Archive for the ‘New York City’ Category

Ballad of The Big Ass Skinhead, The Engineer, and The Artists Nearby


01 Apr

structural-engineer

Structural Engineer

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Alex Roehner romps around the room in her best crayon pajamas, "Use small words and carry a big ass skinhead," she smiles, a service mile of track sunk into the old skinhead she now wants to extend a quiet allegiance. "Hello, my friends," she writes as if she remembers the words of a song she never thought she knew, then quickly types out, "I meant friend in the singular, unless your voices are with you..."

"Allo! Admiring your boots. You caught me looking..." Virtuality, off the record I find myself thinking, is a keen instinct among particular early tribes of hunt and peck typists and rogue artists found in various regions of North America, but according to the latest statistics as compiled by a few former employees of Standard & Poor's—virtuality is not a new phenomenon, but has its roots in the early religious rites of ancient peoples whose archaeological traces can be found worldwide, although much disputed among professionals who chalk it all up as garbage character—lost and found, survival of the fittest, not the fattest, not the thinnest, but the fittest—and not worth the investment of digging for clues as to why this rumor persists while bonding together many populations otherwise stuck on it like barnacles on a favorite whale. That former associates of Standard & Poor's are or might be involved in this study is still a mystery. Then I think again of Alex in her victorious boots. I saw pictures. I think I can smell them heel to toe all the way up the calf in all their splendor from here on this page, despite odors of wet cellar wafting up from the stink below. What can one expect from a place built in the 1740s with beautiful 12" wide planks but no sub-flooring...

"Busted."

"Ha! And I was just writing about things that go kick in the night earlier in the day," say I.

"I will write to you tomorrow," she promises. "My brain is coasting on beer at the moment and I can't lift my unabridged dictionary to aide me in a witty and verbose reply to your wonderfully worded correspondence. I love that you make me think without a drop of arrogance!"

"It's a trick I learned years ago when I created a Zen koan in the form of a question which goes like this: what's the difference between arrogant humility and humble arrogance?"

"One you can hear," she states.

"Your response flew right on past me. Come again..." I am genuinely stumped. But Alex Roehner is no stone in the horse's shoe.

"Arrogant humility must be verbally identified whereas humble arrogance is silent and deadly," she explains in a way I had never considered but made sense at this time of night, and as I write this, so I give her sway.

"Wait a minute. If you're buzzing on beer moving west at forty miles an hour and another bloke is buzzed on atomic fireballs traveling in the opposite direction at fifty miles an hour, which detail do you find most arresting? Nevermind. A joke gone astray. Back to the original koan. I think it is simpler than what you have suggested. Think about it." Here I am trying to get her to land on my square, the one I had picked out for her, but she had been too clever for that.

"Did I tell you about that the other day? My answer is for them to call each other a coordinate." Word games can get silly awfully quick.

"Arrogant humility is like a TV evangelist on uppers and downers and a few dancing girls on the side. Humble arrogance is like the lion with a thorn in his paw." I made my point, but I am intrigued by hers, because it does actually fit the model I had prepared, which leads us to the question, are all squares alike? "Tell me what the other day?" Now, she's lost me in the crayons again. "Not that I recall, and while I recall reams, I might be overlooking something. Please clarify."

"About the Jimmy leaving the station going east at 10 mph with 16 apples and Janey leaving the salon going north with a sack of potatoes. You will get my Alan Aldaish humor in a bit." This girl hangs low. I just love that about her. I wonder if she knows.

"No, just another one of those eerie synchronicities we seem to have going right now," I tell her, remembering something about how she was going to jump off until tomorrow tired and bleary, but we were, lighting fox tails strung to long sticks, and running through the naked woods with only words to keep us armed against the bouncing brown bears and their hunters stoked with large guns, and a license to kill. "That is to say, no, you didn't mention that tale."

"I was going on about it the other day. I am forced to take math so my buildings don't topple and I can calculate bending moments. The problem with math is there is only one answer. In English hell, I can make Jimmy juggle those apples while driving with his knees going in the opposite direction of traffic..."

"LOL! Well, Heisenberg might disagree with you, but for building, stiff calculus will suffice under most conditions. My rebuttal signals a slight twinge of satisfaction. But even on that spot, she ups the cost of doing business with a girl strapped to the gurney forced to inhale the forces that exist in a non-literal world taught to call itself literal.

"So will calling a structural engineer. Aha!"

"You've heard that science now suggests that observing an experiment can change the course of that experiment, right Alex? But don't scientists observe ALL experiments? I guess the key, and I forget this insidious detail, whether observation of an experiment will change the course of that experiment in a PREDICTABLE or UNPREDICTABLE way."

"Sounds like every word that leaves your mouth is history."

"Or history repeating itself, ha! Besides none of these words are leaving my mouth. I am typing." I pop her a good lickin' with that hit, I think. She's a slammer, alright.

"You're a funny man," she counters.

"Not only that," I type. "I paint pictures few can decipher, or even try. So I guess perfection is not as funny as math."

"But just as confusing."

"Just to be clear, said Confucius, before boarding the train, I have no seeds..."

"Where ever you go, that is where you will be, young grasshopper"

"Oh, that one's old, must be history repeating itself." We are both wearing thin, obviously, nervously fingering our crayons and our last few consonants in the stack we kept near the water tea glass, and Vitamin D pills I took because I never left the terminal long enough to get any sun.

"Or I haven't gotten there yet, wink wink." Another stinker, we're falling out of love with the words that brought us this far, now mere alphabet slaves to routine and obligation. I wonder if there will be a resurgence of energy, of creativity, of probing, thrusting, bouncing unfettered words strung out on string, made for you, played for me. I wonder.

"Oh, you're there alright." You're a buttercup solo in a runaway dandelion field, I murmur to myself, now, as I consider that night when we were living at the Farm. Those were good days. Too bad the old man had no vision. Being an old stuffy government lawyer got the best of him, so I add the next lines to deflect. "And that's me in the corner, losing my virginity. But only because I'm a Libra. And there is no way a Libra can be a free spirit. Am often called one, but they just don't understand the conflicted soul the way us Librans do."

"Thats funny most people say I'm not there, or home, either."

"Silly wabbits. Home is there."

"In a Westinghouse."

"Such an illustrious past, the Westinghouse name." And brand. Surely Alex is too young to remember that tagline from the days of black & white television. She's an inspiration, quick and rich in symbolic references that have specific meaning to me, even this reference to Westinghouse. I give her that. But of what long term use is she to me, or I to her? But I don't have the opportunity to follow up the Westinghouse gem, as she is flagged as offline. Ah, she's back.

"Sorry to flee momentarily but Ive been on this silly FB for a bit too long for one day. I have some serious thinking to do if I am to reply to my friend Gabe and discover Suess' dark side. Dream Grand."

"Okay, thanks for chirping in..."

"Chat tomorrow?"

"Most likely. Bye, and hang tough..."

"Which is safer than Hang 10."

"Especially when you've only got eight."

"Just know I'm smiling."

"Skipping all the way to the building that never falls down...somewhere...and it ain't over some ephemeral rainbow. Just so you know."

"The vision of you skipping with "Skip to the Loo" (haha) is well, well, worthy of some angry art. You are such an inspiration."

"Guess my work is done, he smirks." And I meant it. That was a playful exchange. It's getting late, but not too late to keep the lights on for the honey pot to catch the next fly...

"Meanwhile back at the homestead..."

Are you still here?

"No. Gone home. Clocked out and gone home." I presume Alex Roehner, the girl with the most curious hair I know (with nod to D.F.W.) is working from home. A minute has passed...

"Can't pull yourself away from the little screen?" I tease.

"Busted again," she types. But actually I was the busted one the first time these words were used tonight, or so I'd originally thought, busted for peeping her in her hip boots. But I carry on.

"Home is where my laptop is, tiny dancer..."

"Like a candle in the wind" To have both tapped Elton John was a subtle move, but I realize that in saying that I have be giving people the wrong impression. I can live with that. But, I was just a big fan for a string of four or so albums.

"Caught between the bull and his Picasso. The taxi girl and the sneaker in the rye. Forty secrets the Dali Lama failed to mention on his way down the mountain. Anyways. I'm gone. You take it away. We'll meet up again tomorrow." That's should up the ante. Can't wait to see her next move.

"I have a suspicious feeling this banter could be documented."

"Copy and paste into a text doc. Only way I've found."

"Naw, that's falling in the misconceived trap that genius is gone for good. DONT DO IT!" she cajoles. Surely she doesn't think I'm going to pay attention to that big fat lie. Documentation no way belittles genius. Nor suffers it lightly. Nor uses up all its eggs. As you see, I kicked against Roehner's grave wishes, for better or worse, and I trust she will be happy to bounce through this moment of time. Hell, that's what writers and painters do. They document. Enter the readers.

"Tom Wolfe's The Painted Word has a dilemma for you. On that topic, have you checked out Goodreads yet? No? Chagrin."

"Not yet. Tiny magnetizing screen remember? Oh, and Structural engineering class and new NY Sunday times x word puzzles. Trés busy á demain."

"Goodreads is simply a space where you post your own favorite literary experiences. You rate them. You critique them, et cetera, yada yada, dada. It's similar to Facebook and the two services actually interact but Goodreads is ALL about books, your books, and other people's lists. Take it or leave it. Wish it were around about fifteen years ago when I was trying to catalogue my personal library, and had few tools worth fussing over. Well, she's off the clock now. Time to turn the lights out, methinks. Bye dark angel..."

Framing The Question Of What Makes A True American


20 Oct

"Antelopers" by Gabriel Thy

"Antelopers" by Gabriel Thy

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Date: October 20, 2007 11:58 AM
Yolo Mojo—

Well, I bounced on over to read this entry when you first posted it, and found the issue of quality interest to me, and wanted to comment, but immediately realized that the question in whole was of such profound curiosity to me, I would not be satisfied with a quick comment lauding you for your inspired entry, so I put aside my impulse to write anything at all at the moment. But by popular demand, her I am. Do you mind if I kiss the ground first. Just kidding. It's not the ground that makes one a True American. It's much more forgiving than the blood-soaked soil. I need to explain.

So, thanks for dragging me back to the drawing board...

Given that it appears when facing an intellectual firing squad meant to rid us of our peculiar defect, we humans cannot resist the challenge of resistance, and given that we nearly always scuffle for an outlet to exhaust our failures and a platform to promote our successes while relying on the amazing flexibility of our own internal logic, after rejecting that of others—presumably, a dominant American trait—I will proceed.

The question here before us is indeed one of those representational quagmires of which I shall try to emerge without scattering too much debris, but a certain amount is unavoidable. Such is the general weakness of language when attempting to framing a fluid proposition. For by asking what is a True American, we must infer that there is such an entity as a False American. To respond to the original tautology is of course an exercise in existential manipulation, manipulation of a language, at best, fraught with lurking dangers, real or imagined, and at worst, simply fraudulent, contingent upon as many details as we wish to reflect or as few as we think satisfies our obligations as self-amusing pontificators.

But let’s not stagger.

I suggest we return to the original DNA of Americanism, and that is the documentation of those founding fathers, who in rebellion against the king of its former lands in Great Britain, forsook much and labored plenty in codifying for their own and subsequent generations of a people that became known as Americans.
It seems to me that the original question as posited in the title of your blog was barely considered in the text, Mojo. After arguing for the rule of generalizations (i.e. accepted traits when grouped together), which I eagerly accept as a valid proposition, you never moved past them, in terms of concretely describing, a True American.

Your depiction of the “true” American is defined by grabbing examples of supposed “uniqueness” or perhaps “the exempliary” in the American experience, but you never actually got around to clarifying or redeeming these specific attributes, as indicative of the “true” American. Cultural activities and other surface traits while perhaps informative on the superficial level hardly expose the essence of a true national character.

Two points you made I wish to highlight. Without dipping into that linguistic bag of tricks woefully dubbed—political correctness—often used to paralyze and render meaningless certain types of critical discussions, I strongly agree with you there’s no logical escape from the nuances of stereotype in practice.

In a world where we are told to believe that statistics don’t lie, particularly when agenda-driven sociologists insist on a set of numbers and effects as proof for the need in setting parameters in the social sphere as they see fit. We all rely on personal observations to make informed choices and to characterize events and situations in our lives. But, we can agree, generalizations are an unfortunate substitute for individualized details when distinguishing specifics among any loosely defined group. The sheer hypocrisy that certain “politicalized” groups and individuals practice from either end of the social spectrum in forbidding all but their own “designated” stereotypes is folly and deceit of the highest order.

Secondly,

Therefore, I submit to you that we must look for another fixating criterion upon which to hang our formula for the True American. I suggest we return to the original DNA of Americanism, and that is the documentation of those founding fathers, who in rebellion against the king of its former lands in Great Britain, forsook much and labored plenty in codifying for their own and subsequent generations of a people that became known as Americans.

There Once Was An Antagonist


24 Sep

anatagonist

Antagonist, NYC 9/07

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In New York City, on Thursday September 6, I showed a few antagonistic paintings in a tiny sweltering East Village basement. Highlights included a long chat with a New York poet about the enigmatic state of literature from the perspective of Generation Y still searching for its own voice, networking with a fellow who owns and operates the same image press I've had my eye on for some time now, and the pride of beautiful young felines who flashed this old poet and painter a smile. The heat was nearly unbearable however. This was the first night back into the space after a crisis. The AC was not working, a victim of torrential rains and flooding in the lower areas of New York City, including this East Village basement a few weeks earlier. Made a mess out of me. Sober & sweaty. Thanks, New York.

Shout out to fellow Antagonists Alex, Scott, Tom, Julian, Kari, Ted, Un, Ethan and Liberty Sue, each for your generosity of spirit...

There was some talk of a Berlin gallery which interested me, and I even sold a couple packs of postcards...

Antagonist Show In NYC on September 6


21 Aug

agntagonistes

Gabriel Antagonistes

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Yes, that's right. Outsider art is antagonist art by default, on purpose, duly recognized, deliberately slammed, boorishly labeled, charmingly considered, who the gasp cares anymore, except word freaks, bibliophiliacs, lexicon compilers, and those of us humble enough to admit we need words and labels and art to describe nouns, persons, places, things, and activities just to make life a bit less boring, and I guess that includes me. To that end, the Antagonist Movement with its roots in the East Village and the 1980s Washington DC punk rock scene has invited me up to the Niagara Club for a one night group show on Thursday, September 6. I have accepted, and eagerly look forward to my first show in New York where I'll show five or six works. Ethan Minsker, one of the groups co-founders, found me on MySpace, and issued my invitation from there. Turns out local DC artists Matt Sesow and Marina Reiter have preceded me at the Antagonist show. That knowledge takes most of the risk out of the invitation, but I've accepted nevertheless.

Here is the Niagara info:
112 Ave A @corner of 7th St. East Village NYC
The gallery is downstairs past the bar.
Tele: 212-420-9517

Show opens at 9 PM. Hang all artwork half hour prior to show. All artwork hangs for the duration of the night until closing time at 2 AM. No exceptions.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE ANTAGONIST ART MOVEMENT:

The Antagonist Movement creates venues around New York City, and plan to travel to Berlin, Germany next year to scout for venues there. Are you, or have you ever been an antagonista? If you have, or you know someone who has or should be, then check us out. Here are a few venues that may interest you:

  • Thursday night. One night showcases with live music.
  • Two month shows bases around a theme.
  • Public Access show. Tuesday nights on MNN 67 or RCN 110 at 11pm. The show covers the art shows. Its called Antagovision.
  • Writer's night. The first Sunday of every month.
  • Films. AAM has four films coming out, including two documentaries on the art shows. One narrative featuring punk rock icons from the lower east side, and a documentary that covers female bands in the mid 90s. All of the films have been selected and won a verity of film festivals. To find out more about the release date contact Troma.
  • Fanzines and books. AAM has published a fanzine called Psycho Moto Zine and a book called "Somewhere Between a Punch and A Hand Shake." Both feature AAM artists and writers.
  • Clothing line. Each year we feature new artists in the designs. All the money goes back into our projects.
  • Over seas art shows. Showing in Berlin October 18th to 26th.
  • Street art. Street Gallery. Sticker Art.
  • In the future AAM plans two books, more clothing lines, and another documentary on the art show in Berlin.
  • Woman Of Her Word, Brassiere Intact


    30 Mar

    woman-word

    Woman Of Her Word

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    Date: Sun, 30 Mar 1997 17:16:27 -0500

    Hey Gabriel, I'm glad you got the package, ahem, brassiere intact. I was a bit concerned which prompted the double-envelope. Yes, I am ready to walk the line, make the call, or whatever other analogy we could think up to read the Dollhouse Fevers and the Six Day War I've heard so much about. So send it on. I'm not regularly on my email here at home as I spend way too much time on the computer at work and I don't like the idea of my personal email being the property of a corporate thug. So it may take me some time to answer and read emails.

    I had a bit of an indulgence this weekend which I must say I still suffer the malaise from. I'm not supposed to drink because of my illness, however, Friday I went out to play a few games of pool, which turned into four drinks, which later graced the platforms of two noble subway stations on my way home. Pink the color of choice. Cape Cods will do it every time. I renew my yearly vow of never again.

    Please give me Tim's address and /or phone number when it becomes available and encourage him to drop me a line. I better run. The computer screen is making me queasy (two days later). Love to Sue. Take care, Kari

    Sure Kari, here they fly girl! It's been about a month now since I completed the last one (day 3), busy as I've been on my web site. I don't expect the next installment will get written within the next week, but chances are I may very well do so just to spite myself.

    Sue's down in Georgia visiting the folks. Things are really quiet at night, and I'm just today beginning to truly miss her, so that's a five day pseudo bachelor brawl I'm talking about. Yeah right...five days of routine without baby does not a wild weekend make. Swatted a few at the batting cage last Saturday night with Steve, guzzled more than a few beers before and afterwards, but woke Sunday feeling decent enough to stay sober that day, so I've only had one slip since Sue tore out of here last Friday, but that's about par. Relaxing in the Sunday sun the day before packs of plucky April fools hit the bars around this painful city is a rare but welcomed challenge to this fully opinionated workaholic.

    Your bra's on the wall facing the sun...

    GT

    Plucking The Wings Off An Adverb In the Gardens Of Soho


    17 Jul

    case

    Once The Case Is Stated

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    Date: Wed Jul 17, 1996 6:52:41 PM

    Hey there,

    Predicted to myself yesterday's barrage would have you to scurrying back to the sanctity of a cold blessed silence. Status quo beats quid pro quo to the punchline every time, especially when I lean out my dirty window to gaze beyond the boredom of my own uselessness, activities which interest no one. Am I so obviously sick with hard-boiled narcissism in this insistence that a recounting of my own work not go unnoticed, or am I simply a brooding artist whose time will or will not come, but as we have heard said, "Yes, Socrates, but cannot you hold your tongue, and then you may go into a foreign city, and no one will interfere with you?"

    Would not Socrates reply, "Now I have great difficulty in making you understand my answer to this. For if I tell you that this would be a disobedience to a divine command, and therefore if I cannot hold my tongue, you will not believe that I am serious; and if I say that the greatest good of a man is daily to converse about virtue, and all that of which you hear me examining myself and others, and that the life which is unexamined is not worth living—that you are still less likely to believe."

    A dozen small birds feeding off crumbs on the courtyard steps scattered. Three or four flew away into the trees. Tom Howell stepped out from the shadows of the Arts & Craps Building, saying, "Gabriel, you're not him." Then my mother stepped away from the carriage against which she'd been leaning, saying, "Howellnyms, you can't say that about my son. That's my phrase. I've said that to him all my life. You sir, are a plagiarist!" I was left to wonder how many birds were Greek, how many of them were Roman, and how many were in the public domain. Soon, even I, knew context was lost, and only Tom Howell and probably Ludwig Wittgenstein as a young man at Trinity knew for certain who Tom was not.

    When I test her limits I must make sure I count the costs and identify the potential gains. Yes dear, I am ruthless in my 41st year. That said, you just whisper the magic words, and I am soon the highway star…
    No sweat, Jennifer. I too, am always quite busy, so your hesitation to commit to my discussions of sexual power perhaps never to meet the criteria I have set for an upstate tour of beauty and synthetic protocol (my choice of game, just to keep us both emphatically engaged) speaks its own name, and as such is proper and necessary for us to remain honest to the ideals of friendship and fate we have thus far delivered to each other without frank discussion but automatically over the years. Still love you, no matter what you don't do or don't say, but a love declared in this sort of absence once we have arrived there is a sterile one, a state of ill repair with which I am quite familiar.

    Also, as you are aware I am in perpetual financial ruin, just as yourself at this time in your life. But my own poverty seems to be some kind of unspoken holy vow perhaps driven by a secret choice to remain free of the shackles others willingly impose on themselves so that they control those matters of purse. Yet in possessing fewer cares of the purse results in a substantially improved station in very obvious ways, not the least of them is a certain freedom not known by those fixtures of the clock and the calendar. In my own marriage situation, it is always a struggle, a tight-rope walk born out in the lives of both Sue and the husband she loves.

    Only by the unfathomable graces of BS Hedrick do I eat, have a roof over my head, decent clothing, medicine, any disposable income at all. Life is more than food and shelter, of course. The fact that I overindulge in the one matter and am nearly agoraphobic in the other changes not the joy of my pursuits. When I test her limits I must make sure I count the costs and identify the potential gains. Yes dear, I am ruthless in my 41st year. That said, you just whisper the magic words, and I am soon the highway star...

    To the point, just like female masturbation has been elevated in feminist literature to a goddamned political act while male masturbation remains mired in snickers, putdowns, and psychotic fallout by the feminist wag, women leap to heap ridicule on men for penis size while many a flatchested woman to the contrary feels empowered to chastise women as bimbos and pawns of the male obsession when endowed with huge mammories, boobs, whether naturally or via the easy purchase plan.
    I took Landry to task for her commentary on small cocks, and she too, has answered with a resounding thud of nothingness, contrary to her usual back-atcha gonzo. Nothing overtly personal about the tone or language I used in presenting my arguments to her, but who knows, maybe I am just too ridiculous for reasonable minds to waste.

    Wild, riveting discussion for its own sake is my motto, not by choice but by default as one who does not know his audience, or even if there is one to be earned. Digging for gold in a trash heap. Poking the sky full of holes with the ironies of our time. I depend on the plain writing of others to help fertilize my parched barren crops of thick gilded sentences. My language tends to get mugged with adjectives and adverbs and cheap alliteration and rhymes, all of which serve me in a fist fight but never in a slow sensual dance with my best noun. I dunno. I suppose this method of scratch and claw gets me every ounce of feedback I deserve. None of us are professional debaters, meaning none of us are burdened with the making of argument in a tense public environment on a regular for hire basis. Pouncing on friends with topics as sensitive as the ones I pitch is probably in bad taste, but then I have been frequently fingered as the Anti Hip. So to my point: women like to suggest that men are consistently fixated on size, and yet find it very natty to mock the flaccid or diminuative phallus whenever the chance arrives. Landry's own sarcastic line, typical of the type of remark associated with a liberated tongue, hey, aren't we all saddled with one of those, suggesting she could understand why the Mentors—the sick LA band of the early 90s—frolicked about like asses on stage waving long thick rubber dongs is one I felt under the circumstances of our ongoing banter about all things fuzzy & frank that required a solid well-reasoned response. To the point, just like female masturbation has been elevated in feminist literature to a goddamned political act while male masturbation remains mired in snickers, putdowns, and psychotic fallout by the feminist wag, women leap to heap ridicule on men for penis size while many a flatchested woman to the contrary feels empowered to chastise women as bimbos and pawns of the male obsession when endowed with huge mammories whether naturally or via the easy purchase plan. Of course these are sweeping generalizations both they then and I make now, but both are valid observations nevertheless for entirely different psychosexual reasons.

    Understanding that I am adamantly against the right wing pontifications and their feeble interpretations of man, and God, and law, the issue is not easily thumbnailed in a few sentences. Every thought I render is just as quick to butcher another one standing in close proximity a few minutes later, unless discipline and context is imposed.
    Browsing for insight a 700-page hardcover I bought several years ago called "Girls Lean Back Everywhere, The Law of Obscenity and the Assault on Genius" by Edward de Grazia, an attorney practicing communications and First Amendment law here in DC. He was integral in the landmark Henry Miller and William S. Burroughs publishing cases, as well as the "I am Curious—Yellow" Swedish film breakthrough. I am trying to formulate a "free speech/blue ribbon" position paper to correspond to the intellectual margin my web presence requires on matters literary and artistic. The title of the book is drawn from a quote "The Little Review" editor Jane Heap made at the James Joyce "Ulysses" hearing concerning some text in question. Her magazine was the first to publish excerpts and as such felt the strong arm of the law reach out in fierce rebuttal in an attempt to smack down her artistic sensibilities. The books cover most of the 20th century court battles from Zola, Joyce, Lawrence, Miller, Burroughs, Karen Finley, 2 Live Crew right on up through Mapplethorpe in an exquisite commentary bulked up by full first hand accounts of the noted judiciary principles, and their hodge-podge of so-called principals. So far, after several hours over several days in composite, I am still unsure how to approach this position paper.

    While I believe in an artist's right, or more probably, his duty, is to exploit the tools of language and all media according to her own peculiar vision, I am also dead set against public funding of this area of life. Zilch. Rock music gets along without public grants. So can photographers, writers, and painters. If not prepared to give it all, or convince a private source for sustanance, then sorry charlie. A paradigm shift of the ways in which we view both art and the marketplace may be required, but public funding is a sham and a scandal to both artlover and arthater. And while I believe that the artist should be as free to draw from real life as he sees fit, I also am certain that the media, specifically films and TV have detrimentally added to the chaos of the past several generations and the sickening decline of the individual in respect to morals as they pertain to the rights of others. Understanding that I am adamantly against the right wing pontifications and their feeble interpretations of man, and God, and law, the issue is not easily thumbnailed in a few sentences. Every thought I render is just as quick to butcher another one standing in close proximity a few minutes later, unless discipline and context is imposed. Even so, freedom of speech is hardly a fair substitute for freedom of action. They must exist hand in hand.

    Plucking the wings off an adverb in the Gardens Of Soho,

    GT

    Where Good Arguments Always Give Way To Selfishness


    28 May

    doll

    The Sleeping Doll

    samplex

    Traveling the Geboren circuit this year took us to New York City to peek in on an old friend. "Happy Memorial Day. Hope that you got in at least one war movie this weekend to celebrate your country's ability to kill, kill, kill," writes Landry, our recent emmigrant from DC to San Francisco, this morning the day after. She saw Patton. As fate would have it, I was shown The Year Of Living Dangerously.

    Rolling along in a sparsely filled Amtrak train car, my first time as an adult, to visit the lovely Jennifer of subsequent charms, was as fun as travel to New York gets, I suppose. A social anthropologist in the making, formerly of the American University in Washington, now at the New School in New York, Jennifer the sweet, the sour, the sassy, the geisha with one eye trained on Indonesian studies and the other on herself, popped in the videotape—the only one she owns besides Gilbert Grape, oh well, except for a couple of pornos—as Sue snored like vanishing rogue zebras on the savanna sprawled across the floor bed nearby. With me sedentary in the only piece of furniture that could be called a chair in her tiny 5th floor airconditionless Midtown flat, Jennifer settled upon a huge throw pillow I had nestled below my feet. She dropped then snuggled her head into my groin where we watched the television off and on like unsubverted lovers. Some of it anyway. Year depicted the Indonesian coup of 1964 (I think).

    Moxy Lexington Avenue girl with the long black hair and bangs and familiar black moles marking her pale body map set up the plot for me, adding she suspected quite a few CIA dollars went into the making and the breaking of the only two Indonesian regimes to hold control since independence from the British crown in the 1940s. Communists threatened to gain control in this 1960's revolution but were successfully thwarted by western influence-peddlers. Linda Hunt won the Oscar for her role as a dwarf male Indonesian photographer and influence peddler himself before plunging to his death when pursued by the failing ruling regime's muscle.

    It was strange to hear even these most simple of political words coming from the mouth of my big-eyed punk rock baby doll, rudimentary cocksucker, lover of many, now a snarling scholar, who was intent on going all the way with her mind, and with that quick glimpse into her soul I felt warm inside, grateful she had not given up, since I had been too lazy and only negligibly bright enough to manage any sort of higher learning plus too many hours of sniveling grunt work wrapped neatly into poisonous packages of self-assured destiny, decadence, destruction visibly manifest in everything I had ever done or said since my earliest troubles which I am still working out in poetry and prose. Besides, it's not like I was ever waitron material. Neither was she, she had made clear, but I made the case that she'd had strong parental dollar and sense testimony which was not my case. I just didn't have enough grit in me to fight the entrenching powers of academic hegemony to fling it at the university level like I had done for years when my own powers of memory kept me in the top rung among my small town peers. Despite my past and present love of knowledge, conveying disciplines and social contingencies of school, and the whole spirit of competitive struggle, I'd already shown a strong streak of rebellion which played itself out in bucking weakness that was masked by petty authority everywhere I found it, although let's not play games, the more I rejected folly the more likely it found me, so I thought better of joining Sisyphus on that rock. Better to go off alone. If I was being forced to turn myself inside out, I wanted to make it a solo flight, to make it my own journey away from the herd and the axis of privilege, but each year was proving even to me that I had crashed and burned long ago.

    You just lust after his redwood stature and that ironman voice but you only like SOME of his songs. I reached this analysis after she impulsively slammed on, then clicked past Johnny Yuma, which I liked, and which she called some fucking B-side. I bounced her fuss with facts by saying, "NOT! I just saw a Seinfeld episode last week as a matter of fact where Kramer was pulling his usual Kramerstuff with Jerry, hooklining, "I'm a rebel Jerry....... I'm a rebel." The sinker was Jerry's response,"You're not a rebel. Johnny YUMA was a rebel."
    So much for Memorial Day madness. I was however quite pleased with the seating arrangments.

    We gossiped about sex, the provocative and various sizes of female aureoles, and the protocols and paraphenalia of B/D while practicing restraint and good sensual instincts, bad links, why Microsoft sucks but is an necessary evil until it's no longer around anymore, the Ramones, since she was a classicist, handjobs, female masturbation, anything she could suggest we talk about to keep the heat going. After all, we were veterans of several past flings with each other going all the way back to the beginning while dithering on that thorny road to higher meaning, I now interpreted as nothing to write riveting vertical novels about, because when I look back even now it all seemed to compare poorly with riding too fast on too many dangerously flat tires at best, lacking lasting impact, uh, except maybe that one time we spelled it out under the bright sun for the rolling camera and monitor while Sue and Chris Ravenholt...

    Neither of us were really interested in the movie, and true to expectation, most of it was lost to activity usually associated with the flickering technicolor drive-ins of old.Exhausted, she finally dozed off about three-thirty, two thirds through, and I dozed off about five minutes from its end, with Jennifer again curled around me, a knee, warm and timeless between my legs.

    Yes, yes, step right up to the kiss and tell booth, get your tickets punched, win a door prize for the most fetching synonym for making out without benefit of penetration. Hear ye, hear ye...

    During the movie we rolled around nearly in tears and spasms, tumbling about, pinching, twisting, pulling each other's nipples about as unmercifully as we could pull but always accompanied by a playful snicker and the stiffening of nostrils, so better to embrace like pernicious darlings only to pull away again, lapsing to a more coy posture than before, submissive, the wooer and the wooed banging the wholesome drum, then dialing the knob all the way back to bashful, as if reliving that Mister Potatohead afternoon when the four of us were trying to guzzle off a keg left from the night before after a party we hosted back in the days of North Carolina Avenue. But that was nearly a decade ago. While affections were obviously still running high or obligatory, we kept home plate isotopes to the minimum zero on this NYC weekend, and our cameras rolled only after two wayward dogs scrapping in Central Park, blahdy, blah, blah (as Jennifer would growl in one of her more hostile voices).

    Thankfully we weren't dragged into loud spaces. Saw no bands, went into a bar only twice. Only the second one counted. That was @Café in the St. Mark's quarter of the East Village. Squandered nearly a hundred bucks sucking suds and surfing the Internet. Showed Sue and Jennifer my web presence, downloaded a Windows JPEGviewer to upload to her home PC so she could view some bondage pics she wanted put on floppies. After a few bumps and grinds Jennifer gave of herself plus a few the Windows environment gave MacTekkie Sue, most of the 4.1 MB were finally made viewable on Sunday. Lapsitting gyrations were all she wrote during this particular mood, so there's little to read between these lines.

    So I again, this time more quietly, upbraided this "sweetie on the side" just to be clear, educating her about the illustrious first family of hillbilly music, pointing out in fresh adjectives and unresisting adverbs that the Carter family is to country music what the Kennedy family is to American politics. And Elvis is to pop rock.
    Besides the online Gabriel tour, always PG-Rated, I narrated in the East Village, I imagine the second favorite string of hours I managed was Saturday night when Jennifer and I made out like teenagers in heat beer after beer and Johnny Cash song after Johnny Cash song. She said she couldn't believe I liked JC. I said the same about her, although I later amended my assessment to: "Yeah right, you don't like Johnny Cash. You just lust after his redwood stature and that ironman voice but you only like SOME of his songs. I reached this analysis after she impulsively slammed on, then clicked past Johnny Yuma, which I liked, and which she called some fucking B-side. I bounced her fuss with facts by saying, "NOT! I just saw a Seinfeld episode last week as a matter of fact where Kramer was pulling his usual Kramerstuff with Jerry, hooklining, "I'm a rebel Jerry....... I'm a rebel." The sinker was Jerry's response,"You're not a rebel. Johnny YUMA was a rebel." The sinker was Jerry's response,"You're not a rebel. Johnny YUMA was a rebel." I had laughed agaga when Sue and I first heard this Seinfeld line and followed that up by terrorizing Sue with a string of childhood memories growing up in Georgia on country music.

    Reveling in this small order of synchronicity, I repeated all this to Jennifer, pop pop pop. After all, she claims Seinfeld devotion, and I'd hoped she'd recognize the validity of my argument. A New York Jew had heard of and thirty years later was recalling for a new generation that same Johnny Yuma ballad. Whether it was Jerry Seinfeld or Larry David surely something here would stifle her protest that this was some obviously forgettable B-side. And yet she bitched out, splashing around in muddy discourse as most of us are wont to do after a dozen beers or so, leaving me my assessment. Jennifer Connolly was simply not a first tier Johnny Cash fan like myself.

    But as writing goes, she's as hip as any dark-spirited retro-70s doctorate candidate goth chick on her way to Cornell I've ever had the pleasure—just for grooving to any Johnny Cash. Yet her glimmering hipsterism was further tarnished with rude remarks about June Carter. So I again, this time more quietly, upbraided this "sweetie on the side" just to be clear, educating her about the illustrious first family of hillbilly music, pointing out in fresh adjectives and unresisting adverbs that the Carter family is to country music what the Kennedy family is to American politics. And Elvis is to pop rock. I mean, I'm just a fan of the music, the man, the woman. That's it. Pitching thoughtless blasphemies into the mood while gyrating her half naked still intoxicated nearly blacked out body politic against my flickering frames at four o'clock in the wee of morning as I struggled against the mat, failed to keep me from any old friendship duties I would face that night with Jennifer the stray kitten, not because Sue was still starched, still smack dead drunk, still asleep on the bed where she cracked emeralds for eyes and blew ex post facto dreamy white bluffs along the hard roads of her own deeper relationships, kissing the parabolic name now cloaking her painful lack of confidence, her wrecking ball illiteracies, her tip of the iceberg struggle against lifelessness while crumbling in dutiful acceptance of it all.

    Two women, three studies in deliberate behavior.

    And despite my highstrung needs for acceptance at any cost almost anywhere I can find it I can state the following: Love is a trainwreck. But also know this: Life is a gooey five dollar ham & cheese sandwich lifted from the café car on that trainwreck just after the crash.
    I am glad to be back home where is is no chance to get laid, blown, or titillated by a sweet talking college girl. Frustration of that sort has ebbed. The absence of our mindmeld brings its own anxieties, however, as the excitement of New York begins to fade into the kaleidescope of another lost weekend spent dallying with fire while dousing it with indifference. Yes—I love Jennifer today exactly as I have always loved her, and yet fate has been cruel to me. I can't have everything. Especially when I never make the first move. And I love Sue dearly, and in that "what if you could" challenge would not trade her even up for Jennifer with her crazy ride through hell, not that either would sink to such a grotesque role of Gabriel's choice, but that's what the "what if you could" game is all about—idle speculation, creepy imagination, human, all too human desperation.

    But Jennifer and I do love each other on some level among men and women, despite the spikes and the sputters and the rules of the land, sea, and hells of both, and do for each other in ways we have always known we can. We are quite alike, our intelligence, our moods, our metallurgy configured so similarly as to render us equalities in the equation for trouble where arguments always give way to selfishness.

    After a morning spent gridlocked in a malingering after-flirtation depression I am beginning to feel better I think. Writing this has helped evaporate a few inches of psychosmog. And despite my highstrung needs for acceptance at any cost I can state the following: Love is a trainwreck. But also know this: Life is a gooey five dollar ham & cheese sandwich lifted from the café car on that trainwreck just after the crash.

    GT

    S A M P L E X

    "Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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