Friday, June 29, 2007

I got one hand in my pocket, and the other is...

I feel drunk but I'm sober
I'm young and I'm underpaid
I'm tired but I'm working,

I care but I'm restless
I'm here but I'm really gone
I'm wrong and I'm sorry
What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be quite alright
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is flicking a cigarette

--Alanis Morisette

Heaven forbid the talented lady should be playing with herself, but that's pretty well my mood on this full moon--got one hand in my pocket and the other is flicking a cigarette.

"Have you ever been crazy, Ms. Morrisette?" a Toronto reporter asks.

"Sure. Lots of times."

"And how do you deal with that?"

"You just walk through it."

I had intended to take a walk in the park, one hand in my pocket and the other swiggin on a cigaratte, but Larry might catch me in the bushes by the swings and treat me like an Arab would treat a woolly-robed pilgrim in a mad Crusade.
I might be ragged, bagged, yea, even shagged!

"The cops had me in for having a pee in the bushes."

"Yeah, sure, Larry. Right by the little girls."

The cops trying to egg Larry on in the cruiser.

They have a copy of Hustler, which they are waving under his nose. "Whaddya think of this, Larry?" one cop says
as he proffers a gorgeous woman having great difficulty in swallowing another woman.

They are bored. They have their prevert. It's only steps to the cop shop at the edge of the park.

Next day, Larry is busy doing something on bathroom paper towels. He appears to be doodling with an HB pencil.
He has drawn carricatures of all his captors, including the desk sergeant.
They let him go.
They'd never met a Larry before.

Meanwhile, I am walking along the old millpond in the park.
Legend has it that a hermit lives on the island, but it's probably just Larry, one hand in his pocket.

Along the Holland River there is a tableau suddenly presented for me.

The town cripple, victim of many a stroke, poor devil, is in full pursuit of a duck with a hurt foot.

Both are suffering damnably, the duck barely able to waddle and the stroke victim in hot pursuit, himself barely able to walk without a cane, which he now raises menacingly and purposefully toward the duck. The duck, uh, ducks and the procedure starts again. The duck does a little hop, he crippled guy does a little hop. There is the swing with the cane.
No one is getting anywhere fast.

"Jerry," will you leave that poor duck alone? The food bank is just down the street."

Jerry is embarrassed. He does a little pirouette, avec cane, on his specially designed Beatle boots.

This is obviously my night to meet the town's grotesques.

The woods are full of funny people.

Yet I too, am in the woods.

I decide to visi my friend Reuben.

I had met Rouben in Copenhagen where I had been stymied by a porno machine that would only give me lesbians and gays in the act known hilariously as 69. I wanted boys and girls. I noticed that Reuben was gathering up some of my rejects and he didn't like them either.
"That little old lady over there. She'll sell you some really good porn."

Porn, porn everywhere porn.
We all follow the Scandinavian model for some of our institutions, and yet at base, lovely little old ladies have kiosks set up with samples of their wares right up front. I swear Scandinavians are mad..

I also knew that Copenhagnen was the buggery capital of the world, so I was not all that axious to talk to the stranger who had been eyeing my discarded porn. Happily, I was not the one bent over.

"Relax," said the stranger who later introduced himself as Reuben. "I've got a couple of girls waiting for me in the car. Want to meet them?

Well, does a cat have a tail?

Ladies introduced. We head for the nearest tavern.

I have two beers.


I am drunk.

The beer is a least twelve per cent alcohol.
Might as well call it malt liquor.

This is certainly not the familiar campus, professor.

But we tarried the night with the girls.

Reuben and I took the same plane home, though he had to get off at Kennedy to connect with a shuttle to Philadelphia. We noticed on the plane that there was always a man in the washroom--couldn't get in.
No doubt everybody had his packet of porn. There was serious business to attend to.

I learned Reuben was a systems analyst fot the Burroughs Adding machine company.
I was a war reporter for NATO, trench coat and all.
I had left my CBC companions early as the anchor person you saw every night in those days was the weirdest, most disgusting man I'd ever met. He had brought up all over the desk clerk, went upstairs to call his cameraman a "Stupid f*cking Frog" and passed out in the hallway.

I do think the bellhop said somerthing about Dumbkopf kanadieschen.
And then he looked at me and said, : "Polish aristocracy."
I didn't know how to take that, but I had to get out of that hotel.
Meeting Ruben was great luck.

I learned Reuben, a mathematician, was visiting art galleries to give his mind a break.

I learned all about art, as Copenhagen, besides being the porn capital of the western world, also has the finest art galleries.

But now, thirty years later and Reuben back in town.

He has had a serious stroke. Doing anything "left" kind of hurts him.
Even thinking of doing anything "left" gives him pain.

This is not so good for an IT man, always on the computer and always on the make for new business.

I go to check on Reuben, see how he's feeling.

I hardly open the door before I am faced with a tirade.

"Ivan, I am a people collector. I collect people, but I use them for my own purposes. You have to have value for me.
"Right now, in your diminished state, you have no value to me, so why don't you just f*ck off and leave me alone."

I avoid the instinctive response. The man is sick.

I sort of pat him on the arm, turn away with as much grace as I can, close the door gently and leave.

I go back to my apartment to realize I'd left a pot on the stove. Smoke detectors are pinging.

Open both doors, turn on the fan. Phew. Close.

What I really need, I decide is a shower.

I clamber into the stall, turn on the taps only to hear the super banging on the door.

"Guy downstairs says there's water dripping down from his ceiling."

Who invented my life?

Ah well.

The super has just caulked the leak around the bathtub tap.

I dasn't take another shower for fear of dissolving the putty.

"You know not either where you've been in your fever nor where you're going." said Omar Khayam.

"So you might as well drink."

I did.

One hand in my pocket and the other swiggin on a cigarette.

These full moons are bloody awful.

And damn hard to walk through.



Donnetta Lee said...

Sounds like a Midsummer Night's Eve to me. Did you happen to come across a fellow that looked strangely like an ass? Yeah, maybe you did.
Donnetta said...

You mean I hit Bottom? :)


Donnetta Lee said...

Whoops. I meant to say Dream, not Eve. Oh, maybe Eve was around as well.

Hit Bottom? May have to put down that cigarette.

Donnetta said...

I think you may have some psychic ability.

At the park, right now, the local theatre company is having an open-air production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Very popular place to got to on this lovely weekend...The production is a lot like the original Shakespearean setting, the actors in the centre and the audience all around.
Being a cheapie these days, I watch the play from a nearby tree.


Josie said...

Ivan, you are so funny.

"Who invented my life?"

Can I borrow that?

You life is even more um interesting than mine. Trade ya!


I always feel as if I'm reading a Steinbeck novel when I read your posts. You have to read Cannery Row and Tortilla Flat. You HAVE to. It's your life! said...

Hi Josie,

That settles it.

I am going to the library to take out Cannery Row and Tortilla Flats.

I vaguely recall reading those Steinbcks in the past, but I'll have to refresh myself.

I can't get over your wonderful painting on your site.
...Affecting the look of pottery and mixing the natural colours it so well!

Ivan said...

Should read "mixing the natural colours so well."

Ah, well.


Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

You are brilliant. I am captivated when reading anything you have written so far. I am also jealous of those that get to watch you create.

I did notice that there was a tab interest in porn ::grin:: and although I do not write porn I have to wonder if when you were writing this post and I was writing my lastest if we were not connecting in the most basic ways.

As always, I enjoyed you. said...


Why thank you!

It was good for me too ;-)


Donnetta Lee said...

Back where I really live in a university town near Oklahoma City, in the spring we have Shakespeare in the Park. There is a fee, but not a big deal. Love to go there and watch the plays.

Josie is right. The line: Who invented my life? That's a goodie.

Donnetta said...

Answer to your earlier comment, Donnetta, Eve might as well have been around, the way the old garden is going.
Our mutual pal Liz just loves the image of this hip snake with the punk haircut coming around.
Ah, Babylon!


Sienna said...

See how I go, make another attempt at saying g'day and as ever love what you it possible to feel great humor and despair at the same time?

I have some pictures of the moon and tonight is supposed to be the blue moon? According to my advisory it's clouded over and I may miss these rare pics...

Who did indeed invent our lives?

Shakespeare in the Park sounds wonderful.

Pam said...

You got through!


That Google Beta security system
is a lot like Hoover Vacuum cleaners. Sucks.

Strawberry Moon tonight.

Pretty intense.

I guess you intuited that there has to be some positive thinking in actually trying to write one's way out of a full moon funk.

Stawberry or Blue moon, it does seem to be a double-banger, and it's driving me to drink (Any excuse :)
Weatherman says Oklahoma rain won't stop till the middle of the week (Poor Liz et al)-- and Texas is
Water World.
Hey, better a Tall Poppy than an unproductive shrub. Hope the moon pics turn out, as I know tey will.
Filters or something.

Keep the faith.
Uphold the right!

So nice to see you back.


EAMonroe said...

Who invented my life?

There you go, Ivan. The title for your next novel -- the um... autobiography that Josie and I have been after you to write!!

You could write an entire novel around just this one post -- your walk through the woods and the characters you met. Great material!

I say go for it. Now!

Beiron, the hip snake!

Guess what? I did one of those "Rate this Blog" tests and mine came up PG13 Parental Guidance Suggested.

Guess what? Your blog came up PG -- General Audiences for all ages!

Josie said...

Liz, I agree. Ivan should write a biography. A memoir. Ivan, it would make millions of dollars. Honestly, it would. You should do it. Why haven't you done it?

Josie said...


Ah, ideas come and go. I just catch them on the fly and hope I can jot them down as they rush along.

My blog rated General Audience?
Your blog suggesting, uh, parental guidance?

That is whacked.

Maybe it's a comment I may have made on your blog that got you into Dutch.

That is odd!

Your blog is historical and literary.
Mine is whatever pops into my funny-shaped head.




I am still trying to get italics in comment space. Here goes:

The quick brown fox jumped over the confused Ukrainian.


Didn't work.
...I hate to go back to Word.
Hard to compose when you're dealing with technical things.

I. said...


I used to suture together some personal memoirs for a magazine called TOPIC out this way.
It did work. I got a minor award for it.
The problem is really with he Captain Ahab obsession.
Gotta find and spear that &*^%ing fish!

One publisher in Canada, Peter Martin Associates, said that my mistake all along had been to write a novel instead of an autobiorgaphy.
...But then I think Peter might have snagged some grant money for my Black Icon without telling me about it. Peter pulling a shandy on me?
This was at about the time I asked for the manuscript back...he'd held it for a full year.

Ok. OK.
I am thinking of an autobiography.
Thanks for the nudge, Quarks.


Josie said...

Ivan, before you write your biography, read Cannery Row and Tortilla Flat. That's the kind of spin you want to put on it, because that is your life. It will amuse and entertain with all the humor, pathos, wisdom, empathy, intelligence, etc., etc., that goes along with your life. I have never "met" such a character as you.


Donnetta Lee said...

I left a comment and Blogger lost it! #%$@%

I was saying that I agree with the other Quarks. An autobiography is in order. And can you just imagine the subsequent movie? I want a cameo appearance!


EA Monroe said...

Hey, I want a cameo appearance, too!

I think it's because I used some "words" like hell and sh*t and you always sub in * like F*ck-- or something like that!! You've got the "Movie Rating" hoodwinked!

islandgrovepress said...


Looks like I've got a homework assignment.
And if there's only one edition of me, thank God!

Ivan said...


Each quark will have her own cameo.


islandgrovepress said...


I think Larry just made it with a duck in the park.
...Said there was something about the flapping of the wings.
Made him go all feathers.
Mean man on the web.

Egad, do I still keep my general audience rating?
Does Larry?


Josie said...

Ivan, Larry must be in your book. said...


I wrote an obituary for Larry's
slightly depressed semi-Corgi, a dog named Sam.

I published it in the local paper.

The piece was passed from hand to hand.
People from as far away as Collingwood wrote in to express their condolences.
Even today, people pass Larry on the street to say, "I'm sorry your dog died, Larry."
Sam was actually a female.

Uh, I hope the poor duck was female as well.
I wouldn't want to tarnish Larry's reputation.


Josie said...

Ivan, did Larry actually catch a duck? What's he going to do, cook it and eat it?

Omigosh :-)

Sienna said...

Haaaa, Liz! guidance recc'd!!

It's Baring Beiren!!

Actually; *Who Invented My Life* a great title btw.

Ivan!! Just talking to network-scheme-team....David thinks (hopes) he can print off some more copies (LON & TBI) just gotta get past the young guy, if he can get it done through Dad it'll all be sweet, the young guy is is a little angst-ing...this is good, very happy about this, the horse dentist loves LON as does David, u got called a *clever bastard*, that is a huge compliment....

Pam said...

re Larry and the Duck.

...Oh, I hope not!

I am thinking of the story of Tobias and the Fish, an apochrypha in the Bible...I believe an Old Master did a painting of it.
Tobias had a kind of fish holder to carry the fish.

Does Larry have a duck-holder?

Larry is, after all, an artist.
I am sure he is familiar with Fra Lippi's or somebody's rendition of
Tobias and the Fish.

Larry and the Duck? said...


This is great news!
A possible reprinting of LON!
So glad it might happen.
There were so many typos in the older version!..And a misspelling of the German word Doppelganger.
Oh my God!

The slightly protectionist Ontario Liquor Licencing Board has finally allowed to let some Australian beer get through.
It's only something called XXXX.
But I'll drink it anyway and think of you and the other angels in Australia!


Sienna said...

It is ironic the worst two beers that Australia makes (the worst being Fosters=koala pee) then xxxx, it allows to be exported!

XXXX is a Queensland novelty, quite a few Queenslanders are fond of it, the rest of Australia says, the sun has cooked your brain....I didn't mind XXXX, but then again I have a slight drinking problem!

It's okay....and cheers, this is really good Ivan, should have known the locals would have been the most helpful!!

The horse dentist wrote a book and turned it into a screenplay...I haven't read it, but he is a good guy, so helpful, and David the printer too, we all get on just fine....things move so slowly

Enjoy your beer!!!

Pam said...


Raise a pot to yer!


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