Car Hood

This is a little piece of flash fiction.  The events are true….from long ago.  Car hood

 

Sex, Lies and Writing

In 1994, guitarist/singer Martin Simpson, hitherto known for luminous versions of British ballads, and blues,  released a cd “A Closer Walk With Thee.”  A cd of instrumental versions of American gospel tunes…a stunning collection, by the way.  I saw him at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, later, and he told the audience that after release of ‘A Closer Walk…’ he was approached by fans and friends who asked “hey, Martin, you haven’t become one of those, have you?” to which he responded, something like…I sing a lot of british ballads about murder, robbery and incest, and i don’t believe in any of those, either.’

To which there was a sincere round of applause.  But it put me in mind then, and recurs today, of that thorny issue….where does the art end and the artist begin?   Are they one?

 

They are not.  Just because an actor plays villains and wife-beaters, it does not mean that he is one himself.   Altho some actors are persecuted as if they were.   It is a part he plays…live with it, folks.

 

Writers use whatever material is at hand…observation of people….books read….movies seen…their own experience….and, of course, those dark images percolating up from the subconscious.

 

From these disparate elements, the writer cobbles together a tale or poem.  The chances are it is not real, folks.   At least mostly not real.   There is always some element of observation or experience, or there would be no trigger for the creation.

 

When i write about people, I have images in mind.  Usually, they are impressions of friends, people i see in coffee shops, or memories of childhood.  These mix together in the context of the poem or story, and altho you might think i am writing about a specific someone, that is rarely the case.

 

I meet a neighbor in the street…she asks where i have been…and after the conversation is past, i sit down to write, and she, or the image of her, becomes part of the story.   The story is not about her, she is not in the story, it is just made up.  And if “I” am in the story, it is not me, it is simply using first person as a powerful means of telling the tale.

 

The creation is not the creator.   The creator is simply reflected in the creation…and, in a mirror, you see things in reverse, and you don’t see what’s behind the image in the glass.  I have written about rape, but, of course, never done it…considering it, next to child abuse, as  the most odious and unforgiveable violation of the person.   I wrote a story about being in love with a boy who had a crooked smile just like Harrison Ford’s, and having a crush on a beautiful girl named April, but, i am not the woman telling the story, not a woman at all, and I have never loved a man with a smile like Harrison Ford’s, or, much more depressing, a girl named April.   I guess i am in that story, somewhere, but, I defy you to figure out what the story says about me.

 

Art is about truth…right?   But it is also about lies.  The biggest truth emerges from the lie.  If i write a poem or a story which disturbs, look to yourself.  What truth about you has the story evoked?  The story is not necessarily about me at all;  it very well may have no foundation in fact at all;  I am just a storyteller, using whatever grist is available for my mill.  (So, watch what you say around me, or you might just see it in someone else’s mouth in a future story!)

 

My writing is not reportage. 

 

Okay, we have looked at lies and writing….kind of.  What about sex…That third part of the title of this post? 

 

Sorry.  I just used it as a come-on….(and a take off on the title of a well-known film).  Live with it.

 

Next….in future posts….naughty limericks (is there another kind?)…and a poem called “Gratitude”,  coming up soon.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Valentines

Here’s one for the old love feast!!!!     Happy Valentines.2doc

April’s Bottom…Das Lied von der Po

Back in May, 2012 I posted an early version of my celebration:  April’s Bottom.  I thought it time to revisit, so, here is the updated edition.

April’s bottom was first noticed when she was but four years of age.  People said…my, what a sweet bottom!  Her parents became quite disturbed.  She was, after all, forever running around naked in the back yard, and sometimes in the front, as well.  It was very hot that year, but that wasn’t the real reason she was naked.  At that age, and most regrettably not later, she just loved to doff textiles at the first opportunity.  Her parents had to admit, reluctantly, that she did have a wonderful bottom.  You could hear them muttering:  what are we going to do about April’s bottom?

By the time she was eight, she was affecting traffic flow, wherever she went.  Her parents were urged, for the sake of the safety of others, to dress her in loose, baggy clothing.  Her posterior was simply too compelling.  They did try, they truly did, but every time the wind blew from behind, the cars would begin to swerve.

Coffee shops and April!  When she turned twelve, old men were seen to mop their brows in Starbucks.  Relationships foundered as all parties were otherwise smitten.  University divinity students found a new faith in the Creator.  At this time, the problem, if one sees it as such, was much aggravated by fashion, particularly the fashion of jeans.  They were low slung, and every time April crouched down, or sat, the back of the jeans would slide down.  Coffee cups all around froze on their way to mouths.

Seeing this, her proud though despairing parents were heard to tell her to pay attention ‘or else…’  And with that ‘or else’, heads turned, as the nearby patrons were galvanized by deep feelings of profound ambiguity, as they, on the one hand found their self-righteousness aroused, and on the other hand, blushed with guilt in their secret delight in the vision of a however brief return to less enlightened times, and more manual ways of posterior persuasion.

Of such ways, I am both pleased, and curiously reluctant to say, April remains innocent.

But, all that was nothing compared to when she was in her teens.  By this time, creation had already completed what many considered to be its masterwork.  One glimpse was enough to put paid to anyone’s sense of equilibrium, peace, order, even good government.  April’s bottom was now a force of nature, a source of disarray and delighted confusion, a divine agency of chaos.

As for April, she was used by this time, to people staring at her behind.  She would walk down the street and surreptitiously look at reflections in windows, and she would see people looking, and smile, gently.  It is a tribute to her generosity of personality that she became neither arrogant, nor overly shy, but recognized that the sight of her bottom was to many a truly blessed assurance that the universe was, indeed, a place of grace and hope.

She therefore always dressed so that her gluteal loveliness was clearly available, but not thrust callowly into one’s face (although, in this case, few would have objected to that!).  For ever and ever, she would hear the whispers she first heard in playschool:  my, what a sweet bottom!

“Little”, by the way, would not be an accurate adjective, however suggestive of that aforementioned sweetness.    “Little” would suggest that it is smaller than expected.  It is not, nor is it larger.  April’s bottom is her crowning glory.  It swells from the tops of her legs (themselves an achievement in beauty), like a crescendo in a Bach toccata, or the final fugue in Die Kunst der Fuge.  No words are necessary, only awe, and a reverent silence.

(Gustav Mahler, on seeing this wonder, would no doubt have been inspired to write a new masterpiece:  Das Lied von der Po.)

But, make no mistake, there have been negative elements as well.  Her friends would employ April’s bottom as a weapon against male teachers, and some female.  Seeing such a victim approaching, her friends would move sideways, to give the teacher an unobstructed view of perhaps that one glorious phenomenon that made the experience of teaching the unwilling adolescent worthwhile.

The torments revealed by the teacher as he strove against the temptation to turn and watch April’s progress down the halls…they were wondrous to behold.  Such a man would then be child’s play, easy of manipulation, his awareness lost to that soul-elevating vision.

Which does bring us to now.

April’s bottom is celebration incarnate.  She knows that once seen, it cannot be denied.  She knows that men are nearly paralyzed, made helpless at a glimpse of that dream that makes the heart flutter, the knees weak, and renders all other aspirations futile.

She is always aware that she can escape unwanted attention by casually turning her back, if only for a moment.  The bothersome suitor would be stunned to motionlessness, he would simply stare, and whisper, even the most loutish of them, something romantic, something poetical, something lyrical like “oh…my…gawd!”

Alas, poor April has as yet met no man who can retain his self-control, indeed, his dignity in the face of this vision.  It demands an inner strength and nobility of soul so rare in today’s troubled times.

I must add that even winter, with the sad necessity of long coats, cannot be denied its own magic ceremonies centred upon April’s bottom.  When April enters the coffee shop, there is a momentary intake of breath, as patrons of both genders sneak glances as she approaches her seat.  April stands, pauses, and doffs her coat, and throughout the cafe there are sighs of gratification, changing to quiet chuckles of delight as she stands in line before the counter.

To encounter April’s bottom is to attain to levels of pleasure one formerly only dreamed oneself capable of achieving.  Somehow goodness and mercy become once again realized in this oft-times shadowy world.  April’s bottom is a blessing to all who contemplate it, a clear statement that there is a beneficent guiding force in our universe.  It is miracle, and if it cannot cure ills, it certainly makes them more bearable.  It is one of those magical things that does not compel possession, but simple admiration, almost worship.

Hymns could be written to April’s bottom.  They would seem lame, inadequate.  And words, too, spoken and written, they too fall so, so far short in expression, in explanation, and in celebration.  Even these words.  Yet one feels compelled to try.

And try again.

Noman’s footgear

As Noman walked a long and dusty road, his right sandal strap broke.  He looked back the way he had come.  Then ahead.   Nothing.  No sign of human habitation, and most certainly, no sign of either a sandal-seller, or a cobbler.  Noman squatted by the side of the road, and tried to tie the broken ends together, but, it just wouldn’t do.

So Noman threw aside his sandal, and continued on his way.

As the day wore on, Noman found himself becoming more tired than usual, for the time of day.  He guessed it was because he was wearing only one sandal.  So, he took off his left sandal and threw it aside.  Pointless carrying it.  Again, there was no sign of a cobbler.

Noman strode on, rejoicing that he had divested himself  of yet another encumbrance.

An hour or so passed, and Noman stopped, mopped his brow, and looked at the side of the road..

He saw a sandal.   Someone had cast it aside, perhaps because the other sandal had broken, and he had no further use for this one.  Noman looked again.

It was a right sandal.

Noman was certain there was something to be learned from this.  Or not.

Noman and the Snakes

Another parable of arcane wisdom featuring Noman the Stylite,  who is not on his pillar, because it was demolished, during a brief period of Byzantine urban renewal.

Noman the Stylite was puzzled.  He stood in the middle of the road, and watched a pair of snakes copulating.  He was puzzled, because he could not tell the male from the female, and he wondered how they could.

Noman remembered the tale of Tiresias, a sage of ancient Greece, who had seen the same thing.  The sage had struck the snakes with his staff, and was instantly turned into a woman.  He lived as a woman for seven years until she finally encountered copulating serpents, struck them, and became a man again, somewhat regretfully.

Noman had always wondered what it would be like to be a woman, so he struck the copulating snakes with his staff.

Instantly, Noman was transformed into a female snake.  Almost at once, a male snake appeared, and leered the snaky equivalent of  “at last, a looker.”  Noman considered that since he was no longer a man, he just might be able to  dispense with the vow of celibacy.   The male snake rather aggressively made his mind up for him.  The experience was, to say the least, alarming.

Noman hid under a rock, until he sensed the approach of a human.  His snaky senses actually only told him the pedestrian was warmblooded.  He crawled from under the rock and wiggled provocatively.  At once, a second male snake attempted a baroque form of sexual assault known only to serpents.  Noman tried to be yielding.

The pedestrian stopped to watch, then struck at the snakes with her staff.

Noman instantly became a man again, and turned to his benefactress.  When she stopped screaming, he said:

“Have you seen a robe and staff, I seem to have misplaced them?”

 

Published in: on August 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm  Comments (1)  
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Noman the Stylite….1.

The stylites were early christian saints, who spent their lives sitting on top of pillars.   Usually they had a platform of sorts.  I first encountered Noman the Stylite when I was writing a surreal foofurah called Hunting Tygers out of Injah.  In that strange concoction Noman was accompanied by a mongander, my term for  a male mongoose.  The name Noman comes from the Odyssey, it being the name Odysseus gave to himself when dealing with Polyphemus the Cyclops.  Anyway…I have, from time to time, written little spliffs about Noman, in the style of sufi tales.   Here is one.  I shall produce more, as the spirit moves me.

Noman the Stylite had many critics.  He dealt with them all the very same way.

One would come to him, and say,   “Hey why don’t you get a regular job?”,  and Noman the Stylite would simply smile and say “It is written.”  And the questioner would walk away, satisfied.

Another would say: “Found the meaning of life, yet, holy man?”  and Noman the Stylite would simply smile and say “It is written.” And the questioner would walk away, satisfied.

Another would say: “Why do you not shave your head, like other holy men?” to which Noman the Stylite would simply smile and say “It is written”. And the questioner would walk away, satisfied.
To all such questions, Noman the Stylite would answer with a smile and “it is written.”  And the querrents would walk away, satisfied.

Noman would watch them go, and smile, and shake his head, and say:  “They never ask Where?”

Family History, part one

Who knows where these things come from.  At any rate….here is Karl May  and, hopefully, more to come…eventually.

Published in: on June 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Jesus Prayer

There I was, sitting in Starbies, and the Sons of the Pioneers started singing Cool Water, and this happened.  Jesus Prayer

Published in: on June 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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How do I begin?…like this

After writing my “How do I begin?” post,  I went back to my usual slurggish self and lolligagged about, doing damage to the time left me in this incarnation.  My inner disciplinarian was profoundly annoyed, and forced me to sit and write this.  To those who have not read the previous post,  I suggest you do.  This will end up looking better (I hope).  To the others, who have read it,  and you others, who, like me,  would ignore my advice about reading the other post, go to the ant, my son, consider his ways, and be wise.  How do I begin?….like this.This, by the way, is the beginning, of …something.Dahlia