Der Zuschauer

A Journal of Essays and Reportage on Drama, History, and Literature

Posts Tagged ‘The Wealth of Nations

Gorkyland: Death Comes to History

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Things keep happening; people keep getting tossed; women get caught blowing men in the cellar, off you go. Others are told to leave for what? Why? Who knows? People keep getting tossed. Then people die. One King of Naples, hispanic, a Yankee/Giants/Mets/Jets fan, has numerous wives, girlfriends, comes up from Jersey and does the Boston system and eventually, after one year or more, gets housing, and then dies within weeks of moving out and in. Dead two days when the police find him. We last spoke on Superbowl Sunday. I congratulated him on the Giants’ victory; he graciously accepted my congratulations. There is more to tell: grey hair, pony-tail, constant cane, white bathrobe. No hint of drugs or booze so far as I knew, but what do I know? Now? Then? Tomorrow? There have been some various controversies regarding the use of artwork amidst texts, and god, we writers just are happy to have some access to publication and money per line or word. We don’t decide these matters; Ekaterina Degot, decides this; Max Klinger decides this. We just do the writing, I just do the writing, such as it is. There are commissars as well; people, women most often, who decide about correct language, human kindness in a nutshell cliché. There are commissars who watch Law and Order: SUV, pop-eyed, uncritical, and yet, are all over your attitude and tone of voice. Prohibition is so very inside the heart of every American woman in the United States. What are we to do? What is to be done?
I find it hard to keep straight, I find it hard not to worry about being appalling, shocking, nasty. There are dogs in the ditch; there are butt-ugly skanks, skags, assholes in the square. There are people who are experts on Wodehouse and know nothing about Celine. There are excuses for Eliot and there is rabid hatred of Pound. There are hefty Norton Anthologies Of African-American Literature. Who actually reads Black History in February? Do you? There is a book published this past January, Joseph Roth: A Life in Letters, edited and translated by the English poet, Michael Hofmann, that I think is superb and useful for anyone who is hacking away in the trade: meaning writing at anything at all. I have read Roth in German and English. He is one of ours, if you and fate will allow me to assert this. But then, evidently, I am a dog; I am not a son of the soil, I am not a man of the factories and cow barns, a pork butcher to the world; I am only a writer, I am a white man and I get Faulkner’s expression, “a train car full of cannon balls” quicker than you do. I’ve seen men drink shoe-polish, and I’ve seen men drink sterno drained through cheese-cloth; I’ve seen men drink Listerene and I didn’t care whether they lived or died. There is hope and faith in The Brothers Karamazov that is above the underground, but then Dostoevsky was a gambler and where’s the recovery in that?

Maxim Gorky, the 3rd.
copyright 2012. Der Zuschauer.

Written by herrdramaturg

February 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Gorkyland: In Every Standing Ditch

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There are poets in every standing ditch, in every animal shelter, playground, back alley, in Central Square; there are poets in short skirts bent over taking hog front and back in the men’s toilet of Phoenix Landing, refugees from the dressing rooms of Hubba Hubba. There are poets stacked like dead bodies in the back of Cambridge Police paddy-wagons. There are poets eating pizza on the corner of Mass Ave and Brookline St. passing Rouble Vodka back and forth in a plastic, pint bottles, sitting in the front window, sideways. There are poets with hard-ons in the Salvation Army Worship Hall with nowhere to go. They listen to bands and drink Sapporo; they listen to live music and drink Bushmills.

There are poets who have no place to keep books. There are poets who hate books; they are after all like head-lice and bedbugs. There are poets who have hepatitis A, B, and C. They have tuberculosis. They are young and have no idea what HIV is. The never ask themselves what women want? Or, what are women are for? They think dogmas are off the leash. They pee on walls. They fill up the hopper in the McDonald’s men’s room with so much shit it won’t hold anymore. They are not registered to vote. They think Mitt Romney is already President of the United States. They know that Mormons are aliens from outer space. There are poets who blow off their case-worker. There are poets who check out Samuel Beckett’s Letters, Vol. 2, and take it with them wherever they go, wrapped up in dry-cleaner plastic. There are poets in Central Square who think Dr. Martin Luther King is a PCP, and that he can’t possibly assuage Michelle Obama’s anger. There are poets, there are poets, there are poets, in every standing ditch. They expect no mercy; they will have no mercy; they give no mercy.

Maxim Gorky, the 3rd.
Copyright 2012 Der Zuschauer.

Written by herrdramaturg

January 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Gorkyland: Bitter Cold, Vicious Wind

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“It is snowing. The farm-workers are fucking the cows, perched on 3-legged milking stools, it seems. They are called ‘juniors’ and are driven away pitilessly.”
Samuel Beckett, Letters Vol. 2. p. 332

The shelter is warmer but essentially seedy, shabby, and depressing. Men swearing under their breath, beating to death an old pair of shoes. My room-mates would make a rabid weasel or a raunchy stoat proud. No pinteresque drinks cabinet allowed. No one reads books, except some of the vagina-people who lean over bibles, self-help titles, all of them dog-eared, under-lined, yellow like rancid cook books. This morning it was all about the bathrooms, men desperate to go while the opera singers shower, or, the odd negro does god knows what forever. So surly, stupid men pawing the floors in the hallway in agony. Why are women so distrait in the morning? Puffy, pie-slit eyes, with raspy throats; voices expectorating across the kitchen like malevolent cannon balls. Three holes, bingo. Then there is the zombie coffee doctor spin and dance routine: pour, taste, sugar, pour, stir, Cremora, stir–hack hack hack a roo splat splat spit–more sugar, more Cremora, finally done, then the St. Vitus dance to the table and the chair. Imagine being 60 years old and feeling extreme nostalgia for rock and roll. Imagine being 60 years on with an oxy gnaw on trying to focus long enough to actually read Keith Richard’s Autobiography? Then the two hours of paranoia/porn research on the Internet at the public library. “Where does all the money go, man?” Then there is the Jap-mad-scientist guy with the Abraham Lincoln beard who pours over issues of Nature or Mind or Science. Then the sad, creepy, shelter-faggot homos. Why can’t men walk up to a urinal and do their business without getting urine all over the floor? And when it’s bitter, bitter, vicious cold where does one go? To stay warm? To piss, read, shit? Where besides the subways, the public libraries? Where do the vagina-people go because they do seem scarce on the street? Where, where, who cares? Sad sacks, male and female, in baseball caps scratching tickets with a nickel or a fingernail, happy happy happy to go to AA for the coffee. And the company? In a winter coat and cargo pants festooned with nips of Old Thompson’s, or nappy-head Seagram’s Gin. Overweight, homeless, shelter moron dressed in athletic apparel from the National Polo Association? Where have you gone Ralph Lauren? Where have you gone Louis-Ferdinand Celine? The way the Spare Change Newspaper works is, you pay 25 cents a copy, and turn around and sell that for a buck. Do they pay writers? I wouldn’t know. I’m too much of an intellectual snob to know that. God, shallow, false pride. Would Jack London know? Or Stephen Crane? When I work do I work for character or beer money? Now in the Stone Building at the library. Very quiet. Still early. So–the bathrooms at Shaw’s were closed down, the bathroom at McDonald’s (Due to extreme vandalism this bathroom is closed), then at Starbucks the door was open and so stood t-rex a 6′ 5″ spook, braying, reeking, rasta-mutha-fucka asshole asshole. A truly terrifying nasty shit-hole dinosaur. And all of that before I could even get out of Central Square. My intention is to work here throughout the day. “Three things happened at once: the communists lost an election; Solidarity won; the communists acknowledged that Solidarity won.” That might sound like a syllogism. Must stay awake, must stay warm, must rustle up chow. What ever happened to checking out chicks at the beach. Am I still an intellectual?

“The spirit of [Godot], in so far as it has one, is that nothing is more grotesque than the tragic, and that must be put across right to the end, particularly at the end.”
Beckett, Letters Vol. 2. p 350.

Maxim Gorky, the 3rd.
Copyright 2012 Der Zuschauer.

Georg Trakl: Die Ratten

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In Hof scheint weiss der herbstliche Mond. [an s-set]
Vom Dachrand fallen phantastische Schatten.
Ein Schweigen in leeren Fenstern wohnt;
Da tauchen leise herauf die Ratten

Und huschen pfeifend hier und dort
Und ein graulicher Dunsthauch wittert [umlaut]
Ihnen nach aus dem Abort,
Den geisterhaft der Mondschein durch zitteert

Und sie keifen vor Gier wie toll
Und erfullen Haus und Scheunen, [umlaut]
Die von Korn und Fruchten voll, [umlaut]
Eisige Winde im Dunkel greinen.

Written by herrdramaturg

January 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Polemicists, Contrarians, Men who live in history

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Dear Readers,
I think we all live in history, whether we know it or not. We here on Guam Island have never tried to be viciously up to date. For the best obituaries for Vaclav Havel and Christopher Hitchens we recommend our sister publication, Arts and Letter Daily, and its blog lists. You may well know just whom of the above is Havel and Hitchens; we will let you guess on the third man. You remember the third man, don’t you? And who played the zither? Did he do this in Vienna or Hollywood? Anyway, Ekaterina Degot is said to be at work on a piece about what Leon Trotsky, from beyond the grave, would have had to say about both Hitchens and Havel. We would have loved to have had Hitchens on Havel but time and space did not allow that to happen. Maxim Gorky, the 3rd, is writing a piece about Havel’s Letters to Olga, and how prison is somewhat, very like, being homeless in Central Square, Cambridge. Then, there is Stanley Richardson’s memory piece, Drama in the Fall of 1989, which will touch on Hitchens, Havel, Gorbachev, Socialism With a Human Face, Clement Ottwald and his missing hat. Dear Reader, are you old enough to know what a Tribant is? Also, can any of you help us with the derivation of this phrase, “We live in History”?

Max Klinger,
Editor in Chief
Der Zuschauer
Copyright 2011.

Gorkyland: Upon the Troglodyte, and, the Troglodytic

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A Troglodyte, according to the OED in the first instance, is one of various races or tribes of men (chiefly ancient or prehistoric) inhabiting caves or dens (natural or artificial); a cave-dweller or cave-man. That a cave-man can be prehistoric or contemporary is evidenced by the recent Geico Car Insurance ads on TV, or, the life of Hunter S. Thompson. Instance three notes people who live in seclusion; people unacquainted with the affairs of the world (i.e., both that of the 1% and the 99%), a hermit (i.e., one who fucks the duck, Clare, and then has Gertrude, the wife, cook the duck, also known as consensus among women). The 3rd instance in the OED (also known among atheists as the Word, the Gospel, or the Truth Historical) mentions a dweller in a hovel or slum (or an animal shelter, or a homeless shelter, or the Bristol Lodge in Waltham, the Sally, or Salvation Army in Central Square, or Albany Street, the wet shelter near Central Square), or a person of a degraded type like prehistoric or savage cave-dwellers (or alcoholics, dope-fiends, stock-brokers, 2nd level sex-offenders, tenured university professors, politicians on the right, politicians on the left, tent-dwellers, social-workers, case-managers, housing advocates, methadone bartenders, sophists, you know: Socrates, Plato). That these definitions can be astutely and precisely extended can be evidenced by H. Rogers in his Essays II (1854): “Some would make him…such a very Troglodyte in metaphysics that he was not properly acquainted even with such writers as Descartes or Hobbes.” One can’t help imagine further extension: Foucault, Derrida, Lacan. One wants to demand devolution as well: Celine, Malaperte.

Now among the Troglodytal, the Troglodytan, the Troglodytish, and generally of, all out, Troglodytism, one must mention men thrown out by their wives in the hideously wife-friendly Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for crimes like drinking a six-pack of beer a day; ghouls, goons, vampires, crack-smokers, werewolves, wife-beaters, crack-dealers, cross-gender wife-beaters, case-worker abusers, social worker level 3 sex-offenders, homos who beat up their pussy-bitches, all the zombies who know how to drool out 12-step cannon fodder, traumatized rhetoricians, potty-mouthed I’m sorry sorry sorry lying shit-house, abject fucking dogs. “Senator Brown was abused; I rooted for Penn State all those years; I’m proud now to be an Alcoholics’ Anonymous Sponsor, twinkle, twinkle, if you fucking, little star, know what I mean?”

A ghoul is an evil spirit (in Mohammedan countries) said to rob graves and pray on human corpses. Like Rush Limbaugh in this country. In 1812 Robert Southey remarked of the Tea Party: “These human ghouls were not content…to let their friends die a natural death before they ate them.” In 1824, William Irving, discussing 21st Century blogs, wrote of one Oxycontin journalist-asshole: “He was in a manner, a literary ghoul, feeding in the charnel-house of decayed literature.” In the coming weeks and months I will, as a PhD Troglodyte, try and look further into the ghoulish, the ghoulishness, and, into over all, religious-right ghoulism. If you wonder at a Doctor of Philosophy living in animal shelters, see most of Greek Philosophy. See Democritus, see Epicurus. Who was that asshole who walked around naked in a wine barrel? See goon in the OED: a sub-human creature, a person hired (esp. by racketeers) to terrorize workers; a thug. Later I will discuss goon-box, goon-squad, and goon-baiting.

Maxim Gorky, the 3rd.
Copyright 2011. Der Zuschauer.

Gorkyland: who is who?

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Dear Readers, It may be necessary to point out that the Gorkyland Stories published here for the first time are by Maxim Gorky, the 3rd, currently a US national living in the shelters and rat holes of Central Square, in the People’s Republic of Cambridge. These pieces of narrative and vituperation are copyrighted by Der Zuschauer. We will include in the series parallel stories from the works of other-down-and-outers like the original Maxim Gorky, Dostoevsky, and even, Dr. Johnson’s immortal story of the Life of Richard Savage. Others, like George Orwell’s Down and Out in London and Paris, in copyright elsewhere, we will mention in our editorial notes. There are editors in these vast air hangers here in Guam and not all of us are bikini-wearing Lesbian Cossacks like Ekaterina Degot. I am, for instance, editor-in-chief, and I recall the first Gorky having a life after he turned 18. There are principles and ideas behind this journal and I try to keep the pot boiling while keeping a lid on things as well.

Yours in Good Earnest and Good Faith,
Maximillian Klinger, Editor-in-Chief

PS. I leave in the despicable cliches in the last sentence to indicate just how psychologically demanding it can be working with Bolsheviks.

Copyright 2011 by Der Zuschauer