Entry 0086: A Quick Word

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7-inch: Cheree by Suicide

2016 Superior Viaduct SV105, Red vinyl

Favorite Track: I Remember

 

I bought this record on Record Store Day. It was a great surprise because I didn’t know it was being reissued and I had never heard the track “I Remember”. Wow. Simply, wow. Suicide was always good and creating haunting tracks with sparse sounds, but this one is on the level of “Frankie Teardrop”. Alan Vega croon-whispering “I remember” is a ghost story in itself.

Speaking of ghost stories, I am about to go camping in the stomach of Wisconsin and I cannot be more excited. But before I confront those northern tree spirits and wicked witches, I must select the appropriate books to bring with me. Recently, I had opened up a collection of M.R. James and read “Count Magnus” and “Oh, Whistle and I Will Come to You, My Lad”–two thoroughly enjoyable ghost stories but perhaps a bit too academic and stuffy for the wilderness. I am thinking about bring up Algernon Blackwood’s “The Willows” and some August Derleth who wrote ghost stories set in Wisconsin. I plan on reading a tale or two out loud around the camp fire.

I scored a lot of Michael Moorcock DAW books from the library book sale and recently dying to read more fantasy books. But I don’t have the second Elric book so instead I am going to bring all four Hawkmoon books. I am currently reading the first book in Elizabeth Moon’s The Deed of Paksenarrion, which I am immensely enjoying and the series is seriously under-rated. The problem with bringing that is I have the omnibus edition and it is rather fat, weighing in at over a thousand pages.

Then there are the classics I want to bring: “Absalom, Absalom”, “Invitation to a Beheading” and “East of Eden”. Then I have to read “Hopscotch” the second way through where you hopscotch through the chapters.

And you can already see that I have too much to read and too little time. Either way, I am going to enjoy this trip–the one in Wisconsin and the one the books take me on.

So, obviously, I wouldn’t be updating this blog in a while. See you later, you freaks.

Entry 0085: Head Trip

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EP: You Really Got Me by the 13th Floor Elevators

1978 Austin Records RE-1

Favorite Track: You Really Got Me

 

That wasn’t the right snack. I ate the one reserved for Mad Cyril’s birthday. The consciousness-popping snack. I’m in for it now. What a morning. Woke up in yesterday’s frivolity. Sweat slime like the back of my tongue. Shoe curiously destroyed. Then, in the shower, I went to loosen my bladder but let go off my bowels instead. And now, I’m watching my eyesight improve from behind the mask that I call my face.

Damn. The painting of Beets is amazing, her flame-licked curls captured perfectly in slopped carmine pigments. Hair that is dripping thick water onto my carpet. Bony teeth smiling back at me even though her eyes are closed. What color were her pupils again? Pupils? I mean irises. Do I? Do eye? Hahaha, I’m laughing out loud and she laughs back and then I’m remembering this morning shower and now I’m belly over and hers was next to mine only four months ago as I took in her scent every night, processed it, and turned those memories into habits, habits I would take for granted or granite or Grant the president of the United States that she once said I looked like but do I? Do eye? Here I go again…

Well, work is out of the question today, but luckily I already called off. Or was that yesterday? Doesn’t matter much. I’m just going to sit on this couch. Yes, this couch–the only safe couch in the county. No body is going to get my head if I sit here and watch the sunshine turn my window into a Gate to Hell. She bought the couch. It is her couch. We would cuddle and watch Mst3k and throw popcorn at each other. I found one in her bra once and it was the saltest. What did I just think? That is a normal thought for a single man sitting on his couch, right? I mean, we were seeing each other. I’m allowed to eat things that touched her skin? Did I eat her skin? Was it her sweat that made it so salty? I’m getting off this couch. Too many habits, not enough sunshine.

I must get outside. My brain is screaming for outside. Yes. Yes. Not a couch. Not a couch in the entirety of outside. Here I go.

Oh, this is the bathroom. I shouldn’t be in here. It smells like yesterday, which was a mistake, which was filled with remorse about Beets, and a nightclub, and innocent flirtations until I found out she had a boyfriend, and then yesterday dissolved into the day before which was really heavy with the liquid tension, and then the lights all turned auburn and curled and all I could see was her eyes crying paint at me, all over my carpet…

Back on the couch. It may not be sunny torture and full of tanned devils, but at least I can sit down and not smell my sobs. Oh. My. I put my feet up. Damn. That feels good. I can survive this now. Just need my feet up. Brain screaming feet up. Beets loved this couch. Our first was on this couch: kiss, sex, and I love you. I can feel the first kiss in the coils of the couch. I can hear the sex when I pat the cushions. I can taste the I love you every day I wake up, but it is gone before I can go to sleep happy and I must wander in the darkness with no love to guide me.

On my feet again staring at Beets. The whole color palette is wrong. Her forehead was dull, her chin was fiery. The lips in this painting: too many strokes. She never had her eyes closed around me. Just the hair is right.

The last night she was here she said to me, “I’ll be back” and then she never was. For four months. My brain is screaming just the hair is right. I could go outside where the starflames have burned everything in their wake. The summer flowers are already wilting. Beets may be outside. She often wore sundresses and no socks and sometimes I spied hair on her legs but it always was just right.

I left the apartment. The couch. The bathroom stink. The painting that didn’t really capture its subject. Now I’m lost in the dark. So I close my eyes. I shouldn’t have eaten that snack. I doubt I’ll make it to Mad Cyril’s bash now.

But that’s life. Four months is one lifetime. Now, time to start another.

Entry 0084: A Realm of Fantasy

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LP: Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane

1969 RCA Victor LSP-3766

Favorite Track: White Rabbit

 

Science Fiction is out. Fantasy is in.

There has been a switch in my primary interest in fiction. I am positive Leviathan Wakes made me hate science fiction. Also, I am working on diversifying the fantasy section at the library and have been looking up lots of female authors whose series sound fascinating. Plus, there is V.E. Schwab, but I will get to that later.

First, a trip down memory lane…

It start with The Crimson Legion by Troy Denning. Ha! I bet you were expecting me to say The Hobbit but I read that book and hated it. I do like Lord of the Rings but I am one of the few who love Tom Bombadil more than the entirety of the last book.

The Crimson Legion had a striking cover. I wasn’t impressed by the muscular gladiator on the cover. It was the weapon in his hand: a pair of four-bladed axes tied together with a rope. Did he swing one and trip somebody? I had to find out. It didn’t matter it was the second book in the series. I actually read the series for the first time in this order: 2, 4, 1, 3, 5. The Crimson Legion is a brutal, violent, but fascinating book. Rikus and Neeva lead the recently freed slaves to attack another Dragonking tyrant. They befriend a psychic mantis warrior named K’kriq who is easily one of my most favorite characters in fantasy. The book does not end happily. I’m pretty sure I cried.

Most of the early fantasy I read came from the books based off of Dungeon and Dragons, mainly the Dark Sun and Forgotten Realms settings. There was a fun series about dwarves that I loved even though the last book had a terribly lazy book designer who stole word for word the last paragraph of the book and put that as the back cover descriptor. Then there was Drizzt. I bought Game of Thrones for a quarter at Half Price books but it took me ten years before I read it. It was okay. I was late to Gaiman discovering Sandman in college and reading American Gods just a few years ago. I listened to part of the first Wheel of Time book but never felt the desire to read all of those huge books.

Earlier this year, I heard about V.E. Schwab and her book A Darker Shade of Magic. Kell has a magic coat that is more than just one coat. He can also travel between worlds: Gray London, a dull magicless place; Red London, where magic is celebrated; White Lodon, where magic corrupts; and Black London, which has fallen. Lila is a street urchin who can never have enough knives. When their paths cross, an adventure begins.

I loved the characters and the idea behind the plot. The magic system makes sense. She could work on her world building. For a novel containing multiple Londons, never had the great city felt so small, contained in a few set pieces. But that’s fine. I read through the book super fast. I’m in the middle of the second book right now.

Our library is having a book sale right now and I found so many goodies:

I found books four, five and six in Michael Moorcock’s Elric series, something I have wanted to read since high school and I used to look at an omnibus edition at the book store every day.

I also found books one, three, and four of Moorcock’s Hawkmoon series. I know nothing about this save that the artist Matt Kish recommended them to me.

I found the Female Man and the Zanzibar Cat by Joanna Russ. Yes, sci-fi, but important.

I bought all three Dragonriders of Pern books by Anne McCaffrey. The original trilogy with the super fantastic art on the covers. I know nothing this as well, but I love dragons and most series tend to spend too little time with dragons, and I love reading a series I know nothing about. I also like getting lost.

I found the Lord Dunsany poems that inspired H.P. Lovecraft to create a Mythos.

I’m going to go play Arkham Horror and do my laundry.