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  • - * 13 DOORS OF X* *Meeah Williams* The Barking Cat Press * 2015 Brooklyn, NY * Seattle, WA copyright 2015 Meeah Williams/The Barking Cat...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Saturday, March 26, 2016

=personal lunar launch pad=

A. Archetypal symbol of world's first flight technology

B. Map of destination: moon

C. Ocean water and sand from terrestrial source

D. Mirror reflecting sun's rays (crucial for lift-off)

E. Orientation pendulum for directional navigation and distance calculation




=pink stele (1)=


=5=

He who pays the piper is like an enema whether there's an ear in the forest or not.

Friday, March 25, 2016

=blonde (1)=


=gold cross=


=the Pepto Bismol Pink Blues by Pussywillow Hopkins=

I ate something bad
just like everyone does
no doubt it looked tasty
whatever it was

Now its come back to haunt me
it's gripping my innards
it's burning inside me
like hell & its sinners

Gimme that bottle, man,
I've got nothing to lose
I'll chug it right down to the last chalky drop
I've got the Pepto Bismol Pink Blues

There's a fire in my belly
a worm in my brain
the whistle is blown'
I've missed the last train

There's a knock on the door
a call on the phone
but me & the toilet
just want time alone

So gimme that bottle, babe,
I've got nothing to lose
I'll chug it right down to the last chalky drop
I've got the Pepto Bismol Pink Blues

It wouldn't surprise me
to puke my heart in the bowl
I wouldn't regret
even shitting my soul

I just want some relief
from the morsel that felled me
& painted Hieronymous Bosch
on the walls of my belly

So gimme that bottle, man,
I've got nothing to lose
I'll chug it right down to the last chalky drop
I've got the Pepto Bismol Blues
Oh babe, I've got the Pepto Bismol Pink Blues





Thursday, March 24, 2016

=yellowpages 1=


= 2 pigs=


=Book recently read: Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood=


You believed you could transcend the body as you aged. You believed you could rise above it, to a serene, non-physical realm. But it's only through ecstasy you can do that, and ecstasy is achieved through the body itself. Without the bone and sinew of wings, no flight. Without that ecstasy you can only be dragged further down by the body, into its machinery. Its rusting, creaking, vengeful, brute machinery. —Margaret Atwood

—So much for growing old gracefully, with dignity, and with the oft-touted conciliatory "rewards of transcendent wisdom."

Most of the nine stories in Margaret Atwood's "Stone Mattress" feature older characters not quite but well on their way to terminal decrepitude. We are "treated" to darkly humorous but closely, poignantly observed details of the old folks' crumbling exteriors and haunted interiors. All the chips and scars, wrinkles and aches,  all the regrets and dreams of revenge, griefs and grievances that aging flesh is heir to are sharply and unflatteringly delineated in what amounts to the literary equivalent of one of those motel mirrors at four in the morning. You know the kind I mean: the kind that tell you more than anyone needs to know about what they really look like. 


Christ, this is a depressing book in spite of the irony and funereal humor. It's one of the most depressing books of fiction I've read in a while. And I often head straight to the Depressing Literature section of any bookstore or library. I've got several honorary Ph.D.'s in Suicidal Pessimism. My work in the field is without precedent or equal. I take a back seat to no one intent on driving their car straight into a bridge abutment.

These stories were so powerful they convinced me not to grow too much older. But the problem remains: how old is too old? And how do you know when the time has come to bail? You can't really hope for disease to decide the matter—they are often nasty and painful and accelerate the aging process, forcing you to experience prematurely everything you wished to avoid by hanging on by the skin of your teeth. You can hope to get hit by a cement mixer, but that's a hope as unlikely to be fulfilled as winning the lottery. That leaves suicide, of course. But again…when? And more to the practical…how?

This is life: You wake up on a speeding train with a newspaper in your lap. You don't know how you got on the train. You don't remember boarding. Or why. You don't know where the train is going.  The conductors are scarce and unhelpful even when they can be located. Outside the window, the scenery races passed in a blur. There are people in the club car. They're drinking cocktails and laughing and playing cards. They aren't of any help. As a last resort, you can always join them. Meanwhile, you move along the rattling train and you begin to understand: the train you're on is heading straight off a cliff. There is no engineer, no brakeman; at least that's the conclusion you're obliged to come to given the evidence. If there is anyone at the controls, he must be mad. In any event, the door to the locomotive is locked. It's hopelessly jammed. There's no jimmying it. The best have tried. No one has ever been inside. No one ever will.

The other passengers seem to be vaguely aware of the situation; they're just trying not to think about it too much. They seem fuzzy at best about the details of their ultimate destination. They seem to figure someone must be in control. Others are pretty fanatical or fantastical in their belief that at the bottom of the abyss into which the train is inexorably going to plunge, some fraction of the passengers will miraculously emerge intact. Naturally they believe themselves to be among these lucky souls. You find yourself unable to engage in the narcotic of this sort of magical thinking.


Meanwhile, you sometimes stand between cars and look at the earth speeding beneath your feet like the blade of a circular saw. One step—instant oblivion. But it's better than waiting for the catastrophic end, for with every mile the ride gets rougher and more nauseating. How do you get yourself to take that fatal leap. "Now!" you tell yourself. "Now!" But you don't move; it's as if you were hypnotized, paralyzed. The miles race by like moments. "Now!" There you remain standing, going nowhere, but speeding closer to the inevitable abyss with every passing second.

If only someone would give you a firm shove from behind.  Some kind stranger. Or even psychopath.

You wait. 

You can imagine the firm decisive hand between your shoulder blades. Like wings.

Your feet leaving the platform.

You can almost feel that hand, those wings.

But no one is there. 

There is no one to give you a hand.

There are no wings.










Friday, March 18, 2016

=3x3: 4 cats=


=that morning, a revolution=


"Therefore the only possibility of coming together would be if Horacio were to kill her while making love, where she could get together with him in the heaven of some hotel room where they would come together equal and naked and there the resurrection of the phoenix could take place after he had strangled her delightfully, dripping a string of saliva into her open mouth, looking at her ecstatically as if he had just begun to recognize her, to make her really his, to take her to his side." —Julio Cortazar


Thursday, March 17, 2016


=xself=


=2 nudes passing on a staircase=

It's commonly said—often by artists themselves—that art today in the so-called post-postmodern age has lost its purpose, that it has nothing to say, that all it does is repeat itself ad infinitum and—at its most relevant—ironically comments on & holds a mirror to it's own vapidity, its uncreative repetition, its utter uselessness. And this is absolutely true inasmuch as art has forgotten its roots, its original purpose as a tool of shamanic, magickal, personal transformation. Art in its original manifestation had a utilitarian function every bit as important as weaponry, tool-making & medicine & to say its lost its purpose now would be as ludicrous as to claim we've lost our need for weapons, tools & medicine.

Today there remains as vital a need for art as ever—not as a form of decoration nor even as an exercise in theoretical aesthetics—a pursuit that is self-admittedly bankrupt. It is not even as Deleuze says of philosophy—a kind of novel progressing chapter by chapter according to an ever-developing plot. All that is over and may have been "reasons" for art but never art itself.

There is, indeed, nothing new to say. But as human beings we will never put behind us our individual need for self-transformation and the rituals & symbols that guide us through & make transformation possible. That is the original function of art and that function has remained the same and is every bit as important today as it was 5000 years ago, as it will be a hundred, a thousand, however many years there are still human beings.

Art is not fame, fortune or even a place in the canon of art history; it is nothing more—or less—than a personal record of the magickal workings of transforming oneself and, by extension, the immediate world around oneself.  

=Book that recently pummeled me into submission: The Dying Grass by William T. Vollmann=

I am on some occasions a big admirer of William T. Vollmann, but some times, like this time, he just clobbers me into submission with walls of prose that seem specifically designed to be unreadable. This book is about 100,000 pages long, printed in what might as well be Braille-dots that not even a myopic like me can read without seeing stars, on onion-skin paper so thin  it must have been cut with an atom slicer & that you could almost see through if you held it up to the light. Maybe you can see through it if you held it up to the light—I don't know. Because I can't lift this book above my shoulders. It weighs about 550 pounds. You'd have to be an Olympic clean-and-jerk champion to do it. I read the first three pages. They were great. Some stuff about how crooked backroom political shenanigans, not votes, secured the presidency for Rutherford B. Hayes. But this was followed by a chapter so long, so densely thicketed with verbiage, so lacking in paragraph breaks that it was as insurmountable as an Assyrian city wall. Forget it. I can't do it. This book is a millstone; it'll break my neck if I tried to carry it up the stairs. Sitting with it on my lap on the couch, I feel like an ant crushed under an anvil. I feel my legs going numb. I feel like I'm trapped in a building collapse. I could die for want of food and water, unable to lift myself out from under the weight of this massive Stonehenge pillar of a tome. So I'm going to hire a crane operator & a prison chain-gang to lift it off the coffee table & haul it by flatbed truck back to the library where it could take up a whole wall on its own, provided it were sufficiently buttressed. I'll make it available to Hulk Hogan or some steroid-pumped NFL linebacker to borrow. With The Dying Grass, William T. Vollmann has defeated me. He's kicked sand in my face & stood mockingly over me, just daring me to turn another page. I admit it, I'm bawling like a child, like a 90-pound weakling, like a sissy. I can't do it, I just can't do it. He's intimidated me into submission. He's gotten me to cry "uncle." Life's too short for a book so long, a book so heavy, a book trying so hard not to be read.
I surrender unconditionally.

 I'm going to read something childishly simple instead.
Julio Cortazar's "Hopscotch."   

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

=pink cross=


=neo-aztec st. francis=


=book recently read: The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates=

Except for the penultimate chapter, when a lot of innocent characters killed off in the first 650 pages are miraculously restored to life, this was a big, rich, satisfying historical novel in the 19th century tradition. Basically, it's a gothic-inspired tale of sin, retribution, demonic possession and repressed sexuality in 1906, Princeton, NJ. At first this might seem an odd time and place for such gothic goings-on but the claustrophobic academic community Oates recreates proves a more than adequate stage for demonic evil. It's a schizoid world where wealth and privilege uneasily coexists alongside poverty and squalor mainly by turning a blind eye to it. Blacks may no longer be slaves, but they still aren't equal to whites, and can find themselves targeted for violence without much hope for justice. Racial purity is extolled as a virtue but most of the best families have a few "mixed sheep" in their flock, which they never acknowledge.  Certain kinds of sex are "unspeakable" but practiced nonetheless—in secret and in shame.  Religion is important to everyone on Sunday—the rest of the week, every vice is indulged.

Woodrow Wilson, as the beleaguered, bedeviled President of Princeton is a character, as is Mark Twain, ex-President Grover Cleveland, Upton Sinclair, Jack London, and even a hallucinated Sherlock Holmes. Oates plays fast and loose with the historical elements but that just adds to the fun. As her historian-narrator asserts more than a few times, history itself is a story that depends a lot on the teller. There is more than one history of the world.

As for the "happy" ending…well, it is entirely unrealistic, as noted, but then you have to understand that The Accursed is in no way meant to be a "realistic" novel even if it's perversely narrated by a historian. The fact is "The Accursed" is a kind of fairytale where  events, even one as final and determined as death, are symbolic. When the Prince kisses Sleeping Beauty he's not engaging in necrophilia; as such, the four grandchildren of the not-so-right Reverend Slade, whose dark secret is the source of the curse, aren't really dead, all appearances to the contrary; they are ensorcelled. When the spell is broken, like Sleeping Beauty, they, too, awaken again to life. Once you grasp that this is the game Oates is playing, you understand that the conclusion of The Accursed isn't just a desperate, out of left field attempt to wrest a happy ending from all the preceding horror, but that the resolution makes perfect sense; you might even say it's inevitable.

Still, even with the mitigated happy ending, this is a dark novel where enough bad things happen that are not rectified, enough bodies fall that are not resurrected to satisfy most pessimists. Oates gets it right about human nature—at it's worst, there's nothing worst, not in heaven nor in hell. At its best, it's always in imminent danger of becoming its worst. As Sartre's Joseph Garcin observed when he couldn't find the exit: "So this is hell. I'd never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture chambers, the fire and brimstone, the burning-marl? Old wives tales! There's no need of red-hot pokers. Hell is—other people."

Monday, March 14, 2016

=portable deathtalker(r) altar=


A. Picture or other memento of the deceased

B. "Urn" for flowers or other traditional offering

C. Transmitter/receiver for prayers sent to the afterworld and messages spoken by loved ones from the Great Beyond


D. 1x1 inch mirror in which to view a single poignant tear