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Magpie eyes

Sunday 4/7/19

I was largely useless today. Yesterday took it out of me. In the next couple days I will proof the new book. All I did today was walk three miles, and climb the Monument five times. I felt light on my feet inside the obelisk. Was a very brisk pace. This is the best climbing shape I have ever been in, and it's damn early in the season. Oh--I also pitched The Washington Post about doing an Easter on T.S. Eliot's "East Coker." We will see what, if anything, comes of that. Also listened to a live Jamie T session and The Amazing Bud Powell Vol. 1. Just because I wrote a book last week doesn't mean I can slack off this week. I must compose more, work harder, push harder. Sometimes I feel--often--like this is impossible, that there is too much against me for it to ever happen. Other times I feel I am close, both to getting where I must get to, and having people who have me in their hands now in my hands, and for good. I need money, so that means a lot of arts things this week. Nonfiction. The New York Daily News owes me over a grand and I have $600 coming from The Smart Set and $700 for a contest I judged, so I must round that up with celerity. It would be good this week if I could finish the short story "Dunedin." There is absolutely nothing I can do with it now. There is little that I can do with a lot of what I compose at present. I am sitting on worlds of work. But the thinking, when the floodgates open, because I have blown them open, is that all of this can roar out like a giant art tsunami. And it will be a tsunami with staying power. The body of work at this point--and it goes into so many areas--is...well, I'll say that even people who know me well and have been along for a lot of this ride, have no idea how large the body is. It is a corpus that is an army. And there is not a duff track, to use a music phrase, in the insanely diversified entire lot of it.

Paul Pierce just got in trouble for saying he was better than Dwayne Wade. He was. Pierce played with not a lot of talent. And don't tell me Antoine Walker, because Antoine Walker sucked. If you needed a quick two, the only person I saw who was better at getting it was Jordan. Now, there are a lot of guys, obviously, between Michael Jordan and Paul Pierce, but Wade isn't one of them. I really don't see what was controversial about the comment. They are comparable players at worst.

Received this text:

"Have you tried yogurt made from milk of the breast?"

That's perfectly normal. But I know how to handle this kind of thing. I said sure, I was having some as we spoke. Not "breast milk." Milk of the breast. As opposed to milk of the cock. Or the pituitary gland.

And this text, regarding Meatheads Say the Realest Things:

"Could you send me a copy via the mail so someday I could sell it and get a Cape house?"

Sure. I'll get right on that.

I need to be patient with it. Someone else said it could be an animated series. Yes, fine. That is not where my focus is right now.

Emma text me this yesterday:

"First you send me acronyms and call me girl bro. second you're blaring metal music. are you okay?"

It was a little intense in here, as you might imagine. The energy gets extreme. As for the acronyms and girl bro, I was in character. The music was not metal music. But it was this. Which is very good.

Liked that, didn't you?

You'll recognize a line as the title of an entry here from yesterday. Everything is here is done like that. Everything is exactly what it seems and more than what it seems. Nothing is by accident.

A lot of people brag about how they are "brutally honest." It seems odd to me that you would boast about your tendency to practice brutality. Telling someone the truth and attempting to brutalize people--or animals, I guess--is not what you should be going for. You should try to efface brutality from your repertoire.

This is also good:

The name of that Vines album is Winning Days. They only had two good albums. Their first one, Highly Evolved, and Winning Days, their second. The phrase is apt for me right now. No one is going to give me anything. There is not not only going to be any help, but there is not going to be a single soul who does write, to any degree, by this work. I have to go out and take it. Makes me think of that Herb Brooks speech before the game against the Soviets: "This is your time, now go out and take it." The only solution--and I don't know exactly what form it will crystalize into--is to find a way to take that which is mine. And, having taken it, run with it and do things that have not been done with anything anyone else has had bestowed. That part will be easy. I am far less concerned about reaching millions of people and making x amount of dollars once I reach them than I am getting the chance at all. With the chance, it will be game over. But I have to get it.

Wanted to go to the Rite of Spring at Symphony Hall over the weekend, but performances were sold out. Isn't this thrilling?

1050 days without a drink today. Nice round number.

On Downtown on Tuesday, I will discuss Meatheads Say the Realest Things: Satire from the End of Civilization. Now, the fact that I conceived of the book and composed it in a single week will play well in interviews, biographies, and legend, but that is the least significant thing about the work. But it will be a useful bit of sound to have for the purposes of business. If not now, later. If now, better.

Have also been listening to this Green Day BBC session from twenty-five years ago a bunch, too. One of the all-time great live rock and roll recordings.

Watched The Third Man again. Welles's Harry Lime character is often described as charming, despite his villainy. There is nothing charming about him. He may be the most morally repugnant character in all of cinema. There is nothing charming about him. He is a child-murdering con man who also destroys his best friend and the woman who loved him. For years I've watched this film thinking something about the character would strike me as human, but there is nothing. I'm not knocking Welles. I just think everyone is full of BS when they're trying to say how suave he is. One thing I have learned is that you eradicate evil. You show it no mercy or forgiveness. This is hard for me because it is my nature to be merciful and forgive. But when it comes to evil, you are duty-bound to eradicate. I say that to myself. I say, "Look, when we get to where we are going, you can't stop. You can't let people go at that point. Just because you are all set. Every last one. You hold them accountable. Every single last one. This is not a house of mercy when it comes to evil."

The Red Sox are slinking home at 3-8 as I predicted. I'll say this first: Alex Cora might not last this season. There is something wrong with this team beyond the physical. Their core is a group of front runners. Last year, they ran in front all year. They would not have two of their wins without Mitch Moreland of all people. It would be great if the players and the manager and Tom Caron and the announcers stopped citing that the Sox won 108 games last year in the regular season and 119 overall. Move the bleep on. It's over. It's not relevant anymore. It means nothing. It's done. If I ran a team, I would not have a ring ceremony during the season. Same would go if they were 11-0. You are only as good as your next shift. Your next shift is all that matters. Think about what you did in the past when it is all over. And don't even think about it then if it impedes at all on what is next.

This is from the Bud Powell album, his version of "Over the Rainbow." My second favorite version.

This is my first: Judy Garland live on the radio in 1948. Note the opening verse. You'll hear it in no other version by her.

She's unreal.

But. Enough for now. Eyes on the prize. Take that which is yours. This is a guitar-less demo of the Stones Roses' "Breaking Into Heaven."


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