Tag Archives: Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Let’s Call It Beautiful!!

I am once again back to not being able to breathe, which so fucking sucks, gang. However, it is a truly gorgeous day here today so I have decided to just ignore that feeling of suffocation…

(Honestly, though, sometimes I feel like it is going to be like this for the rest of my fucking life. It’s been one month already. Yesterday was absolutely perfect. I was breathing great all day, all night. I thought the damn virus was really over.)


The birds are building nests everywhere, all around the outside of my house.  So much life going on around here. And that damaged soffit above the back door, where the starlings build nests each spring? There are several little cubbyhole type things inside the exposed eaves and it turns out that not only starlings have built nests in there, but sparrows, too.  Equal Opportunity Housing around here — we do not discriminate!

I found that really interesting, though, you know? Different types of birds, building their nests so close together. I didn’t know they did that.

There is also a starling nest in a hollow in the maple tree right outside my bedroom window. And a mourning dove has built a nest up inside the roof that extends over my front porch.

Soon enough it will sound like the Twilight Zone out there. Have you ever heard what its like when baby starlings cry out for food? It’s truly intense — other-worldly sounding. And then add to it baby mourning doves and baby sparrows. It will likely be very interesting. A celebration of noisy life, every day.


Yesterday, I had a great phone chat with Peitor about Abstract Absurdity Productions stuff. It turns out that the cinematographer who will be shooting several of our micro-shorts has a 5,000 square foot studio in Alabama, not far from Memphis (!!.) (Yay — I love Memphis, gang!!) And since there’s no telling when LA will be back to normal after the virus, Peitor wants to use the studio in Alabama to shoot several of the micro-shorts — including maybe even the “Lita” film, because he can build the exact sets he wants for “Lita” in that size space.

I am so fucking excited, gang!! The studio also has sleeping accommodations, so he and I can sleep right there at the studio. The shooting will likely begin sometime this summer, so that has perked my spirits.

Between that news and the continuing good news about the staged reading of Tell My Bones, I’m not really even noticing that I’m not getting any new writing done yet. (Well, I am kinda noticing, but I’m trying to keep my attention on stuff that makes me feel good.)

I am almost done reading Love in the Time of Cholera. It has been so much fun to be able to lie around in bed and read that again, gang. I can’t even tell you. (Part of having this virus has been sort of good for me — forcing me, for the very first time in my whole life, to just lie around and not do anything.)

Next, I think I’m going to re-read Rilke’s Letters to A Young Poet. I took that down from the bookshelf yesterday and was glancing through it. I haven’t read it in close to 40 years. I think it would be really cool to see how I react to it now. I remember that I loved the book, but I don’t really remember much about it anymore.

I took it off the shelf yesterday because I finally streamed the movie JoJo Rabbit (2019). (Rilke’s work is mentioned a few times in the film.) I’ve been wanting to watch that movie for months and for some reason, yesterday was the day I finally decided to watch it.

What a film. I’m not really even sure what to say about it  — how did I feel? It was disturbing on  many levels — Nazis and Hitler, and publicly hanging people who were helping Jews. (Horrible images that were a huge part of what haunted my childhood.) But the film was also really funny, too. And also very endearing. Just way out in left field, you know? Just so well done.  I loved it, but the reality of that war is a steady under current that is hard to “love,” you know? But they managed to make the whole thing just really moving.

And then ending the film with Bowie’s German-language version of “Heroes” was just brilliant. I’d forgotten all about that. At one point, a musician I used to hang out with a lot in NYC had the German-language version of that song on cassette, and I remember feeling like the song just sounded overwhelming in German.

And it still does.

The choices of music throughout the film, though — including Bowie at the end — added a sort of emotional distance to that horrible under current of the reality of that war, which, you know — I’m not sure how I really feel about that. But I did really love that film.

But it also made me wonder, at what point is the buffer of time malleable enough to take atrocities and skew them in a way that enables us to make light of them in whatever ways? We can watch that film and appreciate that the Jews are now considered human and their lives valuable; but the German survivors of the war suffered unspeakably, too, albeit in a wholly different way, when the allies came in to free Berlin. German children, German women. Starvation and unbelievable poverty. And the endless, endless months of Russian soldiers raping the women of Berlin every single day.

None of that stuff is even hinted at in the film — if you don’t know your history, that is, and can’t fill in the blanks. And so what’s left is this joy over a Jewish girl being freed and a 10-year-old Nazi boy seeing the light and Bowie singing on the soundtrack.

I guess if we can distance ourselves emotionally and be selective about the details and about which details we want to give a sort of magical realism to all these decades later, we can then make a really effectively entertaining film and even find reasons to laugh…

(Yeah — I’m really fun to go to the movies with.)


I wanted to mention that next Friday afternoon, May 8th, live on Facebook, Marcus Books in Oakland, California, which is the oldest independent  Black bookstore in America, is having a poetry reading to support the bookstore. You can find out about it here. Some amazing poets will be reading live.

On that note, I think I’ll get my day underway over here. I’ve noticed my breathing has improved now, so maybe it’s just that early morning thing — once the body gets increasingly more awake, the breathing gets better? I hope so. I’d like to have another whole day where I feel fine again.

I hope you have a nice Saturday, gang, wherever you are in the world. I leave you with two things today. One, the official video of “Loverman,” by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds that is in regular rotation on Bad Seeds TeeVee. ( I love this video.) (The song is from the 1994 album Let Love In — one of my favorites!!) And the other is the aforementioned German-language version of Bowie’s song “Heroes” (1977). Enjoy, and have a great day, okay? I love you guys. See ya.


Yet Another Most Triumphant Day!!

Okay! So the Amish guys were here, bright (well, rainy) & early! They gave me the estimate and will give me that new roof in about 12 days — weather permitting.

And I am so excited. I’m getting a forest green metal roof, which was what I’d been sort of dreaming of all this time — a dark green roof and a bright white barn. (The paint will come later.) (Oh, and they think they know someone who would want the huge dead oak tree, so we shall see! I’m guessing that, as they begin the work on replacing the roof, they will encounter the annoyance of that huge pile of dead tree at every turn, so they likely won’t forget that I need that tree hauled away.)

And as if that weren’t exciting enough for me!!

My friend Kevin called last evening, out of the blue. Wanted to see how I was doing.  This is the guy who stores his vintage 1965 VW camper van in my barn all summer while he goes off to Montana. I was so excited to tell him that I was finally getting a new roof on the barn. And he said, “Let me know what the estimate is and I’ll help you pay for it.”

Is that, like, indescribably amazing, gang? He’s doing it because I never charge him to store his van all summer! My barn just sits there empty, so it’s no trouble for me to have it parked in there. It would never occur to me to charge him. And now — voila; he wants to help pay for the new roof. I think that’s just so nice.

If you’re new to the blog, this is what his camper van looks like — same color and everything — but this is not his (I love this thing!!):

1965 VW camper van

This past fall, Kevin’s teenage goddaughter was going to a Halloween party with some friends and they were going as hippies (!!), and they asked if Kevin would drive them to the party in the van as part of their “costume.”  I thought that was the cutest thing. And he had a blast. He said that all the kids wanted pictures of the van — they were all about 14 years old. So, to them, a 1965 VW camper is, like, from pre-historic times.  So funny.

I remember when I was about 7 years old, one of my girlfriends who lived across the street had a father who dealt in classic cars. And one day, he brought home a 1918 Rolls Royce. It was amazing. Truly. He took it for a drive around the block and let us ride in the back of it and it was the coolest thing ever. Like being in an old movie. I never forgot that car. It looked similar to this, except it was all black:

Archivo:1920 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.JPG - Wikipedia, la ...

At that time, the car was about 50 years old. The same age difference between Kevin’s goddaughter and the VW camper van! So I know how excited they probably felt to see that “ancient” van.

When I was growing up in Cleveland, my parents would sometimes take us to the Auto Museum at the Cleveland Historical Center. I used to love that museum. It had tons of really old, classic cars. Now it also has old airplanes but I don’t think they had those back in the 1960s. If they did, they paled in comparison to the old cars because those cars are what I remember most.

At this link here you can see color photos of a lot of the old cars they have in their collection. I just loved those things. Just works of art, really.

So, anyway, I’m happy!!

I’m on my last of the “Suspicions of Mr. Whicher” movies. I have really, really enjoyed those, gang.  Once I’m done with this final one, I’m going to watch the documentary about Johnny Cash’s first wife. And I am still reading Love in the Time of Cholera — it’s a long book — really dense, descriptive storytelling. You can’t really just zip through it. But I am really loving the process of reading it right now, during a pandemic (thankfully not cholera), and also while being in some form of rapturous love that almost totally consumes me  (when I’m not feeling rapturous about my barn, that is!).

Sadly, though,  I am still spending most of my time in bed!! I do think that the sunnier, milder weather helps my breathing, because yesterday, which was a gorgeous day, I felt almost completely normal. Today — cooler, with lots of rain — and my lungs feel a little heavy again. But still not like it was. So I am definitely getting better.

I did maybe two whole minutes of editing yesterday and then gave up. So who knows what today will be like. As much as I would like to sit at my desk and be productive again, I guess I’ll just take it as it comes, right?

I think that, today, maybe I will sew some new face masks. That is definitely something I can do in bed.

All right, gang. I’m going to close this and finish up some laundry. I hope you are having a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world! I’m still listening to the aria from Offenbach’s opera,  Tales of Hoffman, that I posted yesterday. (Btw, the video I posted yesterday is only the music, not the actual aria — I do play both, depending on my mood. Normally, I prefer just the music, but it kind of depends on who the singers are.) So I leave you with nothing today! But thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

Another Blessed Day Is Upon Us, Gang!! Yay!!

First, I want to say that Quibi is dropping a new series on Monday, called “Dummy,” and guess what it’s about?  Yes, an AI sex doll.

But it’s a comedy and it’s a female AI sex doll. It’s about a woman who discovers that her boyfriend has a sex doll and she ends up going off on a road trip with the sex doll and becoming BFFs with it or something like that.

So, nothing at all like Thug Luckless: Welcome to P-Town, but I did think it was interesting, regardless. I will definitely watch it. Although, so far, still the only show on Quibi that I like is “Agua Donkeys.” I do like a lot of the elements of (non-scripted) “Chrissy’s Court” — where Chrissy Tiegen is a Judge presiding over an actual small claims court. However, I can’t stand courtroom garbage. I have no tolerance for people who get to the level where they must sue each other over stupid shit. So I wasn’t able to watch more than one and a half episodes of that show. Although Chrissy, herself, was really funny and I enjoyed watching her.

Anyway. I’m curious to see how the writers handle “Dummy.”

And it’s not that I am only looking for comedies. I’ve tried watching several of the Quibi dramas but couldn’t stick with them. I was sort of interested in (non-scripted) “Flip that Murder House,” or whatever it’s called. But you know how serious I get (kill-joy, I guess is the ironic word for it). I just found the show so disrespectful to the people who were actually murdered in those houses and then the families and the loved-ones of the people who were murdered in those houses.

I have no problem with people wanting to try to make real homes out of houses where murders have occurred, but just the way it was handled on the show seemed so dismissive and abrasive to me.

But, of course, that’s me. (And it’s what drives me to want to laugh instead.)


As indicated by the illustration above, it is supposed to rain pretty much nonstop today. Of course, I’m not going anywhere, so it doesn’t matter. I’m supposed to work again with Peitor today on Abstract Absurdity Productions stuff. I hope it pans out because I had such a good time working with him on Wednesday. It felt so good to laugh that hard again.

Which reminds me, speaking once more about laughing — I am becoming a total TikTok-oholic. Some of those videos make me laugh so hard, it’s ridiculous.  And since I am now basically still stuck in bed throughout most of the day, it is super easy to just lie there and scroll through these 20-second videos. It just kills me how funny so many people are — from all walks of life.

And that teenage boy who tells his overworked mom those dirty jokes? Man, some of those jokes are so funny and so dirty, I can’t even reprint them here. (Because I’m not only chaste and wanting to remain that way, but this blog is simply not about any X-rated potty-mouth stuff, ever…)

30 Best Laughing GIFs to Share

Okay, on an entirely different note.

Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files letter yesterday about the nature of prayer, and who it is you are praying to when you pray, and why the virus has given us an opportunity to be prayerful right now — regardless of what we do or don’t believe in outside of ourselves. You can read it at the link there. Of course, as always, I thought it was extremely well stated.

I, personally, am really grateful that I was taught at a very young age (about 3 years old) how to pray.  It was my adoptive mother who taught me all about praying, when I asked her one afternoon if God was a cloud.

She was in the kitchen, busy, as usual in her always cooking, always cleaning, housewife way. But she stopped everything and explained to me that God wasn’t a cloud; He wasn’t a “thing” at all — but He was everywhere because He had created everything. But that most importantly, a little piece of God lived inside my heart, too, because He had created me. And that whenever I wanted to talk to God, He was always right there inside me.

Jews pray in an entirely different way than Christians do. It’s blasphemous for Jews to give any sort of form to God. God’s not a man, God’s not a statue, God’s not an icon. God is everything but no-thing.

Even though I couldn’t embrace the Jewish faith, I really appreciate having that  background notion of God being formless. Because it has led me into a type of prayer that is extremely up-close and personal. (And, oddly enough, it’s also why I ultimately couldn’t embrace the Jewish faith — because the inner God I was praying to was loving and kind, and not the fear-mongering, war-mongering God I was forced to encounter in the synagogue every week.)

All righty. Well. Who knows what today will bring? I feel very encouraged that it will bring wonderful stuff! Like naps! And silly things to laugh about! And reasons to feel stupefyingly horny (i.e., continue reading Love in the Time of Cholera, which is often a very hot little book)! (I’ll tell you, gang, this virus might have knocked me out from the waist up, but from the waist down, I’m as frisky as ever!!)

And I guess, a case in point, is today’s breakfast-listening music! I’ll leave you with that:  “Sexbomb” from Tom Jones’ sexy little 1999 album, Reload. Enjoy it. And thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys! See ya.


Listen to this
Spy on me baby, use satellite
Infrared to see me move through the night
Aim, gonna fire shoot me right
I’m gonna like the way you fight
And I love the way you fight

Now you found the secret code I use
To wash away my lonely blues
(Well) so I can’t deny or lie
‘Cause you’re the only one to make me fly

Sex bomb, sex bomb, you’re a sex bomb uh, huh
You can give it to me when I need to come along (give it to me)
Sex bomb, sex bomb, you’re my sex bomb
And baby you can turn me on (baby you can turn me on)
(You know what you’re doing to me don’t you, I know you do)

No, don’t get me wrong ain’t gonna do you no harm, no
This bomb’s made for lovin’ and you can shoot it far
I’m your main target come and help me ignite
Love struck holding you tight (hold me tight darlin’)

Make me explode although you know
The route to go to sex me slow (slow baby)
And yes, I must react to claims of those
Who say that you are not all that

Sex bomb, sex bomb, you’re my sex bomb uh, huh
You can give it to me when I need to come along
Sex bomb, sex bomb, you’re my sex bomb
And baby you can turn me on (turn me on)
Sex bomb, sex bomb, you’re my sex bomb (sex bomb)
You can give it to me when I need to come along
Sex bomb, sex bomb, you’re my sex bomb
And baby you can turn me on

You can give me more and more counting up the score, yeah
You can turn me upside down inside out
You can make me feel the real deal
I can give it to you any time because you’re mine

Sex bomb

Oh, baby, sex bomb sex bomb you’re my sex bomb
And you can give it to me when I need to be turned on (no, no)

Sex bomb sex bomb you’re my sex bomb
And baby you can turn me on (turn me on)
And baby you can turn me on (turn me on)
Baby you can turn me on (turn me on)
Ooh baby, you can turn me on (turn me on)
Baby you can turn me on, ooh (turn me on)
Baby you can turn me on, ooh
Baby you can turn me on
Well, baby you can turn me on

© 1999 Errol Rennalls, Mousse T.

Thoughts On A Post-Virus Rainy Morning

I’m trying not to get zealous and overdo it around here, but I do think the virus has moved out of my lungs, finally.

I awoke at 4:30am and laid there for awhile, feeling absolutely fantastic. My breathing was completely back to normal for the first time in 9 days. Plus, my bed felt really incredible. On the phone yesterday, my dad had persuaded me to change my sheets and wash the blankets, etc., because I’d been in the same bedding since before I’d gotten sick.

And then I realized I’d also been wearing the same darn chemise with the same white tee shirt on top of it for the entire time, too.

Even though I had found the energy everyday to take a 2-minute shower, I would just get right back into the same chemise, tee shirt, and collapse back into the same bed linens.  And I realized that my dad was right — it was probably a good idea to get up the energy to do some laundry.

Just FYI — even though, on the outside — or I should say “verbally” — my reaction to anything any man ever tells me to do is to automatically  say “no;” I am in fact intensely submissive by nature and, 99.9% of the time, I will first say “no” and then do exactly what I’m told.

MY DAD (on phone): “You really ought to wash those sheets, Marilyn. That virus is probably all over them.”

ME (on phone): “I don’t think so. I’m so tired. I don’t think the virus lives that long on fabric…” (gets out of bed, washes sheets, then washes everything else in sight)

(The only man I say “no” to and then steadfastly adhere to that intensely negative mindset is the second husband. When/if he ever advises me to do something, I not only automatically say “no,” but a filter type thing — called “You’re Not the Boss of Me” — also gets lowered down over the inside of my brain to ensure that no advise he is trying to give me permeates my consciousness in any way whatsoever.)

Okay. Anyway. All those clean sheets and blankets and the clean tee shirt/chemise helped me get the best sleep I’d had in awhile.

And now I’ve officially switched to the Spring/Summer sheets, too — the 125,000-thread-count pure cotton sheets from Italy. So it was really just a great night’s sleep, and I woke up breathing. Like I used to do 9 days ago.

I don’t know how you guys are about Easter (assuming you celebrate it at all), but for me, even though it’s a joyous holiday, it’s also a day where I do a lot of thinking about my life. Meaning, if the Resurrection is telling me anything at all, it’s telling me to look at my life before I die. Is this how I want to be living it? If not, then here’s yet another chance to try to get it right.

Usually, every single darn year, my answer is “no, this is not how I want to be living my life,” and in this case, the word “no” is not because I have a serious issue with male authority. It’s because whenever I’m pressed to really take account of my life, I’m simply never satisfied with how I’m living it.

The older I get, the tighter the focus gets on “my work.” If I die today, and leave this huge amount of unfinished work behind, it would be okay. Because I honestly believe that we get to finish in the Afterlife whatever we left unfinished here.

However, I also believe really strongly that I didn’t come here to be physical and to start a bunch of projects, just to go back over there (wherever there is) and finish them there, you know? Why bother to come here at all then, right? So I am hopeful that, before I die, I’ll finish all these many projects I have that are half-finished. Even if I don’t get them out into the world, I’d like to at least leave a tidy stack of finished novels, memoirs, stories, micro-short screenplays, and plays on my desk, with a little handwritten note to my sister on the top of the stack: Please take care of these. Thank you.

(Plus, I still really, really want to record that album with Peitor, of maybe 14 or 15 of my favorite songs that I wrote when I was a singer-songwriter, too.) (Readers of this lofty blog, perhaps recall that back when a VP at Columbia Records was trying to get me signed there, Peitor produced a demo for me in his studio that I absolutely loved. He made my songs & my voice sound like nothing else I had ever heard before; I really felt he captured a certain magic in my songs. But the VP at Columbia Records famously said to me, “Why are you singing like this? I can’t do anything with this.” So I’d really like a chance to go back into the studio for real this time, and have Peitor produce all of my best songs. Maybe title it: This is Why I’m Singing Like This, Even If You Can’t Do Anything With It…)

So, since it was Easter yesterday, I was thinking about this stuff — my life. And realizing that I’m going to be 60 in about 14 seconds, so I really need to make a commitment to trying harder to get this stuff done.

Part of the challenge is that most of my projects aim a little higher than I can reach, so I always have to evolve as a writer while I’m in the process of doing the writing.  My vision for what I want to achieve with my work is always way out there beyond my grasp, so I am always in the process of finding my way.  (When I first began writing Neptune & Surf in 1994, inspired by an extremely long day/night of drinking in Coney Island with Holly Lane, I had never written anything longer than short stories.  I know for a fact that I re-wrote the opening page to that book 60 or 70 times before I could even undertake writing the rest of the book; I was trying to learn how to write.)

Well, anyway, I decided yesterday that for however long I continue to be alive over here on this side of reality, my mind is just going to have to work harder. Find better words. String them together in a better way. And then if I die anyway and nothing’s finished, well, I’ll worry about it when I get to the Afterlife.

On other topics — I am now deeply into Love in the Time of Cholera and just loving every moment of that book. It is indeed better to be reading it during not only a pandemic, but also to be in some weird form of all-consuming love that has no roadmap whatsoever. It’s good to be reminded that for all time, throughout everything, people have managed to love unconditionally with no hope of grasping any conclusion, while life just went barreling on and tumbling down all around them.

So. I’m learning to just let each day be whatever it has to be.

The Nick Cave art book, Stranger Than Kindness, is just really interesting — thought-provoking; indeed a ponderer’s paradise. Although his handwriting is often just indescribably indecipherable. Lots of original versions of song lyrics are in the book.  And I really love seeing what writers write, re-write, re-visit, and then compare it to what was ultimately chosen as the finished vision.

I’m not super well-informed about The Birthday Party era of Nick Cave’s career. I have the Boys Next Door album (CD) that has the song “Shivers” on it and I think that album is so good. It really captures that era of music so well. The songs are very good, too, when placed directly in that whole scene. But I didn’t know anything about the Boys Next Door or the The Birthday Party when I first discovered Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds in 1985. I was so blown away by the Bad Seeds stuff that I hit the ground running with that. (Plus, it was really difficult and expensive to get import albums back then, even in NYC, and I was extremely poor back then.) Over recent years, I have since watched various videos of The Birthday Party on YouTube and they are really good songs.

I also have had the book King Ink, since forever. (Scarily enough, I now see that I have had it for 31 years now. It is really extremely difficult at this moment to wrap my mind around that number.) I remember the day I bought it so perfectly. I was in St. Mark’s Bookstore, on St. Mark’s Place in the East Village. I had no money to speak of, but I was planning to buy some of those underground zines that I used to love — and I got published in several of them, too, btw.

My eyesight must have been amazing back then because I remember the whole sky cracking open when I suddenly saw, way over at the front of the store, way up high, behind the cash registers, far, far from where anyone could possibly touch it or steal it, there was a book written by Nick Cave.

I was, like, holy fucking moly. And I put everything down that I was thinking I was going to buy and went directly to the cashier and asked him if that book was by Nick Cave the songwriter, and he said yes, and then I told him I had to have that book. He looked at me dubiously because he had to climb up on a ladder to retrieve it and he said sort of disgustedly, “It’s $25…”

I was quite taken aback by that amount because I truly couldn’t afford that amount, but I still had to have it, so I made the guy get it down for me, and I bought it without even knowing what the fuck it was. It was the only copy of the book that they had (it was an import from England) and I felt like the cashier was going to grab it right back from me because I’m sure it was written all over my face: oh my god, I can’t afford this. So I bought it. (And we won’t discuss the myriad insane things I had to scramble around and do back in those days to try to scrape together my fucking rent even without buying a $25 book.)

Well, long story even longer — all The Birthday Party song lyrics were included in King Ink. So I have at least known the lyrics to their songs since 1989. But I didn’t know the music to them until years later.

Their songs are very, very interesting. Intense, dark, funny, and, well, intense. And a couple of the original handwritten lyrics are included in Stranger Than Kindness. So I was thinking about those songs a lot yesterday, too. I played “Mutiny in Heaven” on YouTube several times. While it’s obviously dark, I think it’s just an incredible song.Unbelievable. (It is down below the photograph.)

Anyway. In the photo from one of my bookcases in my family room just now, you can see that I thought it was worth the $25 I didn’t have — 6 moves and 31 years later.  (Oh, and down at the bottom of that horizontal stack, is a book that contains the script and some movie stills from Francois Truffaut’s famous film, The 400 Blows. I took the book out of the local library when I was 15 and loved that book (and the film itself) so much, that I wound up stealing that book from the library and was not allowed to use the library ever again. But you can see that I thought that book was worth it, too — 14 moves and 45 years later.)

Okay, see ya, gang. I gotta scoot! Thanks for visiting. I love you!!


“Mutiny In Heaven”

Well ah jumpt! and fled this fucken heap on doctored wings
Mah flailin pinions, with splints and rags and crutches!
(Damn things nearly hardly flap)
Canker upon canker upon one million tiny punctures
That look like…
Long thin red ribbons draped across the arms of a lil mortal girl
(Like a ground -plan of Hell)
Curse these smartin strings! These fucken ruptures!
Enough! Enough is enough!
(If this is Heaven ah’m bailin out)
If this is Heaven ah’m bailin out
Ah caint tolerate this ol tin-tub
So fulla trash and rats! Felt one crawl across mah soul
For a seckon there , as thought as wassa back down in the ghetto!
(Rats in Paradise! Rats in Paradise!)
Ah’m bailin out! There’s a mutiny in Heaven!

Ah wassa born…
And Lord shakin, even then was dumpt into some icy font
Like some great stinky unclean!
From slum-chuch to slum-church, ah spilt mah heart
To some fat cunt behind a screen…

Evil poppin eye presst up to the opening
He’d slide shut the lil perforated hatch…at night mah body
To the whistle of the birch
With a lil practice ah soon learnt to use in on mahself
Punishment?! Reward!! Punishment?! Reward!!
Well, ah tied on…percht on mah bed ah was…
Sticken a needle in mah arm…

Ah tied off! Fucken wings burst out mah back
(Like ah was cuttin teeth!!)
Ah took off!!!
(Rats in Paradise! Rats in Paradise!)
There’s a mutiny in Heaven!

Oh Lord, ah git down on mah knees
(Ah git down on mah knees and start to pray)

Wrapped in mah mongrel wings, ah nearly freeze
In the howlin wind and drivin rain
(All the trash blowin round ‘n’ round)
From slum-heaven into town
Ah take mah tiny pain and rollin back mah sleeve
(Roll anna roll anna roll anna roll)
Ah yank the drip outa mah vein! UTOPIATE! Ah’m bailin out!
If this is Heaven ah’m bailin out!
Mah threadbare soul teems with vermin and louse
Thoughts come like a plague to the head…in God’s house!
Mutiny in Heaven!
(Ars infectio forco Dio)
To the plank!
(Rats in Paradise! Rats in Paradise!)
Ah’m bailin out!
(Hail Hypuss Dermio Vita Rex!)
Hole inna ghetto! Hole inna ghetto!
(Scabio Murem per Sanctum…Dio, Dio, Dio)

©  1983 Nick Cave, Mick Harvey

Just When You Think You’re Cats Are Good for Nothing….

One of them brings you tea in bed!

Yes, I know — don’t say it!! I can give my cats the virus…. So, no, I haven’t actually allowed them to bring me any tea.

I’m feeling noticeably better this morning. However, it’s the same darn thing: As soon as I start moving around, go downstairs and get the breakfast, etc., I get worn out again. All I can really safely do is lie on my back and scroll through Instagram endlessly. Or prop myself up on more pillows and read either Love in the Time of Cholera or THIS (which arrived on my kitchen porch yesterday!!):






This book weighs a ton, though. So I actually have to sit up to read this one. It is quite entrancing, I have to say.  (This is the companion book to Nick Cave’s art exhibit that will open at some point soon in Copenhagen. I am finding the book very, very, very interesting, indeed.)

And then, when I lie on my side, hug my various pillows and stare in the direction of my night table, I can continue to stream movies on my iPad! Last night, I began watching Patrick Melrose (2018), which stars Benedict Cumberbatch. It originally ran on Showtime, which I didn’t subscribe to so I didn’t get to see it, but now it’s streaming free on Amazon. So I’m watching it. It is really well done but very intense. Pushes many, many, many of my childhood/young adult buttons (frightening parents, suicidal tendencies, massively out of control drug abuse), but so far, I’m handling it. It really is very well done.

Well, today is Holy Saturday. And tonight is the Easter Vigil. I have no plans to do anything at all but lie in bed and do the various aforementioned things, as well as sleep a lot. But it’s kind of good, you know, because all this enforced downtime and alone-time gives me a whole lot of time to ponder things, and that’s probably my favorite thing on Earth to do! So, as long as I’m still breathing okay, I won’t complain.

(I am kinda wondering what’s gonna happen when I run out of food, though. Although Kara texts every day, to see if I need anything. I just hate to have her go out into the virus to buy me stuff and then drive for a total of 50 miles just to drop it all off on my porch. I guess we’ll see. Within the next few days, I am going to run out of food.)

All righty, that’s it for now. I’m going back to bed. I hope you are having a good weekend, wherever you are in the world!!Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!






I Suggest Cigarettes, Whiskey, & Sleeping Pills!!

“‘A sex-crazed whore who sings of her own wantonness,’ one theologian wrote…”

NO! Not about me, he wrote that about Sappho.

I spent yesterday reading a wide-flung bunch of stuff.  In particular, some fragments of Sappho’s poems. These translations were in an early-20th Century literature collection, and so it was interesting to read the preface to Sappho’s poems, wherein the editors were taking that really odd approach (in my opinion) to the life and works of Sappho — downplaying any homoerotic references in her work, attributing it to some sort of Greek custom where young women had erotic relations with each other in order to prepare them for marriage and motherhood.

Okay… hmm. (Is that, like, every guy’s dream or something?)

If you read the huge amount of endless stuff written about Sappho, you will find all of man –& woman –kind, coming up with all sorts of strange and sometimes seemingly farfetched ways to explain the life and times of Sappho. (And it’s interesting to note that here in contemporary times, where we value and identify with the individual, and so we believe that she was simply writing about her private erotic longings for other women, we could be furthest of all from understanding Sappho, who lived in an ancient era where the “group” was what personally identified people, not the individual.)

Anyway. I found it interesting that the particular translations of Sappho that I read yesterday were well-written but lacking in some of the intense passion I’ve read in other translations of her poetic fragments over the years.

And then in the same book, I read some translations of Baudelaire that I thought were awful. And they were translations written by Edna St. Vincent Millay, who was, you know, a substantial poet in her own right. But I found her translations to be the least moving translations of Baudelaire’s poems that I had ever read.  (My favorites are Louise Varese’s translations from the 1940s.)

And then, of course, I had to once again confront how we are sort of prisoners to whoever is translating the work we’re reading.

A few days ago, I once again took Love in the Time of Cholera from the bookshelf and toyed with the idea of reading it (I am still in love with that person I really should not be in love with and sometimes I’m okay with it and sometimes it just feels devastating).  And since we are in this unprecedented pandemic and since I am so incapable of not loving with every cell of my entire being, it seemed like an appropriate book to get lost in.

However, I didn’t want to break my heart even more…

But I am daily confronted with the fact that I simply cannot write right now. I can’t focus. I can’t find a thread in to any of my work. I can’t find the inspiration to begin something perhaps brand new. I am stuck. Completely. Day after day. Hour after hour.

This morning, I awoke at 4:29 AM and I was already crying.  And I cried all through breakfast.  I felt like I was never going to write again and that, based on what I had written so far (45 years worth of stuff), I was a complete failure. Whether or not it’s true, when you’re feeling that way, it’s real. And I cried through my little journalings at the kitchen table (my Inner Being dialogue today was brief and to the point: they told me to “step back, breathe” and: “do NOT dismantle your desires; step back and let them BE.”)

But still I cried when I began my morning meditation, which, you know, is not really the most productive frame of mind to go into meditation with, however, it actually was an incredible meditation. By the end of it, I had new tears, but they were of joy. I had a complete transformation.

Last evening, I actually had begun reading Love in the Time of Cholera because I simply could not resist the pull of it any longer, even though I have brand new books here waiting to be read, ones that I just bought. And this morning, it became apparent that I’m just going to have to ride out this pandemic in whatever way it finds me each day.I don’t really have a choice.

Early yesterday evening, during my now daily routine of pacing around the kitchen, at loose ends with myself while trying to watch another episode of DCI Banks, I came really, really close to just going out on to my porch and lighting up a  cigarette, drinking a  shot of whiskey, and then taking a sleeping pill to obliterate the rest of the night.

These are my old habits, but I outgrew them. I haven’t had them for years. I don’t need them anymore, but it is undeniable that I was intensely creative during those old habits; and yet… what I did instead last night was finally picked up Love in the Time of Cholera and just started to read, because if I’m going to die from a broken heart, I’d rather have clarity about it than be obliterated by it.

Oh well.

So if I end up not writing anything at all, but reading other people’s works all day long and on into the night, then that’s the way it is likely supposed to be right now.

(And I was also struck anew last evening by the recurring question of translators because the English translation of Love in the Time of Cholera (by Edith Grossman) is so exquisite, that I cannot even imagine what Marquez’s books are like in the original Spanish.)

So that’s where I am today. I’m resigned to keeping clear of my desk, to lying around and reading Marquez (in translation). And loving it. And loving my broken heart and everything that I love about who I love. And just letting life be, for now.

It is a beautiful day here. I will probably take a walk later this afternoon. Also do Booty Core. (I have to say, I am not a real big fan of Booty Core. I much prefer the yoga, which I do most of the time. But Booty Core saved my legs and my hip joints, so I’m gonna stick with it forever, a couple days a week.)

Yesterday, the item pictured below arrived! It was reduced for clearance, so I ordered it. It’s one of those flight bags that stores under the seat so, clearly, I’m planning on flying again — getting back to work once this pandemic moves on.

All righty, gang. Thanks for visiting. Have a great Thursday, however it finds you and wherever you are in the world. I leave you with this — a song I was thinking about the other day for the first time in decades, “Backstreet Girl” by The Rolling Stones, from their Between the Buttons album (and on Flowers in the US). It’s a stunning song, from over 50 years ago. That doesn’t mean I actually like it, but it is thought-provoking — the intense misogyny of it. And it’s weird that I’ve known all the words by heart since I was about 12.  Okay, with that — I love you guys. See ya.

“Backstreet Girl”

I don’t want you to be high
I don’t want you to be down
Don’t want to tell you no lie
Just want you to be around
Please come right up to my ears
You will be able to hear what I say
Don’t want you out in my world
Just you be my backstreet girl

Please don’t be part of my life
Please keep yourself to yourself
Please don’t you bother my wife
That way you won’t get no help
Don’t try to ride on my horse
You’re rather common and coarse anyway
Don’t want you out in my world
Just you be my backstreet girl

Please don’t you call me at home
Please don’t come knocking at night
Please never ring on the phone
Your manners are never quite right
Please take the favors I grant
Curtsy and look nonchalant, just for me
Don’t want you part of my world
Just you be my backstreet girl

©  1967 Jagger- Richards

You’re Not the Boss of Me!!

Just no way do you get to tell me what to fucking do! Yay!

That’s pretty much the attitude of most of the people who live in Ohio, which is of course why so many people (moi aussi) continued to congregate in groups way larger than 50 until the Governor had to step in and issue actual mandates that forced people (like me) to not only stay home but to not even be allowed to vote. Wow. Talk about getting your privileges suspended…

So when the number of confirmed cases of the virus basically doubled overnight in the State, it was not a surprise to me at all, not in any way whatsoever, so I have to wonder how come “officials” found this leap “startling”?

I love when the “people in charge” have no real clue what the “people they are in charge of” are doing.

(A good example of that, you know, was when Trump won the Presidency. A lot of people in Ohio voted for him. I know it won’t shake you to your very core to learn that I did not vote for Trump. But, still, he won. And in my opinion, he’s the President of the United States. Because people voted for him. I know for a fact that they did. And it’s why I’m so sick of the Democrats because they spent the past 4 years submerged in this infantile outcry, stamping their little feet, wasting everybody’s time & money, trying to remove him from his elected position, rather than spending all that time & money making America great again in ways that were more in keeping with their own beliefs about America.) (Which is why, in my opinion, America is a great country– you’re legally allowed to have whatever opinion you want and you’re allowed to publicly say whatever you want to about the President without fearing for your very life and liberty. And it’s odd how so many people who are not Democrats tend to see that fact really clearly and so they continue to vote in that direction.)

Anyway. No one has died from Covid 19 yet in the State of Ohio. But we are up to 67 confirmed cases. Way more than Kentucky and Indiana have, combined. So, on we go.

It will, alas, perhaps come as no surprise to you to learn that my table-read in NYC for Tell My Bones has ground to a thorough and complete halt. So much so, that the director of my play texted me last night to say he was flying back to Ohio first thing this morning to spend the Spring and Summer here in his mansion on the hill.  He will be here until late August, just to get clear of NYC and the virus there. (Here in Muskingum County and also in the county where the director has his other home, there are so far no known cases of the virus.)

So the table-read in April is one less thing I have to do. And then that Literary Arts Fair in June that I backed out of because of planning to go to Zurich to make new friends and see Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, means two less things that I have to do.

And of course I scan the Nick Cave web site daily for any indication whatsoever that he might be postponing the European start of the Ghosteen Tour, and so far he his hanging tough — the only one in the world who is, actually. But that might be a third thing I won’t be doing this Spring/Summer if he does end up postponing the tour.

And of course the meeting with the TV streaming platform for Abstract Absurdity Productions in LA has been postponed until after the international quarantine is lifted. So that’s another thing that I won’t be doing this Spring. Although, for now, the film shoots will still be happening in Los Angeles this summer.

Sandra called last night and we chatted for quite awhile. Yesterday, the production of “Chicago” that she’s been rehearsing up in Stratford, Canada got closed down and so she will be back in Rhinebeck by Monday. (So, now that her schedule will be indescribably free for the table-read of Tell My Bones, there isn’t going to be one until the Fall.)

The only thing that remains in place for me, career-wise, is that our other play is still slated for production in Canada at the end of this year. And this sudden freed-up schedule for both Sandra and me, means that we can tackle some of those massive re-writes for that other play. And we’re both feeling really excited about that. We’ll probably just do it on Skype; I’m not planning to go back to NYC now before the Fall. But I’m still feeling really excited about getting back to work with her on that play.

So, all those things that I was worrying about having to do all at once, have now basically entirely disappeared.

And now all I have in front of me yet again is time to sit at my desk and write.

I made some progress with my broken heart during the night. Turned a little corner. Release people to what they need in their own lives and just open up my strange little path and embrace whatever comes along on it.

I’m not able to stop loving someone once I love them, but I am able to find a different place for it inside and then keep going.

Listening to the Bee Gees of course while you have a broken heart is never a good idea. We all know this. It is a documented fact that it only makes your heart break more. And yet, I guess I’m an Ohio girl after all, because I’ve been listening to the Bee Gees “How Can You Mend A  Broken Heart” pretty much non-stop for a few days. (That’s correct: No one in the universe is the boss of me. I will listen to the Bee Gees if I so choose!!!)

You know, I don’t ever want to be Albatross-y to anyone, least of all, to someone I love. So I have been trying really hard to keep myself contained (in a non-Covid 19 type of way, of course, because when it comes to the virus, I want to be sure to interact closely with everyone imaginable, until the Governor himself steps in and says, “No, no, no! Bad dog!! Bad, bad dog!! Now you have to stay in your little pen and you don’t get to vote!!”).

Anyway. I’m trying to sublimate whatever I’m feeling and turn it into something that can have it’s own beauty and go out into the world in other, more acceptable ways. It’s why I’m a writer, I guess.

And last night, lights out. Dark bedroom. Shattered little heart that I was trying once more to get a grip on. Suddenly, loud and plain as day, I hear singing — music. It was so familiar to me. But it was coming from somewhere inside me.

And I thought: What is that? I know that song.

And I suddenly realized it was the chorus from Tom Petty’s song, “You & Me.” Which happens to be the last song that Tom Petty actually listened to before he died. (According to his wife, Dana, who was there with him on the bed, watching the video on YouTube, and then later he had the heart attack and did not recover.)

But it’s also a song that I really love and that man who died a couple of summers ago used to indulge me and even while he also liked Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers a lot (he was older than me, but we were in the same generation, music-wise). Anyway, we played Tom Petty songs almost exclusively while he was here in this very room with me, making a whole lot of love (before he, too, died).

So “You & Me” is a powerhouse of potential heartbreak for me, but when I suddenly realized that it was the song coming through the ether to me last night, I grabbed my phone from the night table and streamed  “You & Me” on repeat. And almost instantaneously, the energy, spirit, whatever you call it, of the now-dead guy that I loved was all over me. There was so much joy. It was like a tidal wave of it, all over me in that bed.

I knew he was with me. I could almost see him, you know? Almost. And he was just filled with joy and I couldn’t help but be swept up into it, too. And even though I don’t actually “hear” voices, I feel his voice pretty loudly inside me. I can hear/feel the words. They were undeniably him and he told me stuff that was just filled with love. So much love. And he also said, “You gotta leave that guy alone now, Marilyn. Remember the boundaries.”

He actually said that. And then I fell dead asleep — if you’ll excuse the weird pun. At one point, I remember that I turned off the music on my phone. But I slept 8 whole hours. I haven’t done that in a couple of weeks, really.

So I’m feeling better, you know? Love in the Time of Cholera and all that aside — I am feeling better. And so on we go, right, gang?

You know of course what I am leaving you with today! Enjoy it. Celebrate it. Rejoice, even. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

“You And Me”

Take a look
At what I got
I can’t promise
You a lot

But you and me
And the road ahead

I can’t save
You from yourself
You gotta want it
All that’s left

Is you and me
And the road ahead

Wherever that wind might blow
Wherever that river rolls
You know I will go with you

Lookin’ over
The mountain’s crown
The water roars
And tumbles down

Like you and me
And the road ahead

Wherever that wind might blow
Wherever that river rolls
You know I will go with you

Just you and me
And the road ahead

Just you and me
And the road ahead

© 2002 Tom Petty