Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Oh those horsey Canadian toffs, aping the English aristocracy


My entire left lower jaw has ballooned out like a small squash, a molar has been infected, my hands tremble for a drink and I am out of cigarettes.
Seems to me that now is the time for writing.
...Can't write anything until everything else seems to go to hell.
Doing the masochist tango.
The god wants a price.

Let's see now.

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party.

Anything to get you going, anything at all.

Well, let's go back to an earlier time,

I had no apartment, no job, even in those times, my teeth were really bad, my mother was dying and that was the time I decided to visit a magazine office, and in there, they were talkin' real slick and smooth about all us exurbanites here fooling with fox hunts and trying to ape the English aristocracy.

I had to become a writer on local "English" sport at once.

An anglicized Ukrainian, taught largely by British dons, I really knew how to put on the dog.

So off I went, to cover the fox hunt in King City.

Corblimey:

Man, woman and child, spattered from boot to breakfast chasing some virtual fox, going hellbent for leather.
I guess it is a sign of aristocracy to be around danger, especially large, dangerous animals.

I saw my immigrant father driving along a county road in a pickup truck, and I swear I heard him saying, "Stupid bastard. Want to ride horse through trees. If these aristocrats had any sense they would give all this land up to potatoes!."

Jumping fences. Jumping social classes. I thought of a still earlier time. "You left your class," my rich father-in-law had been saying to me. That was a real jump."
"Never mind, Stewart," I would say. "Deep in my heart of hearts, I am a dyed-in-the wool socialist. People need housing people need food."
Said the father-in-law: "Do you need housing? Do you need food?"
"No."
"Then be still, closet socialist."

Well, for some masochistic reason, I put myself in a situation where I had no housing or food.
The idea was to write a novel on all of this.
I did, but had to publish the book at my expense.

Oh, if I'd only stayed in the class I'd grafted onto.

Now here am I, at the tail end of a fox hunt so I could do a story on it.

It was the apple tree that felled me.
Adam in the garden.
Adam in jodhpurs. (I still had them from the old days...I looked serious and little gay. Dada stormtrooper).
What set did I just come in from?

Why, from the horsey toffs of course.

My big Hunter had led me to the apple tree.

One of the biggest tragedies of life is trying to recover your fortune.

I chomped on an apple, and almost choked on it.
Ah, what the hell. A man can always use a bit of Vitamin C.


##

28 comments:

General Jack Ripper said...

Jesus. Hang in there Ivan.

the walking man said...

Yeah man. Ivan I know how you feel, although I never had a fortune to lose or an upper class I grafted onto, I understand what you are saying and fuck the vitamin C just give me another cigarette.

One thing though when you look back on it all, at least for me, I can say fuck it's been a hell of a ride so far.

Peace

mark

benjibopper said...

kinda reminds me of hunter s. at that desert race.

also reminds me of when my jaw became inflamed in mongolia, so much pain. fortunately a friendly family invited us for breakfast and shots of vodka. four shots later, no pain.

the tooth eventually came out in ghana.

ivan@creativewriting.da said...

General Jack Ripper,

Looks like I'll have to guard my body fluids. It's the body fluids, Mandrake!
Ever see a Commie drink water, Mandrake?
We gotta guard our body fluids.

Seriously, I am goint to my doc and dentist.
Thanks.

ivan@creztivewriting.ca said...

Yes, yes, Walking Man.
In an age of great trouble and indeterminate longings, there is always the sure temporary cure of having a a cigarette.
The medical-industrial complext doesn't want us to know this.
Those with alzheimers are usually non-smokers.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Benji,

Thanks.
Your experience in Mongolia is somehow an object lesson.

I tried the vodka.
I think it's working.

But I'd better make the rounds to the docs and pharmacies.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Irish Whiskey works better.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Tara,

You're back from the Highlands.
Thought you would have gone with Scotch.
Ah, but there's Irish whiskey.
"And I like it too."

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Back, yes, Scotland was beautiful but so was Ireland.

Sorry to hear about your tooth.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

I am now quite plooshed on strong British ale. Can hardly write.

To coin a phrase, "Knock you up in the morning."

Shesawriter said...

(((Ivan))) my DH has an infected tooth too. He has to get root canal this Sunday. Needless to say he's not very happy right now.

Hope you feel better soon.

ivan#@creativewriting.ca said...

Thanks Tanya.
It's all somehow tied in with the writing process.
People with bad teeth are supposed to somehow create more.
No pain, no gain?
But I don't think your DH writes.

Ah, wasted pain.
Hope it all goes well for him at the dentist.

Josie said...

How are you Ivan?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Josie,

Thank you for asking.

Remember that movie, "Grey Lady Down"?

Um,"one-eyed man in an ass kicking contest."
Can't say too much in the middle.

Next book I read will be "How to cure yourself of positive thinking."
My Mastercard maxed out just when I was trying to pay for the amoxyl the dentist had prescribed.
Trying the vodka cure.
Oh but the dreams you get between the novocaine and the Vodka.

Entire sprawling novels, parallel universes, unfinished business in all love affairs. Memories of dead relatives, circumstances, synchronicities.
I must re-read Joyce Carol Oates' Unholy Loves to learn how to draw female characters.
Her Sandra is so convincing!

Ah, the next dreamed-of novel.
But the last four came so hard and publishing was so difficult.
Ecclesiastes: "Of the writing of books, there is no end."

Ah, what's a little apochrypha (added to the Bible)) in a big operation like this.
I am all right.
Or should I say booga-booga? :)

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

How is the tooth ivan?

TomCat said...

Dang, Ivan. Hope you get that fixed ASAP!

TomCat said...

PS... I couldn't write in that condition!! Bravo!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Tara,

(Knocking on arborite) It seems okay. I can actually eat on the--whoops! can't use that word; it would trick my meaning--gap.
So far, so good.
And thanks for asking.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Thanks, TomCat.
Oh what an addiction blogging is, come rain or shine or toothache!

A said...

I used to complain I had no lighter, until I met a man with no smokes. Maybe you can find yourself some kinnickinnick?

P.S.:I have a friend who puts salt on his granny smiths when eating them. I have yet to try it. It seems like it'd taste good. Salt and vitamin C must be good for mouth infections, one would think.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Hello A.

You writes like a tall poppy.

And granny smith's apples gave you away.

Betcha you'll be watching the Beijing Olympics. Hunter class.

Our Torchy Millar, now my age, has won many a gold medal. Comes from my home town (almost). Sometimes Isee him on the street.
Thrill. Really.

We'll be backing a French-Canadian guy who was caught years ago for recreational use of cocaine (nothing to do with Steeplechase, but they canned him all the same).
Says he wants to pay back.

Almost enough to get you interested in equestrian Olympics.

...It was old Torchy Millar who had put Canada on the map.

Now a coke head over a nag's head.
The mind boggles.

eric1313 said...

I'm there with ya. I had to have my wisdom teeth surgically removed. It was not fun.

Sorry I haven't been around as of late. My Aunt Theresa was recently diagnosed with a tumor right behind her eye, so I've been with her in the hospital a lot this week.

Seems everyone has a lot of problems. I hope yours gets cleared up.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Hi Strange-ah.

Yes, wisdom teeth. Had the same thing done years ago...I thought the madness was psychological, while all the time, my impacted wisdome teeth had been driving me crazy...had to have the oral surgeon grind them out. Twice. And all the while trying to keep two women happy...Crazy old bastard.
... Now this B.S.
...Used to pride myself on my health, still walk ten miles a day.
About the only thing I have with ancient heretic Tartullus is that my tongue is busy checking out the holes where some of my molars had been.
...Used to have a habit of falling into money. Well, it's certainly time to get that old touch back; I have no dental coverage.

...........

A poetess will soon rejoin our ranks here. She is one Janet Harvey. She is from Jamaica and writes the ost amzzing poetry. I'm sure there will be an affinity between you and Janet once she sends me some new poetry. She is one recently published poet whom I really dig...Seems to explain my personal symbols to me like nobody else. Sort of a female Jung, but she observes from the standpoint of "legal alien", and can therefore see things abou us that we cannot see ourselves....Comes from being a nurse, I guess.
I would love to set up a a poem or two of Janet's one day instead of running my own blog. Every time I do this, I get oodles of comments.

Sorry your aunt Theresa has this horrible condition.
Visiting the sick produces good karma.

eric1313 said...

Was that NBMHD comment yours? It sounded like it. Yeah, I practically renovated the poem a third time.

At least I'm not afraid to pull the trigger on changing everything. I know how some writers are. They don't even believe in drafts. I remember creative writing, handing a story or a packet of poems for workshop. When asked about the stories, I'd tell them I drafted it anywhere between three and seven or eight times depending on which story it was.

There'd always be some smart ass that would pipe up with "I only do first drafts" with a poop-sucking smirk on his face.

Me: "That's why you'll never get published." =D

Even the instructor would stifle a laugh before telling me to be nice.

But it's ok. I write a lot of poems that before I hit publish, I lop off half of the material. Gone. I can always re write it.

That's another thing my prof taught me: You can write poems and then use the same subject, idea or anything else in the poem and write a story. Then you'll have both. And poetry journals aren't going to care that some poem is just like a story you have. They might not even know.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Eric,

Yeah, that was me trying to X.25--use something transfinite--to get over being kicked off your blog. Sometimes it takes two tries.

...........

"There'd always be some smart ass that would pipe up with "I only do first drafts" with a poop-sucking smirk on his face."--Oh haven't I met these people!
Worse still is a musician I met, who proudly announced he never used bar chords. WTF!

"That's another thing my prof taught me: You can write poems and then use the same subject, idea or anything else in the poem and write a story. Then you'll have both. And poetry journals aren't going to care that some poem is just like a story you have. They might not even know."

This is intriguing, Eric...It has been done masterfully by D.M Thomas, where he takes a poem (somebody else's) and builds a brilliant gothic novel out of it, titled The White Hotel (Not for everybody).
Yes, writing a poem from an idea, then a short story.
Something the late Vance Packard told me in Mexico (almost on the same subject): Don't write an article, write a book."

eric1313 said...

Right on about the book instead of the article. You can always get articles from the book. So much better to fulfill a creative endeavor to it's maximum potential, then build off of that.

Thanks for all the support, Ivan. I'm glad you hoped by my blog that day. I hate to say it, But Mark and I have not always had the smoothest getting on, and sometimes things have been quite nasty (I'll give you the link some time), so I didn't know/want/whatever if I should hang in the same crowd.

Of course, I'm not a hanger-oner, but you know what I mean. I didn't want to put myself into a position to have to fight back. Because I do. I don't cow to people who try to assert themselves over me. Actually, it makes me crazy.

But I'm glad you did drop by. It's good to meet new people and expand our horizons and networks. One never knows...

Anyway, I've got a can of soup and a roast beef and ham sandwich waiting for me. I'll be back to read your top post in a bit.

Peace out.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Eric,

All the worse when assertive women bloggers try to lord it over "you".

I used to be a pretty good witch dunker, but I think I'm losing my touch.
None of the quarks, of course are witches.

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