Sunday, August 08, 2010

What's this sh*t?..I think I need a Sunday off.

I am no Seventh Day Adventist, but like a New Guinea wanderer I once met, I am sort of, like one M. Dennie Mark, Seventh Day Adventist. He seemed very self-important,said he was "very well educated", by missionaries. "You can address me as M." And,"I believe in the Seventh Day."

Well, Saturday for me is for revelling and carousing.
But I seriously need a Sunday.
For the past eight years, I have been going flat out, writing like a fiend, with the same results: zero on the book publishing front, just a line or two in the periodicals to keep the old hand in.
Einstein says somewhere that if you keep doing the same thing over and over again, with the same results, you are crazy. I am crazy.

I have finally published a book. It started out as an in-between editorial and novel, or some other mongrel thing...I mean to talk to commentator JR about this...but after tight editing and rewriting, paying close attention to plot and character, I think I've finally gotten it right.
Whew. The tension's out. Mid-life crisis is over, but here on the slope end of seventy it seems to me more like Perpetual Crisis. Sort of like the menopausal Dr. Smith out of "Lost in Space", from the Seventies. "Oh dear. What will become of me."

I think I need a Sunday.
Fork it.
...Going flat out for eight years. It's beyond Seventh Day Adventism.
I am M. Dennie Mark, replete with huge penis sheath like they used to wear in New Guinea? but its more like a wooden codpiece once worn by Restoration fops in the coffe houses, like Mick Jagger stuffing a toilet roll into his pants just to make him as large as the big boys. It's all show. One is actually, uh, quite modest.

I was never a conventional teacher of writing. The Trickster God would sometimes get me. I would show to my class, usually ladies, a picture of a New Ghinea warrior, in full, threatening gear. Abnormally huge.

Then I would add,

"Ladies, ladies, the boat for Port Moresby does not leave till Tuesday of next week."

Other teachers, hearing of my antics, would point out my beautiful Victorian mansion with the attic atop, where I would write. "Seems so serene, so affluent. But a madman lives there."
Well, what the hell. I used to hang around with cookbook writers who had said. "You're a writer. You're an asshole. Writers are assholes. All artists are assholes."
Probably extreme.
But they did tell me at the Toronto Star that talent seems to hide in the strangest places. Especially when my girlfriend at the time, Marilyn Beker, would take me arm in arm, and join me in a lusty recitation of madrigals and gavottes.
"The guy can do his job, but is he ever weird!...And his chick doesn't seem so togeher as well.

Even then, I think I needed a Sunday. Four years of intense intellectual effort for a guy whose real nature was reveller and carouser, a drunk...and it was beginning to show. I would weird -out an entire beautiful brass elevator-full of Star employees by giving twelve people a Vodka bouquet that would fumigate a farm.
Said Pat McNenly, my Star tutor at the time, "Migod, this elevator is really loaded."
I'd never talk back to Pat McNenly a former Typhoon pilot during the Normandy invasion and claimer of two Focke-Wulfs shot down by his trusty 20mm cannon-armed Typhoon. "You gotta lead your target. Give him brace of twenty-mike-mike, like a skeet shooter.

Well, I finally hit the targer. Opened fire with my "Fire in Bradford", which is already making money, and I hope the twenty mike-mike guns keep firing.
But I need a Sunday.
Again, too much intellectual effort, for too long, from a guy whose nature was reveller and carouser.
I miss my barmaid, who says she loves me. Egad. I think she means it...Surely there must be some way to exploit. :)

Reveller and carouser, fool of the four p.m. drinks.
Some women like fools.
I'm half convinced marriages hold together because the wife knows old hubber is a fool, and who else is going to look after the poor dweeb?

Like my wife used to tell me, "You're cute, but you're dozy."
And I'd come back from work and say I'd f*cked up a story and she would say, "What else is new?
"We are two f*ckups grown somehow strong."

But even then, I needed a Sunday.

A faroff place, a moral holiday.
Jesu Cristo! you need material for your lies.

I finally sent the new novel to my ex-wife.

She does not talk to me any more, but my poor daughter had said,

"You know what Mom said? "What's this shit?'"

Damn. You sure need to be a devil to earn your halo.
Maybe, in fact, I just need a sh*t.

Running out of gas. I get the sense of dying of starvation.

I am exhausted. I need a Sunday.


JR's Thumbprints said...

Hey Ivan, if it makes you feel any better no one in my family reads my shit. Without those Sundays off I'm like a mongrel trapped on an elevator inbetween floors. I say ebook your novel, Kindle-ize it, Nook it, e-reader it; less overhead, more money in your pocket, which in turn means you can fumigate plenty of elevators.

ivan said...


Ha ha ha ha!

You should have seen those people trying to clamber up the highly polished, smooth brass walls of the elevator.

You say, ebook the novel, Kindle-ize it, Nook it, e-reader it.

Looks like that may be the way to go... I'll have t re-read Charles Gramlich on how to do it....But lately, I have the attention span of a squirrel...I need a Sunday. :)

Mona said...

Now where do I buy your book from?

Hey, JR is right. No one in family can really appreciate your effort. We have a saying in India " Ghar ki murgee daal barabar" ( The chicken cooked at home always tastes like poorly cooked lentil)

I havent read any of my father's ten books that he wrote and published. Not even the one he dedicated to me.

Not that I was not interested, but that I understand a word of economics , ( both my parents have been famous Indian Economists)

I'm half convinced marriages hold together because the wife knows old hubber is a fool, and who else is going to look after the poor dweeb?

Wrong. Half of such marriages hold together because the wife knows that old hubber is a fool, and that she can have her own way easily with him , including dominate him spend his money and cuckold him, without him ever having a clue of what is happening!

Mona said...

PS. I Do NOT understand a word of economics. said...


Your comment is full of insight.
I swear that I once left home because of the nagging insight that the husband is the last to know. said...


I went from a 56% in economics to finally graduate from Ryerson University with a 63% in economics.
What lifted me up was my thesis, (perhaps in character), "MAD Magazine as an example of Dada Art." For this I unexpecteddly got an A, as was required for my thesis at the time...You had to get an A, as you know from your post-graduate work.
Speaking of economics...It would be really good form for me to send you the book gratis, as I have used and published your critical analysis of The Fire In Bradford right at the back of the book.
But, since I got the 63 in Economics, it was no false mark.
Damned if I can find the postage to send to India...And you're away from your home town right now.
In any event, the book is $25.00...Steep, I know.

Should anybody else be interested you can write directly to the author.

Ivan Prokopchuk
540 Timothy Street, Apartment 304
Newmarket, Ontario L3Y 5N9.

the walking man said...

Ivan...I may be the last to know but I am also the last to give a shit. That's why we have lasted this long.

I have been retired for 10.5 looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong years.

Every day is a Sunday. I need a fucking Monday. said...


I do get a little depressed when I hear the rock group Greenday belt out, "September never ends."
...But there is something of the Christ principle here. Roll back the rock. Still alive. This time cagier. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Even God needed a day of rest. And he's got more energy than any of us. Not to mention I don't think he drinks as much.

Mona said...

Ivan, I remembered another saying that we have in India:
"Bandar kyaa jaane adrak ka swad"

( How can a monkey appreciate the taste of ginger)

Hey! And that particular 'insight' as you call it, goes both ways, depending upon who the fool is!

ivan said...


Perhaps like the ancient Roman cats:

In vino, veritas.

But perhaps the Romans had little taste for the absurd.
The more I drink, the more I feel my heart belongs to Dada. :)

BTW, Mona. Those photos you were interested in are atop my blog just behind this one:
"Every Good Post Deserves a Failing One."
There is certainly a family resemblance. :)

Cheers. said...


There is great Mesapotamian wisdom in the Bible.

...But as a frustrated scholar, I sometime wonder who had gotten it first, which culture.

Mona said...

Hmmm. truth in wine...

What is Dada. In India the word means paternal grandfather.

& I heard something about Dadaism once ...

I'll just go and check the photos :)

benjibopper said...

Careful what you wish for, or you'll end up like John Prine ("aint been laid in a month of Sundays") ;-)

Well, since all writers are assholes, congrats on the book from one asshole to another.

Now, as Steve Forbert advised, get out in the daylight and go for a walk! said...

Dada was a protest by a group of European artists against World War I, bourgeois society, and the conservativism of traditional thought. Its followers used absurdities and non sequiturs to create artworks and performances which defied any intellectual analysis. They also included random "found" objects in sculptures and installations...For example, Marcel Ducham put up a urinal for display.

The founders included the French artist Jean Arp and the writers Hugo Ball and Tristan Tzara. Francis Picabia and Marcel Duchamp were also key contributors.

The Dada movement evolved into Surrealism in the 1920's.
It seemed to come back with a vengeance in the early l950's throuh MAD Magazine, which some said, was "Dada in the
drugstore." said...


...Sort of a kindred spirit. What you say is pertinent.
Oh the anals of history.

Yep. This asshole is defintely going out for a walk. said...

PS to Mona,

Though I have often been immersed is French culture I am still a little stymied by it.
But I believe the word Dada comes fom "rocking horse."

To the Dadaists, I guess it meant a kind of hobby horse. Still, with no Dada, there might have been a different Picasso. said...

PS to Benjibopper,

After my email yell at him, saying what a classic masterpiece he had created in MAD #2, "Melvin Mole, a Man out of Control", the late Willie Elder, graphic comic genius wrote back to me, after being told of my thesis on MAD,

"You are now one of us."

But he added, "Remember what Grocho Marx said, 'I wouldn't want to be part of any club that would have me as a member.'" He did add a graphic sign...":-)"

Erik Donald France said...

This whole sequence is inspiring -- including the give and take comments.

I just had a Sunday, and a Monday. But now it's Tuesday.

Adding to the chorus, also salute the idea of an ebook version -- salud! said...

Erik Donald France,

Para usted, compadre. said...

...Or should that be Je vous en prie? :)

Mona said...

My question is, did you ever seek a producer for the play Bradford?

It will make waves, I see a lot of potential in that! Much more than the novel... said...


You are probably right. I should be out entertaining theatre directors....Just that right now I'm sort of fighting with one hand tied behind my back. Odd about life. When I had a fortune or two, I couldn't make any headway with publishers...Now there is some headway, but I can't afford to wine and dine the theatre directors or publishers.

Sidebar on this:

Hookers also like to be wined and dined, but I dasn't go into that story...:)

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