Apr 30, 2014

The Term Resurrectors of Trayas (Maud)

We met Maud in the street the other day, and she, normally a serene neighbor with a charmingly stand-offish approach to local gossip, she was all-aflutter.

"Michael," she says, "I have something for your. I've seen the light! Have you ever been a member of the Militant Grammarians of Massachusetts?"
"Yes," I say.
"Well, I got evicted."
"By Avril Mondragon?"
"How do you know?"
"Never mind," she says, "but we're getting the band back together again. There's a new society. The Term Resurrectors of Trayas."
"The what?"
"The Term Resurrectors of Trayas. Let me explain. Or better, let me not explain. A picture says a thousand words."

(She shows me this picture:)


"Here, she says, "queer" resurrected. Queer!"

Apr 28, 2014

Obama's fault

The many little Nazis of Germany tended to ask rhetorically "Wenn nur der Führer das wüsste," (if the führer (Hitler) would only know); meaning to say: "it's not Hitler's fault." Führer translates to "leader," by the way, I think any business school worth its endowment would fire you immediately if you would raise the subject at a faculty meeting.

You get the gist.

But we have something else in mind, Something lighter. Stay tuned.

Apr 27, 2014

Handsheet for the erotic writer (6)

Salvador Dali: The temptation of St.Anthony

(Like the last post on this...)...not exactly a hand sheet either, but we couldn't help developing second thoughts when reading the following short quote from an article about sanctification:

"Saintliness is part of the church's DNA," the Vatican's current chief saint-maker, Cardinal Angelo Amato, wrote in his 2012 tome on canonization. "Through the centuries, saints have been the spiritual doorway through which humanity is directed toward God."

Like Alex says, the power of substitution, folks. Start considering substituting terms for "saints" and "humanity."

(Just saying, okay. When you write sex scenes---yes, it happens, people write sex scenes---you have to rely on the power of similes and analogies. Along those lines. Nothing deep. Peace from Cali.)

(Sorry, Alex didn't say "the power of substitution," he said "the power of subsumption"---never mind)

Apr 23, 2014

Shakespeare---let's celebate his 450th birthday...

...and repost our piece about his 18th sonnet:

(So, it starts:)

Since we are a literature blog now, we have to do serious stuff, like posting some serious pictures, like. Like this one...

Tyson Beckford
...which brings to mind Shakespeare's 18th sonnet...

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. 

...(you don't want to look at the HTML code underneath)...

...but you might want to look at this clip, eternalizing David Gilmour, the singer of Pink Floyd, when he set the sonnet to his music, because that's what aging rock stars, like us, do, when, they, have, their, reflective, moments...

...and judge yourself.

Hold on, here are a few pointers to Sonnet 18:

Apr 21, 2014

Time for a really bad poem

Upfront update: This is really getting embarrassing folks---we're getting so many hits for this post, possibly because people think: "This must be a good poem," but no, this really is a bad poem:

The Morning flame is on her mind
The up-and-up is hard to find,
For every dollar is a dime,
For summer solstice is a crime.

When moonlight strikes the heaven breaks,
Has nothing done, has eaten steaks,
Has drunken whiskey far to much,
Has left the sickbed not as such.

Halfdead she is and half alive,
Not given much to sinful strife,
How is she getting out of this,
Well, she is not, tell mighty Chris.

It's Easter morning here in town,
My neighbors dog won't show his crown,
But royals will, and that's enough.

(And you thought we were joking)

Happy Easter

Taurus (Jezza Smilez)

Apr 18, 2014

Friday matinée

"Show us the way to the next whiskey bar."
(Artwork by Bob Bienpensant)

And in case you were wondering:

And in case you are still wondering...

San Francisco (13) --- A walk across the Berkeley campus (Teaser: "Freedom Fries")

University of California, Berkeley---market stand near the entrance

So we're visiting Berkeley across the bay and in particular the campus of UCB, because our first, still unfinished novel "Freedom Fries" is partially set there, with Pamela Woods (fictional) as the dean of Berkeley Law School, John Yoo (real; the legal brain behind the Bush/Cheney waterboarding policy) on the faculty of said school, and a harebrained subplot to abduct Yoo and somehow press him to confess to evil deeds, preferably not by waterboarding. In order to execute the plan we need to know where Yoo parks his car. Zack, Leona and Liz are co-conspirators, and Justin Bieber (fictional) is the school's vice dean; the plot is set in 2009, the year (or more precisely the week) that Justin Bieber, the Canadian singer, finally breaks through.

Not the parking lot of Berkeley  Law School ...

They need to know where Yoo parks his car; else the plan would not work. He has stopped using the parking garage in the basement, and the rumor mill---a defective tool in Yoo’s case with his few friends---the rumor mill has it that he is upset by hostile bumper stickers on his Lexus and scared of water-boarding related scratches.
... but the parking lot of the physics department (you can read it, right: it says: "Parking space reserved for Nobel Laureate.") 

Zack and Leona are at Barbara’s cabin, Liz is studying Supreme Court opinions, Jim is helping her, somebody has to find out. It is fairly urgent. 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.

Apr 16, 2014

Handsheets for the erotic writer (6) --- from Catherine Millet to James Joyce

Not really a handsheet, but anyhow:

We haven't seriously researched this, but writing style is not different from finger prints or irises, every author has her own. And the spread of the distribution is wider, think of comparing the foot print of a dinosaur with the touch of an ant or the mark of a rabbit (even inside a genre, just compare erotic writers Susan Johnson and Ludmilla Sanders).

We had this idea to look at a few female erotic authors, their rendering of the climax, the crest, the moment, when he
brings you off with that extraordinary precision soon unbearable, sooner or later after having you mounted with the vacant expression of a mating animal, having you kept there for an hour with his extraordinary erotic fabulations, perhaps after he would have tried out the most acrobatic positions, and the most improbable substitutes (cucumbers, sausages, Perrier bottles, a policeman's luminous white trunchheon), and then he would suddenly become quiet a few moments before orgasm...

...and compose all this into a report of last night's meeting of minds and bodies of John ("Ben") Fletcher and erotic author Brigitta Haagen-Dasz in the second part of the Green Eyes.

Yes, along those lines, more or less, although we'd like it to be a bit more poetic.

Let's think.

Okay, let's proceed this way, let's try to apply a simple elimination filter, not really modifying anything, just eliminating unnecessary, extraneous, or otherwise irritating expressions.

Catherine Millet at home

So, for example, let's not employ the verbification (yes, it exists, and an ugly word it is) the verbification of climax.

By the way, all expressions above are from Catherine Millet, founder and editor of France's leading art magazine Art Press, you may have heard of her and her book The sexual life of Catherine M. It is---spoiler alert---extraordinary---her book, and there's this familiar clustering of superlatives that we will now try to tackle:

Apr 14, 2014

Green Eyes (teaser) --- Germans playing Monopoly

Apologies, apologies, this has nothing to do with the Green Eyes, except that we played Monopoly once, with Sacha, the model for Jack Horn in the novel, and it ended in tears like this (I was Karl Marx)  (click to enlarge):

(find a few lines from the Jack Horn chapter underneath)

San Francisco (12) --- Bullit

While Chang and I were strolling through San Francisco yesterday, the conversation turned to the peculiarities of the street layout here, each street being its own turnpike, as it were, connecting A and B like Alpha Romeos would in the old days, no, wrong, we mean via the shortest route afforded by Euclidean geometry, straight, that is, straight, regardless of the third dimension---and the opportunities this affords to the cinematography of car chases. So here it is---you've certainly seen it a hundred times already---the car chase scene from Bullit, the 1968 movie with Steve McQueen:

Apr 11, 2014

The passive tense (Mr E.) (reblogged)

Mr. E., the mysterious voice behind the 50 shady gayshas returned to Thailand. Here's his latest post, reblogged with his permission:

I’d made it a rule never to trust a man who had begged me to piss on him; but on this occasion, he turned out to be right.

It was later at the bar, after he had scrubbed himself clean, that he told me he was a writer for an ex-pat newspaper here in Thailand. As the Vodka flowed, his conversation became loose and he bragged about his career. He bragged of his, “success.” He told me of the formulas and structures that dictated his work. “Make your work read more, interesting, exciting and credible,” he said.
“Mainly use the active forms – nobody trusts the passive voice.”

I could tell; by the number of half naked, Thai muscle men that surrounded him, that he was reasonably rich – and that he liked Thai tops, or “Kings.” “Kings,” are active. They go to the gym, they have shit tattoos and many bully their wives etc… In contrast, exclusively bottom, “Queens,” look fem and flouncy and wear far too many skin whitening products. Subsequently, “queens,” tend to be ridiculed more often - is that because, “nobody trusts the passive voice?”

Apr 7, 2014

It's Obama's fault

(Recent paintings by George W. Bush)

Monday matinée

(I listened to this, in Horowitz's interpretation, perhaps 500 times, so there you have it. My Horowitz was a studio recording; this is a bit slower, and it is somehow even more gripping.)

San Francisco (11) --- Camp Meeker(2)

More from Redwooood Country north of the Bay Area where we are staying during the weekend, thanks to an invite of Karen, our landlady in San Francisco, to her cabin in Camp Meeker.

Karen's cabin in Camp Meeker

Connubial bliss inside Karen's cabin

Apr 6, 2014

Sunday matinée

We rearranged the furniture at Karen's cabin a bit.

San Francisco (10) --- Camp Meeker

À la recherche du temps perdu...along those lines: how does one manage to arrive in San Francisco? We apparently can't make it stick. So we're now in Camp Meeker, 1:30 hours north of SF, in serious Redwood country.


The view from the terrace
We already had dinner at the Bistrot des Garçon in nearby Occidental. 

Apr 2, 2014

San Francisco (9)

Harvey Milk, former (and assasinated) gay mayor of San Francisco
(Another picture from the superb artist Tony de Carlo, whom we discovered lately)

Go here for the previous San Francisco post

Tony de Carlo

Tony de Carlo: "Bird Man Of The Desert", 18" x 24", Acrylic on Canvas, 2006
(We discovered another superb gay artist, Tony de Carlo; see right column for a link to his site)
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