Archive for March, 2012

Mentor, RIP

Posted: March 30, 2012 in greater writers than me

Mentor, RIP

How’d you find me?


Looking directly?

I hope so.

It was always your problem. I told you, told everybody, that fiction was about stories. Just tell me a story with some bone solid truth. Everything else was an unnecessary, unhelpful, and in fact malicious trick. But you loved your tricks.

I never did a twist story or anything like that.

You did worse. You wrote about places you never saw except out your car window. People you never heard except on TV and in books. They were often my people, my places.

I didn’t want to insult you. That wasn’t it.

You insulted yourself.

I idolized you. A Feast of Snakes repainted my world. In you I saw the writer image I wanted: tough, hard. Or maybe it was the man image. I was a kid, trying out man images. You were different from the men I’d known.

You mean the men you loved.

That’s right.

You ought never to be ashamed of your people. It’s pathetic.

I know that now. But you just seemed tougher. Courageous. I remember you coming to class bleeding from the forehead, holding a paper towel to the wound. You’d stumbled in the road and there was that raspberry. But you went on and did the class. Seems illustrative.

That isn’t courage. Much of what I did that people call tough was fool’s business or grim necessity. I had to see, you understand? But none of it was courage. Necessity drove your own daddy to work every day.

What is courage?

To describe life as it is and people as they are.

Didn’t you say it took a thousand pages before a man could write something true?

You reach your mark yet?

I lost count.

That number’s arbitrary, you know that? I wrote five novels before one got took. I wrote and wrote. That’s the point.

I took what you said as gospel truth. You never liked anything I wrote, and you shouldn’t have. You thought I was reckless and dumb, and you were right. You were the first person to call my bullshit bullshit and though it took years to stop the bullshit I owe you this small duty. I loved you long after you forgot my name. That’s the point.

camera got drunk

My buddy Rob Walker and I hit the Bold City Brewery last weekend. It’s in Riverside, off Roselle St. I should’ve visited before, but hermits do as hermits do.

From the street, you can’t tell it’s anything more than a warehouse, so it’s got the camouflage aesthetic going on. There’s too much light in the main drinking room, but Rob assured me that it gets dimmer come evening time. During the day, though, everybody’s got clear view of your physical flaws.

I recommend getting the free sampler first. I think it was free. My memory’s a little hazy on that point. Anyway, you get a nice taste of everything on offer. Then settle for what you knew you wanted in the first place. In my case it was the 1901.

Here are my loves, on 3/26/12, ranked in order of importance:
a) The fiancée
b) The quarterbacking artistry of Mr. Drew Brees (ignore this link’s background music–yikes)
c) 1901
d) Shrimp, grilled, boiled, sautéed, fried, hell, sun-dried’ll work…
e) The guitar work of Tony Iommi. Study up, youngsters.

Stick around long enough and someone’ll offer you a tour of the place. That’s when I started taking pictures. The machines are beautiful. Yes, my camera was drinking too.

nice, nice, very nice.

bury me inside

please store my diseased remains inside, forty, fifty, or sixty years hence.

step back, jack.

I remember the preface to Naked Lunch more than the book (Okay, I do remember the book. Lightning storm of drug visions, anal sex, interzone).  But the preface has stayed with me.  Maybe it wasn’t a preface, just something apocryphal about Burroughs’ opium abuse.  What’s important is this: Burroughs used to smoke opium and watch his shoes for hours on end. 

Bored people get high.  The high makes boring shit cool. Tolerable, at least.  Shoes=boring.  Shoes+opium=cool, man. Tolerable. 

It’s Saturday.  People are boiling eggs, lusting over cats, freaking out over their tourney brackets, trying on sexy underwear.  Meanwhile, I’m watching paint dry.  I wish I had the opium excuse, but I’m sober as your true Christian schoolmarm.

Home ownership’s draining my anarchism, that’s for sure.  It’s hard to say that property is theft when you’re the one shelling out 5Gs to transform your house from  termite haven to sage green Eden.  We’ve done that, my fiancée and I.  It’s ours.  There’s beauty in achieving the middle class dream. Also, sadness.

termite haven

Posted: March 24, 2012 in what five grand can do.

termite haven

what it was, homey.

Me: the website’s about more than just selling a book. i talk french metal, etc.
Him: i prefer german metal.
Me: You like Kreator?
Him: Who?

Grandpa to the rescue.