Thursday, June 30, 2011


Well, you know, contrary to certain misinformed rumblings - if there ever were any - I have yet to be abducted by malign forces; farces; filtered sprites. Lurking in the dim end of the spectrum.

Nor am I susceptible to summary, spontaneous levitations.

I mention this in passing, merely.

Not that I am immune to demons. Of the sort which howl and niggle in those grey hours between comatose reclining and startling. The ritual wrestling between id and ego.

Of course, the unabashed bohemian in me protests. Brought to heel presently by a snot-nosed brat in utility boots: Leery stomping Leary; hammered - choked - with garlands in turn.

Such is the duality. Of rodents. Rubes. A perfect interlocking cross to bear.

Well. Just what I might be trying to scrape off my chest escapes me, all gut intuition, the dry heaving over porcelain with the fuse to the morning sun not quite lit. It has taken more months than expected to settle.

As for chores, virtual house clearing evaded me. While routine chipping, and gouging, and filing has not.

I have resisted all sensible urge to update my profile, irritating as it is. That inaccurate barometer of fleeting curiosity. The earth snake coming out a hole: tumbling out the sky in shock.

We have been back, of course, to visit. To marvel at the rubble. To excavate neighbourly ties. To retrace footsteps.

"I have a suspicion that my writing smacks of Chintz curtains of late. Albeit stained - holed - but fidgety nonetheless. A scent of magnolia masking mothballs.

The lifts are often thick with that smell. Eastern Europeans arriving with tightly sprung suitcases, folded bed linen. Heirlooms."

"Looking down on the rose garden, I see the wrought iron waste bin standing alone on one corner.

It is still new enough that I often mistake it for an elderly person stooping to feed the pigeons. The sunlight gleams on yellow painted seams so they protrude like pencil sharpened elbows. Toothpicks. My vision is not what it once was, I have sometimes misidentified black refuse sacks peppering the grass. Even Merle Haggard seems a little distant.

When he steps out on the stage.

I made the dinner pouring gins. Not quite neat, but I know my kitchen like the back of my hand. I can sidle around it slicing mushrooms as well as any blind man.

I fry eggs as big and fat as cataracts.

I can shuffle like Lemon Jefferson, and pour them dry and mean."

The following - one of five wholly instrumental collaborations - was recorded and produced at Robert Quine's loft apartment in NYC between September 1979 and July 1980. Don't throw that knife. Or come unstuck, vibrating in the park.




Termites of 1938.
Have to dig it out now that you have whet my appetite.
Thank you, kind sir.

ib said...

I could not decide which track to ride out with. Quine's coruscated shapes through the second part of 'Termites' are seizure inducing.

I only heard 'Escape' for the first time quite recently. I wish I had a better rip. Just for clarity.


You could try this. The record is in quite fair condition. Ripped at 320. Vinyl LP cover art. Try it out & let me know. If yours is better, then just chuck it

ib said...

Thank you for this, Nate. Very much appreciated. I will dispense with my own purloined rip; amend the link on the original post.


Incidentally, take a peek in your intray. Not certain whether the email account remains active.

anto said...

Now, OK, good, but what about this. Unrelated, yes, but awesome. Listened to loads of Bill while camping in a forest in France the last 2 weeks. The man..well, sometimes, there's a man.

ib said...

Hey Anto.

Glad to hear the excursion bore its very own soundtrack.

I have only mildly flirted with Bonny 'Prince' Billy previously. Although I liked what I heard. Your hijacking of the high road here serves as a reminder to do the man justice.

ib said...

Glad you got there near enough in one piece, and good to hear from you, Tim.

Our own move was tough enough going, even if was only half way across the city. Some people appear to cope with the drama quite convivially. I am not one of them.

More bonsai than banzai, like an ailing dwarf tree I cling to my windowsill till the last.

@eloh said...

" A scent of magnolia masking mothballs."

The title of the book about my life........well said ib... well said.

ib said...

@eloh, my god.

Great to hear from you. I've been skulking around the Rancho Apocalypto more than is seemly, but the gates are locked up tight.

I'd worried that you might have grown tired of the intrusion. Thrown in the towel, or worse.

You know, I still have not settled. Not really. Hardly anybody understands it, given that I bitched and whined. Our old block looks queerly handsome now that its neighbours are reduced to tidy piles of rubble; the sunlight travels all the way round from front to back. And the pulverized concrete raked up in mounds around the rose garden like so many ashes.

Well. It had potential.

It's high time, I think, that you explained your absence. Tell us to mind our own damn business, at least. I know I'm not the only one who has missed your writing.

Of course. Some time ago I promised poetry readings. The world is still turning. I have not written it off.

Damn. This is not any sort of rebuke, you know. A wagging finger. It is just so good to hear from you.