[Seven by Nine Squares home page] [Ackerman] [Neoist Path]

Jan '94

Dear Florian the Neoist,

As a founding member of my local chapter of Jolted Cans Clatter, I was filled with excitement upon reading certain portions of your most recent letter, and filled with remnants of the Elks' Club in Elkhart, Indiana, upon reading certain others. Our offices are ever on patrol for the bright long days of fried potatoes and fried cabbage and the vows are the same as those without this silence characterized by the blood you have lost like a poetry lesson begun too late. Commentators found evidence in Russia for whatever 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 in the process of writing, with the help of Karen herself, whose story it is. "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. Specifically, she 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 cross theme); then they pause to wash and drink in a mountain brook (not necessarily in that order). Green finches come, and a cocky little ogre runs back and 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, perhaps for tendencies that still keep the barn stacked high with that good pure sensuous form (Pyrola Uniflora). Startled by all the various presences, Karen and her mattress skip away downhill to meet Mike Gold in Soviet Russia. At this juncture the following duet between Karen's Mattress and Mike Gold is sung (Karen meanwhile remaining in the canyon):

Meanwhile, back in the cave with the [many] porters, Karen gives no formal teaching or training but redeems all beings by the very paltriness of her wardrobe (a sort of grass hula skirt and inner tube.) With elaborate hand movements she does the DANCE OF CAGED RIBS AND INADEQUATE BLADDER CONTROL. The porters, who have been standing around passing an army uniform back and forth between them, are amazed by Karen's dance.


    Galoot in the double peach tree
Reaching for the double peach
Mouth hole eating laundry fast,
and yeah and passed fat's
chewed very deep down same chin you drooled
down, but depends,
could be pasture wanders and nobody notices
the spat-glittery hat means all lotioned wrists
and whoring the body
of a pustule
you chilled while cracking up;
eating mildewed laundry's a sure sign that your
brain's sizzling
doing a disappearing act ----
That disappearance took
longer than it
should have;
Get fixed yellow light
in 4 parts tear apart
All non-concupiscence! Till you may feel
Sure a wet towel from a hotel bathroom
In Quebec sick as a pilot
Who crumples stiffly after mistaking
Touch a romantic new perfume by Fred
Hayman Beverley Hills for a shot of
Vat 69 in the dark had been used
To close her eyes to this world. And yet there
Was no mark of strangulation on MY
NECK. I took the phone call,
The news of your arrest, calmly enough,
My vatic gaze undimmed, my concupiscence
Pure and undimmed as war and madness
It's interesting, the idea that concupiscence
Doesn't count, if it happens again and again.
Does concupiscence kick in when you say,
"She had been with a woman for five years,
I had been with a bullfrog for six." Tell
Me about your favorite concupiscence,
The concupiscence that makes you realize
You made the right decision in becoming a gnat-eyed little
butt-stringer. Problem:
I lost half my hair to concupiscence
When I developed an overweening fondness for my Flow-Bee....

* * *
So that was some of it.

Sacco and Vanzetti as leftist heros, etc.