At my desk in Port Aransas just back from xeroxing a 30 copies of LL #CLV I learned I had omitted one page in the manuscript draft, or call it a double-spaced page or half a page. In Aransas Pass with our mother, and Mike after our father's passing, I had been too distracted, trying to put together CLIV. I doubt I have ever left out a whole double-spaced page in a chapter of Last Laugh before.
Up in my room with a couple of CDs Madrea had made for me, or out on the deck the room opens onto, at the table there that is crumbling off balance in the elements, I had been scribbling and drinking. Medicine and I drove over to the island and ran him on the beach and got whatever mail and my better of two poor electric typewriters, and I went to using the dinning room table downstairs for the electricity to type the draft I do before the manuscript draft. I typed in the afternoons, with classical music off NPR or Madrea's CD's (some classical, and Janis Joplin and rock selections)(we like the sixties or acid stuff, but new stuff I like GARBAGE, and ENIGMA). 0penly I drank two Guinness Stouts, after having firstly a few ounces of rum secretly. I began as well in that week to ignore the morning paper and type a few lines with the expresso. It is often understood caffeine and also alcohol can allow writers to focus but my mother and siblings have considered my alcoholism. B.E. they considered alcoholic. He would not have agreed, that either of us are, they never told him he maybe was, Lyla said he "definitely was." Either way, too I was faintly bleary from a few antihistamines and decongestants, agitated from a couple of northers blowing in cedar or ragweed. It had been my error having let Lyla hear my remark that I could barely remember Xmas dinner. Xmas I had come into slight asthma and Kelly gave me pot and I gobbled pills including some shitty asthma pills and truly was drunk and stoned that day, just to relax nerves like any fiend and Lyla was to never forget I had had "a blackout" for the xmas dinner.
Post B.E.'s wake, I was of some use hangtng out, also I got my little garden on through, carrots, cabbage, turnips, and I rounded up LL #CLIV, tn about a week. One day Lyla inquired how many beers had I had - by then I sat drousy looktng at the news - I raised two fingers, and the followtng day maybe I was drousier but she waylaid me. It was late afternoon, I'd come on down from resting upstairs, dutiful Mike sat at the kitchen bar thumbing in this old hardcover book about medicines. Lyla was saying how many ttmes has she told me to never mix these drugs with alcohol. My patience went and I told her she has never before known anyone 60 years old who looks fortyftve. You only think you look so young, she said. Said I, I've seen people shoot heroin and smoke pot and get drunk and keep partying like everybody else! Mike continued thumbing in the old hardcover trying to figure something, I suppose, like should my parttcular combinations by the book kill me. I said, madness here, madness there, madness everywhere, It cracks and growls, roars and howls, like noises in a swound! What did you say? said Lyla, who is hard of hearing. Mike, thumbing in old hardcover, said, Bill is quoting something.
There are more acceptable reasons than family mythical for the black one to drink less. If I am over one ninety I get fat butt and tits and a double chin, and right now the walking around weight is 200. When I heal my sciatica I will return to some running and sprinting. When Madrea was here we with Steve and Jim stopped for beer in this nice open air bar that Steve's son Gabe tended, and a local Ki Guutherie combo, who are good, were playing. Rarely am I very drunk but I had earlier drunk a bottle of wine so came to be. The assoctation with drinking and dancing , if the music is good, came over me. Alone I was dancing, and between numbers returned to our table and fell into my daughter's lap. Nearly soon as I flopped on over into my own chair the music struck back up. Like this, I dance fine, dance easier than walking. But Lyla was fixing dinner for us and dusk we left, Jim with me and Madrea, as I would take him home. In the parking lot Kit Gutherie waved goodby and I went blank on his name, said: yeah! Getting Jim the few blocks to the Brundrett house I got lost, and quickly needing to make this turn I bent clear over one stop sign. Fortunately we were not witnessed. I got Jim to his home, never have got his comment on the event. Madrea dtd not care to drive the truck at night and I did pull in my head, this is difficult, got on and off the ferry alright and got us back safely to Lyla's in Aransas, repentant. Lyla never knew anything. I was not bleary on antihistamines that time.
My friend Rodney the dauntless gossip contrtbuted to the Olive family mythical. Post B.E.'s passing he dropped by the Aransas house and gave Lyla a rose. He is making good brew and I have been giving him my Guinness bottles. I was not there and he gave Mike two bottles of ale. He dutifully told Lyla he cannot get along with Bill. I had not raised voice at Rodney for two years or so, not going to the Men's club or Rodney's house, then a couple of months back he was gtving me some beer and getting my bottles at the Brundrett house and I engaged him in conversation and he called the Palestinians "cowards." He answered me that these kids throwing rocks at tanks are only doing so because "their parents put them up to it." Dear Reader, he is this ignorant, whether he also wishes for me to raise voice. Believe me or not no matter. This complex of U.S. citizenry is a matter rising more in the very near future. Rodney is gleeful and I told him he is brain washed. In this personal context of his that he does not get along with Bill he said to Lyla he has never seen anybody drink a beer as fast as Bill does. He is a native or Port Aransas and liar. Lyla said, yes, well, we all worried about Bill's being an alcoholic, but at least he does give you his bottles.
I have written by sound and feel. Jack Kerouac...was never the first but he crafted it very well in career. His THE SUBTERRANEANS I read several times, maybe firstly at age 18. I turned conscious, there, of styles in prose, took up also with Hemingway and Henry Miller, read the TROPIC books in 1960 in San Miguel de Allende when they still were banned in the U.S., I repeat. In a year or two I caught on it really is not that easy as in CAPRICORN to get laid (when one is in the shock of raw youth and less selective, amazing), but I was romantic and crazy and bestial and went on. On paper, within the first novel (GROW BEAT, stolen, rewritten, both carbon copy and the other lost an incarnation ago), before I quite learned to type, before quite the age of twenty, I had seen how to emote, in some clarity, before finishing getting all the words down for the book. I am a disturbed person and the first thing to do is slap it onto a page, grab the rhythm and nuances, let the mere words select themselves. Good words select themselves. This of the talent peaked in the TEXAS GANG novel I completed in the sevenites and printed 2000 coptes of in 1978. The pattern has been to scribble, get the feel, then type double-spaced, thirdly type into manuscrtpt. Naturally I have come to more consciousness of what I do. When I had the TG book printed in 1978 I could not then yet answer people as to how I did it. People would ask if this is off Vietnam experience and I would say naw I've never killed anyone this life, this is just drug inspired. I was encouraged by literate individuals to edit TG no more, but already truly I had known that much. TALES FROM THE TEXAS GANG is genetics of emotion, spirit inherent, regardless my nice parents, middle class upbringing in the twentieth century...hell, I never liked the twentieth century, and I saw the larger part of it....Were I blungeoned in the forehead and let civilised editors get at the TG book, the copies of the original 2000, or reproduciton of the original with the typos corrected, would be worth much, much more money.
By now on the other stuff sometimes I'll do a rare fourth draft. If for any reason I am having to retype stuff, lost manuscripts or maybe putting a piece online, I tend to get hung up and rework parts, and I do not care to much do this, because the act of editing peaks, the editing can go down hill the editor gone blind, like repeating a word long enough the mind blanks, it loses context, feel, naturally. Funny, without meditation, drugs or something, civilised men get stupid, got no rhythm.
These years I just about could wax like a professor. What Blackoltve writes is facile for audio. While a TALES FROM THE TEXAS GANG I could not in older age write. It has been done. I am fascinated with non-fiction.
An editor who is supremely gifted or sophisticated might work with me post Ann Vliet. Vliet who taught the novel at SWT before reading TG and read TG before we met, and too who is another who offered that TG cannot be edited, thus got my trust to carve some LL into a novel, fled the Mexican Mafia, or did so in her mind, deserted me, vanished.
Ah, anyway. Someday I'll win. I have a daughter. I'm not even middle-aged. Here, Dear Reader, I give you THE LOST EXCERPT.
"Bix also pointed out the email letters, mostly women for some reason, just saying hello, passing through, I love Texas and so on. I advised we should grant recognitton to each, at least say we apprectate it. Be they old as we or older, that women are sensible to us is good. Bix sent these several women and one or two men hellos. I thought he ought to tell each one Dr. Steve is not in the Texas Gang, but Bix felt we should not confuse people with this issue right now. Dick Wilson had said to Dr. Steve maybe chicken bones start cuiting up a dog's stomach by time a dog is twenty years old, is how I thought maybe Wilson was toying with Dr. Steve, and too Wilson was praising the Texas Gang novel, had read it a few times. Jackson Jones: My guess is Dr. Steve had answered his note with a blistering condemnation of you because he feels you have ravaged him unfairly in Last Laugh without a rebuttal forum. I had Bix turn to Dr. Steve's chamber and I started to skim around but the task was great then there was this of Mahatma Gandhi had virgins give him enemas so I gave it up. Next day at my parent's I took call from Bix: Bill, it is worse than we thought. Dick Wilson who lives in Austin had already answered. Wilson explained he had thought Dr. Steve is Backolive. Meantime his buddy of ENIGMA in California wanted to see a TG book. In my horror, and I listen poorly over a telephone, I did not learn what, of Dr. Steve, Wilson had even read, to think this is Blackolive. Dick Wilson said something about trying to now raise kids, and he wants them aloof of the current mob politics. The characteristic, now, Blackolive and Dr. Steve have alike...is irreverence.... I took this in. Presently Bix and I said goodby. Promptly I called back, requesting Bix email Jones to have him instantly put quotaiton marks around EAOH PARAGRAPH of Dr. Steve's I have made use of in Last Laugh. By next day I had seen the humor. Still wanted the inserted quote marks certainly. But I was back at the value of writing the ENIGMA guy and I forwarded him my only copy of TALES FROM THE TEXAS GANG.
"There is one crime against humanity in this last decade of the millenium that exceeds all others in its magnitude, cruelty and portent. It is the US-forced sanctions against the twenty million people of Iraq...If the UN participates in such genocidal sanctions backed by the threat of military violence -- and if the people of the world fail to prevent such conduct -- the violence, terror and human misery of the new millennium will exceed anything we have known."Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney General
"Dennie Halliday was in charge of the UN Oil-For-Food program, until he resigned in September 1998, because he saw what the sanctions were doing to the Iraqui people. He was asked about using the term 'genocide' to refer to the sanctions. In his reply he stated !...it is certainly a valid word in my view where you have a situation where we see thousands of deaths per month, a possible total of 1 million to 1.5 million over the last nine years. If that is not genocide, then I don't quite know what is."When back from the cabin I saw the main media was through talking about the Iraqui children, and I could not here get Amie Goodman's DEMOCRACY NOW off NPR. But I carried on with it to my siblings at any point they tried to regard Clinton as less cold blooded as Saddam Hussein. This past year, my harrassed sister pretended to have known all along about the Iraqui children but said the difference between Clinton and Hussein is Hussein intentionally killed a bunch of innocent people but this was not Clinton's intention. I let it ride, got off her back. But how unthinking. What can it be happens to good minds. Lob a few more million dollar missles into old Baghdad for good politics. Limbaugh said why does he do it at ntght when he only geis a few janitors. One million per janitor. Children who starve mere collateral. It was New Year's of 2000 after the cabin I happened to be standing in the Aransas house switching about on the box and CNN was flashing all this hurrah in European capitol's streets, and somehow somebody snuck in old Baghdad. Old Baghdad was dark, deserted. What, wait, suddenly here is a bunch of Italtans, holding out plackards: STOP NATO GENOCIDE. In seconds, the camera jumped away. What an ambush. Did anyone get fired?
John Pilger on Washington's war crtmes
Who are the real terrorisis?
from a colunin by Pilger in the New Statesman. [W]HEN the Taliban came to power in 1996, not only were they welcomed by Washington, their leaders were flown to Texas, then governed by George W. Bush, and entertained by execuitves of the Unocal oil company... The Taliban [have now] duly moved to the top of the media's league table of demons, where the normal exemptions apply. For example, Vladimir Putin's regime in Moscow, the killers of at least 20,000 people in Chechnya, is exempt. Last week, Putin was entertained by his new "close friend," George W. Bush, at Bush's Texas ranch. Bush and (British Prime Minister Tony) Blair are permanently exempt-- even though more Iraqi children die every month, mostly as a result of the Anglo-American embargo, than the total number of dead in the Twin Towers, a truth that is not allowed to enter public consciousness. The killing of Iraqi infants, like the killing of Chechens, like the killing of Afghan civilians, is rated less morally abhorrent than the killing of Americans.