The following letter was composed in response to a query from an old friend Steve Taylor, then in Philadelphia.
"Glad to see you are starting to populate the Scenewash. Is that name from one of your print works or did you create it for the online medium? You know I'm always a sucker for an etymological tale..."
No, sir. That gem was the product of a fresh brainstorm ripping across this fertile valley now my home while I was working on a Lily Artwatcher subsection dealing with local ontological events, hyperpersonalized and literally screaming fotographic intrigue a few months before I cleavaged iMote to separate the so-called storefront from the creative victories I feel as a writer and a conduit for whatever comes next. I'd created a banner page, and not much else. As I recall a snapshot of Sue is highlighted in a collage with moderate success. However I liked the multiple entendres of the Scenewash project so much (epistemologically, general and local cleansing of the scene) that it grew whiskers, a gut of grand proportions and into the ripening domain you are only beginning to fathom.
It will also remain a subsection, as originally intended, within the SWORG/LILY section, but you'll just have to wait until it's fleshed online sometime next year undoubtedly to know any more about that than I do right now. It's presently only a gleam in the sacrificial iMotedotcom and a few building blocks of infrastructure waiting attention. Since I have Cafespirit, and a bevy of other themes mapped out in LILY, I quite have forgotten what I intended with the original Scenewash quarter.
The industrious ones are border rats in a life and death frenzy to land a job. The lazy are generally stupid and vacant of morals and always eager to capitulate to the swirl and swill to maintain that laziness. In this way they match the filthy rich jet setters the revolutionaries supposedly want to overthrow. Power to the Bourgeoise!
Yesterday was somewhat of a creative breakthrough. You will like what you see. The work is still offline as I need to clean up some peripheral files before uploading, but I hope to have a lot more mapped in for your personal viewing by the end of this weekend. My computer is currently tied up with a 10MB download of a new site creation beta from Macromedia called Dreamweaver.
At my modem speed projected download time is over an hour and a half. I've crashed in the past trying to download and send mail at the same time, so this note will have to wait until the software is on disk, but man, a while back I downloaded MIE v3.1 in an uninterupted streaming session only for it to be corrupted from the very first click. Lost all that time. These huge downloads are not fun, or apparently very reliable.
Well, it took almost to the minute two hours to download. It expanded cleanly, but I'll wait until later to install and nose around. Of course I'll let you know what I think about it. How is Net Objects Fusion treating you? Or haven't you been studying it, like a good webmaster should in the best of worlds . . .
Bracken says, "Power to the Lazy Worker!" Can you believe he really thinks the world will improve if we all became lazy on the job? Next time he goes under the knife of a surgeon (knee work last year), he should slip the nurse one of his pamphlets, and have the medical staff, "go lazy on him." Then he should move to Mexico.
I understand siesta lazy is a way of life for millions down there (just another white man myth not worth its heat I suppose). The industrious ones are border rats in a life and death frenzy to land a job. The lazy are generally stupid and vacant of morals and always eager to capitulate to the swirl and swill to maintain that laziness. In this way they match the filthy rich jet setters the revolutionaries supposedly want to overthrow. Power to the Bourgeoise!
Did it again today, and it seemed to have been successful. So, perhaps my earlier attempt worked and it sensed the duplicate. Life? Ate the cereal, played the gameprefer the cereal. But the untrademarked life...
I'll tell you when it's over...
The crazy binges, late night screams, titty bars, misguided yutes, obscene bar tabs, missed moments, all the young crudesthey were fun and they still can be. But it's not the substance of life. It can't happen every night. Coughing up phlegm and stomach acid into the toilet every morning just isn't the best way to start a day. For some people, perhaps living in a fog is better than facing a reality that has nothing to offer them and which they have nothing to offer. I would like to feel that we can produce happiness, satisfaction, excitement, or whatever emotion or intellectual charge without any other thing or any other person. Of course, that would be life in a vacuum, and it wouldn't be ideal either. I still want to be out there among others (just not all the timeeven Steve Taylor needs down time, as I'm appreciating right now), I still want to have my drinks, and I'm sure there will be more than a few crazy evenings out there. But back to the way they used to beadventures, not escapes. Balancenot in the sense of moderation in all things, but in the sense of what combination of elements, external and internal, work for me. If the only answer I could find would be drinking cheap beer in a dive reeking of cheap cigarettes or pulling on a Martini in a luxury hotel bar inundated with an expensive haze of cigars, thendamnitI'd find a way to spend as much time as possible doing that. However, while some fascinating hours have been spent in places like that, my experience has been much broader and has given me playing, reading, writing, exploring, watching, listening, dreaming, working (with hands, mind, etc.), creating, learning...and I haven't been doing enough of these over the last x number of years. Vive la balance, or something ...
But, I’m way off the path of solitude when I let Bob crash my peace. He gave a blanket apology. Back to the crickets in my bad ear, the purr of the fan at my feet, and the allure of the Internet where anybody can be somebody and everybody can be nobody, but none of us can ever know the difference until we do the work.
Proud As Steve Taylor? Thanks for your recent writing which has strangely enhanced this retro-isolation nostalgic quiet peace of 1979-1980 I've been infected with these past few days. General happiness and resolve, that's the notion I think that's winning the race. Out with alcohol. In with solitude. Yep, I'm beginning to equate life with a noise based on faulty definitions and random arrogance still on the rampage way past its due date (or best used by date for literalists). I feel like I'm already sixty, and frankly sort of like it there, as Bracken keeps calling trying to get me to go woman-chasing with him. I just wanna puke at his tired words, and tell him to, what else, "get a life!"
Ha! ha! Don't get me wrong. I lust the warm soft tenacity and specatacle of women with every fiber in my body like any red bloodied rot gut, but those same fragmented overfed fibers are smartening up enough to know where they have a better chance to succeed, and it ain't in some damned cut-up chase scene with Bracken sounding the charge.
That Jim Carroll biographer chick, Cassie Carter, has been after me again, but that's good because unless Amazon is scamming me on their weekly reports which actually list some 150 hits by book title referrer, nearly all these visitors are coming directly to my site, or rather, directly to my Jim Carroll page, from hers. Meanwhile, FTP'd the whole ex-iMote over to the new scenewash directory yesterday, and will need a few days of restoking to clear the links of debris and don't ask me what else. So it's back to work for the weary. Finally a rain day. The first in over a month here in DC.
I was 24-25. Young, thin, even skinny. Full of zest, vigor, and peace. Life is not a home-brew. Life is what happens to you when you are busy making plans for something else. I stole that from Lennon before, but that’s the fat and the gristle of it. Nothing’s any more clear than that. Now the chicken farm is gone. My mentor (of hard work) has been dead for ten years, and the farm I helped build torn down.
Sue celled in from Saint Thomas last evening before reboarding the liner. She & Aunt Lou are having a bang up time. I could smell the fun on her breath from here. It's really strange without her at home, but you know me, I'm soaking up all the quiet I can. I miss her, but it'll be Labor day until we baby dance together again. With that ringing in my left ear I've carried since the Zodiac Mindwarp show in London 1992, my days and nights pass eerily as if in the woods or the farm, crickets and the silence of nothing but the fan. Alone, no pressure to succeed, no terms of regret, no inkling of failure, no sizzle, no sap. Hints of a new routine, say for instance an evening walk around the neighborhood, a dip into the city, a relaxing drink in the backyard nirvana. No, I've stuck inside avoiding the heat, but I've noticed these inner stirrings. Today is twenty degrees cooler, but even so, I hack away at this terminal, working, planning, fooling myself I'm living life with some great plan to succeed. Me, I just do what I can, and try not to aggravate or be aggravated by every whim and weasel this world has to offer. Guess I'm still stewing over Bob's bluster because I don't know where it came from, life? Life? That word just swooped in on me and I cannot fathom why or how he intended to mean it other than demeaning me. But, I'm way off the path of solitude when I let Bob crash my peace. He gave a blanket apology. Back to the crickets in my bad ear, the purr of the fan at my feet, and the allure of the Internet where anybody can be somebody and everybody can be nobody, but none of us can ever know the difference until we do the work.
I associate these feelings with Lofton Creek FL, the chicken farm days, the cabin, forty thousand birds, long lonely weeks without ever seeing another human, my daily summer skinnydipping, vegetarianism, cheese and grapes and rye bread lovers, writing my first serious, better poems of a lifetime, poems I still read with enthusiam today (aching to plug online), those ten mile hikes into town, Dylan Dog who looked and acted just like Nickel Dog, getting buried in three hundred year old literature checked from the library, Will Durant, and a steady feed from PBS. I was 24-25. Young, thin, even skinny. Full of zest, vigor, and peace. Life is not a home-brew. Life is what happens to you when you are busy making plans for something else. I stole that from Lennon before, but that's the fat and the gristle of it. Nothing's any more clear than that. Now the chicken farm is gone. My mentor (of hard work) has been dead for ten years, and the farm I helped build torn down. Life? Yeah Bob, lemme sit at your feet, such wisdom.
Have you heard the recent uproar about the thousands of fish sporting nasty abcesses on their smelly bods first in North Carolina, and now proin the Chesapeake? After nearly a year of mystery, the problems are being blamed on chicken farm runoff, shit tragically high in nitrogen and ammonia gases running off into the streams and creeks and into the ocean. That's some powerful stuff that survives the plunge into the sea.
Okay Cassie. Thanks for the tips and the patronage. Checked out your site, and was impressed by the growth I've seen over the past year or so. I indeed will investigate your leads and make the organizational changes you suggest. As for more detailed info on individual titles, any stuff you zip my way will be appreciated. As I mentioned earlier all the information I have is what is presented to me by the distributor, and you are obviously far more savvy to the JC library than I am, so I will embrace any details you feed me. Thanks again for the nod. Indeed I want to thank you for your promotional link to the Bookskellar.
I have sold several JC books over the past few months, and no doubt have you to thank for it. Give me a week or so to make the changes you've suggested. I've noticed that Amazon has already killed some of their own JC links so I will make a bona fide effort to clean up the carnage on the JC page. Like I say, gimme a few days. Things are rather hectic around here this week. Because I am still unfamiliar with frames, I can only presume that the Bookskellar JC URL will remain the same, although it doesn't show up in the active location cell. Regardless, I will send you a note informing you that the changes have been implemented. Thanks again. And I promise soon, I'll get around to spewing my Jim Carroll anecdotes, for better or for worse. We've never actually been formally introduced, but we crossed each other arrogant paths several times in the Eighties in DC...
Thanks for responding so quickly! After I sent my message to you late last night, it occurred to me that it sounded really pushy, so I'm relieved! I greatly appreciate your interest in this. Also, I'm intrigued that JC is so popular on your site. Hmmm. I'm curious to know more about the numbers you are getting, because I am becoming more and more amazed to discover how many JC fans there are just on the internet. At least three people e-mail me every day asking to be added to my mailing list (sometimes as many as ten in one day), and that's only a small percentage of the people visiting my website. I *think* it gets about 50 hits per day on the website--which amazes me partly because the links on all of the search engines still point to the old "ernie" location, but also because I can't believe there are so many JC fans out there. Of course it could just be the same five people visiting ten times a day...I know that JC fans tend to be sort of obsessive that way (hee hee).
Well, that's enough rambling from me. I hope I can send some business your way, and I
would love to hear your JC stories!
American Thought & Language
229 Ernst Bessey Hall
Michigan State University
E. Lansing, MI 48824
I am interested in Jim Carroll titles etc. Can I contact you by phone? If so what is the number?Jan Williams
Jan, I am not adverse to giving our my phone number, but it is most likely unnecessary that we actually talk. I presume you must be experiencing trouble trying to order from the Bookskellar site. This problem is due to the fact that our supplier (AMAZON.COM) has gone offline temporarily, and has been so for about a week. These technical difficulties may yet continue for another week according to a memo I received yesterday from the AMAZON folks.
I regret any inconvenience to you in these matters and am quite dismayed that Bookskellar customers are being turned away under circumstances I cannot control. If you can wait out this technical difficulty AMAZON is currently experiencing, returning to:
...and the Bookskellar, you should be able to place your orders with no problem shortly. Outside of what you can read from our online catalogue, there is really no further information I can provide you about any specific Jim Carroll listings.
However, once AMAZON is back online, clicking on a particular Jim Carroll listing will take you to the JC listing on the AMAZON site where often there IS some further information on that particular title.
I hope this clarifies things for you, and thanks for your interest in our books.
P.S. Wed Jun 18 07:46:30 1997 Amazon.com returns to its online place in the hearts of millions
"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""