After being locked out of my blog for three weeks I have it back. My computer got hit with a nasty virus and I had to take it in for debugging. It took a week then I discovered I lost my access to my blog and now at last I have been able to get in again.
Oh Joy! Who would have thought I would have missed slaving away at this machine for hours on end with no pay simply to see my words whirling around the internet.
Well my ego is big enough but now I have a blast from the past as an old comrade from the shady side of San Francisco has contacted me, sending shivers up my spine and wonder into my soul. What prey tell does he desire? I had some pretty heavenly and hellish experiences there. I would say my days in San Francisco allowed me to explore the revolutionary aspirations and the evil ones. I got to experience being bad like never before and a taste of family life only to have my middle class dreams dashed on my punk rock realities.
I became a three piece suited junkie. I was wearing my Brooks Brothers suit in the projects. Telling the old men to watch my car when I went to score carrying my briefcase into the dens of local poverty, like some Kennedy as a commentator mentioned. I wish I was so connected. I was out to cop and no matter where I had to go, I would. No tale out of Bill Burroughs books seemed out of place or unusual to me.
I remember the night my girlfriend turned into an alien bug creature. She was half consumed by them. I watched in a crazed delirium as she grew crab legs and claws. I escaped with my life, maybe. She became my wife. We had a son and now he lives in San Francisco and won’t talk to me although I can contact him through his face book account.
While on my blogging sabbatical I managed to read a lot and one book that took me more by how much it didn’t affect me was Annie Le Brun’s “Reality Overload”. She is a daughter of the revolution of May 68 in Paris and a member of the Surrealist Group just before it disbanded in 1969. She wrote an indictment of Deconstructionism, Post Structuralism, Structuralism and French Theory in general. In her mind most of modern philosophy is merely a tool of capital, a means by which all the imaginal realms have been conquered by a virtual simulation of reality.
She is a believer in the romantic revolution, most specifically the Symbolists and Decadents of the late 19th century and the surrealists of the twentieth. She admires Breton and despises Neruda. She suspects Brecht as a party hack and has no use for Debord and the Situationists. Her heroes seem to be Breton. Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Apollinaire and most of all Alfred Jarry. He was the great inventor of Ubu. the fat Polish king of the world. I could say he is my progenitor as I have myself turned into a fat Pollock although I am no king, except in my mind.
Be that as it may she rails against the genetically modified mad cow infested world (that was what was happening around the turn of the century when the book was published). She is rather incoherent about what she does want although she did write the introduction to the book by the Unibomber Ted Kaczynski’s French Edition and considers him to be a modern day hero. I think she might be in agreement with John Zerzan and his ilk of insurrectionary imaginalism. But I am no surrealist myself and I used to follow Franklin Rosemont and the Chicago Surrealist School but could not digest their politics. It seems that many of the Surrealists fell for Trotsky when he was a celebrated addition to the Russian exile community in the 1930’s. I am no fan of Trotsky. He butchered the revolution with his war communism and destruction of the Anarchists in the Ukraine and then when he realized that Stalin had sealed the fate of the rest who constituted the left in the Soviet Union he dithered and then it was too late. The man was too much of a party man and I am suspect of any group that admired him as the surrealists did.
I say to Mz Le Brun, too little, too late. Any academic who shoots rubber bullets at her fellow academics is not going to win any votes in my book. Come out here in the trenches where we plebes suffer and then maybe I will listen. But then she did write about my own favorite pornographer the Marquis De Sade and for that I will give her some credit. Although I cannot say exactly how she understands him, not having read her book. He was a torturer of milkmaids who went to prison for being caught. He also wrote some damn interesting philosophy between the mutilation of butt holes, wombs and babies that he described in his books. A film called Salo was made by Pasolini based on his book 120 Days of Sodom. One time out of curiosity I asked a woman from the Italian Consulate in Los Angeles, one of my clients to get me a copy of the movie. It had gone out of print and I wanted to know if the Italian Arts Council for which she worked could get it for me.
The next time I saw her she was red faced and told me that it was a dirty movie. No it was, a parable comparing Fascism under Mussolini to the tale in De Sade. She didn’t get the point and thought I was just making fun of her. I never did get a copy of that movie. Last time I saw it was in San Francisco when I was living with my hooker girlfriend. It made me so horny that I wanted to have sex with her every 15 minutes or so. I never did get to see the end of it.
That sounds degrading, Kristin was a hooker because she loved drugs and giving blow jobs. She took pride in it and wanted me to quit my job and be her pimp. I didn’t like the hours and told her she could do it if she wanted on her own. I preferred staying home to sitting in a car on some dark street corner in the Mission watching her jump into cars with johns. But she brought home the bacon and paid her own way better than most girlfriends I have had. So I have no complaints. I miss her to this day.
Dans la Haute-Rue à Cologne
Elle allait et venait le soir
Offerte à tous en tout mignonne
Puis buvait lasse des trottoirs
Très tard dans les brasseries borgnes
Elle se mettait sur la paille
Pour un maquereau roux et rose
C’était un juif il sentait l’ail
Et l’avait venant de Formose
Tirée d’un bordel de Changaï
Je connais des gens de toutes sortes
Ils n’égalent pas leurs destins
Indécis comme feuilles mortes
Leurs yeux sont des feux mal éteints
Leurs coeurs bougent comme leurs portes
Comme d’un cercueil vert en fer blanc, une tête
De femme à cheveux bruns fortement pommadés
D’une vieille baignoire émerge, lente et bête,
Avec des déficits assez mal ravaudés;
Puis le col gras et gris, les larges omoplates
Qui saillent; le dos court qui rentre et qui ressort;
Puis les rondeurs des reins semblent prendre l’essor;
La graisse sous la peau paraît en feuilles plates:
L’échine est un peu rouge, et le tout sent un goût
Horrible étrangement; on remarque surtout
Des singularités qu’il faut voir à la loupe…
Les reins portent deux mots gravés: CLARA VENUS;
—Et tout ce corps remue et tend sa large croupe
Belle hideusement d’un ulcère à l’anus.”
Don Juan aux enfers
Quand Don Juan descendit vers l’onde souterraine
Et lorsqu’il eut donné son obole à Charon,
Un sombre mendiant, l’oeil fier comme Antisthène,
D’un bras vengeur et fort saisit chaque aviron.
Montrant leurs seins pendants et leurs robes ouvertes,
Des femmes se tordaient sous le noir firmament,
Et, comme un grand troupeau de victimes offertes,
Derrière lui traînaient un long mugissement.
Sganarelle en riant lui réclamait ses gages,
Tandis que Don Luis avec un doigt tremblant
Montrait à tous les morts errant sur les rivages
Le fils audacieux qui railla son front blanc.
Frissonnant sous son deuil, la chaste et maigre Elvire,
Près de l’époux perfide et qui fut son amant,
Semblait lui réclamer un suprême sourire
Où brillât la douceur de son premier serment.
Tout droit dans son armure, un grand homme de pierre
Se tenait à la barre et coupait le flot noir;
Mais le calme héros, courbé sur sa rapière,
Regardait le sillage et ne daignait rien voir.
— Charles Baudelaire
A few good books to read.
1.The Ubu Plays by Alfred Jarry
2.Maldoror and the Complete Works of the Comte de Lautréamont by Comte de Lautréamont
3.The Theater and Its Double by Antonin Artaud
4.Nadja by André Breton
5, Her by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
6. Bomb Culture by Jeff Nuttal
7. The Wanting Seed by Anthony Burgess
8. Nova Express by William S. Burroughs
9. Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet
10. Death On The Installment Plan by Louis Celine
11. Radio Free Albermuth by Philip K. Dick
12. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
13. Women In Love by D.H. Lawrence
14. Ulysses by James Joyce
I have read them and enjoyed. I hope you enjoy my love of the French Decadent and Symbolist poets.