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Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This

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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Dead Beat Is Not Dead

Contrary to rumours Dead Beat is not dead. He is alive and well and heading for Fredericton.

Yes Dead Beat has been busy readying his house for sale i.e. removing 10,000 books supporting the foundations and roof.

Hudson barks his approval.

So bear with him. All will soon come back to life. Dead Beat will have a resurrection of sorts.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Unbearable Loneliness

So outside of Leonard Cohen what's the loneliest thing you can think of?

I'll tell you: an empty bookshelf. And I'll tell you what's lonelier than that: Dead Beat's library.

If you haven't been in Dead Beat's library, then you have missed out on one of the great treats in the literary world. But tonight the shelves are empty. The books are boxed. Yes my friends, Dead Beat is on the move. Leaving the tranquility of a space sandwiched between the Canadian prairies and the Canadian Shield, the boreal forest. Off to where? Well that's for another day. Today he is contemplative, quiet, not his usual self.

He walks without reason into the empty wood panelled room, surveys the wooden bookshelves devoid of life, drops his head, runs his fingers along the shelves for dust, his own dust, and he walks out again. Later he will return. Leave and return.

While packing them away he was determined to be courageous, heroic, to select those books which would not accompany him on his journey. So in the beginning he took each and every book down singly and held it in his hand, weighing it up: to keep or to pass on. An hour later he was grabbing them a half dozen at a time and storing them away. His pile for passing on non-existent. It doesn't matter that very many of these books will go unread. It doesn't matter that there are often many different copies of the same book. It doesn't matter that there are books there he cannot ever remember acquiring. The acquisition, the possession of books has nothing to do with it, the reading of books has nothing to do with it. These books mark out the passage of Dead Beat's life. The more boxes there are, the closer he is to death.

Book shelves are tombs Dead Beat finally decides. They are empty now. He has risen from the dead.

Hudson Charts Out His Life

So Hudson comes back with his Power Point.

"Watch the screen, Big Boy," he growls. "Dogs and cats age much more quickly in their early life than in their later life relative to humans. For example, the human equivalent of a one-year-old cat or dog is actually between about 10 and 15 years—a one-year-old dog or cat has generally reached its full growth and is sexually mature, although it might still be lanky and need to fill in a more mature musculature, similar to human teenagers. The second year is equivalent to about another 3 to 8 years in terms of physical and mental maturity, and each year thereafter is equivalent to only about 4 or 5 human years.
Because of this, one alternate, more accurate calculation for "dog years" is for the first two years to count as 10 "dog years", and for every year after that to count as 5 "dog years". The average dog life expectancy of about 13 years would translate to 75 under this system (20 + 5*11), as opposed to 91 under the "traditional" system... Got it yet?"

"Hud Pup, yuou're talking to a mathematician here. I understand graphs. I know my Xs from my Ys."

"Not as Ys as you thought though Dad, are you now?"

Monday, June 11, 2007

Hudson Hits the Teenage Years

Hudson's not talking to me anymore. He overheard me reminding Mrs Dead Beat that the pup was turning one on Saturday.

"We ought to get him something special," I told her. "Tick preventative, protection against heartworm disease, one of those rubber bones."

So Hudson interrupts, "Enough of the pup business Dad. I'm eleven of your years. I'm darn near a teenager. If you want to get me any medication, get me some zit control."

"You're still a pup. Besides that's all urban legend."

"You can't treat me like this just cause you're older," he growls.

"Sure I can, Pup."

So he turns on his heels and stomps out of the room.

"Hey Hudson," I call after him..."I am not an animal! I am a human being! man!"

Dead Beat Makes A Deal With Penguin

So what's with penguins today. The world and it's mother has been googling penguins and finding Dead Beat by mistake. I'll admit to a love of ice, a teensy bit prone to waddling, a preference for black and white, but I'll be damned if I'm going to eat squid for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Impetuous Curves - George Mallory

Dead Beat has a good friend Wayne who likes to climb mountains. He has also been scaling the heights of a novel for many years. Dead beat awaits that particular summit.

Anyway it got him thinking - what with climbers replicating 1920's gear to see if George Mallory might have been the first climber to scale Mount Everest.

Mallory at the age of 14 won a mathematics scholarship to Winchester College, England where iIn his senior year there, he was introduced to rock climbing by a master, R. L. G. Irving, who took a small number of pupils climbing in Wales each year.

Mathematics!! Dead Beat is now enthralled. So mountaineering and mathematics. Writing cannot surely be far behind.

Geoffrey Winthrop Young one of the most accomplished alpine climbers of his day describes his ability: "His movement in climbing was entirely his own. It contradicted all theory. He would set his foot high against any angle of smooth surface, fold his shoulder to his knee, and flow upward and upright again on an impetuous curve. Whatever may have happened unseen the while between him and the cliff... the look, and indeed the result, were always the same – a continuous undulating movement so rapid and so powerful that one felt the rock must yield, or disintegrate."

Yes. Writing.

Yield or disintegrate. Flow against the impetuous curves

Good Poetry Is A Beer Shit

Bukowski Wants To Tell You This

But did you listen?

Dead Beat wants you to listen closely: "Reading the poets has been the dullest of things...many of the great poets of the past, I've read their stuff. I've read it. All I get is a goddamn headache, boredom. I really feel sickness in the pit of my stomach, I say, there's some trick going on here. This is not true, this is not real, it's not good. You see poetry itself contains as much energy as a Hollywood industry, as much energy as a stage play on Broadway. All it needs are practitioners who are alive to bring it alive. Poetry is always said to be a private hidden heart which is not appreciated. The reason it is not appreciated is because it hasn't shown any guts, hasn't shown any dance, hasn't shown any moxy... Those who say the poet is a private and precious person I don't agree with. Generally he is just a dumb feddling asshole writing insecure lines that don't come through, believing he's immortal, waiting for his immortality, which never arrives because the poor fucker just can't write...nothing should ever be done that should be done. It has to come out like a good hot beer shit. A good hot beer shit is glorious man , you get up, you turn around, you look at it, your proud, the fumes, the stink of the turds, you look at it, you say God I did it, I'm good. The you flush it away. Then there's that sense of sadness, and just the water is there. It's like writing a good poem. You just do it. It's a beer shit. It's nothing to analyse. There's nothing to say. It's just done. Got it..."

I got it Buk. I got it.

Bukowski Wants To Tell You This

Bukowski Wants To Tell You This

CMC and The Big O

So the Howard Hughes of literature has been yip-yapping with Oprah. Oh the power of 750,000 new sales!

Mind you, he has more sense than Dead Beat. He tells the Big O that he does not believe in talking about his craft.

"I don't think it's good for your head. You spend a lot of time thinking about how to write a book, you probably shouldn't be talking about it. You probably should be doing it."

Guess you won't be blogging any time soon CMC.

"Some writers have said in print that they hated writing, it was just a chore and a burden. I certainly don't feel that way about it," he said. "Sometimes it's difficult, but you always have this image of the perfect thing, which you can never achieve, but which you never stop trying to achieve."

Listen to the man. Heed his advice.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The inescapable lousiness of growing old - Leonard Cohen

So Lenny, now I've got you here. What's the difference between a poem and a song?"

"You got to ask?"

I shrug. "You know."

" Dead Beat, a poem has a certain -- a different time. For instance, a poem is a very private experience, and it doesn't have a driving tempo. In other words, you know, you can go back and forward; you can come back; you can linger. You know, it's a completely different time reference.

Whereas a song, you know, you've got a tempo. You know, you've got something that is moving swiftly. You can't stop it, you know? And it's designed to move swiftly from, you know, mouth to mouth, heart to heart, where a poem really speaks to something that has no time and that is -- it's a completely different perception."

"I thought that."



"I've worked at my work. I've slept at my sleep. I've died at my death, and now I can leave. Leave what is needed, and leave what is full. Need in the spirit and need in the whole."

"Beloved, I'm yours, as I have always been, from marrow to pore, from longing to skin. Now that my mission has come to its end, I pray I'm forgiven the life that I've led. The body I chased, it chased me as well. My longing's a place, my dying's a sail."