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Hang in there

Thursday 6/24/21

Tired. Went to bed at around five, up at half past seven. Two and a half hours of sleep. Read some more texts pertaining to "Get On My Lawn." One said, "Jesus I sort of think maybe I should turn you in to the government for some supernatural shit."


They are referring to the truth that I write a masterpiece or more every day that is completely unlike all of the other masterpieces. Another text read, "You won't believe this, but this story makes me want to live."


I don't know why they qualified it that way. I believe it. Well, I understand why someone would qualify it in that manner. Sometimes just in speaking the truth people can worry that someone else thinks they're being too effusive. Because this is one of those times they're compelled to speak the truth. A lot of the other shit is just blowing smoke. And people don't sweat smoke.


I do know that sometimes people don't say things to me because they're too moved, too impressed, and they worry that they'll come across as kissing my ass. I never think like that with someone. It's just not how I am. And I know what the work is. But with this particular person, I was curious to see what they'd think about this particular story.


I had mentioned that the story would go viral if it were in The New Yorker. So I sent it to The New Yorker. They have not replied to a single work of mine going back well over a year. I am not cut from the type of cloth that they prefer. But here is opportunity. Here is art. Here is history.


I need exercise. I feel rotund and dumpy.


My man Howard found downloadable copies of the Grateful Dead's Workingmen's Dead: The Angel's Share and American Beauty: The Angel's Share for me. I'm so disorganized that there are like 400 files on the desktop, I don't understand how to work iTunes which I think has been replaced anyway, millions of music files are in Flac and I can only listen to mp3 even if I knew what I was doing,


I can't listen to music on my phone because 1. It doesn't have enough memory 2. Even if it did, it's broken and shuts down after like an hour, with all the power gone and 3. I don't know how to listen to music on phones. I don't know how to work headphones either, I certainly don't know how to work wireless headphones. I need someone to help me with a kind of informal crash course in all of this. If I get back to Rockport, I want the stereo hooked up to the computer, if that is possible, so I can listen to all of this music on the stereo and not just through the computer.


The stereo I had here, which is a bad stereo, is behind a mountain of things, and it also no longer works. So all I can do is listen to music at the desk on Amazon. I hate it. It's so not what I want. I want a booming stereo, space, all of my music organized, the physical CDs, and then all of the thousands of albums that are just sound files. In Rockport, the desk with the computer would be across the room that I write in from the stereo, so I don't know how you'd connect the two even if that was a possible thing.


I can write a masterpiece for the ages in an hour that is better than anything any other artist has ever created. But these kinds of things? I'm helpless it feels like. I would also need help with clothes. If someone could help me get up to speed I think I could make a go of it. I am the worst at some things. I know someone who has promised me to come to Rockport and stay for a couple weeks when I get my house back--they always say "when"--and help me set up everything. But I also don't trust them about this. That's as much a reflection on my fears in this area.


I pitched this nice Lee Morgan idea to The Nation and The New Republic. I think it's pretty inarguable that I'm the best jazz writer at this point. Look at those pieces. Those hundreds of jazz pieces. But these pitches will be ignored. It wasn't just about the music that is getting a release in late July, Morgan's full residency at Hermosa Beach's Lighthouse Cafe from 1970. But the pitch had deeper cultural resonance in 2021. Some fine ideas and heft to it. Did that at like four in the AM.


Also sent "Get On My Lawn" to McSweeney's. She won't respond. She hates me. Again, I'm not their kind of person. And they don't care--or couldn't conceive--that it's masterpiece upon masterpiece. What I am doing is not human. The greatest artist who has lived is here right now. This is happening. This is who he is, and he does it every day. It won't seem possible, which is why this person I know and others are talking independently of each other of the supernatural and reporting me to the government, and even being scared of what I can do. This is what it all looks like. And this is how it's going.


Then, when they don't respond, they get pissed when new work keeps coming in. But it's not like you're going to respond anyway. So what am I supposed to do? I mean, sorry I give you masterpiece upon masterpiece to cherry pick from and have for like $300? Like, my bad? Sorry for the amazing work unlike anything else that could rock the world and change it and be lauded and help your magazine and your product and reputation. Like, how awful of me.


I also know how these people think. Even if they don't hate you--and they hate me more than they could hate anyone or anything else--they could only believe that a writer might produce something that's pretty good like once every three years. It takes time, blah blah blah. Not for me. I am nothing like any of these other people. I am nothing like any artist there has ever been or will be. It's real.


But to get them to even consider anything different, let alone radically different, let alone seemingly supernaturally different, borders on the impossible. They are going to put in that shitty story from the Iowa MFA grad with the right agent about being a professor, or "body" or "gender" or "race," which has less depth to it than an ingrown hair. Blah blah MFA blah blah pretentious person hackery. But from the right kind of person. And no one will care, not one person in the world will have a meaningful reading experience with that story, but there may be a prize or something and a Guggenheim and blah blah bullshit blah blah. With something that is impossible to give a fuck about.


Someone recently said to me that you need to approach people in publishing like they have special needs. You need to spell out everything for them. Repeat yourself. Talk like you're six-years-old. Do a version of all caps. Talk like they are six-years-old and not a bright six-years-old.


I think they said this to me because they've come to realize it on their own, in their own time, and are not considering what I have known for a long time. Let's say you invented a new kind of fiction. These people could never think that on their own. They don't think on their own. They repeat what they're told to think. By people like them. That's ultimately what determines "this is an important book!" or "this is an important writer!" in publishing.


Nothing comes from a single honest thought. Nothing. So if you invented a new kind of fiction, no matter how obvious that is, no matter how true that is, you can't count on them to have that thought. They'll never have it. Someone out in the world could. But there's a reason those people are out in the world and these other people have created this twisted subculture world of theirs. You'd have to spell it out. "This book invents a new kind of fiction etc. etc. etc." Which they'd be more inclined to pretend to think if you looked a certain way and had a certain agent.


And then they will be so uncomfortable anyway. They could have a book with an audience of potential millions in their hands, but given that they can't compare it to shitty books by shitty writer hacks from the MFA programs, they are paralyzed. (And because they can't say what is in effect, "Ooooohhh, I like your color/gender/sexual orientation, that's very in right now, let me objectify you based on that and here is some money, but you won't care, you won't notice, you're a narcissist who can spin this any way anyway, and take a victory lap.")


Then, they will make up some bullshit to say, which is obviously just boilerplate bullshit, though sometimes, because they've been threatened by someone putting something of actual significance in their hands, and someone who is what they are while they are what they are, they will take a passive aggressive shot. If you say, "look, you don't get to talk to me that way," they will freak out, and tell everyone at the company to ban you, and those people will all then take to Facebook, as if they were in middle school, and unfriend you, because they've been told by someone to do that.


I am being totally serious. And it's so predictable. You never get anything human and natural. Just doesn't exist here. And that's what we're dealing with. You have the goods, the work, the body of work, to do everything you want to do, to reach everyone you want to reach, to impact everything you want to impact. You have it. And you can do everything. Move into every market, demo, with every kind of everything. You are the living definition of dynamic. And then you run up against these people.


I need that person who says, "Hey, that's not me, I am not like that at all, I'm not remotely like the people you described, here's why, and I get what you're doing, I see and share the vision, let's make a lot of money, history, and let's get after it."


***

It's later now. I walked fourteen miles, ran the Boston College stairs ten times. Spent money I don't have at the CVS but I needed toothpaste, mouthwash, medicine. Finally made a cleaning appointment at the dentist, and also worried about paying for that. Not getting that Guggenheim on top of everything has been bad. Someone sent me a note about what a joke that award is, and how they were still pissed. Someone who wrote me a letter of recommendation. It's all a sham. Again, nothing is real about any of this.


It's not up on the News section yet or the On air section, and many parts of the site remain broken--I can't afford to pay the person right now who fixes this stuff--so I can't paste a link in here, but someone told me that the segment on Downtown was really brave. They were talking about the part where I discussed, in detail, my alcohol abuse and then what I did about it.


I was pretty honest. I always am. I don't think this is brave. I did something that wasn't good for me. I'm not embarrassed by it, I'm not ashamed. It's no different to me than saying I walked fourteen miles today. I did have a real drinking problem, and every reason to keep drinking. This is no liveable life. This is no quality of life. This is torture. And in the middle of it, I stopped drinking. And it got worse.


But I do see these dreadful pieces by entitled harpies who talk about how they gave up wine for a month, and they treat themselves and talk about themselves in these shitty memoir pieces like they're heroes. Then they slap it up on FB, the link from the fancy magazine--so it's commissioned by the same kind of fraud (and it is actually the same bigot/fraud I wrote that morning with a great piece, or a great idea, or a great story) who fears, hates, and blackballs me--and hundreds of hundreds of people call them out for their bravery. I'm not exaggerating. It's disturbing. And it's just some rich, talentless writer who has published six things in her life at her Hamptons beach house. You look at the bio of these people, and they have more Yaddo type shit than actual publications. Which, of course, was always a hook-up job.


You can also just go to the Downtown with Rich Kimball site and listen to the segment. Type in my name in the search field and they all come up. But I'll put it up in the News and On air sections soon. Also talked about Marilyn Monroe, the rock band Cream, the film 12 Angry Men, and avant-garde fiction. Real normal, right? But yeah, let's not get that guy a lucrative gig in radio, when he's obviously the best at radio. And can do every damn kind. You want current events? Sports? Art? Culture? Want a guy to be hilarious and insightful? Want some edge? Great radio voice. And who thinks as fast as this guy does? Which is a radio key and something people suck at. But again, absolutely nothing is merit.


I look at a station like WEEI, which is not going to exist soon. It's destroyed itself. 98.5 The Sports Hub absolutely kicks its ass in the ratings. WEEI has become a punchline. The ship is going down. And you have this guy right here in Boston you could hire. He's just sitting there.


I pitched a piece on Scott LaFaro to JazzTimes, but that was ignored. They probably just don't have the money.


I was coming back on the T from BC, and there was this high school girl looking at colleges with her mother. And the latter was absolutely ripping into this girl. She wouldn't stop. And it started about where they'd have lunch. The mother was dripping with attitude. She was nasty, sarcastic, and she just would not let up. The girl tried to be mature, and placate her, but I had the sense that this is how it always was for her. I felt bad for this kid. When they got off the T, the girl turned around and gave me a smile--I think she was embarrassed--and I mouthed, "hang in there" to her.


Saw a guy today with a shirt that read, "I make cute babies." Mulled whether this shirt is better for a good looking guy or an unattractive guy, and figured it's probably best for an average guy, which is what this guy was.