Sunday, March 28, 2010

See You Later Alligator

Zydeco-Gator Reality

“See ya later, alligator—
After while, crocodile”
— Robert Charles Guidry,
“Later Alligator” (1955)

Deep in the swampy bayous of Southwest Louisiana—there’s a big bad alligator just waitin’ to getcha, baby!!!

He be sleepin’ down there—under the gnarled cypress stumps. Just waitin’ for you to come gliding by—in your little bitty pirogue, so he can tip it over and gobble you right up real good. Hmm-hmm.
See ya later, alligator. After while, crocodile!!!

Zydeco-Gator consciousness is something else—it’s a rather crude, primitive “meat-brain reality” thing. Most Creole and Cajuns growing up down there—come by it naturally, as naturally as anything human beings can do. A couple of my boyfriends in the dorm at LSU—taught me how to do it.

First you get loaded real good—like after a midnight poker game with the boyz. Way out there—in some lonely bayou cabin in the swamp. Then you let one of the guyz—take you pirogue-boating out there in the still of the night. With the moonlight shining down through the Spanish moss. The Night is a living thing.

After awhile, he’ll take a crawdad outta the sack—and snap the head off. Then he’ll say “Okay, city-boy, now suck the juice outta the head.”

I know it sounds disgusting—I shudder even now when I think about it. Especially when the crawdad’s still alive—they use the tail for bait when they’re fishing.

I did it though—and after awhile sure enough. I began to feel Zydeco-Gator consciousness—running through me all smooth and easy. I got to meet a lot of young handsome Cajun boyz that way—sucking the juice from the head.

I don’t know how many weekends—I spent out there visiting my Cajun-Creole boyfriends. It felt good to get away from campus—the lifestyle was perfect for the hippie dayz back then. I barely graduated—that’s how much I loved Zydeco-Gator boyz.

Looking back on it now—from here in the temperate climate of the Pacific Northwest. I doubt if I could survive the heat and humidity—down there in Louisiana again. The laidback laissez-faire Big Easy attitude—stretching up from New Orleans, that ancient Carib seaport. Up through the bayous and swamps of the Pelican State—Zydeco consciousness almost sucked me in completely.

My palms still get damp—just thinkin’ about it.


"Well, I saw my baby walkin'
With another man today
Well, I saw my baby walkin'
With another man today
When I asked her what's the matter
This is what I heard her say

See you later alligator
After 'while crocodile
See you later alligator
After 'while crocodile
Can't you see you're in my way now
Don't you know you cramp my style

When I thought of what she told me
Nearly made me lose my head
When I thought of what she told me
Nearly made me lose my head
But the next time that I saw her
Reminded her of what she said

See you later alligator
After 'while crocodile
See you later alligator
After 'while crocodile
Can't you see you're in my way now
Don't you know you cramp my style

She said, I'm sorry pretty baby
You know my love is just for you
She said, I'm sorry pretty baby
You know my love is just for you
Won't you say that you'll forgive me
And say your love for me is true

I said wait a minute 'gator
I know you meant it just for play
I said wait a minute 'gator
I know you meant it just for play
Don't you know you really hurt me
And this is what I have to say

See you later alligator
After 'while crocodile
See you later alligator
So long, that's all, goodbye"

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Zydeco Kid

Zydeco Kid

Lamar Parmentel: “New Orleans
is a marvelous environment for
coincidence.”—The Big Easy (1987)

“I don’t wanna miss a thing, baby,” Kurt said.

I couldn’t believe it—he was gonna leave me right there. Standing on the beach—by Mutiny Bay.

The Zydeco spaceship—was getting ready to beam him up. Away from me…

“I wanna go to Zydeco Planet,” he said.

“But Kurt, I want you to stay with me, man,” I said.

I didn’t want to miss his smile. His beating heart. I didn’t wanna close my eyes and wake up without him being there. I wanted to hold him close.

I knew he was Slan. Telepathic like Jommy Cross—back in Seattle. It ran in his family—all the way back to the Big Easy. His hard washboard stomach—was my "rub-board," my "scrub-board," my Zydeco frottoir kid.

The Zydeco ship was up there above us—hovering in the shift=phase blurr of the evening. It was one of those moments getting ready to open up to forever—forever, forever and forever.

That’s how Time worked—it was a portal like Heinlein said. It dialed open and closed—and then he’d be gone, baby, gone…forever.

No more watching him—smiling in his sleep. Wondering what he was faraway dreaming of—I could stay awake forever in those moments close to him. Just listening to him breathing. Down in our little love shack—on Saratoga Passage beach.

I was gonna miss him so bad. I didn’t know what to do—or what to say. My Zydeco kid—I closed my eyes and he was gone.

The ship sailed off—to the strains of urban hip-hop, ska, rock, Afro-Caribbean Zydeco heavenly music.

The last things I heard were Denise LaSalle’s My Toot Toot lyrics:

Don't mess with my Toot Toot
don't mess with my Toot Toot.
I know you have another woman
so don't mess with my Toot Toot.
When I was born in my birth suit the doctor slap her behind

He said: You're gonna be special
you sweet little Toot Toot.
So you can look as much
but if you much as touch

You're gonna have yourself a case
I'm gonna break your face.
So don't mess with my Toot Toot
don't mess with my Toot Toot.
I know you have another woman
so don't mess with my Toot Toot.

Don't mess with my Toot Toot
don't mess with my Toot Toot.
Toot Toot - Toot Toot - I know you have another woman - Toot Toc
Toot Toot - Toot Toot - I know you have another woman - Toot Toc
Don't mess with my Toot Toot
don't mess with my Toot Toot. . . .

Yeah, but my Toot Toot—still wanted him so bad.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Zydeco Planet

Zydeco Planet
—for Ken Pickard

The sleek blue yellow-striped Zydeco spaceship—appeared out of nowhere. Nobody had ever seen anything like it—all of Whidbey Island was completely blown away by such an incredible sight.

The spaceship slowly glided over Holmes Harbor—and stopped above a lovely couple on the beach. They were so in love and enamored with each other—they didn’t even notice the alien visitors hovering silently above them.

It must have been the hot erotic vibes of the young couple—that got the attention of the huge Zydeco craft. Because suddenly came blasting out of the spaceship’s huge speakers—the incredibly energetic loud rambunctious Creole and Cajun musical outbursts of Jude Taylor and his Zydeco Bayou Burning Flames band!!!

Whatever planet or zone or zeit—the spaceship was from, well, it must’ve been a hot flaming Mardi Gras Planet from the sounds emanating and booming from the mysterious craft way up there in the sky!!!

The beach started rocking—and the crabs started rolling!!! The fish began jumping outta the water—and the seagulls began zooming up and down the beach!!! Pretty soon all of Freeland—was dancing and singing!!! The music of the spheres—had done come down to earth!!!

”My grandpa and your grandma!!!
Sitting by the fire!!!
My grandpa says to your grandma—
"I'm gonna set your pussy on fire!!!"

Talkin' 'bout
Hey now
Hey now
Iko iko an nay
Jockomo feena ah na nay
Jockomo feena nay!!!

Look at dat queen all dressed in red
Iko iko an nay!!!
I bet you five dollars she'll kill you dead
Jockomo feena nay!!!!

Talkin' 'bout
Hey now (hey now)!!
Hey now (hey now)!!!!
Iko iko an nay (whoah-oh)!!!
Jockomo feena ah na nay!!!!
Jockomo feena nay!!!!

My bad boy and your bad girl
Sitting by the fire!!!
My bad boy says to your bad girl
"I'm gonna set you free with fire!!!"



(hey now)!!!
(hey now)!!!!
(hey now)!!!!!
(hey now)!!!!!!
Jockomo feena nay

See that guy all dressed in green
Iko iko an nay
He's not a man, he's a loving machine!!!!
Jockomo feena nay

Talkin' 'bout
Hey now (hey now)!!
Hey now (hey now)!!!
Iko iko an nay (whoah-oh)!!!
Jockomo feena ah na nay!!
Jockomo feena nay!!!

(repeat till fading end)
Jockomo feena nay!!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010



“Those who looked to the future
from their communes in the 1960s
and 1970s could hardly be expected
to acknowledge roots from an
earlier generation.”
—Charles Pierce LeWarne,
Utopias on Puget Sound (1885-1915)

I took Kurt over to Freeland—there at the southern tip of Holmes Harbor up from Useless Bay. That’s where the new spaceport is—Freeland USA.

The thing about dystopian time warps—is that they pretty much stay in the same spot. Whether it’s the utopias from the late 19th and early 20th centuries—or the more recent hippie ones from the 1960s and 1970s. I explained it to Kurt—that’s the way these time-warps work around the clock.

Except like George Orwell’s 1984—the clocks are always busy at work striking thirteen all the time. So that Freeland was waiting to happen—and once it happened, it kept happening. And it’s still going on now. The hippies and their communes—were time-warp manifestations of the moment. They came and went—but like the older utopias, the Utopia is still there. Or rather here.

Utopian time-warps are like magnets—they arrange time and space around themselves. They generate dystopian vibes as well—which are part and parcel of the way things work. For every utopian action on the U-screen—there’s an equal dystopian reaction as well. This surprises people—when it happens. But it happens—all the time.

It happened between Holmes Harbor and Mutiny Bay—one fine summer day. That’s where the original Freeland utopian community—still resides there on Whidbey Island today.

The spaceship suddenly materialized over the water—during the Freeland Chamber’s 12th annual golf classic at the Useless Bay Golf & Country Club.

Everyone has heard about the Million Dollar Hole-in-One—sponsored by Puget Sound Energy. A free trip vacation giveaway—from China City. For businesses, the Freeland Golf Classic is the Chamber's biggest fundraiser of the year.

“Become a hole sponsor and put your business out front on the green!” cries out the headlines.

“Treat your clients to a great day of golf by being a Team Sponsor!” the ads proclaim.

“Get your product out front and center by sponsoring a table at the dinner. Give us a call, or an email, or take a look at the details!” the Chamber exclaim.

But little did anyone—expect such an interplanetary “Hole in One” to happen! It wasn’t an interstellar Hole in One!?!. Nor was it, heaven forbid, one of those Black Hole intergalactic Holes in One!!!

Everybody on the golf course—stood there gasping in wonder up at the sky. The whole town of Freeland—came to a sudden stop.

Just like Washington DC suddenly stopped—when Klaatu landed his flying saucer in the baseball park during The Day the World Stood Still (1951).

Diners at Gerry’s Kitchen on Main Street and Gordon’s On Blueberry Hill on Woodard Avenue—stopped in the middle of their gourmet burgers and succulent crabcakes—gawking up at the strange spaceship hovering in Holmes’ Harbor.

Useless drunks dropped their martinis at the Useless Bay Country Club bar—and got even more useless after seeing what they saw.

An astute youth working at The Raven & The Spade organic vegetable farm and produce stand said—“Hey! That spaceship looks just like the one on ≡V≡ my video game back home!!!”

Actually the spaceship—wasn’t a spaceship. It wasn’t a space ship from the depths of outer space. It wasn’t a sleek spaceship—from the reaches of interplanetary, interstellar or intergalactic space at all.

The spaceship was actually—from the depths of time. That’s how utopian time-warps work—they send radar-like signals out into the vast reaches of Time itself.

The old utopian experiments along Puget Sound have long since passed from existence—most hippie communes and earlier utopian communities are virtually beyond memory now.

Utopian experiments like Freeland on Whidbey Island were throwbacks—even back then in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Freeland utopianists were out of step with mainstream radicalism in their own time—and had an uncertain influence on the later radicalism of Washington. Very much like the hippie utopias.

Looking back on the hippie dayz of the 1960s and 1970s—gives one a strange déjà vu sense of utopian communitarian simpatico with Freeland and those earlier utopians when we read about them. Little else remains of them—except for some dusty archives in the libraries. Some old radical newspapers—from back then in Seattle.

There were similarities and differences. The Viet Nam War rather than the IWW—was one big difference. The closing down of I-5 after the Cambodian invasion and the ongoing draft—showed how disillusioned and disenchanted the youth were with Nixon and the Establishment. Many flocked to communes—in search of a new life style.

At the end of 1970, the New York Times estimated conservatively—that nearly 2000 communes existed in 34 states. Many of them along the shores and in the valleys of the Pacific Northwest.

The older utopias tended to be “politico-economic” critiques of society—often small town laborers and artisans who had been stung by inequality and deprivation in an economic society that even then was huge and impersonal.

While the 1960s communes—tended to be “psychosocial critiques” opining that society had put people out of touch with others and with their own fundamental nature. These new utopians sought—liberating situations that were conducive to intimacy and psychological health.

The 1960s communes are gone now—little remains of them or their predecessor utopians. Music from that period still hovers around—reminding those who lived through that period nostalgically of the zeitgeist back then. Baby boomers especially can remember those somewhat utopian halcyon dayz with bittersweet nostalgia—back when they were hippies and flower children.

Such music and hippie days lifestyles—may seem somewhat naïve and strange to the X-Generation today. Yet who knows? Perhaps subsequent forthcoming generational tides and undertow-currents yet to come—will try the same thing?

Many theories exist and opinions vary about why these utopias came and went. Freeland still exists here on Whidbey Island though—between Holmes Harbor and Useless Bay. Perhaps the utopian sprit and desire for a better culture—still lives on today in different ways?

Personally, I create my own sci-fi utopia each day—down here in my little beachside shack. Kurt helps me sometimes—with a line or two. Words give me clothing—to hide his nakedness. They clothe the moment—then later on I take his clothes off.

The stream that runs down through the beach—is a Lethean tributary of lost sentiments and found feelings. They have a utopian uplift effect—on the process of my writing.

The cedars and fir trees—I feel their telepathic empathies, these looming prehistoric phantoms. The ancient forest leading down to the beach—the beach parallel with other shacks, beach-homes, all the hippies that have come and gone, all sorts of forgotten commune actualities.

Living down here by Saratoga Passage—I’ve learned so much and yet so little. Fragmentary snapshots—a continuous camera-eye in the middle of what was always rotting and withering away.

I feel a harmony—with decay and driftwood. Am I not part of the same—decadent architectural artifice here in this neo-Gothic noir world of shadows, shifting semi-darknesses?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Camano Island

Camano Island

“The fog had
the sand by ten”
—Samuel R. Delany,

Somehow I ended buying the beach-house—the little shack down on Whidbey Island. With a view of Camano Island—so noir & full of hippie moody innuendo.

Not far from Coupeville—the Chicken Capital of the Pacific Northwest. Down there on the beach—near laidback lonely Penn Cove. My little Fernando’s Hideaway…

I spent my summers down there in that little rundown shack—getting away from Seattle and all that rush-hour traffic. Sometimes I worked part-time at the Blue Moon Tavern on weekends—for awhile I was a bartender at Shelly’s Leg down there under the Viaduct by Elliott Bay.

When my generous yet aging Sugar Daddy kicked the bucket—I said what the hell. I took my million dollars inheritance—and moved outta town. I said adieu to the swank condo—up there on Capitol Hill next to Volunteer Park. I might as well live down here by Penn Cove I said to myself—in my little Shangri-La shack getaway on Whidbey Island.

I didn’t have anything else to do—I was pretty much a failure at everything I tried to accomplish. Even being a kept man—wasn’t exactly one of my greatest successes. He liked me for some reason—I don’t know why. But I did buy the beach-house—and a new sailboat. Probably the best investments—I ever made.

Seattle Noir and those endless monsoon rains—had slowly but surely rotted my brains. Not that I had anything left up there anyway—after all my decadent hippie dayz abusing myself with too much hookah and wine. Yes, there was something very stoic and laidback—about being brain-dead and living down there on the beach. I was good at it—I had a lot of hippie practice.

Whidbey Island was a good place to mildew and rot away—after all those long Seattle Lost Weekends and the usual hangovers. I could feel my body slowing down—getting more and more disillusioned and desultory. Moodily metamorphosing myself—into nothing more than flimsy flotsam and jaded jetsam riffraff.

Feeling washed up—like some old derelict shipwreck. On some lonely beach—on some deserted unknown island. A beached whale—a lazy piece of ho-hum waterlogged worn-out driftwood. Who cared? I didn’t care anymore—I was tired of the fast lane…

The sailboat bobbed happily—moored to the rotting dock. The rotting firs and cedars behind the cabin—kept leaning and looming as usual moodily over my humble rotting abode. Rotting fish and rotting seaweed—kept washing up on the beach. Coming and going.

Like I said—I was in a rather noir mood. And there’s nothing more noir—than a noir Pacific Northwest cloudy day. There’s something about the monsoon season up there in the Straits of Juan de Fuca—it made me feel like Elizabeth Taylor—in The Rains of Ranchipur. Rain, rain, rain—low scudding clouds…

All those old mansions of the retired sea captains—continuing as usual their rotting away too. Just like me deeper and deeper—into the calm oblivion of nearby Coupeville. Whidbey Island itself—with its ancient Puget Sound history keeping its own pace of slowly rotting away very nicely. It all had its own intimate decadent zeitgeist—and charming decaying nonchalance.

Rat Boy, my mangy lazy cat—agreed totally with my aging hippie attitude toward life. “Yawn” he said—as I gracefully rotted away and yawned back at him. We were both into ho-um rotting-away entropy mode—a kind of picaresque typical local existential rotting “doingnothingness.” Why do anything—when nothing else was doing anything?

I’d forgotten all about Kenny a long time ago—his grandparents had long since passed away. Coupeville was becoming more and more a chic retirement community for retired baby boomers—looking for a decent Fernando’s Hideaway like me from busy Seattle. I really can’t blame them—Whidbey Island beckoned and called to them.

Then one day outta the blue—came a knock, knock, knock on my front door. I was totally amazed by who it was—talk about Out of the Past!!! It was this kid—the spitting image of Kenny from way back when. A decade and a half later—surprise of surprises! It was young Kenny all over again—reincarnated in the flesh! He’d come back to life again—this time as a kid again. A truant youth—standing there all sulky and moody on my front porch.

It was Kurt—Kenny’s teenage son. A troubled young bedraggled dirty—helpless runaway from home. He’d had a falling-out with his father and mother—one look at his pouty face and I could see why. He was too much like his father—to get along with them. How could his father understand him—when Kenny himself probably still didn’t even understand himself? And what had exiled him—from his own parents? Kenny had settled down, got married and all that—but so what? Estrangement is a Family thing…

Kurt had that same bored, smirky look—that Kenny had way from back then. He was a little wiseass know-it-all—it was smeared all over his pouty face. He was shifty-eyed and sullen—we sized each other up right away. We were both sociopathic users—and the first thing we did was to figure out how much we could get away with from each other. I offered him some tea—he wanted a cold beer.

Yes, Bad Seed ran in Kenny and Kurt’s Family—all the way to the Bone. It was the worst kind of Bad Seed—I could tell Kurt was going to be a hard nut to crack just like his troubled father. That awful tasting kind of Bad Seed—the kind that’d surely gag any normal self-respecting Maggot.

But I wasn’t a normal Maggot—I was full of Bad Attitude. I liked Bad Biology. I liked Bad Seed—the way it oozed and oozed—from one doomed, snotty, runny generation to the next. Something had to give!!! Somebody had to do it!!!

Kenny, his father, must have known—intuitively what to do. He sent Kurt to Whidbey Island—hoping I’d straighten the truant kid out. Either that or the kid heard rumors about yours truly—about how sinfully, rudely and hopelessly gauche I was—as the local Miss Sodom and Gomorrah. Who me??? Did I say that???

I batted my eyes—trying to act shy and demure. As if I were Blanche DuBois—putting the make on the paperboy in A Streetcar Named Desire. It didn’t work though—Kurt saw right through the rather impromptu tacky cheap Façade.

If a “Smirk” can tell the truth—Kurt’s long drawn-out Smirk truly read my scandalous beads. Rather than mess around with him and all that stupid gossip and innuendo—I made love to him right away. Rat Boy was jealous, of course—he hated the competition.

I was curious about Kurt—he was just like his father Kenny from way back then. But just how much was Kurt like his father dontchaknow? Curious minds wanted to know—desperately. Soon I found out…

If Bad Seed can run through a Family Tree—then maybe other things do too? It didn’t take long to discover—the horrible Shocking Truth!!!. That kid should’ve kept all that Meat—in the fucking refrigerator!!! Talk about an obscenely monstrous huge Geoduck—I had an extremely difficult time controlling myself and trying to keep Clam as Captain Ivar used to say.

Kurt smirked at me some more—like Kenny he soon got to know me all too well. He may have been awkward and goofy—like his father used to be. He had that same kind of long gangly lollygagging body—with a jugular vein big, thick and writhing up and down his thick neck. It appealed to my perverted ogling Vampire eyeballs—my jaded Transylvanian Trick instinct sizing him up quickly. Why hide the truth—I was truly the one and only Daughter of Dracula!!!

Kurt was kinda shy and self-conscious at first—somewhat ashamed of being in bed with somebody like me. But after the first time, some wine and a toke or two—I had him convinced he needed me just as bad as I needed him.

Pretty soon, I got him nude in the bottom of the sailboat—moaning for more out there in the choppy, white-capped Saratoga Passage. The poor farmboy from Yakima was simply starved for love—famished for a little human affection and attention. There was no hurry—there was plenty of time. I had nothing else to do—and neither did he.

After awhile, with the nice hot sun beating down on us—he told me his sad vagabond story and cried his eyes out. He hated Yakima—and working his ass off all the time. He just wasn’t the farmboy type—harvesting wheat, trucking it into town, dumping it into stupid elevators, plowing the boring stubble fields afterwards and all that shit.

Kurt’s father was understanding—up to a point. Kenny knew his limits though—he didn’t have much patience with Kurt . Just like Kenny’s father had been the same way—stoic and resigned to having a troubled young son. The best thing for Kurt to do, he thought—was for the kid to join the Marines and get outta town. Before he got into real trouble.

It was the same old story—each generation’s angst and attempt to be happy. Nothing was easy—everything was hard. Kurt was lean and tan—the August harvest had left him quite the bronze Greek god. He didn’t know his own strengths and weaknesses—but I did.

Kurt didn’t want to go back to school—so his father put him on a bus. Kenny gave him my phone number and address—told him to get outta town to Seattle. He’d hitchhiked and taken the ferry—over to my dumpy little joint on Whidbey.

And now here he was—sleeping in the bottom of my sailboat. Living with me in my beach-house—getting to know my reclusive, sad-sack life. Poor kid—I felt sorry for him. In a kinda greedy, selfish way…

Talk about delicious déjà vu!!!

It tasted like—an acid flashback. It was like that first time—back when Kenny was a kid. Sailing in Saratoga Passage in that first sailboat of mine—and now it was déjà vu time all over again. I couldn’t believe my luck—talk about Paradise Lost and Found. Like some spare change outta the blue—thrown down just for me. Youthful Folly—from the I Ching.

It felt like falling down an elevator shaft—that just kept going down, down, down. Faster and faster—past floor after floor. Free-falling my way back into time—accelerating down, downward into myself. A dream within a dream—a movie within a movie. A flashback within a flashback—such strange déjà vu.

It felt like Jack Nicholson—in The Shining (1980). Like what happened during that spooky, snowed-in winter—in the lonely, empty Overlook Hotel resort. Seeing himself in the Gold Room mirror—in an old photo on the barroom wall. In that ghostly old flashback nightclub—having a flashback of himself again. Jack getting a glimpse of who he really was—and Jack finally understanding who he used to be?

It was all too much—like a fortuitous storyteller’s gangbang convention. There at the Poughkeepsie Poetry Workshop. All my flashbacks coming together just for me—one more time. At the Overlook Hotel—lost in the maze. A story within a story—a nice juicy mise en abyme plot. Plopped down from heaven—just for me.

There I was in this boat—a bug-eyed, ogling, old octopus. Wiggling and throbbing—my voice trembling with good luck. My Slan tentacles writhing in my head—all mine suddenly just for the asking. Making me weak in the knees—and only too willing to please my young guest.

It was a Family affair—I picked up on the vibes right away. Sullenly slouching his way down Madrona Lane—then down the slope to my little love shack near Penn’s Cove. What a catch—I swallowed it hook, line and sinker. All mine, mine, mine—once again. Talk about proud, haughty, spoiled—Norma Desmond wishing for her Hollywood comeback again. Bad seed always tasted good to me—from one generation to the next!!!

What can I say—what could I do? I didn’t have to say or do anything at all—I just sat there and waited or him to wake up. So I could be slowly, brutally—Rotor-Rooted to Death again. It was all so spontaneous and meat-telepathic—it’s amazing how much can be said without saying anything at all.

Déjà vu triggered itself—like an old toothache from deep in the crypt. It had been buried prematurely—now it was back again. I sat there with my flip-flops—watching him take a swim. I puckered my lips like a pouty old Coupeville queen—licking them moodily like maudlin Marilyn Monroe. He slipped off his Speedo—and there it was.

When you’re on the same wavelength—a light-year or two doesn’t make any difference at all. Miss Einstein would have been pleased—how easy it was. To think faster than light—to actually be there right away. Ahead of time…

I had to slow him down a little bit—there wasn’t really any hurry. Kurt got pretty good at it—after being a virgin hick from east of the mountains for so long. Pretty soon he was good at it—being laidback and noir like me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hippie Summer on Whidbey Island

Oliver Jethro Dragon III

On a somewhat lighter note (speaking of “troubled, angst-filled, young chickenhood”)—I knew this hippie kid back in the early ‘70s who was probably one of the must unique-looking young men I’d ever known.

I was living on Whidbey Island up by the San Juan Islands—north of Seattle back then. I was renting a beachside shack on the northern side of the island—near Coupeville across the Saratoga Passage from Camano Island. I had a sailboat a friend had let me use for the summer—and it was a nice way to lollygag and do nothing at all except enjoy life and the hippie pursuit of happiness.

This kid, Kenny, was from east of the mountains. His parents were serious, workaholic wheat farmers near Yakima—and they’d thrown him out because he was totally lazy, smoking dope all the time and was a school dropout too. They’d sent him to live with his grandparents on Whidbey Island—to hopefully get his trip together.

I lived down by the water in a little beach-shack I rented—while Kenny lived with his grandparents in this huge mansion up on the cliff. They were retired by then and pretty laid-back. It was hoped they’d help Kenny—through his “troubled chicken” period.

They were pretty old—and not feeling well. His grandmother had suffered a stroke—and she couldn’t talk anymore. She was like a ventriloquist—without a puppet to say things for her. His grandfather piddled around Whidbey Island in his Chevy pickup—his schoolteacher daughter lived not far away and she had some kids too. It was an idyllic Shangri-La—those Pacific Northwest hippie days and nights…

Well, the thing about Kenny was that—he reminded me so very much of that strange dragon-like cartoon-character outta “The Kukla, Fran and Ollie Show” from those early days of naïve wholesome all-American family TV entertainment.

I confess I didn’t watch TV back then much or even now anymore—but back in the ‘50s I was somewhat of sci-fi fan of Captain Video and his Video Rangers along with Tom Corbett and his Space Cadets stuff on the tube:

It seems very campy and nostalgically-outdated now—but that’s another story. This kid Kenny reminded me more of that funky goofy long-necked “Ollie the Dragon.” For some reason that goofy puppet-show stands out in my memory—more than Captain Video or Tom Corbett.

I guess Orson Welles, John Steinbeck, Tallulah Bankhead and Adlai Stevenson were among the show’s many adult fans back then. Maybe there was something sophisticated—that I missed. There were other comical puppet characters on the show—like Kukla, Ollie, Madame Ooglepuss, Buelah the Witch, Fletcher Rabbit, Cecil Bill and other Kuklapolitans.

But for some strange phantasmagorical reason—maybe it was the weed—this kid Kenny reminded me so very much of the “Oliver Jethro Dragon III” character. Maybe it was his long gangly neck—maybe it was his low baritone voice that kept breaking and jumping up to soprano?

Maybe it was because—he could be both shy and impetuous at the same time? He had many awkward sides to his personality—sometimes he was a different person from day to day.

Regardless of all that—he had nothing else to do all summer long, so he hung around down by my beach-house and helped me with my boat. He was actually a pretty good sailor and much better boatman than me—I don’t know why. Maybe because he was from east of the mountains—and was used to vast seas of flowing Cascadian wheat. He had a thatch of long dirty blond-yellow hair—a real mop of it like everybody had back then.

I called him “Ollie”—because he was so goofy and funny all the time. Like Ollie the Dragon—the funniest of all the Kuklapolitan Players. His long neck and lanky body—gave him the appearance of a young chicken dragon on the loose. Mostly he wore cut-offs—out in the boat. We swam nude sailing out in Saratoga Passage all day long—I got used to every lanky gangly naked inch of him. And then some…

There wasn’t anything wrong with Kenny—he didn’t need any counseling or adult supervision. I was the one who needed supervision—I was the one who needed guidance and counseling about how far I should go. Sometimes it felt like Lord of the Flies out there sailing in the breeze—during that long hot summer out there on Whidbey.

Actually he was more civilized and discrete about things—than I was. I got carried away—I fell in head over heels in love with him. All the way—and then some… What can I say—about back then?
GUZZLING HOURS ELAPSE!!!—“That was delicious!!!”

“Do you always slurp down—three ice cream sodas at one sitting?” he’d ask.

”I once devoured a whole Dairy Queen,” I told him. “Back in the U-District with Jommy...”

”Didn’t it kinda bruise your tonsils a little bit, huh?”

He’d laugh indignantly—stretching out on the deck of the boat. I had to weigh each word carefully—my tongue was sprained so bad. I could barely talk—it was so embarrassing. I gulped and gulped—I must have looked like a fish out of water—with my big obscenely ogling eyeballs.

I know I should’ve been ashamed of myself—confessing this all these now years later should make me blush full of sincerest regret and remorse. I wasn’t a very good influence on Kenny—but I couldn’t help it. I’d never known such chicken dragonhood—and such shameless JD exhibitionism. The more he said “No”—the more I said “Yes.” Who needed a keel and anchor deep—when I had Kenny around to keep me company?

You’ve probably heard of—Ray Milland and “The Lost Weekend?” Well, with me—it was “Kenny and The Lost Summer.” His grandparents were happy—he’d found such a good friend like me down in the shack by the beach. They were so glad I got him out of trouble—they didn’t charge me any rent that whole summer.

Kenny didn’t need any slithery scales—or hot fire-breathing dragon breath. I was the one breathing hard all the time—I was the one slinking around thinking about him day and night. He must have grown six inches during the summer—his lovely long lanky veiny neck stretching out further and further. It must have got a mile long—the way he wrapped it around the edge of the bed…

Things got rather mythical fast. Seeing him swimming nude off the dock or back-stroking by the sailboat at twilight—was like gazing at sleek streamlined dragondom swimming the Hellespont. The column of steam that went up was so huge—it was seen miles away on Camano Island. I can't mention how many creamy ice cream sodas—he let me have that long lost summer. Kukla and Fran surely would’ve been green with jealousy—how I glutted myself that whole long summer long.

Eventually Kenny finally got it all out of his system—all that troublesome teenage testosterone. All that anguishing adolescent angst—and charming noisome assholehood. He ended up back east of the Cascades again—dutifully getting married, having kids and settling down. He became—the epitome of unfailing trustworthy straight Fatherhood.

His relieved parents were overjoyed and so very pleased—what wonderful grandparents Kenny had back on Whidbey Island. Such wonderful Love—to finally bring him around to responsible adulthood and getting his shit together. It was truly a wise choice and decision—to have Kenny spend that summer on Whidbey. I couldn’t have—agreed more.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Letter from the Grave

“So what's the rush? You're
chasing that girl aren't you?
Come on, admit it. I'm at the
mercy of your sex glands, bud.”
—Corey Haim, Lost Boys

“And I wrote my happiest songs—
Every child may joy to you”
—Unkle, “I Need Something
Stronger,” Never, Never Land

Dear Fans,

Well, look at it this way. I saw my reflection in the mirror the other day—you know what I saw?

I saw a creature of the night—right like outta the comic books! Right outta that crummy movie.

Oh yeah! Did I ever tell you how it happened? How I fucking ended up this way—a faggy bloodsucker?

I was taking a bath—one Friday night. My older brother Michael—forced his way into the bathroom.

He sank his fangs—deep into my neck. And sucked me dry—down to the last fucking drop.

That’s how he turned me—into a fucking vampire. One of the worst bloodsuckers—in Santa Carla.

My own older brother Michael!!! Michael! My own brother—a goddamn, shit-sucking vampire.

I was gonna tell mom—what he did to me. He sucked it and sucked it. He really queered me bad!!!

That’s how it all started—that’s how I became Son of Dracula. It wasn’t pretty—being a faggy vampire.

I started sleeping a lot—like all day long. Sunlight freaked me out—I wore sunglasses all the time.

I had bad breath—and long fingernails. I couldn’t stand garlic—I started chasing guys everywhere.

I was a serious vampire—especially at the YMCA. And cruising the boardwalk—late at night.

My brother Michael—sneered at me. He called me a bloodsucking faggot—but I didn’t care anymore.

Lots of ghouls and werewolves—hanging around Santa Carla. It was a haven—for craven undead.

Ah!!! I had it bad—I sucked off my brother. It made me feel good—knowing bad seed ran in the family.

I was the youngest vampire—in skanky Santa Carla. I burned a lot of rubber—chasing guyz around town.

I was a night-stalking—Twisted Sister. My fine ass annihilated them—at the gay disco every night.

I wasn’t a brutal killer—I was nice about it. It wasn’t a Texas Chainsaw Murder—it was a Bloody Valentine.

I started hanging around the Vampire gang—pretending I was “The Flying Nun with Fangs.”

The Frog brothers—had this motto. First come—first staked. I was a nightcrawler—for Feldman’s big vein.

Pretty soon—I turned into Santa Carla’s El Vampiro. The head bloodsucker—beneath the boardwalk.

I pleaded with the Frog brothers—to end it for me. To drive a nice big thick sharp stake—up my ass.

But you know what? It was such a nice tight fit—I had them do it to me every night.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Death of Van Vogt

John Berkey, “A Change in Direction” (1991)

The Death of Van Vogt

“The Null-A filled
the emptiness and it
became the Universe.”
—Herman Broch,
The Death of Virgil

The plot of dying itself—in the sense that it’s a sci-fi story—about a man who feels the most significant thing of his life approaching & fears that he will miss it . . .

Steel-blue starlight—smoothed out by a soft, scarcely perceptible solar-wind, the rings of Saturn streaming by the imperial squadron as it steers toward the spaceport of Brundisium, the golden plains of the Saturnian coast coming slowly nearer to the ships.

The deadly loneliness—of deep-space submersion changing with the ubiquitous circling ancient ringed disk, merry-go-rounding above the breakwaters of the huge mirror-smooth blue-green mother-of-pearl planet, spread under the calm open shell of heaven.

The seven deep-space vessels—slowing down, following each other, keels in line, the first and last, both sleek atomic shield-powered pentaremes, swift starships of the war-fleet—the other five deep-shift heavy cruisers, imposing rakish decaremes and duodecaremes, ornate deep-space streamlined starships of the Augustan imperial rank, with a complement of 20,000 legionaries and star troopers.

The middle one, ostentatiously sumptuous, its smooth titanium-mounted gilded fins, the ring-nose dragon’s head under the railing, radar-screens wired nervously, scanning for intruders and Ort pirates, the purple aura of its defense screens shimmering, the sleek eagle herald of the galactic Caesar.

On that ship was the death signet, creasing the brow of A.E. van Vogt, prey to space-sickness, taut with the lingering threat of free-floating, space opera fatigue, slowly becoming conscious of himself once more, his Alzheimer brain readjusting to the calm sullen regions of the inner solar system again.

Van Vogt lay there in the pearly spice-gas fog of his space-navigator fish bowl—a tank a mélange-gas giving the dying writer the illusion of returning home to the omnipresent inscrutable dirge of droid-death, the end his halcyon Hugo-winning dayz of wine and roses.

Now, however, bound to an anti-grav hammock below deck—set up for him amidship, he becomes conscious of himself or rather his body becomes aware enough to claim him once again as its own, the bitter aftertaste of grueling time-warp nostalgia, retouching his fading memory, returning him once again to Earth—that free-falling quiet-guiding fatigue palace known as home, despite his plaguing cough, the usual evening fever and anxiety.

After all, was he not the Slan Virgil—the telepathic Null-A queen bee, the Wizard of Linn, Son of the Empire of the Atom, the Black Destroyer of the Golden Age, the mutant author-king of Astounding Science Fiction and Fantasy?

The endless space operas, the planetary alliances, the global wars, the atomic gods, the ancient machines lost now, found once again—was it not he van Vogt who stumbled onto the Pulp Fiction secret, the Lost Knowledge of Ace paperback novels, the mystery and wonder of Golden Age of Sci-Fi!!!

And yet there was not much time left—already his invisible, subterranean, painful, backward journey was deflecting itself more and more, overshadowing the heavy creak of the oar-locks and the pulling, restless Titan tides below them, as the imperial fleet coasted slowly by, resisting the ancient, stoic, gravity pull of the surging Rings of Saturn.

Van Vogt could feel himself—being pulled back in time, back through his various wolfish, foxish, cattish, parrottish, horsish, sharkish self-imposed, smoldering Ovidian heteronyms, sullen, all-cleaving time-waves washing over the deck, carrying the beat of oars down into his cabin, inescapably, unavoidably, as the ship made its way deeper into the Heart of Planetary Darkness.

The vast starship lapped by stellar whitecaps, robotic pilots slowing down past the speed of light, sliding back to Virgil, each steady hundredfold stroke of the guild navigator’s intuitive radar screen, past the ash-strewn asteroid-surfing coastline down below, slipping beneath the star-damp, star-draughty, streaming hull of the ship, sprayed with slick wet neutrinos, coated with the thick undertow of black matter.

Van Vogt could hear the ship groan, his hammock swaying below deck, the two star-guard destroyer ships cruising close-by, escorting him for the last time, back to his forbidden sci-fi boyhood home, the touchy, tentacle-troubled world of young Jommy Cross—the Slan kid out of time.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cry, Little Sister

Cry, Little Sister

“A last fire will rise behind those eyes
Black house will rock, blind boys don't lie
Immortal fear, that voice so clear
Through broken walls, that scream I hear”

Santa Carla gets cruisier and cruisier—as the second installment of the ‘80s Lost Boys classic gets down and dirty the way I like it.

“Cry, little sister - Thou shall not fall
Come to your brother - Thou shall not die
Unchain me, sister - Thou shall not fear
Love is with your brother - Thou shall not kill”

No wonder it was hidden, censored, expunged, expurgated and mysteriously lost in the secret vaults of Hollywood Babylon.

“Blue masquerade, strangers look on
When will they learn this loneliness?
Temptation heat beats like a drum
Deep in your veins, I will not lie”

Director Joel Schumacher’s Lost Boys vampire melodrama has strange resemblances to William Keighley’s “Each Dawn I Die” (1939)—the story of a prison love affair between James Cagney and George Raft. Cagney is a reporter who gets framed for murder and imprisoned. While in prison he’s befriended by a hardcore convict vampire who introduces Cagney to the life of vampire romance behind bars.

“Little sister - Thou shall not fall
Come to your brother - Thou shall not die
Unchain me, sister - Thou shall not fear
Love is with your brother - Thou shall not kill”

In Lost Boys II, Jason Patric takes his kid brother, Corey Haim, under his wing and teaches him the ropes of Santa Carla Carpathian carrying-on’s. Pretty soon Haim is deeply involved in the depraved depths of Dracula denouement—and skanky vampiro brotherhood.

Patric takes Corey to the grotto lair seaside cavern—where he himself was initiated into Kiefer Sutherland’s intimate brood of party-time low-lifers. Young naïve “Tiger Beat” heart-throb Haim gets more than he expected—when the vampire anthem “Cry, Little Sister” gets sung in his honor.

“My Shangri-Las
I can't forget
Why you were mine
I need you now”

The lush ‘80s soundtracks and dreamy psychedelic imagery—slide into seductive Null-A Shangri-La updates of Bela Lugosi silent movie haunting Euro-homoerotics and sleek male grace in the grotto.

Not since “Rebel Without A Cause”—has such a drive-in rock “n” roll teenage sexploitation flick evoked such a cult film youth sensibility and troubling performance deep in the darkness of the American night.

Other than James Dean—well, maybe Michael Landon. A troubled Wolfboy—rather than Vampire Kid. Pre-Bonanza suffering teenage angst—and low production values. “I Was A Teenage Werewolf”—cry little brother. Unchain me brother—cry little sister.

Michael Landon sprouts pubes all over his face and primal screams into his shorts—Haim experiences the same thing. Rude embarrassing changes—love is what you’re getting. Cry little brother—unchain me. Transylvanian teenage kid brother—cumly infusions. Vampire hormones—past-life déjà vu delicacies. And once he’s tasted it—cry little sister. Cry—for your brother.

“Cry, little sister - Thou shall not fall
Come to your brother - Thou shall not die
Unchain me, sister - Thou shall not fear
Love is with your brother - Thou shall not kill”

Friday, March 12, 2010

Planet Hollywood

Planet Hollywood

“I was just a horny little
kid, like on drugs, getting
fed drugs, man, by vampires."
—Corey Haim, People Magazine

“Hope heaven is one big
Tiger Beat cover”
—Peter Hartlaub,
San Francisco Chronicle

“Often, as I came up through the
ranks of SF professionals, I had the
instructive experience of meeting the
SF equivalent of Norma Desmond
once idolized writers no longer productive
but still haunting SF conventions for the
sake of the recognition to be wrung from
those who could remember reading their
books. The late Alfred Bester was the
most minatory example.”
—Thomas Disch, Introduction,
The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How
Science Fiction Conquered The World

Waves of schadenfreude passes through Hollywood—like celebritology tsunamis whenever a movie star kicks the bucket. Brittany Murphy, River Phoenix Heath Ledger—and now Corey Haim.

Shocking Hollywood deaths—are as old as celluloid itself. But now the Internet, Google, CNN, MTV, Youtube—as well as the Washington Post and the New York Times for better and sometimes for worse turns their news organizations to take notice. Why the media can't resist Corey Haim, and other celeb deaths—paying a great deal of attention to even a less-than-major movie star makes one wonder.

Well, since the beginning of time, has there been a newspaper, magazine, broadcast network or Web site that doesn't want to beat its competition to the latest big story? It’s not just networks though—it’s the increasing number of entertainment news blogs too. New ways to gauge what readers are reading—or want to be reading.

The Baby Boomers especially—see time slipping by now. When an ‘80s darling like Corey Haim dies—then the one-time avid fans of "The Lost Boys" see themselves connected with his sad demise? Ten or twenty years ago—I doubt if the New York Times or Washington Post would've written about it. So I’m guessing there’s a generational thing going on with the death of Corey Haim. A little bit of us went with him.

Maybe it’s not just the Baby Boomers though—maybe it’s a Planet Hollywood thing too? After all, it took Kenneth Anger two volumes of trashy obits—to get all his generation’s celebritology between a couple of covers in Hollywood Babylon I and II.

But it goes further back than James Dean’s tragic demise I suppose—ever read Nathanael West’s The Day of the Locusts? The way his novel comes to a horrific climax—with a surreal orgy of ‘30s rampant rioting at the premier of some long lost Hollywood film extravaganza. All those disillusioned Depression dreary exiles—ending up in Los Angeles. The City of Lost Angels. Looking for Nirvana—and getting Orwell’s 1984 dystopia instead.

Planet Hollywood seems to still pull all of us—movie stars, the industry, the audience, the media, the Academy Awards—into its nefariously seductive Forbidden Planet orbit. All our hopes, fears and worst Monsters of the Id wishes and expectations—sucked into its Bijou imagination.

The whole Planet Earth—looking for a comeback like Norma Desmond. Corey Haim and all us Lost Boys.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Juvenile Delinquent Science Fiction

Winston Science Fiction Endpaper by Alex Schomburg.

Juvenile Delinquent Science Fiction

“Well, well—
a political pirate!?!”
—Cate Blanchett
Elizabeth The Golden Age

“There are, by now—
many science fictions”
—Thomas M. Disch,
“Dick’s First Novel,”

I suppose Disch is right—now is the time for many science fictions. But for me now—entering Modern Maturity like the decrepit, aging Baby Boomer that I am, well, what can I say?

I’d rather not sound too saccharine or Saturnian maudlin-esque—too melancholy or mushy Martian about my so-called bildungsroman boyhood. After all, I was a rather haughty, headstrong little juvenile delinquent back then.

I didn’t read anything—except comic books, sci-fi mags, Ace double-novels—and the usual mainstream porno like Lady Chatterley’s Lover and ratty pukey Peyton Place.

Back then I was stuck in Teenage Trouble on Titan—I felt like I was Marooned on Moody Mars. Back then I had Eric North’s The Ant Men in my pants—and Jack Vance’s Vandals of the Void were some cute numbers in the showers of my crummy gym class.

Back then is when I lit up—and took a toke Rocket to Luna every chance I got. And then I’d sit in class with my eyes closed—Raymond Jones’ Planet of Light dancing behind my eyelids.

It was just awful—I was going nowhere fast. You know, like Lester Del Rey’s Rockets to Nowhere. It was a time for jizzy jouissance—Jean Genet sucking off Lucien Sénémaud. One of my buddies was the young hoodlum of Cannes—hanging around bored like me by the murky bay of Suquet.

It was a time of being extremely bored—and constantly getting loaded after school. Hanging around the Secret of the Martian Moons—getting Ronnie off in his bedroom. With his sister in the bunkbed above us—ogling down at what I was doing to her cute brother down there.

It was a time for thin-waisted Zombies of the Stratosphere—a time when everyday was scary like the endpapers designed by Alex Schomburg. Back when crummy little Sputnik was beeping away up there in orbit—while I picked my toenails and played with myself in bed at night.

I remember reading Mists of Dawn by Chad Oliver—and taking a time trip back to the strange prehistoric dawn of man. Getting it on with a Neanderthal boy—who had the most primitive gawd-awful taste in the whole world. Worse than Armando—at Azteca.

I didn’t go for Rocket Jockey adventures—or Heinlein’s butchy Space Cadet. I liked Lester del Rey’s Battle on Mercury much better—getting it on with Bryce Walton’s mermaid-boy Sons of the Ocean Deeps.

Kenneth Fagg’s Attack from Atlantis—was kinda faggy but it gave me goosebumps in the showers. When I thought about Philip Latham’s Missing Men of Saturn—I swore none of mine would get away.

I didn’t have time—for The Year After Tomorrow. Alan Nourse’s Trouble on Titan—was the only kind of trouble I was looking for. There’s nothing like giving a guy a rim-job—beneath the beautiful rings of Saturn.

Who need Rockets Through Space—when every day back then was Raymond Jones’ The Year When Stardust Fell. The Secret of the Ninth Planet was mine all mine—and sullen Ben Bova’s nine inches was The Star Conqueror I was looking for bad.


The Lost Boys

The Youngest Vampire

“Look at your reflection in the mirror.
You're a creature of the night Michael,
just like out of a comic book! You're a
vampire Michael! My own brother, a
goddamn, shit-sucking vampire. You
wait 'till mom finds out, buddy!”
—Corey Haim

Corey turns into a vampire too—rather nicely.

It happens rather suddenly and unexpectedly—during the filming of The Lost Boys (1987). You know—during the bathtub scene. When his older brother Jason Patric playing “Michael”—starts feeling the vampire urges. Nothing like having your older brother—as a thirsty bloodsucking famished vampire lover… hot for your body.

Michael comes creeping up the dark stairs—hearing his kid brother singing in the bathtub. The house is dark and lonely—only him and his kid brother are at home. This is soon after Jason has turned Vampire—down there in the evil ocean grotto. Drinking the evil magic potion and getting stoned—turning himself into one of the local shit-sucking Undead.

After coming to the horrible conclusion—Michael hanging down from the rumbling railroad trestle. The train roaring by overhead—him trying to hang on for dear life and struggling not to fall down into the darkness. Until finally he gives up and lets go—becoming one of them. The local Lost Boys—the local beachfront rabid California blood-suckers.

Corey is in the bathtub taking a nice warm bubble-bath that fateful Friday night—playing like a kid with his little rubber ducky. So innocent and human . . . not expecting what was going to happen to him. That night . . . in the bathtub.

Michael comes home and hears his kid brother singing away upstairs in the bathtub—Michael crawls slowly up the staircase. Turning the doorknob slowly—opening the bathroom door to get some… That’s when it happens the first time—Corey is so cute, succulent and chicken.

Michael his vampire older brother—goes for the kid’s pale white throat. What a nice big throbbing Adam's apple. The first suck is always the best suck—the German Shepherd goes skulking down the stairs.

Brotherly love can be so exquisitely touching—especially when your older brother is a vampire. A starved, famished vampire—queer for your nice young bod. Michael drains Corey dry—dry to the wish bone. The bathtub water turns pink—Corey faints from loss of blood.

That’s how the dystopian version of The Lost Boys (1987)—really turned out. A lot more juicy and decadent—than Solarbabies (1986) or Toughlove (1985). Jason going on to play Lord George Gordon Byron—in Roger Corman’s creepy Frankenstein Unbound (1990).

And Corey Haim? The younger vamp brother? Chirpy, irrepressible personality—lopsided grin, impish eyes and jaunty spiked hair? Perfect pin-up cutey-pie?

Forgotten like Bela Lugosi—their successful vampire days gone by. Dead, destitute and broke—dying in the dumpy Oakwood Apartments. Hollywood can be such a cruel Transylvanian Taskmistress—just ask Bela Lugosi or Ed Wood Jr. Tainted love. And Bad Seed . . . Stay away from vampire movies . . .


Corey Haim (23 December 1971 -- 10 March 2019)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Trouble on Titan

Trouble on Titan

“It had been a bad night,
and when he tried to drive
home he had a terrible
argument with his car.”
—Philip K. Dick, The Game-
Players of Titan

The vidscreens were busy with imperial gossip.

The Venusian ambassador was in a tizzy.

“Those tacky Vandals of the Void!!! They’re just ruining my visit to Saturn’s Rings. I don’t know how many times this seems to happen to me. You’d think they’d never seen a transvestite imperial ambassador before. Such crude barbarians…”

The vidscreens were sizzling with the news—it was just a minor interplanetary spat. A minor Tempest in a Titan Teapot…

And yet all the queenly Beltway Bureaucrats in waiting back on Earth were getting terribly upset again—those Ort Cloud gangs and Asteroid Hell’s Angels were just getting simply insufferable lately.

Those butch Vandals of the Void had no diplomatic finesse at all—they didn’t possess even a mere smidgen of decent respect for corporate protocol and Imperial Pepsi precedence.

Her distinguished Planetariness the Venusian ambassador was stuck now way out here in the dreadful Saturnian sticks—on some insufferable Ganymedian foreign outpost out in the middle of nowhere!!!

“Well, get her,” sighed the young Terran lieutenant—a rather stunningly goodlooking bodyguard officer from the contingent of Space Marines assigned to escorting the comings and goings of the various queens and minor princes from the Terran Imperial Court.

Sergeant Jones of the Imperial Sardaukar “Have Spacesuit Will Travel” special commando unit of the Titan Planetary Corporation nodded knowingly in agreement with the effete Lieutenant Flash Gonad—as they both took a break from all the hectic hubbub surrounding the latest queenly flap at the Titan Spaceport.

Passengers were coming and going as usual—just then, for example, a still young looking and extremely vibrant Arnold Schwarzenegger was passing through the inspection shields like in that old skin-flick Total Recall. The retired governor now the Secretary of Space—was simply exhausted after his travails campaigning as Governor Sarah Palin’s running-mate in the latest imperial election back on Terra. He had the time to wink at cute Sergeant Jones though…

Lieutenant Flash wasn’t supposed to be mixing—with local noncommissioned space marines like young Sergeant Jones. But nevertheless he liked to schmooze—with the handsome muscular marine with his smart buzz-cut haircut and smooth smile. Those space marines were all so very butchy—and still somewhat untainted by the usual AC/DC decadence.

After all, young Marines like Jones were descendents of the Imperial Sardaukar—the soldier-fanatics loyal to the Padishah Emperors of House Corrino who’d ruled the Known Universe (the Imperium) for over 10,000 years until the events of the first Galactic Watergate Scandal.

According to the LA Las Vegas Padishah networks, the recent local collapse of the Asteroid Hell’s Angels hegemony had created a toxic environment that had the whole solar system on the verge of a biker war.

"Tensions are extremely high ... Violence is imminent," a veteran Imperial Sardaukar spokesperson with extensive knowledge of the organized Solar lotteries and the latest Ort Cloud crime scene reported last night. Newly released palace Emails obtained yesterday by FOX-News and the Las Vegas Free Press—were quite embarrassing. Especially for TPTB—there on troubled Titan.

A spokesperson for VLADIMIR HARKONNEN, commonly referred to as Baron Harkonnen whose title was officially Siridar (Saturnian governor) Baron—explained in detail why TPTB believed the relative calm of the past few months was about to be broken. Including evidence of gang members stockpiling weapons in preparation—to take out their rival "by any means necessary."

As everybody that’s anybody knows—Vladimir Harkonnen was the direct-line male descendant of the Bashar Abulurd Harkonnen who was banished for cowardice after the Battle of Blowjob after the Black Star fiasco. The return of the House to power (generally ascribed to adroit manipulation of the recent Spice Wall Street Market crash)—later made possible the Interplanetary Ponzi Consolidation of all the fake Martian gold floating around along with the new influx of Venusian Mélange wealth from Earth’s desert-world sister planet now known as Crackis-Arrakis.

Imperial Sardaukar spies say a pair of newly arrived Nexus droid gangs are at the center of the brewing battle on Titan—as they try to fill the "vacuum" created by a major imperial undercover sting operation dubbed "Project PUSH" that ended last December. Police used a simpering faggot career criminal turned secret agent—to infiltrate the grimly determined hyper-hetero Asteroid Hell’s Angels gang, resulting in the arrests of dozens of high-ranking potentates, droid members and simulant associates. The gangster robots—were all in tizzy.

Imperial Sardaukar guards say every member of the Asimov Crew—the Asteroid Hell’s Angels’ so-called "puppet club"—has escaped into the Ort Cloud Void. While only a handful of Asteroid Hells Angels are being held captive—in suspended animation Deep Freeze in secret Guacamole Bay seclusion site way out there on cold faraway Pluto where they most certainly belong to freeze to death forever!!! With the demand for Spice as high as ever—the criminal underworld on Titan has been thrown into turmoil.

“Those Imperial Sardaukar are such swishy swine,” complained the Guild Navigator worms writhing in their tanks of spice gas. They were the ones most worried by this latest little douchebag spat—since they depended on extremely huge aerosolized dosages of the Spice inhalant as a mutagen for their practice as Guild Navigators. They were going into withdrawal.

On the other hand, the space worms had their Beltway detractors and Terran imperial critics—like digusted Lieutenant Flash and the all the other Imperial courtesians back in the Potomac Pothole.

“You should just see them,” Lieutenant Flash complained bitterly, flipping his limp wrist at the cute Sardaukar Sergeant Jones. “Those ugly tacky swirming Navigator worms. Lollygagging and luxuriating in their decadent tanks of spice gas—like wiggly, elongated courtesans, only vaguely humanoid. With their Sheherazade tits and hugely fanned membranous mermaid sleazy lips—they’re simply disgusting, you know, my dear Sergeant.”

Lieutenant Flash leaned closer and squeezed Sergeant Jones’ bulging biceps rather too knowingly and salacously. Sergeant Jones looked around quickly—making sure there were no Imperial Sardaukar DADT spies hanging around. He reached for his blaster-gun—and snarled like a German Sheperd at the nervous inopportune gay lieutenant. Rough trade vibes—slithered up and down his sleek Venus-torso. It turned on the louche Lieutenant—immensely.

The Navigators of the Spacing Guild—depended upon Mélange for the heightened awareness and the prescient ability to see safe wormholes through space-time. This allowed them to navigate the gigantic Guild Shell-Exxon-Chevron-BP-ConocoPHillips-Occidental-XTO-Suncor heighliners between planets and star systems.

The Navigators were rumored to be mutated Beltway Lobbyists—who enjoyed being the center of power and attention. Mélange gave these Worm Men a longer life span, greater vitality and heightened lobbyist skills. Without these prescience-enhanced Lobbyist Worms—interplanetary and interstellar Travel & Commerce would not be possible. Mélange came with a steep price, however—it was addictive and withdrawal was fatal.

Not without reason was the spice called—"the Secret Coinage” of Imperial Commerce. Without Mélange, the Spacing Guild's heighliners couldn’t move an inch. Mélange precipitated the "navigation trance"—by which Translight Pathways could be "seen" before being traveled through.

Without Mélange and its amplification of the human immunogenic eidetic imagining system—life expectancy for the very rich Lobbyists would degenerate rather quickly. They’d be reduced to mere wheeling and dealing in the Beltway—letting themselves be bought off by the highest bidder. And then in turn, selling their Masters—to the rubes and minions of the Milky Way Express. Even the vast middle class of the Imperium—drank diluted Mélange in small squirtlings with at least one or two cocktails or highballs each starry night.

Even the Bene Gesserit queens and Fremen riffraff used the stuff—for their clairvoyant and precognitive trances. Accessing archetypal genetic memories like Miss Proust—and heightening their precog powers with Monsters of the Id entertainments.

But it was a poison—even the Asteroid Hell’s Angels and Uranian Bikers knew that. The problem was, though—that once you got addicted to the spice, there was no turning back. It was a poison—so subtle, so insidious . . . so irreversible. Eventually you’d end up—looking like the Worms. Locked inside a tank of Mélange gas—all dressed up and nobody to blow.

"The Uranian Bikers have been attempting to establish a foothold—in the Imperial Province of Metaluna due to the sudden hubbub of PUSH. Members of the Uranian Bikers had been capitalizing on the fact—that the Asteroid Hell’s Angels members and supporters are playing low-profile around the solar system—not 'flying' their colors throughout the Imperial City of Poughkeepsie, not wanting to enrage members of the Mars-Manitoba Hells Angels," the Las Vegas High Times reported in a recent vidscreen story.

The Uranian Bikers had a long history with the Hell’s Angels in the Regulus-Quebec sector of the Known Galaxy—especially during the 2090s, when dozens of Star Fleet and Imperial Sardaukar newly arrived Nexus droid gang members were killed. But they were new to Winnipeg and Topeka…

The Asteroid Hell’s Angels responded quickly—despite their diminished state, according to our sources. Two long-time members of the gang assembled a new group in January to stand up to Uranian Biker members Mélange monopoly.

The "Leather Queens Rough Trade Support Crew" was comprised entirely of imposing handsome butchy unemployed bored young men—who were free in the community and had previously shown their allegiance to the Asteroid Hell]s Angels—at least informally behind closed garage doors in bed.

The Leather Queens Rough Trade Support Crew made their first big impression in mid-January—when they allegedly attacked a Uranian Biker member who’d been lured to a backroom of some dumpy auto repair shop that had connections to the Hells Angels. It wasn’t pretty—what they did to him. A bootleg snuff version won the Academy Awards back on Terra—for best CGI special effects. What the Hollywood audience didn’t realize was—all the exquisite special effects were all, well, au naturel.
The Imperial Sardaukar soldier-fanatics had been loyal to the Padishah Emperors of House Corrino— who’ve ruled the Known Universe (the Imperium) for over 10,000 years. At least until Miss Frances Herbert—started leaking the shocking events of the futural past in his first space opera novel, Dune. Shame on her—getting that Space Opera jive going again. Van Vogt must be turning in his grave—along with all the aging Baby Boomers of Lord Campbell’s Astounding Fantasy and Science Fiction golden days.
The key to the Dune Space Opera and the Imperial throne, as any dummy Terran dimwit knows—is of course the Sardaukar Troops, the foremost soldiers in the Known Universe and feared by all the cringing inhabitants in the Pulp Fiction Planet itself.
As we all know, my dears, all the various and sundry sci-fi writers from Miss Heinlein all the way to Dictator Disch—they’ve all been secretly trained on the devastated Salusa Secundus the Imperial Prison Planet. The harsh literary critic conditions there—ensured that only the strongest and most "ferocious" sci-fi writers survived.
It is noted of Salusa and that despised training planetoid dump of Camp Concentration—that the mortality rate among sci-fi writers is higher than sixty per cent. Sardaukar training emphasizes— ruthlessness, near-suicidal disregard for personal safety, and the use of cruelty as a standard weapon in order to weaken readers with fear and loathing as well as fantasy horror heebie-jeebies.
In Dune, a Sardaukar Author sneers at Dr. Yueh's mere mention of the word "pity." Of the elite sci-fi cognoscenti, it is noted that "The commonest Sardaukar author lives a life, in many respects, as exalted as that of any member of a Great House. Their uniforms are described as gray with silver and gold trim. Although they’ve been known—to dress in rags and live in garrets. Biding their time—until now.
One small point—for those of you trained in the esteemed and uppity Bene Gesserit weirding way. There are many machines on Ix—new machines. You betcha, kimosabe. Better than those—on Richese. But not as good as those on Titan.

But then, who am I?

I’m simply a very minor unimportant Third-Stage Guild Navigator—youngest son of the Emperor Shaddam IV. I am not here—I did not say what I said.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Solar Lottery

Solar Lottery

“All roads and
all spacelanes
led to Batavia.”
—Philip K. Dick,
Solar Lottery

1 Like Ubik, Solar Lottery—presents a world of systematic and ironic reversals.

2 Like van Vogt’s The World of Null-A—Solar Lottery opens up with a test.

3 In both books a down-and-out-hero is on his way to what seems to be—a cross between a final exam and a job interview.

4 Essentially van Vogt writes “space operas”—dealing in a fairy-tale form of wish fulfillment.

5 The skeleton plot is—the Brave Little Tailor and a hundred fairy tales besides.

6 Solar Lottery is about a crime—that must be carried out despite a corps of telepathic guards.

7 How can you plan with teeps, para-kineticists, precogs, resurrectors and animators around?

8 They find out your every strategy. They discover you as soon as you begin playing.

9 Well, how about a prefrontal lobotomy?

10 Well, that’s rather stultifying, dontcha think?

11 Or you could act randomly so your opponent can find out nothing about you—because even you don’t know what you’re going to do.

12 How about anti-precog functions?

13 You know, like some life form preying on the Psis—like the Psis prey on the Norms?

14 Predator and prey—an eternal anti-talent system?

15 Any other kinds of anti-precog functions?

16 You know—does a precog see a variety of futures?

17 Laid out side by side—like cells in a beehive?

18 For him—one has greater luminosity. He picks it.

19 Once he picks it—the anti-precog can do nothing.

20 The anti-precog has to be present…

21 When the precog is in the process of deciding.

22 Not after.

23 The anti-precog makes all futures seem equally real to the precog.

24 He aborts his talent—to choose at all.

25 A precog—is instantly aware.

26 When an anti-precog is nearby.

27 Because his entire relation to the future—is altered.

28 In the case of telepaths—a similar impairment.

29 The anti-precog—goes back in time.

30 The precog affected—still sees one predominant future.

31 One luminous possibility.

32 And he chooses it—and he’s right.

33 But why is he right? Why is it luminous?

34 Because that one luminous possibility—is luminous because the anti-precog has gone into the past and changed it.

35 By changing it—the anti-precog changes the present.

36 Which includes the precog.

37 The precog’s affected without knowing it

38 And his talent seems to be working.

39 Whereas it really isn’t. Or doesn’t.

40 So that’s the advantage—of the anti-talent teep.

41 Over other anti-precog talents.

42 The other—and greater anti-precog—can cancel out the precog’s decision after he’s made it.

43 The anti-precog can enter the situation later on.

44 This problem has always hung us up—as you know.

45 If we didn’t get in there—from the start…

46 We couldn’t do anything.

47 In a way—we never could truly abort the precog ability.

48 As we’ve done with others, right?

49 Hasn’t that always been the weak link?

50 Not going back in time.

51 Doing something else instead.

52 Knowing how to change the past—but not going into the past.

53 Not time-traveling—the way you think it’s done.

54 How does an anti-precog change the past?

55 One thinks about it—one specific aspect of it.

56 Such as one incident—something somebody said.

57 Or a little thing that happened.

58 That one might wish hadn’t happened.

59 Like in your childhood—breaking something.

60 Maybe a ceramic antique statue.

61 That your father valued and treasured.

62 Your father foresees it happening.

63 With his precog ability.

64 He foresees it—and punishes you.

65 A week before you break the statue.

66 He says it was inevitable.

67 (You know the precog talent.)

68 (They can foresee—but they can’t change anything.)

69 Then after the statue is broken—

70 After you break it—

71 You brood about it—

72 You think for a whole week ahead of time—

73 When you don’t get any desert—

74 And you have to go to be at five P.M.—

75 You think Christ—or whatever kids think—

76 Isn’t there some way—this event could be averted?

77 Your father’s precog ability—

78 It doesn’t seem very spectacular to you—

79 Since he can’t alter events—

80 You feel perhaps a sort of contempt for him—

81 You spend a month—trying to will it

82 That damn statue—back into one piece

83 In your mind—you keep going back

84 Back to before—it broke

85 Imagining what it—had looked like

86 Which was awful—it was a tacky statue

87 And then one morning—you get up

88 You even dreamed about it—the night before

89 And there it is—just like it used to be

90 But neither of your parents—notice anything

91 It seems perfectly normal to them—

92 The statue—is in one piece

93 They think—it’s always been in one piece

94 You’re the only one—who remembers

95 Talent and anti-talent fields—deform each other

96 That’s what Ubik—is all about

97 It’s cutthroat business—just ask PKD

98 “Don’t you remember—me taking off my clothes?”

99 “Taking off your clothes—what do you mean?”

100 “You don’t remember, right?”

101 “What did I do? Refuse to test you?”

102 “You mumbled something about—me having overrated my anti-talent.”

103 “I don’t remember.”

104 “That’s because—it was another present.”

105 (Pat smiles at Joe—her Ubik anti-talent dawning on him)

106 “I eradicated it”—she says.

107 Forget the test.

108 The talent is unique—you can’t measure the field it produces.”

109 It’s in the past—and you’re testing the present. Which simply takes place—as an automatic consequence. Comprehende, kimosabe?

110 Anti-psi field—unique in scope?

111 Can probably negate—any assembly of precogs?

112 What are implications—of anti-psi fields
for winning ΞVΞ games?

113 Anticipating other corporate alliance’s moves?

114 Simulating the present—before it happens?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Notes on ΞVΞ and PKD

Notes on ΞVΞ and PKD

“Willing to trust our powers
of improvisation untempered
by powers of retrospection
and analysis”—Thomas Disch,
“The Embarrassments of
Science Fiction,” On SF

1 Eve’s "Space Opera" plot—two corporate alliances at war with each other...

2 The Eve Spaceship carrier, fighter drone designs & styles—similar to PKD's “Solar Lottery” pulp fiction cover art.

3 "Solar Lottery" appearing in 1955—as half of a thirty-five-cent Ace Double Novel. Pulp fiction nostalgia for the future.

4 The cover art in various editions—asking itself the question: To what degree is it permitted to depart from the established pulp fiction ‘50s ceremonies of the Ace Double novel?

5 "Solar Lottery"—as PKD’s journeyman "space opera."

6 Later as his sci-fi oeuvre grew—PKD’s novels making the proletarian pulp of Hammett, Chandler, Van Vogt and Spillane look like mandarin poetry.

7 “Solar Lottery” as Van Vogt’s best book—in the sense that Philip K. Dick transcends “Slan” and “The World of Null-A” making a super-rich multinational interplanetary corporation possible.

8 "World of Null-A” making a super-rich multinational interplanetary corporation not only possible...but probable.

9 Money making interplanetary corporate alliances possible—space operas shoring up the economic power of the galaxy.

10 The underlying assumptions of pairing Bad Guy golem-doubles with Good Guy directors and protagonists was a Van Vogt-PDK plot device—like Kier Gray and Jommy Cross paired with John Petty in “Slan,” Gilbert Gosseyn paired with the Thorston gang in “The World of Null-A,” Gosseyn paired with Eldred Crang in “The Players of Null-A,” and Reese Verrick paired with his sub-villain Herb Moore in “Solar Lottery.”

11 Eve seems to work along the same Good Guy/Bad Guy plot lines—pairing super-rich multiplanetary corporation alliances against each other.

12 Can Eve go beyond such PKD pairing of "late capitalism" golem/supermen power-plays, this clever disguised and translated version of Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth’s “The Space Merchants” (1953)?

13 Transcendence—whether it’s possible, what it feels like, and whether that feeling ultimately represents wishful thinking or some larger reality?

14 Which prevails—the feeling ultimately that represents wishful thinking or some larger reality?

15 Or the rationalistic denial of the ultimate reality of transcendent experience and a still ironic celebration of the brute fact of it?

16 Does strict stellar dialectical orthodoxy—or revisionism work in late capitalism gaming?

17 For example, does Eve celebrate people with skill in their hands—not their heads?

18 Is game-playing a craft—as the Shakers say “Hands to work and hearts to God.”

19 Is Eve—coup de théátre?

20 A sensational bit of game-playing stagecraft?

21 Based on dramatic surprises and sudden unexpected events?

22 Is Eve based on skill in writing and staging game-playing events?

23 Is Eve a presentation for the vidscreen like Youtube, film or TV—“have you seen the new production of Hamlet?”

24 Is Eve like a highly successful theatrical production—the production of a drama on the internet?

25 How is Eve—like the world of a PKD novel?

26 Do robotic drone-fighters have greater emotional suasion—since they’re simulacrum creatures of flesh and blood? Essentially cyborgs—cybernetic monads obeying laws of a mechanistic creation?

27 Do Eve fighter ‘androids’ dream?

28 “Solar Lottery” asks such questions—even before PDK wrote Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

29 Is Eve like Scheherazade?

30 Is Eve’s commitment to an aesthetic of game-playing process the focus of her Art?

31 Is whatever we play—what she writes?

32 Do we improvise—rather than compose?

33 Thereby making our experience of the creative process—the focus of Eve’s game?

34 Is this the wager of Scheherazade?

35 That Scheherazade be interesting and authentic absolutely all the time?

36 That this tradition of the improvised jazz-like novel—is as old and honorable as the Flaubertian idea of “novel-as-game-playing” that presently holds sway in genre intelligentsia circles and academe?

37 That the sheer fecundity of game-playing—despite its dull patches, days when the computer refuses to flow like spice—is what makes Eve remarkable?

38 That Eve is a novel—the overflow of an authorial ludic impulse?