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As a founding member of my local chapter of Jolted Cans Clatter,
filled with excitement upon reading certain portions of your most
letter, and filled with remnants of the Elks' Club in Elkhart,
reading certain others. Our offices are ever on patrol for the
days of fried potatoes and fried cabbage and the vows are the same as
without this silence characterized by the blood you have lost like a
lesson begun too late. Commentators found evidence in Russia for
positions they wanted to take.
But my real reson for writing is to talk about "KaREN (uh, pardon
me, I hit
the wrong key in my drunkenness) "Karen's Mattress," this opera I'm
process of writing, with the help of Karen herself, whose story it
"Karen's Mattress" is, in a word, the story of a beautiful young
woman and her
shall-we-say rather overweening fondness for her mattress.
likes to use her mattress for purposes of masturbation. A noble
theme, and as
the opera begins we find Karen and her mattress climbing (Christ and
theme); then they pause to wash and drink in a mountain brook (not
in that order). Green finches come, and a cocky little ogre runs
forth over the acorns, shying quick stones to keep his feet in line,
and a Yoni
appears, bringing up the rear and looking perhaps for its Lingham,
tendencies that still keep the barn stacked high with that good pure
form (Pyrola Uniflora). Startled by all the various presences, Karen
mattress skip away downhill to meet Mike Gold in Soviet Russia. At
juncture the following duet between Karen's Mattress and Mike Gold is
(Karen meanwhile remaining in the canyon):
Meanwhile, back in the cave with
porters, Karen gives no formal teaching or training but redeems all
the very paltriness of her wardrobe (a sort of grass hula skirt and
tube.) With elaborate hand movements she does the DANCE OF CAGED
INADEQUATE BLADDER CONTROL. The porters, who have been standing
an army uniform back and forth between them, are amazed by Karen's
- MIKE GOLD: In curling hair, the seeds of Capitalism call it a
- KAREN'S MATTRESS: From where I carry feathers you'd think
other than which
YOU carry that which is other than which I carry -- call it a nest.
- MIKE GOLD: The next second-men stand in the midst of grim
sun shines madly, why couldn't we have seen our knees clapping
- KAREN'S MATTRESS: With occasional lighter veins and edges
[Face down, this
night's juice sets us apart] --
- MIKE GOLD: -- and two yellows: yolk and wee --
- KAREN's MATTRESS: -- [and the lone and languid Voyage ending
lulled within, knee caps mysterious as Gary Cooper's pellets --
- BOTH TOGETHER (with operatic vigor): Two knees lulled within!
mysterious as Gary Cooper's pellets! And two yellows: yolk and wee!
yellows: yolk and wee! Two yellows: yolk and wee! And two yellows:
wee! AND -- TWO -- YELLOWS.... YOLK! and wee.
- PASSING CYLINDER LAR VAE HATCH: Well -- if you insist.
(Proceeds to crouch
and fry an egg while wee.)
- FIRST PORTER: This one beats a rat.
- SECOND PORTER: Disorder yourself, brother.
- FIRST PORTER: Alright. (Proceeds to disorder himself.)
- SECOND PORTER (turning to the third): What did I tell you?
- THIRD PORTER: When?
- SECOND PORTER: As a dose to the business man --
- FOURTH PORTER (breaking in excited): I dated his sister! The
to me from a hot street of tawny declaw! My smooth bitten-down
scrabbled into the street, lamenting my six or seven arrests--
- PASSING CYLINDER LARVAE HATCH -- appearing in ... --: The
lone and languid
Voyage ending asleep etc.
- THIRD PORTER (standing back): Are you Soloman Birk?
- KAREN (sweating from the exertions of her dance steps toward
footlights and sings an aria):
Galoot in the double peach tree
that was some of it.
Reaching for the double
Mouth hole eating laundry fast,
and passed fat's
chewed very deep down
same chin you drooled
down, but depends,
pasture wanders and nobody notices
the spat-glittery hat means
all lotioned wrists
and whoring the body
of a pustule
while cracking up;
eating mildewed laundry's a sure
sign that your
doing a disappearing act
That disappearance took
longer than it
Get fixed yellow light
in 4 parts tear apart
non-concupiscence! Till you may feel
Sure a wet towel from a hotel
In Quebec sick as a pilot
Who crumples stiffly after
Touch a romantic new perfume by Fred
Hills for a shot of
Vat 69 in the dark had been used
her eyes to this world. And yet there
Was no mark of strangulation
NECK. I took the phone call,
The news of your arrest,
My vatic gaze undimmed, my concupiscence
and undimmed as war and madness
It's interesting, the idea that
Doesn't count, if it happens again and
Does concupiscence kick in when you say,
"She had been
with a woman for five years,
I had been with a bullfrog for six."
Me about your favorite concupiscence,
that makes you realize
You made the right decision in becoming a
I lost half my hair
When I developed an overweening fondness for my
* * *
Sacco and Vanzetti as leftist heros, etc.