Friday, June 6, 2008

Update (Fragments)
























tangent 3, tommy Oshima


- I believe I am an expert in listening to people shout at one another, people's unreason, and diffusing situations by exceedingly tasteless humor.

- The car ran out of gas on the highway offramp. It shook and puttered, stopping just at pump #2. (we laughed). The sandstorm made it hard for me to exit the car, lift the nozzle and fit it into the gas tank.

(several minutes later)

__"Triple A?"
__"Yessir, what seems to be the problem?"
__"We've ran out of gas."
__"Right. Are you in a safe place?"
__"I think so."
__"Where are you?"
__"Yermo, California"
__"Where's that?"
__"10 miles south of Barstow on I-15"
__"never heard of it"
__"wouldn't be surprised, it's comprised of a closed-down diner, a trailer, and a gas-station."
__"Are you near the gas station?"
__"Yes. __ I'm parked at pump #2."
__"... I don't understand, why don't you just fill up your self?"
__"the gas station has no gas either."
__"..."
__"..."
__"you're kidding?"
__"no."
__"Last time I got a call about this... was... 1987"
__"How time changes."

*___*___*

BOOKS I HAVE READ RECENTLY, A LIST:

__- The Book of Certitude, Baha'u'llah
__- The Art of Reading Poetry, Harold Bloom
__- The Goat (or: Who is Sylvia), Edward Albee
__- i: six nonlectures, E.E. Cummings
__- The Way It Is: Collected Poems, William Stafford
__- The Best American Poetry 2004
__- Collected Poems, Frank O'Hara

*___*___*

I got a haircut. For no reason. I was walking past, I looked in. I stopped. It seemed to me the world could change little either way. I walked in. Walked out. The world had not changed. I was not surprised. (and continued to walk)

*___*___*

WHY I HAVE NOT WRITTEN:

__- exhaustion
__- a serious lack of humanity
__- I see most things as a blur.... I cannot focus my eyes. When I sit still I see myself walk on. There are 14 versions of myself contained in just one chest.

__"How life twists and turns.
__How some fall, some... climb."
__"[nod]"
__"What's that line you always quote?"
__"Judge no man lucky till he dies, free of pain, at last."
__"you mean he's lucky to die?"
__"no. As a measure of success- you can't quite know where you'll end up, which way it'll twist... till it's over."
__"what's it from?"
__"Sophocles"
__"Who?... wha... never mind. (intellectualite)"
__"(stop calling me that)"
__"in any case; Life's ups and downs."
__"shifting sands. all of us. no bedrock."
__"You've seen more at your age than me in my whole life."
__"true."
__"you've seen too much."
__"true."
__"you're wise because of it."
__"old."
__"that too."
__"[looks down]
__"Don't think anymore. seriously. you're too old for your age."
__"..."
__"(too old)"
__"fine."

*___*___*

NOTEBOOK HIGHLIGHTS FROM: FEAR AND SELF-LOATHING, THREE DAYS IN LAS VEGAS

____II.
the car is finally still.
the keys lie flaccid on the table.
(the earth continues to turn soo
fast I can't hear my sister
say 'I love you' in sign-language.


____VII.
sing me my dirge
and let's be done with it-
I see you, your sickle, and
your hooded figure following me.
(who... me? he responds)

semi-sincere resolutions written in anger during bout of fear and self-loathing:

__-
__-
__-
__-
__-
__-
__-

I feel the moon move all day.
My 3/quarters water edge towards
my side at noon.
At night I am high-tide,
drowned,
__my heart unable to beat

Also it sits up on a rock
and fishes memories out.

- I'm not what you
wanted.


*___*___*

Soon my sister will be independent.
I am expecting a crack at the border of the sky and building rooftops. The horizon to fall off. Gravity to reverse. Th universe be anew. Also, I simply don't really care about all this very much anymore. I am life's prole.

*___*___*

WHY I HAVE NOT WRITTEN:

__- writer's block
__- internet cutting out
__- midnight showers seems to have regained some of the cathartic properties they had 8 months ago (thankfully)

*___*___*

__"what about you?"
__"who?"
__"you"
__"..."
__"sooner or later you're gonna have to-
__________________________"I know"
__"do you?"
__"yes."
__"what's your plan?"
__"oblivion"
__"oh God. stop with the poetry!"
__"[shrug] what other language is there for it?"
__"for what?"
__"life."

*___*___*

An arrogant young man, handsome but balding leans against the outside nightclub wall. His girlfriend is beautiful, and his handsome face manages to not be obscured by his ill-chosen clothing. He doesn't say much to me. He seems pleased he has a thing or two on me. I play along. Self-deprecate here and there to guide him to wittisms he doesn't have it in him to think up on his own. I set the play. he gathers a few of my words and the pun comes to mind. He smiles as he delivers it. I nod and smile, encouragingly. He nods more enthusiastically. He puts his hands in his jean-front-pockets and exudes a confidence only a second-best can muster. I smile, always courteous, almost never friendly.

__"what d'ya mean you're not doing anything?"
__"I'm doing this and that."
__"are'ya goin back to medicine?"
__"probably not, no."
__"heh" (he likes that)

Later, upon farewell, I offer him a hand for a shake. He does a strange brotha shake and gives me a pat-hug. He no longer feels threatened. I have no need to compete.

__"well, best of luck with doin nothing."
__"thanks, I'll need it."
______(he looks confused)

4 comments:

golriz said...

what did you think about 'the goat'. albee is a bit of a sicko right?

a penny for the old guy said...

i love albee. he is tremendous. the goat wasn't my favorite, but I was giggling and giggling all over Seatac Airport with people looking at me funny. I think depending on how it's acted, it has sooo much potential to be simultaneously hilarious and... serious... no actually, you know what, it's brilliant. I really can't think of any other playwright who could do that, turn a farce into a tragedy, and a tragedy into a farce so coherently... and the closing scene with the wife breaking things- LOVED it. totally, absolutely could see it all in my head.

alex_and_ra said...

have you read An Oregon Message by Stafford?
that's the only one of his collections i've read so i have nothing to compare it to, but i love it!

also, random question, i was reading some Eliot and i'm wondering if "a penny for the old guy" is a reference to The Hollow Men?
if so, cool!
if not, that's cool too...

a penny for the old guy said...

mmm, no i haven't. The collected poems I have has 'highlights' from all his past collections, so I've read parts of it, but not the whole work.

a penny for the old guy is in fact from the Hollow Men. I had liked the Hollow Men for years, but had never quite worked out the reference. Later I read a book of criticism about the Wasteland, and it spoke about the Hollow Men and the epigraphs. I've thought it one of the most beautiful phrases ever since. (for a while I thought about being mistah kurtz- he dead but decided on penny old guy instead.

good spotting.