Tag Archives: Ghosteen Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

I’m Super Really Serious This Time!!

I will not linger here this morning, since I was not only here on the blog 3 times yesterday, but I was also online, texting & emailing a LOT yesterday because of Helen’s birthday stuff. And so today, I must go into the isolation booth and remain there…

My biggest challenge right now –and all week — has been one single chunk of dialogue, if you can believe it.

The character’s name is: A White Man From Mississippi. And he is the type of art gallery owner that both gouges the art buyer and rips off the artist (one step away from being a thief). But he is also a carnival barker. So everything he says has to come out in that exhorting, intensely fake, creepy/menacing loud way.

However, he has to sound genuine — not just like a buffoon or something. And in this specific chunk of dialogue that is really vexing me,  he’s confronting one of Helen’s grandson’s, who is fucked up on pills and booze, and has just robbed Helen of her life’s savings and caused her to have a paralyzing stroke, so she can never paint again.

The White Man From Mississippi (gallery owner/carnival barker) is belittling the grandson for being such a loser; his petty thievery killed the goose that laid the golden egg. Whereas he, the White Man From Mississippi (more of a master thief), has access to all the golden eggs if he wants them and can buy & sell them, over & over & over, eternally, at whatever prices the market can bear.

And then the staging is such that the White Man From Mississippi is sort of like God & the Devil, talking down to the intoxicated grandson from Heaven, while all of Helen’s dead loved ones and ancestors, sing a really slow and drawn out stanza from the slave hymn, “I Want to Be Ready to Walk in Jerusalem Just like John.”

It’s gonna take up maybe 3 minutes of stage time, but it’s taking me FOREVER to get it right!!!!!!

I was bordering on not wanting to get out of bed at all this morning, I am getting just so frustrated with it, but here I am. So, onward.

Oh, if you saw — the music has been switched out again. It’s another one of my folk songs that was on vinyl. It came out in 1982, and is now on Smithsonian Folkways Records — the specific record is “Women in Song,” from July 1982.

My song, “One Thing Leads to Another,” is about a roommate I had while in the mental hospital, whose dad had been raping her regularly, until she became a drug addict and sort of went crazy.

It was really strange to hear her talk about her life because she was so matter of fact about it.  And the rapes always happened on Thursday nights, because it was her mom’s bowling night — that little fact always struck me as just so creepy.

I wasn’t super nice to her, because I thought she was really strange and I was, you know, forced to share a room with her. Of course, we were both only 15, and I was seriously fucked up with my own mental problems, so I couldn’t really grasp (until a few years later) what her problem really was. She would talk about sex with her dad as being really fun and exciting, so I thought: well, then what’s the big deal?

Something like that. I wasn’t totally heartless, or stupid, but she was so hard to talk to. She was really in denial and way off in la-la land, but I couldn’t really empathize because I had all my own issues that I was drowning in.

Anyway, so that’s that song.

Okay! I’m gonna scoot!! And try to nail this thing before I totally lose my mind.

Have a wonderful Thursday, wherever you are in the world!! I leave you with more breakfast music from Angel Clare — and this one is just too cool. It’s a medley that is just brilliant and really just messes with your whole soul, in a truly glorious way, but you have to hear the whole song.

Oh, which reminds me! Amazon UK informed me that the arrival of the Ghosteen CD (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds) is imminent in my very near future!!! (Yes, it is being shipped to me from the UK, because I pre-ordered it the moment it was available to pre-order, and didn’t wait the handful of moments for it to be available for pre-ordering in the US, and so, rather than have it shipped to me from the Amazon warehouse that is literally 25 miles from me, it’s shipping to me from the UK…. Well, that’s me, in a nutshell.)

Okay, enjoy!! Thanks for visiting. I love you guys! See ya!

For Fuck’s Sake, Why Can’t Life Ever Just Stay Awesome?

It’s just been one of those days.

First. Work on the micro-short with Peitor went extremely well. We got great work done. We finished the 2nd segment of the script. 4 more segments to go.  The 2nd segment is approx. 90 seconds long. Still not a word of dialogue.

And the 2nd segment relies heavily on the filmmaking style Antonioni used in his movie from 1962, L’eclisse. Did you happen to see it? I thought you had! I know how much you enjoy black & white Italian movies from 1962. (You know, the reason Peitor and I have been friends for something like 35 fucking years is because when he said he wanted the segment to have the look of Antonioni’s L’eclisse, I knew exactly what he was talking about.) (Except for the part when she’s walking down the hall, I want the shots to have more of a feel of Polanski’s Repulsion but without all the arms molesting her. And I know you saw that!!)

Image result for polanski's repulsion
Catherine Deneuve in Polasnki’s Repulsion, 1965

By the way, our film is not in black & white. It’s just designed to feel like it is. And it’s not set in the 1960s, although our main character kind of is. (And as an aside, it’s kind of interesting that I didn’t end up like Deneuve’s character in Repulsion, all things considered. And even though today sort of sucks — overall, I think I’m doing pretty darned all right. However. If I end up wanting to eat an uncooked rabbit head that I’m carrying around in my purse, we can assume that things are at long last going seriously awry…)

Anyway. That was the highlight of the day — working with Peitor for a few hours.

My work on Letter #5 for Girl in the Night is frustrating me so I deleted all of it. I’m still going to keep the same premise for it (“Hymn to the Dark”) but it just kept feeling too plebeian. Sometimes plebeian is wanted. But not in this particular section of the book.  In this section, I want it to feel like, I don’t know — the genesis of angels or something. I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. I don’t even know what I fucking mean, at this point. I only know I haven’t captured it yet. So I will spend tonight trying again.

I did manage to wash my hair and shave my legs and even pay some attention to my (hideously chipped) toenails for the first time since before I went to New York — over a month ago already! (Can you believe that it was one month ago tonight that I saw Nick Cave at Town Hall? Man. In some ways it feels like a year.) (I wish I could just persuade somebody to live my life for me while I just stayed in bed and reaped the rewards of dreaming.) (Except for the times when I go see Nick Cave.) But anyway, when the weather gets colder and I wear actual shoes most of the time, instead of flip-flops everywhere, I tend to forget to look and see if my toenails need re-polishing. And I also tend to not wear my glasses most of the time, so I don’t usually see much of anything.  But today I got out of the shower and suddenly it was, like — holy moly. So I dealt with the toes.

Today is the 3rd anniversary of my sweet cat, Bunny, dying of a heart attack. She was the last of my house cats. I cannot tell you how much I miss having cats that actually interact with me. You know — the kind that let me cuddle with them and that purr and that like to sleep on the bed with me all night. Who look at me like they understand me when I chatter at them. Who act as if they actually love me. I just miss it so much. Even though Daddycakes was feral, he would purr and get on the bed with me a lot of the time, but he didn’t want to be cuddled or petted — he did allow me to do it, begrudgingly, so I tried not to overdo it. But, man. Feral cats are rough on the heartstrings.

Although, for the past several mornings, when it’s still dark out and I go into the dark bathroom to pee first thing, Huckleberry and Doris will come into the bathroom and lick my toes! This is a totally new thing. They will let me sort of reach down and pet them, but only once. If I try for twice, then they nip at me. So, you know, I’m trying to make the most out of peeing in the dark while they lick my toes… with those sandpaper-y little tongues.

This business of allowing life to be however it’s going to be without me orchestrating it to suit my needs… I’m not a big fan of it.

It sort of reminds me that I feel kind of at odds with what I posted this morning about Ghosteen. I even thought about deleting it. I wish I didn’t feel so deeply about things. I decided to keep it posted, just because I guess it’s better not to censor myself. To just “express.” I just think it’s such a beautiful album and I still don’t know how to process how it makes me feel.

And I wasn’t being mean about his wife’s dress. I mean, she does sort of describe it like that in that movie, not those 2 exact words, but they amount to the same thing — she had a sort of mission to have every woman wearing the same dress, and looking like some sort of prim cult from 40 years ago. I don’t remember exactly. But if you didn’t see One More Time With Feeling, then maybe I sounded really mean.

But that was not my intention.

Well, I guess I should either get back to work here, or do some yoga now. I’ll make up my mind momentarily. I just hope something wonderful comes out of this brain of mine tonight to salvage this frustrating day.

Oh you know, I saw something online today that the late painter Basquiat said about what the Lower East Side of NYC was like back in the late 70s & early 80s (that bombed-out, war-zone look), and there were some photos from back then included. This was when I lived down there, in Alphabet City. I just sort of take it as a given that people remember what it was like back then, but a lot of people who read my blog weren’t even born yet back then. So here is a really good photo of what it looked like on E. 12th Street back when I lived there (for 9 years). I don’t know this particular building’s exact location, but so much of the LES looked exactly like this back then. This could have easily been the “apartment” next door to me:

Somewhere below E. 14th Street, NYC, early 1980s.

It is so weird to think I simply lived like this. For so many years. I didn’t even think about it. It’s just how it was.

Honestly, a lot of the times I miss it. I don’t really enjoy what NYC has become.

All righty! I’m off to do something. I don’t know what yet. But here’s hoping that before the night ends, I will have written something worth keeping. I love you guys. See ya.

Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me

Well, from the sublime to the ridiculous — after all those mornings of not wanting to budge from bed until long after the sun was up, this morning, I was up and out of bed by 4:30. What the hell, right?

I guess just go with it.

I have a lot to work on today. Not only Letter #5 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse, but also Peitor and I are supposed to work on our script for a few hours this morning over the phone. (For our micro-short known variously as “Lita’s Gotta Go” or “Lita’s Got to Go” or “Leta’s Got to Go”, or the Swedish subtitle, “Lita maste ga.”)

Anyway.

Wow, Instagram sure was pink last night.

I didn’t stop working until about 10PM last night, and that was the first time I’d gotten on Instagram all day, and quickly discovered an ad campaign or Vogue layout or both for the Vampire’s Wife’s pink dress.

Then I awoke around 3am, thinking about that pink dress campaign and how it sort of has the feel of a visual offshoot of the Ghosteen album cover — soft, pink, harmless. Not that the album cover is pink but it does have pink in it and it does feel intensely harmless. Like it could be a mural on the wall of a child’s nursery. And it struck me that the two projects combined — the new album and its subsequent merchandising and upcoming tour, and the pink dress merchandising campaign — is not just the processing of grief, but inadvertently the merchandising of grief, on a huge scale.

You know how I ponder things, and sometimes I ponder things past the point of no return, because I certainly don’t want to see Ghosteen that way. But it is part of the job: you make the record, you have to tour, sell tickets, sell the merchandise, hopefully sell the record itself; earn your living (even a guy’s “gotta make ends meet/on Jubilee Street” right?).

The dress doesn’t really weigh on me as much. Although, I don’t support women’s fashion overall, whether it’s the puritanical conformity of the Vampire’s Wife dress, or the sort of horrific complicated torture chambers of Alexander McQueen’s fashions, and everything in between. I realize, at the bottom line, women’s fashion is really just about the mind of the designer, but the overriding consequence of “women’s fashion” still bespeaks of the trivialization (and sometimes the attempted annihilation) of the minds, unique identities, and bodies of women. You know, there’s just no way around the decades, and decades, and decades of that symbolism. I’ve always been attracted to style icons — Bianca Jagger in the 1970s rushes to mind — but an overall blanket of “women’s fashion” has always sort of repelled me (the primary reason I didn’t last long as a professional fashion model when I was in my late teens — my own agent, the man responsible for getting me employed, yelling at me in front of the entire office that if I didn’t like being treated like a piece of meat, I was in the wrong business. And he was right.). (And then my adoptive dad coming to town and taking me out to dinner and finding out that I was working as a professional fashion model: “If you want men to think you’re stupid, Marilyn, then being a model is the best thing to be.” Thanks, Dad.)

Well, anyway.

I do love where men’s fashions have gone in this current century, though. Men’s fashions used to be just as annihilating of a man’s psychological freedom, his spirit. And now, with magazine’s like Another Man especially, men’s bodies, their personae within the fashions, within the mise en scene, seem to have become liquid art. Just something so invigorating and uplifting to look at there. To my mind, at least.

But I’m digressing. I was just lying there at 3am today, thinking about Ghosteen and the necessary fact of having to merchandise it, and then wondering what on Earth that would really mean. Are you ultimately merchandising the death of a child? My mind can’t really even begin to go there. It was so disturbing. I’m hoping, of course, that the experience is something that helps audiences transcend some specific grief; find release, maybe? Not just be swept into some sort of oceanic abyss of emotion, being that it will be on that frenzied scale of a live concert. That ultimately uncontrollable emotional scale. (I’m guessing you can tell that I don’t go to concerts, either. They just have become this huge, unwieldy “thing”. A veritable sea of “too much.”)

Skeleton Tree felt so different to me, as a record. There was still a lot of grief there, but it did feel like individual songs. And even while they were equally abstract, there were songs that I could viscerally connect with in terms of my own life — “Girl in Amber,” “Distant Sky,” “Jesus Alone,” and “I Need You.”

Ghosteen just seems so sweeping and not as if it contains separate, individual songs that you can just sort of toss out there in a song lineup. And it’s just a devastating album — in its grief, its beauty, its overwhelming, abstract imagery.  It might be easier if it wasn’t a sort of “concept” album; if it wasn’t a sort of microscopic focus on the byproduct of emotional chaos brought on by a child’s death. But I guess that’s sort of obvious, isn’t it — it would all be so much easier if it wasn’t that. Jesus. I just can’t process what it means to create a (hopefully) cathartic work of art about grief, about life, love, death; and then have to, you know, “take it on the road!” and wear a pink dress.

Just forever and ever, right? The death of a child has been unbearable. Psalm 137 (KJV) springs horribly to mind — and that’s from twenty-five hundred years ago.

Oh god. Some mornings,you know,  life is just a wee bit stultifying.

But then I started thinking about David Byrne and how he has this really popular show on Broadway right now — American Utopia. I hope I get to see it. The Broadway cast album is out already, and it made me think of that Talking Heads song that I used to just love – “Don’t Worry About the Government”. Such simple times, you know? Early days in NYC. Life, even in its turmoil and awfulness, its drugs and booze and poverty and violence, was still new and still full of kinetic excitement for me and my friends. Daily.

But being in my early 20s, and being age 59 now — you can’t compare the two. You just can’t. There’s that pesky thing of experience fucking that comparison all up.

Still, it did make me go on YouTube at around 4am and play that song and realize that I still know every glorious word to it. And I remembered just how much that chorus meant to me, spoke to me, in those days.

Anyway. I gotta get started here. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

“Don’t Worry About The Government”

I see the clouds that move across the sky
I see the wind that moves the clouds away
It moves the clouds over by the building
I pick the building that I want to live in

I smell the pine trees and the peaches in the woods
I see the pine cones that fall by the highway
That’s the highway that goes to the building
I pick the building that I want to live in

It’s over there, it’s over there
My building has every convenience
It’s gonna make life easy for me
It’s gonna be easy to get things done
I will relax along with my loved ones

CHORUS
Loved ones, loved ones visit the building,
take the highway, park and come up and see me
I’ll be working, working but if you come visit
I’ll put down what I’m doing, my friends are important

Don’t you worry ’bout me
I wouldn’t worry about me
Don’t you worry ’bout me
Don’t you worry ’bout me

I see the states, across this big nation
I see the laws made in Washington, D.C.
I think of the ones I consider my favorites
I think of the people that are working for me

Some civil servants are just like my loved ones
They work so hard and they try to be strong
I’m a lucky guy to live in my building
They own the buildings to help them along

It’s over there, it’s over there
My building has every convenience
It’s gonna make life easy for me
It’s gonna be easy to get things done
I will relax along with my loved ones

CHORUS
Loved ones, loved ones visit the building
Take the highway, park and come up and see me
I’ll be working, working but if you come visit
I’ll put down what I’m doing, my friends are important

I wouldn’t worry ’bout me
I wouldn’t worry about me
Don’t you worry ’bout me
Don’t you worry ’bout ME…

c – 1977 David Byrne

Just One of Those Days

(MINI UPDATE:  I forgot to mention that Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds will be going on tour in support of their new album, Ghosteen, beginning in April 2020 !! One thing that fills me with an inordinate amount of relief is that I don’t have to try to buy a ticket to any of that madness… However. Tickets begin going on sale next Friday.)

Okay. Back to the original post…

I have to say that, as much as I love and utilize Amazon when buying so many things, when it comes to people making money off of my allegedly out of print books, it makes me want to tear my hair out.

Well, my hair is perhaps one of my more outstanding features, so it makes me want to do something else equally frustrating. Not sure what.

And I’m not talking about anyone selling those used “collectors” copies of my old paperback books that frequently fetch hundreds of dollars (as opposed to the $7.95 – $12.95 it originally cost when the publisher published it.) I’m talking about people who are selling brand new copies of books of mine that are out of print, that allegedly sold out of their print runs a long, long time ago. Sometimes, as in the instance I mentioned here before, early in the summer, someone is selling hardcover editions of When the Night Stood Still — one of my out of print books that never came out in hardcover. Ever.

And the way that particular title is distributed is stupidly complex so it becomes impossible to figure out who is actually selling it. And I’m guessing it’s being published by print on demand.

Two things really confound me. One is: Why that particular title? It wasn’t my worst book, but it’s not like it’s a book that flew off the shelves (in 2004, no less). So that confounds me. Why only that particular title? A real mystery to me.

The other thing that confounds me — and I’m not going to say which title it is because I don’t want anyone else to go flocking to it and buy it — but the title is ranking decently in sales in a couple of different Women’s Books categories on Amazon. (Another book of mine that was published in 2004.) That one really irks me because, if it’s showing up in sales rankings, someone is actually making money there.

In both of these instances, the true publishers have been out of business for years. And nowadays, it is so easy to scan and then “publish” a book by printing it on demand.

In other instances — involving eBooks of mine that are published by huge publishing houses — I see now that they’ve dropped their prices drastically on certain eBook titles of mine and that is of course cutting into sales of similar eBook titles that I publish myself. (in other words, they’re drastically underselling me.)

It is just so fucking frustrating. I try not to focus on it, you know. Just keep moving forward and put my energy in that forward direction and not look at life through the rearview mirror — and I guess just be appreciative that people still want to read these really old books… grumble grumble grumble

All righty. That’s my rant for today. My phone chat with Peitor is happening here momentarily, so I’ve got to get into the headspace of script-writing and out of the headspace of frustration. I was glancing over the script thus far and realized that I recall next to none of the details, so I need to really go over my notes before the phone chat.

I want to mention quickly, though, that none of the cats have gotten to the palm tree!! I did see that a copy of Walt Whitman’s Civil War poems was lying on the floor this morning, so obviously one of the cats attempted to get near the tree and gave up when a book fell down on them. So, it’s working!! Yay!!

Okay. I’m gonna scoot. And try to reclaim this frustrating morning. I hope you have a happy Friday, wherever you are in the world!! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

New Coffee! New Morning!

Yes, it’s another one of those slow-starting mornings. I’m still in bed, a cup of coffee next to me on the night table. I’m just lying here, staring out the window at the intensity of another lovely October morning.

Cloudy. The wind blowing the autumn leaves into a swirl.

I’m blogging from bed so I’ll be brief. Got my plate super full again so I’m trying to conserve my brain power. Working on both Thug Luckless and Tell My Bones pretty much at the same time. And one project is pure porn, the other is pure poetry. And then on my inner horizon last evening, I saw that Letter #5 for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse was  taking shape!! And tomorrow morning, bright & early, Peitor and I get back to work on our micro script for Leta’s Got To Go, the first micro short that we’ll be producing for Abstract Absurdity Productions.

Yeah, so. Getting out of bed this morning was a little delayed.

Oh! I had a dream about Nick Cave last night. You know how, whenever I dream about him something about it comes in duplicate, plus the dreams are always utterly indecipherable?  Plus I always wake up immediately after the dream so it’s always really pronounced in my mind, which makes their indecipherability all the more frustrating.

This time I dreamed that there were 37 things he was willing to do on the train, but 37,000 things he was willing to do in the other place.

And there you have it. The dream in its entirety. I woke up at around 4:30 with that hovering in my brain and thought, oh my god, what the heck does that mean??!! It was sort of anxiety-inducing, my inability to make sense of it, least of all, at that early hour.

It might have something to do with Ghosteen, I don’t know. But yesterday I couldn’t let go of that song “Hollywood.” It is just so haunting. (I still think I shouldn’t link it here but it is on YouTube.)

All right. I’m gonna close and try to figure out how best to focus this day — in which direction: porn or poetry?  Have a wonderful Thursday wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya.

The corner where I live, this time last October.

 

It Was A Miracle!!

JESUS (speaking quietly to Simon-Peter): “Though I had nothing to do with it, it was an actual miracle — her cats did not go near that fucking tree.”

SIMON-PETER (quietly): “I cannot fucking believe it. Jesus. That’s awesome.”

Yes!! From Christ’s mouth to your ears! My cats did not go anywhere near that tree.

You know how cats are so good at math?  How you can actually see them calculating the distance of something they wish to jump up on to?

Image result for math equations for calculating distance
The actual formula that cats use to calculate the distance up to a tree that isn’t covered with books

Well, when they looked up at the tree, they saw this:

Image result for a stack of books falling down

Which led them to think THIS:

Related image

And the problem of my cats shredding the fronds off of my helpless palm tree,  eating the fronds and then vomiting them back up all over the carpeting has at last been solved!!

Isn’t math great??!!

Well, alas. The photos on Instagram of Nick Cave’s final Conversation of his US tour looked just great.  It was mostly photos from the very start of the show, and then two photos from the final song, where he had a guy from the audience come up and sit on the piano bench next to him while he sang “Stagger Lee.” (Nick Cave sang — not the guy from the audience.)

But it looked like a great show. And oddly, it seems like the folks in Los Angeles are more of the rule-following ilk than the folks in San Francisco were. I find that a little ironic. You’d think that in LA, people would be more likely to do whatever they want, but almost all of the photos from last night were from that brief period at the start of the show where they were allowed to take photos. Not so in SF, where you would think they might be more respectful of the other people in the audience…

Anyway, it’s over. I just can’t believe it. For four months, I had my tickets to see him in NYC, and now not only are the NYC shows long gone, but now the tour is completely over. In a heartbeat.

All righty. Well, it is just a really cool day here today, gang. Perfectly fall-like outside. Rainy, chilly, wet autumn leaves scattered everywhere. It just feels so cozy to be inside, looking out at the rain. Drinking my cup of coffee. I have to work on some technical stuff for Tell My Bones here today, then work some more on Thug Luckless. Then maybe go back and do some more work on Tell My Bones. I think it’s just going to be a nicely paced day.

Last night, I spent a lot of time working on Thug Luckless and so  it was kind of late when I got around to doing yoga. I had the lights down and I was listening to the 2nd half of Ghosteen. I don’t know if that was the very best idea. You know how, when you’re doing yoga, you’re so focused and anything you hear goes right into your consciousness. I know I keep saying this, but Ghosteen is truly an intensely beautiful album and just so incredibly sad — to me, anyway.

I was in the cool-down part of the yoga when the final song came on (called “Hollywood” but I keep thinking it’s called “Malibu”). The cool-down part of yoga is such a meditative mental place, and that song — the part where Kisa is unable to accept yet that her baby has died, she thinks it’s only sick. Oh my god, that just washed over me like a tidal wave — of love, of loss, of longing. That whole song is almost unbearably exquisite. You should go listen to it wherever you listen to your music.

Okay, I’m gonna scoot!! Have a beautiful, beautiful day, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

Image result for louis wain vintage illustrations of cats

Onward & Onward, Full of Grace

First, the scale: Back down to my goal weight. I lost those pesky 7 pounds during the night.

Actually, it’s really sort of fun — having this new insane scale to step on first thing in the morning: what is it going to tell me? I don’t interfere with its read-out in any way; I can’t, actually. It’s a really cheap scale. It does what it does and that’s it, and all I can do is either step on it or not. So that element of complete  surprise is just an interesting new way to start my morning.

Plus, it’s super uplifting to lose 7 pounds during the night!! (And on those nights when I’ve gained 5 or 8 pounds, well. You know, it’s just a cheap scale and it doesn’t work! So disregard it!) (It only works when I reach my goal weight, which, thank goodness, is quite frequently. I’ve already reached it several times in the past couple of days.)

Okay. I am doing reasonably okay today.  I’ve been having mental issues again over the last several days.  I’m thinking it’s just stress. But it’s maybe other stuff, too. I’m not sure. Who the fuck knows. It got so bad yesterday that I was seriously thinking it was time to go back to the convent. (Loyal readers of this lofty blog probably recall that St. Therese’s convent is where I go when I get extremely suicidal. But since I’ve moved, it’s now 50 miles from here. But when you get there, you turn in your phone and then there’s a vow of silence. And they feed you if you want to eat, which I usually don’t.  They give you a little cell, and you can be alone with St. John of the Cross and Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ. But usually, I most prefer the  Beatitudes because sometimes I think that that’s all there is to it, really. Then there is that tiny but amazing old stone chapel, where it’s just you on your knees with Jesus for however long it takes. Get your shit back together; get back in your car and drive home.)

But 50 miles is 50 miles now. And I have these cats. And I have this house. And responsibilities. I wait until it’s really, really dire, you know, before I go there. But then there’s that grey area — if I wait too long, I can become immobilized. And then it’s just dicey, all the way around. I just hate that grey area. You have no idea.

But even when I get immobilized — when my brain sort of  puts me on lock-down and I can’t easily do things that will save me, I can still text. So texting is a true blessing. It really, really is. Even when I can no longer communicate verbally, I can always, always write. Usually all I need is just help getting out of the house — getting into the air, under the sky, remembering that there’s an actual world outside of my brain.

Anyway. Yesterday was heading in a bad place all day, and so I was thinking about the convent. But I decided to just sleep in the guest room last night and see if that would break the chain of negative crap. I don’t think of my own bedroom as negative at all. I love my room, and the energy in it. But I remembered how incredible it felt, the night before I left for NY, sleeping in my guest room for the first time and what a great room it turned out to be.

It was okay last night, but I think that other time, having my birth mom sleeping in the next room probably had a lot to do with the peace I was feeling. I was thinking I should call my mom and tell her she has to come back. But I don’t like to hold people for ransom  emotionally. Because of course she would come, but she does have her own life to live. I always somehow manage to get myself back on track.

It’s so weird how you can just turn a corner and wake up and be okay. I really do think it’s stress. Primarily, both Sandra and Peitor needing my attention to various projects, when right now, I need to give 110% to the Tell My Bones rewrites. Well, anyway. The noise just starts in my head.

I know what it is I need to turn off the noise and I also know I’m not going to get it anytime soon, if ever. So maybe adopting a little puppy would be the next best thing — unconditional love & devotion! But I can’t take on a puppy, or even a full grown dog. Aside from a house full of untamed cats that would freak the fuck out, I don’t have the time for the added responsibility.

So I’m just trying to focus on the writing and have that particular type of joy be all I need for the time being.

When I was meditating this morning, I got myself into a place of pure potentiality. That true realization that there is no such thing as the future and there is no past. The past is a memory — and if your memory is gone, your past is gone. And if your memory shifts, then your past completely changes. So what is the past, really? And the future is only an idea. It can be absolutely anything or nothing at all. The only thing that’s filled with wide-open potential is the infinite expanse of right now.

It was a beautiful feeling. The beauty and the openness of right now is where all that feeling of fulfillment is for me — you can do anything, experience the joy or the thrill or the satisfaction of anything right now, because all of reality is experienced in your mind anyway.

I’m not saying that reality doesn’t eventually play out in some way; I know it does. But for me, the true fulfillment comes from the creation of the idea. The “playing out” of the idea is where the baggage is. Not that baggage is essentially unmanageable. I’m just saying that, for me, the moment the idea is created — that’s where I find the most emotional fulfillment. I can do anything I want to in my mind, especially experience pure beauty and pure love.

Which, of course, reminds me of Ghosteen again. I was listening to it in the guest room last night, in the dark. God, it is such a gorgeous album (even though it is so fucking sad). Every time I think I’ve chosen a favorite “song” (I hesitate to call them “songs” because they simply don’t feel like “songs’), I realize that I can’t actually say that I love one over or more than another. They are each just so haunting and beautiful.

I really love “Spinning Song” and “Night Raid.” But then the other songs come on and I love those, too. So who knows. All I know for sure is that the whole album is sort of uncategorical.  It defies my mind’s ability to define it.  Meaning, I can’t simply say, “Oh, that’s a great record.” Or section it out into a group of songs, or something.

I did notice that there’s a bunch of cute little Ghosteen things that we can purchase now! I say “cute” because most of them have got the little lamb picture on it — but of course, little lambs (in cemeteries) are symbolic of dead children so my brain hesitates to identify with the little lamb as “cute,” even though it is. It’s incredibly cute. But, you know, it’s also unbearably sad. So I’m not sure what to do about that.  I really want one of those tote bags — but do I tote it around until the little lamb becomes common place or meaningless? I’m not sure I can do that.

Anyway. You can see that it’s best for me to pursue wide open expanses of blankness where I’m not encouraged to think about anything.

And on that note!! I will remind you to please go on Instagram and follow @tellmybones. And to go on Facebook and follow: https://www.facebook.com/tellmybones

The web site will be launching soon. Mostly, they have to figure out my bio, which is stupidly extensive and goes off in many directions. And I think once that’s solved, the site will launch. I noticed they picked that author’s photo of me from my novel Freak Parade — where I’m wearing my Mark Jacobs aviator shades that I just love! And I’m sitting on the stoop, looking totally dyke-y. Yay. Nothing like just going out into the world.  (You’d never know that I am a girl who loves elegance. I honestly do. I used to own the most gorgeous dresses. Anyway.)

So, thanks for visiting. I apologize for being all over the map today, but it’s better than not existing. So I guess I don’t really apologize for it. I would leave you with something from Ghosteen today, but I think you’re supposed to go purchase it. So, in the meantime, I leave you with this thought-worthy piece of questions. Have a good day out there, okay? I love you guys. See ya!

“LOSING MY RELIGION”

Oh, life is bigger
It’s bigger
Than you and you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I set it up

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

Every whisper
Of every waking hour
I’m choosing my confessions
Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool, fool
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I set it up

Consider this
Consider this
The hint of the century
Consider this
The slip that brought me
To my knees failed
What if all these fantasies
Come flailing around
Now I’ve said too much

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

But that was just a dream
That was just a dream

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

But that was just a dream
Try, cry
Why try?
That was just a dream, just a dream, just a dream
Dream

c – 1991 : Bill Berry / Michael Stipe / Mike Mills / Peter Buck

Adventures in Wild Weight Fluctuations!!

I’m still keeping this new bathroom scale. If only because I want to try to hack the code.

Apparently, I gained 5 pounds during the night. (After losing 9 pounds the previous day.)

At the very least, the scale reconnects me with everything I ate the day before. You know, it sort of acts as a grounding rod for my wildly dispersed reality. From moment to moment, I can no longer tell you what’s happening to my life. I am just so caught up in my head these days. Absolutely everything flies past me. So this new bathroom scale — its seeming slight relation to reality — sort of helps anchor me. I step on the scale. I look at that wildly unexpected number. And it makes me stop and think and remember yesterday: What was yesterday?  What did I do? What did I think? What did I eat?

So the new bathroom scale is sort of an adventure in consciousness.

An alert just came through on my laptop that the drummer Ginger Baker died. This also serves as an anchor in reality: a.) I did not know he was even still alive; b.) I can’t believe he was 80; and c.) another part of my girlhood — gone.

When these things happen, I immediately feel that I either have to die right away. Like, I don’t know, tomorrow maybe. Or just live for some stupidly long time so that the main point to my whole existence becomes: Everything and everyone I ever knew is gone. This “in between” business — where you watch everything you ever knew disappear in bits and pieces; that part gets hard to process. So I’d rather just deal with one extreme or the other. Die now, or live so very long that nothing has relevance anymore and everyone assumes I simply am just never going to die.

On a sort of similar note… I’ve been thinking the last couple days that I’d really like to take a drive to the old Civil War battle ground in Cynthiana, Kentucky, and visit my great-great-grandfather’s grave. He’s buried there in a Confederacy War Memorial. For some bizarre reason, google maps assures me this is only 3 and a 1/2 hours from Crazeysburg. I’m not sure how that could possibly be. It feels like it should be much farther away. So I think I’m going to set aside a couple days here in the fall and do that. Find some sort of a strange motel there and stay over for one night. Maybe even drink bourbon for the first time in a couple of years. (I can’t imagine being in Kentucky again and not drinking bourbon.)

I’ve listened to Ghosteen a few more times.  And that anchors me, too, actually. It has such a presence to it that I just hone right in and everything else in my mind and in my world simply stops.  I’m just listening. Picturing all this stuff that I don’t understand at all — meaning, the images just come because the lyrics are so precise and so intense, yet I have no idea what any of that whole first part of the record means. (I don’t necessarily know what the second part means, but I feel like I intuitively grasp it. The first part — any hope of concrete meaning flies away from me in all directions but it sustains such an intense beauty, regardless.)

It is enigmatic, to be sure. I feel like there is absolutely no way in. By that, I think I mean that this is sort of an operatic painting about his life, his family, his marriage — and how can you ever truly understand how the inside of someone else’s perspective of life really feels? Well, anyway, I can’t. So I can’t find my way into it. Which doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful or that I don’t love it, or that it doesn’t cause me to feel a lot of things.

Nick Cave has said things before about how songs speak to you, personally; you know, you feel like a song was written just for you and it becomes yours, in a way. Actually, there is no Nick Cave song, ever, that I felt spoke to me, personally. I do feel that way about pretty much every single song Tom Petty ever wrote — starting with “American Girl.” I heard that song in my teens and immediately wondered, “How come that guy knows how it feels to be me?” But with Nick Cave — he’s on this whole other planet from me. It’s one that I absolutely love, with all my being and all my soul, but it could not be more different from my planet if it tried. Yet I still love, basically, everything he ever wrote. Or likely will write.  Still, this new record goes even beyond that. Really, like discovering a whole new planet. Complete with a language that sounds remarkably similar to the one I know, and yet, eludes me. I think it’s just something I have to feel in my heart. And maybe meaning will come later. Or the “meaning” is simply that I feel it all very intensely. That is the meaning to it.

Okay. And on that note, the Conversations continue tonight in Austin. Maybe one lone photo appeared on Instagram from last night so, clearly this “put your phones away” idea is working. Eventually, I will no longer have any reason whatsoever to be on Instagram! But that’s okay.

All righty!! I’m gonna scoot and get Sunday underway here. Have a great day, wherever you are in the world. Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

“American Girl”

Well, she was an American girl
Raised on promises
She couldn’t help thinkin’
That there was a little more to life somewhere else
After all it was a great big world
With lots of places to run to
And if she had to die tryin’
She had one little promise she was gonna keep.

Oh yeah, all right
Take it easy, baby
Make it last all night
She was an American girl

Well it was kind of cold that night,
She stood alone on her balcony
Yeah, she could hear the cars roll by,
Out on 441 like waves crashin’ on the beach
And for one desperate moment there
He crept back in her memory
God it’s so painful when something that’s so close
Is still so far out of reach

Oh yeah, all right
Take it easy, baby
Make it last all night
She was an American girl

c- 1976 Tom Petty

Just the Most Perfect Day!

Now that I’m willing to allow myself to believe it’s really fall, it is just the most perfect day.

The sun is shining but there is a chill in the air, and the house is sort of freezing. Yay! I’m still wearing my favorite summer (cotton) jammies at night, and still have the summer (cotton) sheets on the bed because it is still getting into the 70s Fahrenheit during the daytime, but last night, I brought out the winter blanket and threw it on top of the summer stuff.

Me in my favorite summer PJs, but, oddly, I’m wearing them last December in Peitor’s bathroom in West Hollywood…

Last night, I slept the best sleep I’ve slept in a while. Only one window in my bedroom slightly open. Everything else in the house closed up. So, now, there are no sounds. no crickets, no cicadas, no birds. Just intense quiet.

I miss summer and the racket of all the earth, but the quiet is kind of nice.

I won’t turn the furnace on until it gets a lot colder. But I am looking forward to switching to the downstairs bathroom! I use that shower all during the winter months because the upstairs bathroom is really, really old. It was added onto the house back when it very first got indoor plumbing, back in the 1920s or 1930s, and there is no heating vent in there. The downstairs bathroom is much more modern and actually has heat…

Anyway. I like seasonal traditions, in general. And so now, here in the Hinterlands, in my 118-year-old house, that has become my autumnal tradition: switching bathrooms.

Pretty exciting!!

I had a really, really cool dream last night! One of those sex & love dreams! I was in love with some guy and we had sex, but I cannot for the life of me, remember who he was or what he even looked like. I can only remember the presence of him. A warmth. Like, a body warmth. There was also a woman in the dream who came on to me. For some unfortunate reason, I totally remember who she was. Not that she was unpleasant, but in the dream, I wasn’t in love with her, I was in love with the guy. But more importantly the guy was actually in love with me!

This is sort of unheard of in real life, so that’s why it’s doubly disappointing that I can’t really remember the dream…

But I do remember, vividly, that he made me really happy. So I guess recalling the feeling is good enough.

Here’s something extremely interesting!! The other day, I discovered (you are going to think I am so weird, but this only proves to you how extremely focused I am on work, and on writing, and on living at my desk), anyway, I discovered that all of my underarm hair has turned completely silver.

I was astonished by this.  Not just because it’s gone silver, but you’d think I would have noticed it before it had all entirely changed to a new color. I mean, I do shave my underarms. But I guess I just don’t ever really look at it. I mean, it’s not something I even think about. It’s automatic. I’ve been shaving my underarms for, like, 50 years. Well, maybe I didn’t start shaving at age 9. But  let’s just say something really close to 50 years.

Anyway. It was just weird. To say I am preoccupied with the world in my mind is now, I guess, officially an understatement.

Oh, and yesterday!! The best bathroom scale came into my world.

Back before I went to NY, my old bathroom scale finally broke. So I threw it out. At that point, I had put on 2 or 3 pounds, which I was making a mental note of getting rid of. But then I went to NYC and forgot about it. And then the other day, I noticed my pants felt a little tight, which usually means I’ve put on close to 5 pounds. So, posthaste, I bought another digital scale. Just to make sure that nothing got out of control.

The scale arrived and, lo & behold, it told me I had put on 8 pounds!! Whoa. I was not happy. I could not imagine what I might be eating that could make me gain 8 pounds. But I was at least glad I’d bought the scale when I did.

And then this morning, a mere 24 hours later, I got back on the scale and it told me I’d lost 9 pounds!!! Yay! Best scale ever. I reached my goal weight in 24 hours!!

Fuck, yes! I am keeping this scale!!

(I did actually get on it a couple more times, and it keeps hovering around that goal weight, so I’m guessing that the first time I used it, I probably had not actually gained 8 pounds…)

Still, what a great morning, right? A love & sex dream, followed by losing 9 pounds!! And beautiful weather, to boot.

Okay! Tonight & tomorrow night, Nick Cave is in Austin, TX doing his In Conversation on the Austin City Limits thing. (Does this mean that at some point we can watch it on TV?) (I don’t actually have TV so that doesn’t help. Of course, I’ve upgraded my iPhone, got a new laptop, got a new car, all within the last few months — I suppose I can just go out and get a new TV, too! Why the fuck not??) (Because I really, really need to fix my barn… I really do. I have the coolest 111- year-old barn. But it needs to be painted and it needs a new roof. And I never watch TV….)

Anyway. I guess we’ll see. (And I am really, really loving that Ghosteen. Gosh, it’s beautiful. I wish I understood it. I just don’t. But the songs are so beautiful.)

Okay. I’m gonna go drink a cup of tea. And think about life. And get back to work!! Thanks for visiting, gang. Enjoy what’s left of your Saturday, wherever you are in the world!! I leave you with a really rockin’ song from my sweet bonny girlhood. I was 6 when I got this album!! I absolutely adored it. (And I was born on a Friday, so you have to listen to the end to find out what Friday’s child is like!!) All righty. I love you guys. See ya!

Ghosteen Part Deux

I got into my car late last evening, wanting to listen to  The Ronnettess’ Greatest Hits while I drove. And while  scrolling through the ‘G’s’ for “greatest hits,”  there sat Ghosteen! It was already out! I thought it was coming out next week!

So of course I played it again.

No oncoming trains.. No nothing. Just a beautiful night.

It really is such a beautiful album. I don’t understand that first part any better than I did the first time, and it still made me really sad. But it’s so beautiful.