Thursday, January 19, 2017


(inauguration day connections)
I love watching
people leave, on
their way out.
It's a great thing
to see. As if, in
summation, all of
a sudden, everything
can be made to make
sense, and to have 
been done with
purpose and
There's a term, in
writing, for this
'narrative technique
of jumping forward
in time,' and I guess
I've just done it. It's
called 'prolepsis'  -
it sounds more to 
me like one of 
the peculiar and 
annoying new 
'syndromes' or 
something, a 
medical farce 
by which they 
try to drag you 
in, and then give 
you  a medication 
for it   -  dependence 
of course  -  which 
they, then again, 
cover for risk by 
saying 'if you suffer 
from prolepsis, be 
aware that taking 
Gubertol may cause 
vomiting, sweat, 
chills, dizziness, 
unease, diarrhea, 
loss of appetite, 
diminishment of 
sexual urges, 
lack of attention, 
suicidal urges, 
ache, ague, and 
aligned with 
and tremors.' 
Oh, really? That's 
OK, I'll just keep 
the prolepsis. 
Jumping ahead 
in time, narrative-wise, 
is one thing, but 
doing it bodily, and 
in front of others in, 
say, a supermarket 
check-out line...I 
don't think so. 
There's also 
another item they 
continually bring 
up in writing seminars 
and all that  -  don't 
use current names 
and/or personalities 
who will turn stale 
as a reference in 
a few years and by 
which reference, in 
the future, your 
writing may 
seem dated, trite, 
or without merit. 
Oh, OK again. 
(Talk about being 
prideful. Like 
anyone's going 
to be reading this 
or anything in fifty 
years). There's a 
certain sort of 
self-identified ego
and pride involved 
in any of this, or
why write, I suppose; 
so I can understand 
their point, but I 
don't necessarily 
accept it. Admittedly, 
to read John Updike 
today, or even Saul 
Bellow does sometimes 
seem to be a 
backwards, with 
the names and all. 
Not much different 
than using outdated 
character names : 
'Caleb turned to 
Annhilda and 
said, 'forsooth, 
milady, you are 
driving this GTO 
much too swiftly, 
as Orion nodded 
his agreement
from the rear
passenger seat.'
I was lost in 
the present, 
which was the 
past, and I had 
no future. Anyhow, 
that's how it always
looked to me.  
There's a book 
called 'Zama', by 
Antonio DiBenedetto; 
it's an older work 
now, from like 1956 
or something. 
Argentinian, both 
this writer and the 
book  -  but an 
Argentinian fiction 
or writing that can, 
as well, cover all 
the Americas and 
certainly encompass
the USA almost as 
if it had been written 
today, instead of 
just now being 
rightfully translated,
in an easy, colloquial 
tongue for the 
present-day reader. 
There are a lot of 
things in it that 
catch, that are 
quite absorbable 
and bring the reader 
well into a current vibe. 
Today's thought. 
American or not. 
'Ready to go and 
not going...' In 
the book this fellow 
is engrossed in 
bouts of obsession, 
delusion, and wild 
aggression, but 
the writing remains 
clear-headed and 
not overwrought. 
Strangely lethal. 
The character, Don 
Diego de Zama, is 
a 'pacifier of Indians', 
an administrator of 
the Spanish crown 
posted in some 
far-off (for Argentina, 
where most thing 
only happen in 
Buenos Aires  -  or 
as he, for some 
reason, calls it 
'Buenos Ayres'), 
which he's posted 
to in some faraway, 
almost horrendously 
boring, outpost called
the 'Vice-royalty of 
the Rio de la Plata', 
among the locals, 
in a vast area of 
what now 
Argentina, Bolivia, 
Paraguay and 
Uruguay. Americans, 
certainly in 1956, 
had no clue on the 
what or where of any 
of these places : long, 
strange, and exotic, 
as they were, and 
only when 'conquered' 
by gringos at the end
end of a gun did any of
these places ring true. 
I remember Kennedy,
and his inaugural, with
all that 'bear any burden,
pay any price, maim 
and kill any people 
and destroy any 
land and village, 
in the name of 
Freedom and 
Liberty.' But, 
whatever. I 
"It was early. I 
had little to do." 
His job there mostly 
entails receiving 
occasional visitors, 
distinguished or 
not, overseeing 
prisoner transfers,
contemplating petitions 
for requisitioning 
work-gangs of 
enslaved Indians 
for one or another 
requested task. 
Finding ways NOT 
to prosecute local 
murderers who 
are well-connected, 
and other such 
administrative tasks. 
Boredom, I suppose,
 is always the essential
figleaf beneath even 
the most expensive 
of clothing. He 
seems to have 
an 'impassioned 
disposition' and a 
perfectly fine aloofness 
from others as he 
goes about these 
tasks anyway, 
and I love the 
way this is put, 
all this doing of 
rote tasks, as he 
warns, or tells, 
himself that he 
need only: 'keep 
diligently in my 
mind my stability, 
my post, and 
the duties attendant 
upon it, to succeed 
in disencumbering 
myself of it  -  of 
the post, that is.' 
Existentialist fiction,
 the havoc within 
being kept 
concealed while 
the pace and 
the action of 
a life are 
each by a choice 
and a step along 
the way. It all  -  I 
have to be honest 
hear  -  sounds 
just like NOW (yes,
oh ye of the long 
future, I mean 
NOW), with one 
President leaving 
out the side door 
making sure his 
behind is clean, 
and another rousting 
in through the front 
door, salivating at 
the mess-to-be, 
and forget the ass-end;
well, for now). OK, 
so, I suffer from 
prolepsis; yet I'm 
not shaking, nor 
puking. And I 
retain a sexual 
I always wondered 
if there was a 
drug that would 
make one curse, 
blurt things out, 
swear and profane 
every fucking thing 
one saw. There 
probably is. They 
really ought to 
use it. 'My fellow 
freaking lousy 
asshole robots, 
this is the shits  -  
greatest place to 
be, for me Hell, 
yeah. Anywhere. 
Very best. Podium, 
all you faces. Fucking 
great. Huge.' Man, 
that was a great  -  
and short  -  inaugural 
speech. Forget about 
the other guy's exit 
speech; who cares.
Here's Don Diego 
(this is great stuff, 
wish I'd written it), 
contemplating a 
'wrtihing patch of 
water' : "A dead
monkey, still whole, 
still undecomposed, 
drifted back and 
forth with a certain 
precision upon 
those ripples and 
eddies without exit. 
All his life the water 
at the forest's edge 
had beckoned him 
to a journey, a 
journey he did 
not take until he 
was no longer a 
monkey but only 
a monkey's corpse. 
The water that bore 
him up tried to bear 
him away, but he 
was caught among 
the posts of the 
decrepit wharf 
and there he was, 
ready to go and 
not going. And 
there we were. 
There we were: 
Ready to go 
and not going."

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