I finally came into possession of an old guitar someone had given me at a nightclub in San Francisco awhile back; Eric Drew Feldman had been holding it for me there on Haight Street. He convinced me that it looked cool (it was black) and had been given in the spirit of benevolence. Every time I picked it up a nice chord came out and so I lovingly cleaned it with red wine in the dressing room the following night and began to write. I told the tour manager that we would drive in my Cadillac directly to a recording studio in Los Angeles (and could he book one, oh, and a rhythm section, too?) from the gig in San Luis Obispo which would put us at the studio at about 4am. It all happened according to plan and we cut the initial tracks there in the wee hours over a few days, and then moved on to an equally haunted studio in London and Eric Drew Feldman joined us there and we finished the record in St. John’s Wood. Like I said the studio was haunted and I wrote many a couplet by candlelight in the studio accommodation, slept very little, and only felt the need to get the fuck out of there fast on the last night. The spirits had not ever bothered me, other than low drama moral support, but I was informed that they had heard enough and it was time to move on; plus I had a gig in Ireland.
When I was a boy the plant we boys called a fern was code for vagina, and to this day I love fern plants. In my heart the vagina is almost everything, and almost everything else could be summed up in what cock and seed have to offer; and everything else? The love of the father, dead or alive, the pain of too much pleasure, till death do us part, the voice of another song man from the other side, with or without God, Teri and the Possibilities, where ever you may be, the smell of sex in the air, seduced, slain, on my knees in prayer, sucking at the only thing that matters, my own personal Meret Oppenheim, I am Man Ray and I want you and to be all the way inside you, the cameras whirring as we put some elbow grease into the scene, the audience watching us in the dark.
January 2010, Central Oregon
(via the internet)
COWARD: More beef? More chocolate?
HERO: Nah. Time to push off.
COWARD: Please stay? For another five minutes? [Palms a piece of chocolate into his face.] For another forty?
HERO: Nah. Gotta go. Stay whatever, kid.
COWARD: Babette is coming home soon–wouldn’t you like to see her?
HERO: [Eyebrows waggle] Uh, yeah, I would. When’s she get here?
COWARD: In an hour. Less. She’s on the Dittobahn, past Eyes Chreaste. She sent me a text.
HERO: [Flexing] Lemme see it.
COWARD: No, I mean, my phone is–
HERO: Are you lying to me?
COWARD: [Soils pants] Yeah, I mean, hey, wait
[They make love]
YOUR HOST, JIMINY CRICKET: Whoops! Looks like the MPAA made a boo-boo! This film is NC-17, not PG-13 as advertised! Sowwwy! [JIMINY CRICKET joins the “orgy”]
BETO G.: Hey, what’s up, bro?! [High-fives a CLOUD IN PANTS]
CLOUD IN PANTS: Yo, dude, Avatar in three Gs!
BETO: Yeahh! Smoke some weed! Three thousand dollars!
AFFABLE MOM: [Laughing good naturedly] Wow, wait, what? This is insane!
COWARD: [Extracts himself from the orgy] Mom, what are you doing here?
AFFABLE MOM: Moms like watching movies too, you know! I have more than one Phish CD in my music library, young man!
COWARD: You’re not going to smoke pot on TV, are you?
AFFABLE MOM: Who do you think pays for your subscription to Cracked magazine, young man?
COWARD: You know I’m really grateful to get Cracked in the mail, mom. But I don’t think you should be here— some of these guys…
AFFABLE MOM: I can take care of myself, Gerald. And don’t forget to do your Italian homework.
COWARD: I dropped Italian, mom. I’m not taking it anymore.
AFFABLE MOM: That’s fine, sweetie. But what are you going to do for your language requirement?
COWARD: Latin. Or maybe French? I’m getting really into poetry, mom!
AFFABLE MOM: Well, I don’t need to remind you of all the wonderful poetry in Italian, Gerry.
COWARD: Really? Like what?
AFFABLE MOM: Dante, anyone? My goodness! [Farting sound]
Hey! Thanks for continuing to read my novel. I hope you enjoyed the last chapter. On to the next!
So, where were we? Oh yeah–Paolo had found crumbz in his bed, but he’s a very assiduous and cleansly guy and would NEVER eat biscuits in bed — so he feels more than a little concerned that something might be “afoot.”
Paolo walks, naked, into his giant fancy bathroom. He is surrounded by mirrors. His penis is very long (flaccid). He hums tunelessly to himself, a song whose only lyric is–Paolo.
“Hmmm, hmmmn, Paolo, Paolo, hmmm, hmmm…”
This is Paolo’s song. He regards his abs, the soft downy fur ‘pon his chest. NSFW!?!??!?!?!? (Teenagers: Make sure you read the newspaper: it will improve your vocabulary and keep you apprised of current events. Adults: do whatever you like. You can eat thirteen meals a day and do as many drugs as you can afford. Go for it, It’s your life, etc)
Paolo is not a novelist. He can’t even read. He’s a cyborg. He can do math, and logic puzzles, but he can’t read. I mean, he can “download books,” but he can’t read in the “analog” tradition, like looking at printed text. He can only “download books.”
Paolo’s boyfriend calls. Paolo’s boyfriend is an eccentric seventy-year-old painter named Hamish. Long white hair, very ornery, they meet in person like three times per year. Hamish lives in New York. Paolo lives in… L.A.
I always think sentences–and especially paragraphs–that end with punctuated abbreviations — like L.A., or U.S. — feel deflated. That poor period has to do double duty: It uses up all its power abbreviating “Angeles,” or “States,” that when it comes time to finish the sentence — the paragraph! — its muscles have all gone slack and it emits a dusty little cough and expires. The air squeals out through the puncture.
This is the kinda shit I’m gonna miss when I go blind. Physical act of reading. I don’t want to listen to Economist podcasts for the visually impaired. I want to read smelly paperbacks printed in the 1960s! I want to open new tabs in my browser and click on things! Sometimes I feel more excited about the insane visually-impaired-friendly internet soft- and hardware that’s gonna be out there than I do about some hypothetical cyborg cure that I’m irrationally unconvinced is coming. Also sunsets, and breasts
Is there something homophobic and bad about writing ‘fl(a/e)sh’ fiction on the internet about a vapid gay cyborg??? This is probably why people tend to write things on their hard drives and then print them out and send them to editors of small literary magazines instead of just writing garbage directly into their web browser. Electric Literature, you can keep your $1,000. Just kidding. Electric Literature, you can just PayPal the $1,000 to my gmail. Thanks!
Paolo sits on the unmade bed talking to Hamish. It’s 11 a.m.
You are such a careful reader! I’d like to kiss your mouth.
I think all the time about the parts in I. when Stephen Dixon drinks miso soup packets during his writing breaks. Well, I think about them maybe three times a year. I felt annoyed when the narrator of Shoplifting From American Apparel read a Stephen Dixon book late at night in his bed. Why? Why was I annoyed?? I can’t remember. It made me feel like one of those reactionary old-guard creative-writing professors who tell David Foster Wallace in E Unibus Pluram that it’s OK to write fiction with cars and electricity but it’s not OK to include things like Coke or TV. Am I a 29-year-old reactionary who thinks it’s OK for people in novels to read Proust and Baudelaire but not OK for them to read Stephen Dixon? I wish it weren’t so. Maybe it’s not. Well: In my novel, this novel, the one you’re reading right now, there’s someone reading Tao Lin! So there you go. I’ve done you one worse. The peach barfs some flies. The fly barfs some peach-bits. Paolo tosses the whole thing into the compost.
This snowstorm has made New York City so beautiful– I live in a snowglobe! I want to eat a Gilbert Sorrentinocake.
A classic fave from Michael Kupperman
DARYL: OK, this one’s for Sigourney
LITTLE BRAINS: Really? Sigourney Weaver?
DARYL: Yep. Make sure you put the frosting on straight.
LB: OK! I’m trying rilly hard!!!
DARYL: [With real affection] I love you, Little Brains.
LB: I wuv you too, Uncle Daryl!
PUNK ROCK SINGER:
Grape juice grape food
Back-lit back log
shame-shifta, Brawny device
Busty homeless fear-whistler
It’s a grape-crawler
…and it’s nice
[Drummer grabs cymbal to silence it; guitar feedback squalls once more then dies]