Monday, January 08, 2007

Obituary


On the night Diantha Caryophyllus died, the weatherman was prediction one or another kind of disaster for Vancouver.

Diantha Caryophyllus died in Newmarket, Ontario of frostbite, in her eleventh month, wich included an unnaturally warm January during which time Diantha thrived and garlanded herself with dark-red flowers to the very end.

Diantha Cryophyllus, also knowns as The Carnation--And Reincarnation (she kept flowering well into January), was of Spanish aristocratic background, with a lineage that goes back to Greek ceremonial crowns.

During her life, she was often invited to grand dances by men in white sports coats.She was everybody's symbol of romance.

Carnation is survived by three garlic plants, which are symbols of Ukraine's national flower for one Ukrainian named Ivan, who grew both the carnation and the garlic, the latter not yet succumbing to the sudden cold.

"Garlic good," said Ivan.

"But Carnation's death has led to disintegration. I have a separation anxiety," Ivan moaned.

"I loved Diantha, all through December and into January. Diantha was deceived to the very end, thinking it was still August.


Funeral services for Diantha Caryophyllus will be held on Ivan's third-floor balcony, where Ivan will perform an eulogy from "Bittersweet," by Noel Coward.

The eulogy refers to "the love that dare not speak its name" between Oscar Wilde and Lord Albert Douglas, or "Bosie" to that inventor of the original Gay Nineties.

"Nothing gay about my relationship with Diantha," said Ivan.

Diantha was female, he insisted.

"I am not queer," he said, scratching himself with one finger.

42 comments:

Josie said...

Oh, noooo, did Diantha die? Oh, I'm so sorry.

You know, I had a red Gerbera daisy that I was very fond of, and I used to talk to her and thank her for being so beautiful, and I grieved when she died.

My condolences.

Josie

ivan said...

Heh

leslie said...

Well written! Poor Diantha! :(

ivan said...

Hi Leslie.

Thanks.

Ivan

JM said...

A balcony carnation passes on, petals drifting to the concrete floor...
Meanwhile, green buds are appearing on the lilacs and to the east of the house (usually so cold this time of year) a daffodil has struggled up into the wan sunlight, lured by warmth that is, one fears, like an e-mail offer of riches from a Nigerian banker. False warmth, false Spring. I am uneasy about this.

ivan said...

Yes Jeff.
Seems that a green Christmas is not always a good portent.

I sure like the way you write; certainly not news to you.
Write more. I wanna larn somethin'.

ivan said...

Josie,
I knows Shasta daisies.
I know wild daisies. I have spaded them out of hillsides, the holus bolus soon sprouting and beautifying my balcony and keeping the aphids off.
I don't think I could identify a red Gerbera daisy, though I am sure it was a beutiful one--your artistic eye.
Ah, our lady of the flowers. We grieve for the flowers.

Ivan

Thank you.

Josie said...

Ivan, I have sent you a picture of a Gerbera daisy.

Cheers,
Josie

ivan said...

Got the pic, thanks, Josie.

Truly lovely.

Looking forward to your painting of same.

Ivan

ivan said...

Damn, damn and double damn.
Tried to comment on Elizabeth's blog and Jaye's and hit snag again.
Now Microsoft is acting up, as I have lost(temporarily, I hope) my sitemeter.
What in hell are we going to do if war comes? Back to chisel and stone?

EA Monroe said...

Hi Ivan. I'm good with stone and chisel. I work for The Pharaoh at The Pyramid Company afterall.

Oh, maybe I should learn how to send up smoke signals, King-o-sabbie. They finally let me out to play.

H.E.Eigler said...

I LOVED this - you should submit it. Somewhere funky,online, maybe Yankee Pot Roast or Opium.

Fantastic.

H

ivan said...

Hey Liz, do they give you any straw for brick- making over there?
Used to really tick off the Isrealites when they couldn't get any.
What, no straw for the bricks?

Rameses II may have said, "If I give you straw, you'll just set fires and make smoke signals."

And to the overseer of pyramid-builders, "I wish you didn't drink while you're driving."

Crack!

Heh

ivan said...

Thank you, Heather!

A friend named Aaron publishes a lot of my stuff online, though his is a general-interest, youth-oriented blog.
I'll have to look into Yankee Pot Roast and Opium
I am considering a large-circulation print broadsheet suburban paper to publish the story in, but it might be just a tad too funky for them. Yes.

Oh if we only had the old New York Magazine (not New Yorker) publishing good romans a' clef again! They had appeared to stop publishing any fiction at all in about l975.
And their reviews of art by Richard B. Hess! Especially on the Caravaggio display in New York in those days. Josie (above) would have loved them.
I seem to have good luck in publishing my stuff in my local newspaper, but am having terrible luck in Toronto and New York.
...Not a peep out of Douglas Rushkoff, famous near-McLuhanite prof in NYC; he said he'd help if he could.
But what support from MAD Magazine!
Said Willie Elder, famous old EC illustrator, "You are one of us."
But the he added the famous Grouche Marx line: "I wouldn't want to be part of any club that would have me as a member."

HooHah!

Thanks again for the appreciation, Heather.

ivan said...

p.s. to Heather.

You have inspired me. Once again!

I think I will send the piece somewhere.

Thanks,

Ivan

R.J. Baker said...

Pretty boys, witty boys,
You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation ...
And as we are the reason
For the Nineties being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.

But I like that it is the symbol of the 1974 Portugese Revolution...

ivan said...

Thanks, R.J.
We get comments from all over.
I liked the comment on your blog, about Pluto being disenfranchised as a self-repecting planet.

Now it's just a piece of rock.

Gottendammerung!

I insist Pluto is a planet,, I mean, like Christmas is Christmas.
And Pluto is a children's rhyme from my youth.

Doing some research in antique washrooms in Pompeii, before the fly ash got that poor city, I found some
catty note to the effect of
"Tibulsus eats it."

I think present-day cosmologists eat it! My personal porn for the scientists of our day.

Pluto is a planet. Ask Walt Disney!
His dog knows his master'r voice.
Einstein was brilliant.
But--dare I say it?--wasnn't he something of a jounalist beating his own meat?

Ah well. Everything is so politically correct these days.
You can only write about your own kind.
Beware of Ukrainians bearing gifts.

Hey, R. J.,

In plain American, I really feel for ya.
I had lived in America, at different times, for a long time.
No better country could be found--at least for me in l991.

EA Monroe said...

Pluto's a planet. Scientist can call Pluto a rock or planetlett, but they cannot change the metaphorical and astrological symbology of Pluto, well, not unless they want to toss me on a "couch" and "shrink" me! Hah!

Don't you even think about it, Ivan! heehee

H.E.Eigler said...

Hi Ivan - I do what I can, man! And please do submit, there are many online flash venues that this piece would be great in. Let us know how it goes won't ya?

ivan said...

While visiting my MD of a denuded rain forest in Haiti, I was told Pluto was a planet for sure, god of the underworld, and Antoine was his personal representative.
He emphacized this by vigorously shaking his rattles.
I was also told that I would meet a writer named Elizabeth and would I like to have her shrunk.
"No, way," I'd said. I like her just the way she is.

ivan said...

Heather, thanks.

For some reason, I cannot be moved to write a short story unless it's triggered by something you'd suggested in your blog.
Like right now, I would dearly like to steal your wonderful bit of flash fiction about the old tree hit by lightning, surviving, and the fizzure of the old lightning hit becoming a home for beautiful birds.
I am sure Vancouverites will Identify somehow.
So many felled trees in beautiful Stanly Park.
Ah, but the birds will soon come.

ivan said...

p.s. to H.E. Eigler,

Yes, Heather, I will keep you posted on how my submissions go.

I must say I am not like other bloggers who send their stuff out and talk about sending it out.

I am superstitions to the point of hypochondria.

Says the miniature devil on my shoulder:

"You say one thing about your work about to be published, and I'm gonna give you a case of bursitis with this little fork you'll never forget!"
So I'll send you an email, but I won't say much on the blog.

Cheers,

Ivan

Josie said...

Ivan, sad news, Yvonne deCarlos has joined your carnations.

So sorry...

Josie

ivan said...

Oh no!
Yvonne de Carlo, whom I used to hang with, sometimes accompanied by another probably passed-on splendid actor Lyle Talbot?

Ah, one day we'll all belong to the stars.
I don't like it.

All that talent. And then gone.
We can just see it and then, poof.

Thank god I'm a honky--tonk man.

ivan said...

p.s.:

I had such a biggie-on for the late Mrs. Munster, until one day I found her right in front of me.
Oh dear. Gone.
And so is my publicist friend who made it all happen--Gino Empry.

Over at Ed's Warehouse, Toronto, they used to tweak his nose and, playfully, call him a wop.
Well, maybe now we can write about memories.
But I do think my other guy, Honest Ed Mirvish is still alive.
Migod, is Ed a hundred years old?

EA Monroe said...

Ivan, I saw that about Yvonne de Carlo on the news and said, "Ivan hung out with her!" I never knew she was Moses' wife in the Ten Commandments.

Josie said...

Things do happen in threes. My sister-in-law died. It's okay, I'm not going to pretend I liked her. She did some very cruel things to our family. I do hope her soul rests in peace.

Josie

ivan said...

And what a wife.
Gorgeous.
Those who have a gothic bent would have been turned on by her too. She was Mrs. Munster, of course.

You know, I've been into clay tablets for a while (not to think I am Moses) and sifting through the little scrabble-shaped things I came across the Epic of Gilgemesh, written, I think about 3,000 BC. (Or BCE, as the yupppie historians like to say).
....Maybe I should put this in Erik's colums--sorry again, Erik, heh--but in four or five of the tablets I came across the world's first example of Gilgemesh's pal, kind of a wild, but a womanless U. S. Marines sort of guy--getting oral sex from the world's first recorded hooker.
This is serious research, you understand, in the interest of science and archeology.
...Damn little devil on my shoulder!
No wonder I never got my PhD. Hah.

ivan said...

Josie,
Your comment just came in while I was writing something naughty.
Good thing too. Your comment came in just before mine on naked archeology.
Yes. In-laws.
How compelling is greed. I have not been without it. My father once said I had full access to his bank account and I nearly bankrupted him. But then he had lots.
Blood relatives can be greedy too.
My sisters bilked me out of $80,000 at one point.
I got some of it back, but maybe they knew Ivan all too well. It was gone in a year.
Oh, what the hell. I used it to make myself sort of well known.
Advertised my books all over the world.
Sad news about your sister-in-law dying.

Jaysus, all my troubles are self-caused.
And all around me, bad things happen to good people.

p.s.: I recon my ex owes me about a quarter million.
But then the kids got an education, and what an education.
They are running the world.

EA Monroe said...

Breecher's Creatures, Ivan! You have too many stories to write.

ivan said...

Hi Liz,
All of Breecher's creatures, psychic researchers and editors for the Enquirer in about l979, used to wash down their valium with Colt.45 beer, go to redneck bars in Lantana, Florida, get into fistfights and get thrown through plate glass windows.
At least it happened a few times to Maury Breecher, who had married a black woman and the ole boys didn't like that.
Makes me think of a vintage Faron Young song, "I want to live fast, love hard, die young."
As far as I know, they all died young.
Maybe that's why I quit the Enquirer...I am still around.
But the money.
The money!
You wouldn't believe, the money.
I was given a thousand dollars before I even put pen to paper.
And it just kept on coming, wired to the CN Tower here in Toronto.
Take what you need!
No wonder the lavish lifestyle and the prescription drugs.
Probably the nature of the material they had to handle, but I recall Maury one day, nothing left to drink in the house, downing a full bottle of aspirin just to come down from aparticularly horrible story he had to write.
Let it be known, though, thet the Enquirer itself treated its people like kings.$$$

ivan said...

Hey Josie,
You had complained, after I had my conversation with El Nino in rather bad Spanish, that El Nino did not co-operate. Snow came down.
Well, have a boo this morning.
Sun shining, verdad?
The Spic and Span weathergods are co-operating.
But a tad cool, no?
Think I'll make another phone call.

--Poseidon.
(hah)

Josie said...

Dear Poseidon, would you please ask El Nino to head our way and warm the waters off the west coast of Canada. This is ridiculous.

Cheers,
Josie

ivan said...

I sincerely feel your pain.
Wonder what my pal Aquaman is doing.

--Poseidon Earthmover.

Josie said...

Ivan, I am going to post some pictures tonight. You'll laugh. Did you ever see the movie "The Day After Tomorrow?"

Josie

ivan said...

After Waterworld, I gave up.

But I just got a free ticked via
Air Miles. Might go see it somewhere, or get the DVD.

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