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.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


231. HOW TO READ THE BIBLE (Chicago to New York):

It wasn't never was just about sending something forth : I met the guy from Montana once - he had a glimmering smile and he had his cousin 'Angelita' along visiting from Chicago - the two of them made an incomplete version of some strange American character traveling around the country in a Japanese car looking for nothing much but 'mostly checking out colleges and antique stores' as if that incongruous combination somehow replicated the divergence of American national interest or something like that countrywide : I never knew but when we got to Small World Coffee it was closed for the first week of August - convenient vacation time plus replacement of all the refrigeration and freezer units - I knew about the downtime from hearing it from Matt an acquaintance behind the counter who was one morning talking with the refrigeration specialist about the upcoming shut-down and replacements but I'd simply forgotten about it until we came upon the darkened and uncharacteristically empty coffee-shop : for only a moment I was perplexed and then it all came back to me so we simply walked around the block to another one : much the same and much different too and Angelita who by this time had asked me to call her either Marian or Claire but NEVER Angelita ('it's sounds so fucking Spanish' she said) had asked if I "do this every morning" and I said "yeah mostly - as soon as I get off the train I come over here and sit for a while with a coffee - it's nice and it gives me a minute to get my head together and think where I am and what I'm doing - do some reading or write some more notes about things and I watch carefully each morning the sun as it peers over the tops of the nearby buildings across the street - I have learned even to gauge the seasons and the seasonal changes as they occur : the 'position' of the sun you know is quite swiftly-changing and quite precise too and I often feel like an ancient Sun-follower watching this great orb with some regularity fling itself across our skies or at least in some way be 'flung' or whichever non-scientific terminology you'd care" - she shrugged and didn't quite get it anyway so we moved on and then she said "you know it's like that where I live too - although I don't often really notice it except when I'm driving or something and the sun suddenly starts blinding me through the windshield where it didn't before" and I said "yeah - it's like that exactly as it moves about you only notice that as it affects what you do - I guess" and she said "yeah I know - there's a lot of car accidents and motorcycle crashes by us which are caused by that blinding sun as drivers just can't see and are momentarily blinded" - and I began thinking what an odd end-result all of this was to whatever ancient paths of worship or reverence for the Sun people of whatever ilk once had - Egypt Mesopotamia Syria Aztec or Mayan - whichever - it certainly seemed a long way down from the heights of that old ethos when Mankind was searching searching and searching for more of what became 'Religion' in its own crippled sense : Sun-God to Male-God to Control-Deity on and on now NOTHING but some sort of human anarchy everywhere (and I also wanted to say there are accidents near everyone you idiot ! but I realized that such youthful self-centeredness was just a figure of her speech too) and then I said "well Claire Marian Angelita in your hometown Chicago groove have you ever read Saul Bellow?" and she said "yeah but only as I've had to - for school and stuff - he's OK but seems to go on and on and really it's all old-fashioned stuff anyway" and I was startled again to realize that perhaps to young people Bellow WAS old-fashioned already whereas to me (like 1970 Mr. Sammler's Planet or something) he once seemed to verge just right on the crest of dealing with the 'new' modernity as it occurred - surly bleak cantankerous and moody city folk dealing with the society changing around them - but that view was all different now and anyway everything else had changed too : there was a time when Saul Bellow Bernard Malamud and Philip Roth - to name just three - represented some flying wedge of a new American grand literacy amidst a middle-America trying to come to terms with itself - that too now gone and they've all been reduced to curious names in some old log of time people who once were scribes who 'scribed' before any of it was electronic ephemeral stupid or vague like now : "las paredes oyen" she said - meaning 'the walls have ears' which baffled me a bit because I didn't know what she was referencing with that so I asked and of course she rattled on about something of her home and friends catching everything and it all ending up these days on some sort of computer bulletin board that everyone reads and how nothing anyone does anymore or says is sacred or kept secret and what she meant by that was how old these 'old writers' whom kids were made to read in high school and would be in college (which no one really actually read anyway - there were now 'so many ways to get around that') spent all that time struggling and fighting with the turmoils within themselves and making up dark unseemly characters and personifications for feelings and occurrences to get points and philosophies across and how today that was all so seemingly 'silly' because it's all EVERYTHING'S out in the open and it all just gets posted and put up and everyone's friends read it and talk back and exchange messages and nothing's hidden and everyone just babbles on electronically about whatever's on their minds - a different soliloquy of life at each moment to be sure - I was amused by her points as she made then but I was just as much in a way impressed at her glibness and swiftness in talking through all these points with such lightness and without any dark or somber reflection (the sort of old-line literary habits I'd grown so accustomed to) and I wondered in my turn if this really was some bright and brash new world having overtaken us or if instead this all was just some Chicago aberration I hadn't known of before - I wasn't sure either way that I'd be comfortable with any of it - all these light and airy people besides making me nervous to be around just oftentimes also made me sick - plain and simple - but I soldiered on and the three of us did somehow manage to keep it going and kept talking the usual back and forth stuff (even though really all I'm doing is relating what Angelita said since it was so curious to me or at least fresh and different and female - after all her companion was just a regular male-of-the-species and of little interest to me if I must say so) : and then I told her how I'd always wanted (and wished I had) to learn another useful current language something like Spanish or French so as to be readily able to just converse read or understand any of it with ease and how I did have 4 years of Latin which of course gave me a leg up big-time on everything in English plus those other languages too but I told how it still wasn't really something you could 'use' to speak with in a general about-town fashion as such and she said "yeah I know but we had to learn all this crap in school - they give you choices of course but also they first force sample courses down your throat in early grades - like I did have Spanish and French too as introductory courses but went back to Spanish and learned it pretty well but I could never get into the 'speaking' of French - all that twisting of the tongue and funny ways of saying things just winded up always making me horny - if you can dig that - and it made me laugh too to see how it always felt like you should be making love or something while speaking it - but anyway knowing Spanish is cool enough but it's not really important."
"And then you go around saying 'there's nothing like contentment' when you know it isn't really that at all and you're being shadowed by something but you don't know what : some fearsome and looming black cloud or some giant white whale - all the same at that point - and the only response you have or find to have is the idea of changing essences and trying to understand the doubts and shadows of things and not the real things themselves and it all becomes a huge game of charades or some form of shadow-boxing somehow aligned with planetary things - so little you know and so little needed to know for it's ALL at that point run on pure intuition if only you can just get out of the way" I was talking that way because she wanted to know what I could say if I had to say it all on the impulse of the moment on the spur off the cuff and all that - it was some form of impression/expression slam poetry ad-lib stuff they did in her drama school (she said) though it was nothing I'd heard of before but it was surprisingly easy I found - although I knew not really how LONG it could have been sustained and she said it was pretty good much different than most and enjoyable to listen to - she said I'd probably have done good at that and would have gotten an 'A' for sure but I said "screw that none of that would have ever matted to me - I do this stuff all the time and it's old hat - I just don't call it what you do."


Post a Comment

<< Home