Thursday, May 31, 2012

toy landscape

toy landscape by William Keckler
toy landscape, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

legograph: clearing

legograph: clearing by William Keckler
legograph: clearing, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

legograph: the human landscape

how hatred works (view against black)


legograph by William Keckler
legograph, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

"i'll give you half"

"i'll give you half" by William Keckler
"i'll give you half", a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

I Blame it on Smash

My brain usually jumps around in Broadway time while washing Smash, as different numbers and different situations recall some of the best of the past.

For some reason, this song's been in my head the last week.

I guess because Smash has been focusing on the idealized in musical theater.

But this is an example of a song (and a show) that Smash's fictional production is obviously trying to rival.

And both are shows about The Show.

Behind the scenes.

This song still makes me laugh, virtually every time.

"Dear People of the Future" Poems


I'm dead and you're alive.
You suck.


I still are here.


You should get that looked at.


I bet your government talks in lolspeak.


Come back and make the weather.


Please visit me in one of your time machines.

Quick! Before I die!


Are you still just watching t.v.
and bitching about your lives?


How's it hangin?


Do you still buy goldfish and stare at them?

Amidst your brilliant technology?


I bet your shit is still bananas.


I know we look funny to you.

But who will you look funny to?

Deep thoughts.


 I bet you're still on Craigslist.


Our horrible mistakes are what gave you

the little bit of quiet you will know

in your ceaseless lives.


 You're welcome.

Children of Eng

I wonder if anyone remembers the Children of Eng store in the Harrisburg East Mall back in the seventies.

I was shocked that I could find a reference to it in Google.

Apparently, it still exists (at least nominally, although there is a street address) in Reading, PA.

The Bizapedia listing says it formed in May, 1966.

The owner is listed as May Eng. And there's a Jee Eng listed too.

So I guess they expanded into the Harrisburg East Mall in the early seventies, because I remember being infatuated with the store as a kid.

It was one of the first stores in this city to sell Chinese knick-knacks, bibelots, what-have-you.

But it was also one of the first stores to have a New Age feel, if I'm remembering correctly.

My mom had me back in time and we were rebuilding the Harrisburg Mall into the Harrisburg East Mall in our heads and repopulating the mall with old stores and dead people we knew ( remembering where they worked).

My mother has a prodigious memory.

Her memory puts mine to shame--even for small details from recent times.

But then she was never an alcoholic like I was.

She did have horrible shock therapy in the seventies and doesn't remember large patches of her life before that.

But, oddly enough, thence forward her memory seems to be almost photogenic.

She is eighty-eight, like the piano keys, the constellations.

If I mention a certain meal we had in a restaurant, she'll start casually talking about what I ordered and what we talked about, where we were sat in the restaurant, etc.

I guess this served her well when she was a professional singer, as she said she never had a problem remembering lyrics, even if they were in a foreign language.

And my dad used to joke that she was slow.

That's probably because she only cared to understand the things she cared to understand.

I can appreciate that stance in life.


welcoming sky

welcoming sky by William Keckler
welcoming sky, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

melancholy baby

melancholy baby by William Keckler
melancholy baby, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Untitled by William Keckler
Untitled, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.


Untitled by William Keckler
Untitled, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

0/0 = everything

0/0 = everything by William Keckler
0/0 = everything, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

(find the flying bird)

Ghosts, Spooks, Sheeted Gibbering Things

This is so starting to be not funny one bit. I felt an uncharacteristic urge to leave the house, so I went out to shoot photos and had a good old time sweating and enjoying the typical late May/Pennsylvania change of skies.

Lee needed to sleep so it was probably best I went alone since I don't like talking when I'm using my camera anyway and I take forever to do anything when I have a camera in my hands. A cheap camera, I might add. I think I own the cheapest camera if I compare with my Flickr friends. Of course, many of them are professionals and shoot film, so why am I even comparing. I am some sort of digital/collage freak. But they're nice to me and I'm very grateful for their friendship in art.

The 35x zoom that everybody oohed over with this camera is nice, but the macro functions really suck. And my biggest complaint is how pathetic it is in low light/night settings. The really funny thing is that you can shoot great photos at night. They are backlit in the camera so they look absolutely gorgeous. And then when you download them they are too dark to do anything with. No image manipulation program will save these. Playing with contrast/exposure settings and the rest will only result in a grainy increase in illumination. But why on earth do they appear gorgeous on your playback (the backlighting feature is touted in the ad copy, that you can see what you've shot in the dark!) but this can't translate to a computer? Somebody probably knows a trick but I couldn't find it online.

The usual sarky answer given when people leave questions like these on message boards is "Buy an eight thousand dollar camera. That will solve your problem." Nice, thanks.

I could never see myself developing my own film. Not even if I hit the lottery. Maybe I fool myself. But even if I bought a vintage film camera I could use (the one I found at a flea market has too many relatively expensive quiddities to get from shooting to finished product) and finding film wasn't a problem, I'd just shop it out to have it developed. Probably not locally but at one of the well-regarded mail-in places.

I went back to a place where we used to live because for some odd reason I wanted to shoot the tennis courts there and was lucky enough to find the courts completely empty.

And then I just took some pics around that development.

Then I took a drive to Strite's Orchard and through the country that lies past that which is very pretty. Horses, ponds on properties, more orchards and tilled fields and cows and other smelly what-have-yous.

Then I came home and put my hat away in a downstairs closet and as soon as I closed the door I heard a noise. AFTER I began walking away from the closet. I reached out quickly to grab the door handle and one guess? The door was now locked.

I am not that Knopf painting. I do not lock my door upon myself. I hate to be a believe in ghosts, spooks in the 21st century, but what else am I to think now that we are onto a new phase of lock-outs.

This is just sick.

Telekinesis? I don't think so. If I had that power half of my past bosses would be dead by now. A joke!

But I don't understand this.

Truth be told,  I don't spend a lot of time trying to understand it.

Why bother. I don't even know if we have a key for that door. I tried one and it didn't work. So there's another lock that needs picking this week.

It's not a reflex because this happened after I stepped away from the door. And nobody was behind that door.

Lee couldn't have primed the door to lock (playing jokes to drive me mad) because I opened the door to put my hat in there the first time. The door was closed all the way at that point.

Should I speak the words aloud? "Please stop locking doors."

There. I just did it. When the lamp burned out four nights in a row in the one room, I asked. And it never happened again. And we're years later.

So I just said it aloud right now. But not as nicely as I said it with the lamp.

Maybe that will do the trick.

It doesn't feel dramatic or terrifying like the people say on those t.v. shows.

It's just really, really fucking annoying.

The really funny part is I had almost gotten myself to believe that maybe by some one in a million shot (most would say the odds are the other way around when it comes to "ghosts") it was me who had locked myself out of my bedroom the other night.

But when this just happened. The little clicking sound....

Uhn uh.

This is Ectoplasm Inc.

This is the thing that walks at court in that Ben Jonson poem.

More walking dead still.

Locking me out of parts of my life in some sly little commentary.

And here I am blogging about it.

Drawing exactly the picture (presumably) they want to be drawn of me lol.

I'm thinking about having a seance in this house.

There are a lot of kooky, ghost-obsessed people in this area.

It really galls me to think of contacting them but maybe it would be worth my while.

Just to hear what one of them says when they give the house a walk through.

The one lady I contacted online after Lee and I had an experience in an old steak house that once existed in Middletown (former inn a few centuries old) said she knew all about that haunting, and that the place was well-traveled from a spiritual point of view.

When Lee and I saw the poltergeist activity, we asked the waitstaff and they responded that these occurrence were seen as completely pedestrian by the staff. That everybody dealt with it on a nightly basis and that it was nothing to be worried about.

Gee, a tiny door in the wall just opens and slams itself three times hard in front of your eyes.

That's normal?

She said that's where the stairs used to be where the travelers would go to the lodgings. And that the spirits were still going that way to return to their former lodgings.


I believe it.

Shame they went under.

Some of the best steaks in town. Seriously.

The Hours: 5.30.2012 10:42-11:42 A.M.

There is too much jollity in my soul. Even within a few seconds upon awakening, my mind starts to speak in that bipolar helium voice. Or is it my soul which is on helium? I woke from a dream in which I was watching thousands of people go in and out of a vast room of mail lock boxes in some foreign postal station. A civic hive. I was watching them from an aerial perspective. In the dream, it seemed an immensely important detail--this spectacle buoyed me up.

Something said, "And yet people do not believe in God."

When I fully woke and the scrim of dream burnt off my consciousness, like a supernumerary layer of a planet's atmosphere, I smirked like a replicant and said, "Get real. You were just dreaming a few seconds of Koyaanisqatsi. Nothing deep there, dude."

And my more idealistic dreaming self grew angry at my cynical self, and wanted to sit down and write out a hundred pages of why that image was so important. The people all checking the lock boxes. Then my conscious mind asked, how is it any different from people all over the world going into their email right this second? My conscious mind couldn't say. It had lost the clew (clue) that would lead it back to the dream's superior wisdom. Or are all dreams just bullshitters? Isn't that the same image? People checking those email boxes? The dream didn't think so. I don't know. No image is functionally like any other image. That's just a stupid thing language thinks and says. This is why visual art exists. Because nuance is a motherfucker.

Somehow I think the dream got it more correct. Awake, I think how mail postal boxes are already starting to look like relics. They feel and look somewhat archeological. On the rare occasions I go into a postal station now, I can feel it dissolving around me. One thinks this is probably not part of the instantaneous future. I was asked to fill out a survey mailed to me which would be used to determine whether or not my small town's postal office would remain open. For two years, the US Postal Service has been contemplating closing this office which dates back to the late nineteenth century and looks almost exactly as it did then, outside and inside. It has a small but wonderful lobby of marble, ornate beams and opulently detailed (eagles holding arrows!) bronze lockboxes. It would be funny if instead of destroying these reliquary parts of our culture, we just turned them all into ballet studios. Or something that holds on to the past like that. Aquariums. Turn them into aquariums. Fill them with water and let the fish swim past all the lock boxes and through the sorting warrens.

 "Well, Einstein, how are we going to send hateful fruitcakes to people we hate in Christmases future, if mail doesn't still have feet attached to it? Teleportation?" My brain scoffs at itself. Probably something like the weird scheme in what novel was it? Edward Bellamy's? Everything that exists will be in storehouses in nodes, so when someone wants to send something it will come from a nearby node. "You mean that's how you'd send a Pollock painting? So nothing is unique anymore?" My brain laughs at its own stupidity.  Maybe we can't go back to the Sumerian ziggurat scheme. No, I was thinking more along the lines of fruit cake. But even there, that's not Aunt Andrea's fruitcake. That's McFruitCake. Bellamy was a kook. You can try to predict the future but you'll never get it right. I was watching Blade Runner the other day, probably for the two hundredth time, and laughing at the complete absence of cell phones. Why weren't the replicants texting one another? And all the corporate giants advertised on the billboards of the future that do not exist. How funny is it that it was set in 2019? Rumors of the clonky present's demise, at the hands of the makers of hovercraft and automata that are perfect mechanistic simulations of their original animals, is highly exaggerated. L.A. might be a mishmash of tongues in 2019, but they won't be as hybridized as they are in this film. And why on earth did the Los Angelenos in Scott's future have German as an essential component of their creole tongue? Are we to expect a mad influx of Germans to L.A. in the next seven years? Not even William Burroughs can see the future. (He was the called in to fix the script adapted from Dick's novel.)  Also, one instantly begins apologizing to anyone younger watching the movie with you for the digital challenges faced by Ridley Scott in 1982. Yes, the images are still gorgeous and poetic and dreamy. But we can see the lines. We can see the lines around that hovercraft, Ridley.

To return to the dream of the vanishing post office, the simple answer is that our constantly expansive and competitive courier services would remain in some form, but the venerable U.S. postal system itself would slide into an archeological stratum and become a subject for scholars to mull and dispute and possibly even  re-enact like the Civil War. Maybe in the future people will re-enact mail workers going postal and killing numerous people. What's the difference between re-enacting a postal massacre or re-enacting Gettysburg? They're both historic and pathetic equally. I think I'd like to play one of the victims. How can you not see Civil War re-enactors as repressed BDSM guys? I think it would be funny to write a story or a novel in which two male Civil War re-enactors (straight) fall in love and then use the pretext of various re-enactments around the country to meet and have trysts in chain hotel rooms. They would mostly start each round of making out in uniform. Sometimes one would take the other prisoner in "roleplaying." Title it 48 Ramadas. Brokeback Howard Johnson.

I realize that in this experiment of looking at my thoughts backwards to try to move forward, I hide behind my own glibness. The truest thoughts are probably the tiniest ones, that hide their immensity by scribbling in the cracks between the thoughts which I am willing to remark.

So I end up speculating about the future of the mail service and the movie Blade Runner instead of getting at what worrisome little thoughts, what little pit bulls from Hell, are really locking down on my consciousness and shaking the shit out of it with their vise jaws with that legendardy p.s.i.

Was the mail room a stand-in for a columbarium? They look so strikingly similar visually.

Now I'm thinking Boltanski. Why do I make fun of Boltanski when he clearly reverences the things I do?

Because in a sense he's doing the twentieth century's laundry?

The Holocaust is not laundry you can do.

Was Boltanski making fun of himself with the recent Paris mechanism? The giant crane picking up the piles of clothing and dropping them from a great height over and over?

One could say it's an image of 9.11. People falling great distances and then being scooped up by impersonal machines, metal claws and jaws.

Or it's an image of mortality churn. In the end, our clothing is more real and individualistic than our human souls. History is nothing more than waves of clothing. If one is looking for a darker reading of the Paris Boltanski.

Or was he mocking himself for trying to do history's laundry with his art?

But his work gathering Holocaust deaths.

To remind the idiots.

It is noble, yes? To remind the idiots who don't care or know or care to know, right? Because the idiots are the ones these things run on. (A voice counters, "No, hunger and hatred are what these things run on.")

Oh Bill, you're so naive.

Programmatic art never survives.

Sex Ads are So Chaucerian


I'm shy nice careing loveing i like kids animals zoo shopping phillies eagles bowling ps3 gameing xbox 360campping beach fastfoot watcing tv talking on the phone i love sex threesomes big boobs spaking roll playing i love giveing back rubs foot rubs i love breastmilk bigfoot im on facebook

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Untitled by laurent champoussin
Untitled, a photo by laurent champoussin on Flickr.


Untitled by Michael ten Pas
Untitled, a photo by Michael ten Pas on Flickr.


mathieu by laurent champoussin
mathieu, a photo by laurent champoussin on Flickr.

Chaucer: "I've Got Twenty Four Letters and a Microphoooone."


And therein were a thousand tongs empight,
Of sundry kindes, and sundry quality,
Some were of dogs, that barked day and night,
And some of cats, that wrawling still did cry,
And some of Beares, that groynd continually,
And some of Tygres, that did seem to gren,
And snar at all, that euer passed by:
But most of them were tongues of mortall men,
Which spake reprochfully, not caring where nor when.


And them amongst were mingled here and there,
The tongues of Serpents with three forked stings,
That spat out poyson and gore bloody gere
At all, that came within his rauenings,
And spake licentious words, and hatefull things
Of good and bad alike, of low and hie;
Ne Kesars spared he a whit, nor Kings,
But either blotted them with infamie,
Or bit them with his banefull teeth of iniury.

In Canto XII of Book VI of The Faeire Queene, Chaucer describes me during one of my typical manic episodes of the past.

I love reading this stuff aloud and torturing Lee with it.

I love seeing words like "iollity." It's just like being back in Latin class. Or reading Shakespeare in the original. It's the same two letter deficit.

I was amused to see the slippage which created the modern word contrary.

You can see it's obviously a French importation and here is closer to the French with "contrayr."

But the spelling got switched around at the end to give us our modern word. I'm thinking that "misspelling" might have made sense to someone in that time period who knew the French word but mispronounced the ending.

Because then "contrary" might seem truer phonetically. Although, of course, it's not.

Middle English had it more "correct."

Inasmuch as anything is really "correct" in language.

Really one has to surrender that notion.

I only recently realized I must dumb myself down with "who" and "whom."

I didn't realize even style guides had told everyone to let "whom" die.

But they did. In the freakin early 90s.


IMMA by JUN2901
IMMA, a photo by JUN2901 on Flickr.

Reportaje Fotográfico: Jhonander Miguel

Reportaje Fotográfico: Jhonander Miguel

my god

at home

at home by William Keckler
at home, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

talk about the void

talk about the void by William Keckler
talk about the void, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.


companionship by William Keckler
companionship, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

squawk the void

squawk the void by William Keckler
squawk the void, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

scream at the void

scream at the void by William Keckler
scream at the void, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

talk about the void

talk about the void by William Keckler
talk about the void, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

eat up the atmosphere

eat up the atmosphere by William Keckler
eat up the atmosphere, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

art frag

art frag by William Keckler
art frag, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

"i can't help it. i like spiders.'

Monday, May 28, 2012


speaking by William Keckler
speaking, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.


Two enter.
One leaves.

Bukowski Leg

Bukowski Leg by DraMan/ Roger Guetta
Bukowski Leg, a photo by DraMan/ Roger Guetta on Flickr.

dark anchor

dark anchor by William Keckler
dark anchor, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.


Prance by Ziębol
Prance, a photo by Ziębol on Flickr.

this artist is doing a wonderful series on the abstraction of moods. love them.

flying into a mountain

Thanks to Baroque In Hackney's Katy Evans-Bush

Thanks to Katy Evans-Bush for blogging about one of my Lego Rothkos here.

And thanks to poet Ian Duhig for apparently posting it to Facebook in the first place, which is where Katy noticed it.

I was wondering why that particular Rothko had around a thousand visits suddenly on my Flickr.

It's nice to be noticed.

Especially when you live in Nowheresville.

That's actually the name of one of my favorite Flickr groups: "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere."

buddha's 3-D glasses

buddha's 3-D glasses by William Keckler
buddha's 3-D glasses, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.


trolladroid by William Keckler
trolladroid, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

troll working its ass

stupid schadenfreude

stupid schadenfreude by William Keckler
stupid schadenfreude, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Cicadas by William Keckler
Cicadas, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

25 Things I Would Like to See Happen on Jeopardy

1. During the interview part of the show, one of the contestants prefaces his anecdote by turning to the contestant to his left and saying, "Your anecdote was stupid."

2. Alex Trebek tells a very feminine looking male contestant that "I'm sure you'll make someone a beautiful wife someday."

3. The final question's category, for which Trebek encourages the contestants to carefully calculate their wagers, is  "QK@WRK+K-LZ#."

4.  Trebek says to one of the female contestants, "Ya got a sexi ass body and yo ass look soft. Girl lemme touch it, lemme tell if it soft."


6. After the name of a well-known, very attractive actress at least forty years his junior is given as an answer by a contestant, Trebek ad libs, "Interesting story. She blew me once."

7. POTENT POT is introduced as a category to replace POTENT POTABLES, in which contestants demonstrate their knowledge of various types of weed.

8. A contestant who ends the Double Jeopardy round with a negative score (and so leaves before the final question) has been replaced by a chimpanzee when we come back from the commercial break.

9. In reference to one of the musical questions about a band that only recently broke through, Trebek freaks out and asks, "Who the fuck is that? Can we get some writers around here who can write questions that DON'T make me feel like I'm senile and two feet from the fucking grave? Can we do that? Thank you. Thank you very much."

10. A category, SING IT IN THE VOICE OF TINY TIM, is debuted. Contestants must sing the answer to the question in the quavery falsetto voice Tiny Tim used when he sang "Tiptoe through the Tulips." 

11.  A contestant correctly answers "Whoopie Goldberg" for one of the questions and Trebek says, "She talented but she ugly."


13.Trebek uses his catchphrase correction with "NOW is the time for 'analingus.'"

14. Contestants do whiskey shots after every question they answer correctly, making the show much more interesting as it progresses. By the time Double Jeopardy is reached, contestants are making sexual overtures towards one another and even a very excited, jittery Trebek.


16. Trebek arrives on the set drunk out of his mind and decides that "The Board" is on the wrong side of the studio and tries to move it to the opposite side of the room, despite wild expostulations from technical crew not to do so. When it falls on him, he survives, but henceforth  is afflicted with an incurable Swedish accent.

17. Trebek dares two male contestant to make out, saying "I'll give you a hundred bucks if you do it. It doesn't mean you're queer. It just means you like money. Come on...."


19. NEW JEOPARDY CATEGORY: "PO AND HO." Contestants must correctly link the politician with his political scandal and name the particular prostitute who sold the story to the tabloids.

20.  NEW JEOPARDY CATEGORY: "NOT EVEN WITH SOMEONE ELSE'S DICK (OR STRAP-ON)." Contestants must identify very unfuckable celebrities.

21. Trebek replaces the word "contestants" in every instance with the word "troglodytes" for an entire game.

22. A new part of the show called "WE GOOGLED YOU AND FOUND OUT..." is introduced in which Trebek reveals extremely embarrassing things that the show has learned about each particular contestant by raiding Google, reading their blogs, FACEBOOKs, Twitter, etc.

23. NEW JEOPARDY CATEGORY: "FUTURE CRAZY CAT LADIES." Celebrities such as Elizabeth Hasselbeck and David Hasselhoff will be correct answers in this category.

24.  Trebek listens to a long, very boring anecdote being told by a contestant and then replies with, "Funny. I thought you were going to tell us about that unibrow. Good luck."

25.  Trebek tells a manifestly effeminate contestant during the interview segment, "You should do great. Fags rock this show. Good luck."

I went back and rewrote

my post mulling the difference between erotica and pornography.

Only after rewriting that several times did I go to Wiki for the first time to see what the "great minds of our generation" had to say and what artists they cited, and how they classified them.

I expected to find a well-sourced, very long article examining erotica in all the different arts (literature, painting, film, etc.)

And I found something that wouldn't even be long enough to make the back of a cereal box entertaining .

That's really pathetic. Even by Wiki "standards."

I don't even know if erotica is a viable literary distinction to make, although I tried to do so.

Because it's ultimately so extra-literary. If you have some sort of idea of the capital s sublime in literature. And all that shit.

Then erotica is more Play-doh literature.

Should I consider The Satyricon bisexual or polymorphously perverse erotica?

I guess not, since the salacious (and often quite funny) sex in the work is just one of the elements used to illustrate the randomness of human life, our existential state.

The ancient Romans liked to laugh at mortal things.

It was just part of their cultural character, which was of course mostly pilfered from their proudest assimilation, Greece.

Isn't it funny that basically all Roman sculptors could do was copy Greeks.

It's like they had a mental block that lasted centuries.

They had to be intimidated by their Greek slaves.

The 10 Most Photographed Places on Earth

A friend and I were wondering back and forth what the most photographed places and things might be.

I found this nifty list, which not only gives you city/landmark, but also tells you the most common shooting angle.

This is based on data mined from 35 million Flickr photographs, courtesy of Cornell University.

I was really shocked, because I had Paris/Eiffel Tower pegged as number one.

The odd thing is the second list I found (not this one) did have the Eiffel Tower in the number one position.

I'd bet anything if you took a longitudinal survey (and not just a contemporary slicing) La Tour Eiffel would win hands down.

I had no idea that Kapoor sculpture was so popular in Chicago.

Isn't that Picasso sculpture there? The one Gwendolyn Brooks wrote that poem about? Has that one fallen out of favor?

I would have guessed the huge Marilyn Monroe for Chicago. I've seen such lovely photos of that in the past year on Flickr.

My favorites are always the one taken in winter with snow on her.

Note the funny take on the "Dear Photograph" genre used at the Lincoln monument. I had no idea that was such a photographic cliche (funny redundancy since cliche is "snapshot" in French).

The Hours: Sunday 5.2712 4:41-5:41 A.M.

"My mind is a boathouse," I thought sometime in the last hour. And then I thought of the boathouse in The Amityville Horror. I almost didn't add that detail, but that's actually the sort of transition in my thinking I shouldn't ignore when trying to trace the genesis of thoughts. Munchkin chorus: "Follow the Yellow Bipolar Road!"

In this hour, I was thinking it's strange that we describe sex by turns as  both a religious experience and then the most animal form we can take.  If sex is undersigned to love, it's supposed to be closer to the former. But there have been apologists for the latter form. It has its defenders. Often, these individuals are ecstatics. They claim that spiritual enlightenment can come through ritualistic sex that is not truly personal. Walt Whitman seems to have thought pretty much along these lines. He was a virtual pantheist, so that doesn't really surprise me.

Then there were The Dionysians and other cult religions of the ancient world.  The ancient world rarely had a problem with orgies. I try not to think this is because they didn't have television. I'm seeing ithyphallic sculptures in my head now, large stone cocks placed in a field. There's a party every summer like this down the road a piece in rural Pennsylvania. Folks set up tents in the forest, in a small valley there just off a country road. People who participated have told me stories. They had a gay old time. I'm being facetious. It's mostly straight swinging campers. But apparently more than that does go on. I've driven past it at night since I have in-laws down that way and did see the fires twinkling. I guess being in nature makes many people horny. Maybe I should look at Gander Mountain and Bass Pro Shops differently. Maybe I should see them as stores frequented by serious fetishists. Maybe all these redneck stores are sacred to Dionysius.

Some of the Theosophists were also like this. I'm sure we all missed out on some hot Theosophical orgies. Let's all be sex Illuminati. Like the people who end up in jail always say, "That sounds like fun!"

Fifty percent of divine unions end in diviner divorce. But we can just reflex, "It must not have been true love if it didn't last." What a pussy way to defend love! Maybe real love has dealbreakers like everything else.The phrase often gasped out when a marriage or union is coming undone is "I just can't get past..." Fill in the exasperated blank.

I think that's what drives some people crazy when their love relationship ends. If they realize too late it was real love on the other end. Because that's not such a common thing in this world. And if the guiltier, excised partner still harbors love for the exciser, Woe Betide! Because to know you killed something that rare in this world is a difficult fate.It's like everything else horrible in life. Probably you will learn to laugh about it with time, it if you don't kill yourself first.

I just started a sentence with "realized" and then deleted it. Because I'm actually rethinking something. If you rethink something, can you say you realize? No. Because realize is a virgin. Ideas can't lose their cherry twice. This hour was, like so many others, grainy with self-hatred. In this experiment of following my thoughts hourly, I notice the recurrent thoughts begin to bother me. Why? Because I am looking directly into the face of my enemy, which is my sickness.

This troubles me. Because even though many of these are thoughts trying to give a positive spin to my mental electrons, to buoy me up out of the doldrums towards which I seem always to be lurching, why are they recurring?

Why do I have to constantly remind myself that I have some worth, that I have not done so many evil acts that I deserve to be put to death? If I truly believed in my own worth, the defensive thoughts which spring up to rescue me would be vaporized with the problem itself.

Methinks the psycho doth protest too much.

Some people believe mental repetition is failure. Like your thoughts should go to a different sushi bar every week the way you do. And I guess I believe in my case, with all these defensive thoughts, it indicates that repetition is failure. In my case. I suppose it matters what thoughts you are repeating. If you are constantly repeating the thought, Try to help every human being you encounter feel their own worth," what a different situation that is. That's the opposite of fucked-upedness. And there are other places where repetition is seen as positive, and sometimes even glorious. Philip Glass or Steve Reich's music. Gertrude Stein's poetry. But they are being true artists. And I'm not talking about anything I make that I consider art. I'm talking about my fucked up humanness.

 And we shouldn't forget Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. 

In a way, being bipolar feels like Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. A punishing version of it. The bipolar repetition is not a mantra to spiritually liberate. It is a mantra to spiritually and materially enslave.

I did have some non-punishing thoughts in this hour.

 I find that when I'm trying to remember something and can't, if I change my physical position in space, often it will come to me. If I'm sitting and blanking on a thought, I  get up and walk down the hall and it's as though I moved an obstacle that was blocking my light. I wonder why and how this works. Is this an essential property of clarity? Or just a quirk of mine, or a quirk of the mind that happens only at certain times?

I thought about my mania during this hour. I almost laughed when I realized I have had so many of them at various points in my life. I've taken long bus rides through erotomania, bibliomania, dispsomania--and many various monomanias that sometimes started out as innocent hobbies. This is classic bipolar. Some would accuse me of mythomania, egomania and even megalomania, but people will say all kinds of horrible things about you, of course, whether they apply or not. Other lifelong manias I have had are cacoethes loquendi and cacoethes scribendi (respectively, furors of talking and writing). I can't say nymphomania because I'm not female, but the male version is satyriasis, which I might as well add to my list. It ranks up there with the other two cacoethes.

So my life is really a dirty laundry pile of manias.

And my astrological sign is a sex goat.

I had the thought sometime in this hour that it would be funny if someone illustrated sex as a series of blueprints. If she used the same notations of scale and the rest that one sees on architectural blueprints. If she drew the naked bodies in the various acts using a drafting table and the correct tools. I imagine she'd get a lot of use out of the French curve.  I thought these might display beautifully. I'd especially enjoy seeing the blueprint for anal sex.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Erotica Making Inroads

I found the number crunching on the new publishing trend towards erotica sort of fascinating over here on Beattie's Book Blog.

I mean there's nothing surprising in the fact that sex would sell.

I suppose the only thing truly surprising is that candid writing about sex could somehow be marginalized or off the best sellers lists for so long.

Not that I've forgotten the list of writers nobody really considers literature chart-topping with books that were more about sex than anything else: Harold Robbins, Jackie Collins, and that ilk. But that's still not erotica. That's just bad writing, tabloidia posing as literature.

It always seemed funny and precious to me that "literary" readers felt safe going to writers like Anais Nin. Or was that only women who read Anais Nin?

I had a problem taking Anais Nin seriously. I remember sitting in a library as a teenager and flipping back and forth between Nin and Baudelaire and thinking, "What a crackpot!" every time I read another story by Nin. Baudelaire might have been making the more outrageous statements and sentences, by far, but even at sixteen I could see this was the outrageousness that is life. Baudelaire was smoldering with the alcohol which is life. The other author was sitting naked in a flowerpot, playing with herself.

Maybe I judged her too harshly. Now I'm laughing as I think of Django on his barge, Django back in South America.

It couldn't be good writing. Could it? Would I go back and really take it seriously?

Nin and Henry Miller. Okay, I'm narrowing a world of erotica to one writer. Lots of writers wrote about sex. But few were considered erotica. Henry Miller wasn't considered erotica. Why would he be? Because he writes about sex? Shakespeare writes about sex all the time but nobody's calling him erotica. I guess people just saw Miller as a straight, American Genet or something. Not that I'd place him that high in my own estimation. I do enjoy quite a few of his tortured sentences though.

Nin was considered erotica because she was willing to write stories in which that was "all there is."

I want to say I think true erotica will always be boring to any mature sensibility.  But then I guess sales numbers prove me wrong. To me, erotica is for the unformed mind. Yah, I'm judgmental like that. Sorry. They're only books. They can't have their feelings hurt. Yaoi is erotica. I understand young Japanese girls wanting to see two willowy, feminine boys making love. Because like perhaps a majority of erotica (of the past anyway) it's about an idealized and stylized world of lovemaking. But there is a little bit of a dark side to it. Because in a sense those little Japanese girls who love seeing their emo space princes make out are the flip side of straight dudes who get off on lesbians having a good go at each other. In a sense, it shares with porn the desire to manipulate the sexual object into a fantasy obedience. And the idea that it's okay to be greedy in this candy shop because it isn't real is a strong one. If one anime space prince is wonderful and gorgeous to behold, how much more wonderful are two space princes. And let's make them kiss. The little Japanese girl is making her two favorite male dolls kiss, smooshing their faces together and getting all tingly.

 Still, erotica is not synonymous with porn. I know in an adult bookstore someone might write EROTICA with a magic marker on a piece of white posterboard and tack it above a room of books that describe nothing but one sex act after another. But that's a room of porn. That's the smut room. You might find a book of erotica hidden in there. But it will be the red-headed stepchild of the porn all around it.

I want to keep the distinction between erotica and porn. Porn lacks the (annoying) subtlety erotica possesses. It has zero interest in subtlety. It's uglier than most erotica is. Erotica isn't about ugliness. Porn isn't always about ugliness, but much of the time it is. A lot of people want to get off on the ugliness in porn. Ugly acts. Ugly behavior. Call it transgressive if you must. But porn is often a place where our strangled sexual nature finds its (probably inevitable) release. Maybe I'm talking completely like a typical male pig here. Maybe most men think the same way, gay or straight. But there are these differences to my mind between what I consider erotica and what I consider honest-to-goodness smut or porn. Porn doesn't have artistic pretensions. In the distinction I'm trying to make, erotica does. Oh boy, does it!

Sometimes porn has a sense of humor. It can laugh at itself. Erotica takes itself much too seriously to even crack a smile.

Of course, I'm slamming erotica fans by saying they don't have an "adult" mind. I don't mean to be insulting. I just can't help but see that as a form of arrested development. Because it's staying in the dollhouse. I guess there's nothing wrong with that. Staying in the dollhouse. The real house can turn pretty terrifying.

Maybe I'm a literary snob. I suppose you could do a cross-textual comparison between Anna Karenina and some ghastly, steamier novella a few shades past the Harlequin romance and come out realizing there are a hell of a lot of similarities in structure, tone and such. It's just nobody's rolling under a train in that novella. Nobody's gonna pull a Bovary poison act.. Does "high" literature only cheaply earn its laurels through such ultimately melodramatic, gaslit tragedies?

Some would say I'm crazy. They'd speak about the perfection of Flaubert's sentences, the indelible turns of phrase. Others would cite Tolstoy's ability to draw a picture of an entire society and add an element of sociological criticism that one could never possibly find in the modern equivalent of the nineteenth century "lady's novel."

But now I'm seeing a contemporary reading Flaubert and coddling him as one of those Victorian ladies, maybe a man wearing a woman's shirtwaist dress.

It's not just a female thing, though, the definition of erotica I'm trying to make here. I mentioned the horrible, ridiculous Teleny on this blog a while back. That is gay erotica. Not smut. It has the same obsession with idealization and unreality in sex.

Are Harlequin romances erotica? Or are they too pallid to be considered that? I'm wondering. I only read sections of them on larks, so I'm not really competent to say. But they're not porn obviously.

Some people use erotica to mean any literature with a strong sexual component. Maybe I'm using it in a very personal way, in making this distinction. Like when James Schuyler mentions a book called Run, Little Leather Boy, Run! in a poem where he catalogs things by his bedside, I laugh, but I wouldn't consider that book gay erotica. I would consider that literary (cough) porn.

But now I wonder whether I am being a product of my generation and our misbegotten ideas. Because why is the oh-so-predictable plot of RLLBR not every bit a stylized fantasy and an idealization of gay sex. An archetype of the vulnerable threatened bottom will doubtlessly be passed around by big ruffians on motorbikes.

How is this different from Nin's precious worlds of sensuality, really?

It's not a simple matter, I guess.

I would never call Henry Miller erotica. But I would call Nin that. It's not a female thing. I'd say the unknown author (I don't buy that it was Wilde) of Teleny wrote erotica and not literature. It was more about a melodramatically suffocating passion than the few orgasms in its pages. And those are purple prose orgasms. Nightmarish purple. Erotica.

I wouldn't call McCuller's  Reflections in a Golden Eye,  for example, erotica, because it contains sex and even sexual pining almost in the way that erotica contains constant sexual pining. But it is getting damn close. Thinking about this novel also makes me wonder about where melodrama overlaps erotica. Although I suppose one person's drama is another person's melodrama.

Erotica does seem to be about the unsatisfiable more than it is about satisfaction. I think the unmentioned thing is that erotica is ultimately all about disappointment. Real life disappointment that might be enacted in a literary (ugh! I mean textual!) form. And presumably the reader receives some form of fantasy satisfaction. Some of the books end happily and some don't. Porn is about instantaneous (or nearly) satisfaction, and that's the difference in my book. Fucked and done if it's porn. Pining if it's erotica.

i'm too damn depressing

I post this as an antidote to my barbiturate of a blog.

I should probably post it right over every damn depressing blog entry I've ever made.

I expect this guy has a huge mansion waiting for him in Heaven.

He should anyway.

Writing Experiment: The Hours

I had the idea that a too small part of my consciousness is apperception, or looking at perceptions at the blossom root of their origin. Going down to the watery twigs under the green scummy surface. Slip your hands along them. They're hard to hold. They're coated in a sort of clear aspic, they're glutinous, gelatinous, your hands slip over them. Does a fish even have a medulla oblongata? I find it funny that it does if it does.

I know this is a strategy in Buddhism (actually it's about synonymous with Buddhism) but I don't intend it to be that. I'm far too gone to ever pretend I will extinguish desire in this twisted flame of a mind. I've been in the "limiting damage" and self isolation mode for several years now, though, and find that most of my negative thoughts are about behavior from the past and often the distant past (childhood).

So I am going to work on this by picking random start times and working in an increment of an hour by apperception notes.

I know there's a quantum mechanical problem here, or it seems like there might be.

Because now I'm suddenly on the stage of myself. Will it affect the outcome of my thoughts? Will this be like trying to say where the electron is? If you remember your high school science, you'll recall that the act of trying to pinpoint the electron changes its very location. So you're always behind in the game.

I'm going to try not to censor myself but I have a rule that when I have negative thoughts I'm going to try to keep it as abstract as possible because I don't want to write something injurious.

The first hour started at 3:39 a.m.

I'll include chronological notes (day, etc.) just in case I notice patterns with days of the week or patterns in cycling through the circadian rhythm, etc.

FIRST HOUR 3:39-4:39 A.M. E.S.T. 5/26/12

I spent a large portion of this hour in self-loathing. My mind was often flying like a drone plane over vast tracts of my past, mostly childhood, taking fast snapshots of snapshots of snapshots of various infinitely twisted memories, some of them things I did that I regret, and some of them just the workaday horrors that existence dreams up. Remembering my mother in "our" State Hospital when they were more asylums than hospitals. Her not being able to speak. The tunnels below all the buildings on the large hospital grounds.  Civil warrens that even today connect to the undergrounds of "our" capital city. A hospital worker in white asks if I want to "see them," and my aunt grabs my hand and pulls me away fast. Even the ones in white are poison. How can I not think about the tunnels once I know? This is still the Cold War. The yellow and black signs for fallout shelters mark your passage through any American city of any size. Three upside-down yellow triangles on a black circle--a parody of avant-garde minimalism marks the impending end of the world. As soon as I understand what my country is, I start to have nightmares. Planes that come and drop bombs that dissolve everything in a release of a sun. Adults explain the word vaporize helpfully to children. In school, they show us a filmstrip about Hiroshima. Why is the State showing children the burned bodies of Japanese children their same age in a filmstrip? Programming terror and paranoia into bodies it needs? I don't understand anything of this at the time. I am a child. I am only a small skeleton with eyes in this time period. I have not yet aggrandized myself into a monster.  Individual madness in this period doesn't rank, because the madness of the State comes first. Americans realize in the second great war how damn good they are at it, largely because of Henry Ford, so they don't stop there. This non-existent creature, this abstraction, divides Europe with another creature, another abstraction.  It plunges into Korea, into Vietnam. Ideas, not plague, are the dominant threat to human life in the twentieth century. Ideas, not plague, kill tens of millions of people at a time. The worst minds believe in progress. The best minds do not. Individual madness doesn't, cannot rate. How could my mother exist? Shock therapy whiteness of mind when she is finally allowed to return. Constantly apologizing. Being allowed back into her own home, she touches things as though they belong to another. She doesn't recognize many of her own things. Most of her own things. My father has a new wife, which is what he wanted. A new wife courtesy of voltage. She talks about the large gaps in her memory. To me she confesses anyway. And I worry she has forgotten me. She has misplaced parts of my existence, and it's not her fault, but this terrifies me. They've erased me too. I feel terror and rage, but I'm eight. I begin to have fantasies of destruction because I am becoming a part of the world. She has it much worse. Think of what her mind must be saying to her. How can she be sure we are telling her the truth about who she is? How does she know this is real now, when they told her it wasn't real before, and she didn't believe them, and look what they did to her body, her spirit. Any  horrible hallucination she had was true, because look at the things they did to her. The way they experimented on her. Possibly this is all another test. Carefully she would ask anybody if she could, if she should, do this or that. Asking my father for permission, he who had delivered her into the hands of the monsters. Asking me, a child, for permission. Anyone could denounce you. Why would your own mother ask you at eight if you thought it was okay to sit in a particular chair in her kitchen. At eight, I am forced to understand that human beings can be dismantled. That they will be dismantled. I wonder who is listening to my thoughts as they listened to my mother's? Can they smell the way I have already defected?  Why wouldn't they, what wouldn't they, do to an eight year old if they vaporized eight year olds the way we saw in the filmstrip. I trust my father no more than I trust the vampires in the black and white movies I watch on the Saturday horror show matinee. Asylum is supposed to mean "refuge, safety." Now, almost everyone knows that asylum back then (and nobody uses that word today except ironically, humorously) meant this was how society found its own refuge and safety from the insane. And there were lots of ways to be "insane" back then besides actually being insane. It functioned exactly as the human immune system. There is an immuring and a lysis. Slow dissolve of the social "infection." Macroscopic mirrored microscopic.  It occurs to me now that not one bad memory pulled in any good memories from the sea of good moments that must have existed around it. I realize by writing this I don't even try to remember the good moments. I could say this is one way to gauge my illness, but I have no proof that this negative reviewing of my own life, this indwelling, is not what nature intends for me. Just writing these words and reading them shows me an aspect of my sickness. My mind is texturally wrong. My mind is chronologically wrong. It reads backwards. I can't say why I unhappen instead of happen. I am somehow striving to be the exact opposite of time. My own mother has forgiven everybody, and I have not, and she is the one who was tortured, the one it happened to. But it happened to me too. I believe to this day, believe without my consent, that trust is poison and so I poison it. I believe I am poisoning poison. More proof that I am insane. You can't poison poison. Poison can't die because it's not alive. Something not alive is making everything alive happen. But how can anything alive happen if it is only made up of lifeless things? Something can only exist by separating from the rest of existence. You seem to believe. And yet there is no proof that you are separate from anything. You don't know how much of what you are looking at is a necessary part of your existence. Everything that happens seems to be necessary, seems to necessarily happen. You can't even say for sure how much of the horrible things you see in the world are really composed of you. You don't know where the ripples from your acts go. You can pretend to know, but you don't really. You know in your soul that existence is a form of terrorism. And yet there is no terrorist. Or rather no one can find the terrorist. Probably more people than not now believe the terrorist does not exist. But some of us still do. Look for the terrorist. I can't begin to explain to you how to do this. You wouldn't want to know anyway.


I also in this hour used Jedi mind tricks like thinking about the Holocaust to tell myself that people are fundamentally not to be trusted, and to make myself feel better because I never killed or physically tortured anyone, to give two examples of the sort of definition by negativity my mind thrives on. I'm not exaggerating about the Holocaust. It's a rare day that it doesn't pop up somewhere, that something doesn't remind me of it in some way. I count back the summers in my head and realize "My God, human beings did these things only twenty years before I 'arrived' on earth," to speak in the vacuous idiom of the metaphysical. Is this my bipolar disorder? Asylum, alyssum. Everything I do is language. I don't dance in my body, I dance in language. I do this patarded dance. Do I believe it is different for other people? Yes. No idea if that is right. But I do believe I was poisoned by those twenty-six little shapes. See the Max Shuster quote I posted two days ago about the fatality of the imagination. Maybe I shouldn't take that quote so personally. Maybe it's an evolutionary wormhole we've all just drifted into. The primate mirror you try to put your hand through but obviously can't.

 I realize just looking back over this last hour that my mind rarely ever switches off.  Was it switched off when I was watching porn? I think the texture of my consciousness fundamentally changes when I'm watching porn. How funny is it to write a dumb sentence like that? That's bombastic, puffery. Doesn't everyone who is deliberately watching porn experience a textural change of consciousness during this period? The increased tension of erotic feelings paradoxically quells my fairly (I typoed "fairy" just now, laughed) constant anxiety.

I remembered while watching a fast scatter of clips of sex that was often about power and domination of one sort or another what a poet had said about how this grotesque theater is what forms the consciousness of most kids today, and that they can see every possible act (violence as well as sex) way too easily now. So in a sense every child is now Nero. She didn't say Nero, I'm paraphrasing. And I felt a twinge of guilt because I thought, "I enjoy this shit." And in a sense I felt like I had a surrogate parent watching over my life and I was glad I didn't know this poet in real life.

Young people today seem healthier than young people in my generation. That's just my perception of the situation based on the limited number of young people I see on Tumblr, etc. Maybe I'm romanticizing their generational character or my perception is skewed because I'm seeing more creative, imaginative types. I guess just go to the crime statistics from the DOJ and see what the numbers really say. If you believe crime statistics can tell you the nature of a generational soul. I suppose that's a legacy from the relatively young science, sociology. People seem to believe in the gestalt of a generation-soul. I guess I always bought it myself. We say "the sixties" or "the seventies" and we mean an archetypal human being usually. It's like a philosphical Colorforms set (if anyone even remembers what Colorforms were? are?)

I didn't go so far as to imagine some sort of apologia for porn. Okay, I did. I just lied right now to make myself appear better than I am. I did believe that this is okay, even the clips where people are either doing things for money or pretending to be doing things for money. Even if they're pretending to do it for money, they probably really are doing it for money. So there's the metaporn joke. And that is a genre of porn. I guess it's just the same old whore fantasy, that you can be omnipotent with a body through money. It's all an illusion in porn. It's not the same selling that's on the streets--it's not really that sad. Well it is when you see people so wasted having things done to their body that they would probably never allow if they weren't addicts. That seems to be the exception.

But people do want to believe in this omnipotence of desire-- and in a sense it's completely true. It's true if you are able to be satisfied with the vicarious. Then it's simple. You can pretend fuck everyone and everything and every way in watching porn. You're Ovid's Metamorphoses.

One of these things that might excite you during this period of watching porn is the idea that there is a switch to desire and that the switch is money. There is a code and that code is money. Maybe subconsciously you think it. And of course sometimes a switch like that exists. In porn, that's 99% of the time. In "real life," that's 1% of the time. In that sense, porn really does give you that "distorted view of life" it's accused of carrying around. Just like the idea that thirteen inch penises are normal and not octopus monsters from Venus that you should run like Hell to get away from.

About the money switch. I won't give a kneejerk "Ewwww."  Usually, "Fuck You" holds more sway than money. Be proud of people. For being so obstinate. It's the only thing that has consistently made our lives a little better with each century. I mean when we're not mass murdering as cultures or individuals. People are mostly doing porn because they want to. Junkie people mostly aren't. In a sense, "porn workers" really are actors. Because actors feed delusions, actors work in chaos. And porn workers do those things also. In a very similar way. I am stressing the vicarious omnipotence of porn. People unable to be satisified by the vicarious (anything) in life are probably seriously doomed people. Because your head isn't really a spaceship. It only tells you that it is.

WWSS? What would sociology say? Probably that porn is good. Because it gives the primal male a safe release that in the past would have been inflicted on society. WWRS? What would religion say? That porn infects the soul and is a form of spiritual misery. WWPS? What would psychology say? That porn is terrible and addictive, but we can cure you. For a price. I can't help but think about the last one along Foucaultian lines. Psychology keeps manufacturing sicknesses because each one increases the revenue. But is that really Foucaltian? Because it's not social engineering or manipulation. It's only parasitism. There's no denying that some people do have a serious problem with porn and it's the sort of thing people joke about until someone ends up dead.

Is that all a red herring? Was porn just another gun in the wrong hands that would have never fired in the right hands? Many serial killers feed on twisted porn. But so do many Sunday school teachers. Not that Sunday school teachers can't be serial killers. I'm pretty sure BTK was one of those.

 I do remember thinking, "We are really being the devils the fundies say we are." We meaning gay, queer, distorted, whatever. By enjoying these slightly dark things. These things worked in various degrees of darkness. But my mind sets up a defense of porn. "These bodies are strong, powerful, hungry, " I tell myself. "These are mythic things, mythic unto themselves. They are engraving themselves in the world. Through the juices of their bodies." Acid draws on glass. Why? Because it feels like it. The physics of because I feel like it. Not YOLO. More YOMEYEO. "You only metaphysically extrapolate your existence once." They want to do this fucking or their dicks wouldn't be hard. I rarely believe the women are truly enjoying the sex, but is that a form of veiled misogyny? I mean you can see how they're faking it and just overkilling with the dramatic, "Oh you big boy, you fucking monster!" call and response thing. Fucking in porn is as stylized as Japanese prints of centuries past. It's like Southern baptism translated into porn. I mean verbally, vocally. Holy Rollers.

What percentage of those women doing anal really want a dick the size of a prize radish at the State Fair shoved up their ass?  I usually think, "This is a working woman" when I watch the male/female clips. There is a dignity in her having a job. Many of these women seem like professionals. They probably have a printed porn resume. Maybe they post it on Linkedin. Many of them seem amused at how stupid the male fantasy world is even as they're participating in it and functioning as its currency. But that I consider this real work? Do I think I'm being enlightened, progressive? Or has Da Gubbermunt got its propaganda inside my head? Work civilizes the savage. Am I tacitly endorsing an ARBEITEN MACHT FREI of porn?

Everyone knows the theory line about women being functionally different in their relationship to intimacy, sex. "Men are promiscuous and women are not." But I know that's not true (without even talking about other places in the gender spectrum like transsexualism). Especially in the realms of addiction and mental illness, women are just as likely to function in the way the stereotypical, sexually-driven male does. Evolution is so various that I just assume you can find any hypothesized male "core identity" existing in the exact same form in a female body somewhere.

It's one of the eye-openers I had with studying murder for so long. While homicidal behavior is much rarer among females, I have seen every type of murderer that exists in the male form come along in a female body at one time or another.  I suppose I'm babbling. I'm saying things we all realize in seventh or eighth grade. That everyone is an individual. That's the whole Sartrean thing. The paper-cutter versus the human being. People become monsters through Markov chains the same way daisies become daisies.

While trying to limn the phenomenology of porn and exploitation, I recalled one of the most disturbing quotes that Marguerite Duras had ever said--disturbing to me anyway. I remember the interviewer bringing up the topic of rape in her writing, particularly  in the context of the young (it was implied teenage girls--probably The Lover.). And Duras had waved this area of discussion away like a cloud of mosquitos by saying, "Oh, when I was a child I stole an apple once!" The sarcastic dismissal was clear. You could feel her sarky hand fling through the air in the words. She was always that damn good, the way her words were able to incise tone in your mind instantly.  Each reality is only a tone. Painting and literature both thrive on that idea.

Marguerite Duras was someone who never needed a literary critic. Because the work itself was that criticism which we call--because we seem to need to call it something--life. The words squirm away from the press of analysis like worms underfoot. "We are ourselves," they say. "We don't need you to translate us from worms into hummingbirds or angels or whatever is functioning as the current literary equivalent of Nutella. Thanks for visiting. Buh-bye now. Black hair is black hair. Blue eyes are blue eyes. The ocean is the ocean forever.

Why would someone who fought the good fight during World War II in a besieged country say something that totally aligns with the thinking of the Dark Forces of the 20th century? Mere provocation? But then in The War look at the ambiguity of her relation to the German sympathizers. She is joyful that history turns itself upright again with the end of the war, but it's clear that she is erotically invested in the drama of the war itself. Her mind is warped to a clear bell jar over every sensuous thought that desire can forge, every link in its chain chain chain. I suppose that's quintessentially French. The idea that the embrace is universal. You can't resize your retina. You can't unlove damage.

Friday, May 25, 2012

the pleasure of merely spinning


Untitled by William Keckler
Untitled, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.


tragedy by William Keckler
tragedy, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

"beeyotch, yo hair look better on me"

Malkin scalped my poor Xmas troll tonight. He proudly wore the hair he scalped. I thought of an angry wig-snatching drag queen on Rupaul's Drag Race.

Proof that Cats and Trolls "Do Not Mix"

Everybody Knows I'm Crazy Anyway...

so I'll tell you. My house is fucking haunted again. It's the motherfucking Shining. It had been quiet for so long. I don't know how long but it had to be over a year. That time I saw the man walk out the front door of my house (the one I almost walked into going down the stairs). He was ectoplasm and he just went through the fucking door.

And then absolutely nothing. Not a light bulb blowing out (we used to have four in a day sometimes). No bottles rolling across the kitchen floor when they had been standing and no one in the room. No spoons spinning around in bowls in the sink like compass needles. We had experienced that and a lot more.

This could totally be unexplained physics. The thing is the planet's magnetic fields are of course impacting us differently with the tilt of the planet, and there are some theorists who believe the earth's electromagnetic field is the real explanation for the poltergeist phenomenon.

I would say I could buy that and I used to believe it and take comfort in it for the longest time. Until one time when the spirits did something with a pair of sandals to make a joke about a Ben Jonson poem I had been analyzing that day. The "walk dead still" line in his one poem. They moved sandals out from under a parson's table into the middle of the floor of the room and had the sandals perfectly facing each other, at loggerheads. This was meant to indicate to me that they were doing literary criticism--or explication anyway.

This was the perfect image to counterpoint "walk dead still."

It totally freaked me the hell out and yet I thought it was funny at the same times. These are spirits quick with intellect.

But now they're being fucking malevolent, which is not something they were very often in the past.

Last night I deleted a ridiculous blog past written in my mental extremity. I had been up way too long (no, I wasn't fuzzy at all) because I had been trying to stay awake to go to sleep at a certain time to make a morning doctor's appointment.

And when I went to go to bed around 9 p.m. my bedroom door was locked! There is no way anybody else could have had access. Only Malkin was in there and I could not get in. I tried unsuccessfully to jimmy this lock. Malkin needed, fed, I needed my medication, it was a fucking mess. It ended up driving me bonkers. I'm fine today, but it really upset me in a serious way.

Of course, anyone I told insisted I had locked the door myself. I've never done that in my life--locked myself out of any room in this house. I've never done it with any car I've owned. In my life. I remember to lock doors, and I am obsessive about it. But I make sure I am on the right side of the door.

Well, today the spirits nearly caused serious pain and injury. I am sitting at the computer in a room across the hall from my bedroom and I heard this laughing and talking. I thought Lee had woken early and was having a telephone conversation but the voice seemed "off" from Lee's. I stepped out of this room and my bedroom door was wide open! Dru nearly got into the room with Malkin and they would have tried to kill one another most likely. I went downstairs and Lee was still where he had fallen asleep over whatever video game he had been playing.

So this too has never happened before. This had to have just happened. The door was not open. Because Malkin would have been crying or out of the room, there would have been a fight. This had clearly just happened moments before. Because I've been in this room for over an hour. And it coincided with that creepy conversation that sort of sounded like Lee but not.

This all started up the other day (or it was a precursor anyway) when a bottle cap flew into the room where I was across the floor. I mean like a shot. Like someone had fucking fired it from a toy gun or something. No cat anywhere around. Came from a strange angle and hit the door of the room where I am sitting.

I am crazy, yes, but I don't have visual or auditory hallucinations.

I just live in a house that is periodically haunted.

The seasonal theory we had (seems unlikely to me now) also was based on the idea that things always started in the autumn. Usually in November.

Oddly enough, Lee used to have stuff happen when I was still working in the spring and summer. It was like they liked to devil him when he was alone. And he has no nerves at all. He's the opposite of me. So he's never afraid of them but he gets that weird glaze in his eyes that lets me know he's freaked out and realizes it's real.

He doesn't even question it. He just thinks it's part of life.

I remember how funny it was when they would repeatedly burn out the bulb in the one Quoizel lamp in the downstairs front room. They did it every night for like four nights in a row. And then I politely asked them to stop (aloud, something I had been loath to do) and it immediately stopped.

And that lamp has never burned out a bulb early again.

There is a weird little communication thing going on.

The Ben Jonson poem incident is still the weirdest thing of all.

Because it implies they can either read my thoughts or read words on a computer screen. Because I had only blogged that. I had not said a word about it aloud.

It's as though they read the words right over my shoulder.

And creepier, was the intelligence and humor implicit in the joke they played with putting the sandals in the middle of the floor like that.

No, it wasn't Lee and nobody else was in the house.

If Lee saw the word poem in a blog post, you can be sure he quickly zoomed elsewhere to another site.

And no, I'm not haunting myself unawares like that lady who stalked herself and never realized it was her.

I'm pretty sure (weirdly enough) this is an actual haunting.

This house is not young.

The deed said 1910 but I found a record not long ago that said this address was standing as early as 1887. I don't think that's likely because that's only a few years after the founding of Steelton itself and I don't see this as even being a street then.

But that's what the one document said. It had all the houses on the street and their respective "birthdates."  And this one was the oldest.

I know some of the people who lived here. One was a minister.

I'm still horrified that when Lee and his dad took out one wall there was the word "murder" written on the other side of the wall. No, not REDRUM. But how fucking close to the motherfucking Shining can you get than that. They weren't supposed to tell me, but Lee's son did. He couldn't resist sharing.

I don't think it was in red crayon though.

Excuse me, I have to go talk to my little finger Tony now.


"omigod this is fun!"

"omigod this is fun!" by William Keckler
"omigod this is fun!", a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

not a milf, not even a gilf, possibly a ggilf.

spinning troll

SPIN magazine by William Keckler
SPIN magazine, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

spinning on a record: troll disco

"I crunched some numbers and we simply can't do it"....Malkin breaks the news to me...

"Look me get a closer look at you children," said the tall Clock-Man as he bent down to examine their faces...


science by William Keckler
science, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.