Thursday, April 27, 2006

Like Scuba Diving and Not Quite Being Able to Reach the Surface...

You can see the sky above. The boat, even, looming up.

It's like that here, with everything just across the line separating that which is tangible from that which is not. There is a cultural move westward. America looms large. Hollywood larger. In Mumbai there seems to be a big business in keeping all that is truthful in the background and thrusting forward new KFC franchises.

I had almost given up hope of anything else.

Then, finally, in the most unlikely of places - 'India'. There it was. And, everything you've ever heard turns out to be true, the way it always does, in the end. I got my connection.

So, yesterday morning Donald and I were jetted out to an odd resort/development (the site of a future Bollywood style Universal Studios - it looks like the Wild West all looming mesas and deep gulches). The bad part is the planned city about two miles away. More on that later, but let's just say that I was by turns aghast, contrite and fascinated. On our drive back to our quarters - a brand new resort facility that somehow evoked an Orson Welles type Macao (has anyone seen that weird short film with him as the Colonialistic General?) Oops, Ok. Focus. Drive back.

I saw this looming hillock topped by an ancient fort. Fascinated. Climb it? Yes. Six a.m. today, I set off. My guide, upon first sight was not impressive and even a little portly? What am I doing in this place....then, presto, a half an hour later he's pulling me up and out of the deep entrance of a handcarved cave. My doubts vanished. Like some pack animal, I am totally impressed by any show of strength. (this led me to drink, on his suggestion, pooled water from an ancient resevoir - so if i get some ungodly parasite I reserve the right to change my opinion).

3500 feet above sea level later...up and looking over the valley. Incredible views. But, there was more than that...I walked the parapet of the fort and listened to him talk about the history of the valley. The tribes located within were the longest to hold-out against British invasions, falling in March of 1818.

On our walk, I told Rayjin (my guide) that I was off to Africa in July with Kilimanjaro hopes and a rather inconvenient and haphazard case of vertigo - he urged me outwards. The perimeter of the fort was about a mile and a half in circumference with no guard rail....out I went. Onto the tallest precipice, I looked down the sheer face of the rock into the valley below. I touched his arm, but let go as he talked about fear. And nature. And the nature of fear. Finally, I was steady and I stood still for a long time. Exercise repeated often on walk.

There were other things. Families of monkeys, big guys. Medicinal plants and berries. A shrine to the goddess of the fort, Kuriamati. Bell ringing. More caves. Bats and beautiful, hot sun. I thought about my last post and those swimming thoughts of fictional people. The huge restless groundedness in us all.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Miss Quested

'Tis true. I am here drinking a Kingfisher on Marine Drive at some ungodly hour after a damn long time on a plane. Far from the Malabar Caves in body, but not in spirit. I've been thinking lately about Homebody/Kabul that Tony Kushner piece that has the killer opening monologue before utterly falling apart in the second and third, with A Passage to India on my mind it's there again, that Kushner, bubbling underneath my surface. And, too, it's along the lines of Wally Shawn - The Fever, definitely. What is that slighly masochistic, slightly adventurous, drenched in humanity commonality between those three characters. Our homebody. Our Adele. Our first-person narrator in a hotel room. Trying to explain it makes me think of a Martin Amis blurb on the back of Nabokav's Ada - it goes a little something like this - If I could sum it up there'd be no need for the text.

By the way - check out this cool Polish movie poster for the above referenced film. Says alot more than Judy Davis face, no? Though I like that face....

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I am in full support and welcome it anytime, anywhere!

It seems my sis is full of her own irrational hatreds. Tucked away in my blog is where you'll find them spelled out. Check out why bandanas and short jackets are untenable and worthy of disdain by checking comment sections below.

And, just in case you missed it - the two cutest indy record label gurus this side of the Mississippi were profiled in The City Paper (Baltimore Style). Follow the link below.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The wall behind me in high school english

"They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…"

Sometimes, lying in bed at night, I think of this - how unmistakably AMERICAN Fitzgerald made it seem to smash people up. How sexy he made vast carelessnness with just this one line.

Funny how certain things resonate - how sometimes high school English can leave lasting peculiarities of preference on one's sensibilities. I die in empathetic mortification for people who don't know their Greek Tragedy - those poor souls who can't quite keep track of their Antigones and Iphigenias. And, that quote. It just rings in my ears at the strangest times. I remember it printed in this overly prettified handwriting, on a bubble of orange contruction paper tacked up to a temporary wall. Four years running.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Irrational Hatred

Oh, you'll get it, ALP! You'll get it!!!!!

Coming soon to a blog near you!

Something 'Bout Trains....

Something 'bout love.

Something about listening to Jane Siberry while running down a dirt road in Georgia.
Something about pondering M. and her ten year plan.

In my own version, I'm expanding to twelve. Anyway....random thoughts, here down south. I think it might have something to do with the sun and the past converging. I can feel both beating down on my head, giving rise to relationship radicalism. So Ms. Ten-years per relationship, then poof! (credit where credit is due M! Claim it if you'd like) I'm talking to you!

Also, you of the 6-month on 6-month off variety (you know who you are Ms. Flip-flop...hey, never put that together before!).

Too bad you two didn't meet last month, who knows what kinda manifesto might've been whipped up over the course of an evening.

Anyway, thinking a little bit about traditional ideas regarding relationships lately (culturally speaking). Why do we subscribe to this mate for life principle? Are we geese? Penguins? Birds of any sort? Wouldn't we all be happier with a ten to twelve year deal at the outset - a realistic light at the end of the tunnel. Not that it's a tunnel mind you....

Ummmm....sorry, sweetie.


More on this as it develops. Full conversation with both of you scheduled for the first week of May - maybe that manifesto is not as far off as one would like to think....

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"The life you choose..."

"When you rolled out of bed this morning, did you think you'd be spending the afternoon watching Meryl Streep rhumba with a ventriloquist dummy?"

And, by the way, did you think you'd be ending your evening with Peer Gynt? (You know who you are and I want a full report!)

But, back to Meryl and the dummys (as illustrated in miniature to the left, in a photograph titled THE BAND made by Laurie Simmons). We watched and watched, take after take, without losing much interest in the playback screen. Kind of like standing in front of a Van Gogh, the experience of seeing that woman at work. Every gesture meant something - technical expertise mixed with an absolute ownership of one's body. Admirable traits.

From Washington Street onward to Fort Greene. St. Matthew Passion.

That and the warm spring sun.

Friday, April 07, 2006

And for the record people

Why Merkin, why?

I mean really now! But, what does the donut have to do with it all....

Not Since Strawberry Nekkos.....

...has there been something we'd all like to pop in our mouths as much!

I think the sweaty-backed blonde man to my left thought he was at a Jethro Tull concert - or maybe Bon Jovi - the mood was apparently catching, as a trio of similary moist ladies pressing in from behind caught the mood. Not since FreeBird have so many fists been pumped and lyrics screamed. Chorus aside though.....let's rehash. Great set. Merkin Donuts. Something about licking and a Sugarcubes reference, positing Jon Rauhouse in the role of Einar. We all love lobsters, N.C. We all do.

And we all love Ms. Martha Wainwright - whose underpants and voice are not to be missed in this lifetime. All in all, quite a fine assemblage of chicks on stage. Kelly Hogan, she of the dirty mouth and The Jody Grind (check her out and buy a record at; some sexy girl from New Jersey whose name I didn't catch; and, Ms. Case herself, who, despite a 'hole in her esophagus' (hmmm?) didn't shirk from throwing back her head and belting out those swampy gorgeous swirling words. Sex on a stick, as my southern friend Helen used to say.

A late, fine end with a Buffy Saint-Marie () classic. Buffy. We're putting you up there with lobsters.