I left a baby alone for thirty seconds and it died. Second one. I’m not sure of living beyond this; pregnancy is so much labour.
Al Pacino as an old drunk in a movie, people trying to manoeuvre him out of his firm & take his job. He walks as a giant around the city, takes a picture of inside his ear with a billboard, sleeps at nite drowning in alcohol in a dirt hole in the ground.
I’m walking on an evening towards the library at Mom’s along a long gray dirt road. Thinking of Uma Thurman as an early hipster. I pull a cart with a strange Czech man on it as he’s just behind me on the road at one point wishing to get past. After I drop him off I think of turning back, but just then some men, plumbers of some kind, are working on a house nearby & they seal off the path that I just came along. No way to go but ahead. I walk thru abandoned houses, a large stone gallery. Some people on the other side of wooden doors sometimes, an old bald man, but I don’t open the door. I walk towards a second grade school thinking I’m approaching the library. Near the school a raccoon runs out & towards me. Beautiful creature, slow motion past me. Bruno Schulz died near here — I walk thru his old room in an old sparse stone house. Jennifer Dunbar Dorn is telling how he befriended a teacher, & how the teacher would remind him that he could only make of the world what he brought to the table, even if the stories that resulted turned out grotesque or dark. Then this is a story about Schulz that I’m reading, by Hannah Arendt — it ends, “I didn’t know that he had died.”
Jennifer Dunbar Dorn is answering questions about Ed Dorn asked by Derek Bailey. She’s sitting on a wooden deck, perhaps a wharf. Bailey asks about a strange piece of writing Dorn did early on, from Rio de Janeiro. She says that it’s unusual because he was deeply effected by each new place he lived, & that he would pick up on culture & things that he otherwise had no interest in, “like rhumba“. She points out that the voice of the piece is “not him“, but it nonetheless is collected alongside his other early works.
Vivid empty places, derelict villages, old long dirt roads.
Standing on the top of a large metal cross, with my arms looped around two of the bars, as a giant protest is going on. Ken Loach has just sung a ‘revolutionary song’ & climbed by rope up a passageway to stand on top of another cross that’s up atop a huge church. There’s massive protests inside & outside the church we’re occupying. I’m terrified I’m going to fall or be pulled off the cross I’m on, which is about fifteen or twenty feet above the floor in this church, but I can only imagine how dangerous Loach’s situation is out there. The authorities are mostly allowing this protest to proceed unmolested, but that can change at any moment. There’s an enormous group of people gathered in this church, every pew is filled like a movie theatre, & there’s clearly many others outside. Later I see a newspaper clipping stating that the government has spent $10 million of taxpayer money policing this one day of protest alone. Ben has sent me this clipping with a note saying “Good job on a healthy protest,” & saying that he & Esther are doing an interview for a Chinese newspaper, & he collectively refers to the media as ‘the enemy’. I don’t know how this’ll end up — do I trust these people? The state will attack, it’s only a matter of time.
April 30th [fragment]
Dream experiments with a doctor & André Breton. Breton dreams of a polar bear & two nearby people having sex in a sparsely furnished room, perhaps a hotel room. Elsewhere, Amy De’Ath & Fred Wah doing a talk somewhere. I have to introduce them at one point, & my Brooklynese pronunciation of ‘Wah’ gets a chuckle from the stage. Did that just offend them? Shit I hope not.
c. March 23rd [fragment]
Eugene Chadbourne/Jimmy Carl Black/someone else play ‘Doctor Dark’ on a recording. There’s a valley full of beds with a woman in each, & a few beds with young men in ’em too — Mom assumes this is some kind of fertility ritual, but it’s being done in memory of some local actress who’s just died. This is mentioned in a Mark Twain book, & elsewhere in the same book — probably Huckleberry Finn — he mentions an early American wrestler grabbing an Arab sheik wrestler by the genitals as something that’s become legendary among these same locals. I drive Mom & Joe from the back seat of Mom’s car, then pull over to change to sit in the front when I almost hit a dog crossing.
I’m trying to write down my dreams for the nite but Mom keeps trying to talk to me. Asking questions like “Do you tell people about how weird we are? Do you feel like you had a bad upbringing? What do you think about when you’re on the bus leaving here to go back to the city?” etc. I’m trying to type without a keyboard — I have to estimate where the keys are in a plate of gravy & foodstuffs. I’m almost done when this preview comes on. The movie is supposed to be some kind of comedy? The main character is horseshoe bald, older.
I’m taking a bath. I’ve written some clever Facebook status that somebody clicked like on, then I messed with it, & now I don’t know how to get it back. Down the street I hear ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’. I can see that I’ve gone pretty well bald. No one’ll want me now!
I get to England at last but I have no place to stay or to work. Gamma is alive but he can’t really help me (the bed at the Martian Embassy is still broken). Ben can’t help either. I visit Karen Brookman but she’s rented out her ‘seven-storey’ place to some family. Everyone’s full of stories, as tho there will be help at the end, but the stories are just excuses for the fact that there’ll be no help at all. Karen, after I follow her along for seven storeys, shows me Derek Bailey’s remaining documents & things. There’s a strange hardcover book of Simon H Fell’s sexual dreams, which he ‘accidentally’ left behind, & some Derek Bailey dream journals. She says she’s only allowed two or three dreams from his twenties to be published so far — all the rest are from much later in his life. I mention my own plans to publish my dreams, that it’s twenty years of dreams, early ones, but that they’d be published while I’m still relatively young. If I was older, I imply, perhaps I wouldn’t be so willing to have these early ones out there either. It’s cold outside & gray — where am I going to go now?
“If a violinist or anybody else ever says ‘Heil Hitler’ or anything like that, I will tell them, ‘Earth. Earth, the recording of sound.'” That’s a Sri Chinmoy lookalike guru man in a video of virtual world, praying beside a guru woman before a digital house on a digital porch. They are part of a spiritual video, included after or alongside some documentary about Radiohead setting up atmospheric underwater music. The music is, it seems, improvised, but the atmospherics are all in the mixing, which is done with great care. Everything else disappears, there is only music. & bubbles.
March 13th [fragment]
Some Columbo detective ‘solves’ a crime by accusing me of stealing a store’s money. He comes up to me & a few other employees, saying “When does the bank open in ‘Beckett 90’?” I say, “What?” He says, “What’s the matter, you’re scared? Just answer directly.” I say, “I don’t think I heard you. What is ‘Beckett 90’?” He says, “I thought you were the literary expert. The bank opens at 10, there & in all of Britain. & when does the bank open here?” I say, “Which bank?” He’s strong-arming & yells out “Nine!” The others are going along with this because they think he’s found the solution to everything. I say, “I’m going to get a lawyer, & then sue your ass & the store’s if you think you can put any of this on me.” He says “Oh, we can put it on you alrite — if you just take out a woman’s fingernails from your purse… Because you dressed up as a black woman to rob the store!” I’m looking at my coworkers, including Luke McMullan, with disbelief that they’re going along with this jackass. “Do I look like a black woman to you?” I ask. In fairness tho, before this turn of events he had me wondering if I had actually taken the store’s money.
I walk into a science lab with another guy — the lab contains human babies no bigger than a fist on tables. They are the ‘organic’ experiments — the babies are given very tiny bugs to eat, alongside tiny grains. I see a sizeable black bug in the process of stinging one of the babies. When I point it out to the lead scientist, the bearded scientist guy from And the Band Played On, he shrugs it off, says it’s no big deal, there are lots of safeguards in place. I wonder if ‘the safeguards’ refers to defence against lawsuits rather than defence for the babies. There’s equations & notes scribbled all over the tables. The lead scientist talks with one of the other workers, saying they could try “x + y = d, or just about that…” The lead scientist’s nonchalance is worrisome. My companion & I leave the lab certain that this man is responsible for at least paralysing, if not actually killing, babies in this experiment.
Elsewhere, Lenny is an animator. Some show is featuring his animation of clocks & home knickknacks. It’s pretty good.
A comedy skit in a classroom. When Kevin McDonald from The Kids in the Hall gets up to speak, my companions (a group of Spanish women) get up & all simultaneously begin talking different weird shit. The women mostly speak Spanish while making different gestures, some as tho in a workout video, etc. I get up & pretend to be doing a tv weather report. Then we all go out of the room as a group, being weird people thru the alleyways of this school.
Walking thru hallways with Yasmine & Gina from ISO. We’re arms-over-each-others’ shoulders quite familiar, in good humour. I forgot that Gina was an identical twin, & we joke about it, even tho Yasmine seems quite serious, & was evidently in a serious & drunken state the previous nite (I wasn’t there). We come across a woman with a blue-coloured face who tells us some useful information about where to go next. I’m quite attracted to her. I say, “I’ve always wanted to meet a blue woman.” But we move on.
George still has a place even tho I thought he’d’ve moved out by now. It’s still full of his stuff. I ask him if he’d like me to take anything with me when I leave, but he’s in a difficult mood, saying “Do you want to take things? Is that what you’re asking me?” There’s some good books still here, & I don’t want them to just be left for the next people moving in to possibly throw out. Not sure if I’ll get to save ’em tho.
I’m with a group of men travelling along roads & railways, on the run. One of our group is great with explosives, & as we’re running up metal scaffolding to flee oncoming people in pursuit, our explosives man (a grey-haired Howard Moon from The Mighty Boosh) knows he is caught & drops a small card. It’s a bomb that explodes the men in pursuit as well as himself. We’d be able to get away, except for the bad magic man following us all. He (the longfaced, longnosed schlub guy from Dazed & Confused, etc — tho he reminds me of the main character in Inside Llewyn Davis) is very powerful, floats in a convertible car in the sky above us. He stares at us with dead, even, open eyes despite going underwater several times. He never even flinches. He forced me & my other two companions around a table, on low sofas, & takes out a deck of cards. “Let’s play,” he says flatly. He draws three upside down cards then turns them rightside up. There’s a two, a six, a two. “Oh, this is not your game.” He shoots the man right in the head, kills him in one shot. He then starts with me. I tell my other friend, “He’s going to kill us all anyway.” The guy looks at me, says “Smart man.” I tell him to just get it over with & he shoots me dead before I’ve even finished speaking. He then says to the main one of us, the one he came for, that he has a question to ask him. “You wrote in your journal a few days ago a poem that mentioned that I take anti-depressants…” I laugh & applaud despite being dead. “Yes! Yes you scared little man, yes! As tho you’re the first person on a medication that you don’t have! The dead applaud you!” I realise, & help my friend realise, that he can’t kill the last of us if he doesn’t get satisfaction. If my friend leads him to believe that mental illness is clearly affecting his magical powers, that it’s obvious to all of us, he can’t kill my friend, because he needs to learn from him how to hide it, fix it, etc.
Before this, as my companions & I flee our pursuers, a black & white, late 1800s You Can’t Win-looking scene has a brown puddle in the midst of it that gets stepped in & causes the picture to ripple. George watches this & is disgusted at the gratuitous intrusion of shit into this story.
A cooking show to improve prison food. This will have absolutely no effect. David Cross.
A large dead woman is stripped naked & made part of a zombie ritual. Her skin is touched & beaten with feathers, spoiled milk pours out of her decaying breasts. She begins to move & dance. Her hand follows over another dancer covered in feathers. She is telling him where to go.
I’m making a bet with Christopher from The Sopranos & I lose. I push to make it double or nothing. He’s not sure, but I push for it. I’m dressed like an old woman, Mrs Doubtfire like. I think we’re betting on cinnamon toast.
Apocalypse. Animal herds migrating thru human areas & habitations. Occupy groups tear up roadways & destroy traffic signals & are met with extreme prejudice, death. Objects falling off the walls of houses. Literally everything falling apart. I watched as, behind Mom’s house, ostriches & bears passed by. A bus George was trying to catch was stopped by Occupiers destroying the roads. The people inside the traffic light box were thrown out onto the pavement by police, fire fighters. News reports that women Occupiers brought to jail died after “having sexual relations with the men” — trying to blame it on the Occupiers themselves, to scare people away from participating in the actions. Mom tries replacing objects on the wall (in the piano room in New Jersey), but it’s no use. The world is falling apart.
January 18th [day]
Marie-Angelique apparently arranged to play with Eugene Chadbourne on his UK trip — she put up pictures on Facebook of them playing ‘m for mf’ with other people that she knows, & she calls Chadbourne her ‘seventh teacher’. Bless her, but I wish others knew beforehand, & that they made some kinda recordings.
Elsewhere, a talent contest in a school auditorium, where a young black man plays guitar. He’s amazing, plays Hendrix & Marvin Gaye in a Chadbourne-like way, in addition to playing the basslines with his thumb along the bottom string of the guitar. Wildly wonderful timing & innovative playing.
January 14th [fragment]
Feminist graffiti all over a school, along its lockers, etc. A woman who doesn’t want to be having sex who’s given in, leaves a note that says “80% of women have sex when pressured with men they don’t want to be with. The other 20% drink fine wine.”