Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The creative solution--but first, the Carna-val!



All the Quarks get blue at once.

To explain: We Quarks are a club, a kind of writing club. Like quarks in physics, we come in any number of colours and flavours, we are five in number and we are inseparable. Largely a female community, there is nevertheless and anti-quark, or penta-quark, that is to say yours truly, the male quark (quirk?),

Being inseparable and at all times each quark feeling like the other quarks, though separated sometimes by entire galaxies.

There is a slight sadness among the quarks right now.

Quark Josie seems to be going through a dark night, though she is trying a bit of sailing to get over some family anxieties and a period of someting like blindness that poets sometimes get.

Being a PentaQuark, I feel Josie's pain, as do the other quarks. We all cope in our different ways. Australian quark goes rock climbing in pristine nature, Oklahoma quarks look to their families and their oddly personable pets.

Quark candidates write poetry about unrequited love.

Myself, I walk, for, as antiQuark, "family male", I m affected by the quark family. I am feeling a little down too.

I take walks. Dream of carnivals.

I am walking behind a group led by a man called Fish. He is seventy-eight but can can pass for fifty. Fish is extremely athletic and a proven leader. He runs a karate school He turns his resplendent Richad Branson head to uge the rest of us on .We are an eclectic crew. The effort of walking has freed us from pushing against some load of ours, a pushcart full of pain that many of us had been pushing, often going backwards against t the awful weight of it all. Everybody in the group is, metaphorically, pushing or carrying something. Baggage from another marriage, the great sprawling novel that would not come to life, the smoky air of Seventies barrooms, the flashbacks from the LSD.There is the real hope of a steamer on the horizon--that we shall be rescued from this Raft of the Medusa by a jovial, somehow Germanic sea captain.
Yet one must be chary of such a notion. Recovery is miraculous and dramatic. It may come this Christmas or it may not. The local Indians will tell you it is all on the whim of the Creator. In the meantime the Indians will tell you to stay away from waterfalls, great confluences of water. And large lakes, like Simcoe, for there is an ogepoge in each one, each with its own monster.
There is a monster at the headwaters of this river. But he is industry itself, with his belches and his farts.
We walk side by side, some of us. Then uncouple to walk alongside somebody else. We talk of family, hopes, achievements, walks for cancer, Terry Fox runs.
What has brought us to this bikepath, along this river, along these aspens, along these tamaracks, these larch trees, conifers that act somehow like birch trees, dropping their needles every fall. They reappear in the spring, bright-hued and bushy-tailed, hopefully like us.

I am talking to a woman in capri pants and white adidas. Like me on this fall day, she is a little whimsical and vulnerable and kind of shy. I quote her some of my poetry, hoping to impress her with my mystique. But she will have none of it. "Too bad you haven't got any talent." She prefers a man like Fish. She turns from me, hoping to catch up with Fish, almost running now. b There is an energy in the crisp air. She is walking for all she's worth, like and out-of-luck teenager pushing a baby carriage, which, in her daily life, she probably does. She is trusting to her youthful energy, to God and good people. Fish is good people.
The people are still good, but this is a dark age. Carry a lamp for your path and someone will come out of the bushes and steal it. Pilgrims are ripe for the picking. That's why ahead of us, there is Fish.
I move on to another party. An entire family. Father a little bulgy in the gym shorts. Mother in ski pants and a yellow top. Little ginger-haired daughter in shorts and sandals doughtily holding up the rear. We are all walking, moving, past the tree, past the bird, past the little piles of discarded green potter's clay and other small bits of rubbish along the Holland River, where they have just refurbished some condos. Yet the river may yet regain the flats! The nearness of water and bright greenery here and there have given us hope for another, better season.
Ahead of us, Fish pauses. He has seen something on the path, which turns out to be a snapping turtle the size of a Humvee wheel. It moves slowly, methodically out of the way, its fast, avian beginnings completely evolutioned-out over the billions of years, leaving just a mechanical crawl and a beak, which, like a construction backhoe, seems to droop a little before snapping up something. It takes the turtle a long time to leave asphalt path.
Fish now signals us to go on. I put on a bit of a run to catch up with the girls, to catch up with with Fish.

The path by the river has taken on painterly proportions, something like Roussea's Peacable Kindgom. Must be my old marijuana haze.

Bright blue chicory flowers--you really have to see them--have sprung up alongside the Holland.

There is, nevertheless, a mild stench of PCB and-- face it--garbage from an incinerator whose builders had assured us was absolutely safe. There is also the upstream paint plant.

There is automobile gridlock all around out bike path, but we are not yet high on the smell of ozone. We gaze instead at the wild sunflowers and the bright-ble chicory plants. Like the old hippies that we are.

How long are we going to be on this walk, all of us with our emotional pushcars full of pain?

Definitely we are due for a break.

I think I know why the girl was unimpressed with me. I am surely an old reprobate. My brain is awash with old sex scenes and orgies. I think we need a rite of fall. Oh hell, let's have, after all this granola and good health-- a Saturnalia, an ancient Roman carnival.

Saturnalia. A day of eating meat and drinking wine. Carrus navalis. (An alternative theory to the more popular "farewell to the flesh" that we usually hear about: Carne [meat] and valle= farewell.)
We need a Burial of the Sardine, that smelly bit of sad past. They do in fact have a Burial of the Sardine festivel in northwestern Spain. its earlier pagan characteristics have survived: the festive permissiveness, the licentiousness of its customs and bending the rules of established order. Anything is possible, everything is allowed: Humans transform themselves into animals, males become females, peons strut like kings, social station is scorned, decorum is debunked and blasphemy goes unblamed. Carnival is a time when anything goes.

Lets have a Burial of the Sardine.

Let's have a carnival.

And, though a strange synchronicity, down below this blog, correspondent Benjibopper has procued a playlet where vegetarian yupppies turn into meat-eaters!

Let the magic begin.


##

98 comments:

benjibopper said...

I'm not normally one to solicit such things, Ivan, but I was hoping you'd comment on my little screenplay, since I know you are quite the play-write yourself. I even applied my rhino-skin in anticipation of the worst.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Benji,

I am always impressed by the way you do takes on things in your writing to this and other blogs.

Though myself only a dabbler at playwriting, I go over to your blog and have a boo.

(Oh yeah...Wear chain mail pants.
There are women all over these blogs who dig playwrights). :)

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Ah, here is Benji's lead-up to his play, and in fact, the entire play itself. (EXT mean External shot).

--Ivan

Nothing but Flowers

I've been enjoying going through a bunch of old papers as I move into the new place. Here's one gem I had forgetten about. I wrote it as a short screenplay in 2003 but it was never made:



EXT – Day, Deep Woods

[A couple sits under the canopy of some trees gnawing on big hunks of raw meat, chewing and chewing slowly and disgustedly. They are both dressed in tattered business suits.]

JANE

Ten years of vegetarianism gone down the drain.

ADAM

Mmmm.

JANE

This is truly disgusting.

ADAM

(beat) I wonder how Jesus is doing without me running Hostile Takeovers.

JANE

I wonder how Tarik is doing without me to get his reapplication in order. He’ll never get his Thesta-Distatica patented without me to look out for him. He’ll probably be another victim of DigestCom in fact.

ADAM

Would you shut up?

JANE

Ooooh, do I detect a little lingering loyalty to the assimilation machine?

ADAM (moping)

No. I left for a reason you know. As much as I could go for some bruschetta and a cafĂ© latte right now, I’d rather be here gnawing on this half burnt half bloody deer meat than carving up the corpses of small businesses to keep Jesus and the shareholders secure in the knowledge that anything innovative will soon be theirs. I’m just sick of talking about the city. We’re better off out here.

JANE

We’re miserable out here, Adam. This isn’t food, this is a dead animal. It’s not meat it’s flesh! And this isn’t living. God I have the shakes.

ADAM

Caffeine withdrawal?

JANE

I haven’t slept more than four hours a single night since we got here.

ADAM

You haven’t slept more than four hours a single night since university.

JANE

Yes but we’re supposed to be getting past that. What’s the point of caffeine withdrawal if you still can’t sleep at night? And what’s the point of sleep deprivation if you don’t have to work tomorrow-

ADAM (interrupting)

Oh we have to work tomorrow, girl-

JANE (interrupting)

Have to but can’t. How are we supposed to work when we’re shaking like this.

[Jane holds up her left hand to demonstrate. It’s shaking heavily and she has trouble even holding it up. It’s caked in dark deer blood.]

ADAM

Yeah, I know, I know. (beat) Not to mention our eyes.

[Camera shows close-up of a bloodshot red watery eye.]

JANE

Don’t remind me, please.

[Adam holds his lids open and leans in close to show Jane.]

JANE (ctd)

What I just say?

[She grabs Adam by the face and shoves his head away.]

ADAM

Seriously Jane what do you think is causing this eye thing?

INT. Adam at a computer, typing a financial report, with his eyes mere inches from the screen.

EXT. Back under the canopy

JANE (shrugs)

I dunno. My eyes are fine.

ADAM

Yeah but your ear looks like a head of cauliflower – mmm, cauliflower.

INT. Jane on the phone arguing about a rejected patent claim.

EXT. Back under the canopy. Jane gives Adam another face shove as he leans toward her ear with his mouth open and watering.

EXT – In an open field now, Adam and Jane are hovering over a fire upon which rests a boiling Teflon pot of dark green liquid

ADAM (shaking all over as if feverishly sick)

This better work, Jane.

JANE (very defensively)

Or what, Adam?

[Adam looks at her blankly but if looks could kill…]

JANE (ctd)

Whose dumbass idea was it to come out here again? Was it, hmm, maybe, I think, yes, was it – YOUR idea, Adam!

[Jane switches to a deep, goofy voice.]

JANE (ctd)

Oh, Jane, we’re stuck in a trap here. We’re working so hard we never have time for each other, and when we do I’m so stressed I can’t even get it up anymore. Oh Jane this life is too much work for too little reward – what’s the point of all our possessions if we can’t even enjoy them together, Jane? Oh Jane, let’s move out somewhere wild, build a lean-to and live like hunter-gatherers – we can be naked all the time. It’ll be our own Garden of Eden – except we can even eat the apples, oh Jane let’s do it.

[Jane switches back to her own voice, except angrier than we’ve yet seen her, she’s yelling at the top of her lungs now.]

JANE (ctd)

Well you know what? You may be Adam, but I ain’t no Eve, and there ain’t no apples on this godforsaken island!

[Jane storms out of sight. Adam stares deep into the brewing cauldron, pulls some small berries out of his breast pocket and squeezes a milky substance from them into the pot, and stirs with a stick.]

ADAM (calling over his shoulder)

Jane, I think it’s ready.

EXT. Back under the canopy. Jane and Adam sit sipping from two Second Cup stainless steel traveler mugs, making contorted disgusted faces with each sip. Jane occasionally looks like she’s going to wretch. They sit sipping for about 15 seconds, eyeing each other suspiciously, saying nothing.

EXT. Back to the wide open field. Adam is chasing Jane. She lets him catch her, hugs him, squirms loose, runs, lets him catch her again.

ADAM

Feeling better?

JANE

Oh Adam! What did you put in that tea?

ADAM

That was no tea Jane, it was espresso, espresso au natural.

JANE

Adam, some espresso, it was disgusting.

ADAM

I think it has potential. It must be healthy, look how much better we feel. I haven’t eaten for hours and I’m not even hungry. And I’ve stopped shaking. And so have you! And I don’t feel thirsty either, it’s a wonder drink. We just have to figure out how to make it taste good and we could make millions.

JANE

I thought you weren’t interested in making millions anymore.

ADAM

Well, I’m not, but, you know. (beat) I thought you were.

JANE

I just want to get out of the jungle.

ADAM

And go back to our miserable lives working non-stop, never seeing each other or our friends, consuming unstoppably, glued to our desks, stressed, sleepless?

JANE

Let’s work on this natural espresso. Show me what you put in it.

EXT. Over the fire and boiling pot again. Through the magic of time lapse photography we see Jane and Adam trying batch after batch, making a vast diversity of contorted faces until, eureka! They make a delicious batch.

EXT. Adam and Jane selling ‘Natural Espresso’ on the side of the road to Galiano tourists, thus curing the tourists’ caffeine withdrawal. They’re talking up the customers about city life, the beauty of nature but also how one misses the finer, higher culture things in life: the theatre, the ballet, the symphony, espresso.

JANE

Oh you can’t beat Karen Kain, Minigawa’s beautiful but she doesn’t have as much grace – that’s just how it is. I wish Karen Kain would perform again, even if she’s past her prime, she’ll always have that graceful beauty.

CAFFEINE CUSTOMER

Heather Ogden is something to watch. She’s very self-assured.

ADAM

Yes, she certainly is (beat) something to watch.

[Jane elbows Adam playfully. The customer thanks them, returns to her Prius with a travel mug full of a dark green brew, and drives away.]

JANE

We’ll be rich!

ADAM

Yes, rich because we’ll be in the city we love, with a job we actually believe in – bringing this great energy drink to our fellow yuppies, actually having conversations with people. And we can grow a rooftop garden that will supply us with all our raw materials. Rich indeed, a kind of wealth too few people know.

JANE

Whatever.


THE END.


Labels: 2003, Fiction, screenplay, short story

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Benji,

It's obvious that you have had some script experience.

And you've certainly read Beckett.

This is good enough for the CBC if they ever get it together to put in short playlets instead the boilerplate they offer these days--and most days there is no drama or or Canadian-produced plays.
I think you show great imagination and visualizing. Yoy gotta be smart to write playlets, and you is.
My only small criticism is towards the end where you say "bringing this great energy drink to our fellow yuppies..."
I thing I would have used another word besides yuppies. Peers comes to mind, but that's not it.

Overall, an impressive performance.

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

p.s. to Benji
--Oh, you say you've never read Beckett.

All the better.

Ivan

Shesawriter said...

Hi Ivan,

Just popping in to say HI. Hope you're doing well.

Tanya

ivan@creativewritign.ca said...

Hi Tanya.

Nice to see you.

If you come back this way soon, give me a thought on benjibopper's playlet (in comment section above).

Ivan

benjibopper said...

Thanks Ivan, so kind of you to share this with your most effulgent readers.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Benji,

The first sign of a real writer is when he/she throws away the dictionary and thesaurus.

But you had me reaching for a dictionary here.

ef·ful·gent adj. Shining brilliantly; resplendent.


Ah yes, the Quarks and other corresppndents to this blog do indeed shine brilliantly and they are resplendent!

Ivan

Josie said...

What a sweet post, Ivan. It's funny how the Quarks and the Pentaquark seem to be in synchronicity with each other, isn't it? I think it's time for another blog party. We all need cheering up. I had a very strange experience happen to me recently, not family related, that absolutely knocked me on my kiester. But I will bounce back. Each day gets better, and this too shall pass.

Ya gotta laff.

Donnetta Lee said...

Yes, we Quarks seem to be in tune one with the other. Having a little down day myself. Related to this condition I now carry, I fear. Like Josie, I feel tomorrow will be better, though. Better go stretch and take a nice hot bath.
Donnetta

the walking man said...

a lighter or two, a couple packs of cigarettes and a bench or slab long enough to lay out on just outside the gate of the incinerator sounds better to me than a carnival.

I would lay there when they blow the stacks in the wee hours of the morning letting the soot cover me again and again and again.'Til I was covered in the stack exhaust.

Walking a bike path is good but dried chicory can be ground between two rocks and make a passable bitter brew to replace the coffee with is better, I'd prefer that now.

Chicory brew and stack soot making me an unrecognizable shapeless lump occasionally sipping from a hollowed out piece of wood I took from a truck going to the incinerator.

Then I would be ready, dressed for carnival. ready to change places with them who have nothing giving them all I have, changing myself from what I am to what I am.

Except I know, even during the carnival, there is only one place I can not escape from; me.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Ivan,
What ever you do, stay away from those portable hot tubs! Too many miscreants looking for a little action.

EA Monroe said...

Effulgent! Wow, Ivan, I've been having the mood indigos, too, but visiting you always cheers me up.

The OK state fair starts tomorrow, so a carnival is a swell idea! I wonder if state fairs are holdovers from the old Saturnia festivals. Shoot. I've enjoyed writing harvest festival scenes with a few pagan rites in the ole wip.

Carry on the torch. An LSD flashback sounds like what I need. ;-)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Josie,
Thnks.

Wha' hoppen? Did you get run over by a deer? A Dear? I know you've been having trouble with your eyes (cf Benji's play).
Yuppiedom, says Benji, could stress your right out.
What sort of malevolent force did you come across in yuppiedom? :)

Ivan

Ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark,

Oh man, can you dress up a story.

Lying on a slab outside the incinerator. Smoking cigarattes.
I can dig it. At this stage of things, I really would walk a mile for a camel...or a rendition of
Camelfoot by FannyPack an electro/miami booty bass-rap group. They're the ones who hipped me onto the balloon image I stole from an Old Navy tv ad. Old Navy hires them, and from their ghetto rap, I can understand why. FannyPack rocks.
(Why do I bring up music?...The Walking Man somehow makes me think of Walkman). The Walking Man certainly plays a veriety of tunes)...Where you get that sh*t, man?

I think I will really try that idea of banging dried chicory between two rocks...The coffee I've been drinking lately has been making me crazy and rotting my guts...And, face it, Starbucks seems to do the same.
...And how did you know they blow the stacks in the wee hours of the morning?... They actually do, usuallly on Sundays, the bastards!
You'd be some guy to hang with...What a freaking imagination!
Don't know about you, but I'm a schizo--but none of my various heads make typographic calliope sounds like yours.
You got any more of that stuff?

Ivan

ivan@creztivewriting.ca said...

Donnetta,

Sorry to hear.

I can't find your old quark correspondence, but where is the trouble this time? Tum or spine?

I am fast losing my rattle-shaking skills as rain forest MD, but I could be started if enough tourists come by.
Hey, watch Ivan drop his pants and shake his rattles!
Pela come cargo plane. Baws, de plane!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

JR,

Never get into a hot tub in the proximity of a felon.
No bar soap on the premises!

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Liz,

Yeah.
Effulgent.
Benjiboper's vocabulary.

The best I could come up with was
the one I laid on poor Mark above--"Calliope".
Last time I checked it was "She of the many voices."
You can hear calliopes all over teh carnival.
Come to the carnival. Ride the Octopus. Have fun

Ivan

the walking man said...

funny I thought that pink orb was the testicle of a one nutted giant hiding in Canada among the tall buildings of at least 60% foreign content.

Ivan I know about industrial things like blowing the stacks because of jobs I've worked at. There used to be a reason for blowing them in the wee night hours and it was because all of the women had their laundry down off the line and in the house at those hours.

Now it is so they won't get sued because the ash is caustic and ruins car paint, and no one can prove which factory it was that blew the boiler stacks so we have learned to live with it by clear coating our cars.

You might like the chicory, remove the flowers hang upside down in a cool ventilated space until dry and hard then commence to grinding. when powderized, throw a pinch of salt an empty eggshell and about two teaspoons into a quart of boiling water and wait for mixture to turn desired color...the darker the stronger..eggshell optional, highly recommend pinch of salt if you carry any in your kit. this I learned in the hills of Appalachia from a person I met there.

mark

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Holy cow!

Gonna be a mountain man.

Over here in Central Ontario,they came to a beautiful New England-style town here,developed every square inch and set up their paint plant for automobiles. Also to burn garbage.
Town finally had enough and sued the incinerator company...It's still in the courts, though the closure of the incinerator is not permanent. Talk about foreign content. I think the garbage people are based in Milan!!!

benjibopper said...

ho, if only you could hear my brother's vocab in action. i always carry a dictionary around that guy.

they say never use a big word when a smaller word will do. but sometimes you need the big word to really ring someone's cerebral cortex.

i think i'll actually change the word 'yuppie' to 'connoisseur' in that piece. whattaya think?

benjibopper said...

Ivan, I read the first few paragraphs at about 2 am this morning before bed, and I enjoyed it a great deal. Looking forward to reading more soon. Ghosts!

Josie said...

Wasn't Tony Soprano in the garbage business?




I've got to read Benji's play when I have a moment.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Benji,
My copyediting skills are a bit down this morning, what with cheap hooch and even cheaper "rez" cigarettes, but I'd go with something like "minivan folks", though the term is probably outdated. "Subaru surfers"?...It may come to me in a couple of days.
Just thinking of the extremely hip Future Shop robot when he talks of his techie master: "Technodork;
Ram Lover Mega-geek. Dork. Dorkstick...The robot is talking about techies, but there must be a word to desrcribe lumpenyuppies. (My apologies to Karl Marx).

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Benji,

Yeah, ghosts. Synchronicity.

...I'm not comparing this site to particle physics, but for every Einstein there has to be an Edward Teller to be the techie for the Big Bomb. :)

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Benji,
"Preppies"? Dinks?

It's in there somewhere.


Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Josie,

Yes he was. Is.

Ivan

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

A saturnalia would be fun and fine except it is not December and if I use my weeks vacation now... what will I do with myself in December?

Josie said...

Saturnalia "A celebration marked by unrestrained revelry and often licentiousness; an orgy."

Tara, that could be any Saturday night on Ivan's blog. Everyone's welcome. I'll see you here Saturday night. You bring that nice bottle of red wine you have saved, I'll bring the vodka.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

I think Tara and I are having our first domestic.
Not only do I get my dates wrong, I think I've turned out to be the wrong date. :)

Ivan

the walking man said...

benji...soccer parents?

Josie said...

Well, it officially starts on December 17th, but who says we do anything officially around here? Heh.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Josie,

Sure, let's have the Saturnalia in September.

We could get in under the wire on the Saturnalia Central Casting rush.

I mean, for out-of-season rates, I could hire perhaps a thousand Christians, a pride of lions and two squads of gladiators.
From Botswana, we could order a tribe of crazed baboons to fall upon the cowering Christians after the lions have their way with them.
And for the grand finale, The Sex Goddess and the Nubian slave.

...We will all be alowed to watch.

Hopefully, not
Monkey see, monkey do!

...It's too bad Ron Jeremy has so much work these days...but he might come out of retirement.

Old song:
"I love an orgy, and I always will
"Because an orgy gives me such a thrill."

Just a matter of time till that ahem, ringmaster Ron Jeremy will announce,
"Let the games begin."

Erik Ivan James: I saw you doing that!


Ivan

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Josie,

I shall take you up on that offer. But I think Saturday will be Vodka night for all... perhaps some smooth polish vodka like Belvedere.

or Stolichnaya from Russia... now these are smooth on the throat and wicked on the tongue. Both will make the spirit fly and the mind forget.

Sienna said...

:-)

:-)

So funny, I nick off climbing shaggy rocks and miss all this.

Funny!

I have tequila. (I ate the chocolate)

Pam

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Pam,

The term "Sheila" is not a politically wise word to use in Australia, but I'm in Ontario,
so I'll ape former Fisheries Minister John Crosby when he said to MP Sheila Copps in Ottawa, "Pass the tequila, Sheila...!"
Yes, by all means, bring the tequila.

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting,ca said...

Tara,
Yes, yes, by all means Stolichnaya
Vodka.
We could really go out, high on the stuff, castrate a mad monk, shoot him a few times and shove him under the ice of the Neva River.
We will remain unfazed--no fear-- as Rasputin keeps coming up through air holes, finger wagging, saying, "God will get you for that."

Oh...I forgot. This is a Roman orgy!

Ivan

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

(_) (_) (_) (_) (_)


Drink anyone?

Sienna said...

*Joke*

Australian foreplay:

"Brace yourself Sheila".

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Pam,

You just broke me up.

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

Ivan

Sienna said...

Got one of those drinks :)
hope it don't leak

( )
(________________)

Sienna said...

shit think i just spilt my drink everywhere, note: better to drink from bottle

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Good hostess, Tara.

Five drinks for five quarks.

Now have one yourself.

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Pass the tequila...

leslie said...

*glug* *glug* *glug*

Sienna said...

Ha ha! be careful Leslie, I was once in Cairns and we had rounds of tequila slammers, (do u guys do that little rhyme thing? one tequila, two tequila... scoff...)

I lasted two shots...and was on the floor like a bomb had hit me....the weirdest thing is that I was sitting at the time?!?

ivan@creartivewriting.ca said...

Hi Leslie,

Almost didn't recognize ya.

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Oh oh.

Donnetta and Josie are each suddenly doing a doormouse on us.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

What'd you put in those drinks, Tara?

EA Monroe said...

Hey, Ivan. In December we usually have the Beach Blanket Bingo Party!

EA Monroe said...

And speaking of Erik Ivan James, he has completely disappeared!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Liz,

Oh yeah.
Bird was the word! Annette and Frankie.

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Uh, Erik Ivan James.

I guess he, ah, went off.

That or Ms. "B" e-slapped him so hard he didn't know whether he was coming or going.

Sienna said...

i gotta fly, have some fun, and have a drink for me....if a blind pegasus walks in..... watch your step :)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Those not privy to midnight e-mail madness between the Quarks-- we discussed a play wherein I would be a blind Zeppelin pilot-- that or a flying horse, Pegasus, but a flying horse with a sizable appendage!
Pam had said the horse had to be clothed, and I suggested, "why not?"-- a flying, diapered astronaut horse, looking for Lisa Nowak.
In Canada, they might call this creaativity, since there is a Canadian actor in a film called
"Young People ...ing." (sic)...No kidding. Put on at the Toronto International Film Festival today.

Canadian creativity!

Hell, if they dare make a movie called "Young People F*cking" what's wrong with a flying f*ck between Pegasus in a diaper trying to get into Lisa's diaper?

At least, in our play, somebody would give a flying f*ck about our project.
Anyway, all of Hollywood is in Toronto for TIFF, the Toronto International Film Festival, and everybody wanted to see the premiere of "Young People F*cking."

Wouldn't you?

What has the world come to?

Ah well, at least I got a peek at Brad Pitt and Angela Jolie before both of them got fan fatigue and left Toronto for parts unknown.

I swear all of Hollywodd is in Toronto tonight.
The bring gems like "Young People F*cking."

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

G'night, Pam.

G'night all.

Don't blame you for leaving.

Party's getting rough.

And we haven't even put on the Saturnalia yet!

Ivan

eric1313 said...

Loved this post, Ivan. I hope the best for Josie and all the others who know pain.

But I also liked when you told Benjibopper the sign of a real writer is when he throws away his thesaurus and dictionary. All the words we need are within us, or in the great novels and stories and poems that we can find out there. Great writers read lots of great books.

Or as Flannery O'Connor said, "anyone who has survived to the age of ten has enough material to write about for the rest of their lives."

So true, tragedy or triumph, it is true. Wish I could chat. but it is a very late night. Perhaps tommorow. Take care, Ivan.

The door mouse shall roar!

the walking man said...

TENNESSEE BOURBON BOULDERS CRASH DOWN MOUNTAINS OF ICE WAITING FOR
ME TO COME ALONG LIKE A GOOD HIGHWAY WORKER TO CLEAN UP THE MESS


I have a fifth of bourbon on the table,
cap tightly closed and I play spin the bottle.
If the ass end of it points towards the chair opposite me
then I get to take the drink.
If it lands the other way and points
towards my chair
Then you get to take
the pull from the long neck.

The thing is the chair
across from me is empty
so I have to
drink yours for you..
It’s never good to drink alone,
But drinking games are
as good a way to get drunk
as any.

And more interesting
because one of us gets
to see who
falls out of
their chair first.


mark c. durfee 2004

First published in White Pelican Journal 2005

have a good september morn, saturnalia

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Eric1313,


Oh did that ever hit the mark.

I finished my BLACK ICON novel when the young hero was precisely ten.

Was told by my course head that it didn't matter how well or how badly I wrote: the material was there. Maybe it was because my creative writing instructor, Tom Mayer, from New Mexico--was a fan of Flannery O'Connor too. I certainly became a reader of that great Georgia writer as well.
Good epistle, Eric. Nail on the head.

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark,

Well, Dylan Thomas used to drink with his Old pal", Johnnie Walker.

Produced some of the world's greatest poetry and radio plays.
If uncreative, drinking alone can be an antisocial act.
...But (we say with a certain vanity)--if creative, the writing sometimes seems to go a lot smoother. "No water drinker ever composed anything worthwhile," said the impassioned Ovid.
No flack, Flaccus Ovidus.

Ah well. Mark Durfee has just uploaded his poem from old White Pelican Press to Island Grove Press here. Nice turn.

"We who are about to die..."

"It's dark out here in this Saturnalis. Put some Christians to the torch! We need to see, keep the food warm@!"

Ivan

benjibopper said...

TWM: soccer parents is a good one.

Ivan: we'll get there. hand me a thesaurus would you? oh, wait, nevermind.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Benji,

It's just a casual line that shoud be handled casually.
I must say I haven't properly focused on that last bit, though
"felow yuppies" somehow made me think of the late George John Deifenbaker, a Prime Minister of Canad, who was always fond of saying, "My fellow Canadians."
Was that really true? The guy was a Freemason.

Ivan

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Benji,

How about just " bringing this great energy drink to the yuppies"?

That's my final take on that line.

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Well, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is finally over, Brad Pitt leaving early because he could no longer bear the rush of adoring fans.

Or was it this juicy item that made him a tad unresponsive to journalists and the the masses?:

re ANGELINA JOLIE

Her royal hotness is overheard saying Brad should "stay quiet and look pretty."

Now that Angelina Jolie has known Brad Pitt for more than two years, the sex-goddess-turned-humanitarian, or "slutty Jeffrey Sachs" as she's known at the UN, has learned some essential truths about the father of her children: his head for business isn't quite as hot as his body.

This week's In Touch finds an actual reporter sitting within eavesdropping distance of Angelina while she had a drink with a muscle-bound dude at classy New York joint the Waldorf-Astonia hotel. She has overheard dropping some choice words about the two-time Sexiest Man Alive and his skills to pay the bills. "I won't talk to Brad about this because you know how he is financially, which is stupid," she said over a glass of red wine. "Someone has to make the big decisions, though."

As the reporter was hurrying to secretly transcribe her comments in linguine, she went on to describe how she's left bewildered by his investment strategies. "He'll put money into things--but it's bizarre!" she says. "It doesn't always make sense to me. The reality is, we're not a company together. Things should be separate. I think you know I make my own financial decisions. Brad knows there are times he should just be quiet and look pretty." Ouch! Brad is not a piece of meat! Just kidding, he totally is. But Angelina's financial planning doesn't sound half bad. There's no rule saying every couple needs to pool their resources, especially considering the size of these respective money bins.

Meanwhile, Brad's continuing to say charming things about his ex-wife, Jen Aniston. He fends off the idea that Jen and Angelina are archenemies, calling those reports "manufactured." "[Angelina and I] don't pay attention to it," Brad says. "I hear that they drag my name into it. [Jen] doesn't deserve any of this. She is the most open, loving woman you'll ever come across. They make things up and make money off of it." So that story about "Jen's Late Night Phone Call To Sheryl Crow About Maddox" isn't true?

What do you think? Email ryan.porter@msn.com.


I think I am doing a little overkill on this blog.
I've already got more traffic than I can handle right now, but mark my word, one mention of Brad Pitt in any blog brings that blog's sitemeter right up.

What's a bit of social decay and Hollywood bullroar on a big operation like this? :)

Ivan

benjibopper said...

my problem with the yuppies line is, would he really refer to himself and his peers as yuppies? what's a euphamism for yuppie?

-Brad P.

TomCat said...

Hi Ivan. I tried to cheer Josie-quark up with some blonde jokes. Hope it helped. :-)

Pardon my chuckle, but I hope your Saturnalia contained some umax. can't help but think of Star Trek's Quark.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Benji,

Suit.

And if that doesnl't suit, google like crazy.

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Tomcat,

Does this mean our Saturnalia is going to end up like the bar scene in Starwars?
Holy Quark!

Ivan

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

\_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/\_/ \_/


%%%%%%% Pretzels

~~~~~~

~~~~~~ Twizzlers

and (::) (::) (::) cookies


enjoy!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

tha party continues.

EA Monroe said...

It's Friday night in the Big Town.

Josie said...

Tell TomCat the blonde jokes worked. They always work :-)

Reading Ivan's blog works too. Ivan is funny even when he doesn't try to be. He just sort of sits back and lets everyone else do the work.

Action and reaction = hilarity.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Liz,
You're just trying to egg us on.

(Tara's still serving drinks and pretzels--we started Thursday afternoon).

Well, big Friday night in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Benjibopper's present home.
The East Coast Film Festival.

There's got to be a response to the Toronto International Film Festival just over.
Masterpieces like "Young Peopple
...ing" just have to be bested.

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Ah, Canadian films.

Here is some non-fanfare for "sick Canada"'s magnum opus, "Young People F*cking":


Confession time: I walked out of every single Canadian film I bought a ticket for at last year's Toronto International Film Festival. Every. Single. One. It is a personal best in a lifetime spent strenuously avoiding films about incest, subway CHUDs, and Alzheimer's Disease. Does this make me a bad person, a bad filmgoer, or just a bad Canadian? Possibly all three.

Sure, our national cinema enjoys more than its share of the knocks, given that Telefilm's notion of a prestige blockbuster seems to be Bon Cop, Bad Cop, and we haven't had a breakaway hit since... er... Meatballs? But that won't stop Canadian filmmakers from trying, or from going back to Canadian cinema's great, undisputed well: sex, sex, and more sex.

TIFF announced some of the highlights of this year's Canada First! programme, including the opening feature, Martin Gero's sex comedy Young People F*cking. (The IMDB profile omits the asterisk, for those in the office today.) The movie intertwines the stories of 5 couples over the course of a sexual encounter for a look at the great befuddling whackiness of human sexual politics. One can yearn for a Canadian equivalent to John Cameron Mitchell's super-awesome Shortbus... rather than the (more likely) rehash of Nine Songs.

If YPF seems a bit smutty, not to worry; the usual contingent of "respectable" Canadian work is landing on the fest as well. Denys Arcand's L'Age des Tenebres (Days of Darkness) has been announced, as has David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises - both of which were once touted as contenders for the opening gala slot (now occupied by Fugitive Pieces). We're also getting Francois Girard's heavily-anticipated Silk, and Roger Spottiswoode's Romeo Dallaire biopic, Shake Hands with the Devil.

Canadian director and cinematographer Michel Brault will be the focus of this year's Canadian Retrospective, and TIFFGroup is publishing a book on Brault by Andre Loiselle. The book will launch at the Gladstone on Thursday, August 23rd.

Well, the reviews are out.
I am positive everybody's just dying to find out what a masterpiece YPF is...I am really behind the times. I never even saw Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice.
I was too busy having my pornography live...It's how I got to be the way I am: Young Person F*cked in the Head.
Then I got to be an old person f*cked in the head.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

I am tired... Off to my cozy bed... perhaps I shall rise later and catch everyone in a ruckus. I have left the Stolichnaya for Ivan and everyone.... its expensive, at least here, but lovely and besides you all are worth it.

Resting eyes are always dreaming and so I bid all a fair night....

soft love

ivan@creativewrirting.ca said...

Tara,

Ah,
After 48 hours, the party is finally over.

I was all for having some more Stolichnaya and starting a new party...Hell, it's only a few minutes to Saturday, when we said we'd have our early Saturnalia.
...After all, Saturday is named after Saturn...Or is it satyrs?

But I too flag.
The spirit is willing, and Stolichnaya is a pretty good spirit...But the body is weak; at least enervated from old Bill's stresses and strains of outrageous fortune.
...Might have to do a doormouse early myself.
Good night, sweet princess.

Ivan

eric1313 said...

Just got back in the door. Had to take a three hour train to Detroit to get my car from the mechanic (it had antifreeze in the oil, a very terminal sign for a car), have dinner with my mom, fight with my stepdad (I knew her first! He's going to have to get used to the fact that I happen to love my mom, unlike him and his familly...), then visited my youngest sister, Sarah, in Port Huron.

That was the bright spot.

She's as good a hockey player as you could ever meet. Played on only the boy's teams until she was thirteen and not allowed to do so anymore. I used to think she could be an Olympian, and she might actually could have been. And she's a voracious reader, so I always ask her about writing, encouraging her to keep a web journal and the like. It's a start. And it's always a good thing to talk about constructive things with her. Besides, she's too young to drink with! I'll have to see if the world corrupts her first. I want no part of that process.

Then the long drive home in the quiet, past-empty wee hours. The yellow lines and construction barrels kept me company. The stars slowly apearing the further one gets from Detroit lit my way home, like an ancient mariner, looking for the true green land, and not just another icecap.

Made me think of Dylan Thomas, "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night". Then I get here, and you're talking Dylan Thomas. Awesome.

And, yes, Flannery is a special writer. EA is very much like her, as you observed. Susan Miller is also a very good southern writer/blogger, though she too is on hiatus, currently.

Ever read Larry McMurtry? Like him or not, I have to ask everyone at lleast once to read "All My Friends Are Going To Be Strangers". He's also a quintesential southern writer, much like Flannery. And that novel is one of his best, as well as being short. Only 270 pages. on the last page, you'll wish he wrote a hundred more pages. "The Last Picture Show" is also a great short novel by him, his first. He was like twenty three or something when it was published. That lucky bastard...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Eric,

Echoes of Holden and Phoebe.

I sometimes wonder how my children fared with a step-father. As their natural father, I'd take them every weekend, but had no idea what went on.

Your car,
They don't have frost plugs any more, but you may have gasket problems. (Heh. Like any halfwit, I have a mechanical bent...In fact, my block too may be cracked).

STP or "slick" might do 'er.

Larry McMurtry published at 23?
I was lucky enough to attend a technical university where publishing was so easy you could almost take a fooball schedule and use it as a manuscript...Those days are gone. To attend Toronto's Ryerson University today you almost need a pedigree--especially if you want to go into Radio and Television Arts. I was a bit older than Mr. McMurtry but I got stuff published early too... Not such a good thing; it gave me a swelled head and I had to be banged around by other writers a bit till I learned a little humility.
Case in point: I applied for a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford Univerity, with an opening letter to the late Mr. Stegner, "I haven read any of your books, but I'm really interested in attending your courses."
Small wonder that Mr. Stegner wrote back saying my talents were largely journalistc and I wasn't an American in the first place. And (I got this through another teacher) F*ck off. Here was the author of Big Rock Candy mountain and a newly published writer from some obscure Canuck college saying, in effect, he never heard of him.

Larry McMurtry was wiser, and certainly more talented. He got the fellowship all right, and travelled in the company of Kesey and Tom Wolfe.
Me and my big mouth!

Anyway, it must feel nice to be back home.

A road trip always gives you a new perspective.

Woaaah.

What in hell am I doing up at six.

Time for a sunriser.

Cheers,

Ivan

Sienna said...

Oh I get it!

\_/ \-/ (someone didn't finish their drink!)...here....\_/ or /-\ (drinking standing on my head)..

Everyone gone to bed?

Maybe this'll wake'em up..*Home is heaven and orgies are vile,
But I like an orgy, once in a while.*

Nope.

Just me and Victor Hugo...you go, no you go, okay I'll go...

I love the evenings, passionless and fair, I love the evens,
Whether old manor-fronts their ray with golden fulgence leavens,
In numerous leafage bosomed close;
Whether the mist in reefs of fire extend its reaches sheer,
Or a hundred sunbeams splinter in an azure atmosphere
On cloudy archipelagos.

eric1313 said...

clink!

To the many faces of sunrise. May one of them smile this day.

That's one heck of a story.

Yeah, I've heard that McMurtry had ego problems, as well. His failed marriages certainlt speak of that. I didn't know he ran with Kesey and that bunch, though. "...Cuckoo's Nest" is a favorite of mine.

But "All My Friends Are Going To Be Strangers" is a personal fav. Because it's about a writer who discovers that having a "normal life" is an impossibility for him unless he quits his art. The life of an artist isn't condusive to the true love and quiet he longs for. At the end, he's drunk and trying to drown his novel in the Rio Grande. It's beautiful and strange all at once. Nope, I didn't give anything away too important. Read it. You'll thank me about it; all two of the people who took my advice and bought it were amazed by it. Everyone else says "sure thing" and then never pick it up. Poseurs...

ivan@creativewwriting.ca said...

Pam,

Time zones.
you wanna rock.

I gotta szooze.

Oh well.

quarks will soon rooze.


Ivan

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Good Morning Everyone.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mornin' Tara.

Hangover screaming to god.

No smokes, no tokes, life's jokes.

Sunday morning coming down, but it's only Saturday and family coming tomorrow.

There used to be a phrase in the Air Force. "Buck up, F-up!"

aaargh.

Ivan

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Drink some mineral water or take some alka-seltzer... it will relieve the hangover.

::gentle hug:: rest easy

Tara

the walking man said...

Five pieces of eight,
one to
get drunk as hell
and four left over
to throw
for my bail.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Tara and Mark,

Good suggestions, both the common-sense and the ribald.

I took a l5 mile walk instead.
Not that I'm an athlete; that's where the beer empties are.
My ass is grass.

Feel better anyway.

Ivan

Anonymous said...

I really like what Benji wrote Ivan, it was clever and the image of refined city people living it up like a couple of cave dwellers is intriguing....a series of that type of spin, (write up country hicks dropped into city existance for eg) would make for great theatre and short film...he's good, I enjoyed it.

benjibopper said...

Kesey, now theres a YPF writer!

Anonymous, thanks for your encouraging words, you're too kind!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Benji,

I love carnal sights, especially YPF, but does this belong at a major film festival like TIFF?

I'm sure you Haligonians can do a lot better at your East Coast Film Festival...No question the Maritimes have been producing the very best music, comedy and films so far. Hey, how about that oldie but goodie, "Goin' Down the Road"?

Ivan

the walking man said...

benji---beemer (BMW) babies instead of yuppies

the walking man said...

Ivan at my current rate of walking it would have taken me 24 hours just to go the 15 miles, good job old man!

Peace

mark

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Good Evening Everyone. Glad you are feeling better Ivan.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark,

It was carrying that 12 pack of empties to the beer store that almost broke my back.

Tara,

Good evening.

Family coming over tomorrow. Hope I can sleep.
Even my daughter is sending blips, greetings.

Ivan

eric1313 said...

Ivan
Will the doormouse roar or shall he be pulled for famillies sake?

Everyone
Hello. Nice to see you all well.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Every time I leave hearth and home to pursue the fine madness of writing, some Loreli waylays me and leaves me hung up on rapids.
the Gautama Buddha trip is fraught with danger.
And hell, even Karl Marx loved his children.

Ivan

benjibopper said...

as george carlin said, it's good to stay healthy...grandma started walking nine years ago and nobody's had a clue where she is since. badumcha. beemer babies, processing.

Ivan, it's our have-not status that makes us so darn creative.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Probably.

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