Friday, November 19, 2010

Anne Brudevold, "From Barthe on Location"

Anne Brudevold

From Barthe on location

Dear D.

            Clouds are over the village. Bedded down for the night, our crew prone to horizontal refreshment, quiet, now, at last, and time to write you, my analytico.
            Today dawned, damned morning call at 4, make-up 5, shooting 6, another hectic day of Saxon, Danish, and Norman intrusion, and yours truly left behind, insomuch that many fled the land, only blowzy handmaids to hop the wag. Civil wars in the distance until opportune marriages. I victorious wear magnificent haberdashery, cag-mags end in raggedier rags than before. Aristocrats rebound to cream louts of the lower classes. Art imitates life, in a word. Why rub it in?
            Script stinks. Plagiarized, bowdlerized sop, Richard III remakes Richard III remake. As Freud notes, we kill father, over and over. Still, he haunts.
            Shakespeare again, again, again Doesn’t anybody get sick and tired, more entranced by a spider on the carpet? Imagine they have never seen Richard II.
            In the original, which you must have seen, the chive fencer with the antique vocabulary insisted as he wheeled his wheelbarrow that another had sent the girl to the halter. The audience (oh irony) knew she was churlish, drunk as davy's sow. The dilly-bag went to jackanapes. I speak to no one, except on stage. Jack Cove, our anti-hero, the matrimonial pace-maker, maundered upon the pad, until a mauley laid him. Revived by nine-eyed stargazer, until laid low, ensuite, for love and money, variable narrators. Porno if anyone cares.
            Critics conspired to post-mortem success, revived career of this aging dubitante. I hated it at the time, but analyzed personality absolves, comprehendingly dissolves.  Heck, ego a thing of the past. Life uses life, adverbially. It does me good to write you, dear D. but the cost, could you consider a slight discount? A package deal?
            Idea of course assassination, hedge creepers high jinks chuck Christian a jolly chouse and no clackbox back to babble, all stifters stonewalled. The stooks in the stoop the stock jobbers stooled. I decry art acts a black dog, bilkingly. I’m guessing you don’t get this. Shakespeare was a man of his times. I am a man of his times. That’s why I need you, Dear D.
            Director (Mythter Scheiber) usurps simile. Faithless deconstructive parasite. Imitatio his middle name.
            Personal note: one could die of boredom. We all already know great tragedies not only experienced by upper cut intestinal fortitudes. Old tripe reasserts itself. Art trivializes life, suckingly.
            Personal note: dentist appointment, Tuesday.
            The night is old. Life imitates art, wordily. I wish, after luscious kiss demanded by director, performed willingly by .....
            Cannot escape this variable narrator thing. Old hat. Old pro that I am, caught down on my marrybones to leading lady, confusing life with stage, wrong script even, mixing courtly love with the matrimonial, what the hell, wrong century, even.
            In a burst of coming to grips: reductionism has its own rewards, only. Everything reminds of something else, indeed, is. Minimalism as a style, a photocopy smudged of a photocopy. Art imitates art, artily.  Fart imitates fart, fartily. Twentieth-century cultureless. Why bother?
            Life imitates death, falsely. Question of divine origin, especially late at night, in our cups. Dear D. To be original is to be divine. I am, alas, neither.
            Stuck here in Spain without new battery for old Buick. Yet, blow-outs do not make the man, nor stalls, nor reversed cable starters shall hinder this appointed carrier!
            Out of synch ad libbing ruins one moment of sunshine in whole day. Cast eats mussels and oysters on the half shell in ruined castle, on the moors, Hebrides location. Oysters have desired effect on libido, which is never far away, in any location. Fains! Fancy-bloke seeks petticoat for divers articulations.
            Later, tape spins out on floor, endless reels, celluloid recycling be damned, so many versions of what could be, laid low. Editors be damned. My one good scene. Gardener mows the lawn, outside of ruined castle. My little Norman mistress, nine months pregnant, to the day, handpicks slugs off cabbages in the fields, pouting with her pretty little mouth, singing a little aire celtique.
            My Cyranno was sew sophisticated, confined to cause and effect. My Scarlet Pimpernel so Leslie Howardish. I rang true in Quasimodo. Monsters of deformity, the worm in the rose, the slug in the cabbage, the true hand of the maiden to pick them out, the beauty, the beast. Ah, my analytico, do you know me any longer? Must you constantly reinvent me?
            The days are getting longer, now. We frequently switch time zones. Two days ago, the day was 36 hours long. It is the spring of my discontent, and all these time switches do inform against me. If I ever get out of any of here alive, please mail me, in Express Mail Pouch, to myself. Art imitates controlled (we pray) right-brain please.
            Now, my muse, the gist, (at last, you moan?). Old fashioned expectation, however great, that there indeed exists a gist. Where does it reside? In the sky? Seen, through a glass darkly, in a cave? In an onion?  Why should gist be so important?  Sew un-process oriented. Chomsky chewed. Non Reductio ad Absurdum is my motto, my family crest, which goes on and on, in the old family castle. From whence cometh my id, etc. Life goes on. And on and on, lifely.
            Back to you, my analyst, who bear, with wadded wallet my endless harpings on the strings of my id.  Who am I to question you?
            Some days, there are the rites of passage, such as the campfire at the end of the day.  Miranda sings the folk songs of her native Brazil, Jose dances the bolero, and I, with my photographic memory,  recite the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe, from p.7 of the collected works, until quoth the raven. It does not perturb me in the least to break off in the middle of a sentence, if that is where the page stops. Actually, I attach little emotion to words. To me, they have, rather, a tonality, but I do not seek the tonic (Schenker should be tarred and feathered, run out of time on a rail), preferring the dominant, or even (shades of romanticism) the submediant "resolution."
            If the truth be know
            I expect no resolutio
            Note: Psychology not the measure of the universe.
            On location in Zagreb, the snow-covered dome-like Alps of yesteryear (her breasts).
            One stunningly beautiful moment on the phone in Saigon, the girls part their legs so laughingly, in the summer, in the hotel, on the beach. They are so nubile, like ghost-skinned fish wordlessly brought up from the depths, with their raven tenses. Never more.
            Truth a white shimmering thing. Hamlet's ghost. I and Thou.
            The being of being, without recourse to any eye, which could, of course, carelessly blink, and presto, in a moment, wipe out all civilization and, indeed, matter itself-- and in so doing, itself also, and this brings up the problem of can the eye see itself, and the self and other, and obviously, at this point, the matinee audience has long since gathered its (still) Victorian crepe skirts and handlebar mustaches, stiff with wax, and circumloquaciously trounced out of the theatre.
            An old actor, over-studied, worn as a bone, weary with my wanderings, too self-aware, a sarcastic fart.
            "Be yourself," my mother used to tell me, when I went out, sweaty-palmed, with my junior-high school girlfriends.
            "Which one? Ma?" I used to drive her to distraction with that question. "Which self should I be?"
            "Your nice, polite, respectful self, you dimwit," she used to screech, throwing up her hands. Ontology was not her bag.
            On location on Dover Beach, the cliffs stretch white away, the wash like a pale Turner, the swish, the ninth, they say naturally the greatest swish. Mood. Setting. Action.
            Dear D. In my end is my beginning. Today is my birthday.
            I grow lonely. I'd give my eye teeth for my only. I misquote again.  Love, red hot devil. I snore, flies buzz, worm seeks a cool, black hole. Today, the sky, it came to me, like a big, blue cup, and poured sunlight on my hair. I was so happy, aagh, I'm a daisy, a valentine, rue. You're a bloody lunatic is what you are.
            Ho ho. The gist. My IDentity, Horatio. Hamlet lost his keys in the snow and he is singing. How destructio. Ophelia played, again by S.S.S. What role does memory play? After all, even to hold a job these days.
            Sane in an insane world. How deconstructio. Reductio. Biblical archetypes. Pulcinella. Tartuffe. I've played them all. Immersed in identity pool. Confused. Where is coat ticket to get out of this damned theatre? Tonight we danced the tarantula, under a wishing well, in this god-forsaken paradise of palm trees and coconuts, where I, Lawrence of Arabia, lounge, breathe fire, impale heathens, coax impinging maidens into death-defying anatomically impossible positions. Otherwise, stable, the more they change, the more they remain, like statues in the sand, shaped by my hand.
            Let all of us collected in one body hear from you,
            Yours forever,

            (Barthe et al)

RECONFIGURATIONS: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture, http://reconfigurations.blogspot.com/, ISSN: 1938-3592, Volume 4 (2010): Emergence

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