Date: Wed Jul 17, 1996 6:52:41 PM
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 livingthat 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.
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...
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 Mentorsthe sick LA band of the early 90sfrolicked 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.
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,