Sunday, February 04, 2007

Wild Bill Blackolive: "Maybe It Was That Time..."

Maybe it was that time, but one time in the winter I hitched into Main, in purpose of getting lumberjack work. That work, would be less boring--I enjoy using an ax, if they'd let me do only that, and manually hoist large wood--and I would not have to do any muscle pump after working. I don't remember, maybe nobody hires in the middle of winter. I remember I would walk miles and miles in frozen nights to hitch hike, get into position. Yeh, one night I waited for a ride beside two frozen puddles of my own piss. I would try doing pushups to stay warm but this is exhausting, does not keep one warm enough. Another night I crossed the road to knock on the door of this farmhouse and ask for a cup of coffee, and the middle aged guy declared to me: You don't live here! But his wife said: Why, he is only a boy! I think they delivered me a quick cup of coffee, seems I did get to sit down in their kitchen. I got to a hotel somewhere before or after discovering nobody was hiring. I remember this jelly-like matter coming out of my bowels when I took a shit in the bathroom--excess of burned fat?--down in the hall in this cheap hotel. I returned to Lenny's so fast Lenny could hardly believe I had been in Main.
I went to Henry Miller's home in Big Sur, California. But only was his secretary there, who let me spend a night. I slept in a bed and room with photographs of Miller's kids, a son and a daughter, recognized from one of Miller's paperbacks of his short stories I had read in Arkansas Pass. The secretary and I had talked a little about novel writing. Or, say, the Miller type novel. Which can be the Bukowski sort, the Kerouac sort, the Charles Bowden sort, in as the secretary's notion of the novel is the author shoots from the heart without worrying is he sawing off a limb he is on. What else can be "the American Novel." Huck Finn, Moby Dick, USA novels.
Miller's secretary suggested I go see beat poet Kenneth Rexroth in San Francisco. Miller and Rexroth had had some quarrel but anyway. I reached San Francisco, with influenza. I went over to this guy with his stand of oranges some place entering the city, said: Could I have an orange for my cold? He said: An orange for your cold? What do I get for your cold? Yet, he gave me one orange.
Kenneth Rexroth, balding, pot-gutted, middle aged, answered his door in a bad temper. I stuck out my hand, hello I am...Rexroth yelled: Why don't you call first! He slammed his door. Really, I had no dime for a telephone, and sat down on his large steps to think.

c. Wild Bill Blackolive, from LAST LAUGH/ QUIET DAYS IN SAINT-DENIS #7

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