Friday, September 17, 2010

Look at this guy!

Teddy in one of his many capes. Photo by Frank McMains.

Norman Mailer, An American Dream
Cotton Jones, Paranoid Cocoon and Tall Hours in the Glowstream

Media Announcement Addendum: Look at this guy! In case you missed it, the Teddy's Juke Joint story is avaiable on the WRKF website, as is a slideshow of Frank's excellent photographs of the place.Thanks to Swede, Frank and Teddy, and the flu for my sonorous delivery.

Speaking of look at this guy, An American Dream is bananas. It was originally serialized Dickens-style in Esquire, which lends it a sort of mustache-twirling, cliff-hanger air. Here the moon begs our hero to throw himself off the balcony.
Something in the deep of that full moon, some tender and not so innocent radiance traveled fast as the thought of lightning across the sky, out from the depths of the dead in those caverns of the moon, out and a leap through space and into me. And suddenly I understood the moon. Believe it if you will. The only true journey of knowledge is from the depth of one being to the heart of another and I was nothing but open raw depths at that instant alone on the balcony, looking down on Sutton Place, the spirit of the food and drink I had ingested wrenched out of my belly and upper gut, leaving me in raw being, there were clefts and rents which cut like geological faults right through all the lead and concrete and kapok and leather of my ego, that mutilated piece of insulation, I could feel my Being , ridiculous enough, what!

It keeps going and going. He hoists out-of-control machismo, wrapped in the leather of his ego, aloft like he's Prometheus bringing light and wisdom down the mountain to the mortals. I've never read a Norman Mailer book before, was really more aware of him as a cultural figure, but I'm into this. Reading it is like boxing with your drunken id.

I can't get over Cotton Jones, they might be my favorite discovery of the year, and they are playing here next week. The moon smiles upon my Being.

"Up a Tree (Went This Heart I Have)"

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