Posts Tagged ‘Dylan’

Friends At The Negotiation Table

24 Mar


"Them" by Gabriel Thy


Avie—did you check your MySpace blog comments this afternoon? Well, let me say this to you because when I read anything written, in a book, in a magazine, in a comic, in a blog, in a stone tablet, I ask myself. Hmmm, do I do that? Am I guilty of that? Is she, or he talking about me? Does it matter? If not, why not? Et cetera, ad nauseam...

Of course, like any hot-blooded Dylanista worth his own sense of wayward mystery tramp, we all think Bob Dylan has written directly to us as individuals for the past forty years, and you have even picked up on the phenomenon—with your praises of many of the notes I have sent you the past couple of months. But let me be clear. I DO NOT think you have come on too fast, nor am I afraid of boldness and directness, or anything we have or have not shared, but I will tell you that those early heady days of Facebook jollies were just that, a newness, a folly, a guilty pleasure, a time-killer when I was home sick for weeks on end, a journey sure to end on an anti-climatic note, an odd take on reality, a complete waste of time except for the enjoyment we created.

I can kick ass with the best of the headbangers, but I'm more comfortable with a book or a philosophical treatise. You should have noticed by now that I have abandoned most of those Facebook apps that are nothing more than will-o-wisps I can blow away with the might of a well-sculpted paragraph, and prefer reciprocity in that arena to the pokes and superpokes with their respective one word iconographies in play.

Cracked-Facebook-LogoBelieve me. I'm not trying to strike a pose as a superior being or some nonsense like that. I had fun when I was having fun. But the bubble has burst for me. You and a couple of other friends welcomed me to Facebook with a bang. I thank you for that bit of personal ego stroking.

The long and short is I spend hours every day in study and in writing, keeping my blogs at operational speed. My radio station has been running on autopilot since September. My need to paint, and show, and sell them suckers doesn't get enough properly structured and vested time as it is, what with the symptoms of this broken down thyroid I carry in my throat, my bulging waistline, and creeping age all toss me—mostly sinus and skin allergies to the cotton clothing I wear, fatigue, tremendous aches, pains and head smog, all leading to a generalized exasperation in struggling to do all that I want to do without attaining anything of value much more than the rare passersby making a two-minute web visit for any of it.

I press on because the alternative is absolute stone cold unassailable darkness and its ugly cousin, loathsome failure.

We almost never entertain in our home, and rarely go out once we make it home after returning from our daily grind. I am simply more jealous of my energy now that my own death seems closer to me than when I first launched The Scenewash Project in 1996, as an early pioneer. Point is I'm a haunted individual, not all joy and vigor as many see me I've learned. There's the public Gabriel that the underground music scene loves or loathes depending on one's sense of punk, and then there's the private Gabriel, lost in this world, unfruitful, weary and disappointed, thwarted by the dualing zodiac signs of the Libran sheep, if one is of a mind to believe THAT yack.

And since you never take up any of my offers, two issued to visit studio, which drew silence, two to gallery shows, both of which you wanted to attend, but didn't—I don't hold any of that against you—I just don't know how to accommodate you at this point.

But I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last week during our snowy trip to North Adams, MA. Pictures on their way.

Cheers, beers, and steers, and maybe you weren't talking about me at all, but...

Thanks for the Revolting Cocks,


My Only Book Review

16 Oct




Nearly two years after its publication, and despite the dissemination of forty or so copies among the few friends, family members, and strangers beating back the night sweats of literary intent, I have come to accept the fact that I write in such an outlandishly dull way as to render this special class of improbable bibliophiliacs completely and utterly devastated to the point of unleashing their inner mute upon the very grains of sand upon which I stand.

Now, I have not handed this book away to just anybody with a cap size or a Big Gulp to spare, but only to those who pleaded, cajoled, paid for in the case of some of the more deep pocketed critics, wished for, promising a review each and every one of them, and if cool beans are a good source of protein, threatened my well-being for a personal copy of this collection of visceral sweat and tears, bloody for the twenty-five years it stewed in the making, usually a signed copy, and usually accompanied by some petty insolence that they loved poetry, or some such glad-handing gush as that. Notions of the silent rejection, notwithstanding, The Silent Cull & Other Mechanical Ideas, Collected Poems 1980-2005 is not your usual thin volume of contemporary poetry, but is four hundred pages of seething canonical arrest, and I use the word "canonical" and "arrest" in all their usual connotations plus a few more that I insist are both canonical and arrested within the pages themselves, banking on subtleties of style and insight that are only coming apparent to the ill-prepared general public in these, our own spectacular terror-driven chaotic times. Well-minced words are a swallower's delight, and this book rarely portrays paradise, or other romantic follies of the past or future tense of mankind, but in its own galloping way wraps itself in the contemporary physics of time and thought itself, tackling its author as much as the culture that spawned him.

But this entry is not about describing the book. It has been aptly described elsewhere.

Here I wish to fan myself with those few words of praise, or words of any kind that have wafted my way in the context of this inpenetrable book. The following paragraph was sent to me by a local artist, a young painter of some early renown, still in his late twenties, whose first son was to be born on my birthday (the second of my friends whose firstborn sons arrived likewise) named James Coleman:

I really like the book man, I read it out loud to Christie at night when we go to bed, they say the baby can hear it and its good to read to him, but I dont know. I really love it man they say if you reach one person, blah blah blah, well thats me. I can sit on the roof and smoke a cigarette, lay in bed at night, damn i would even take it to the beach. It flows it pulsates, it moves me. Im not kissing your ass, I have no reason to. Just wanted to give you an honest opinion, and for whatever reason, it speaks to me. When I read it I feel like I did when I was in college smoking opium and reading boulbelaire or at the coffee shops reading dylan thomas, thinking I should start a fight. What I am trying to say is that at this point in my life your book works for me. Great job man, Im not a literary figure or even a good writer but just wanted to tell you. If I see you and I am drinking and tried to tell you all this, you would think I was full of shit.

What can I say? For all the silent pretenders haunting my crude ambitions, this single review is just about the most stirring string of thoughts an old poet, fat on the failures of inertia, far past his gameface prime, could ever hope to absorb.

Thanks JColeman...

Actually That Was Hangover Harry At The Door

07 Dec


Exactly, right.


Originally published on December 7, 1995

Figgered there was something lonesome Gabriel must do for Tom Howellnymns when I saw the length of that last note. Yep that's the ONLY time that rascal ever shows his face OR his furnace around here. Funny thing about that music quip you made. My rocker pals chide me because EVERY time they come over Dylan's on the box, and EVERY time old hippie Tom has a mumble to make, there's punk or hardcore on the drive. Powerful dichotomy, my music. Tom still occasionally remarks on how stunned he was to learn I had several Donovan Leitch albums since he knows me only from the punk stage. Sho nuff, there's no pleasin' the w-o-r-l-d, say I, in the ninth chapter of Isaiah.

Cool that Russell Braen has an unabridged archive of those Jewish texts on his server. Have I shown you the wierd CD-ROM biblical exegesis Sue bought me for my 40th trek around the sun? And listen here Senator, no more cheaper than cheek moving services. Gabriel's a desperate artfag now, and has scaled back his back graces, having finally given up that ghost of petty pushover you've taken for granted for oh so long. You, like thousands around me, are always whittling away at my goodwill, but shuffle brilliantly silent when I ask direct questions, or a favor for myself. Do not fear me, a lowly human, albeit more inspired & more aromatic than angels' dung, but fear G.O.D...

That said, I SHALL respect your request for new letterhead the next time you show up around here, but I press with this question once again. Have you put forth that Photoshop LE & Hypercard 2.2 deal (both for $130) on the table for Robert Cole to address, OR NOT? Frankly I've grown beyond sick of getting caught inside everyone else's voice loop, an impeccable void where I hear the same references over and over, but little which directly benefits the one I serve. You fill in the pronoun, Hangover Harry.

If this sounds bitter, perhaps it is, but it is written with a BZT smile on my forehead. Perhaps I am near death. I feel terribly ill begotten, but ripe on the vine. Cocky only in daring to become cockless, the fatty delicious juices of the battered ram oozing down my chin as I wonder when you might want to pawn that rented RCA camcorder back to its previous host for a devils' bargain, since what little friendship we have is always numbed by the dead works of your silence as you make your way into the Hall of Skewed Genius Dr. Bracken has erected for you.

Until we meet again.

Dunaway Ka

John Wall's Pharmacy

11 May

Too little, I had driven past
Monica's fiance. No few acquaintances
of theirs had been bothered. We
smoked the exceptions,
then left. Trespassing became the neighborhood.
It then became the neighborhood emotional
issue of the month, breaking
tongue and bread with the long arm
of this decade's white dragon.

Extreme unction.
Friendship fees on high.

"Extreme unction should you proceed!"
read the dashed copperfield propped
against tomorrow's
shining leg zipperbound
model. We swelled, then agreed
that it was a constitutional command
better left to true believers. Frank decided
to visit Paris if he ever became French.

Famous bus-stop populations
melted that morning, the first of Maybe.
Monica's fiance chose to remain
standing in that colonial position
while the rest of us resting in the silver bosom of Sally's garage
took to fasting. Wheels spun winninglessly.
Monica spread during the anthem, quoting
Albert Camus, "For what strikes me,
in the midst of polemics, threats and outbursts
of violence, is the fundamental good will of everyone. From
Right to Left, everyone, with the exception of a few swindlers,
believes that his particular truth is the one to make men
happy." She said it was godsway
and middle class, so
to speak I didn't.

Approximately the very hour
the sunny laundry of Frank's School Glue & Emporium
became clue, Monica's fifteen-year old sister
blurted out that her period was due, &
later speculation would prove
indeed her period was late. Ever
the conscientious ballyhoo gang, all
except the redheaded little virginboy
with the Bob Dylan
album collection, took off
for special assignment.
The redheaded little virginboy
with the Bob Dylan
album collection just sprayed
his pencil with falsetto
nausea, resigned his post
and called Monica the most
he had ever

He took exception, however
to the notion of her aimless talk.

Carrying far the issue of pornography
for its own sake, Monica's fiance sued her
for sanitary abuse. The rugged briefness
of his case, compacted into a single
blow single file delivery, rent
aspiring druggists miles
around. "Stay one more," she yawned.
"We can serve up the wife of malcontention."
Frank abstained. Monica's fiance just turned
the page in the open book closed to drifters
he kept on the mantlepiece, next
to his autographed photo Germaine Greer
had sent him in a weak moment.

"Let's pretend we're all William Burroughs
& read lines from poems that will suffocate
a ghetto in East Chicago at will!"

exclaimed Monica, looking for one last piece
of action. Needless to say, her speech
is our beautiful white-sanded
beach, our summer home in Malibu, our
heaven sent sex, our double edged sword
in hot buttered popcorn world.
Belushi, Akryroid, Murray
rolled into one pair.
We gazed, then died.

Live past fire
the way you dream Monica.
Dream the Monicalife. As it

Stretching. Scheming.
Close enough for laughter.
Where the marks meet.
Where past misery
chooses to call its own
friends, in fragile expressions
of the few mentionable mistakes-of-god,
luring us with somnambulant luxuriance,
pinch-hitter anonymity driving
us deep into the inner limit. Stretching
strength, strolls straight forward
patience. Monica I love.

6.Muffy songs are superfluous. Monica's
fifteen-year old missing period
sister decided to hurry
on by the orphanage lest she
be contaminated. And King Cabin Ernie
& his current have taken laryngitis. His
excuse is all of the above, and leaves little doubt
as to his Garden of Eden. We laughed
to chuck the chance of moot poisoning. Monica
shoved her angry leg into a bucket of yellow paint.

"Life is not yours until the final blow,"
Shrank the Shadow grew. "The paved
edge is yours," scoffed I,
wearing my January
drawers, still too obedient
to punk rock music to show
my checkstubs. Hours later around the bases,
flew groundhogs crying, "Sweet sweet he's
the dove we want to meet!"

I immediately fondled the new girl. And quoted
myself from one of my poems, "By words the serpent stings."
Enid knew the scam, edgy throats and hives. Enid was a friend.
Been to Georgia State
delivering a state address,
never been late
never early either—
Enid and her lipstick.

I could write these lines together.
I could make them swell and them swell.
(Anybody can write that,
but few are issued the intent.)
I have never been
late. Enid works in Chemicals,
handling slippery things in dark
rooms, closed to drifters. There need be no discussion. I am
a glad sack, meaningful, necessary, and somewhere
supposed. You dear youthful voyeur, have elsewhere
deposited the dangerous question
marking the spotted tapestry
lately behind bookless
quotations shown impotent
by default & timberline insult.

Time is space as answer.
Monica, her exposures, and the Bob Dylan
album collection whispered salty
somethings into the inkstained
ears of the redhaired little virginboy.
We departed as a moving force in America
only to arrive. Somewhere pointed! Pay Day.
Sally sold her garage to buy her wedding clothes.
Frank called it a fucking shame.
“No one knows what they did to the sandman.”
I corrected. By that time neither did I.

Little tits and nervousness.
Health conscience.
Lucy Biggs.
Heroes who live.
Jack Kerouac
Monty Python.
Heroes who die, sarcastically.
As a political enemy.
Every one of you.

I could have carved a noun for openers.
Is there a room in this planet for queer discussion?

Monica soon married.
The rest became. Enid still works in a photo
lab. Lucy Biggs grew up to write
a Canadian Poem. The real Frank
O'hara traded his religion
for the Boston Celtics.
The redheaded little virginboy dyed
his hair. Monicaâ€'s sister found
her period hiding beneath
Franz Kafka's slide rule, went on to establish
the underground newspaper for disemboweled
authors, 'Popular Semantics' Bobo the historical husband
used his prowess to sit in on a jazz festival, and loved her
for it. And Monica learned his favorite quotation. Sally
didn't leave a forwarding address. I just wrote
this stick.

P.S. John Wall made the headlines.

[ 1982, Atlanta, GA ]


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