Friday, December 03, 2010

From the Aphorism Smeltery #3

"A writer who isn't questioning is answering -- and what the hell does he know?"

Monday, October 11, 2010

From the Archives: Cup of the Kings Poster

Cup of the Kings was the working title for the film The Unearthing of the Grail. Which remains unearthed. And unproduced. I think, maybe, there's some footage. TUOTG was Homemade Productions follow-up to their hit 8mm, Oyster. Not a Raiders of the Lost Ark rip-off, Jeff & Paul, helmsmen, were using Lucas' characters. So it was a sequel, or maybe prequel. Anyway, it never came together. And I doubt I ever even showed the producers my poster. Actually, I probably did, as I was a glutton for punishment in those days. What days? 1982, I guess? '83? Help me out here. The aborted filming did yield a few photos, including the one below.

It was cold as shit, at least to a twerp like me. I think we scouted out this location near Bobby's, somewhere off Washington Ave. Who can remember, right?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Gary Cleanberg: A Return to the Master Tapes

Earlier today I re-read Qner's highly-articulate recounting of the Gary Cleanberg sessions, which produced the educational CD/Workbook for food service vocational trainees known as Gary's Guided Tours Volume 1: Food Service Safety & Hygiene. Although Dave, the founder of Mind & Pen Imagination Industries, only sold one copy, the project quickly rose to cult status among the handful of friends who got to listen to it. My brother & I provided the music. With due respect to all who worked on the CD, it's freaking nuts. And I can't get enough of it. So here are a few tracks from this legendary audio monstrosity straight outta Piedmont, NY in 1999.

Hand Washing Part 2
Changing Gloves Part 2
Prof. Plympton (Excerpt)
Reformation of Henrietta

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Joke 1.0

Adam: We had a schizophrenic cat.

Me: It had 18 lives?

Fishwork Scavenging 1.0

Cataloging some jottings scattered over the dozens of notebooks...


In a dream, I encounter God. He says, "I am not God." Great. So what am I supposed to say?

"Oh, don't say that? Of course you're God... you're GOD!"

But he wasn't angling for a compliment or reassurance. He was quite matter-of-fact.

"I'm not God."

He lit a cigarette, threw the match down. It was still hot when it landed on his sneaker and melted the tip.

"Oh, great!" he bellowed in frustration. (He said he wasn't God but he was a very big fellow.)

He got on his Huffy and left.

Thongs for Nothing

I'm thinking about writing a play about Alexander Trocchi:

Narrator: He pimped his wife.
Trocchi: Well, I did other things, too!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Resurfacing of the Lantern Fishworks

Where did I go? Nowhere really. It's the Internets -- it is seemingly eternal.

The Internets spreads you thin though, doesn't it? I Facebook, Twitter, Blip, Blog; I've got multiple email accounts; I mess around with the phone apps... And that's a full day. It's hard to maintain one voice in one place. It's improbable I ever will again. Still, I hope to give more attention to the Fishworks again. It is, after all, an outlet for my writings. And since I tell everyone, through my teeth, I'm a writer, I might as well back up that semi-falsehood a bit.

So check back and check back often (not too often!!!). And don't forget to visit my Facebook, Twitter, Blip and various other websites and blogs!

Get bored outta yr skull...and beyond!

Monday, May 03, 2010

"The Ozone Slayer": Excerpt from "The Heir in Exile Never Returns", a Work in Progress

When I was very young and lived in Queens, our neighbor across the street shot his wife and his mother. Ultimately, he turned the gun on himself. The wife survived, but he and his mother died. It wasn’t his mother-in-law but his mother; she joined her daughter-in-law in an escalating argument with her son. Eleven minutes and eleven seconds later, she joined an exclusive group whose membership in two minutes and twenty-seven seconds would include her son: the dead. Man Kills Mother, Self During Assault On Wife.

The blood in our house rose from scraped knees and shaved chins. A week never produced enough to fill a thimble. People use phrases like “buckets of blood.” At the crime scene across the street, it looked like someone kicked the bucket over, refilled it, and heaved it against the wall oven. There was nothing in the oven.

Chances are I was at my dining room table rolling out clay snakes and curling up their green-grey bodies into braided rugs or diving for our wild puppy in the dry backyard and brushing the dead grass off my plaid Tough Skins as the neighbor across the street attempted to murder his wife. Three gunshots broke the dome of that mid-autumn morning silence, but my ears only heard my rustling on the lawn and Sandy yapping. Sandy was our Labrador retriever, named after the color of her coat. If I were naming dogs back in 1973, I’d have called her "Dry Grass On A Mid-Autumn Morning". It’s not the best name for a dog, but it’s better than "Murder Suicide Five Hundred Feet Away". Which is not good no matter how many feet away it happens.

I don’t remember the couple across the street or the slain grandmother of their two kids, although I’m told I occasionally played with the brothers. Certainly, I don’t recall the last time we rolled Tonka trucks on my front walk, but I’ll timestamp this unmemory November 12, 1973, five days before the shooting. My lack of awareness denied that event the title of “My First Encounter With Death.” The neighbors’ boys weren’t lucky enough to own a wild puppy that yapped at small clay hands and drowned out the sounds of gunshots and crying.

There’s no telling why some of us are left alone and others of us never lose anyone but ourselves.

Unpossessed Knowledge

The allure of belonging seems to be in the acquisition of unpossessed knowledge. Secret knowledge. Once knowledge is attained, interest in the group may wane. But by then, we often find ourselves too deeply embroidered into the association’s pattern.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The River Don't Think, So It Don't Think Twice

Do I need coffee? 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon. I've had a bad writer's itch all week and just can't scratch it. It's not writer's block where you can't put down what's stuck inside. It's an itch to write with nothing to write about. I find it difficult to articulate so far (so I guess I've got a bit of a writer's block about my writer's itch).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

In the Listening Room: Meet the Beatles

Side 1

#1 - Yeah, I wanna hold your hand! Like a revelation! Demur, proper; then, an ecstasy in discovery! I want to hold your hand! Masks are dropped: I can’t hide! The bass is a throbbing swamp. I do!

#2 - For the first time, I hear this song as cocky, instead of love-struck. The sound is so lo-fi; basement drums, railcar guitars.

#3 - If this was the only song they were known for, they’d have fallen in place with the Fleetwoods and Del Vikings.

#4 - Out of the daydream: crack amateurs blast daylight black. Thunder in a funnel; cascading vocals. Made it home by 3!

#5 - Soul song. Purveyor of zombie sound? Humming, “Rockin’ Robin” style.

#6 - One for the fan club! Brown shoulders, brown shadows, but no taming the joy in the treble! The coda takes off down the river.

Side 2

#1 - The best song on the album, but if this was the hit, they’d have been a different band.

#2 - Light stuff, but fun. A little boogie-woogie thrown into the beat to vex monsignors.

#3 - A necessary aspect of the Beatles success – this sound, this imagery only McCartney can deliver. Why so important? I think it was a tether securing the Beatles in a certain subset of music. The donkey walked us up here. He had a hat.

#4 - Is this even the Beatles? Sounds like a really old session; it sounds like they’re in a tunnel. McCartney sounds like he’s singing for his life; not great desperation in his voice, but a fear.

#5 - A Side 2, Track 5 song if I ever heard one. They tussle during the solo. Ringo is falling across his drums.

#6 - The piano solo is amazingly deliberate, but beautiful. Both the engineering and performance lend that phrase passion. And it ends. Just like that. The song, the album. Sorry, have we met?

In the Listening Room: Leon Russell's Carney

1972: When you were smaller, you painted numbers on the curbs; difficult formulas with homemade stencils. On foggy mornings, the wolves left the safety of the forests to solve your curious equations. The garbage men and the paperboy never saw them (never knew they’d been there). And they never saw you: they never read the curbs. The sun burned off the haze and found them creeping out of the morning, the driver with a needle in his vein, the paperboy drunk on masquerade gin. This panorama is a hint of the carnival that stalks the American countryside. You grow up, have trouble with numbers, forget how to hold a paintbrush. In kindergarten, you are re-educated, but your teachers do not have a fucking clue. God love them, it just doesn’t seem right. Then outside the classroom window, you see the wolves. One has a fiddle in his teeth.

2009: 3 in the morning, you awake with a start. No sound. You rustle in your sheets, reaching for your glasses, sitting up, leaning forward towards the bedroom window. No sound. But you heard something outside of your dream. You delicately slip out of bed; you do not want to wake her up. You separate the blinds, seeking a source of no sound. It fades and you hear a circus, certainly, but it’s only a low whine. The moon’s full, the lawn glows silver. The Man is in the Moon. His face is singing. Ice crystal notes spin around his equator. He keens like a calliope; he wails like a Wurlitzer. Christ, he’s a ghost! The biggest ghost in the night sky, and he’s singing, and he sounds like a circus – a glowering, cheerful, mad, comforting circus! The sound lifts you off your feet, moves you, pulls back the covers, and tucks you in bed. You won’t sleep for the rest of the night. You’re a groove in his record. You forget what a circus is: are there witches? Where would I see a circus? a swamp? yes, a swamp! no, the driveway! In the center ring, the Manhattan Swamp Witch eats a tightrope like it was licorice. The Moon is so impressed, he descends. The noise is incredible. The river evaporates and the fish fly into outer space, swallowing the stars until you are in a total darkness only broken by the fading glow of the moon. It dims softly, the music shuts softly. At 6 in the morning, the rooster crows – he sounds like an iceberg on hot asphalt.