Sunday, March 7, 2010

And More Cosmic Debris in New Orleans

Po boy views
Phil LaMancusa
Legends And Lies
How I Won The War
Lost in a Sunday morning reverie at the shop between customers and the reading of The New York Times Book Review.
Between coffee and clientele, I fell down the rabbit hole of literature; as the articles and reviews ran into one another, a different book emerged; with WWOZ playing Bob Dylan on the speakers, Hip Hop coming from passing cars and memories of stale cigarette whiskey breath, I entered the zone chronicled below. One where we are all mad.
Now, a book review is a book review is a book review, but when you get a score of them all at once, and you try to digest them all at once you are asking for literary indigestion. With all of those reviewers trying to outdo one another for content and critique it does have my information 'in box' apporoaching overload. I'm not saying anything (and I wish my blog had spell check here) derogitory about the reviewers, they're doing one hell of a job, BUT my advice would be that unless you're going to review the reviews as I have done, just read one at a time. Remember the lesson of trying to read more than one of Flannery O'Conner's short stories at a time? If you knew then....
So here's what happens when you sit down and glut yourself on magnificent words strung together by intelligent people and your short attention span dummy gets placed in the ring with your reading comprehension genius with the electrodes of your brain synapses screaming "CLEAR!!!".
It’s a view, a Po Boy View if you will. It’s a written contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction taking several wrong directions. One of those ‘you had to be there’ and be grateful that I wasn’t reading the rotogravure. The proper nouns have been changed to project the ignorance. Cheers.
There was a time when I was sent north to nursing school and when I came back I refused to marry the rich doctor and instead opened a school for orphans, my life was hard then and I was a victim of post-Soviet yearning; my family having been deported from North Ossetia and the odor of unfulfilled fantasies soon translated into acts of tenderness. At that time the angels were actually beautiful and iridescent monsters asking me why, as a white person, I wasn’t trying to pass for black. I intended to counter with “what’s so bad about ending up alone?” But instead I married someone with a widow’s peak and a weird laugh. The hero in me was long overdue and I was looking to find the symptoms of an imaginary illness called “informational ennui”; my own research and invention are impressive, although I avoid the false tension of interrupted conversation. Needless to say, lost in the grips of a passion for homemade spirits, I hobbied hard; and after three sips, my mouth was numb.
In truth, satire remains alive across most of American media; clearly it has the power to captivate, not only the in belly laughs but also the sadness attendant upon the cultural failure that it describes. Publishing it has always been risky business.
Is it true then that the study of dead librarians is more interesting than that of any other type of dead person? It is an anguished intimacy with a region’s peoples and their secret and mythic pasts. It is with the slurred clamor of a startled heartbeat, the humid conspiracy of a grandmother and the lumpy wodge of stirabout that is cereal left too long in its bowl of milk, that I speak, for am I not hither drawn?
Intermezzo: take a breath.
Like Zeus, I tormented my wives; having spent my life in the pursuit of the infinities and hopelessly bungling the finite. Dear life is what I could never quite get the hang of. An unprecedented combination, this ethnic complexity is aggravated by tribal divisions and by an unruly spillage of religions, and I respond with outstanding energy and courage for I know not only from whence I speak, but why. A shameful examination of my sources and my soul; whatever my protestations to the contrary, my heart remains part Turkish.
How do you write an English village novel—if you ever wanted to do such a thing?
Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialog, never use the words ‘suddenly’ or ‘all hell broke loose’ but indeed it is what happened. You know that sickening feeling of inadequacy and overexposure you feel when you look upon your own empurpled prose? Suddenly, all hell broke loose.
She arose at the crack of noon and assembled the fragments of her shattered dreams. She thought of going in to town to the florist. She thought of lighting a cigarette. She considered her life without the prospect of love. She imagined stepping in front of an oncoming metro. "In any case", she figured "I'd better put some clothes on".
The village shop is in the hands of a family of Pakistani origin. He wanted to lve the life of a librarian. That love can overcome cultural barriers is no new theme, but it should be presented with a great intensity and delicacy. We want this couple to find romance—and they do.
another breath
The fall of the Soviet Union, this was, the death of analog; the beginning of aggressively marketed nachos. Jack thrashes about trying to stay afloat while he luxuriates in his growing despair and resentment. He was frozen out by his quite friendly but unapologetically adulterous wife, Rita; even disrespected by his penis-obsessed preschooler. To make matters worse, he has an illegitimate son, Ron—a viciously angry Iraq war amputee. What matters most is a world free of flimflam, hype or irrational exuberance, what matters is putting one foot in front of the other and not stopping. And here’s something odd: the family that the Godfrey’s bought the house from are descended from a soldier ennobled by Mary, Queen of Scots, after she had “the upstart and treasonous Elizabeth Tudor” beheaded.
In fact it provoked a manhunt “that exceeded in intensity and scope any other manhunt in the chronicles of counterfeiting” precisely because his ineptitude was so bewildering. What explains the current appeal of mildly depressive small town sleuths running around in the snow?
So we settled in an empty office and she took dictation for a memoir about his stint in the early thirties as editor of The Bangkok Daily Mail. Mostly, though, they just sat and smoked, and she listened to him talk. He had an affection for lowlifes and crooks. He loved the sounds of ice cubes in a rocks glass, the stale smell of a pool hall at dawn and the curve in the small of a dame’s back.
Had enough? Nonsense you say? No pearls of wisdom or redeeming quality?
Question: have you considered our lives (your life) as a book(s) and why should you? Answer: a matter of introspect and retrospect, a view both objective and subjective; it's a good exercise. Try putting it on paper. Shouldn't our lives make more sense than what I just wrote using the subject of book reviews as a springboard? Do we, or do we not, every day, see the nonsense, satire and absurdity of our reality as a tome hiding in plain sight, viewed through a glass darkly; the mysteries of our existences a novel of breaking glass and crying women? We shouldn't, we deserve better. No, it should not and better not be. After all, are we not all writing the stories of our lives ourselves? Have we no control of the consequences of our circumstances? Each of us deserves to be able to write a cheery book about our lives; and it (the book and our lives) deserves all available prizes. And, as for happy endings, we deserve that too from the beginning to the end and at all points in between. Here's wishing you a constant happy endearing endering, my Dear, may the farce be with you.

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