Waits

A sleepless night led me to new answers
New ways to try and set my life straight

M. texted S. with an offer of weed, fine kush
Of the stickiest sort, all he ever gets nowadays
It’s been a while, longer than usual, a week
More than usual, three weeks perhaps
Instead of two, another chapter in the saga
Fifteen years in all, over oceans and deserts
And emotional turmoils of so much variety
Sometimes decadently sexual while other times
Overtly pedestrian, bad television and big
Ole bong hits, no, absolutely never from a water pipe
Joints and blunts exclusively, like religion
But when a man shares his weed
You don’t worry him about how

But we started with wife sharing
Before S. was my wife, before M. grew entangled
With an infidelitous addicted prude
Ain’t that always the way
Threesomes and foursomes and fivesomes
I’ve lived a decadent life
Reduced over decades to twosomes
And threesomes and nonesomes
As circumstance and desires waxed
And waned until the occasions
Became entirely unpredictable
And much less often, so who knows
Where this transaction will lead
Begin with a bathrobe and a hard cock

“Can I help you with that?”
Lust lets loose, dissolving reason
Excitement consumes sensibilities
Like a late Latin night with a note
Hanging sustained in desperately
Held hope, furies, desires, holding tight
Taking and giving and taking and giving
Give it, take it, let loose the hot lust
In a sweaty release, a grunt, a squeal
A moment of pause and reality resumes
But it is more likely they’re talking
Surrendered to circumstance or emotions
Turning energy to telling life’s evolving tale
Of her and him and who knows who

But there’s also a chance
That life spares no time
No wham, no bam, just thank you both
All this and a bag of weed
Sweet maryjane
Coming always straight from mother earth
And the dirt and the muck and the sunshine
Green Goddess of release
From the twisted grip of anxiety
The friction of an overactive mind
One toke over the line
And another and another
Play the game, laugh and sing

All our dreams will come true
If we believe they have

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Pretentious

I will read a novel simply because someone in a review called it “pretentious.” For the most part, that is the label a dull person will attach to a great novel.

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Offensive

When I was in law school, I took the required legal ethics class. Our professor was an excited, passionate man who made his living defending lawyers accused of ethical violations. He frequently yelled and went off in rage but it came from a good place. He wanted us to be clear about our responsibilities, to know where we stood in relationship to our upcoming power.

“According to the rules,” he would bellow, “a lawyer can legally and ethically…” followed by some horrible deed. He would pause to let that sink in. “How does that make you feel? Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and squishy knowing that, as a lawyer, you can without impunity do such terrible things?” We would, of course, recoil in horror. We would never do any such thing. And we’d realize that as liberal as these ethical rules were, some would go further, violate the terrible rule by behaving even worse. And we’d wonder what we were becoming.

I am a huge fan of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I consider it one of the finest examples of the English novel in all it’s self-referential glory. I feel this way despite it being an offensive novel. I feel this way, in large part, because it is deliberately offensive.

Lolita, for me, is a novel similar in the way it works to Hardy’s Tess of the D’urbervilles.  I read a paragraph of the compelling narrative, empathizing as I go. I consider the way it makes me feel and then I recoil in horror at my own reaction. With Tess, I repeatedly listen to myself tell Tess to do something wrong that is demanded by the situation while she is torn apart by a too-cruel society for doing the “right” thing. And I am left wondering, what does “right” even mean? Similarly, I listen to and am charmed by Humbert. And then I look at myself in disgust, for finding something so obviously horrible attractive.

The authors, like my ethics professor, are taunting our neatly packaged sensibility. “You like this don’t you? Aren’t you a piece of work.”

That’s how I read the novels. I like offensive prose. I like the cognitive dissonance of being drawn to something repulsive against the currents of my pedestrian morality.

It disturbs me to discover that many of my favorite novels are popular among those who enjoy the offensiveness in a different, more direct and unoffended way. I make no excuses or apologies for them.

I don’t have a similar appreciation for The Taming of the Shrew. No matter how I read it, I am offended. There is no moral reversal or ironic reading that can make up for the offensiveness.

The point I really want to make is that I enjoy literature that uses offensiveness to insinuate truth into my perspectives. Most of the novels like that, that I am aware of, are by men. This coming year, I plan to seek out novels by women that use offensiveness in that same way. The only name that comes to mind right away is Elfriede Jelinek. I’ll be looking for more. Drop me a line if you have some suggestions.

 

 

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conventional

I am not someone who is often described as conventional. I seem to be bound by my nature to approach things in my own way. I only follow rules that make sense to me. I don’t engage in traditions or customs, unless I feel so inclined.  It isn’t that I’m proud of my unconventionality. I’m not waving a banner of how different I am. It just is who I am.

Disturbances in my social life combined with the responsibility of children forced me to adopt a conventional guise. No one who truly knows me ever believed it but for the rest of humanity, I played along. It became my prison but the sentence had to be served. Time passed and the bars faded. Now I find myself free.

Free to be unconventional again.

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unqualified and arrogant

I was not looking forward to work, on that particular day. For about a year, Michelle had headed up our office. It had been a good year. Before her, Big Joe had been our boss. That year sucked. Who would move into the position was anyone’s guess, but history would suggest that it would be someone terrible – unqualified and arrogant. Corporate seemed to like that in a boss. Michelle had been an exception. We would soon be back in the realm of the rule.

Lord Malinov, Erotic Romances

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Dick Moby

“Drink, ye harpooneers! drink and swear, ye men that man the deathful whaleboat’s bow — Death to Moby Dick! God hunt us all, if we do not hunt Moby Dick to his death!”

Chapter 1

Unravelings

Called me Ishmael.

When I’ve been at sea for a very long time, five years and three months and seventeen days, to be exact, I develop a longing to stand upon terra firma, to drop anchor and go ashore. When the Pequod sank, I was a long way from home and while I certainly had a desire to stop on the next bit of dryness I could set foot upon, I had an even stronger need to get back to where I started from.

When I finally reached New Bedford, the night had grown dark, so I sought a place to sleep and a bowl of chowder. The years that had passed since I had last been in port had wreaked a great many changes both is in the style of merchandise and the purveyors thereof. I had to try three lodging houses before I could be assured of having a harpooneer to bed with and I had to produce an extra piece of silver to secure a cannibal as companion. Although chowder remained a staple of the menus, they also offered meals with hardly any fish in them at all. Strange times we have come to know.

I thought my story would delight and intrigue the people back home but no one listened, no one cared, no one believed a word. They had accepted long ago that the ship was lost with all hands. I became an embarrassment to their sure grasp of the past.

But then one night, sitting cold and damp with a bottle of rum and a table surrounded by scurvy sea dogs, I happened to mention Ahab and the Pequod and our demise at the body blow of the white whale.

“Moby Dick?” one mate queried.

“The same,” I replied.

“That would make you Ishmael?”

“Yes it would.”

“I have a message for you. We ran into that white whale a few months back just after coming past the Cape Horn. He chased us for a hundred leagues and when we gave up he let us go with the words, ‘Tell Ishmael of the Pequod that I’m coming for him. All of Ahab’s spawn must die and he’s the only one left!”

“Shit,” I said. The world’s a big place but so is a whale.

tbc

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Return

Somewhere along the way, I lost my voice. Not because I couldn’t speak but rather because I lost interest in speaking, fearing the ensuing conversation more than anticipating the joy of self-expression.

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