Friday, July 10, 2009

Driving out of Appalachia

It is one of these nights when you walk around town like a somnabulist; You may as well be in a surreal ballad out of Bob Dylan.

You hand in your ticket
And you go watch the geek
Who immediately walks up to you
When he hears you speak
And says, "How does it feel
To be such a freak ?"
And you say, "Impossible"
As he hands you a bone.

And something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones ?

Dylan was probably talking about his half-confessed gay side. Ah if only things were that simple.

Seems that just around the corner, Somebody dressed in black just handed me a bone, and the dude was carrying something else. It looked exactly like a scythe.

Ah, those half-hungover states on a full moon. You swear your can see around corners and realizations spin all around you---parallel worlds dangerously careening, spilling out of half-completed novels, poems, songs... You long to suture together all the perceptions, for you know you will not be in this state again, and it is certain that this incredible reality -unreality will be gone by tomorrow.

My editor says, You should write when you get like that.
Write? I can't tie shoelaces on this full moon. The simplest task is like, my, sailor friend says, "Like trying to insert a strand of spaghetti up wildcat's ass.

Ones age doesn't help either. You're halfway in the past as you approache what might be laughingly referred to as your future. You are in London, you are in Mexico Cilty, you are in Seven Islands, Quebec, chasing seals...You are in the Air Force, and swear, as you take a drink our of the flask you now caary , that you buddies are still all around you and you are rejoining them at the Airmens Club for that final drink. It is thirty years later, and you are picking up the conversation where you had left it.
Parallel universes. Oh that time of the first solo. Flying high and singing Hank Snow...That big eightwheelr comin' down the track...
A younger,, better looking Ivan walking away from the old one who had gotten lost in the hilbilly mountains of Pennsylvania.

Old Ivan walking down the hillside. There are mountain folk in the valley, cooking something over an open fire. "We see you guys, guys like you, walking or rolling down the mountain all the time. Last night, we found a Chinaman. Were going to eat him. They are so clean."

How is it that everybody gets lost coming out of Harrisburg PA?
...Because the road goes around and around the same mountain, and you always end up back at Harrisburg, after even a hundred miles and unless you find the Interstate you'll be like the man in the MTA song, "He will ride forever in the streets of Boston, he's a man who never returned."

Lots of time to review your life when lost in Appalachia.

Oh, what a fine old, better looking self had left me and gone downt the mountain first. The leisure suit with elbow patches, the full head of hair, the Wallabee shoes, the sure gait. We need some class around here, the barmaid had said at a watering hole I'd checked out in Newmarket, Ontario.
Now too long in the States. Yerassisgrass. You ain't got no class. You got pimples on your ass.
Ah, Pennsylvania on a full moon. Past the places where they had lit the fires on the road, past a depresed dog, past a Sycamore tree. Picking up a hitchhiker. Pick up any hitchhiker!
"For God's sake, tell me how to find the Freeway!


Mona said...

You never reach the same place even when you do because there are no Categorical Imperatives!

We live many a a single life...

I remember Madonna crooning " how many times I've died"...


ivan@creativewriting. ca said...

Thanks, Mona.

Could have used.

...And I think youve just out- Plated old Play Dough. Or was it Ari the Greek?

the walking man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the walking man said...

Turn left at the next light, head uphill and then at the top uphill some more. Throw all the trash on the dashboard to make it easier to clean out when you get to the next rest stop and if you still can't find the freeway tell yourself the back roads at least let you see the stuff stranger people than you keep in their front yard.

This, to me anyway, was the best thing you've posted in about three months old man. said...

Thanks, Mark.
Doesn't the god have a price?
Seems one has to suffer dammably to produced anything half-decent. said...

That should be "produce".

Should look at the keyboard every so often. Never mind Shaw Business School. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Lots of things and people have got lost in appalachia and not come out.

ivan said...

Some kind of Maelstrom?

Erik Donald France said...

Loved this! Very dreamy, stream of conciousness, wonderful.

Mona said...

Dear Ivan , can you please check my entry at Jason's blog and express your opinion there? It is entry # 48


Thanks! said...

Oh Mona,

How I understand this!
Give me a little time, as I am still a bit under the weather.

Erik Donald France:
Thank you! You know I value your opinion. You are no hacker.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Find yourself a Super 8, befriend a trucker, hitch a ride to anywhere. You'll soon be out of Harrisburg, and if not, they got those off-shoot ramps that'll keep you from going over the mountain.

(I copied my comment and will pasted it again if it doesn't go through; this is attempt No#1.) said...


Yes, truck stops are good, warm places to hang out. And to get a ride from.

Super 8? Takes thou me for a Ukrainian pornographer?
Actually, someone offered me a role, wearing my pornstache and mask. Also the dog, so he wouldn't be recognized. Didn't get the role.
Not quite up to Ron Jeremy standard.:)
About the comment space...Google seems to have a lot of brainfarts here and I can' seem to do much about it. said...


Liked your story very much.
Oddly, I identified, not being from a mainstream culture myself.
I got picky over one sentence and maybe shouldn't have tried to correct it Jason's comment space.

Lucky readers of this blog can now also click onto Jason's blog where you have highlighted and get access to your fine writing.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Ivan, I, too, am in the same contest (trying to dig out from my second banana image). I'm entry No.#7, and for some reason have been dissed by entry No.#31.

As for movie roles, Robert DeNiro will be in Utica, Michigan, today with his film crew. Utica is where I grew up. Maybe I should try to be an extra.

ivan said...


Well, here's what I wrote into your blog on that particular kerfuffle.

Oh dear.

The sisters are prissy.

Seems much ado about nothing.

When I was publishing miles and miles of stories, people used to say I had an ego about the size of
Long Island.
Now it's more like Parris Island; I could be a refugee.
The heft and freel of the wine bottle in Vee's story is masterfully rendered. It is an image that somehow naturally evokes a tool-using drive in men. Maybe brings out the Freud in me. But not Leavenworth (which is soon to close down anyway).
I don't know why that story writer chose to go a little defensive over
the descripion of the winebottle.

Oh James, Ya jailbird :)

And I fear myself I am going phishing in forbidden streams. :)

JR's Thumbprints said...

Hey Ivan, I think it's time you come over and share a glass of wine with me. Or do you golf? I think a 9-iron would do. Or how about baseball? I've always wanted to swing that new aluminum bat.

Just kidding.

Really. said...

Yeah, I know.
Jailhouse Rock.

..But maybe we can discuss it over a bottle of Mogen David.

Spiritual out of Alabama:

Do they have Mogen David in heaven, sweet Jeesus?
Dear lord, I'd like to know

If they don't have Mogen David in heaven, Sweet Jeezus.
If they don't
Who the hell wants to go? said...

Lucky enough at one time to win a writing spot where I could say pretty well what I pleased, I still found I could not write with the same facility as my editor.
"Get to the heart of the matter," he said. said...

........Oh crap.

This was meant for The Walking Man's blog, titled today, "The Heart of the Matter."
Ah. Doing the senility tango!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Hey Ivan,

Fore! said...


Little alien here from the book, "Breakfast of Champions", signallling danger the only way he can, in his alien way, by farting and tapdancing.

Mona said...

Hey Ivan

thanks said...

Y're welcome.