Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'm full of non-sequitors because I can't be bothered linking one thought to the next, well maybe I can. You're worth it...

Recent events include a staging of The Golf Wars at La Mama, directed by Tom Nondorf, which was in time for Election Day, when the tied election tide decisively turned.

I suggest before writing a redundant new play, a festival of the last decade of plays with music, such as they are, to get a fuller picture of the joyous magical world we live in.

Our performance of the song Chimney Flu/Heigh Ho worked well with the New York Composers Circle concert deep within the depths of the Baruch Performing Arts Center. Piano, voice and electric guitar played by Roger Blanc, each, had notated independent lines and accompaniments, just like in earlier songs.

I see I'll be a master of ceremonies of sorts for the Lambs Holiday party.

This world is so big, and the City keeps filling. Apparently, and additionally, there are universes beyond it.

I wonder how terrorized I've felt and how injurious of myself I've been to balance and take command of that feeling.

Trust in humanity and think for yourself. Put your joyous life first.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Now through a circuitous circuit, I am reading the short stories of Carson McCullers, called "Seven" after her recognition of the effectiveness of the number by her character, Miss Amelia.

Many great writing samples may already be familiar to you; the one I want to include here (from "Sojourner") describes a Bach prelude and fugue. "The prelude was as gaily iridescent as a prism in a morning room. The first voice of the fugue, an announcement pure and solitary, was repeated intermingling with a second voice and again repeated within an elaborated frame, the multiple music, horizontal and serene, flowed with unhurried majesty. The principal melody was woven with two other voices, embellished with countless ingenuities - now dominant, again submerged, it had the sublimity of a single thing that does not fear surrender to the whole."

Yes, that describes us-all in the universe!

So the free Friday Target Museum of Modern Art night included, along with the closing of the Dada exhibit, a screening of "Reflections in a Golden Eye," a shockingly technicolor print in one of the only two familiar rooms left in that museum, the basement screening room atop the super submerged 5th avenue subways. I saw the first hour of that.

And I still carry the memory of the last two reels of "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" in James Wong Howe's technicolor cinematography. It occurred to me that an author is the progenitor of these unique visions. Tennessee Williams films are their own genre; perhaps the same is true of Ms. McCullers.

Colleen McCullough, the Thorn Birds, no, I can't be so lucky as to have a book by McCullers, oh, there it is, the 35 cent Bantam Giant with the cover of tall woman leading the hunchback up the stairs, some figures in red behind her....the act of my reading it destroying its brittle paper.

The Baghdad Cafe? No, the lead story is "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe." Was she too rejecting and controlling? It looked like a delicate balance existed for a time, and that was a good time for the town... It was all so infinitely relatable in its strangeness...

Edward Albee wrote the play?

I read it on the bus to West Point. Was West Point the setting for "Reflections in a Golden Eye?" This is my circuitous route to the great writing of Carson McCullers.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I suppose this post has spoiler potential for those of you eagerly about to read Willa Cather's short story, "Paul's Case," and, yes, do so without delay.

Please consider yourself warned.

On the subway I paged through the 1936 edition of Burrell and Cerf's Bedside Book of Famous American Stories. Willa Cather wrote "Paul's Case." It is one of the 67 stories in the collection and I read it with great illumination as I already had a fondness for Madame Bovary. I remember spending an adolescence feeling as misplaced as Paul ("There's no one quite so worthy of the way I feel."). To his credit he didn't make a fool of himself rightfully settled into the Waldorf with his stolen loot. When money ran low he even took the train toward home, but this I cannot condone... and I doubt she did, although she did write the story... he saw fit to accelerate his body's inevitable demise. End of story.


There was a woman last night outside of the Theatre for the New City sitting on the corner of East 10th and 1st as the light rain fell pleasantly upon us. She was equipped with a bag containing a gallon of gin. According to the theatre manager, the fellow she attended the theatre with, thanks to complimentary tickets, may have run off after injuring her. She could not put standing pressure on one of her legs. Was it broken? She sat back down. I called 911. She took gulps from the bottle. One of the attendants in the Beth Israel ambulance that arrived promptly, greeted her familiarly... Hi, Peg.

It was only 11:30 PM. I used to love sitting in on the midnight plays running at Theatre for the New City in the 1980's when it was on 2nd Avenue and East 10th. The most familiar memory I can share is that of Ethel Eichelberger playing accordion.

As for the Cather story, money can cost so much emotion that, having undergone the trauma of acquiring it, you will be truly gifted to relax and enjoy the doubtful luxuries it can purchase.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Question to self:
Peter, you obsessive troll, what are you doing outside of the bubble of comical musical visual melodrama?

I'm reconciling subjective and objective realities.

Question 2 to self:
Do you promise to help and do no harm?

Haven't I been?

Question 2 to self repeated:
Do you promise?


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dear everyone, If I can't write about it, everything gets me annoyed.

I visited the Uniformed Firefighters Association building last night for a TV spot with James Chladek, thanks to my personable trivia expert friend, John Barbieri, and had the pleasure of 15 minutes of Mr. Chladek's company before a well run set of studio cameras. Good work, guys! I talked about whatever is going on lately, my collaborations with the East Village Antifolk Fest, Sharon Fogarty's Flying Dreams at Manhattan Theatre Source, the visit to Guild Hall with Bruce Jay Friedman, and of course my being forced to vacate or buy my apartment of 17 years...

"We will never sell, only rent," has become, "we will never rent, only sell."

Well, it's a buyer's market.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"I Hope the Day Is Soon"

I luxurate in generalized anxiety. I'm anxious for something to happen, anxious throughout a lifetime, for something to happen -- the anxiousness is while it doesn't... The anxiousness happens while the happening doesn't, though a life time. It finally happened! Anxiety fulfilled.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

There are some things men do that women don't do and some things women do that men don't do and there are some things that people just don't do.

"This is an empty room."
"But there's a pink elephant in this room."
"Oh, that..."

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Daniel Keyes wrote Flowers for Algernon and Alexander Key wrote The Forgotten Door, among other novels. Flowers for Algernon began as a short story, available since 1959. I so looked forward to the expanded novel. It (the short story) was in a book with a ferris wheel on the cover, which also contained August Heat and The Monkey's Paw, and some story about climbing a gas tank and the title story about the disappearance of a daughter on the ferris wheel, she with the delicate condition that she kept pressuring her father to worry less about. Yes, I recommend that story collection.

The idea that intelligence is what we need to appreciate art stemmed from Flowers for Algernon. Of course I saw a portion of the Cliff Robertson film on TV this evening.

Night in Funland And Other Stories from Literary Cavalcade ed. Jerome Brondfield (Scholastic Book Services TK1056, 1968, 75¢, 238pp, pb)
7 • Foreword • Jerome Brondfield • fw
13 • Night in Funland • William Peden • ss The New Mexico Quarterly Win ’60
26 • Four O’Clock • Price Day • ss AHMM Apr ’58
32 • August Heat • William F. Harvey • ss Midnight House and Other Tales, J.M. Dent, 1910
39 • The Vertical Ladder • William Sansom • ss Good Housekeeping Nov ’46
57 • The Sea Gulls • Elias Venezis • ss Atlantic Monthly Jun ’55
67 • Antaeus • Borden Deal • ss The Southwest Review Spr ’61
83 • Exchange of Men • Howard Nemerov & W. Ryerson Johnson • ss Story Jan ’63
102 • Flowers for Algernon • Daniel Keyes • nv F&SF Apr ’59
145 • One Ordinary Day, with Peanuts • Shirley Jackson • ss F&SF Jan ’55
161 • The Most Dangerous Game • Richard Edward Connell • nv Colliers Jan 19 ’24
191 • Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket • Jack Finney • nv Colliers Oct 26 ’56
215 • As Best He Can • Geoffrey Household • ss, 1958
219 • Too Early Spring • Stephen Vincent BenĂ©t • ss The Delineator Jun ’33