Thursday, January 10, 2008

Who is this hombre named Art?

Who is this guy named Art?

I was not yet forty and I'd already given my life and energies to "him".

Ah the stupidity of youth.

Throwing everything away, doing a Jesus, but in a profane way, chucking job, family, money and off to a dream of
Ponce de Leon, of Gaugin, of George Orwell (Orwell too threw it all away, but look at the legacy!).

Giving one's life for art.

This is beautiful, but stupid.
Like dying for love, which is also beautiful but stupid.

At thirty-eight, I was clutching a ten-year- old manuscript, hoping for that final rewrite, that "orgasm" that Norman Mailer was always talking about--oh say it on, the placing of THE END at the end of your life's project, feeling so good about this that if a man, you'd want to masturbate!

(There is certainly a tragicomic aspect to all this).
Said a friend, watching me go through the "throes of creation"--"maybe your work is all one big jack-off."

Oh if only it were.
If only it were.

The tortured, lonely "creative artist" is hugely attractive to women, especially in an exotic locale.
The divorcee's are all around, like maybe six to every guy, and if you don't get laid on a Saturday night, you'll never get laid at all...And then every night seems like Saturday Night, with the fiestas, the pinata sticks, fireworks, icons carried through the streets, Mariachi bands trumpeting all the while and romance and marijuana wafting in the air...I mean, wouldn't you?

Que bonitos ojos tienes
De bajo de esas dos ceejas
Que bonito ojos tienes
Ellos me quiren mirar

Malagena salerosa
Besar tus labias quiensiera...

What beutiful eyes you have, my Malagena of the red room.

Yeah, yeah. I was Dr. Hook.

Hearing kids yelling at me from where they were playing another kind of music:
"Techno. Techno!Toronto just like New York. Everybody drive car. Go crazy!"

Go crazy indeed.

"We were all crazy in San Miguel, Ivan", a friend writes to me. "Nuttier than fruitcakes.
More vegetably than verduras, what the natives called us--vegetables. Hippies."

Decades later, I really wonder where my old ex-pats are now.

Ray Davies and the Kinks:

Where are the angry young men now
Where are the angry young men now

I wonder what became of the rockers and the mods
I guess they're all making it, they've all got steady jobs...

Well, we weren't rockers and we weren't mods; we were at the shank end of the Beatles and thieir magical mystery tour, we were following Burton Cummings and his American Woman.

American woman indeed.
American women were not like Canadian women.
They would put out, pour on the love, good for you and all that ailed you.
And the sun rose every morning. No clouds.

Oh blessed dissipation.

Straining your brains out through the eye of dissipation.

Hogarth, Rake's Progress.
Norman Rakewell.

But Norman had the art.
They were telling Norman that he was at least producing the best nonfiction at the Instituto.
They promoted him to El Profesor.
Which made him a rake all the more.
Going off at both ends.
Whizbang firecracker.

There would certainly be a bang and a fizzle.
Heaven forbid that the Big Bang theory that our "artist" was trying to figure out was nothing more than this.
The world ends not with a bang, but with a whimper?
Don't you believe it.
There is the bang, then some secondary bangs and you drift down through an acrid smell of cordite.
And without a parachute.

Will you visit me in the nut house, Laura?
"I will, but if you stay nuts, I will start filing papers."

The laughing gods that rule us seem to leave their trail in documents.

Documents. Documents.
"Important Documents" says the arrogant Pakistani, civil servant, who is now your boss.
"White hog is stupid. Stupid.
You are stupid."

Recently, I visited Mexico again, back at the town of the blue hills, bougainvillia, beautiful 400-year old ruins, cathedrals wherein, among the smoky icons and high apses, you could hear the crack of centuries.

Kingston Trio: "An old man goes to Paris
"His dreams have turned to dust."

But wait. Who is that beautiful woman wandering alone int he Jardine, the town squre, among the rubber and the trueno trees and eucaluyptus flowers?
A tall, beautiful blonde woman who calls herself lonely.
She will meet an American man, or a Mexican man.
Either way, she will win.
By hook or by crook.

I am going to write an opera.
It will be about a paradise, a kind of "love among the ruins."

The ruins of my life.

But by God, did I ever live!

But Art does have a way of coming by to collect.



Charles Gramlich said...

If it were all one big jack off there would be a helluva payoff at the end.

Trevor Record said...

Ivan, you know you make me want to go hang out in Mexico. You're always making it seem like it would be the best way to get some floozies into bed, anyway.

-Trevor Record

Post Script: Art is a disgusting blue ogre of a fellah, dressed like a mob boss and with fickle tastes. If I had the chance I would fight him in a second. But he's a coward, I've no doubt he would turn tail and run. I'd end up looking like the bad guy.

ivan said...

Not for nothing you are a psychologist, Dr. Gramlich.

And did you make that big speech about your writings at your university, like the newspaper said you would?
Now there was a payoff.

You ain't no Alexander Portnoy.

Me, I thinnk I'm goind down to the Winn-Dixia and buy me a pound of liver. :)

ivan said...

Your post script is a gem.

You are one wonderful, talented young MoFo.

benjibopper said...

indeed he does, and he never pays you back either, not in any considerable sum anyway. lately he's given me a teaser or two, he's abusive that way and gives you just how much you need to stay hooked.

btw, read chapter 2 of light over newmarket the other night and loved it. i love how you write. i'm pumped for ch 3.

ivan said...

Our Australian correspondent, Sienna (Pam) has a local colour word for being pleased. "I am chuffed.
Thank you for that wonderful compliment.
I am chuffed.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ivan,

An article I wrote on the state of democracy in Canada has been published by WorldNetDaily (see link below). Hope you enjoy it.

Giuseppe Gori

Is Canada ready for a North American Union?
Posted: January 10, 2008
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Giuseppe Gori
With the prospect of a "North American Union" becoming a subject of conversation, most Americans are worrying about the effect an open border with Mexico would have.
But what about Canada?

...please continue reading at:

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.19.0/1216 - Release Date: 09/01/2008 10:16 AM

Donnetta Lee said...

"And without a parachute."

We all jump into something. You were swimming and hanging on til the end.

I have been swimming in the breast stroke competition. Lost the race. No one told me to use my arms.


Lana Gramlich said...

Interesting post. Personally I'd like to b!tchslap art. We haven't been getting along lately. <:(

ivan said...

Gotta use what you got.

Remember the dismembered knight out of Monty Python, The Holy Grail?

He's down to just a torso and he still challenges, "Stand up and fight!" Hee.

ivan said...

lana gramlich,

Art hangs out in the strangest places.
Like they looked at my crazed face at the Toronto Star and commented, shaking their heads. "talent hides in the strangest places." LOL.

I was fired and rehired three times at the Star.
...I guess I couldn't find Art either.
He ain't always around.

ivan said...

A belated realization re Charles Gramlich's comment.

If I'd only kept it in my pants! LOL.

the walking man said...

as long as someone stands at the memorial service and says something to the affect of, "that motherfucker had a life and he sure as shit lived it!" what else counts beyond that?



eric1313 said...

It's settled--I'll win the lotto and buy us all tickets to Acapulco. Even for the far-flung Canadians.

That's the plan.

And Ivan? I steal ya George Washington's wooden teeth. Consider it a gift.

Where's my vodka?..

eric1313 said...

I'll be gone for a while. Say hello to the rest for me...

or I will


and the rest.

And Ivan? Don't do anything silly like die while I'm gone. Be back next week. I'm getting my car fixed and I'm painting the house and garage of the guy who's putting a new motor in it for me.

And probably painting his mom's house, too. Then I'll owe him nothing for this huge job.

Peace out

ivan said...

Looks like you really did score well on that cognition test you took.
You are right-on with your comment.

Remeber that old movie about Scotty Templeton (with Jack Lemmon?).
There is an eulogy in that movie as Scotty's life is reviewed.
Kind of gave me a twinge.

ivan said...


Seems everybody is effing off!

Bloggers going AWOL, bloggers discontinuing their blogs.
Well, at least Josie's back.

...Also, old alumni of this blog are coming back.

Dawn Caplan, of "That's Miss Hill to You" has resurfaced, emailing me from Alpha Centauri or somewhere, begaffling my server over here with its nervous anti-virus guard.

Comment in this space.
"This space for rent." Heh.

I am getting your email, but cannot answer.

Yep, so many bloggers folding their blogs, but then all the alumni seem to come back a year later.
Can't stay away, huh? :)

ivan said...

p.s. to Eric,

I'll take those wooden teeth.
Feel like Clarence the Toothless Lion...And my drinking is screwing up the synergies with the antibiotics.
Sit on the throne and pull the Loo chain!
Good news about getting your wheels back, but painting other people's rooms can be a drag, as I recall, after a short-lived career as a house painter.
General Patton: "I'm gonna get that paper-hanging son of a bitch!" Lol.

Nice touch with the "Shalom" to everybody.
We are getting quite a club going, no?
Again, great news about getting that motor for your car.
Motion is life!

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