I really want to get this going....

Each day's listing is an excerpted edit from my work. These are numbered and sub-headed for ease of read and isolation from full body of continued text. Each small excerpt is a single-themed piece culled from a much larger whole. Please follow the heading numbers down to #1, or click on 'archive'. The highest numbers are most recently posted, obviously. If so interested, for follow-up, you may contact via e-mail shown - perhaps for discussion or annotation needed.

Thursday, October 05, 2006



"You have to protect your edges - James Dean once said 'the giant sequoia tree in its beginning is very small inside but its bark is very large the bark is a foot thick but doesn't get any bigger and that bark is there to allow the inside to grow - an actor is like that' and every time you do an emotional scene you're exposing yourself and the second the scene's over you have to shut it back down and put your bark back on for if you walk around without it you're just a wounded tree - you're going to die because there's just too much stuff coming into you -- you need to go back deep into your emotional inner life - allow them to 'see' it and then close back up and in that way it is SO TO SPEAK that your ABSENCE is ESSENTIAL your not being there after you expose yourself is just as important as is your presence for [face it] the basic premise of everything is a mental construct a 'something' we have made to be and custom-suited to our needs and imaginings and wants and when anyone comes right down to it THAT's exactly how we live and not any other way : I of course don't like to use actors as paragons for quoting but this one in its redundancy is two-deep (being ABOUT James Dean but being related to me by Dennis Hopper) and of course as the artist I am always curious and inquisitive and ran down the name thinking of any connection with Edward Hopper but found there was none (Absence Essential again)" and this was Edward Aldridge Rutherford speaking to me at the far end of the oily food counter at Eleney's Grille a 13th Street sit-down place frequented often as much by regulars as by transients whom I'd never see again but Rutherford to be sure was the former - he in fact lived there like air stayed in a balloon and besides that his loft was upstairs - a light airy place given to colored coatings and calendar-girl pin-ups over-painted in metallics and washed with certain jewel-encrusted glitters and things and he was known for bringing them up in full color to large poster-board sizes and then exhibiting them bathed in colored light and sometimes coursed through with clear-lines of water-filled tubing colored that too and it all made for some form of startling effect especially the more garishly pornographic ones but nothing I'd ever really call art yet the stuff sold like ten-pins and he wasn't badly off at all because of it and there'd always be someone meeting him there at the counter to talk and then go upstairs to look and/or buy usually both but Rutherford was a cad too and had a way it seemed with young beautiful women who somehow thought that if they gave him attention and convinced him it was the attention he'd deserved they get a deal on a piece and a piece of him too - so he was always sleeping with someone and living to tell abut it - but as he said 'fuck was never part of my story and I don't screw and talk at the same time so if you want to know about it someday you'll just have to read my book' and then he'd go on about how only people who owned his paintings would be allowed to read his book and in this fashion he just went on ad nauseum and the entire sales pitch was unflattering to say the least - to him if NOT to ART itself (and I told him that and he'd said 'fuck YOU and fuck ART too - and if he's got a sister well then we'll fuck her also') but that was just the kind of guy he was : never rode if he could walk but never walked if he could ride - which was kind of the way he'd explained his philosophy to me and it all was a never-ending panoply of going to the dogs and calling it the races and never coming home with anything but a winning ticket ('30 to 1' were his best odds to play I'd heard him say) and if every man has his numbers than Rutherford owned the court - I'd once told him to slow down and more carefully separate what he was trying to say from what he meant to get across but he was unable to grasp the difference between any of that so I just gave it up and he always said it was 'time to leave Manhattan' complaining how it was too expensive and he couldn't live any longer in the style he wanted and even the paint cost three dollars more there than anywhere else and he 'once drove a taxi in New Brunswick New Jersey when there was such a place and before it was taken over by corporate goons and greedy political types who ruined everything and bulldozed the entire place to erect some socialist-concentration-camp-corporate-town run by Nazis and peopled by low-lives and third-worlders when there was a third-world and rotten spoiled shit kids pretending to attend school at Rutgers but puking and screwing their brains out instead' and I never contradicted him on anything because THERE he was in NYC again and not listening to anything I said anyway and I'm willing to show any man the doorway but they first have to know what a door is and at that point I cannot help them nor would I if I could (and I'd told him that too) but all that was many years ago and he'd never really learned anything new so talking to him was like talking to the past anyway - time capsule wrong nostalgia Henny Youngman Lenny Bruce and all the rest - for speaking of 'mental constructs' nothing is what it was meant to be anyway and that was that forever and he was back then when I'd met him living at 199 New Street in New Brunswick way up on the top floor and we'd go out on the summer roof and sit there in the evenings until late night watching the NYC trains run in and out of the old station and the buzzword then was that it was just 'cool' to be so serene and he had a small rental studio there and we'd go in and work some music together and listen back to what we'd recorded and then one night way after hours he said he'd found a way to break into Douglass College the Music Hall and we did that and turned the lights on too and the interior studio of that place back then was brand new and we'd just let it go using their pianos and plugging into their electricity and he'd rip into some guitar chords real loud and I'd play along with keyboard accompaniment and we'd stay until nearly dawn when we'd manage our way out and walk back to New Street all buzzed up - past the little dairy that was across the way right there from 199 and the guys would be loading the milk trucks and we'd listen to their voices like there were more songs to be sung and the oaths and calls back and forth and the trucks would roll out as we'd make our way back up the rickety stairs and back up to the roof to watch the same sun rise that we'd earlier seen set and it was all good and felt all perfectly right and this New Brunswick existed perfectly too and that was then but now it was all gone and he stayed until that day came and that's when he moved out to NYC and got the painter's loft he always wanted and that's how he got here and how I got here too - waiting to meet him and talk over the old days - and his mind was always somewhere and we'd just go back and forth and the people coming and going never knew what hit them and a few girls we'd know the local kinds the denizens of these places too they'd hang around and smile and play right back and it went always like that - all his theory notwithstanding and the time had arrived for him and I'd assumed it always was going to anyway and when it did it seemed or appeared he was ready too ready willing and able for anything and anyone of it all and then one day INEXPLICABLY to me he just walked out went upstairs and blew his brains out dead like some old peat moss slathering along the dewey ground - 'ancient dirt' like they'd say - and once he was gone he was never replaced but a million times I'd ask myself I'd say 'did I ever see it coming?' and I could never answer yes or no to that very real question because everything remained a blur and now for sure for him ABSENCE was essential and so it became but this was before all that - and he'd said - "no matter what anyone would have said this Dean guy Jimmy would smile in that awkward way of his and play perfectly the uncomfortable 14-year old he became famous for that wry expression that funny little speechifying that talk that walk that PRESENCE and he'd learned all that pretty well for it never mattered to him neither where he was or from where he'd come it was always to where he was 'going' that counted and we'd often go over to Romeo's and just sit there eating something and he'd watch the street and just looking out he'd start muttering and making talk for all the people he'd see walking by giving them words to say as if they were talking to him and he'd answer back and it always went pretty good but he was never really THERE you see even then ABSENCE ESSENTIAL mattered much and we'd joke and laugh and make one-liners of what we'd see and the entire street was a big stage some huge rehearsal hall for his mind and brain clicking and working hand in hand and he had the craft part of it down pat 'just to give'em all whatever they want and to wear the role like a sleeve on a shirt' he'd say and it was natural he had that innate manner that theatrical charm of a gentle man that twist of a homosexual nightmare that mothering quality that somehow everyone loved and he'd take it and give it but it seemed to me just that he'd never play TOUGH and I'd say to him 'Jimmy you gotta' learn TOUGH that's what they really want they want a smack in the face they want to be pushed' and he'd grin back and say 'yeah yeah well that I am I'm giving them tough but in another way a way they've never seen' and I never got that exactly but he did and he went far with it and then BOOM! just like that it was all over - some sad day in a happy mystery - and I never did see him really after he left town - he was just up and coming and then just like that UP and gone" and if I ever needed a lesson in James Dean I suppose I could have gotten it from Rutherford anytime - 'cept now he too is gone - but my tragedy is I never did and those paintings or whatever you know really they made me sick - I just thought they were awful and he didn't know where he was going - and maybe I was right after all.


Post a Comment

<< Home