Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New Pen New Place

I have a new pen and have been sitting outside the back door of the George Hotel trying it out. It's a good spot, a bit like one of these Greek garage cafes on the long melting tarmac between Thessaloniki and Athens. The view here is of some skips, a public toilet and lots of cars, some of them on bricks. It's a great place for spending a few hours taking a comma out and then putting it back in again.

Today I am reading Bukowski. Bukowski liked betting at the track and, like Neal Cassady, had a system that couldn't lose and always did. I'm attracted to this.I have a system too which involves backing horses whose names remind me of the Hebrides or the Byzantine Empire 527-1453 AD. A typical 4 horse Yankee for me would be 'Uig', 'Whirling Dervish' 'Sands of Barra' and 'Belisarius the Great'. Unfortunately there has never been a horse named after Narses the Eunuch, Justinian the Great's best general. Belisarius is better known because he had better apologists, like Longfellow, Graves, Salvator Rosa and Jacques-Louis David. If there was a horse called Julian the Apostate I would bet on that too, even though strictly speaking, he does not meet the criteria.

I have a lot of things bubbling up to do or say here in the sun. I must find out if the poet Allan Cunningham was really born just down the road from where I live- in which case his 225th anniversary must be celebrated-I must read some more of the book Rachel Fox kindly sent me- "I believe there are some people we'd be better off assassinating. But it's a bad habit to get into. Like shopping."- Bukowski would like that -and above all I must keep looking for the pleasing line, that movement of sounds we're all moping around for-"Better Ae Gowden Lyric than the castle’s soaring wa; Better Ae Gowden Lyric than onything else ava” as Macdiarmid would say.

Maybe I'll hit the jackpot and feel like a God, like Bukowski winning at the races:

"I drove out among the angry losers, their unpaid for and highly insured cars were all they had left, they dared each other at mutilation and murder, zooming and slashing, not giving an inch. I made it to the exit at Century, my car stalled right at the turnout, blocking 45 cars behind me. I flipped the gas pedal rapidly with my foot, winked at the traffic cop, then hit the starter. It caught up and I moved out, drove on through the smog. Los Angeles wasn't really a bad place; a good husler could always make it."


Rachel Fox said...

It wasn't just kind...I did get something back!
Yours arrived yesterday.
More later.
p.s.Skip sounds promising.

Rachel Fox said...

And also...it's funny you quote that particular poem. It's the oldest in the book and was written when I had no idea what I was doing or why. I had that bizarre R Kelly song in my head ('I believe I can flyyyyyyyyyyy') and out if came. Ignorance can be bliss after all...well, sometimes...a bit...