From my 1st novel in progress, Never Mind the Beasts. This excerpt from the section “Howling Dogs and Crinkled Whispers.”
Las Vegas had a show on the telly, it was exotic and foreign, hard to imagine, and we were going there, as immigrant pioneers, for a better life, like immigrants and migrants the world over, changing their languages and also adding to the host languages, the big mixing bowl, maybe.
Play Yr Kardz Right, my book from underground press Dostoyevsky Wannabe, is a radical venture. Creative spelling for word textures, in the mouth, and also for the eye. Also the voice is often of a child, although not always, and the child is from another planet, a stranger in a strange land.
Dostoyevsky Wannabe, one of the most vital underground presses in English, made a wee mix tape for the book.
The music is part of the journey. Some of the songs are from experiences as a recent immigrant to the United States in the 80s. Rocky the movie had a song that repeated living in America over and over. It was showy, this new land, and more direct, unabashed, I needed to develop something called gumption. There was also Sugarhill Gang (Jump on It) and it was one my favourites. It made me want to become a better dancer, and maybe, later, learn to breakdance, like so many of the other immigrants in the apartment complex. There are other songs too. Some more recent ones, from living in London, like Grime, and further back while living in the Northwest of the U.S. with the story of an artist from Daniel Johnston, and many others.
There is an outsider artist mentality at work in Play Yr Kardz Right, observing, but also participating from a distance. I think the music of this mixtape gets at some of the tones and emotions of Play Yr Kardz Right. Play Yr Kardz Right is part naive art, but also part of other arts too, a mix of many, a hybrid, not pure, not fully anything, and in some ways anti-poetry, via Nicanor Parra, also primitive, another kind of nomadic surrealism.
Playing your kardz right, the highs and low, good luck, bad luck, it keeps spinning, the wheel of samsara.
I just reached over half million visits on my blogger website Never Mind the Beasts. A mile stone maybe. Thank you so much for stopping by!!
The blogger Never Mind the Beasts blog has now gone dark to avoid duplicate content.
Never Mind the Beasts now has its own domain and a new site. This is the new site.
I have moved posts from blogger to this site (2003-2018). Over the years, I have discovered some themes/interests in the blog posts: buddhism, NY School poetry, absurdism, indie publishing, surrealism, and especially travel. The travel writing is really a nomadic travel writing from living in many countries. Autofiction sometimes.
Then, a realisation. Most of books of poetry also deal with travel, but often with an absurdist or surrealist angle. Maybe a soft surrealism. So yes, nomadic surrealism. This is a nice label, as far as labels go, for my work. But only as long as it doesn’t become constraining, as most labels, or mean nothing, unless it is the good kind of nothing, the kind of nothing pregnant with possibilities. I like that kind of nothing. And also the nothing of liberation and freedom (Buddhism).
I am still unsure if I should have all the posts from 2003 until 2018. I am tempted to start fresh with 12 or so posts on this new website. Starting fresh is one of my favourite activities. Returning to a beginner’s mind.
It is nice to start fresh. Another reason for traveling. Starting fresh. Seeing things as if for the first time. This can also become a function of art. Starting fresh. A beginner’s mind.
Here are some rainbow puppies to celebrate this author website and blog:
Las Vegas, 1985, maybe August. I am a newly arrived immigrant in the United States of America. First Vallejo in a trailer park and then Las Vegas. Also, from a few years previously, a new religion, Mormonism.
I was almost 12. On the border of puberty with a funny accent from Northern Ireland. Do you want to see the strip, asked my mum. I didn’t know the strip but it was obviously something exciting. My stepdad drove the car, a secondhand Nova donated to us by the Mormon church, to the strip. Needless to say it was buzzing. I was saturated with eye candy. Las Vegas, on the strip, was hyper sexual. It is one of the sin cities in history. Maybe the premiere sin cities. Circus Circus was my favourite. We ate a very large American buffet. It was cheap, and even cheaper for us since we were Mormon. They wouldn’t make the money back from the slots. We just came for the steak. And also, sometimes, the eggs. American steak and eggs. And then a toothpick afterwards.
In the new Mormon church, everyone was brother and sister. A nice thought. But no one got our new surname right. So my mother was sister sleeze. Instead of Slease. Slease is pronounced like a leasing a car and adding an s. We got the new name when my remarried a British solider in Northern Ireland (and part of the reason for leaving the country). No one knows where the surname comes from. I have felt alienated from it. But also, it’s my name. Your name is the first fiction. Is everything a story? Maybe almost everything.
Here is a story. It is from my book Play Yr Kardz Right:
Play Yr Kardz Right is now available from Dostoyevsky Wannabe: https://dostoyevskywannabe.com/original/play_yr_kardz_right
Some of my stories are lyrical and surreal. They allow a lot of room for the imagination to create meaning. An active participation of reader and writer. Also, in the surrealist tradition, a journey between the conscious and less conscious parts of our minds. The various energies that direct our lives. Hopefully something to hold onto, like a good walking stick, but also allowing for spontaneity and directionless wanderings. The umbilical cord. You have to cut it. Welcome to the cosmic bathtub. This one has some mashup from Basho. A nomadic surrealism. It is also in the tradition of the cosmic egg. It is called “The Big Egg.”
The Spirit of the Bathtub is now available from Apocalypse Party:
In 2012 I was living in Katowice, Poland. One of my favorite days was national donut day. It is a big deal in Poland and in Poland the donuts are very good. They are maybe my favourite donuts in the whole world. There really isn’t a hole in a Polish donut. You have to make your own hole. It is, however, a little round. But not as round as the prefab donuts in other countries. It is more imperfect, less round. There is no real round in nature. The Polish donut is closer to real nature. It is very filling.
Happy national Polish donut day!!