Archive for the ‘Letters’ Category

Dear Mom and Dad-

Posted: December 11, 2015 in Letters
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Photo by Alvin Trusty of Findlay, Ohio.

Photo by Alvin Trusty of Findlay, Ohio.

 

Dear Mom and Dad-                                                                                 12/11/2015                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Pat gave me the boot. I don’t fit her quasi-criminal plans. She’s living off her second husband’s pension, her recluse daughter’s disability check and her own green thumb as gardener growing pot indoors. She has sun-lamps, timers and techno-wizardry in her bedroom closet. She learned horticulture at a local nursery and she learned underground economy from her jailbird son. Or maybe she taught him. Or maybe it’s in the blood.

I miss her too much. It’s an embarrassment to pine for the life-long scamp. An ex-stripper on the small town circuit in the hills of Western Pennsylvania. Still cute as a button. We used to zig-zag through the streets of Philadelphia like Bonnie and Clyde on their honeymoon. Fun. Fun. Fun. Of course, she loved to quote her Jew-Guru in the far suburbs, dropping phrases like “non-ego”, “Jungian Oversoul” and “world as illusion”. She thought it gave her intellectual cachet. Reverting to the mean, she called the Catholic Church “The Whore of Babylon” while at Sunday brunch with myself and a pal. Bravo! More heart than brains! But a whole lot of heart, nonetheless. My Italian-gigolo-writer pal, a connoisseur of women and a freelance know-it-all, liked Pat quite a bit because she alternately flattered and insulted his intelligence. Even while fully dressed, she’s good at holding a man’s attention.

Too bad that she gave me the boot. I’m feeling blue. Dear old Carol, who’s had just as much difficulty in her life without seeking the devil’s help, has come to my rescue. She cooked Thanksgiving Dinner for myself and another lonely bachelor. A thoroughly demoralized truck driver who’s too nice for the dating game. He brought a handgun to dinner. He has no illusions about man’s beastly nature. Yet he sees woman as the embodiment of pure love and bores the seasoned whores he chooses to elevate. Of course, he courts in bars instead of church. The racier the woman, the more he sees her inner-homebody.

Carol is as nuts as everyone else but walks a straight line. She’s hysterical yet steeled like the toughest of men. A devout Italian Catholic, she thinks that Human Beings are Almighty God’s #1 mistake. As if Man is an embarrassing flaw in The Creator’sBeautiful Catholic Design that’s been patched-over by the myth of Original Sin. Still, Carol does God’s Work in true womanly measure. Like the US Marines step toward the gunfire, Carol steps towards the day’s insane pain. An angel of mercy even as she bitches about “fuckin’ niggers” and “assholes in government”. Raised in a small Italian enclave in the Black ghetto, Carol has learned to mother everyone except for those she’d like to stab in the throat. It is, I think, a lingering mafia sensibility

I have to find myself a wife before it’s too late. I’m a handsome old guy until I rise from a chair like an arthritic dinosaur. My market value is declining. But as a writer, I’m getting better and worse at once! More reckless. More poetic. More vicious and more tender as I channel Carol’s spirit into the ink. I’ve found my voice!

Your dear son in Philly-

J.J.

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Fire Crown copy

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Kitchen Sandwich

 

Dear Ms. Janelle-

Uh oh. I must’ve insulted your ladyship.

A woman’s estate is herself! That’s the cosmic truth that I tried to  tickle with my cockiness. The Diva. The Goddess. The Dominatrix. The Earth Mother and the commanding housewife. They are all variations of the same self-possessed being. And your own lofty aplomb is absolutely tantalizing.

Man comes from woman. An  inner-pocket of genesis, a self-sacrificing  host to a kickin’ parasite, and an irresistible fleshpot in the round. It’s  this inherent magnitude that makes even hard men feel impotent and defile females in porno-films. Meanwhile, their better adjusted brothers write poems about a woman’s unassailable mystique. I know. You deserve the latter.

Mea culpa, mea culpa. I’m open to direction.

Sincerely-
J. J.

p.s.

Here is Ferdinand  Céline’s take on Feminine Mystique.  As an opera singer, you might be interested in death-by-dancer. Ballet dancer.   Obviously Céline is a over-the-top when it comes to a woman’s leg.  He was also over-the-top when it came to Jewish tribalism.   In fact, the following passage is taken from one of his “anti-Semetic” screeds.  Bagatelles For A Massacre.  Funny, how I get pulled into Céline’s  work as if into a woman’s crotch, and become intoxicated by his salts, sugars and earthiness.  I experience  a blind-ecstacy. His  preternatural glut of Parisian pomposity  and barnyard flavor really excites me.   I know.  I know.  It’s nothing to be proud of.

In the leg of a dancer the whole world, its waves, and all of its rhythms, its irrationalities, its aspects are inscribed!… Not simply jotted-down!… The most nuanced poem in the world! …moving! Gutman! Everything! That ineffable poem, warm and delicate which is a dancer’s leg in balanced movement is in touch, Gutman my friend, with the soundings of the very greatest mystery, which is God. Which is God himself! Quite simply! That’s the gist of what I’ve been thinking! Beginning next week, Gutman, after the end of the term, I no longer want to work save for the dancers… Everything for dance! Nothing outside of dance! Life has laid hold of them, pure…has taken them away…given the least impetus, I would go off to lose myself amongst them…for the rest of my life… scintillating…undulating…Gutman! They are calling me!… I am no longer myself… I give in… I don’t want to be tossed away unto eternity!… but unto the source of everything…of all the waves… The reason for the world is there… nowhere else…

To die by dancer!… I am old, I am going to die soon… I want to crumble away, keel over, dissolve, evaporate, turn into a cloud…in arabesques…in the void…in the fountains of the mirage… I deserve to perish in the most beautiful way… I want her to whisper upon my heart… It will cease to beat… I promise you! See to it Gutman that I am close to the dancers!… I want to pass away well, as does everyone, you know…but not in a chamber pot…but by a wave…by a beautiful wave…the most dancing…the most touching...”

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Dear Paintress L-

Posted: September 23, 2011 in Letters
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Dear Ms. L-

Just one thing.  Okay, just one thing amongst many things…

JS Bach came from Northern Germany and so was Lutheran.  They occupied the old Catholic churches and so retained something of the Catholic haunt.  My understanding is that Luther’s rejection of Papal authority set the stage for the modern hyper-individualist farce of “doin’ your own thing.”

With each man interpreting the Bible directly for himself, pious Protestantism led to crass individualism.  It was only a matter of time.

This is just a sketch.  I’ve tried, in quick strokes, to capture the  character and outline of something.  The Face of History!

Have  fun at PAFA today.

JJ

ps

I saw “The Mill and the Cross” yesterday.  A film by Lech Majewski.  It’s  a creative and historical investigation into the making of Pieter Bruegal’s painting,  “The Way to Cavalry.”

I’ve been told that William Burroughs kept a reproduction of Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights” above his desk. I’ve been tempted to copy Burroughs‘ example. But I could just as craftily paste my walls with any Breugal’s masterpiece.  All his paintings have similar folkish flavors,  soiled purity and metaphysical throw-weight.

In any case, “The Mill and the Cross” was a meta-artfilm.  An artfilm about making art.  On that level it was excellent.  One gets a sense of the artist at ground-zero.   Which was, in Pieter Bruegal’s time and place, the Spanish occupation of the Netherlands.   The viewer is led to see the calloused Spaniards as a metaphor for the Romans.  The Romans in turn, are directed to be a metaphor for “oppressors” through all time. So it’s a fine liberal piece of work, with  Judas as a touch-stone for treason amongst the natives.  He sells-out for money.

If there is any reference to the Pharisees, I didn’t get it.   There is some rhetorical dialogue, sure to flatter an artist’s ear, about rebelling against the old ways and standards. But it’s said in the abstract and is directed at the Spaniards/Romans who represent Imperial Macho Government.  More pat liberalism.  When I make my movie about The Way to Cavalry, I’ll include the inter-tribal rift amongst Hebrews under Roman rule.  And I’ll do it in a way that doesn’t point my finger at Jews as Christ-killers. Rather, I’ll do it in a way that boomerangs schism, indictment and crucifixion  back at my own pastey race of gentiles. This is easy to outline.  I’ll  match Euro-Americans doing business with Big Brother and the Corporate State against Euro-American’s who’re communing underground.  I’ll match the doctrinaire, larded and “learned” against the instinctive. Finally,  I’ll match the city-mice against the country-mice.  This gives me lots of internal woe  to antagonize, and it thrills me.

Majewski knows Art. He is as fine a poet as he is a technician. For instance, through dialogue he explains why the personage of Jesus Christ is omitted from the center of Bruegel’s  painting.  As God he is The Great Unspoken.  The eternal vortex from which all form and content flow as temporal phenomena destined for death. Furthermore, as if explaining the latent beginnings of abstract-art, Majewski shows how symbols embedded in Bruegal’s paintscape have Jesus as the Prime Referent. The symbols are sign-posts.  Intermediaries.  Translators.  They are relays between the supernatural and natural, the ideal and the vulgar, the heavenly and earthly realms.  Freud said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”  But in Bruegal’s painting, a windmill that turns on the spirit of the wind, and grinds life’s harvest in its gears, could never be just a windmill.  It is a sacred symbol in service to the field, really the Jesus Field, where God and Man share Being.  So one can see an extended compatibility, underneath the surface, between Bruegal’s old fashioned narrative art for the illiterate, and today’s abstract art for an intellectual/spiritual elite.  Provided, of course, that the arch-forms are aligned gracefully.  Divinely.  With a legible cosmic granduer.

I must say one more thing about Majewski’s rich tutoring.  He shows how Bruegal’s painting is roundly mapped as a spider’s web with the “muted” Savior as the point-of-rest in his, and All of Creation’s, web.  This web-business is as much an insider’s wink to modern existentialism as the general symbolism is a wink to modern art. All in all, the resonant poetry of the film and painting are very good.  The cross.  The wheel. The windmill on the mountaintop. The tree-of-life and the tree-of-death. The City of Light and the  City of Darkness in the floodplain.  They are all structured into Bruegal’s paintscape without the strain of an amatuer petitioning for his genius.  I’m talking about a master’s mode.  Relaxed.  Sure.  Supple even if acrimonious against the crucifiers and the sheepish rabble.

I learned as much as I needed to learn.  Which means I learned a lot.

J.J.