Friday, December 15, 2006

Cold Ruin

I did three six foot paintings today and all were exceptional. It is hard to sell two of them since I know I will never duplicate them, even if I wanted to. One was an off the cuff abstract that I carved "cold ruin" into. The other a blue drip with rusts and reds and greens and a bit of purple underneath. The effect I got with this one is that in parts it resembles a kind of pointilism, the striation of dripped paint crossing and recrossing over the droplets having a magnificent effect. I will list them on ebay tomorrow.

Life is nice here in Quartzsite and J is writing again. In two days she had written over seven thousand words of her new novel in progress and it promises to be a good one. I myself am thirty five thou into mine but the writing has turned sporadic with the arrival of our canvas rolls since all my energy is going into painting and taking care of things around the rv cum studio cum gallery. It is nice to sit out here in the tent that is attached to the rv, a ten by twenty, pole and tarpaulin, and write, a breeze blowing and traffic flying by on the highway nearby.

I am happy in my gypsy digs, happy to be painting and writing and walking our dogs in the desert, in love with my wife, a stormy romance from the beginning but always ballasted with the bedrock chemicals of mutual attraction.

So what if love is just a chemical reaction? After all, what is a chemical when broken down to its smallest particle? Once again infinite.

Gradually we are fixiing little things here and there on Jodie's Revenge. Like the shower and water heater, both working beautifully so that sitting in my own little bathroom taking a hot shower I am happier than I have ever been taking a shower. Our little home on wheels is quite cozy with the little bedroom in back that, when the red curtain is pulled shut, in its dark fakewood veneer, reminds me of a pullman car.

The fridge still doesn't work but that is next on the list of to do's. For now it makes a nice and much needed pantry.

Love to the world and you gentle reader.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Steven Hoadley is Gone

One of the most promising writers of my time died, this year, March sometime. I don't know how he died or where or why but last night I was up late, depressed, and wanted a story to pick me up so punched in the name of my favorite recent writers, Steven Hoadley, and noticed an epitath in SoMa mag. He had really only barely begun to scratch the surface of the short story and poem and I could sense he was breaking into his stride in the long form but now that is all gone and we have lost what would have been one of the best writers of our age. Fuck all the lit rock star boys and girls, Hoadley wasn't going to be picked up easy but it was only a matter of him surviving and he would have made it. His talent would have taken him there. It's hard to think of a writer with his sensitivity and instinct having to grind at a construction job during the day and steal what moments he could in the night to write, since there is barely enough energy left to read.

I mourned last night thinking about him and how little is known of him and how he left only a handful of exceptional poetry and stories...I had just watched a very bad movie called Bad Santa, which probably started off with a good story about a drunk who was forced to play Santa Claus every year, no doubt because of some resemblence, thinking, yes this was a good story and they took it and performed their hollywood chainsaw surgery and turned it into another hamfisted humor crime caper. The original writer must cringe whenever it is mentioned, and I hope he got enough with the option to make it worthwhile. But most likely not.

So it goes for our writers, the best, like Hoadley, die unknown, punching a clock, getting punched by a clock, or they feed into the Hollywood vein which is where all writing ends up these days and where all writers end up best.

Who is to blame? Certainly not the average person who barely has enough time to do the neccessary things to survive and who, in a state of physical and mental exhaustion chooses a movie over a book. And why choose a book anyway since all recent fiction is pretty much written with a movie option in mind? I don't know. It bothered me that Ethan and Joel Coen's name's were attached to the Bad Santa movie, since it implies that they no longer give a fuck about making good movies. But they aren't to blame. They've no doubt become accustomed to the lifestyle of the very rich and when they saw such a brilliant classic like Lebowski flop at the box they probably tossed in the towel.

One thing I can't understand though is why more actors and directors and actors who want to direct, don't see talents like Hoadley and scoop them from the gutter, help them out with the greatest gift a writer can have beyond experience--food, drink and a quiet place to write. Most of them, Jarmusch comes to mind, have no business behind the fucking keyboard.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

"Material Girl"

I got up at three am to write--not out of some dramatic Spartan work ethic like Thomas Mann whose early rises and cold showers before he wrote have made him legend to a few college kids who take survey lit courses--because I went to bed too early.

We had had a kind of hectic day moving from our desert spot that was day by day becoming not so deserted with the encroaching mammoth bread shaped steel summer homes on wheels, to our new spot in the heart of Quartzsite, in the little fenced in area of vendors with a pizza trailer and a lunch trailer at the front, both gleaming clean, the former silver, the latter red. When we discovered that it was $60.00 (a

month!) to set up and vend, with only $75.00 extra for a full hook-up, of course we couldn’t pass it up. Especially since the cheapest full hookup rv park is $275 per month.

When the woman next to us found out how cheap it was she said, “I’ll find something to sell.” She is set up with some of her bone and turquoise handmade jewelry, along with an assortment of yard sale type items that span her and her extended family’s two small rv’s.

So, up at three am I slipped into my cold jean jacket and walked over to the Pilot for some coffee and smokes.

The older woman behind the register at the Pilot was quietly singing along to "Material Girl" while I waited in line to pay for my coffee. A heavyset black man was ahead of me. He wore an amused expression.

“You okay?” he asked.

She glanced up at him. “If I was okay, I wouldn’t be here.”

Good for her. What a prick to say that. People show a little joy and the world thinks there is something wrong with them. Work Beast mentality. Maybe it ruined his idea of Madonna in his mind. I hope so. The next time he beats off to her in the shower I hope Material Granny is there for him.

Hank has been acting funny, in pain but slightly disoriented, but that could be due to pain. We searched his body last night thinking it could be his hips going but found no tender spot. It is alarming to see him in pain and be able to do nothing to help the little guy.

On to the real work. My novel is nearly half finished. It’s a good one and maybe has a chance of getting looked at since the first chapter was already published.