Wednesday, August 08, 2007

How to be inchoate (that's a big word, like llama dung) and still hope to be--interesting.

~When you can't get it together, but the emotion feels right~

I am, for some reason, thinking of INSIDE OUR HANDS, OUTSIDE OUR HEARTS, The Emotional Being as I keep tinkering with my play, THE FIRE IN BRADFORD.

I read somewhere that you shouldn't start something you can't finish (and I'm having a devil of a time finishing this!), but here are some cursory stabs, notes, and a complete act.

I am moved to reprint some of these efforts because I am very much taken with the poetry of INSIDE OUR HANDS, OUTSIDE OUR HEARTS. She (What's the lady's name anyway?) writes to feelingly about love, and sometimes the loss of love.

Some notes and stabs then, as I switch from the novel form to the play.
(They taught us how to do these things at Ryerson U, but I have quite forgotten how to write plays).
Here goes nothin', from my mish-mash of notes and false starts:

Layout: Well-lit Danish-cottage style living room, kitchenette in back. Furniture all solid oak or pine.

They have plumped the professon onto the middle of a C-shaped chesterfield.
Lief (the husband) is holding a drink in his hand. The professor watches him weaving.

LIEF: I don't want any monkey business, Celia and David. But I think I feel the room swaying. I'm going to have to go to bed. To bed....And remember, David. No monkey business. We just brought you here because you were tired.

Lief turns to stage right and retires.

Lights dim.

NARRATOR: And suddenly I became aware of how lonely I was, me the divorcee' and frequent near-separado from my subsequent live-ins, the man of many wives and Master of none. It seemed I was suddenly curved up in a ball of loneliness, vulnerability, want. I just wanted Celia, anybody, anybody like her to hold me.

(This bit of monologue so reminds me of some of sadder love poems of The Emotional Being in her blogs)

Anyway, ACT II (Below) shows how the professor got into the menage -a- trois in the first place..


Scene One

Setting: Main Street, with Lief's red Toyota SUV in front of parking meter.

Celia and Lief have the professor between them. He is very drunk. They are walking towards the vehicle.

PROFESSOR ( who is babbling): Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his goods, nor his ass.

LI EF (gigggling as he tries to hold up the professor'sright shoulder): "Nor his ass?"

PROFESSOR: I know your're a fart smastard, Lief. I know you've read Kant. 'A Posteriori. One of Kant's propositions...The one that got me, of course, was "A posteriori". Looks like it's got you too.

CELIA ( who has the professor's left arm, begins to giggle as well): David, what did you just say?

Kant. Immanuel Kant. What did you think I said?...And if you pronounce Goethe like Goth again I'll lay a Johnny Rotten on you.

Celia: You're lucky I like the things you say. Even the rude things.

Celia's head is now almost underneath the professor's arm. Lief fumbles in his right-hand pocket for the keys.

They steer the professor around the front of the car to the sidewalk, so they can dump him in the back seat.
Lief starts the SUV. There is a pause.

Lief turn back towards the prof, who is really doing a bad example of a person lighting a cigarette. He keeps stabbing the back of Lief's driver's seat with the fiery cigarette end.

Lief: There is an ashtray in front of you. Pull it back.

Professor: F*ck you, good friend Lief. The world is my ashtray!

LIEF: ( to Celia, almost whispering: This guy's a professor? He's not even middleclass. Listen to him! Boy, you really pick them!

CELIA: He's a brilliant writer.

LIEF: Well, I don't care if he's a brilliant writer. I'm from the west. I know we laugh at Newfies here in Ontario, but over in Alberta, we used to call them Ukies. The guy's a boor, a horse's ass!

PROFESSOR: I heard that. I may be a horse's ass, but I noticed, when I said something to you back in the bar and grabbed your knee for emphasis, your moved right into it. Gay Caballero!

This brings a laugh from Lief. He turns back to the professor.

LIEF: Fast reflexes.

PROFESSOR: I don't know what you guys have in mind, but I've got no other place to go right now.

And they are off.

Scene II

Interior of a neat white cottage in Holland Landing. A white shag rug down in a Danish style living room with
A U-shaped chesterfield facing a solid oak hi-fi. There are Cezanne and Pieter Brueghel The Elder farm scenes on the walls. Millets. Harvest scenes. Standard yuppie ;icture configuration.

Lights: Up.

Celia and the professor are on the chesterfield. She has her left arm around the professor's neck.

CELIA: You'd, um, like me to hold you? She reaches for... his genitals! and pauses there a long while, her red painted nails kneading the stiffening professor.

CELIA: We should have some music.

She stops the dry fondle and goes to the hi-fi.

She bends down to select some LP's. There is a terrific shot of a beautiful, pear-shaped derierre. Like Jaylo's.

She has put on Bob Dylan's "It's all right ma, I'm only Bleeding

Music: Up.

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows the earth, the child's balloon
Makes you understand too soon
There is no sense in trying.

Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool's mouthpiece the hollow horn
Makes you see, goes to warn that
He not busy being born
Is busy dying.

There is a guitar ride here while the great Amercan genus rasps it out, sharp trick-of-the-trade F-chord penetrating the D tonic, again and again. There is a crescendo now to this lick, Da-doom. Da-doom. Music slows, with this guitar lick repeating, again and again, to fade.


.....end Scene Two

Ah well.

Short of blog material today. The heat, the heat. That's my excuse.

But, bigod, one is risque'. ..Just read in Wired that that was the way to go in blogs. :)



Josie said...

Well, you're a way cute fart smastard. And you have led a very interesting life, but bittersweet.

I think some people don't want to be happy. They are addicted to the tragedy and the melanchony. It makes them feel more alive.

I think you might be one of those people. said...

Dunno, Josie.

We are both familiar with this guy:

JOE BTFSPLK is very simply the world's biggest jinx. He walks around with a perpetually dark rain cloud a foot over his head. Once he appears on any scene, dreadfully bad luck befalls anyone in his vicinity.

Though well-meaning and gentle, his reputation inevitably precedes him, so Joe is a very lonely and feared little man.

He is also a character with an apparently unpronounceable name, but creator Al Capp pronounced Btfsplk with a "raspberries" sound, also known as a "Bronx cheer."

(Got it from Wiki).

The truth is probably more prosaic, as truth usually is.

Very likely, one has the "disease of denial"--"This is too good for me."

Maybe that explains all the dumpster diving and atrocious luck at love.

I think I have realized, in both my novel and play treatment of my Celia, that she was actually trying to help me, as far as her circumstance would allow.
Okay, she was promiscuous, and very likely a hooker, but we certainly did enjoy each other's company fireworks or no.

Now, not to psychoanalyze oneself,
there was the matter of the terrible war, and my father having to carry me on his shoulder like a stiff board, scared stiff, while buildings were collapsing, burning or exploding all around. This was also, strangely, about the time my younger sister was conceived.

In a word, I spent my early childhood during the worst of an early 911. The birth of a younger sister the following year (I had two, older and younger) was somehow traumatic for me.

This makes one thoughtful, and hopefully, creative.




Trevor Record said...

Hey Ivan,

I think I like Celia and the Professor, actually - they are like real people. Lief, I'm not so sure about. Anyhow, who is telling you that blogs should be sexxay? Wired? Yeah, those bunch of nerds would think that about blogs.

Josie said...

Ivan, you mean this guy? Joe Btfsplk

Oh, I am very familiar with him. He is me. said...

Oh my god!

That is hilarious!

C'mon everybody! Click onto Josie's

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!



Ivan said...

p.s. to Josie,

I hate to lay a cliche on you, but it really is the best medicine, isn't it.

We all have in us a quality that one Baruch Spinoza called conatus, the tendency towards self-preservation and self-maintenance.

Robert Louis Stevenson says it more beautifully, years later, but I can't find the quote.

What may appear to you right now as disaster, is just your radar working, and it works very well.

Maybe you just missed a cartoon 2,000 pound weight that was about to land on your pretty head.

Maybe if it weren't for the trouble you're having with your daughter right now, some bigger disaster may have fallen.

I had a Newfie publisher once, who kept saying "Keep your pecker up."

This of coure, is hard to translate into female terms, but I am convinced you have character and in the last count, character wins.

Ivan said...


I'm glad that you liked my Celia and David.

It gives me a new insight.

The young can easily point out, it seems to me, that the emperor has no clothes.

There was something of the despot and the perv in LIEF.


EA Monroe said...

There must be something in the psychic-sphere -- I was just thinking about Lil Abner yesterday. With your penchant for music, you should write a rock n' roll opera, Ivan. Glad to see you are working on your play again. said...


Ah, a rock cantata would be nice.

Remember that Seventies movie,
The Phantom of the Paradise?
I think the late John Williams wrote the music, though in reality I am barely fit to carry John Williams' music stand.
Of course nowadays, with electronics...

Hey, Neil Sedaka was on Canadian TV last night.
Neil Sedaka?!!
The guy has been around for sixty years.
Said he hated one of his proteges. "I will not say who she is on television."
Heaven forbid it should be Tenile, of the Captain and Tenile!
Have you ever heard Ritche Sambora unplugged, with just his six-string?
Holy cow
A mass, all by himself as priest


the walking man said...

SEX sells. Lief can become the bitch for the professor and Celia, might teach him humility. Ivan the more you write the more I have to think that Bukowski the great somehow appeared in your computer after his own demise of natural causes.

Even a line a day is progress.


mark said...


Oh you are so right. It takes a Celia sometimes to set an arrogant professor straight.
As for Lief becoming the professor's bitch, a smartie like Celia would probably haved figured this out too.