Elvis’s birthday. Whether the word is sung, mumbled or sprayed, it’s what we got. Separate from silence. The monkey’s fish, elegance. If I could I’d spend my life distilled. Reduced. Common denominator . Truth. If I wanted I could describe prison. Invite you in. Participate. But I’d rather make into wine. Soup. A stew. Fry your tears. Simmer your joy & shake & stir your anger overwhelmed desperation. Sometimes I need same from friends, no gory details. Then I need a 4 page description of rain and the puddles outside their yard. How does this relate to Elvis? Let me attempt explanation. Mother. Southern birth. A hip melody. A military haircut. A lack of regard for electronics. A love of peanut butter sandwiches & wrestled strange girls in undies. Priscilla. Lisa Marie. Drugs to wake you up. Drugs to put you to sleep. The Judy Garland regiment. American. & the breath of the Atlantic. Died quietly on a toilet. A boy’s life.
Prison isn’t so different. Sometimes I crave the cuffs. The quiet. The get away with. The brotherhood. The everything you want/need reduced. Count on a finger while your ship vast & glorious. This an iron-clad row boat. Sure it keeps afloat. Struggle to remain. On-center. Either you become Zen Buddhist or anarchist. River or basement. Window or door. Breath or gasp. Spit or shiver.
The college rock station in Oshkosh seems to be back from Christmas break. I heard Bright Eyes last night. Like my first shower in weeks.
Think of your Elvis.
In continuing with Romantic Outlaws, “we too use criminals and prisons to exalt our lives, to comfort ourselves in the face of our finitude, to defend against despair.”
“Criminals readily lend themselves to the category of greatness because they are, by definition, people who refuse to be limited by the rules and scruples that circumscribe normal lives.”
She, Martha Grace Duncan, then goes on to “other” kind of criminals, “who attracts us by his exotic qualities also embodies an intriguing mix of difference and similarity.”
I really enjoyed this book. She’s rather poetic though not so lofty to be lost but enough to engage & provoke. She got me to read Great Expectations. My relationship to Dickens was, how you say, “stay the fuck away”. Paid by page or paragraph the dude’s language is thick. Not glorious as the pain of Kerouac or Farrell or the French. But now after wrestling with this rather solid tome. I can say I danced with Dickens and though I’m not the first for next dance I will not shy. The story is wonderful. A child comes upon a criminal. The criminals of then as some now, were/are of the boogey-man kind. He actually delivers the next morn, mincemeat, pork pie & brandy. That vision itself compelled me to finish I guess for me Dickens is a packed closet. Look & linger for treasures reside. Thank you Duncan. Wow – just thought of Robert Duncan. Now there’s some sideburns. Poetry. Jess & Wallace Berman. I digress.
Outlaw, notorious or habitual criminal, weakness of the state. An outlaw was one because of “acts” was placed outside protection of the law. Now you sell dope & write poetry. For me it’s Merle Haggard. Neal Cassidy. Genet. Brendan Behan. Not some college punks who smoke dope stolen from mother’s underwear drawer. “Beauty” I suggested, is a positive aspect of life that is unaffected by penal confinement.” I think some of my favorite comparisons are that of criminal to child, “Criminals are, of course, free in their refusal to abide by the laws that other people obey, whereas children symbolize freedom in their incarnation of limitless potential.” I’m bouncing around a bit. So much of what I read applies to myself, to others within here. The strange & sad part I need to admit so so often, prison is not a deterrent to crime. It is truly a lifestyle. A belief system. A reality. Whether it be the flaws of man’s laws or the temper(ment) of the criminal. Whether social, political or individual. Outlaws. Criminals. Inmates & convicts dictate more of life then some want/can admit. Sad truth though, is some could be avoided/prevented. For now we remain. Off to the library.