I’ve sunk myself deep into Norwegian and French, modern and postmodern, and my writing has grown a new tendril. The best is yet to come. I’ve moved away from words in music, the best is yet to come. I’ve grown naive and not-naive, the best is yet to come. I’ve sucked the marrow and plucked the daisies, the best is yet to come. I’ve baked the memories, stirred the sugar bombs, opened the hatch, de-wormed the cat, the best is yet to come. I’ve materialized my life with my language, the best is yet to come. Welcome to my hermit kingdom, the best is yet to come. What is the dreamlife of language, the best is yet to come.
Boiling two eggs, a simple procedure. The perfect boiled eggs, somewhere in the heavens.
Time is moving fast and faster. 3 years in Spain after over 8 years in London, plus many other countries besides. The thrill of new places, like the thrill of anything, has a short lifespan, but it is still good, overall, here. Madrid was the first city, before here near Barcelona, and it is a dry place, as opposed to this place, very damp. The dry place, not without its downsides, reminded me of places I used to live when I lived in the United States of America, mostly the west. The dry west. And when I left there, the dry west, and headed south, I didn’t miss it. And when I left the south, and the U.S. forever, at the end of 2005, I didn’t miss it. But then, all of a sudden, upon moving to Madrid, with all its dryness and a smattering of lizards, I missed America. It brought the good memories, and I mixed up Madrid with Mexico. The Mexican food in Madrid was the best I tasted since leaving America and living in Asia and Europe. So yes, I was taken there, to the dry desert and saucy enchiladas, with topnotch mole. I have also refound that part of me, what to call it, that is small town and rural, after trying to hide it through many years of education. Look at the onions! There is nothing in the centre!
The circle also came round in Madrid in terms of my love for the natural world. I wanted to reconnect, become earthly, after living in so many capital cities. And the sun, oh how original, the sun, is another reason.
Now here is the third circle come round in Madrid (is it an onion?). I reconnected to my love of surrealism, it’s where I started when I first started writing, but now it is filtered through, among other things, the light touch of NY School Poetry (Frank O’Hara, Bernadette Mayer, and especially Ron Padgett), as well as various other lived experiments.
So here I am. A nomadic surrealist. What does it all mean really?
Here is a prose poem, from my book The Green Monk. It was written right after moving to Madrid in 2016. It is called “Meat from the Stones.”
This prose poem was written in the mid-seventeenth century by the Spanish Jesuit priest, scholar and philosopher Baltasar Gracian. It is taken from the book A Pocket Mirror for Heroes (trans. Christopher Maurer).
This is a very brief excerpt from the opening of my new hybrid novel in progress: Squid on the Barbie.
What is relationship between your environment and happiness? Influenced by the classical philosophy of the Epicureans and Buddhists, as well as the revolution of the surrealists, Pineapple and Don Whiskers move to Spain for a more simple existence. How can they reconcile traumatic pasts, in Poland and N. Ireland, with their new life in Spain? This is their love story. A revolution of everyday existence. Inspired, in part, by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, as well as the playful surrealism of Leonora Carrington, and the expansive minimalism of Lydia Davis, Squid on the Barbie is a nomadic surrealist journey, from countries and states of being, magic and alchemy, a novel of vignettes, travelogues, flash fiction, and prose poetry.
Squid on the Barbie is the third novel of a trilogy. The first novel, Never Mind the Beasts, is being released in April 2020 by Dostoyevsky Wannabe.
(art: Maria Cerminova Toyen, “Fardée pour Apparaître,” 1962.)
The British have voted for more bombing. Minimalist drone shows, stick figures, military stations, hoof prints on the coffee table, skeleton trees, a manual for legs, and a warning note near the great mustard wheel pulled by a large horse. Elation is elevation via the visual cortex. Another flash fiction/wee story from book in progress.