So a few months ago my daughter 14 years old was given a book for her birthday from my 55 year old nephew. My daughters name is Nancy. She was given “the Nancy Book” By Joe Brainard and it was published by Siglio Press Co. My nephew purchased this book on Craig’s list. He had no idea that is was a filthy weird book. My daughter has a collection of Nancy & Sluggo things and books by Ernie Bushmiller. This book was discusting — I showed the drawings and foto’s to my friends and their reaction was the same as mine. The book was wrapped in cellophane so we were unaware it was a truly dirty rotten book. Can you imagine a 14 year old girl getting a book like that for her birthday gift. I know Ernie Bushmiller has died, he would be astounded that this Joe Brainard copied his comic strip and made such trash out it. I can not understand how you and your press company would publish such filth. The price of this book was $39.95. This was not works of art. I mean, A country road. A tree. Evening. Are these the first six words of one of the most daring and original works ever written for the stage — or the description of a panel from a comic strip? For if we’re used to the appearances of Gogo and Didi after those lines, we can just as easily picture the entrance of Sluggo and Nancy. The stylistic affinities between the writer of Waiting for Godot and the cartoonist who drew Nancy are as stark in their clarity as Ernie Bushmiller’s stripped-down depictions of Sluggo’s living room and Nancy’s suburban backyard or Samuel Beckett’s evocations of an emptied world in the “low mound” of Happy Days and the “bare interior” of Endgame. Similarly, the short, direct sentences uttered by Vladimir and Estragon, Hamm and Clov, Winnie and Willie, would fit without trouble into the word balloons that hover always over Nancy’s head, and point so unremittingly at Sluggo’s face. I’ve always found a carrot funnier than a banana, but that may be the difference between the old world and the new. But y’all have to admit that the strategy of focusing on the pink shoes was successful. “Less than 24 hours after Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis shot to national fame for her marathon, abortion-rights filibuster, Gov. Rick Perry called on Wednesday for a second special legislative session to revisit [code for pass] a sweeping [anti-]abortion bill effectively squashed by Davis’ discourse.” If Texas were anywhere else in the world (cf. Turkey, Brazil ...), it would have streets full of very angry people. But not here. Here, the fascisti know the population too well. Here, we discuss the color of her shoes. Those darling feet are not afraid of anything. A store filled with shade, store and then bees, “Oracle, oracle!” / Tranced magic, painted caves, her porcelain clothes / Willows in a blind country, protons in gold, I mean, I’m with you in Rockland, ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you're really in the total animal soup of time — / and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrating plane, ah, Anne, you are another holy goof, my Disney World Research Team reports that the only attraction less popular than the Hall of Presidents is the Crawlspace of Vice Presidents, clouds are a mind-control system created by the ancient Atlanteans, Ginger quotes Audre Lord: your silence will not save you. Still other video artists are concerned that their work might be misidentified as films. Culture One wanted to burn its limbs [Shklovskii (1919)], wash memory from its soul, kill its old [Maiakovskii (1915)], and eat its children — all this as an attempt to free itself from the ballast that was interfering with its surge into the future. In Culture Two, the future was postponed indefinitely. The future became even more beautiful and desirable [the architect Krasin (1937)], and the movement forward was even more joyous [state prosecutor Vyshinskii (1938)], but there did not seem to be an end in sight to that movement — “forward, ever forward” changed nothing: somebody yelled jump, jump and the water blurred … but I’m not fooled. A man with stench and fleas eats the sidewalk. I moved towards the collected lines of Bergvall’s poem, Dante’s, the neighborhood, as improvisational structure, as age would have it, the action of coming to, a familiar story, from its language, with a certain shape in mind, a dance about the economy, “wherein” “for” might crescendo for a while. We lived there. We couldn’t. We did. I imagined the points of this score in the shape of a pentagram. A passage of entrance or exit. I was thinking of work by Pauline Oliveros. I was thinking of “The good martyr, a black ointment of cured olives and doves, thistle and hemp.” Content-wise, a dog in a sailor costume trots back and forth across the screen singing a 1930s song. Hierarchy is incomprehensible. The real dot. The last speck of SucraSEED glints on the vinyl. Again, when I tried to explain, he insisted that I made no sense. When in frustration I said, “Lacan, you know, Jacques Lacan,” he impatiently claimed that he couldn’t understand me and had no idea what or whom I was referring to. Since I’d studied French (though long ago), had read Écrits and some of Lacan’s other writings, and had engaged in a number of conversations about Lacan with various people over the years, among them an acquaintance, a Francophone MFCC, who’d never drawn a blank when I spoke the name, it couldn’t have been my pronunciation unless I’d suddenly lost control of my faculty of speech and didn’t know it. When in desperation I took a pen and paper and wrote down the name “Jacques Lacan” the doctor grew even more annoyed and again professed ignorance. No matter what efforts I made, he resolutely refused to acknowledge this name and kept insisting that I wasn’t making any sense and was revealing my pathetic ignorance, not only of French but of English. And in the morning happiness is totally different from what you think it is. With out disregard for living human beings there could be no swapping, life does appear, and life-size you split the cylinder right down the middle and say cheese. To quote Sampson Starkweather, When faced with a moral or ethical dilemma / always use your imagination, / do not be alarmed by asparagus pee / or its cousin, beet-pee, there is no guide to being alive / just a lot of electrons and time, unfortunately / it’s true, people cannot be trusted, / but do it anyway. Looking good, Billy Ray. Feeling good, Louis. Manuela Draeger dreams. “I am speaking with other prisoners, with dead friends. We are on the shore of a lake at daybreak. The vegetation is luxurious. The landscape is extremely beautiful. Instead of contemplating in silence, we talk. From time to time, one of us leaves our group and approaches some wavelets. She stays unmoving, petrified, then she returns and reintroduces herself into the conversation. We talk feverishly about a clinic where you can get memory transplants. The debate is on the sorrow provoking the transplants. I don’t know why, we know we should stop and admire the water, the light, the trees, but we keep reluctantly chatting on subjects that don’t interest us.” But but but but. When Entwistle died I got a whole pub full of drunk office workers to drink a toast to him. It was great.
[Note: Sources: JBR; “A TRULY DIRTY ROTTEN BOOK. A FILTHY WEIRD BOOK”, at Siglio, 10 Oct 011; JBR; Samuel Beckett, and A S Hamrah, as quoted in Hamrah’s “THE BECKETT/BUSHMILLER LETTERS”, at The American Reader, ? Jun 013 (the carrot/banana bit is a shout-out to Geof Huth); JBR, FB comment, 29 Jun 013; Anne Gorrick, “Those darling feet are not afraid of anything”, at Big Bridge 17; Allen Ginsberg, “Howl”; JBR, but see Paul Green, FB comment, 29 Jun 013; Robert Archambeau, FB post, 29 Jun 013; Alex Umstead, FB comment, 29 Jun 013; JBR, but see Ginger Stickney, “Raising Ghosts”, at Green Tea Ginger, 29 Jun 013; Reid Singer, “50 Great Works of Video Art That You Can Watch Online”, at Flavorwire, 24 Jun 013; Vladimir Paperny, Architecture in the Age of Stalin: Culture Two, as quoted in Ross Wolfe, “Stalinism in Art and Architecture, or, the First Postmodern Style”, at The Charnel House, 29 Jun 013; Marina Lazzara, “Affinity Group”, at Big Bridge 17; Nathaniel Mohatt, “The Sidewalk and the Freight Train”, at Big Bridge 17; Stephanie Young, “from AVE VIA”, as quoted in Robin Tremblay McGaw, “Stephanie Young from yer Small Press Traffic Reading Earlier This Spring”, at X Poetics, 29 Jun 013; JBR; Greyhoos, “Secondary Actions”, at Our God Is Speed, 29 Jun 013 (re Imitations of Life, by Mathias Poledna); Leslie Scalapino & Kiki Smith, The Animal is in the World Like Water; Keston Sutherland, Stress Position, as quoted in Michael Peverett, “more literary detritus notes”, at Intercapillary Space, 11 Jun 013; J.J. Phillips, “Linguistic Anxiety and the Deconstruction of the Self in the Realm of the Ridiculous”, at Exquisite Corpse, via wood s lot, 11 Jun 013; Joe Luna, “Shinier & More Resistant”, as quoted in John Armstrong, “Saying Cheese with Joe Luna”, at Bebrowed’s Blog, 11 Jun 013; JBR; Sampson Starkweather, “Some General Instructions”, at Everyday Genius, 29 Jun 013; Sommer Browning, “Best Of”, at Everyday Genius, 28 Jun 013 (quoting Trading Places, 1983); JBR; Manuela Draeger, as quoted in Chad W Post, “Antoine Volodine and His Self-Interview”, at Three Percent, 11 Jun 013; JBR; Sean Bonney, FB comment, 1 Jul 013]