Saturday, May 13, 2006

5.13.06, You Get to Tickle His Creatures

“So what’s the Franky Scale today?” you begin.

“Proverbs for Paranoids, 3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers” (GR 251). Ah, it’s OK, I even ask myself every day now.

In Seattle it is now 3:11, the thin afternoon sun stretches from the Hill to out over the Sound, thin and quiet lest through some collective urban realization our surprise will make it all disappear, turn grey. Same time in Hayward, same in La Jolla. Tulsa, 5:11, right? 4:11 in Salt Lake City. 6:11 in Rochester. 6:11 in East Northport, NY. 6:11 in Benguet, tomorrow. Somebody’s lurking at Harvard, same time, 4:11 back in El Paso, one hour later in Denver, or two less. Context. Tight readership, we expand then contract, almost no other continents with their eyes turned on the Emerald City today. Today we are intimate save for a Phillipines hit.

The first of the Proverbs for Paranoids: “You may never get to the touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures” (GR 237).

Last day of chemo drugs for this cycle, too--yesterday--always a joy, cessation of the harsh toxic input. In line with that I’m going to mark yesterday as a “6 +” on the Franky Scale, since I was remiss, but to do so I need to lower Thursday to a 5--it actually sucked, I just didn’t want to tell you in the moment. Today, Saturday, pre-mother’s day, physically: 7; emotionally: Complex.

“Proverbs for Paranoids, 2: The innocence of the creatures is in inverse proportion to the immorality of the Master” (GR 241)

Since I started chemo I haven’t had a haircut. Barney the Guru-Savant barber in SLC, who knows the whereabouts of the real Golden Plates but will tell only the trusted, was my choice but I realized this on a Monday. No reputable barber cuts Mondays. My subconscious thinks it’s in charge--the futile Samsonesque gesture to grow the hair, doubly futile because I actually haven’t lost any yet and normally wear it shorter anyhow. #4, “You hide, they seek” (GR 262). Sale on scissors at RiteAid.

It’s been a slow day for the blogs, the statistics page tells me. Did you buy your mother a Mother’s Day gift? A card perhaps? Less than fifty readers today. We get tired, we’re all a bit behind, slow be it. Do we need more prurience? More danger? More shit blood fevers and poking? Or is it simply the fact that no matter how important one little narcissist’s life appears to himself (at times, only at times, please), no one would dare deny the big big world’s constitution through other lives, concerns, relations, worries, bills, degrees, projects, lack of degrees, jobs, dreams, fears? Anxieties don’t die. Each family to its own dysfunction--and this I’m comfortable with saying about everyone I know. . . . Aren’t we a mechanical little circus?

One close relative will face another close relative, over a cell phone: “The check’s in the mail & ... [the rest of that story remains in the NSA files].” And the conversation will likely continue as ever before, as ever before, as ever before. It’s what we know, we like what we know. The daily choice we make so often reduced to: anything, just don’t make me choose.

On choices, one could do far worse than Ashbery: At some point, “yes, [one must] be selective, but not selective in one’s choices if you see what I mean. Not choose this or that because it pleases, merely to assume the idea of choosing, so that some things can be left behind. It doesn’t matter which ones. I could tell you about some of the things I’ve discarded but that wouldn’t help you because you must choose your own, or rather not choose them but let them be inflicted on and off you.” That’s about four pages into the “New Spirit” in Three Poems, and what is more melancholic to think is how we all recognize these lines as soon as we read them.

A final proverb (these are Pynchon’s, btw, not mine, as if/if only): “Paranoids are not paranoids . . . because they’re paranoid, but because they keep putting themselves, fucking idiots, deliberately into paranoid situations” (GR 292). The fifth.

. . . . merely be selective--not too selective--it doesn’t matter--must choose your own--or rather not choose--inflicted on and off you . . . . some of us hide in closets, some fill them with shoes, some speak, some do, some worship, some work out their own salvation, and some, some pretend there is more than silence. One of them used to tell me: we’re all just squirrels tryin to get a nut. Yup, you and me both.


david said...

You are with us in the round as we gather at the FC for M'sD. Here it's been nothing but rain for days, Mt. Rainier more so than ever!

spacely said...

Hey spot tricia alias protonix man.. remember who loves you. Everyone!! When you are having your not so good moments know that that is when everyone is loving you and thinking of you most, especially the man upstairs.
love you Spacely

Anonymous said...

Thanks, but wait. There is no man upstairs -- didn't you know that I live on the top floor.
-Mr. Jones

Slarry said...

Dear Spacely and Scott:

DITTO. I love you both-- even with your hairy arm pits.
Happy Mother's Day, Stace. Happy Easter Bunny Spot.
Let's keep the lines of commuication open and clear. We can bind together, fight together (not with one another )
and continue to love and support one anothr, though their is heart ache, sorrow and sadness. There is also love--- Big love.
I know today will be better.
Joy to the world, love and peace to Mr. Jones and gratitude to a faithful sister and courageous brother.
Love, Sheri

tossing said...

hey, spot, spacely and slarry, happy mothers day. oh that would only be spacely. ya know its the thought that counts, right??? will go and read the blog for today. just went to the comments first, i know weird, but looks whos talking.

love ya brother and as always admire you and am sending the most positive thoughts i can,

tossing salads (sue)

Anonymous said...

Hi Scott,

Hope you were able to enjoy the warm sunshine today. My kids made breakfast for me, and then I spent the rest of the day cooking for the clan--parents, parents-in-law, aunt/uncle visiting from New Delhi, brother & his family. I'm wiped out. Ordinarily, Raj would be doing the cooking, but he finagled his way out of this one by going on a business trip.

I decided to ask my kids to pick out or write a poem to give me each holiday, and received my first one from them today. I think they picked it out of a poem collection from their school library. Here it is, fyi:

Isn't it strange some people make you tired inside, your thoughts begin to shrivel up like leaves all brown and dried!

But when you're with some other ones, it's stranger still to find your thoughts as thick as fireflies all shiny in your mind.

Anyhoo--thought I'd drop a line to let you know I'm enjoying reading about poetry through your blog. Take care.


Mr. Jones said...

Thanks for the note D. That's very tricky of you, make your kids find poems and learn about them all under the guise of doing it for you. (Just don't tell my mom. I made the "mistake" of writing her a poem on Mothers Day several years ago and she still makes comments about how I don't write poems for her on Mothers Day anymore, do I remember that poem I wrote for her a while back, etc.) I'll have to warn your kids next time I see them ;-) --Mr. J.

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