-ass in Christendom working like twelve bastards to make it seem like it is natural that this be so. Brown brains. Strange fruit. Spilled and spoiled. And righteously.

But it ain’t. Righteous. And every conscious being on the planet knows it ain’t. Won’t be long now. Long now. But still. Time required. To get to acknowledgement that it ain’t. In the meantime: brown brains smeared on the pavement. And nothing about that strange fruit done. And, nothing about that done, engendering pain, and ache, and rage. Howl. Howling. Howl.

And Robin. Lord sad God.

Somebody wise, who I can’t remember now, probably because of creeping dementia, observed that all laughter comes from a recognition of pain. So, then, it’s simply the way of it, that somebody like Robin Williams, who instantly found the laughter in any situation, would hurt more than any Eeyore.

As his sister-bipolar sufferer Carrie Fisher observed, “Robin had rampant empathy. Everything would end up on his grid. He’d walk in a room, and all the energy there would impact him. He was the opposite of selfish. Anything would hurt him.”

“It’s fun to be brilliant,” she said of him, “but who are your peers? Who was his peer? It’s incredibly lonely to be that. And he didn’t have a choice.”

He was just too sad. And in the end he didn’t want to be here anymore.

And so, he died, as frenetically as in his act he did live: “this knife’s not working, let’s try the belt.”

But we shouldn’t know these details. It is a violation, that we do. A violation of Williams, of ourselves, of that which is sacred and secret and holy.

What we can and should know, is what he did, in by far his finest public role—and he knew it—in Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King.

Gilliam said this, of the scene displayed directly below:

“This scene wasn’t a challenge to shoot as far as effects are concerned, but it was very hard from an acting point of view, because Robin was tearing his guts out emotionally. Robin always wanted to do another take. He felt he had even more anguish and pain to spill out of the character. And I had to really stop him. I had to say, ‘Robin, you’ve reached a point here, way beyond what we expected. We’ve got what we needed. Now, you’re just hurting yourself.’

“The most worrisome moment for me was after he’s been chased by the Red Knight, when he’s running through the streets, and then he comes to the river, where the teenage punks arrive and knife him. We had to do other things on that night shoot, too, and things were going very slowly. Suddenly, we realized that we had like an hour until the dawn. The last shot we had to do was Robin running at the end of this scene, in this hysterical state. You can even see the light ever so slightly beginning to come on the river in the background. But Robin was so angry because it was such a crucial moment, and he felt he’d been cheated of his ability to really give this moment his all. So, I had to go up there and tell him, ‘Robin, what we have here is very good. And if we look at the rushes and it isn’t, I promise you I will reshoot it.’ That’s what was so extraordinary about him—how he would commit everything and more to what he had to do. That’s also why I think his character in The Fisher King is in many ways the closest one to Robin, just that range—the madness, the damage, the pain, the sweetness, the outrageousness.”

Williams’ mind was so fine and quick and bubbly and alive—in any situation, he could instantaneously, and precisely, ad lib enunciate that point of maximum humor and pain. (As when, asked in Germany, why that country was not known for comedy, he immediately replied, “well, you killed all your funny people.”)

But, to me, his finest ever ad lib, was not comedic, but instead sad and yearning and sweet.

It came in The Fisher King. In a scene unplanned and unscripted. Cast and crew threw the scene together on a day that it rained and the company couldn’t shoot outdoors. What transpired flowed from the people. Not from the play.

Williams’ character, in this film, is a broken, ruined man. Who, through the course of things, is drawn to a broken, ruined woman. Whose name is Lydia.

And, at what became scene’s end, Williams, unscripted, began, spontaneously, rashly, singing to this woman, Lydia, the goofy song “Lydia The Tattooed Lady.”

And, the more and the deeper that he sang, the softer and more vulnerable he became.

That’s what he really was.

A strange fruit.

As be we all.

Meanwhile. Back on jump street.

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A crow came by and landed on the back lawn yesterday morning and caused a rarin’ ruckus because the jays and the robins and the starlings and the doves and the squirrels and all the other one ones didn’t know just didn’t know how to react to this big black what it isone all of a sudden all of a sudden coming in for a landing. But all for sure for sure all everybody was moved to a new and ‘cited hoppin’ jumpin’ jive. With that there crow arrive.

And on the front lawn yesterday morning a torn butterfly ripped to final fatal shit by somebody—maybe; who knows; the crow—the butterfly aching and in pain with ants crawling all over its torn and tattered body and I brushed them away and placed the writhing pain-wracked dying creature in an oregano pot and observed, over the hours, over the hours, over the hours, over the hours, helpless, helpless, helpless, as it writhed, helpless, from life unto death, death, death, death.

Yesterday was my birthday.

And you want me to another year go through this again.
And you want me to another year go through this again.
And you want me to another year go through this again.
And you want me to another year go through this again.
And you want me to another year go through this again.

and you were standin’ there
and you were standin’ there
and you were standin’

there

in all your revelation
waitin’ for me to come

ain’t nobody
gonna stop me from lovin’ you baby


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When I Worked

August 2014
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