Friday, April 29, 2011

Be Prepared

Scott Clark Interview

Scott's comments on a drummer's life are relevant as well for writers.

TheFreewayLife-Scott Clark from FREEWAYarts on Vimeo.

How We Don't Talk About Musicians : A Blog Supreme : NPR


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SOS Gab & Eti 1.47

There is a space in the crossing of the ferry where if you shut your eyes you cannot see either shore. At another place in white fog it looks as if we ghost about on a large lake surrounded by a dark land of low hills and gentle rises. It is a pleasant trip on the poor man’s yacht where the station of birth is an insignificant impression.

“I do not know where my thoughts come from,” she says to me as we take in the wet morning air. To which I respond, “Well, possibly you do not pay close enough attention.”

“Well, yes, a well it is...” as she clears her throat of a harsh wind, “I do have this incessant buzz in my head. At first I thought it was an apoplectic disaster in Gab’s truck, a cosmic upchuck. Then one winter afternoon when I set up to bake tarts I received a thought that the buzz is mine, the core of me. It is where I connect with the celestial micro-spheres. Like this firewall in my head it is the furthest that I have been able to reach back to my primal sauce. It is where all those fucking screams come from, you know. A congenital hot flash of buzz, I can read your mind with it. It tells me all kinds of things that come up fresh and slimy like an artesian well in a natural gas field.”

Her comments made me wonder right then on the passage deck if Etidorpha should be allowed to continue to chew on her lit cigar. Or if maybe I should make an excuse to wander down within the steel shell of the ferry to the lounge below and watch the television news on the giant screen. There was another fool running and I did not want to miss the carnival. But the waves of the placid sound and the softness of the morning haze kept me steady at her side. I stood; prepared if need be to have my mind read, stood in an uneasy attempt to erase all of my thoughts, of the banter of fools or otherwise. My face wore the mask of an inquisitive grin, at the least; I hoped that is what Etidorpha saw of me even with the aptitude of her buzz, that a useless grin of me is all of what she perceived.

There is no better mirror to the world than the dewy stare of a morning idiocy, fresh like kale and carrots in the grocery newly misted.

I did one time have a friend named Mink Zero, a wanna be electric guitarist in a coke band, his fingers were faster than his brain, who told me that he could receive music from the radio in his car, the Ford Falcon his parent’s had given him, when the radio dial was turned off. He may have had an excess of mercury in his head, tooth fillings or titanium or whatever but I never did find out for sure his specific metallurgy. He was then, at that time, only susceptible to FM broadcasts and very small pills. With those candy beads he could hold the keys to a pulsating universe in one-thirty-second flatitude of the palm of his hand.

It was a noise to signal love affair for him to listen to his own head. I first met him when he was lost in Peterson's Bog behind Sapsucker where he talked to a large rock surrounded by a field of skunk cabbage, the rock irresolutely stuck in the mucky ground. His desire was to persuade it to fly. 

For Mink though his reception was more than the hum of a large blast-engine, a buzz -- a social network composed of replicated story sounds, incomplete guitar riffs, discordant drum solos, chants scribbles, musical marginalia and drones, washing machines that bang off center without the touchy feely interference of real people, glinted mirages in an uncaged stockhausen of his me.

At times he picked up other signals, like sempiternal wave blurps and beeps, and on more than one occasion he told me there was a satellite of aluminum opalescence circled us overhead as dainty as his sweet angels. 

Though as Mink Zero aged he fell more and more into less regard to judiciously select the channels he would receive and as he sunk the slippery slope of cellular degradation he began to receive AM talk radio more frequently than not and it was little surprise to us who continued to know of him and where and when that through a number of undergraduate steps he took up to deal in semi-automatic weapons.

But that is another story. We were nearly to shore when Etidorpha opened her carpet bag, pulled out from it a small white paper bag and from that a small plastic bread bag, recycled and held closed by a yellow plastic clip, she then disrobed from a soaked paper towel that had on it writ in black marker the word ‘experiment’ and from this confine it emerged a doughy substance that looked to me for all the world like tree fungus. “Eat this,” she said.

"Shit," I said.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Moving Picture Writes

My writer friend Martin Heavisides in Toronto explores film... explores a whole lot of film. 

And I explore reading in a vid one of his stories here: Find the Wheel

His blog The Evitable

Martin Heavisides is a contributing editor to The Linnet’s Wings, a literary magazine of exemplary merit. He recently published his first novel, Undermind, and is working on a companion volume, Labyrinth, these being part of a projected work in four parts, WorldMind. The Living Theatre has given a live staged reading of one of his seven full length stage plays, Empty Bowl, whose first appearance was  in Linnet’s Wings (Summer 2008).  Soliloquies (Concordia University), Mad Hatter’s Review, monkeybicycle, Gambara, Jeremiad, Studies in Contemporary Satire, Cella’s Round Trip, Sein Und Werden, FRiGG and Black Cat Review are among the publications his work has appeared in. He has won a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award and a Harbourfront Discovery Prize. 
His passion for film goes back to student years, and behind the work being offered by him at The Moving Picture Writes is upwards of two hundred reviews and essays, in his apprentice years, the twenties and early thirties.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

SOS Gab & Eti 1.46

You may have seen those bumper stickers that say, “Get Your Beads Drilled in the Poconos.”

When I was over to see Etidorpha I was curious and asked her how she came to learn to drill wampum beads.

It is not anything that I have ever heard that people do in modern days and it is not a craft that is taught at the Bullamanka Community College (BCC), not even in the remedial adult section. Though one would think that bead drilling would fit in well with traditional trade related classes on how to mount a flash drive. So I was curious about how she learned the art and the tools and I even wanted to know if there is maybe a bead driller guru that has a Masters or a PhD in wampum bead drilling. I like to learn by reading or peripheral subconscious osmosis, it is so much easier than doing.

Or maybe there is an international organization of wampum bead drillers and they have motel conventions with heavily attended workshops and long winded speeches about bead drilling case studies. As in powderpoint these beads, yeah! Beads of the Ozarks. Rise and fall of the Persian bead. Many many beads I have known.

Conflagrations of bead drillers that get kinky and intertwine their wetware networks in places like Albuquerque and a glossy magazine full of provocative advertisements with scantily clad bead drillers who pretend to drill beads while they smile at us with their tanned expressions of pure ecstatic joy while they suck their loose appendages and a bi-lingual newsletter for the hard-core aficionados, considering the number of 3rd World bead drillers, and they have an internet web forum where avid practitioners discuss the finer points of the ancient craft of bead drilling.

Maybe they complain about the degradation of wampum not being quite what it used to be in the pre-Columbian era back before the good whelk and quahog shells got scarce. I bet they can go on for a month arguing over the best recipes for spittle and bead goo.

T-shirts that say, “Bead Drillers Tap Tiny Holes.” And wampum driller’s poetry, too, they have to have doggerel about it since there are songs and poems already about embroidery, needle point, rug pulling, pot holder weaving, bird house carpentry, how to whittle a corn cob pipe, and the sewing on of buttons by hand and darning of socks and ironing on of store bought pant knee patches and other domestic avocations -- The Saga of the Bucket of One Million Beads. What an adventure story!

“And then after much arduous passage/ a sharp pain that shot up my right arm/ when I came to drill bead number 1,356/ nearly exhausted and dehydrated/ my eyes in pain I wanted a drink/ on my knees/ the phone rang/ Mildred Spanbottom/ who called about the gas flames/ that shoot out of her.../ kitchen faucet.// On bead number 345,927/ hot water kettle whistle/ woke me up.// We nearly near the nearest/ end of the end/ when near the end/the bead bowl tipped over.” 

So much of life happens in the brief time it takes for a wampum bead to be drilled.

They must be very very tiny drills to do that with and I can only imagine it requires a good lighted magnifying glass and a rotatable 5-position handi-vice or some sort of miniature means to grasp the wampum beads steady while the driller is mounted. 

I suppose a traditional purist in search of authenticity of craft would use their fingers.

Bloody fingers, you can always tell a wampum bead driller by the tips of their bloody red fingers stuck with tiny bead drills like fledgling insect quills. Very tight tolerances must be required, if you ask me even though I know that you didn’t. So I asked her while I picked black squirrel hair out from between my molars. Her baking is tasty but if she does not wear her glasses you never know what will end up in the oven.

Etidorpha reached down behind the wood stove where the coffee congealed. Altuna, I sense maybe sensing there was going to be a crash and thud onto the floor where he had been up to then asleep, skittered into the pantry. She reached down to her stack of dry periodicals in the galvanized wash tub and after a bit of rummage and fumble and fart she pulled out and showed me her Miracle Poospatuck Manufactured Restoration-Arts & Crafts Native-American Doo-Dads Inc. Specialty Annual Bead Catalog #103.

Here were two-hundred and seventy-eight pages of beads and bead related paraphernalia of all shapes, sizes, colors, dimensions and possible materials known to humanity, with full and highly detailed descriptions of each type of bead, and sequin, including biographies of famous historical figures in the bead world. It had never previously occurred to me that William James Sidis had a bead fetish.

And patterns, we always need good patterns, beading patterns like I have never seen ever in my life. They were cubic, they were realistic, they were fractal, three-dimensional, four and five-dimensional, and they were fantastically resplendent, ignited in molten fire and quenched in serpentine baths of absinthe and myrrh. It was here in this one catalog more information packed into such a tiny space than I ever even knew there was that much information about to be had, learned, enunciated, read or knowed about the amazing world of beads.

This overwhelming wealth of surplus cognitive junk quickly in my mind put the universal glory of the commonality of their cousin, the button to shame. I would never ever look at a button quite the same again without a first thought of how it had all started with little tiny beads until the beads got bigger, then bigger, then stuck through the cloth on a thong then eventually with the evolution of utility they got squashed into wafers and from an insignificant bead a button was born. Be aware, we do not even know this level of technological development in the invention of the wheel as we know for the transition from humble bead to the bold statement of buttons. Buttons, rule, man! But a bead, a bead is the sublime elegance of clothing. It is an element of design that can be affixed to our nose. It was a miraculous epiphany and as I begged and borrowed Etidorpha let me take the catalog and as I clutched the mighty catalog tightly to protect it from the rain and the tornado and the flying tree and those really weird goats on the walk home I took it into my life and spent several hours over several days over several weeks to peruse the captive of its highly informative pages.

 Here all this time I thought wampum was made from shells and I find out it is made from plastic and comes already with the holes drilled in it, at least, the wampum that Etidorpha uses in her handicraft art work. But I did find out that her raccoon pecker bones come from real raccoons, not the domesticated ones but free range all-natural raccoons. The porcupine quills come in little bundles with a rubber band around them and can be got in natural shades or a pre-died range of colors. I happen to like the ones that glow in the dark.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SOS Gab & Eti 1.45

There is a vast pool of many good names in the world to select from: Quentin, Maya, Mihai, Max, Yechazkel, Didier, Cyrus, Myron, Robert, Gur, Duncan, Bernard, Philippe, Raphael, Piotr, Andrei, Linda, Lorenzo, Bruno, Alina, Stan, Dean, Flavia, Lea, Maria, Harry, Shaiy, Zukia, Espen, Justin, Aaron, Neil, Reid, Claudia, Janet, Chidem, Ralph, Jesse, Elie, Katinka, Avital, Spiros, Stefan and Jim.

So why then we must ask have several followers of this mass migration expressed a difficulty in separation of the one Gabriel Orgrease from the other Gabriel Orgrease?

We do not get it. No more, no grok.

I spoke with Etidorpha about this during our last fortune telling session, the one with the red Face-from Mars slate cards, and she urged that I cannot let any confusion of affairs as to names of things, beasts and inanimate rocks stand upright for very much longer. Clarity is gold coin. Something she saw in the slate cleavages about 'the great mountain bumps the humble badger into the fetid sump pit'.

First off, to be absolutely clear, this confusion is by no means meant to evoke a mental bifurcation of an obfuscate threshold for a slough reader’s inverse comprehension.

It is well known that characters in real life, round or fat or square or flat and comic burlesque with white Santafied beards, as well as in fiction should have alphanumeric paroxysms that distinguish themselves and keep the commons skunk-wind clear as to their verifiable identity. Otherwise characters in the mind of the audience flow together and appear to be one amorphous mass of flashiness and sloppy amoebic body fluids sloshed around as if in an antique mop bucket, one of those pre-yellow plastic galvanized ones and then those strange sounds in the night that cause one to hold their nose in the eructation of half-sleep. The poor dog in our lives traumatized shivers and tries to hide underneath the couch. Utterly despicable, uncouth, anti-social behavior even when you keep it scat be-bop willy to yourself. Though there is a contrariety viewpoint of the Manureist School of social economics that identity cannot be thieved away if everyone has the same post-industrial cookie cutter avatar. That is, if everyone is identical in name and number and mug then how possibly can they be confused in their bank accounts and credit cards? We can always position one indecipherable culture, with the H. Bosch or their funky hippy ideogram black inky stick figures, against another and call it a neutered none-nuts from the A shelter -- peace sign waver, school voucher.

Gabriel P. Orgrease passes the checkout at the Handi Pantry solely in commemorative mint quarters carried in a small burlap-linen bag woven and then sewn for him with his initials embroidered in hand drilled wampum beads by Etidorpha. It is a habit he adhered after he read an audio biography of P.T. Barnum. It is not over until the Fiji Mermaid sings was the post-memetic gene of the day on the billboard. But, though since I am the real and original Gabriel Orgrease I need to point out that there is a distinct and obvious difference between us.

Etidorpha knows her brother well enough, we would think, a fact that she has often expressed to me with a modest tinge of perplexed regret and I cautiously ever so cautiously inform her that it is not my problem to worry about her sometimes difficult relationship with her brother... and she knows me well enough as her friend, and his friend, making me in turn their friend, or a friend of the family Orgrease and as these things go I am a brother of sorts in spirit, if one can isolate a sprite like a puff of breath in a test tube like Thomas Edison’s last breath, or, more aptly an unofficial adopted to the family even though I have my own officiated branch of an Orgrease family, with a sister Pamela and a nephew Pamela and an aunt Pamela and a cousin Pamela, and an Uncle Sirius, thank you very much. But I don’t mind, really, just saying.

Etidorpha never gets us confused and why should you?

The Orgreases of all persuasions are prolific in body but short on imagination when it comes to what awf-godful names to stick to their children. That paucity seems to go equally for both branches ever since that between-brothers issue over the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon and the argument that came up at the stone pub on that stormy bog-wet night about whose dirty face it was impressed upon the linen rag hung on the towel rack in the celestial loo.

Though we all understand from the anecdotal heresy that way before the crossing of the wide water the one branch of the family devolved into a clan of apocryphal know-nothing stonemasons and the other evolved into a breed of arrogant scribes with magical elfin pen nibs. But we really do not need to get into that heuristic episode of separation in the great tree-of-life as it brings up a whole host of bad memories across the most resplendent broadness of the rainbow of transsexual humanity.

It is very simple to distinguish the difference between us. My name is Gabriel P. Orgrease and his name, that friend of whom I often write to inform you of his misanthropic adventures and grand outhouse escapades, along with his sister Etidorpha, is Gabriel P. Orgrease. To make matters even simpler, it is to be known that Etidorpha E. Orgrease, wherein the E stands for Eel after her great-great-grandmother on her mother’s side.

Quite simply, and the distinguished characteristic is that my P does not stand for the meaning or impression or depth of the water of the river of his P. Total distinction in the patrimony of P.

That is how you can make the erudite distinction and it is much more telling, and/or foreboding than the size of our exposed foreheads and anterior appendages of bulbous psychic protrusions or the distinct shape of our respective ears, his being twisted and mine being, let us say, ridiculously anterior to the effect that he can wear a workmen’s hat and I rarely more than a blue tie-dyed cotton head scarf. We both wear titanium glasses to great affectation though GO is known to smoke a finger-wax patinated corn cob with cherry toback and a pinch of primitive boo. Though, if you feel confused by readi-made Shangri-La labels and headwear, intimidated by the guess of gear, then all you need to do is whisper and see which one of us can hear you as he, that other GO, due to his congenital malformation cannot hear a treadle traddle quite as well as I.

This should conclude and provide to the curious a succinct explanation as to why Gabriel Orgrease is always asking, “What?”

To be contained: Painting the gray areas with Victorian blue historic-palate  house paint.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Thursday, April 7, 2011

SOS Gab & Eti 1.44

You would have thought that there would only be one of me but then I met this other Gabriel Orgrease at the vegetable stand during the annual cantaloupe bowling tournament.  It was during half-time and the crowd had settled when we both reached at the same time for the same bunch of red beets and our hands rudely collided around the stalks of the leafy greens like those little bitty one-pilot space ships about to careen off the intergalactic opera movie screen and explode in a loud almost-big bang with a bright white flash of gratified orgasmic annihilation. That was how our eyes first met.  Nothing was meant perverse in our meeting ourselves like this; it was just magnetic like with the molten earth iron core a gigantic magnet attracting all of the inevitable in our small neighborhood. He had a decidedly sneaky twitch to his left eyeball, tequila bloodshot through and through.

I thought to myself, “Who the hell is this hairy faced madman and what the hell is he doing grabbing my borscht bound beets?” In a sign of intelligence that relived me entirely he quickly retreated his ruddy hand and placed it on an oriental eggplant. I felt like I was in a garden-globe mirror, golden with the passage of the mid-morning sun.

I did not mind that it was a particularly slender and firm eggplant, with a delicate hue of purple, green and white that I had also been so ardently perusing and pursuing for the last hour, as I had ever so tentatively inched my way along in the dirt and scuffed my work boots and snapped my spenders before Gabriel Orgrease so boldly bumped my beet born fist and then after the abrupt collision in the spark of a nanosecond he diverted his unlicensed thrust to grab his hand on to the other nubile vegetable, that targeted eggplant.

Obviously he held it firmly in his grip as I clutched and shackled my beets, but as with any galactic rogue I really did not give a twiddle if he may subsequently grab then as instantly, as he may then and there quickly quaff a nearby chili pepper and explode here and there like a bulbous gas station on flame without retardant or suppression. Seeing in my mind’s eye, somewhat more discerning than my heads eyes, not the least bit bloodshot or otherwise imperfected, the possibility of such an uncouth action I endeavored with haste to put an ample distance between his us and my us as I pretended a wave to swat flying Juniper bugs and quickly sloughed my arse in a sphere of influence over toward the section of wooden bins littered with oranges, pears and dented MaCoon apples.

I thought nothing further of the incident until a few minutes later at the other end of the stand we collided once again over the fresh dill. By this time I felt like I was being mimicked by one of those primordial inhuman walking animals that pops up out of one’s lizard brain during a bad-trippin’ leaftime. I thought back to what I may have inadvertently ingested in the morning prior to my shave. Though I felt that his semblance was out of character for a beast I did notice that he wore a tie with a dancing jacka-lope on it and that his satchel sprouted a toilet bowl plunger. It was as I remarked later to Etidorpha a very large toilet bowl plunger. It was large, yes, most fully to be described as large...  not small by any means, a utilitarian size for a giant ceramic crapper, yes, sort of an outsize device that reminded me of trucks with broad signs on their rear that says Wide Load.

Regrettably there were no flashing lights or signal flares otherwise I would have avoided an approach to the plastic bucket with the bunches of dill stuck in it. I like the way in which the blue rubber bands wet with the tub water hold the stalks together.

And then we struck it with the dandelion greens, and then the carrots, and then the potatoes and then the Vandalia onion. Since then we have been real good friends.

Friday, April 1, 2011

SOS Gab & Eti 1.43

This morning I woke up and I saw Gabriel sitting on the futon couch in the living room with a black marker pen and a roll of white paper towels with little green shamrocks along the borders. He was busy writing something and I was curious because he usually only writes union protest slogans on cardboard signs that he has been selling through eBay so I said to him, “Hey, Gab, what are you up to?”

Without any hesitation Gab tells me, “I’m bumfin’ these pieces of paper towel.” Gab mumbles sometimes and it sounds to me like he said Banff. I’m not sure what this all has to do with a single occupancy resort in Canada but my curiousness is up. “What for,” says I.

“Etidorpha needs to know what each piece is to be used for. See, this one here is for wiping up spilled coffee. This one next on the roll  is for cleaning Altuna’s bmfiggereion...  this one is assigned to the loo in the evening, and this here one is going to be a book mark in a Stephen Hawking book about black dwarfs.“

“OK, Ok,” I says, “What happens if you need to clean your shoes and that particular piece of paper towel is in the middle of the roll?”

“We follow the schedule, my friend, always follow the schedule, I mean, why bother making a schedule if you are not going to follow it?”

I can see well enough from now on out that Gab will need to spill his coffee right on time. “Well, I ‘spose that makes good common sense but aren’t your shoes going to be a bit smelly with that gift from Altuna, and you tracking it all around the house?”

“Not a worry, if we are not on schedule then I’ll wipe my feet on the grass.”

“Why did this come up all of a sudden?”

“We got a letter in the mail from our Congressperson that from henceforth herein on out in perpetuity and with green washing gargling and domesticated ecological spills of toxic radioactive waste and broken eggs we are to keep a detailed daily record of our use of paper towels. Etidorpha says it will be a whole lot easier to track them if we give them names and labels to identify what they are to be used for. This one here I am going to name Phred. We need to write it down in this book they sent us. Why they don’t let us e-mail our records I don’t know, probably worried about that Wikileaks thing sopping up the American right to wipe.”

“Oh,” I says as I look out the window past the bright display of spring crocuses, “What is Eti doing with the fluorescent spray paint out in the yard? It looks orange.”

“Damn that sister of mine, I told her I’ll go to hell and back before we bend over to label our leaves of grass!”

“Well, you know Gab, the whole world and everything in it do need a name.”

Altuna says, "Roof, roof." 

To be continued... red roofing slate straight from the Face on Mars.