I got a bright rush out from a poster I saw on my way to work today: George Clinton with Parliament, March 4th at Plush. I stopped and immediately scribbled the details on my wrist. (“If anyone gets funked up, it’s gonna be you“). Is anyone else excited about this? I’ve been a burning square the last few months, I need to get out and boogie. Tickets are a terrifying $60, but if it’s anything as catchy as the Afrikaa Bombaataa last year, it’ll be worth it. (I danced through my favourite pin-stripe fishnet stockings at that concert.)
It’s like he was made to be played on the piano, his body all black key self confidence and gentle pale ideals, a skeptic caught in the violent wake of an irrefutable miracle. I liked him on sight. His dreaming mouth, too busy to notice me, giving smart voice to idiosyncratic creatures of feigned precision, reminded me of an unconscious Rembrandt. I rolled up my mental shirtsleeves and tried to think of other things. Six thoughts at once, I decided, and found five easily to replace him – until he looked up and met my eyes. They were the colour of a favourite song of hard-earned nostalgia or an elegant walking stick from another age, polished from two generations of impeccably gloved hands.
Too stubborn to look away, trapped by the pure audacious mechanics of competition, I was suddenly too close to a vanishing point to get proper perspective. Lines were being drawn around me, inked with subsumed intention, in the shape of a conversation with conspicuously missing words. Unbidden, I imagined the mark of his teeth on my neck and our bodies together like Tristan’s handmade boat, rocking soundly through a storm wherever next we encountered a flat surface. The ghost of my faith shook in its sheets, unable to consolidate this encounter with its bitter heart. We crossed the space between us in an indecent freefall, threading through the crowd suddenly as insubstantial as clouds, as charming as grocery shopping alone.
(Just as an aside, baby-ballerinas are possibly the most doll-like human beings I have ever encountered outside of a fetish club.)
These links are not to MY BOOKS SPECIFICALLY, but for informative purposes. I have linked to the same printing when possible.
SCI-FI / FANTASTIC:
Harlan Ellison’s I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream with an introduction by Theodore Sturgen.
Bruce Sterling’s A Good Old-Fashioned Future The only book I have ever actually thrown across a room was written by Bruce Sterling. Take that as you will.
Patricia A. McKillip’s Riddle Master of Hed & Harpist in the Wind One and three of a trilogy.
Flying Sorcerers, being More Comic Tales of Fantasy from Terry Pratchett, Roald Dahl, Arthur C. Clark, Kurt Vonnegut, Angela Carter, Michael Moorcock, Mervyn Peake, John Wyndham, Stephen Leacock, Robert Bloch, C.S. Lewis, William Nolan, P.G. Wodehouse, & various.
Roger Zelazny & Robert Sheckley’s A Farce to Be Reckoned With. It’s amazing what you’ll buy on a family road trip when you’re out of reading material.
Lisa Goldstein’s The Red Magician. (1982) Don’t let the name fool you, this is actually quite a striking piece of work. I’m only letting it free because I essentially have it memorized.
Robert Chamber’s The King In Yellow. My copy has a charming typographical error, stating the copyright printing date as 1895.
Warren Beath’s excruciatingly bad Bloodletter (hardcover, thankfully missing the dustjacket)
The Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy edited by Mike Ashley, concerning such authors as Neil Gaimen, Terry Jones, Terry Pratchett, Robert Rankin, Tom Holt, etc.
Ghost Stories illustrated by Walt Sturrock, featuring Bram Stoker, Washington Irving, M.R. James, Guy De Maupassant, Robert Luois Stevenson, Henry James, and Elizabeth Gaskell.
Charlie Boxer’s The Cloud Of Dust (Hardcover)
Joseph Conrad’s Youth: A Narrative a tiny Penguin printing, (1995), with only the one story.
Lawrence Durrell’s The Black Book (1961) As much as I like him and Henry Miller, I am simply not middle-aged enough. It’s sort of like when I was reading Steppenwolf when I was thirteen. I could grasp that it was good, but found it difficult to access.
Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano (1971) see above.
Romilla Thapar’s Indian Tales, illustrated by Abu Abraham.
Irvine Welsh’s Filth, same guy as did Trainspotting and The Acid House.
Gail Anderson-Darga’s Recipe For Bees. Not a tenth as satisfying for A Cure For Death By Lightning, but until whosoever took my copy returns it…
Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke, same guy as did Fight Club.
Astro Teller’s exegesis. I wasn’t sure which was the name and which was the title when I first picked this up. It’s a little dated, but remains interesting.
David Odhiambo’s diss/banded nation Sticklers of proper language beware.
Bert Archer’s The End of Gay (And the Death of Heterosexuality) (with a far, far better cover.)
Irmgard Woldering’s The Art of Egypt; the Time of the Pharaohs Why are over half my books from the 60’s and 70’s?
Reader’s Digest Condensed Books: Volume 50 – Summer 1962 First Edition, containing; The Tuntsa – Teppo Turen w/Elizabeth Maddox McCabe, Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk, “Carol” by Peter DeVries, Since You Ask Me by Ann Landers, and Star-Raker by Donald Gordon.
MirrorMask: The Illustrated Film Script of the Motion Picture from the Jim Henson Company (Hardcover) I was given this over the holidays, and as much as I like it, I suspect there’s people here who would like it more. The price inside suggests $45can.
Online Education: Perspectives on a New Environment (Hardcover) Edited by Linda Harasin. Groundbreaking in 1990, I can’t explain how delightfully strange it is to read today.
TRASH: The Graphic Genius of Xploitation Movie Posters Coffee table book to the stars.