Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fire in Bradford. Chapter Two

Warning.

The second chapter of my novel, THE FIRE IN BRADFORD may be rated 18+

But here goes anyway. THE FIRE IN BRADFORD, Chapter Two:


Chapter Two

On my frequency in spades, or was it the Rolling Stones?


Well I followed her to the station
With a suitcase in her hand


How long would I follow her over the next five years, with a suitcase in my own hand to be rebuffed, Rabelaised on.



Well I saw her at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna make her connection
In her glass there was a footloose man


This after a pretty stud popinjay tried to make her his novel. Maybe a popinjay like me. And would I later be a bleeding man in the bottom of her glass?


We danced. She seemed somehow stiff, not in tune with the natural grace of her perfect little body. She just seemed to want to sit near me, wanting to be very close. She rubbed a tentative thigh against me. I backed off a little. "What goes on between you and Lief?' I blurted. "You are a married woman after all."

She took a sip of her white wine. Damn. Her nice high forehead, flesh-coloured lipstick, blonde hair abob.

"Lief and I have an open marriage. He has male friends, he has female friends. I have female friends. I have male friends."

So here we were, dating and dancing, she and I. Male friend and female friend.

The night, as they say, rocked on, as it will with music by the Stones and the nice amber haze. Why is this beautiful, sexy mannequin so interested in me, mousy wallflower, dumb prof? And then she made that tentative move towards my genitals. Whaa...? I was lonely but not altogether stupid. "Lana, you are a married woman. Leif is just next door."

"Lief understands."

I leaned back and had a cigarette. Nice living room with its C-shaped chesterfield, wide enough to accommodate two small, slight people like ourselves. Top the left, a dining room with its millet and Cezanne prints, all grouped nicely, the wide picture window, the drapes not drawn, the two of us more than just silhouettes in the window. We kissed like brother and sister. I was growing to falling in love with her. And yet I could not make a move.


We would begin to have pub nights quite often, Lana soon affecting a wonderful floppy beret that graced her beautiful, symmetric face. "I am in a French Writers class," she would say and we'd trade bon mots and zippy Parisian phrases. Or, at least, my fractured French that I'd learned in Quebec, Haiti and Newfoundland. It's not hard to get a job at a community college. "What you call dat t'ing that bash his face against de tree?"

Very quickly, though, I felt a need for the wide open spaces.

Lana was sending up a wave of energy that welled right up against my lifeboat.
(to be continued)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fifty miles of bad road

It has become almost cliché  among sentient people to agree  with old T.S Eliot, with the startling realization that what you have been thinking for years has already been well explored by somebody else. But better.
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." 

Afer fifty years of writing, performing, caurousing, whoring, I am something like a mole with a very tender nose. Seems nobody ever told me to go around! But one is mole-like, and it seems that there are certainly burrowing tendencies, probably the result of the last world war, where you had to dig, dig, dig, or be exploded.


When I wrote my European wartime novel, The Black Icon, I was blissfully unaware that the writing of that book was just the first step of a journey, easily, of ten thousand miles, with no real goal in sight, save that of one book, then another, then another probably to show how good I thought I was.

But I found over the years, possibly agreeing with old Willie Maughan, that there was only one book in me, and the second, third and fourth was just burrowing around.

After fifty years, I think I have come to he end of my tunnel. Like a Kafkaesque character drawn by my once-pen pal, Willie Elder in Mad Magazine, "YOU'VE DUG YOUR LAST HOLE, MOLE!

Seems today, I am right back where I first began with writing what my creative writing prof  had said was  one brilliant flash in the pan, THE BLACK ICON.

Jesus. Hundreds of thousands of wasted words, the babysitting with your toddler son tugging  at the paper in your typewriter, the years of surely masochistic starvation where you had quit  a perfectly good paying job the humiliation over what was probably deliberate failure just to experience what that was like.

The answer surely lies in humour, whereTV ole boy Jethro says to the rich artist, "You're supposed to suffer if you're an artist.

"Well, you're sure going to suffer when you find out some drunk backhoe operator loaded a ton of sand into your kidney-shaped swiming pool."

I've had the houses and I've had the pools, but there was this almost adolescent artist thing. "Have I, have I, have I made the grade?"

Too young to know I had made it, made it very early, and now like the nervous amateur thespian who only had two lines to say, "Hark! Cannon! I have ended up,at the end of my rope, like that nervous actor,  blurting out, "What the fuck was that?"

Goldurn it.

After fifty years, I am back where I started.

It is time to again republish my only decent work, THE BLACK ICON.

All the rest, it seems, was sturn und drang, storm and stress.

Fifty mile of bad road

It has become almost cliché  among sentient people to agree to agree with old T.S Eliot, with the startling realization that what you have been thinking for years has already been well explored by somebody else. But better.

"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." 

Afer fifty years of writing, performing, caurousing, whoring, I am something like a mole with a very tender nose. Seems nobody ever told me to go around! But one is mole-like, and it seems that there are certainly burrowing tendencies, probably the result of the last world war, where you had to dig, dig, dig, or be exploded.


When I wrote my European wartime novel, The Black Icon, I was blissfully unaware that the writing of that book was just the first step of a journey, easily, of ten thousand miles, with no real goal in sight, save that of one book, then another, then another probably to show how good I thought I was.

But I found over the years, possibly agreeing with old Willie Maughan, that there was only one book in me, and the second, third and fourth was just burrowing around.

After fifty years, I think I have come to he end of my tunnel. Like a Kafkaesque character drawn by my once-pen pal, Willie Elder in Mad Magazine, "YOU'VE DUG YOUR LAST HOLE, MOLE!

Seems today, I am right back where I first began with writing what my creative writing prof  had said was  one brilliant flash in the pan, THE BLACK ICON.

Jesus. Hundreds of thousands of wasted words, the babysitting with your toddler son tugging  at the paper in your typewriter, the years of surely masochistic starvation where you had quit  a perfectly good paying job the humiliation over what was probably deliberate failure just to experience what that was like.

The answer surely lies in humour, where
TV ole boy Jethro says to the rich artist, "You're supposed to suffer if you're an artist.

"Well, you're sure going to suffer when you find out some drunk backhoe operator loaded a ton of sand into your kidney-shaped swiming pool."

I've had the houses and I've had the pools, but there was this almost adolescent artist thing. "Have I, have I, have I made the grade?"

Too young to know I had made it, made it very early, and now like the nervous amateur thespian who only had two lines to say, "Hark! Cannon! I have ended up,at the end of my rope, like that nervous actor,  blurting out, "What the fuck was that?"

Goldurn it.

After fifty years, I am back where I started.

It is time to again republish my only decent work, THE BLACK ICON.

All the rest, it seems, was sturn und drang, storm and stress.