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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rough notes from...

new novel-in-progress Thracian Tales

Note 1

Whenever I quit using for a while, all the suppressed stuff floods in - but never in the front door. It’s surreptitious, leaking through cracks here and there, oozing up from between the floor boards while I’m day dreaming, or asleep, half asleep. Unexpected and twisted ideas, they’ve been backed up in a traffic jam of undirected psychosis for too long now.
Like that life sized doll of Countess Erzs├ębet Bathory, from a long line of Huns, the disappeared people of the Steppe. After I see her standing in the doorway of her citadel, everything turns to black and white - even blood.
It all becomes a malevolent force through the bending of time - attracted by my new lack of deep intoxication, the soul/mind portal that’s opened now that I’m completely weak, too un-stoned to resist her.
Her ideas and images are absorbed, her teeth rend victims, the flesh of a young girl’s breast bitten and torn away.
And yet I lust for her.. for her nobility, her madness. She was one of the last powerful Protestant hold-outs, the anti-Papist artistrocracy. They called her the female Dracu, the female Impaler, the woman vampire. But there is too much contradiction. I find myself in the old Austro-Hungarian courts, piles of books the size of coffins, takes two arms to open the cover. Her trial in detail. She turned her lands and her palaces into hospital for soldiers wounded fighting the Turk, for the ill peasantry on her lands. How did she shift from that to a blood drinker? Or was it once again the power she would not cede, her name and position attacked through propaganda. The Protestant Countess.

Note 2

I’m in a wheelchair - not needed - more an affectation, a statement of power. I choose to ride a wheelchair but I am not infirm. A plush old theater, crushed red velvet, gold painted filigree, but rundown and somewhat abandoned, dog-earred and Soviet and untenable.
There are people coming and going, some offer to help me but it’s a grating, wide-eyed pity, which causes profound irritation I cannot verbalize. I tell them the wheelchair is a gag, a prop. They nod, unfazed and continue on.
Long sweeping ramps from mezzanine level to ground, Persian carpeted ramps rather than stairs, with a wide elaborately carved banister, painted gold and silver and red.
I roll down the ramp in my wheelchair, picking up speed and almost out of control, going too wide, may crash into outside banister, the brakes are questionable, toy brakes that begin to squeal.

A life-sized version of myself in 18th century central European, Austro-Hungarian dandy type outfit. But a grim and unquenchable, amoral me - dark-eyed and dark haired, not a shred of sentiment.
I hear the larger than life me say: “Sympathy is for fools and old women.”
The wheelchair rattles along now on the ground floor of theater. Going toward the sunlight of the leaded front doors, I roll past an elaborate old billiard table. The 18th century version of me lays on it. I’m large, about 6 foot 5, eyes closed but clearly awake and alert.
One of the wheelchair’s handles hooks onto larger than life-sized me, gets tangled up with petticoats, capes, tweed, houndstooth, wide Hassidim fedora head gear. I realize the L than L me is a Golem, my old Golem from a time forgotten in youth, a young, good looking me doing a fashionable impersonation of Dr. F. Then remember I’d auditioned for part and got fleeced when Kenneth Branaugh got it and I still hate him for that duplicity, his fucking connections. But my Golem was left behind, untouched and forgotten. The wheelchair’s handle tears away part of the Golem’s sleeve, disturbing him, waking him.
He rises with a great deal of hatred, aggression, mad-eyed but cold blooded, threats to eat all in sight. I jump out of the wheelchair, moving backwards, trip backwards on carpeted ramp. I’m on my back and kick Golem in the chest, send him sprawling but he comes at me again, undeterred, his expression remains determined and monstrous. I kick him again, he comes at me, relentless, tries to grab my leg as I’m prone, to tear it off. I squirm and pull my barefoot away from his strong hand. I wake up kicking.

Deep, inherent evil, something that was there already, waiting to be awoken, provoked by my reading about Erzs├ębet Bathory. Matrilineal? Patrilineal? Thrace - that mystery of heading into the dark heart of northern Thrace, away from the warm, blue Aegean, the laughing sun, into the dim, wet hills, poverty stricken, where suspicion rules and no one raises their voice, only the wind and the call of a lone crow.
What force is this? Internal? External?

Note 3

I remember me then, long black hair, white coveralls, nothing else, maybe barefoot. Wolf’s tooth around neck.
NYC street
level racism.
Well dressed black guy, wearing a camel coat, in Washington Sq., middle of the night. Asks: “Ya think I could sleep here?”
“Uh, no. Not unless you wanna get robbed.”
“Y’know,” he says. “My people got lynched and fucked over, but your people - your people, they got fuckin’ well wiped out!”

Note 3A

A tall, gorgeous native guy with long silky black hair and a black leather blazer, a beaded bracelet but no other goofy accessories. I get an instant crush on him at a party at Jen Weymouth’s new apartment at Bernard and the Main. We’re introduced. He’s an artist. I flirt with him - someone mentions I’m Greek.
“No, Greek.”
“Oh, I thought you were Indian.”
“Yeah, I get that sometimes. It’s my Mongol blood.”

He looked at me, blank. Okay, so he’s not book-smart, I tell myself, but geez, he’s so pretty and I love his hands. I spied downward. Everything looks nice’n’tight. Hmm.
We talked about Oka, the Mohawks, the Warrior’s society and their Mercier bridge occupation, the Surete battling with rednecks on the north end of the bridge.
“Listen, man,” he explains. “I’m not interested in that. I just want to paint and hang out, get next to some women. This other stuff’s too serious for me.”
I nod and wonder what I’d need to say to get him into bed but he seems decidedly hetero. I don’t broach the subject. Too bad. Some airhead blonde sidled up to us, chin down, grinning up at him. She’s already imaging them naked together. I think about a threesome but she’s only got pussy eyes for him.
Goddamn, he’s purty, ain’t he, sister?