Monday, November 02, 2015
Life is a circle, my in-law tells me. It is a circle indeed, I offer. The last time I was in my present plight, my father in law, seeing me broke and depressed, chided "Oh, come on now. You're sitting in your own Ukrainian sh*t!." (But ones own class, at least at the time, was reaching up to help me out. Father-in-law did sign the cheque). Egad. Forty yeas later, I am still "sitting in my own Ukrainian sh*t." And this time there is no cheque signer. Or has one found one's own operating principle? My father-in-law's cheque was for $100, 000. Migod. I have f*cked up totally. Come on million dollars!
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
What seems a lifetime ago, in journalism school, they told me,"If you want to be a writer, you must give up the violin." Fifty years later, I am still conflicted. There is the writing, yes, miles of it, but I still sneak off to the local pub to do a little fiddle-playing, more specifically, a gig as lounge singer in the good ole style of Seventies Baroque Rock and Roll. I suppose I am still of two heads, left-brain and right. Left for the analytical and detailed, that is to say good writing--or just plain letting it hang out in rock'n'roll, which is probably ones true nature--anarchy and barely competent musicianship. It is also a good way of getting laid. Why does a 77-year old man go to a guitar gig at a nightclub? Well, all through my misspent youth, people called me a crafty f*cker. lol.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
It's an old joke, but, "Where is Calpurnia?" "She's in bed with Pneumonia." ..."Why that Greek bastard!" .................. Well, it isn't all Greek to me. Been in hospital for six days. Ha. Situation almost grave...good thing for antibiotics. Now, I seem cured, but can I write? lol.
Monday, May 11, 2015
For years, I have been an admirer of Anton Chekhov, the implied naration, implied sex, Cherry Orchard couples in scenes of sublimated, unhappy sex. Wow. For a midlife crisis guy, this was my meat. I had to become a Chekhovian at once. Disappointment. Here is something out of a first draft, largely autobiographical that to me seemed to read like porn. ................ On the C-shaped chesterfield again, the two of us, sighing, content. She touched my arm and presently excused herself to go off and fiddle with something in the kitchen. Then, just as quickly, she was back. We had gotten quite used to being with each other. "Are you hungry? No? Well, let's just keep drinking." Tout. Suddenly she was on me with a flash of what appeared to be alcohol-inspired dry-humping that took all the blood out of my head. She just jumped on top of me and pumped and pumped, like a sex-obsessed virgin bride. I had a flag of passion the size of the CN tower and it was driving me fairly nuts. Lover's nuts. I turned to reverse positions, looking right at her maddened face. I cradled her lovely blonde head in my right arm, my left hand moving toward the the tight zipper of her little dungarees. I passed the fiery angel at the gate, having discovered she had no underpants at all and I was soon inside her pretty little vagina. "Pretty smooth," she whispered to me, but here face showed some alarm. I stroked her as gently as I could. She had taken to being very still. There is an audience here, somewhat murky, somewhat Jungian. A trickster god is asking me to ask her, half-grinning , "Am I doing you any good?" The answer came in some really nice muscular action. I had to get those damn jeans off her. Nice work if you can get it. Married a long time and later used to going with women my own age, I knew nothing at all about removing sixties-style women's jeans. There must be several schools. One is to pull the top down and have her wiggle out; the other was to have her sit facing your left hand and flipping open the stud and then peeling down. I did neither of those things, awkward son of a bitch, trying to pull the skin-tight pants off from the cuff ends, dragging the poor woman halfway across the chesterfield, no doubt giving her one hell of a rash. When all else fails, the direct approach, crude but effective, the one-liner from the talk show, "If you don't want to have sex, do you mind if I do?" But I had forgotten that she was just as much on fire as I. I had zipped down my on fly, being careful, for some survivalist reason not to drop my pants, pulled out my major appurtenance, which, having no comparison, seemed large and erect, put her delicate hand on it and she masturbated me, skillfully and effectively. And then it all came apart. Dear Lord, how drunk were we? She stood up, me on my back on the chesterfield. I seemed to have her transfixed with the eye contact. She went to kneel over me like a beautiful madonna, but I saw, in my mind's eye another sort of icon, Zeus on fire with Semele. I put both hands on her shoulders, her kneeling on the rug, and stopped her. I could not do it. She was just too beautiful, this blonde madonna with the prettiest lips going down on me. Besides, I would have left a load on her clean white chesterfield. Missionary position or nothing. I went again to remove her jeans, in the same awkward fashion only to have her zip them back again, turn from me and go into her bedroom. She came back with something for me to drink. I took it absent-mindedly and asked if I could have more vodka in it. She was still in jeans. Distressed, frustrated, I told her I had to have a good stiff shot to fight off cramps, lover's nuts and all those things that come to plague teenagers and grown men. One sip and the room began to spin. I watched her disappear in some sort of hazy Barmuda fog. All the lights in my head went off. Sheer black. I came to to find her in my arms, just as before. I was fondling her erect breasts, the nice little ones with the protruding nipples and she was staring into my eyes, point-blank, asking me if she reminded me of my wife. "Yes you do, Lana," I told her and she used a face-to-face visual trick that my own wife had often used, the eye-to-eye forehead contact, peering head-to-head into the other person's eyes to have them become huge cartoon eyes with their comical blink, sheer intimacy, head-to-head intimacy. Love. Something made me turn my eyes aside. Then she was suddenly on my lap and I massaged her breast some more. But whatever it was she had given me, it was hitting me again. I was just so suddenly tired. Dead tired. I wanted to go to sleep, just sleep. She lifted me from the sofa to stand groggily in my stockinged feet. She measured herself against me. "You know, you're not so tall" She eyed me critically as she stood against me. "We little people have to try harder." She kissed me. "I don't think I'll take any more courses from you." My head is spinning. I know I can have her right now--if I hadn't already had her in my blackout spell, hypnotized, perhaps out of being able to remember; I can have her right now, but I am oh so tired, so tired. I begged to go to sleep in the spare room. "Come with me. Lie down with me." "No," she had said. :"You know what will happen." So she had some control after all. She stood in the open doorway of her bedroom a pale light streaming bewind her while I made for my own alotted room. I think it was about five a.m. I went to the bathroom for a pee and she was still standing there, like Socrates in a catatonic trance. Certainly like a beautiful Sphinx on the head of a coin. I woke up with a feeling that my friend Deighton Ronning complained he often had:" I went to a whorehouse and couldn't get fucked. I knew everything except how much things cost and I sure as hell did not pay for her. You had to will yourself into getting laid, even if it were offered for nothing. Or did she really want to get laid? Or had she actually had sex with me, but not before leaving me with some sort of strange implant during my blackout? By morning, I felt empty and sterile. She had, somehow, taken something from me. I sat on the shank end of the chesterfield and watch her before me. She has sitting now in her long paisley dress, knees together either in a virgin pose or the look of a woman who wants to get laid, but the Lothario is just too dumb. "I think we have been spending too much time together. Let's go back to the writing circle. Let's go out with other people." I was crestfallen. Merde! She gave me a flash of eyes. "I hope you don't think I'm a loose woman." If I did, your box would be shaved, the trickster Newfoundlander in my head is hissing at me, down there, deep inside. I had learned so much French over there, at Port au Basques She had to go to work. She drove me to the bus terminal. In spite of the strange night, I felt as I'd been loved more thoroughly than ever before. I felt it all day, right down to the time I masturbated to her memory before going to sleep in my room in Toronto. There appeared to be a small needle prick in the crook of may arm. And the next day, I woke up feeling like a fool. I had not connected. I had failed. Back to Title Page C ................. HM. This doesn't read like Chekhov at all. Like the great man, with his "The Seagull", I feel like a failure. But Chekhove did not fail of course. (I should join that rock group, The New Pornographers? lol
Thursday, March 12, 2015
It is again Friday the Thirteenth, and unlike most people (for whom most things go bump today), I've always found it to be the luckiest of days. I published my first novel, The Black Icon in TOPIC Magazine, serial form, on a Friday 13, l975 Next Friday 13, I got hired at Seneca College as a teaching master, no doubt the result of my writings on a Friday 13.. I proposed marriage on a Friday 13, and won the gal. Well, today is Friday 13, 2015. I am banking on this day. Broke, depressed, and out of girlfriend (yeah, sometimes divorce can put a crimp on your good luck)--I am nevertheless ready to rock and roll. Heh. Just you watch
Friday, February 27, 2015
It used to be a joke with my then wife, "If you're not back by midnight, I'll send the SPCA after you." Well, it was almost that way last week when I was picked up by York Regional Police's Canine Unit. This old dog was hobbling up the flagstone stairs just north of McDonalds, on the way to the Metro supermarket, when all of a sudden, collapse. I couldn't take another step. No way. The doctor was right. Legs not getting enough oxygen. Must see a vein specialist. Reduced of late to walking with a cane, I just made the beer store on Leslie, only to find out once I made the purchase--that I couldn't walk. No way. Legs not getting enough oxygen, doc says. What to do? Crawling up the stairs, past the McDonald's, to the 404 plaza, where there was a 56 bus, hopefully. ...But no go. Puff puff, can't go any farther. Splayed out on the stone stairs. It just happens that an officer of the canine unit, York Regional Police--saw me on the stairs and asked if I needeed help. Yep the SPCA (almost) finally picking up Ivan. (Curse you, old Redhead from the past)? So I got a ride home in the big white York Regional taxi ("Can't take you home with the dog still inside), neighbours no doubt wondering if the had finally caught Ivan. lol. It was a lucky thing to happen. Had not the cops come around, I would have still been splayed out at the stairs leading to Metro from the McDonald's. On the ride back I talk of the recent ambushing of three RCMP in the Calgary area. I talk of having been born just before the Second Worl War. I mention of having been a peacetime airman. Police officer says, " Yes, well, but these days, you don't know who the enemy is." I was left off at my apartment on Timothy Street. From the talk with my good samaritan policeman, I got the feeling that in these "interesting times" we are all in this together. I salute the York Regional Police. And thank you
Friday, February 13, 2015
It is Friday the Thirteenth, and unlike most people (for whom most things go bump today), I've always found it to be the luckiest of days. I published my first novel, The Black Icon in TOPIC Magazine, serial form, on a Friday 13, l975 Next Friday 13, I got hired at Seneca College as a teaching master, no doubt the result of my writings on a Friday 13.. I proposed marriage on a Friday 13, and won the gal. Well, today is Friday 13, 2015. I am banking on this day. Broke, depressed, and out of girlfriend (yeah, sometimes divorce can put a crimp on your good luck)--I am nevertheless ready to rock and roll. Heh. Just you watch.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Years ago, after almost having this novel accepted by The House of Anansi Press, I stupidly demanded an advance, only to be told, "Do no more work on this." I got mad. I got computer literate. Take that ya buncha snots! lol. THE HAT PEOPLE a novel By Ivan ................... Chapter One The year was rife with signs, entire series of strange occurrences and unlucky portents, events so ominous that the superstitious in Toronto's great European community took immediate alarm and even the less skittish native Protestants began to entertain secret misgivings. On the westward commute, on the QEW to Hamilton, a new object had appeared in the heavens, an L-shaped chunk of what appeared to be a Corinthian column, larger than the moon and out of all proportion to earthly size. Hardly anyone noticed, in the lengthening days of February that an eclipse had occurred at about the same time, appearing to have the sun setting at five-thirty p.m. instead of a quarter to six. Only on the eleven o'clock news did our commuters learn that the fiery column, replete with its lower chunk of plinth, was an unexplained phenomenon by the local observatory and someone must have been sleeping at the switch, since the accompanying eclipse hadn't been predicted either. A satellite did pick up the torus, and all agreed, that from some angles, it did look like a hat. Torontonians shrugged and waited for other events. Something was happening to the money. The paper banknote seemed to change colour every day, while at the Royal Canadian Mint, die makers were already tooling up to turn old American-style quarters and dimes into huge coins resembling Mexican pesos. Three Conservative political campaigns fell as they rose, giving Bay Street a shudder, and in one Ukrainian Catholic Church, the very pillar of a conservative people, a priest went mad. In the midst of high mass, when the great onion-topped cathedral was crowded to its very doors, the Reverend Moisei Papryka, leaped to the altar, and shouting blasphemies, proceeded to lay violent hands on the Sacred Host, understood by all to be the body and blood of Christ. There was a Ukrainian-Canadian reporter at the mass whose news sense superceded his ethnic pride and he wrote up the story in the Toronto Star, along with all the other strange things that were going to and soon the radio and television reports were full of it. The reporter's name was John Lazarowych and he had noted for some time that the icons, holy images of not only his own church, but that of Bulgarian and Serbian and Macedonian denominations had taken to weeping, great globular tears wiped away by clucking abbots, some having to use mops to dry wet naves. "Why has everything gone topsy-turvy", John Lazarowych wanted to know in a Starweek magazine article which he was editing at the time. "All of our society's icons are flipping over. I've been to Marshall McLuhan's lectures. I was in Copenhagen, just after his conference with the Bildebergers, that group of billionaires who think they run the world. There is no doubt as to what's going on. Rapid social change and the breakup of Canada”. For which he was soon fired from his job, ostensibly because of a campaign of complaints from the Ukrainian community but more properly because his writing had taken on a lunatic quality and a lunatic with a powerful typewriter was dangerous indeed in a newspaper known for its rose-coloured glasses view of things. And so, while the city appeared to go to the Devil, John Lazarowych left Toronto in confusion and disgrace, taken to wandering around southern Ontario looking for God, or, for that matter, anyone who would dissuade him from believing that there was apocalypse just around the corner, if not for his city and his country, then certainly for him. His lovely raven haired Jewish wife had known for years that he was quietly going mad. He hardly drew a response from Laura at his announcement that he was leaving, and from his children, who did not understand yet, a bare shrug and a hug. Back to Title Page Chapter Two