Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eschered by M.C. Escher

Abundaman en todos costados ventanas viejos y abas el derribar debuhan adelante una cella o pozo.

--Jorge Luis Borges.

(It abounded on windows on all sides, with stairs leading down to a cell or pit).

It's probably my immigrant family backround, but every so often, I get the feeling that Canadian society leads you to a trap, or a series of traps.

--Or maybe I mean just Canadian women.

Whatever the case, I am today already down the stairs and in that cell or pit. I have been Eschered,all perspective gone...Like W. Somerset Maugham's take on what science and biology will eventually reveal to confound us with us: River is jungle and jungle is river.

But it's probably more commonplace.

Somebody is f*cking with my head.

There was a time when I was Harry the Rat with women, when it was me who was serving the drinks and let the wenches beware.

Now in a relationship after ten years of drought,I walk on eggshells, dare not leave a woman scorned or even alone, for I know the back-blow, bullshit and even need for therapy that can result.

And yet I know that I must walk.

Fats Domino:

I got my suitcase in my hand

Now ain't that a shame?

New Orleans is my home

That's the reason that I'm goin'

This time I'm walkin' to New Orleans.

I got no time for talkin'

I gotta keep on walkin'...

I think I'm going to have to take a walk to Hamilton. It is eighty mile away, and that should be far enough.

My family lives there, but I am informed that all problems start with the family...and end with the family--and that is somehow jarring. Euripides: All problems start with the family... And end with the family?

It seems that I am partially responsible for alienating my immediate family...I dare not do more damage. But my sisters, for whatever reason, tell me that all the women in my family are castrators. I did chose a wife not of my own tribe, she was magical, a doll, but lately, and there, I get that "One-hung low" feeling.

It is especially strong now, with me just back from the hospital with blood pressure problems, and hell, say it on: I can't seem to get my shift-lever mechanism to work.

(I had a student in my creative writing class with the same problem. Myself successful, virile and on top of the world at the time I displayed an amazing insight of worldliness, saying to the student that it will all pass. It is in the bounty of the woman).

Now I wish I could find that student. How're ya doin' now after thirty years?

Well, I did find out he was now unemployed and that hardly leads to feelings of bibilousness. Hell, even gassiness...Maybe I had become something of an old fart and that's why the disconnect between the old student and me.

I sincerely hope it's just the post-hospital
state. You feel not quite up to things after a spell with IV's, needles and sleeping pills.

Why this feeling of being Eschered, as in a push-me-pull-you lllustration.

And the dank feeling of being in a cell or pit.

Over seventy and veering between old Eros and Thanatos?

Uplifting, no?

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Bang, Miss Scarlett. The war is over!

Pimping my work for the local papers, I thought I might as well write my own review of my book, hoping some editor could pick up on the info.
She did, and eventually a mini-review was put out on my The Fire in Bradford,
my local version of a Professor and the Blue Angel.

Here is what I teased the lady editor with, to give her some background on my novel.

"Newmarket's veteran writer, pamphleteer and former teacher Ivan Prokopchuk has written a novel about Bradford, but watch ou!. It's pretty Damon-Runyon. Guys and dolls--and some of the dolls have problems.
The Fire in Bradford is a novel along the lines of the antique movie The Professor and the Blue Angel. The professor meets his Marlene Dietrich, and to a straitlaced Prof recently divorced and lonely, this signals trouble right from the word go.Lana is is glamorous, has a job jumping out of cakes at conventions. He is newly divorced and looking for love and identity. It is not a cake walk.
The two personalities clash, there is fire. There is Fire in Bradford, which in the Eighties, was a pretty wild place in some sections, as the call sign then was sex, drugs and rock and roll.
It is into this world that the poor professor is thrust into.
He falls in love with the vivacious, gorgeous Lana, he the mousy Professor Rath and she the racy Blue Angel.

This was not the familiar College, Professor!
This was a world of players, pimps and police and it seems any number could play. Except him.
He was not a weekend man, but a weakened man after separation from his wife. What he wanted was love, understanding, a new start, perhaps a new identity.
He would surely not find it in The old Village Inn environs.
So he is beaten from the start, caught in a menage-a-trois between Lana, her husband-- and even Lanas other lover.
He soon discovers that five into four won't go.
After years of success and couthness at the college, he is something of a prude, and he just can't keep up with the fast style of Bradford Yuppies at the time.
He is finally dumped by Lana for an apparent drug dealer whom Lana needs to maintain her own supply.
She was not in love with the professor in spite of her love notes and entreaties to him as her possible way out. She was in love with the drug.
And so begins the professor's downfall as he descends into alcoholism and obsession over the lost Lana. "Only you," he cries into his beer at the Bonanza Tavern, while Lana marries the fourth man and herself descends into a West End drug existence in Toronto.
But there is something of the Don Quixote to the professor.
He attemps a rescue of Lana, who, of course does not want to be rescued. He botches the attempt and is ever further rebuked and rejected.
Says one reviewer about The Fire in Bradford, the fire is largely in hi pants, Lana is unnatainable and for him and his obsession, there is no exit.
He squanders all his savings, finally travels the world, trying to find in motion what he has lost--the unnaturally beautiful but wild Lana--and ends up as a Main Street alcoholic in Newmarket. No exit.
He finally sits near a dumpter at the 404 Plaza whre there is at least stale-dated food-- and writes his novel."

Heh. Romantic, no?