Mar 12, 2015

The view for a few days

We are renting the house for a few days, staying with friends in the meantime. This is the view (we're on the other side of the Esterel park).

Feb 13, 2015

Shades of grey (1) --- Am I hard enough?

Yes, we're going to do it. We have a little feuilleton on the Grey thing. And we start with something nice, the soundtrack. This is from the soundtrack:

I'll never be your beast of burden
My back is broad but it's a hurting
All I want is for you to make love to me
I'll never be your beast of burden
I've walked for miles my feet are hurting
All I want, for you to make love to me

Am I hard enough
Am I rough enough
Am I rich enough
I'm not too blind to see

I'll never be your beast of burden
So let's go home and draw the curtains
Music on the radio
Come on baby make sweet love to me

Am I hard enough
Am I rough enough
Am I rich enough
I'm not too blind to see

Oh little sister
Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, girl
Such a pretty, pretty, pretty girl
Come on baby please, please, please

I'll tell ya
You can put me out
On the street
Put me out
With no shoes on my feet
But, put me out, put me out
Put me out of misery

Yeah, all your sickness
I can suck it up
Throw it all at me
I can shrug it off
There's one thing baby
That I don't understand
You keep on telling me
I ain't your kind of man

Ain't I rough enough, ooh baby
Ain't I tough enough
Ain't I rich enough, in love enough
Ooh! Ooh! Please

I'll never be your beast of burden
I'll never be your beast of burden
Never, never, never, never, never, never, never be

I'll never be your beast of burden
I've walked for miles, my feet are hurting
All I want is for you to make love to me

"Dear Diary" ---- Quantum learning (teaser)

Yes, folks, we have been goofing off. It's a bit more complicated, though, but the net effect is that we have no new teasers for This Is Heaven. It's not exactly a writers block (we're at 2/3 of the manuscript already), but there's the need for a creative break. So we started writing on a new---and very old project. It's prose, it's fiction, and it's YA. That's all we can tell in this era of ubiquitous spoiler angst:


Dear Diary :

I can’t really tell you how pleased I am to hold you in my hands, or, more precisely, have you lain out open like a “book” from the old days while sitting on an office contraption that looks modernistic but was described by Xato as an antique heirloom of “the family” when rolled into the room. Xato, who at that point had known me for several hours already, sensed my reservations and looked around for alternative sitting options, but I (who had know him for several hours already), hurried to agree and said: “It will do, Xato.”

“Whatever your preferences,” Xato replied.

Whatever-your-preference…I really ought to call him that, were it not impractical as the name of a young guy that appears on your bedside and introduces himself as your PA (“pee aah?”---“Yes, Miss, pee aah,”---“Really?”---“Oh, excuse me, Miss, that would be ‘personal assistant’”). He then apologizes profusely for the “unscheduled void” of “the family”---and in particular for the “most unfortunate” absence of “The Senator” who had “longed” to be at my side “at this critical juncture” and who had been held back “by the most urgent business of State” but who “had not failed to send his greetings in redemption.”

Feb 11, 2015

We have been out to lunch in inexcusable ways, but it's not entirely our fault...

...which google-translates into...

habuimus ad prandium inexcusabili vias tantum sed non culpam

...which google-translates into...

we had lunch at the only ways inexcusable but not a fault

...which google-translates into...

non solum ad mores edimus prandium inexcusabili culpa

...which google-translates into...

not only to the character we had lunch inexcusable fault

...which google-translates into...

non solum per respectum ad indolem edimus prandium inexcusabili culpa

...which google-translates into...

not only with respect to the nature of the inexcusable fault we had lunch

...which google-translates into...

non solum quantum ad rationem culpae edimus prandium inexcusabili

...which google-translates into...

not only with respect to the notion of inexcusable fault we had lunch

...which google-translates into...

non solum quantum ad rationem culpae edimus prandium inexcusabili

...and so, folks, we've reached a fixed point, the ninth application of the translation function is idempotent, applying the function again and again doesn't change the result:

not only with respect to the notion of inexcusable fault we had lunch

There's order in madness.

One wonders whether all google-translations reach a fixed point (exercise left to the reader).

Jan 13, 2015

Dry humpin' --- This is heaven (teaser)

It's Day Three of the festival, and the boys are prepping Godehart for The Debate, today's criterium. Let's take the plunge (apologies for the repeat of the Ben-scene): 

Now, the handshakes,” Maurice says to Godehart.
“It will be more like a square dance, on account of the number of candidates. Make sure you won’t forget anybody,” Alex says. “John, you’re on the jury. How many candidates left?”
I have to use my fingers. “Five, I say, Haagen, the Fox woman, Blanche Dubois, and that shady character. Plus Godehart.”

“Godehart,” Alex says with another sip, “the handshake is just the libretto---we all know your grip is firm and sweat-less---the music is in the shoulder slap. You step forward, clutch the foe’s arm with your left hand, clutch his shoulder with your right hand, bring your left arm around, and now you tap his left shoulder, several times, with measured force, palm fairly flat, from behind. It’s almost an embrace. No pelvis action, mind you.”

“The way you stretch the back of your hand, darling,” Maurice adds, “says it all. Don’t stretch it too much. That’s anal. Americans don’t like anal. Even Southern Baptist don’t like anal.”
“Especially Southern Baptists,” Alex says. “They like barbecues.”
“Why do you say barbecues?” Godehart asks.
“Oh---you don’t know,” Alex says. “Americans always vote for the candidate they’d love to have over for a barbecue.”

Jan 8, 2015

French for beginners (Sacha)

(From the pages of Charlie Hebo)

And the corresponding fragment from the Green Eyes? No prob, bro. Étant donné (given that) the depiction of the auteur (self-centered film-maker) is Jean-Luc Godart, author of Pierrot le Fou, and other nouvelle vague movies.

Here goes (beginning of Ch. 23 of Part I, titled "In flagrante masterclass"):

There isn’t much left of Gohard's casual-ceremonial ways, the dildo has him in its grip, or counter grip, whatever. And while the situation is serious enough, I can’t suppress another collateral thought, this one involving the washed-up scriptwriter and an art house flick in which Gohard would try to answer the doorbell now, dildo and all, somehow haunching to the door, shifting from leg to leg, perhaps groaning. He reaches the door, opens it, and gulps “Hilfe.” (Come to think of it, didn't Godard (Jean-Luc, not Gohard) make a movie exactly like this, with Woody Allen as a peripatetic porn star and a peripatetic flower pot that’s always blotting the view of the adult parts of the unfolding drama? Did Allen survive?)

The door bell rings again. So it’s the postman. No, it’s Sunday. No, it’s Monday. It's not for nothing that us escorts are paid well—if we are paid at all—there's so much learning by doing involved. Shall we open the door? My budging A-level instincts tell me to stay put. Godehard moans softly, it's unclear whether he's praying or trying to say something. He rolls his head, that's what Buddhist monks do a lot.

We expect the echo of a failed doorbell initiative, silence followed by departing footfalls. Instead we get the clanky noise of metal on metal. There's something tentative to this, perhaps it’s a burglar who’s been pushing the bell to see whether the residents are at home and is wielding a picklock now. Godehart can't really roll his head any more. In flagrante masterclass.

I wonder whether the burglar could sue us for emotional damage done to him as he unsuspectingly tumbles upon harmful obscenity. While I thus wonder, the door swings open and clear, female eyes, enhanced by manly glasses, come into focus. Dr. Dyke.
Godehart can't speak at the moment, but Dyke can, presumably, although she doesn't. She ceases all activity whilst her medical mind assesses the situation. There she stands. It would be an understatement to say that we stared at each other (the more so because Godehart cannot really participate, his eyes left to dangle at the pond boys on the wall).

What's the washed-up scriptwriter doing in all this? He has a writer's block, I have to carry on alone. When you're in a hole, stop digging. That's perhaps a good idea, the more so since you’re in panic and can’t recall Dyke's real name, it could be a bad idea to use her moniker at this delicate hour. When we met for the first time, Dyke and I, her first words were "Your work?" That was twelve hours ago. What will she say now? Will she ever speak again?

"Your work?" she asks.
"Welcome to Godehart Wagner's home," I reply, one of my better lines today.
"I'm unsurprised," she says.
"Que sera, sera," I say—what can I say, there's no way to take this seriously. Even the dildo victim sports a smirk on his lips, a painful smirk at that, but a smirk nonetheless. Even the washed-up scriptwriter chimes in, we hear Doris Day singing in the background.

Dec 26, 2014

No more sex with minors --- This is heaven (teaser)

If we could only call all posts "Sex with minors." They attract double the amount of page-views and they add a little frisson... we posted a link to the previous teaser ("Sex with minors") in an erotic author group on Facebook, and a sister author (specializing herself in erotic murder) took exception ("Don't you see how offensive this is to many people")---having sex with a kid seventeen years old is the end of the world but snuff with eighteen year olds is okay---and then, having worked herself into a righteous frenzy she no longer needs to read the offensive post (no sex in it), or verify the age of consent (16, in Georgia, where the story is set), or verify the age of the kid (18, it's his birthday). 
Anyhow, John and Taylor (the kid) have been freed from jail, and they are discussing the circumstances of their arrest (which took place in a trailer sealed with crime-tape).
"Hullaboo," Bob Bienpensant

Taylor affects a sideway glance. “Funny, you had some dealings with this inspector before. The guy knew you. The police tape. You know something about the police tape?”
“I discovered the corpse.”
“The corpse?”
“The corpse behind the police tape?”
“No, yes, no.”
“You discovered the corpse. Cool. So it wasn’t a perimeter violation then. You entered the premises to recoup…your watch. No, not your watch, something serious. Like your cell phone. There was a situation. ‘Your Honor,’ you say to the judge, ‘upon discovering the dead body I was so shocked that I left my cell astray. And then I suddenly remembered Mom. It’s only once a year, your Honor, her anniversary. I had to call her right away. I had to recoup the phone. A birthday emergency.’ And then the judge, if he’s male, he’s old and satiated and don't listen and echoes ‘Once a year.’ If she’s female, she’s still hungry and she asks: ‘Couldn’t you borrow a phone from somebody else?’ And then you answer: ‘Of course not, Your Honor, how would I know the number.’ Case dismissed.”
“Astray,” I say.
"Yeah, nice, isn't it, adds a little spice."

Yin Yang --- a poem in pictures (reblogged)

(From the pages of Lustspiel, the gay literary magazine)

Find a caption

"That has to be the smallest I've seen in my life."

"Bacchus and Ariadne," (1621) Guido Reni (1575-1642)

Dec 24, 2014

Jamie 1.0 (teaser)

Today, our new flash story appeared on the pages of Gay Flash Fiction. Here's a teaser: 


“I’m married to this gentleman,” I say to the immigration officer on SFO and point at Chang behind the yellow line. She beams at us and waves him forward. Some court has just overturned California’s ban on gay marriage.
“You’ll be staying in the city, right?”
“The first few days.”
“If you like go places, you must have lunch at the River’s End. You know the Russian River? She draws a map on a sheet of immigration paper.


We rent a cheap place in Guerneville (on the Russian River), an hour and a half north of the city. I’m working on my book, Chang is tending to the kitchen garden we inherited from previous tenants.


The weather is California-perfect and I’m sitting on the porch. I get up at 4 AM to write and can’t concentrate in the afternoon. The place next door is (even) more run-down than ours. And makes angry noises. It moans and cusses with the voice of a middle-aged woman---about---Jamie. A boy sits on a camping chair outside. His face is blank. He gets up and disappears.


Repeat, basically, for several days or weeks. We’ve met the woman in the meantime. We talked once, which was a mistake, we’re her enemies too, now.


“Jamie is a sweet name,” I say to Chang, “she must have loved him once.”

For the full story, follow the link. NB: The first paragraph is true-true. This really happened to us on our arrival in San Francisco this spring.

Dec 19, 2014

The view this evening (Glenn)

(No, actually---not the view this evening. This is a sky picture showing how the Andromeda Galaxy, the nearest galaxy outside the Milky Way, would appear to our eyes if it were bright enough. It's roughly 1 million light years away and ca. 100,000 light years across, almost twice as large as the Milky Way, our own galaxy.)

Dec 18, 2014

Sex with minors --- This is heaven (teaser)

Predictably, John was caught in flagrante again. This time it's more serious though, since the flagrantist is a certain Detective-Inspector LaStrada

The police station of Georgia Beach sports two jail cells off the main office. It’s old-fashioned, homely almost, the space, cell walls from a film noir with vertical iron bars all around to which jail birds can cling in silent desperation.

They’ve separated me and Taylor in a transparent attempt to prevent more lewd interaction between John Lee, age 29, sex-male, race-Caucasian (I had to provide my personal details yet again, the third time inside a week), and Taylor Stanford Hart, sex-male, race-Caucasian, age-perhaps-illegal---Taylor had failed to convince them of his 18th birthday, he doesn’t look the birthday boy at all. Your Social Security Number? That would be 067-70-9756. Say that again: “067-07-9765.” It won’t take it. The computer. The number. Sorry. “You have no driver’s license?” Yes, he does, but left it in his bag on the camping ground. Sorry.

Hideki Koh

I’m alone in Cell No.1, Taylor is with Ray in Cell No.2. Ray couldn’t possibly follow the conversation about “carnal knowledge” going on in the main office, a topic to which Taylor and I contributed very little---letting LaStrada dictate his observations to a desk officer positioned behind an unwilling computer near the goldfish bowl---us not questioning whether Mr. Lee’s “hold” on Mr. Hart’s “member” was intentional or perhaps the result of unfortunate mistakes due to the substandard illumination inside Roper's caravan---except that Mr. Hart, at a critical juncture, namely when LaStrada had run out of things to say about “members” and appeared poised to move the focus to the transgressive part of the arrestees malfeasance (the yellow crime tape, the perimeter violation)---that Mr. Hart, whose mother runs a Baltimore law firm (we will learn soon)---that Taylor asked several nerdy questions about the goldfish in its bowl, questions which engaged the desk officer in lengthy answers, so lengthily that LaStrada’s cell began to ring and the detective was called away. I lost my train of thought. Yes, Ray could not have followed the conversation, but he’s sensitive, very sensitive, and now he’s gazing expectantly at his cell mate.

Dec 12, 2014

Gallery (23) (Sadao Hasegawa)

Sadao Hasegawa (1996)

(We discovered Sadao Hasegawa today; it's an incredibly intense Japanese artist, who committed suicide in 1999)

(More art on the Gallery Page)

Dec 8, 2014

Arresting Justin Bieber --- Write a novel see the world (1)

(Update: and while we are at it, here's Justin's lastest picture:)

Anything more we have to say about Justin, a fragment perhaps? We mention him once in the Green Eyes, but in our first novel, Freedom Fries, he gets a serious literary treatment. Here it is:

Context: Pamela Woods, the Dean of Berkeley Law school is busy conspiring against one of her faculty member, John Yoo, the author of the Bush-era torture memos. And Justin Bieber jr? That's her vice dean. And---spoiler alert---the scene is set on the day of Justin Bieber's breakthrough: 

  She collects the secret phone---Zack could call any minute now---hides it in her bag, and leaves the office. She will take up position in the lobby, where she will play the Populist Dean. The populist dean is expected of her anyhow, occasionally, and her performance is not without merit (despite mixed reviews), especially on Friday afternoons when people want to go home early, an inclination she applauds with one hand and dismisses with the other. Anyhow, there she stands, expansive as always (not always, only since twenty years), dispensing kisses, Hi’s, compliments (“you look great”), compliments (“you look great”), feedback (“we missed you at the budget meeting, where were you”), more compliments (“where did you get that tan?”), as her academic subjects are drifting toward TGI weekend.

Berkeley Law School, west side

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, Pamela is waiting for Yoo to go home to his wife and two children, his wife the estranged daughter of the Pulitzer prize winning face of the first gulf war, Peter Arnett, his children the estranged grandchildren of the Pulitzer prize winning face of the first gulf war, at least, that’s how she assumes Yoo’s family works. But perhaps she is wrong, Arnett looms large in her own life since it had been him, the CNN correspondent in Baghdad, who had watched over her final fall from svelteness during one month of uninterrupted couch attendance in the run-up to the war. Tragically, she was on sabbatical leave at that time; planning to write another law book, she had turned down visiting appointments elsewhere and was stuck in front of the TV with an excessive supply of macaroons and productive procrastination. She had gained twenty additional pounds when the war was over, twenty pounds that had tipped the balance of her life.

Parking garage of Berkeley Law

She has already sent six faculty, twelve students, and three staff into the weekend when Vice Dean Bieber descends the stairs. A small, middle-aged man of nondescript appearance, Justin Bieber Jr. is the son of Justin Bieber Sr. and the father of Justin Bieber III. She opens her arms wide---he is scared of big women and will keep a certain distance. “How’s going,” she cheers, “haven’t seen you in fifteen minutes.”
“Great, Pamela, great going,” Bieber replies, “I’ve just taken a few minutes off my vice-deanly obligations to check on my blog.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t have a chance to catch up with your blog recently, but I promise.”