|359 Hop out of my way Mr. frog, and allow me to swim in the lake|
05:56 15.04.14> Tax day, but we already did ours a few posts ago.
«Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.»—Richard Feynman. He ends his 1st Messenger lecture on that note + starts it by saying: «On the infrequent occasions when I have been called upon in a formal place to play the bongo drums, the introducer never seems to find it necessary to mention that I also do theoretical physics.»
23:51 15.04.14> It's snowing. In the 2nd half of April.
10:21 16.04.14> Some of the snow stuck ... + it's cold enough it's sticking around. Basta already.
Reading Cursed from Birth: The Short, Unhappy Life of William S. Burroughs, Jr. ...the autobiography of Billy Jr. As we said in the last post, «cursed from birth» pretty much sums it up. Weaned on the milk of an alcoholic/speed-freak mother (who subsequently gets shot by a junky father) ... you can only imagine how it's gonna turn out. When Billy Jr. died, he left an unfinished 3rd novel (Prakriti Junction) that William Sr. asked David Ohle to edit ... but in the process of going thru the file boxes of notes + letters, Ohle discovered there was no novel really ... that in his final years Billy had been «too drunk, too drugged (or drug-deprived) to undertake a coherent, sustained writing project»... but that instead they could cobble together (or «unscramble» as Billy put it, in a note to whoever had to sort it out) a memoir of sorts.
Billy was destined to fail, by both nature + nurture. Not only did he follow in his father's footsteps, but his father's footsteps were an impossible act to follow. And while some could argue William Sr. was a genius, Billy Jr. wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed. Billy even "accidentally" shoots his best friend ... like father like son. The only way he could think to distinguish himself was by making alcohol his drug of choice rather than heroin. It's a really sad + sobering book.
It was particularly interesting to us at this junction, as we cobble/collage together our brother's final book of sorts, in a similar way. Ohle did a great job of letting the story tell itself, w/o interjecting, or projecting. He takes numerous writings + letters (much of it undated), not just to/from Burroughs Jr. + Sr., but from Allen Ginsberg + other beat figures + friends + eulogized sorts of statements + compiled them as best he could chronologically, or at least so that they form some sort of narrative.
While our role in our brother's 'SSES" 'SSES" book is also as a sort of compiler, our life was intertwined w/ our brother's (whereas Ohle had never met Billy Jr., so it was perhaps easier to remain detached & objective). Had, say, Bill Sr. been the one to edit the book, he might've imposed his will on it or come off as defensive +/- unforthcoming. Or even Ginsberg—who plays the role of the more sympathetic (albeit seducing) guardian—carries inherent bias. Both have a say, in their letters, or from statements from interviews. It's put together to give you all sides of the story ... which is really only one story + that is Billy Jr. was a complete loser. Why, is the subtextual story. In the end, Ginsberg at least in part blames it (w/o pointing fingers) on a lack of support system.
Our lives paralleled Billy Jr. in many ways, not just because of alcoholic/druggy parents, but geographically intersecting—at an early age in Mazatlan, then in Savannah, Tucson & Santa Cruz. As he writes letters fo his father in NYC (w/ specific addresses given). Driving west from Savannah, his car breaks down 80 miles outside of Tucson ... the same thing happened to us in '98 ... 80 miles outside of Tucson (coming from Savannah) our Isuzu Trooper threw a rod. We were able to keep going, crawling into Tucson at like 25 MPH max. And we didn't fix it for a long time, just drove around on 3 cylinders, sounding like an egg-beater ...
In rummaging through our things—mining for 'SSES" 'SSES"—we found this, something we wrote to our mother when we were in 3rd grade or so:
We were quoting Wendell Hall. But we included some others that were originals, that we signed «poet, Derek White» ... like this limerick:
And this one:
May as well retire on that note ... not sure we could raise the bar higher ...
Now, what were we looking for again?
10:15 16.04.14> Flags out our window are at half-mast. Googling guess it has to do w/ Boston ... but that was a year ago? Here's our post from this time last year ... the omakase inspired Chef's selection is still in effect ... in fact, more than ever, at least for the next month. Did we mention we're summering in Sussex, UK? So were closing up the kitchen for the summer ... last call, if you have any Calamari orders get them in before the end of May. After that you'll have to get your squidmeat off Amazon. Except dbooks—can fulfill those from anywhere.
06:43 17.04.14 > Woke up + poured 2 cups of coffee ... even tho j is still in Rome, has been all week. Not the 1st time we've done that. Torna domani. Working 16 hours a day on 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY'. The only break we took from it was to go to the launch party for Beth Steidle's The Static Herd.
«Nothing much happens when you're shooting up dope.»—Billy Burroughs, Jr.
«And i guess that i just don't know.»—Lou Reed.
By the end of the book, Billy Jr. is pretty much rambling incoherently ... w/ occasional nuggets thrown in. «Food brings me to tears, toilet paper is a problem. Sleep is no more than a continuation of experience leading occasionally to the sound of screaming [...] Endless trips to the hospital. Constant surveillance (observation) by doctors. [...] Corny, but no one to love. BEING UNNECESSARY constant + physically near-misses. [...] No chance of another chance. Unpredictable fits of uncontrollable rage. The knowledge that I exist only as a memory to most people already. [...]»
07:12 18.04.14 > The great Gabriel García Márquez has passed. We figured he'd live to be a centenarian, haha. In solitude. Making ceviche w/ Chilean sea bass in memoriam ... not that Márquez is Chilean, but we read Love in the Time of Cholera in Chile when there was an outbreak of cholera (circa '91) + they were telling people not to eat ceviche or the sea bass.
Never thought we'd ever use Comic Sans in a book design, but we just did. Somewhat ironically. Let's see if anyone ever notices it.
06:20 20.04.14 >Easter Sunday.
Percentage of non-Christian Americans who say they believe in the resurrection of Christ: 52
There seems to be some confusion about the word «believe». Or that by not believing something, you don't appreciate it. We dig the idea of bunnies laying eggs. We like the mythaphor it represents. Doesn't mean we need to believe it ... by believing in such things it does a disservice to all factual information +/- the word believe.
Here's a photo of our brother we came across in our mining ...
Toying w/ the idea of putting it on the cover.
The knowledge that we exist only as a memory to most people already.
One of the last things Billy Jr. writes: «More and more, I count myself among those who will die young, either by design or accident—in my case, probably by design.»
Question is, by whose design?
|> 360 > Wearing Yourgrau's dad's head in the windy city, alpine style|