Saturday, August 31, 2013

Things to Appear in a Later Zine

Three things I think about often which I want to know more about later.

Moths – I like moths because they smash their faces into light bulbs. Pretty basic metaphors, oh yes, I am a fan of those. The Pandora moth will willingly walk into a flame. Sometime I wish I had more of these powers. To will myself into danger. When I travel I collect stories of people making mistakes. One half of me hears the story and thinks, Oh goodness, I’m certainly glad to have insurance and a place of my own at home, while the other half hates that I cannot stay awake for thirty hours, endure hangovers heroically, and not have shaky hands when I get angry. Somehow, reading about the strange habits of insects and animals in science-made-fun type books relaxes me into appreciating my safe and flameless lifestyle.

Frederico Garcia Lorca – Lorca I might only like because he was in the Clash song, “Spanish Bombs,” and the Clash I might only like because their s/t album was the first non-MTV group I listened to, although the album I’m thinking about now is actually London Calling. The song “Spanish Bombs” is track 6 on London Calling.
It is a love-lost song from the POV of a casino owner who hears a bomb going off outside his window, and he cannot decide whether maybe it’s contemporary violence or maybe he is actually caught in the Spanish Civil War. Anyhow, “Frederico Lorca’s dead and gone” is a lyric, and from there I bought Lorca’s Selected Verse and in 8 years of owning it understood none of it until maybe a year ago. To the point, I love the sound of his name, Lorca, his illustrations are spooky and easy to reproduce, and he writes lines like “woodcutter / cut down my shadow.”

Windows/Romance – These are two bigger topics I’m trying to decide how I care about. I’ve drawn hundreds of windows in my notebooks. The painting of Goethe looking out a Roman window raises my spirits when I see it. Looking out windows in hotels and homes that are not my own, particularly during snow or rain is very satisfying. There is a Hallmark card inside of me that makes me drawn to deep sentimental shit like windows and atmosphere in art as established by weather. Bob Dylan is like that, too, in his autobiography and his songs. There’s a passage in his Chronicles #1 where he has to dredge his legs through a flooded plain to get to Woody Guthrie’s house to ask the family for access to some unreleased songs. I think when he reaches their front porch covered in mud he meets the daughter or son or mother, and upon asking, Can I see those songs? He told me I could see them, they just say, Nope. Close the door. How dies any of this matter? Only in the way the following things loosely connect.
1.     I enjoy the fall, or movies in which the fall is featured prominently.
2.     Neruda’s poems, provided they are not just about sex.
3.     How fun travel is as a thing to plan and plot. But upon getting to the destination, how you must realize that you are just as likely to get a headache, feel intensely lonely for an hour or so, or have swass when trying to enjoy some magnificent building. And have fun as well.
4.     The Ramones and how they are absolutely a pop group, but one with songs about being afraid of the dark and loving household drugs.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

More Orwell

This summer I'm not sure what I tried to focus on reading. 

Last summer I read a bunch of Orwell. His essays, a biography, and two of his books. One of them was Down and Out in Paris and London, a sort of glancing around anthropology that's a little like Burroughs' Junky and Queer as in it's written for casual readers and leaves you feeling satisfied and not too much like a guy at the zoo. He follows life under the poverty line in France and England. 

If it's read as true, Orwell half stumbles and have drives himself into the life of a tramp, to use his words, shortly after getting out of military training. Happily, he doesn't get hot for Paris and spends most of his time hanging out with castaways from all over Europe. In particular, a  former Russian officer who is lonely for monarchs.   

The quotes below come from the Down and Out book. Some are Orwell and some are lines of dialogue from his peers. 

- He is, somehow, profoundly disgusting to see. 
- By strict economy he managed to always be half starved and half drunk.
- Rackety
- Rickety
- Inveterately 
- Bad luck seemed to have turned him half witted in only a single day. 
- ...And you can never go there again. 
- It is the suburbs, as it were, of poverty.
- I would not flinch, I had been a soldier, remember. 
- He sat up in bed and renewed the situation.
- A duke is a duke, even in exile. (on a duke leaving the bar w/out having paid his bill)
- Of course, one is always a patriot; but still--Did not Moses say something about spoiling the Egyptians? As an Englishman you will have read the Bible. What I mean is, would you object to earning money from Communists?
- The doorkeeper is a cunning swine.
- English eh? He said, if you work well--he made the motion of up-ending a bottle and sucked noisily. If you don't--he gave the doorpost several vigorous kicks. 
- I counted the number of times I was called __?__ during the day. 
- We are a notable set of people.
- It is worth describing...
- Owing to... 
- The bad ones are past imagining.
- People have a way of taking for granted that all work is done for a sound purpose. 
- It is a fear of a supposedly dangerous mob that makes nearly all intelligent people conservative in their opinions.
- The thought of not being poor made me very patriotic.
- D'ysa want to go across my knee?
- His ignorance was limitless and appalling.
- Forced idleness is one of the worst evils of poverty.
- The Salvation Army stinks of charity.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Art! and Culture!

Four years ago, maybe less, I was at an after party for a self-publishing event. I had just come back from the 7-11 with another person. Walking in the door, I was recognized by a stranger for the first and probably only time in my life. 
He came in from out of town to attend the readings and things. "Do you write Let It Sink?" he said. Yes, I told him, bewildered. "I really like your zine," he told me, even touching my shoulder, "but that zine writer over there changed my life!" And in saying this, he pointed across the room  toward a person who had been sexually harassing me for months and months. "Changed your life like in a good way," I asked, "Yeah!" he said. Then I reached into my bag for a 7-11 beer, and I drank it.

Last summer I took a pile of money I'd saved and turned it into plane tickets. Soon I was in Barcelona. Mostly I remember that there were Australians everywhere and none of them listened to Royal Headache. I saw palm trees and signs in Catalan, English, then Spanish, in that order. I went for walks and listened to London Calling and read Homage to Catalonia. 
At the hostel where I stayed, the two night staff workers, young people from Mexico City, were the only ones awake while I was trying to adjust to the new timezone. Talking, It came out that we all liked rock music and that I was in a band.
The next night, one of the staff, a guitarist who was about my age said that he searched online and heard my music. He liked my band, but had I heard of his favorite group of all time, also from Chicago, the great punk rock group, the best of them all, Mest?

Monday, August 12, 2013

End of Summer

          If I stay at home so often, reading and that kind of thing, that I get the idea that I'm smart and in control of my life, that's when I know it's time to leave the apartment and engage the world. 
  This week, a grown man called me an asshole. This happened after I asked him if he was fucking kidding, which I only asked because he first asked me why I was biking so slowly. Traffic was heavy and I was scared was why I was moving so slowly. But what I actually said was, "Are you fucking kidding me?" and pointed at all the dangerous cars on our right squeezing us against the parked vehicles to our left. I didn't realize until I turned around to curse at him that he was 100lbs of muscle heavier than me. 

Later, I sat outside this coffee place while on the phone, leaning on a bike rack. A severe biker guy says I'm blocking the rack. I apologize and feel stupid but he still looks angry. He has black hair and veiny temples.
An hour later, I was drinking coffee and working with a friend on some writing. A guy announces, "Someone has locked their bike to a customer's bike. Does anyone in here have a single-speed white frame bike outside." Quite. "Someone's single-speed white frame bike is locked to another customer's bike and he needs it unlocked." All of the patrons look around, seeking the chump who has locked their bike to a bike. I join in, thinking, where is this poor idiot? 
I realize within moments that I am the culprit. I excuse myself from the table and unlock my bike from the customer's old spoiler, which I've attached to. 
Back inside, my friend asks if it was my bike. I tell him, no, it was not. Now what were we talking about.