“view from the 19th hole”

19th-hole
(photo from the Conrad Pezula Hotel & Resort Knysna, South Africa)

(sitting on the clubhouse terrace: Elaine, Seminole, the Basker Brothers (Slim and DickHead) — at a table with a view of the 18th green, deep into their 7th round of cocktails)

ELAINE: (looks at hands; sweet) My hands are so, fuck-ing clean.

SEMINOLE: (offhand, passing) Cool, babe. … So, Slim, tell me how you managed to slice and dice the Tenderloin deal?

SLIM: (smiles, smug) Not saying.

DICKHEAD: (in the dying light of big-brother adulation) He says “not saying is the key to all success.”

SEMINOLE: Yeah, I can see that. Mystery as the Queen of Leverage. Wasn’t it that Berkshire Hathaway dude who said “Give me a mystery large enough, and I can move the world?”

ELAINE: (looking at course) I think that was Newton.

DICKHEAD: Actually, it was Bobby Orr, holding up his stick after the Bruins won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 29 years, in 1970.

SLIM: Actually, I think it was NostrilDameOhs, that hot, Greek girl with an incredible, honker nose for prognostication.

ELAINE: (glances at Slim then back at course, casually touching nose)

WAITER JOE: (walks up with tray of refills, begins setting drinks on table) Actually, it was Archimedes, the Greek toga party impresario, in Chapter 14 of “How to Make Your Toe Gaga Produce Returns.” (bounces eyebrows at DickHead)

DICKHEAD: (gives him look that says) Go hand-fuck yourself, waiter boy.

WAITER JOE: (finishes) Gentlemen. (turns and leaves)

ELAINE: (pause; big sigh) I wish my calves were smaller. Like they were when Mom and I just roamed the range, alone and free, before the arrival of the cowpokes.

SEMINOLE: (looks at her) Babe — I thought you liked the cowpoke thing?

ELAINE: (glances at him, back at course) Uh-huh.

20160717 11:25 (290 words)
_________________
music:
▸ John Doe performing “Go Baby Go” on video Mar. 2016, provided to YouTube by The Orchard Enterprises, song from “The Westerner” 2016, available from Cool Rock Records and Amazon
▸ The Head and the Heart performing “Cats and Dogs” & “Coeur D’Alene” in studio Jul. 2010, from “The Head and the Heart” 2011
▸ The Lemonheads performing “Rockin Stroll” by Evan Dando, on music video Oct. 2009, from “It’s a Shame About Ray” 1992
▸ The Paper Kites performing “I’m Lying to You Cause I’m Lost”, from “twelvefour” 2015

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“movie magic”

… laying out the life in underplay

spotlight
(theatrical release poster for the film “Spotlight” 2015*)

“What is this about?” Olivia Flanders asks, calm as toast without the butter. She’s a natural for the role of gatekeeper — a superhero of the resolute polite, sitting at a clutter-empty desk like a ballerina of communication, her back an upright arrow laid back against the long bow of the chair, forearms stretched out upon the polished cherry desktop framing the yellow pad she has for notes, the phone’s thin half-headset hanging like an epiphyte on the outside of an ear.

“It’s a revelation,” Jeffers answers. “Just tell Mr. Bingley it’s the secret Mammoth Pictures has been looking for since Victor Mature was lost at sea in that pirate with self-doubt issues movie.”

“And the secret involves what?”

“Magic. Why movie magic happens, and how to make it happen again and again by following a simple formula.”

“A formula you call ‘Ringo’s Dance Card’?”

“Yes. Named for the cheat sheet drum chart Ringo used for reference, taped to the inner, bass drum skin just beside the pedal. Except here, of course, there are no drums. Just natives beating back the bushes along the quakey trails of Tinseltown, as they try to make a movie.”

Olivia is smiling. It’s one of the perks of interacting with the weirdness — to look beyond the rites of chaos passage, and see the human show for its inherent, entertainment value.

“Still there?” Jeffers asks after a few beats.

“Yes. Both here and being still.”

“Cool. Still life works. It’s just a crap idea for the central theme in framing out a moving picture. Moving still life — in what self-reflective, zero-sum idea farm did this idea start?”

“So tell me about the formula.”

“‘Conscious underplay’ — it works by doing conscious without the attachment of a hyphened-self. Which is like convincing both the conscious and the self that maybe they should spend some time apart. Then you buy the self a ticket on a bus to Vegas via Anchorage, so the conscious can finally open up the windows of the crib and catch a breath of unclaimed air.

Olivia is silent for a moment as she begins to draw a bus on the AlCan Highway to Alaska.

“Still there?”

“Yes. Both.”

“Good.”

“So the underplay, then?

“Is just the story of the conscious self without the self. Which is analogous to a dog watching nature shows on t.v. If the dog becomes entranced with gazing at its own reflection in the t.v. screen, it’s going to miss the part where the kangaroo deals cards.”

“And if I ask you to bring this brief visit to the land of theory-ville back home to “formula,” and hold the entertainment, would that cramp your style?”

“No. Sorry. You get to conscious underplay without the self, by taking out the stuff that puddles-up to make the self. Suppose, by some happy, finder’s chance, you find a story of real life that has so much depth-of-real about its story life, the idea of nailing up the story-boards to form the framing for a mirror of life, just seems like painting over gold.”

“And this would be the model?”

“Yes. The model of the depth-of-real you’re looking for. If what you find is a moving van of that, then lucky you. But still, even with a happy load of that, it still requires a lot of digging through to find the story-patterns in the links. Which is the link-link narrowing we call “finding,” that becomes a qualitative mirror of the quality involved with “looking.”

“So the mirror is –”

“– a story of the looking.”

“As the whole process becomes —

“– like doing 3-D cultural archaeology, as it’s happening. Which is how you get to resonance, which is when the well of story links begins to hum, and what happens in the movie model link I sent.”

“And that’s the future opening that you, and your electronic word shovel, are auditioning for?”

“As Victor Mature said to his chief engineer in ‘Grand Coulee — The Story of a Damn Fine Dam’: ‘Can you dig it?'”

20160629 00:02 (702 words)
______________________
film:
▸ * “Spotlight” 2015, currently available on Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and elsewhere
music:
▸ Brown Bird performing “Thunder & Lightning” 2012, from “Salt For Salt” 2011
▸ Daughter performing “Youth” from “If You Leave” 2013
▸ NOAHS performing “Love Will Save Us” from “Cedar & Fire” 2014
▸ Wolf Alice “Lisbon” from “My Love is Cool” 2015

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“sawn the light”

saw
(photo from antiques.com)

“Wait — not creatively-grammatically correct? As in: ‘After years of toiling in the lumber mill of life, I feel pretty certain that I have now, finally, sawn the light,'” Handle says and turns her head to Weary Dean.

They’re both sitting back in a pair of dark-green enameled Adirondacks, in their underwear with bare legs and feet stretched out on the cool grass of a warm after-nooner May, grass that Weary Dean cut just this morning along a shaded border stretch of the blooming, wildflower meadow at Painful Acres.

“Past-imperfect-creative is a language dog that never gets a chance to run? Like language — or any other thing that’s struck by gravity to this turning ball of darkness mewing toward the light — has never, ever, seen the mewing light of ‘new’?”

Weary Dean shakes his head and smiles, then drains the final quarter of his 12-oz bottle of Wilde Flume, a new craft beer brewed my a group of non-religious “apostles of the true and good” on Forward Street in Rutland.

“One more?” he asks, standing-turning toward the house.

“Sure. And bring the bag of Macy’s Chipped Tortillas?” she asks please-and-pretty.

“Ok. And the ‘Webster’s Collegiate’? You know, in case this is heading in a lost-in-following-the-word-links direction?”

“I’ll shut the fuck up.”

Weary Dean is standing with one hand resting on the picket-fence of the Adirondack chair back, looking at her. Then he turns toward the house. “Like that ever happens, when you’re not dancing through the streets of dreamland.”

“And cookies?”

“Ok.”

“And left-over pizza?”

“I’ll bring the wagon.”

The breeze picks up and rustles the new-leafed oaks that block the late-day sun on this small corner of a world too deep in chaos story to be seen at all, except in sawing out small excerpts of coincidence from the passing seens of time and space.

20160529 09:20 (331 words)
__________
music:
Not Waving But Drowning performing “from/to” from “Any Old Iron” 2008
Ben Howard performing “The Fear” from “Every Kingdom” 2011
Gregory Alan Isakov performing “She Always Takes it Black” from “The Weatherman” 2013
Cat Stevens performing “The Wind” live 1976, from “Teaser and the Firecat” 1971
Vandaveer performing “A Little Time Off Ahead” from “The Wild Mercury” 2016

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act 4 – george carlin

george-carlin
(photo of George Carlin * b. May 12, 1937 New York, d. June 22, 2008 Santa Monica)

________________
stand-up:
▸ * George Carlin doing “7 Dirty Words” (in part, the bit originally broadcast on WBAI radio in New York 1973, this video possibly from the HBO special “George Carlin: Again!” 1978)

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“cookin’ with the captain”

captain-cook
(Captain James Cook’s ship the HMS Endeavour off the coast of New Holland, by Samuel Atkins c. 1794; as researchers with the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project announce on 20160504 they are “nearly sure” they’ve found the Endeavour — sold and renamed the Lord Sandwich in 1775, then used as a troop transport until being scuttled by the British in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War, and now lying on the bottom of Newport Harbor.)

Captain Angel — aka Angel LaDuke, 32, a bi-colored h. sapes, reed-thin girl with dreadlocks falling past the light, creamed coffee of her shoulders, and hot pink of her bikini halter top — is swinging plastic bins full of food and other resupplies, from the dock at Pirate’s Bay on the northwest coast of Guadeloupe, onto the deck of Hasty Pudding, her 42′ Beneteau sloop.

“That it, girl?” Wide Size Charlemagne asks, grinning. “You need me come aboard, help you wash the laundry?”

“Uh-huh,” Angel says, glancing up as she shifts the final bin. “Like that would happen on a day when Hell was not beginning another Ice Age.”

“Just askin’.”

“And just sayin’, no way no day.” She straightens up. “But thanks, Wide Size, for wheeling out the cart. And say hi to your moms?”

“Sure thing, Angel on a boat. Drive safe.” Then he turns and pulls the four-wheeled cart back up the dock toward Fixies, the only store for “Groceries and Other Nauticals” on this part of the island.

Angel takes a breath turning toward the water, where she’ll anchor until tomorrow when the Hansens from Detroit are scheduled to arrive — a couple pushing 40 with two teenage daughters, who have booked her and the boat for a ten-day cruise through the northern Lesser Ants, ending up at Charlotte Amalie where they’ll fly back home.

She has run the winter charter business for five years by herself, since her dad died and left her the boat and cottage a half mile up the dusty road that snakes along the shore from Fixies. Which was both a change for her, and nothing really different, as she’d grown up helping on her father’s boats since she was six, then doing more after her mom left for London with “The Groomer.” Though her return to Guadeloupe from Berkeley, after six years and a Master’s in “post-romantic poets,” did take some readjustment.

“What the fuck?” she asked her father on the first day back. “You still have dial-up?”

“Works fine for email,” he replied. “What else is the Interwebs about, if not communication?”

“That, and everything else.”

“Like what else?” he asked.

“Like ‘life’? Imagine that you’re living in a room with a sturdy door. And suddenly the door is opened and you walk out and there’s this whole, other world outside the door that you now have access to?”

“Uh-huh,” he said. “So it’s like sailing on a boat, then? You leave a shore you’ve come to know and go someplace else, and see things that are both similar and different from what you’ve come to know. Which you can also do by just leaving home and going for a walk. Or opening a book. Or changing channels on tv. Or tinkering with how to fix the fuel pump on a boat, with something from the catch-all boxes in the shed?”

“I guess.”

“So same thing, then, just different –”

“– ways of following the link-link in your head,” she said, finishing the thought.

“Uh-huh,” he said. ‘Link-link’ is good. You get that from the web?”

“Yes. Some people think the real reason that we built the Internet, is just to help us better visualize what’s going on inside our heads.”

“The story in a story. Like James Cook’s voyage of discovery, where he plants the British flag on what is now Australia?

“Yes,” she answered. “As part of a larger voyage of individual discovery, with Cook sailing around the outer surface of an enormous sphere, on which we, the h. sapes home boys, have learned to do a step-back look that, from a place outside ourselves, sees an infinity of indie points that move through 3-D space and time.”

“So what was going on inside your head in Berkeley, then, is still going on on Guadeloupe. Which would be the welcome home inside a welcome home, from the head you never left.

“Wel-come home, An-gel!” he added, grinning wide, with a high-pitched, sing-song voice, his hands and fingers splayed out on both sides of his head as it bobbed from side to side, in a clownish, mirror image of her “talking” head. And Angel cracked up large at 24, like she had at seven, at the spontaneous unexpected in her father’s humble, indie song-and-dance.

20160505 01:26 (750 words)
___________________
music:
▸ KT Tunstall performing
“Push That Knot Away” from “Tiger Suit” 2010
“The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley and Mike Campbell, from Henley’s album “Building the Perfect Beast” 1984
“On Melancholy Hill” by Damon Albarn of Gorillaz from their album “Plastic Beach” 2010

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“leaving u behind”

mussel-pier-amsterdam
(“View from the Mussel Pier in Amsterdam” by Ludolf Backhuysen 1673, from siftingthepast)

From “Directions on What to Take and What to Leave Behind” — a recently undiscovered pamphlet published for passengers by New World Shipping, London and Amsterdam, 1690.

What to Take.

1) Five photos of family, friends, and other loved or formerly-loved ones.

2) One pot.

3) One pan.

4) One pair of extra socks.

5) Two pairs of drawers, if the drawers are large enough to be used later for cleaning rags. If not, then only one pair is allowed.

6) One good book. (Not necessarily “the” good book, just a book you won’t mind reading-and-rereading five or ten thousand times.)

7) One map to your destination, no larger than a postcard when folded.

8) One postcard, to be mailed back home upon arrival to let the folks back home know you’ve made it across the vast and sometimes angry ocean, thanks to New World Shipping.

What to Leave Behind.

1) Everything that is not essential. Stuff like extra letters in the alphabet you don’t really need (i.e., colo[u]r, hono[u]r, etc.). Learning to live with less, like using shorter words, is absolutely essential to survival in the wilderness. And, really, survival in the wilderness is what this latest episode in the history of h. sapes’ wanderlust via long-distance boat travel, is all about.

2) Your sense of loss. Really — just leave it on the dock, since recent studies have shown that engaging in “regret, and the bottomless pit of looking back” is when most settlers in the wilderness are eaten by bears.

BEAR: (taps settler on shoulder)

SETTLER: (sighs, and turns from looking back) Yes?

20160420 11:43 (280 words)
__________________
music:
▸ Sly and Robbie “Boops”
▸ Them Crooked Vultures “Scumbag Blues”
▸ Kathleen Edwards “Back to Me”, and “The Cheapest Key”
▸ Langhorne Slim and the Law “The Way We Move”, and “Changes”

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“night school, week 1”

night-school
(photo by Vivienne Gucwa from nythroughthelens)

(scene 27 — interior, evening; Day sitting on couch)

DAY: Okay, this is the part that always creeps me the fuck out.

MYSTERY VOICE: And why do you think that is?

DAY: I don’t know. The light is fading and, as usual, I haven’t really done my Night homework.

MV: And so you feel filled with, what — dread?

DAY: Yeah, sure. I have no idea what to expect.

MV: So you think if you were a better student, you might …

DAY: Actually enjoy the night? Sure. Boogie down with the night people. I think I could really dig cruising the streetlight-shadowed boulevards and alleyways, the leafy lanes and deadend-transit mamas. (sits up, starts rocking head) Checkin’ out the shadow peeps. Bumpin’ with the grunge. Mono-gender BITCH-uhs, ev-ree-where! Yeah. I could definitely get my funk top ON!

MV: Really?

DAY: (slumps back) No. Who am I kidding. I like the light, man. I mean — why eat in the dark? I like to see what I’m eating.

MV: And what’s eating you?

DAY: That’s it. (pause, looks around) Can we turn the lights on?

MV: Sorry. That’s not what night school is about.

20160417 10:57 (209 words)
________________
music:
▸ The Lumineers performing
“Submarines”, lyrics and
“Stubborn Love”, lyrics, by Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites, from “The Lumineers” 2012
▸ Whetherman performing
“In the Melody” by Nicholas Williams, from “Seeds for Harvest” 2015, lyrics
▸ Cat Stevens performing
“Father and Son” live 1971, from “Tea for the Tillerman” 1970
film:
“Moonlight Mile” 2002, to watch two characters/actors (Gyllenhall and Pompeo) being totally alive)

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“discovering AmErica”

… one girl’s selfied voyage of self-discovery

america
(Maliblu, from the ER doctor)

 

### — Episode 1: “Like Magellan in a Hoodie, Heading West”
(a 22-min, 4K-word tv pilot in 8 scenes, w/cast at end*)

 

## — Scene 01-A — exterior, day, car [music].
(Erica Adams, struggling actor, sitting in her car, windows up, stopped in L.A. traffic, listening to music on radio; she glances around, gently nodding head, then reaches out and turns music up, closes eyes, begins air dancing; traffic begins to move, guy behind her lays on horn; she opens eyes, looks in rearview mirror and smiles, raises right hand, turned-around, waving fingers at guy in car behind, as she moves slowly forward)

## — Scene 01-B — interior, day, office [music].
(Helen Stoffle, Erica’s agent, sitting at her desk with WiFi headset on, listening to music; looking at calendar on laptop, calls Erica from computer)

(Erica’s car is stopped again as phone rings; she sees caller i.d. on dash display, mutes radio, answers on speaker)

ERICA: Hey, Hel. I’m in the car heading west on Olympic, about ten blocks, or three hours, give or take, in “L.A. traffic time,” from the Bull Fight.

(Helen breath laughs, turns in desk chair and looks out window)

HELEN: The streets are a mess?

ERICA: No. The roads are fine. They’re just full of cars, with people going places. Which isn’t bad, if you think about it. It’s a really good thing for the economy. Which is the only reason I’m doing this at all. I could care less about acting in movies or tv. I just want to help Los Angeles reach its full potential, and become the city it knows that it can be.

HELEN: Uh-huh.

ERICA: So I leave a few days early for each audition, and get to spend some quality time, car-strolling through the place I love.

HELEN: Sweet.

ERICA: Thanks. I like you, too.

HELEN: So give us a call after the Bull Fight’s over?

ERICA: You bet. Olé.

HELEN: Olé, sweetheart.

(both end call)

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