August 28, 2012

August 25, 2012

August 22, 2012

August 19, 2012


When Gore Vidal, whose novels, as well as whose iconoclastic views and repartee, I admired and enjoyed, died, I was reminded of the infamous public spats he’d had with William Buckley and Norman Mailer. The witty calm he maintained after provoking such dangerous heads and egos to explode, while he nattily brushed off the debris, was a delight to watch. He once rendered Norman Mailer (whom I also admire, for different reasons) dumbfounded on the Dick Cavett show by calling him “a veal of a man.” How do you answer that? Some reckonings are so striking as to make further discussion impossible.

My roommate Bill and I shared a wing of a loft on Vestry Street in the late 70s. During the summer, we had the loft itself to ourselves, when the rest of the tribe took off for Key West and Saratoga.

Leo Luchese, a friend of ours, dropped a bunch of furniture off at the loading dock/storage area, stuff that was in transit to his new apartment. When he was finished moving, a couple of weeks later, he left behind a rather formless, hulking, brown leather sofa that he said Bill and I could have, if we wanted it. Bill and I went down to have a look.

It was pretty ugly. But I thought it had possibilities. Bill, however, didn’t, and rendered his judgment:

“It’s anti-life,” he said, and walked away.

And that - what could I say to that? - was that.

August 15, 2012

August 12, 2012

Correspondence / 7

I'm going to call you Gilly Lillyseed. You could be a character in a fairy tale - tossing seeds, with a graceful swoop, from your magic bag. Then everyone wonders 'where did those flowers come from?'

I like your new photos - the pastiche. The yellow throw and the stripey blanket. Your hair has drabbed out nicely. Cool bangles - there's a slightly industrial touch there.

No, I haven't taken the Myers Brigg test - which strikes me as being probably gratifying, but the way occult knowledge is. A pretty snare. It's related to my aversion to kingdoms.

In my ongoing quest to integrate some more low key athletic activity into my low key life, I started thinking about options featuring more strategy than sweat. I remembered that my neighbor Frank had asked me to join him and his buddies on the local bocce court. So I bought a bocce set and went to the court, after hours, to see if I had any aptitude for the game. I suspected I would. The physics appeals to me. I stayed for about an hour, playing against myself, had some beginner’s luck, and threw many balls that could have been laughed off the court. But I started improving pretty quickly, and have since joined some pick-up games, and practice with my friend Cathy. The Italian guys from New Jersey are a riot. "Hey Fank-ay!" Being welcome amongst them is a nice experience.

"The love of fireworks lies in the mitochondria." Wowzer. The Big Bang is in our cells. Remember that crazy synchronicity at Hooky Beach with Patrick and some of the rest of us? I was in bed last night with Richard Ford's Independence Day, which a friend of mine recommended, and read this...

"Somewhere on the water a boat neither of us can see suddenly becomes a launch pad for a bright, fusey, sparkly projectile that arcs into the inky air and explodes into luminous pink and green effusions that brighten the whole sky like creation's dawn..."

Hello. Co-inky-dink? I think NOT, as Po used to say. Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes, they call me on and on...

August 8, 2012

August 6, 2012

August 4, 2012

August 1, 2012

Correspondence / 6

Thanks for inspiring me! I went over to your blog and by then you'd posted something a little bitter (one of the four flavors of meditation, as I once noted somewhere), followed by something sweeter. I like a variety of sensations, don't you?

How was the falls? Still there I trust.

"...a cottage bug", heh, I like that. It's true - that's where we saw fireflies. I've never seen one in Florida. But I was changing into my shorts this morning as the day began to warm, and noticed that a little green beetle, clinging to my pant leg, had followed me into the house. I transferred it to the fern on the lanai.

They closed off a half-mile of the city's downtown main drag for the Independence Day festival. My friend Cathy and I went down for a while, and watched the fireworks. I have a fancy that the reason people are thrilled by fireworks is that they touch off some elemental resonance and deep recall of the Big Bang that started it all... Ooooo!  Aaahhh!

It's always cool to realize that somebody has looked in the archives. I like video for the possibilities in gestures, snatches, moments, that extend a bit beyond the the limits of the photograph. And the emotional import of music. Bill Evans is my favorite collaborator - though, of course, he doesn't know that. I saw him once at a small club in Greenwich Village. He played his quiet, tenderly rendered Santa Claus Is Coming To Town that night. You could have heard an ice cube clink.

“New Jersey is like the back of an old radio.” That’s a great line. I just got back from biking to the library to return two books. The only Ford they had was a book of short stories - "A Multitude Of Sins" - so I got that. I'll probably reserve Independence Day. Is that the one you read? It won the Pulitzer.

I hear good things about Moonrise Kingdom. It's in my Netflix queue, though it will probably be a while before I get it. I don't think it's even been released to disc yet. It isn't the kind of big-screen blockbuster I see in the theater, especially with today's prices. If you can wait, we could watch it at chez Jeaux.

I like to play late in the afternoon, around 4:30 to 5, when nobody's there. Tomorrow?