Tag Archives: #DistantSkyNickCaveAndTheBadSeedsLiveInCopenhagen

Merry Merry & Happy Happy!!

Okay! Merry Christmas, again!

If you were an early bird here to the blog (or whatever time it was where you live), and caught the limited-time post,  I hope you enjoyed reading “Gianni’s Girl” as much as I enjoyed writing it, 25 Christmas Eves ago.

It was truly one of those stories that I felt was dictated to me by the main character. The words came, the story came, the whole thing flowed out in one (long) sitting, and did not require any editing except for punctuation and misspellings here and there.

And it’s true — Wayne and I were having a dinner party that night because it was Christmas Eve; company was coming over, we had a ton of cooking still to do and last minute grocery shopping to do, and I was glued to my desk, writing furiously away because this amazing story was spilling out of me and I couldn’t stop it. I wrote it by hand, then typed it up a few days later. (I still have the handwritten manuscript in storage.) I didn’t even own a computer yet.

Wayne was so incredibly irritated with me that morning. He kept coming impatiently into the room: “Aren’t you done yet? We have to get going!” ME, scribbling away: “No! It’s still coming!!”

I recall vividly, both us hurrying along Broadway in the throngs of last-minute shoppers. It was a very cold and overcast day and I was sort of delirious, trying to explain to Wayne how incredible this story was that had just suddenly come out of me — though it had taken several hours for it to come out. And he was not impressed in the slightest; he was just so irritated with me.

For me, though, the story had been so vivid as it came out onto the page. I could see the entire thing — like a movie. And the part where Gianni is talking about having all that sex with his mom, and his mom always being pregnant and his dad being an abusive drunk — that part actually looked like it was in a tenement on the Lower East Side of NYC. I’m not really sure why I decided it was in Chicago.  I guess because it was bootleggers and it was 1927. Although there were plenty of bootleggers and plenty of mob guys in NYC in 1927.

Anyway. I know that for obvious reasons, it can be considered an offensive story (gang rape), and the fact that it ends up being a love story kind of fucks with some readers’ heads, but I wrote it down just as it came to me. And then people seemed to really like it — well, except for the girl it’s dedicated to — “Michelle.” She did not dig it at all. She was really offended by it. She didn’t like it until years later, after it actually became popular and conveniently had her name on it. It sold something like 75,000 copies, new, in all its various English editions combined. I don’t know how many have sold in French, or as “used” books or in eBooks. (It’s in a few different eBook collections.)

Blessed By Light came to me the same way, except it was an entire novel.  Someone else was dictating that story to me for nearly a year and I just wrote it as it came. After I was halfway into writing it, and had begun reading back over it with my editor, I was really startled to see how closely the female character (the “girl in the night”) resembled me. It was uncanny and disconcerting and weird, because I didn’t see it as I was writing it. However, I purposely titled Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse after that character in Blessed By Light, because it felt like it was me.

Well, okay!!

I tried very hard to stay away from my desk yesterday. I was successful but I had sort of a disjointed day because of it. I did re-watch Distant Sky: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen. It took a couple different sittings for me to get through the whole thing. I just find that concert and those songs just so amazing. Beautiful. Intense. Wonderful. Here’s “Girl In Amber” — I posted this photo briefly last night. But then everyone was visiting the photo of Basin Street in all that fog last night, so I pulled it to re-post it now:

“Girl in Amber”

And in case you don’t follow me on Instagram (I don’t think any of you do!), here’s a couple of photos I posted there:

Doris, on the table, ensuring she is first in line for Christmas dinner (this table is just for show — I eat alone in the kitchen).


The meanest cat in the world, Francis, on her Christmas chair! (Her mom, Tommy, underneath it.) (This is a vegan-friendly chair, it didn’t cost much. However, it is less than 2 years old and the cats have already destroyed it.)

Well, that’s it for now. I’m gonna go eat lunch or something resembling it. And then try to figure out what I will do next. I’m feeling like I might actually work at my desk today… (heavy sigh). We shall see.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Thanks for visiting!! I love you guys, see ya!

An Appendage to the Day’s post!

Related image

Okay, so I streamed Distant Sky Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen! (See today’s earlier post just below.)

Oh man, it was such a good movie. Although certain songs are gonna make you want to shoot yourself.

Meaning, pretty much any of the songs from Skeleton Tree. They were just too beautiful. Honestly.

The whole concert was amazing. Sort of a full disclosure here, though: I’ve watched quite a number of the homemade – or iPhone made – unofficial videos of Nick Cave’s concerts from this particular tour, so I knew pretty much what would happen throughout. But the production values of this movie in Copenhagen aren’t even in the same universe as any of those phone-made videos on YouTube. Just breathtaking. Truly breathtaking.

Speaking specifically for me, the two early songs he does (Tupelo and The Mercy Seat), were incredibly good and particularly hard to take because of all that life that has now passed under my bridge. So many years ago, I first heard those songs alone in my room in the tenement on E.12th Street and I loved every single moment of discovering Nick Cave. (A tenement that, ironically, Lydia Lunch used to live in, but that was before I put in my own years in that same hellhole in NYC that I called home.)

Anyway. It’s hard for me to understand what the passage of time means. I do not understand it. I only know that you blink and a whole ton of time is just plain gone. I remember every minute, perhaps even every moment, of the “gone” time (I think that’s what makes me neurotic), but I cannot figure out how time “goes.” Where it passes to. And a song like Tupelo triggers something in me from so long ago, which is just so unfathomably deep, and now that he’s added certain lyrics that seem to speak of the death of his own son, it also becomes just too full of love & heartache. And then for me, the song becomes too beautiful for words and, in my mind, or my heart, “too beautiful” translates into something really painful. So hard to endure.

Loyal readers of this lofty blog unfortunately know that I suffer from suicidal depressions. So, no, I don’t own a revolver.  I’m just making an illustrative joke. I’m not going to shoot myself.

Nevertheless, Nick Cave’s music, for me, is a minefield. His use of the English language is staggering. There’s a way he strings words together that absolutely confounds me – in its unexpected imagery, its beauty, its darkness, its power. From my perspective as a writer, his use of language amazes me and always has. Sometimes I do not know how to process it. So I think, I have to shoot myself to stop thinking about it.

I have no real clue why any of us are here, but I do feel very strongly that once we’re here, we should stick with it somehow and work it out in the best possible ways we can manage.

There is a very old convent an hour away from me.  Carmelite nuns. There is always a room available when my mind becomes too much for me to take. And, trust me, that’s where I go. To the convent. A room with a simple bed, and then a small, very old stone chapel where I’m basically on my knees alone the whole time, talking to Jesus, and that’s no joke. I joke about my ministry all the time on this blog, but I actually did go through divinity school; I did get ordained; I do follow the call of Jesus Christ, my problem (or my joy) is that I hear him in a way that other people simply don’t. And that includes every single one of my professors at school. And I’m guessing includes every single one of those nuns at the convent.

The nuns are amazing, though. So kind. And they have that vow of silence going on that they expect you to participate in. Everything is just so quiet. They’ll ask you to turn in your cell phone and then they’ll tell you where your room is, and then that’s it. Silence until you’re all prayed out and ready to leave.

I guess this is an odd way to give a good review of a movie I loved. But I have so many issues with Time right now, and where on earth it’s going to. And that movie triggered that for me. But I don’t want to lose sight of how beautiful the movie was. And it’s so blessedly un-American. The music is so intelligent; so intellectual, so deeply emotional, complex and often abstract; and sometimes so politically incorrect (his version of Stagger Lee springs joyously to mind) that it is simply glorious to behold — all that un-American, non-Puritanical stuff going on, among thousands and thousands of enraptured people. The audience, I mean. I love it just so very much. Because to me, Nick Cave’s music is all about a Mind thinking; a Heart feeling; art in process.

So I loved it, even though it was hard for me.