Fuck Me, I Think I’m Elder

Is this like something you have to be?

Or automatically become?

And why are there these special, all-cringeworthy words for getting older?

Why aren’t I the same person, granted in somewhat different form?

More bouts with that chronic illness that periodically take me off to OtherLand. You know, the one where you don’t live. Least not if you take life for granted. Your physical life, your mind. Which my illness blows all to hell. The body produces some killer chemicals, trying to keep it all in check. Whereas you, you lucky dogs, you just piss it out.

Naw, not during this whole time that I haven’t posted here. What that’s about is … I don’t know what that’s about, except I think it’s lousy to walk away from a blog without a word, which is what it looked like. Continue reading “Fuck Me, I Think I’m Elder”

Eternally Yours

A radical confusion between art and action is at the heart of this. What we consider unacceptable in human behaviour, we consider unacceptable in art, forgetting that art exists precisely to say the otherwise unsayable.

You know what this means, don’t you. It means that art, the practice of art of any kind, is a necessary human function, as if given us precisely to do something with that which would otherwise remain outside of life, perhaps kill us, drive us to kill someone else, or any of the thousand other terrible things people do when experience overwhelms the spirit and the mind.

Or, in those people you don’t like very much, cause the inter-psychologic splitting by which some are capable of sealing off, as it were, the feeling part. Actually, it’s not so much that you don’t like them, as it is a matter of finding next to no response. We are the instruments that play each other—and if you don’t have resonance, I’m not going to attune to you. Be drawn in. No melody.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I guess what I am talking about is why we creative malcontents tend to hang with our own kind. Read Ernest Becker’s Denial of Death. His explanation divides people into two camps (I always like two camps) those who spend their lives in the successful denial of their upcoming death—and those who wade through the various manifestations of death that are part and parcel of being alive. Being human.

The animal, Rilke writes in the Eighth Duino Elegy, has its death behind it, and leaps forward for all eternity, as if a running spring (depending on which translation you read) and while of course this is the most enviable freedom we can imagine, it is also not Ours. That option was already lost. When we were born human—a member of the only species aware of its own, personal upcoming death.

I think a whole lot of the big, unnecessary, fruitless stink manufactured by persons, in this life, is for lack of having a way to do art. Or courage for the struggle.

Something like that.

A Maid of The Kitchen

She was fifty-one years old and gave birth to ten children

And never sat once at the head of the table
And didn’t even talk to the people at the table
Who just cleaned up all the food from the table

What has always kicked my ass about this song is this next line, showing off as audacious a leap in meaning and lyric as I can recall ever seeing.

And emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level

The words themselves seem a little strange … but I don’t think anyone fails to get what they mean, what an artist of the young Dylan’s caliber made them mean.

Continue reading “A Maid of The Kitchen”

“Dilly, Dally, Dolittle & Stahl” Is No More

Phil Frank has died, but a week after his announced retirement … and no, this isn’t going to sink in … though the sadness has … until spring, when the bears awaken from their winter slumbers at the Fog City Dumpster for their annual trip to Asphalt State Park (a.k.a.Yosemite) … which demanded the annual commandeering of a Muni bus, complete with hapless drive (donning their bandolera first, of course) issuing, once more, the treasured line,

“Bodges! We don’ need no steenkeng bodges!”

Or perhaps it was badges … no matter. The title, above, is the name of the law offices—Dilly, Dally, Dolittle and Stahl—of the feral pigs, who, being in the profession, carried fine briefcases and drove fast nasty cars. Beemers, of course. Frank had a way of weaving the actual pests of nature hereabouts into the world his strips created that utterly suited them. Utterly. Feral pigs, for those of you who don’t live in Marin or Sonoma County, are ugly, merciless, ever-hungry animals who will rip up anything to get at what they want, who will kill your dogs and are otherwise extremely single-minded.

And sweet Orwell, the feral cat who lived in Golden Gate Park, who embodied the left-over hippie-ness of the Park as well as the homeless who live there, with one eye out for the deal, but basically good of heart, in a way that … well, Frank always drew the truth.baba

Baba ReBop, sigh, whom we shall consult no more. Baba wore a propeller beanie, along with his flowing, guru-like robes, and always displayed his fax number … and damn it, I never faxed him. Farley himself, Frank’s alter-ego, played both observer and fool, and held the whole thing together, in his reportorial way.

Frank said in an interview that unlike Garry Trudeau, he didn’t skewer his subjects. Ah, yes, but he did. True, not in the fashion of Uncle Duke … but showed the foolishness of us all—including aging hippies. But most of all, Frank used us, human and non-human alike, in the same way he used himself … as instruments, gorgeously drawn instruments, of an apparently endless wit.

And then it ends. And we try to cope with that.