A little something regarding the Nuculus, and other nucular matters...
Sunday, 12 October 2003
Nuculus: Until Now
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
Here goes. The first words of my first blognovel or blogdungsroman, if you will. How am I doing?
No...wait! Don't go!! I swear it will get better. It will even get excellent in certain crucial junctures. You will be delighted and instructed, and not just by me, but also by my scrivenous muse, Jude (say Hey!) -- who is also writing this novel from her home in New York. (I am in Charlotte) This week she is recreating in the Adirondacks, perhaps trying to get a sense of the outdoorsy world of our main character, Jim Beckwourth -- an adventurous gentleman, born Jim Beckwith, who is black, white and red all over...meaning that he, a man with a black mother and white father, went on to become an "Indian Chief", or, as we say today "Native-American chief". Thus, although he was part black and part white, he wound up being red...all over. (I know, Jack. I tell too much.)
[Jack, whom you'll meet later, thinks I tell too much. But now that I have intruded, from a time several months into the future of when I first wrote the aforementioned, I may as well go ahead and say that I am going to drop the "Back & White and Red All Over" subtitle, which I had hoped to use, since I discovered that there is already a book with that title, and wouldn't want to step on any toes, even though I just heard a song on Echoes called "Near-Life Experiences" (also a book by Jon Carroll), which I had come up with many years ago quite independently. Not rocket science now that I think about it, but a pregnant and catchy title nonetheless. I do so love titling, ever since Kenneth Phillips and I started doing it as a mind game in the early '70s. Now back to the story.]
In constrast (well, not really), I am down here in the bheuming papadamolis of Charlotte, North Carolina. The "Jim of the Neusouth" (whatever that means). The city of trees. Host of the first gold rush, and first mint. And NOW...the official and international headquarters of, yes, The Bobcats! Yeaaa! Boooo! And although I would not normally think that something so quotidian as a basketball team would have anything whatsoever to do with a story about our everyuberman, i.e. Beckwourth, the truth is...it does. Or at least it does now. It does if I say it does. I am the author. Well, one of them. (Guess I'll have to run it by her...)
Here is what I think my argument will be:
Look! The Bobcats are owned by Robert Johnson -- the first African-American billionaire. In other words, another brother who has broken through huge barriers. And Bob (Mister Bobcat) happens to be here, near me, in the very city of the character called Dave, who purports to also be the author. Well, one of them.
Before I go any further, I may as well paste this quote I'm holding in my computer's memory. It is from the back cover of my copy of Tristram Shandy, that book Schopenhauer called the greatest of all novels. More on Schopenhauer later...
"...there is method to Sterne's apparent madness. Looking back to the serio-comedy of Rabelais and Cervantes while anticipating modern experimental fictions, Tristram Shandy enacts Sterne's
belief that only the most digressive of narratives can do justice to the "riddles and mysteries" of the world."
It is 12:34. 1234. A perfect sequence. This might prove an auspicious foreboding...
Anyway...I am still here. Granted, NPR is pouring out of my radio, something about how Enron brought on the California energy crisis, and how that has lead to the current recall of Governor Gray Davis. Or is it Grey? They just got through talking about a man who had changed into a woman. You never get this kind of variety on RWR...where all that seems to pour forth is desk-pounding ululation and propagandae.
Bill Maher, a guest of Terry Gross, is saying that Republicans take pride in winning at all costs...
While I'm thinking about it...there is a fairly famous quote by Frost, I believe, who said, paraphrasingly, that "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No joy in the writer, no joy in the reader." With the radio pouring into my ear, I have now forgotten why I wanted to say this, unless it was to say that I hope that the exuberance I hope to experience in writing my half of this great book will also be your exuberance, and that it will, in fact, heal you of all that ails you, and then radiate from you to heal, in wider and wider circles, all those with whom you come into contact. So there. Back to story.
The story is about history, but also about the present...which, although redolent with meaning and history, is also obsolescent. And it is a planned obsolesence. Sadly, many forces today want us to simply forget. Forget the scandals around the 2000 selection of the Resident. Forget the Energy scandals. Forget the ripping off of America and the world, and the consequent economic malaise. Forget history. But also forget geography.
Forget that place that was once called Iraq, and before that, Mesopotamia and Sumeria, but is now a subsidiary of Big Oil, Inc. America is the only place we need to know and love. After all...we are the greatest country in the world...whatever that might be. I'd frankly like for it to be more obvious. But there I go getting angry and all, and I don't want to add to an already bilious and vitriolic cloaca of consciousness, but rather provide a pool of cool water from which all may find sustenence, even ne'er-do-wells and undergraduates.
This, by the way, is the web edition of Nuculus. The hard edition should be available next year with the help of our friends at Parker, and will not only include art by the great Wood Williams, but also original music composed by the author himself.
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Back to that quote about digression...
Monday, 18 August, 2003
As you may have noticed, I am writing at a time unusual for me, unusual to this story, and, more importantly, a time of writing that is contrary to my vision of when I should best be writing...which is in the morning, since my brain is fresh and rested, and I haven't yet clogged it with the mundanities of quotidian life in The Era of the Chimp.
I say "Era of the Chimp", and you may find that derogatory and pejorative...and I guess it is. It is probably the case that it will tend to grow old and lose its meaning as the years go by.
Now rather than continue along in this vein, I think I will, instead, bring up the fact that I am writing at a fairly late hour in the day I just lived through...which was actually Sunday. Consequently, I am getting noticeably fatigued, particularly at the idea of spending the time it would take to expound upon my previous notions. Especially now, I'd like to just shit this stuff out. Path of least resistance in action.
Look at Sir Jennings. His obit. It said that he "had insuperable objections to spending his time profitably." Now consider Lin Yutang, China's only winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, whose informed notions on creative loafing can hardly be bested:
"All Nature loafs, while man alone works for a living."
"Culture, as I understand it, is essentially a product of leisure. The art of culture is therefore essentially the art of loafing. From the Chinese point of view, the man who is wisely idle is the most cultured man. For there seems to be a philosophic contradiction between being busy and being wise. Those who are wise won't be busy, and those who are busy can't be wise."
Jim Beckwourth was both the example and the exception to this notion. His wisdom grew with time, and he wound up with ample quantities of it. And when one considers his life, one tends to see only the adventures and vicissitudes. But there were great stretches of Silence out on those plains, and on those peaks. I would suspect that those silences informed his exigencies, and...kept him alive.
quick note on columns:
Here's the spiel...
Write about local epiphanies. Use description, insight, quotes, reflections, etc. to convey to Observer readers what it is like here, internally and externally.
Possible titles include:
Another Day Crescendo
Monday, 18 August, 2003
Well, 12 hours hath passed, and still I missed my morning rendevous with novelty. Dire poverty is to blame for this malachronism. Don't ask me. Ask your God.
There is supposed to be a thunderousness, a tonitruation, that accompanies those last two words. If it didn't occur...ask again. More politely this time.
All this talk of tonitruation makes me think of Anthony Burgess and James Joyce -- old compadres from what Tony says. Well, he doesn't actually say it any more, as he has, so to say, died. And to call Mr. Burgess, "Tony", after only having spent a few quality hours with the man -- even posthumously -- is really overstepping several boundaries...the boundary of good taste; (not in good taste to namecall), and the boundary of reality. He probably forgot my name seconds after my departure, and that ludicrous calling card was surely rended bumfodder at best. But, for me, it was peak. I can still hear the rattling of my tea cup, as I pretended to be something other than a coffee addict. Coffee addict. Can you say that outloud? I know there was an unwritten law against saying nicotine addict a few years back...
So anyway, here I am. 12 hours older than the last time we talked. It is now mid-afternoon, and not mid-morning. I am a good deal more energized at this hour, and, unlike last night, I doubt if I will simply fall asleep in mid-thought...
But, you must be asking...when does the story begin. And this reminds me of two things.
One is that it is good to start sentences with an article, such as in my use of And. Just as it is good to end sentences with prepositions. I think that is right. And this is what Advertising teaches us. Quite unlike what our English Teacher taugh us, no?
But it gives a more conversational tone. Writing that resembles speaking...
But then again, writing began as speaking. In fact, people spoke for tens of thousands of years before they ever learned to capture it on paper, tablets, papyrus, etc. (remind me to tell you about "The End of Reading") and so one should adapt the written word to the spoken word -- the written word being, in most cases, little more than a map, an approximation, of the reality of the spoken word.
But then you've got the deaf...
Well, now you've done it! I have forgotten what the second thing was. But look. The important thing is that I want to connect to you as a friend, with whom I am sharing confidences, secrets, some history and philosophy, and yes...the mysteries. Well, some of them. I feel certain that Jude also shares my concern and vision. With any luck you will not be too bored with the story as it unfolds. After all, as David Ogilvy has observed:
"You can't bore someone into buying your product."
And this is as much a product as is anything these days.
So let's just call this first section:
"A Writer Prepares to Write"
...or some such drivel. It is, after all, turning out to be just that...a sort of preliminary to the real story -- should such a thing really exist. (You may want to jump ahead and check!) Ah! But now I remember what that second thing was! It was a TV show I produced and that was actually shown to the unsuspecting Lowell viewing audience, who may, alas, have been counted in the tens. Maybe even twelves!
But anyway, it was called "Weird TV", and came out at the same time as another show called "Weird TV" as well, and which was actually a lot better. And the other one wasn't on public access...even though it did come on very, very late, and in but a few markets.
In the show, I, also the "talent", kept picking up a clock which read 12: 55...and throughout the show I would remind the viewer that the show would be starting in 5 minutes. Five Minutes.
Of course the show had already started, but I wanted to use this Brechtian tool, just so I could say I used a Brechtian tool, I suppose. The memory....
Brecht, you see, (if you have forgotten), felt that the audience (society, the pretty) had, over the centuries, drifted into state of fascination, wherein their individual souls, as it were, were swallowed up by the external world...including, and perhaps especially, Theatre. Dead Theatre as Brook called it. Rich Theatre, Grotowsky.
And to counter this (note the use of the article) Brecht created "alienation devices", which he would spring on the audience, and which would remind them...of themselves, and their current reality. He would, for example, have a clock, with the correct time, descend into the scene.
I reckoned my clock to be doing something similar, only in a Groundhog Day sort of way. I often reckon wrongly.
Jim Beckwourth and his father, Sir Jennings Beckwith, didn't need such devices. Nor would many, I suspect, in previous centuries of American life. Imagine -- after you have learned about these, our predecessors -- the looks on the faces as they, having been miraculously transported to the 21st century, sit on sofas and watch so-called "Reality TV"...
There is nothing real about it. The shows are there to prevent you from seeing reality. For if you did, you would rebel. And rebellion is not a wonderword in Chimpytown.
You told me to remind you of "The End of Reading"...
Oh yeah. Thanks.
THE END OF READING
[PASTE TEXT HERE]
You don't know how fast I type, so you don't know how long it took to write the aforeshatted. But I'll tell you. Even if you don't want to know.
It took roughly an hour. I type slow, and think even slower. Well, not really. Sometimes. But the point is, for you budding writers, the possibly subtle difference between what I am going to now say, and that which I said before my break.
I took about an hour off in order to clean up my surroundings a bit, and to stretch my back and arms. You too will need to do this now and again. It will keep your skeleton from becoming prematurely brittle. It will also help keep you from living in squalor. This is important. You need to be well-rounded. Especially if you are going to be a starving author.
But remember...when you change pace like this, you also run the risk of losing the flow. These things you will need to weigh as you grow as an author.
This may be a good time to talk about similitudes, and other reasons why I have chosen Jim Beckwourth and his father as subjects worthy of a book the subject of which would, at least, hold my attention. Hard to write when the subject bores you....
I hope that at some point, you too will become interested in the story of these early Americans, and I realize that I am not being of much help so far. So bear on.
Travel. Jim and Jennings both loved to travel. But, I suspect that more than travel, they loved to explore, to discover...new ground.
Well, in this, my lifetime, there isn't much untrammeled geography to be found. Frontiers are now either extra-terrestrial, sub-atomic, or within the mind. I would like to suggest that it is also in the Spirit, as we hope to show in this our first novel.
And speaking of novel...it is probably not a bad time to remind our reader of the definition of said novel...one of which being that it is a novel work of fiction. This I'd like to say, and early on, because it is our express hope that this novel be, in deed, novel. Although we may draw inspiration from gentle souls both past and present, we hope to evolve the form further still. Shoot us if we fail.
Well, on second thought...kiss us if we succeed.
My friend, Jack, upon reading a few first paragraphs, complained that it seemed more like a blog than a novel...to which I responded with my lecture on novelty. And Jude even said that it might take away from its timelessness...to which I insisted that the work should be both timeless and timely. Sorry to air dirty laundry like this, but this is part of life, and does pertain to the story, inasmuch as anything does.
But upon reading the news tonight, I am reminded of why I wanted to include the present within this purported "historical novel" in the first place. There is interesting shit going on.
I'll tell you what 9-11 Manhattan was like for me...who happened to be stuck there due to cancelled flishts out, the night before...and the thunderstorm that lit up the city, and strangely flooded our porch...three stories up. And just a couple of days ago, we had the worst blackout in history.
Now would you rather I ignore these developments as they pullulate around me, or would you rather also see and hear History...as it happens? Since I too have to read what I am writing, I vote to include. Here are yet more reasons:
Synchronicity. What things happen at the very same time? Find uncanny connections.
Time Management. I can keep track of my hours and productivity.
Narrative Tag. When the story is not in the present, but rather in the, yes, past, there will be no such timestamp...that is unless I insert one as an alienation device, in which case I hope you realize that it is probably just me thinking I need to give out medicine. Take the medicine with a grain of salt. Sometimes it works better than a spoonful of sugar...or as the voice in the smallprint warns: Similartosugarpill!
So yes. Exciting times. We may even lose this one. Hell, no one hates our government more than...our government. No wonder it is has been called by at least one Nobel Prize winning economist, "The worst government in our more than 200 year history.". I bet many in this current ill-gotten administration consider it a victory. We need a Clinton to come and rescue us...from ourselves. I can't help but think that the only way out of the quagmire is for us to start doing the right thing. Well, not the right thing. Usurped and bastardized. The universally harmonious thing. Closer. What would Lao Tse do?
One thing we really ought to do, and this is not original, is to become a (or the) humanitarian superpower. Howard Zinn, I believe, said it first. But several thousand years ago, the ancients in China also said it in their Book of Changes, or I Ching. The way it is described there is a situation where the mountain is doubled. Mountain over mountain. Too much mountain. Arrogance.
A mountain that sticks out above the flat plain will be reduced to rubble. Skyscrapers, we now know, obey the same law...and I hope the city planners in New York come to this awareness, as it may prevent a horrible recurrence.
Hubris, the ego, arrogance...these all obey that law...eventually.
The key to freedom is to nourish those around you as you are nourished. If those around you are as high and mighty as you are, and you have been benevolent...they will protect you.
Humanitarian Superpower. That is what we need to become.
And let's pray we do it soon. I weep for my misguided country.
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Fuming tonight. My computer connection (or something) is such that the mere viewing of a Buzzflash or an Iddybud has been rendered an impossibility. Hold on...let me get the phone...
Well, this is just an addition to my other main gripe, and that is people dropping by. And now I hear yet another is to occur.
Can I get no peace? And speaking of which, doesn't it seem very pre-9/11?
Pre-911, you say? Splain...
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
I survived last night. But Yasser Arafat may not survive tonight. Yasser is no friend of mine, and his death will probably not affect me personally, but I imagine it will throw fuel on an already inflamed situation in Israel.
Granted, I may be wrong in my prediction, but there are tanks lining up around Mr. Arafat -- not unlike a "surround", which you will learn about later -- and yesterday there was a massive explosion on a bus in Israel, near a holy shrine. Long story. Long, long story...
One that I wish would conclude, and indeed, one that I hope this book will assist in its conclusion. Did I mention I hope to win the Nobel Prize for Peace? How 'bout Literature?
On second thought, maybe I should drop the Literature thing. Too many better writers...but way too few people working for Peace.
Now that I seem to be spilling the beans, let me go ahead and say that I hope this tome also becomes the first "blog novel". Am I too late?
I am also thinking about changing the name to "The Nuculus".
You see...I have noticed that there are an uncanny number of family members, throughout history, all related to our main character of Jim, who have strange legends swirling around them. Some concern reincarnation, some ghosts, some...the elusive Nuculus...
(What the Hell is it?)
I wish I could tell you everything about the elusive Nuculus, but being such a time-limited witness thereunto, I simply cannot. Above my pay grade. Out of my league. But I will gladly tell you what I know, and what others have said on the matter.
I hope you don't mind if I tell you in my own way, but you see...I am a poor soul. I live very simply. My one luxury is that I allow myself to write in my own way, and in my own time. And there are lots of related elements. Baraka, Baruch, Brook, Bruce, Brugges, Brussels. Wheat Germ, Morning Glories, Sirius and Sirotropic plants. Chakras, Rumi, Radiohead, Princess Diana, the Tao, the beloved John-John, the Titanic. Everyone and everything is involved. We have the Nuculus within, and we transmit it to others, and in doing so, vivify the life therein. Awakening and sharing the Nuculus, we transmogrify into the peaceful world of our visions. Wish come true.
So you see...this work is not for everyone. Although everyone is the beneficiary.
Meister Eckhart, the 14th century holy man, alludes to the Nuculus in several of his sermons, when he says concerning material wealth, "Less is more"...and then goes on to say that when one renounces material wealth, one is given all the saints and angels have. This is called "The Nuculus". That which one gains when one loses physical possessions...ie, things in the physical world which possess you. And it is little wonder that we say of the deluded and deranged that they are "possessed"...
Jim Beckwourth and his father, Sir Jennings Beckwith, shed the physical world...and gained...The Nuculus. This is the story of their nucular inheritance. And this story will cause an epidemic of world peace. In the end we are all one. This is the light at the end of the tunnel. The silver lining.
Kick back and enjoy...
Damn! My 2nd VCR is not playing nice with its master today, and I was wanting to make a copy of the vid I wanted to send to Jude tomorrow. Am I going to have to write all this stuff down, and store it in memory?
Well. Here goes...
It opens with the animated logo of the aforementioned "Weird TV", and holds there for 30 seconds or so then disappears. Suddenly we are transported to the Northern Neck of Virginia.
The Northern Neck of Virginia is the land between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, and also where many of America's most prominent families had their beginnings.
Thursday, August 21, 2003
The show will begin in five minutes. Five minutes.
Let me start with today's news...
Obituary backs 'removal of Bush'
Woman 'thought he was a liar'
13,600 KILLED BY HEATWAVE
Aug 21 2003
UNDERTAKERS in France estimate the recent heatwave killed more than 13,600 people.
Friday, August 22, 2003
Well, newswise...Arafat was not killed, as I predicted. It was another top leader.
Now the ceasefire is called off. Open game between Palestine and Israel.
And Bush has closed the Palestinian charities.
Will it be a massacre? Heeeeal!
Friday, August 29, 2003
Why was our hero, Jim, called a liar?
Why was Al Gore called a liar? They didn't like what he said.
Jim, for instance, was very much against the use and sale of alcohol by and to the indians...
He spoke the truth to power as well.
Sunday, August 31, 2003
Jeez. Look at how much time has elapsed since I wrote anything with any length! I am starting to slip. The work may, alas, not get done. This one may go the way of every other attempt.
Will God intervene? Will Will? Anxiety? Shame? Necessity? Am I not the boatswain of my own raft?
"This is called the corn cutter."
OK. So I decide to run out and grab a bite to eat and ponder why I haven't been writing...and upon returning, and hoping to catch the beginning of Meet the Press, I turn on the tube -- already honed in to NBC -- and what do I hear, but:
"This is called the corn cutter."
Now to everyone, but a handful of faithfuls...this means nothing. Even to the faithful, this means very little. But to me...this means more than a little. But not much more, actually.
It all started with Ry Cooder...
Saturday, September 06, 2003
Cowboys and Arabs
Extract all of Jim's best writing
Peel the film of fear off the soul and eyes of the reader.
A building blows up in Manhattan. So why is the family in the suburb of Santa Fe... fearful?
Jim had hordes of "terrorists" within feet of him nearly all his life
yet he showed no fear. And yet, these folks in Santa Fe are fearful
of an enemy thousands of miles away...
Michael Moore told of how governments and business use fear
to sell products, and keep people docile. Are they not our biggest
Fear not. Nothing to fear but fear.
Could it not also be said that "there is nothing to fear but terrorism itself."?
This book is about...how to lose the fear.
LOSE THE FEAR
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Life. The Great Interrupter. And yet, again, it is the digressions, let us pray, that makes for an enjoyable prehereafter.
Which brings us to leisure. No, I'm actually trying to not be leisurely for the moment, and therefore, dear reader, please allow me instead to speak of an idea I had whilst showering. The idea is, basically, to allow the I Ching to determine various aspects of the novel. I will merely and mercifully be its manifestor.
For you, who do not know, the I Ching is an oracle whose origins date back many thousands of years, presumably in and around the village of China. And rather than bog you down with minutiae, (or hourae) let me just say that there is a profound reason why it has lasted this long. Quality is but one of them. No two.
I Ching means "Book of Changes" (roughly), and is exactly that...a book about Change, and the myriad ways in which change occurs. As part of Nature, humans too behave, at times, in natural ways. The oracle could be speaking of Nature, or it could be speaking to you. After a while you begin to see the many ways in which you are like Nature, and begin to recognize change itself, and begin to know possible future states, as well as the routes there.
Of course there are skeptics, as well there should be. One thing. The meanings deepen and are enriched over the cycles. And if one is in good graces with the Sage (who is the oracle) you will meet with good fortune enough to find your safe way back. A better, more impartial, voice can hardly be imagined. And at times, an impartial voice is 1) just what you need, and 2) nonexistent. People get swept up in the moment. The News only makes matters worse. Well, sometimes. Fanning flames is not good business practice.
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Did I tell you about Quintilian? Quintilian was perhaps the premiere orator of the Roman World. To tell you the truth, I really don't feel like talking about him right now though. Do you mind? If so, let me know and I will dredge him back up, but right now I'm just not in the mood.
There are so many things I could talk about, but not everything relates to what I thought this book was going to be about. If I sound scatterbrained, you are probably right. Maybe I should go throw the Ching and see what it says. But what should be my question?
How 'bout this:
Dearest Oracle...what would you have me write about?
Damn...one of the simplest I've asked in quite a long time. Remind me to tell what it said on 9/11. Poignant. Interressant. And I'm so excited to hear that Rob's maid found my copy, which I left there at the time, and which got misplaced. I've since a new one. The Wilhelm-Baynes Edition. The best one. In translation, that is. Another reason to learn Chinese...which I hope to pick up again real soon, since I found a copy of the great lesson book put out by the Peking (Beijing) University. Maybe we'll go over it together.
What's that you say?
I CHING ANALYSIS for the question:
Dearest Oracle...what would you have me write about?
The Well (Ching)
So...what does this all mean? Does it simply mean that some oracle feller wants us to write about obstruction and a well? That sounds almost too simple.
What's the big deal?
Well...maybe there ain't no big deal. Maybe it's a little deal. And maybe God is in these little biddy details. Ever think about that?
Well, no. Should I have? No no...rather than carrying on. How 'bout a deeper explanation of what Mr. Ching wants you to do with your little blognovel here.
Fine! I will! And by the way...piss off.
Good. We can talk now. Sheesh!
OK...here's the deal. Doctor Ching wants me to write about obstruction and the well. I'm ebullient to have been given such a task. Both are so preggies, and both directly relate to the story. You see...Mr. Beckwourth's was a life of obstruction. And the Well is, well, the Nuculus...at least in part. Neither can be fully grasped, and both contain multitudes.
What was it Walt Whitman said?
"So I contradict myself! I am large. I contain multitudes."
OK...I see now that I am going to have to clue you in on some of the southern vocabulary that is liable to slip out as I pinch these loaves. Suckycat, for instance, means "Something like that". But down here in the American South, you can say "suckmycat" and people will hear "Something like that"...thinking you said, as many do, "Sump'm like 'at". I just say suckmycat. Unless, that is, I am talking to the Pope. I hear, though, that he hasn't much interest in talking to a Zen Presbyterian, so I doubt I'll be saying it, or anything, to him. But even though I am a Zen Presbyterian with Taoistico-sufic leanings, I do mourn that he is in such an unhealthy way. He has been such a strong voice for Peace in his lifetime, and will be remembered and venerated for having sacrificed so much. Happy 25th!
Saturday, September 20, 2003
THE NUCULUS SPEAKS
Hi. I'm the Nuculus. How goes?
Oh, I see. You're going to play like you don't recognize me. Fine. I can live with that. I'll try to speak directly to you, as I know it will be the best way to crack your nut, which, as you know, is not the same thing as its converse.
Fine. Oh how I love saying that word. So condescending. So febriphthonic. So pootably phartable, phrankly. Brekekek. brk! brk!
Run system download.
Ahhhhhhhhh. So much better. Narrator! Narrator!
So I hear there already is a blog novel. Well sort of. Salam Pax, the Baghdad Blogger. Can't wait to read...
Sometimes you get sick of the goddam diarrhea music...
Saturday, October 11, 2003
Sorry, but I've had a frustrating morning. But I may have had an insight...which comes all too infrequently these days, now that Bush has increased the arsenic in my water supply. He did get that done didn't he?
So what was that insight, again?
The insight is this: I blog every day. Write profusely at times even. But when it comes to writing offline...well, check my timestamps. No can do. And why is this?
I am beginning to believe it is because of the horror stories I have had in the past, often involving crashed computers and lost data...in this case: writings. I do not want to write a frigging novel only to have it vamoose before my eyes. And when I blog...when I hit that publish button, it is no longer solely on my computer, but is on the internet, the blogosphere, and is much less likely to simply vanish into thin, or thick for that matter, air.
So what I think I might do is this: I'll import what I have written into one of the blogs I own but rarely use, and just write the bleedin' story there. Maybe Joyce's Paradiso will be a good one. I never got that one to fly anyway.
For those with interest, Joyce's Paradiso was to be my attempt at completing the mission of James Joyce...who was sadly interrupted in his mission by death. He had written his Inferno, which was Ulysses, and had completed his Purgatorio, Finnegans Wake, but never got to do his Paradiso...unless, alas, it was beyond words -- which given the outrageous complexity of the Wake, one would have to assume that the Paradiso would be minimalistic and beautiful in it's simplicity. Not unlike his poems, really.
Anyway, I think I will try this. A potential problem is that of flow. While I, in my time flow, flow forward...the blog typically puts the most recent stuff at the top. Assbackards, as we say down south. Perhaps I'll get Garrick to help me sort out the math.
He is a mathematical genius, and a darned good artist and chess player to boot. He's from Skaneatales, NY but lives in Charlotte now.
My nickname for Garrick is "Garrick Ammonium". I don't give everyone nicknames. At least not typical nicknames. Garrick inherited his particular nickname because my father was keen on my learning Science and Chemistry at a young age.
When I was six, I got a Chemistry Set for Christmas, and among the chemicals included was one called "Ferric Ammonium Sulfate". Thus Garrick Ammonium. I subtend the "Sulfate". Or maybe I don't. I just threw that word out there, lacking what I was searching for in time for my fingers to write a better term.
Hmm. Subtend. Let me look it up. Hold on...
subtend - 1. Math. To be opposed to and delimit. 2. To underlie so as to enclose or surround.
Well...maybe I didn't subtend the sulfate. I lobbed the bastard off all right? Give me a freakin' break...
Sorry. Bad day. Weltschmertz probably. The pain of feeling the world go to Hell in a handbasket. Handbasket? More like a high-speed train. Or a laser beam. Yes, we're going to Hell on a laser beam.
Doesn't really sound like Paradiso does it? Maybe I'll chose another blog...
What's this? Another insight? Two in one day? Is Mercury in retrograde?
OK...here's the idea. Dj'ever read "Time's Arrow" by Martin Amis? How 'bout "Betrayed" by Harold Pinter? What? Neither? Well... both play with the flow of time. There is an backwardness, as opposed to bassackardness (such as this tome)...which I may well use here...even though, now that I think on it, ah well, I'll just shut up and tell you plainly. I can't! I can't! Don't make me do it!
Something about a book that flows backward in the same way that a blog flows backward. Would this be too confusing? Can I just start this halfway through the story?
And why do I think I'm halfway through?
And what has any of this to do with the Nuculus? Or Jim Beckwourth?
Well...I don't know. Maybe it's that the Nuculus doesn't really want to be known. Or maybe the Nuculus feels like one should earn their knowledge of the Nuculus and nucular matters. There aren't that many people who have a full grasp of the Nuculus, at least from what I have read, and of those few, even a smaller handful are in positions of power -- George W. Bush being a rare exception. But even he does't have a full grasp of the nucular realm.
Lao Tse and Rumi were among the inner circle who tasted more of the nucular horn of plenty than most, and they were even able to convey, albeit subtly, some of the nuances and graces contained therein -- a word which both resembles theramin and heroin, but share no other properties. These things I say unto you in the name of the father, the mother, the uncle, the aunt, the maternal grandmothers, and the quatrayle.
Ah! The quatrayle! Dan Quatrayle! Suzi Quatrayle! If Dan Quayle married Suzi Quatro, he would become Dan Quatrayle.
Or would he?
No, not Woody...I said "would he". Woody is coming up in the next chapter. Well, not really coming up, but popping up; appearing...though not in the flesh. The flesh. My God, am I in need of fiscal gratification? Is there a full moon?
Well, if fact there is a full moon, why?
Who are you?
I am the man (or woman) who answers all questions.
Ah. I see. And who brought you here?
I come on my own volition.
You come on your own what?
Volition will what?
Suddenly the apparition vanishes and I am left scratching my head.
I have been scratching my head ever since I got back from New York during that raid by the Saudis. Musta breathed in a lot of undigestibles. Flakes fall as I speak. I wonder how many people I breathed in. A thousand minds within a flash...
OK, I have locked away the hindbrain. For now. The hindbrain and the Nuculus seem to be in a sort of internecine struggle for control of the airwaves flowing through my airhead. I once knew a guy named Hanson who was called Waterhead. Never knew a Firehead. You?
I guess I'll continue to shit this stuff out, and figure out the meaning (if there is one) with the reader...for I have no idea where this is going, but am reminded of a scene in True West where Lee says something like: "The person doing the chasing doesn't know where the person is taking him...and the person being chased doesn't know where he's going." God I love that play! Shepard, Malkovich and Sinese. Legends of the theatre.
Sam Shepard's True West was very different from Jim Beckwourth's true west. For one thing, Sam's is in allcaps. Jim's is not. Sam dated Patti Smith. Jim did not, although he lived the song "People have the power". Sam was a bit if a Gurdjieffian. Jim was a bit of a Gurdjieff...an exciting prospect as I try to wrap my mind around the guy, since he is the butt of this biography. Well, you know what I mean...
and the ending will go something like this:
So what have we learnt from our little journey into the mind and heart of the James P. Beckwourth? And what of the Nuculus and all things nucular? Can it yet be spoken? Have we made the ineffable...effable?
I'll let you be the judge. But remember...judge not lest ye also be judged. So instead, I would suggest you simply assume that enjoyed yourself and learned a thing or two...and then tell everyone you know that they simply MUST have their own copy, as it will likely become, next to their Bibles, their own little personal vade mecum, bringing joy to every girl and boy, every man and woman, every plant and every animal, as you fan the pages to their olfactory satisfaction -- so sweet the contents, redolating wisdom and mirth on every godwrit papyrum. Nam myoho rengay kyo nam myoho rengay kyo nam...
So James and the Nuculus come face to face, having gone full circle.
His circuitous life is our circuitous life. The Nuculus he lived and breathed so too shall you live and breath. The Well, having alas become recognized, is now safe for when we are quatrayles. The Nucular War has passed. We know we must maintain the well, for from it all life springs. We are such a product.