On The Piazza
A man stands in a semi-crowded piazza. It’s like this every night. Europe. The buildings and the fountain and the people are ornate, ancient. Maybe eastern Europe. I’m standing there and listening to him. A couple of ancient people do the same.
He’s got keen eyes, twinkling. He’s holding a typewriter to his chest between both hands. Not hugging. His fingers dance on the keyboard. He’s playing the typewriter as he would play the accordion. He’s good. In my head his music sounds good. Other people in the piazza seem to agree: some woman says somewhere, “He’s a poet!” He’s got a hat laid out on the sidewalk, but facing down. In this strange, good music, it seems reasonable to assume the hat is being worn by someone who just finished drowning himself in the piazza. He’s got a cardboard sign next to the hat. It says “Remember to use punctuation!” Like that, with the exclamation. More and more people gather to hear the poet. He’s probably Charles Bukowski. His fingers glide effortlessly over his instrument. I’m trying to catch his gaze but his eyes glide too, like his fingers, over me, over each man and woman in the crowd. Now there’s a real crowd, yeah, and they push me back, now I have to stand on tip toe to try and catch a glimpse of these gleaming eyes. The music changes.
You’ll never got out of the piazza, I’m thinking.
The House (M.D) Does Indeed Always Win
Why wouldn’t there be another casino-beating, stake-shuffling Ocean caper – an Ocean 14? According to an IMDB contributor, Steven Soderberg gave up on the idea after Bernie Mac’s — Frank Catton — untimely death.
Cause of Mac’s death? Well, he did have Sarcoidosis. But he died of pneumonia.
The Old Man of the Internet
Excuse me for the nostalgia, but it’s become way too easy to know things. Way too easy to IMDB that actor who was in that movie but also in that TV show. Too easy to get info so you never have to wonder. Googling is too fast for wonderment to even present itself. Everything is there before you asked it. Everything is not astounding. Everything is thus unimportant – there’s no need to memorize it, it will always be here.
So as our memory circuits rust, our imagination stays limp. It’s an old truth that questions always arise and always must be answered, and as old a truth that when hard data doesn’t present itself, fictional data appears like an understudy. Why did lightning strike that hill? Why, it was the lord of such things from his dwelling place high in the sky. What is his name? Well, it is Yeush, the master of despair. Where is his dwelling place? Oh, it is a palace on top of the highest mountain, where his sits upon his gilded chair, waited upon by his beautiful, pregnant concubine Hara. Lightning used to mother pantheons; now it begets a Wikipedia page the content of which there’s no need to remember.
It wasn’t always like that. Even though the television people called it the Information Superhighway, it used to have much less information, and the road was narrow, and the ride was really very bumpy. Information was scattered, prosaic and hard to get to. Searches were hard and long, not Google-fast, when you were stumbling through Lycos to get at pages written by Geocities citizens. While searching you had time to wonder, you’d have time to invent. You’d have time to work on your memory. Who was that actor in the movie? Wasn’t he that guy who’s that son of that other guy? From the movie? What was that movie called? We must really watch it together sometime.
Meditations In Emotional Transcendence
Is life covertly good?
It may very well be, and our perspective being what it is we may never be able to find out. This shabby room, its peeling paint, the curtains tattered and gray with dust — it may be happily sheltering us from a dark storm raging outside, but we can’t tell; the yellowing blinds are drawn.
Our friends may love us, we don’t know; all we know is that we hate them.
There may be hope for everything: are dreams might be still intact. We see the crack that runs through them. There’s no way of telling how deep it goes.
And love might just be lurking happily around that corner, but what face will it assume once get there? How will we know, with all the faces staring blankly just around each corner of each city, which of them was sent for us? And if it is indeed the right corner? We are all like packages sent for each other, but all our post labels fell; now we wander aimlessly, bump like atoms, and we can’t even ask: excuse me, am I for you? Are you for me?
Ah, Sh. We never met, and already I think you hate me. I tried to tell you something but got a little tongue-tied, and you hushed me brusquely and turned away; I stood there after for a while and stared at nothing. I couldn’t tell you how ripe my love for you was already, because you could never agree to understand. No honest woman ever will. But that, often times, is love: a man looking at a woman through a window, and while he is struck, falling, wounded, she never sees his shadow on the floor.
Now I heard you went with a man from the top floors, and I am glad; for suffering things no honest woman should ever suffer, you are now better than honest men. We’ll meet some day, maybe waiting for the elevator. I’ll be the man looking down and trying not to cast a shadow.
Rules I Found Engraved On A Milestone – The Surface Old, But The Letters Still Crisp
1. A forsaken thing hides sadly where it used to be; but you can go back there again.
2. There’s no place for you to rest your head. You can test this anytime: close your eyes and wait.
3. The road gets ever steeper: no step will be easier than the last.
4. There’s glass on the floor and you can’t help being barefoot; and broken hearts never heal.
5. These rules won’t help you.
Repetition: an Excrept from "This Was Last Year"
Tuesday January 06th 2009, 5:29 pm
Filed under: Fictionettes
They were jumping out of every window when the fire got bad, high story windows too. I’m almost sure I see them through thick billows of smoke. Others were climbing down from bottom story windows, clawing their way out of doorways through half-ajar doors. The air was full of screams. It was eighteen eighty two. We were ten men from the Fourty-Ninth Fire Brigade, in hard hats and tar-covered jackets. It was a summer day and it was beutiful. We had two horse-drawn fire carriages but no horses.
What Do You Want?
What do you want. What do you want, what do you want waddaya want what do you want. You go outside, but it’s the same pressure in the chest. You go back inside, then, and the smells of the house crowd you. Wood and plaster and maybe dust, perhaps the smell of the sheets in the bedroom, unchanged from the last sex.
Outside there were pretty women but you took no pleasure in looking at them. You were looking nonetheless — hunting them with your eyes. You forgot to take your sunglasses with you. You looked, very aware of their fashionable clothes and the way their breasts moved within their shirts as they walked. What do you want? Nothing stirred in you, seeing these women, no low rumble in the pit of your stomach, in your dick, just a sense of regret. And more pressure in the chest.
Your neck hurts. You sit by the typewriter you bought in the market, then found a special shop that still repairs those and took by bus to be repaired in. And then back by bus, and here it is, what do you want? You move your fingers on the old keyboard but nothing stamps itself on the page. The part of you that should be swollen and heavy with words feels empty and aching. Looking at the blank paper you feel the same sense of regret as outside. You write, then, just so the page won’t be empty. It’s awful and it’s strained and you take the sheet of paper to your computer and you type it and you post it online.
The Coin Toss — another scene from Unluck
“One flip,” Donnovan said. He laid his palm on the table, pulled it away — revealing an old, shiny quarter.
Rammy agreed behind him, the humming wordless way he used to agree with Donnovan — “hmahm”.
“If it’s a head you go back to your cell no fuss, that’s it, and we say goodbye and we part ways, adios.” “hmahah,” said Rammy. “If it’s not we look away for a couple of minutes with the door open and your handcuffs — oops! Gone”.
“One flip,” said the prisoner, whose name they now knew was Johnson. His hands were handcuffed to the chair behind him, and he looked chained and broken, like on some scene from a hardcore porno movie. His hair was disheveled, like his shirt, and he was talking to them through it. “Let’s make it interesting, ha? Boss? Kinda boring like you said it”.
Rejected Novel First Sentences
Saturday September 20th 2008, 1:56 am
Filed under: Bibliphilia
* It was a cold bright day in April and all the clocks were striking eleven-thirty.
* Call me Mike.
* It was an okay time.
* In the beginning, God created Yahtzee.
* Happy families are all alike; unhappy families are also alike.
* Howard Roark picked his nose.
* Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressing gown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:
—- Fuck this fucking shit.