Friday, May 29, 2009
I keep going back to River Valley Cemetery. (See previous entry -River Valley Cemetery.) I've there six times in the last month or so. I am both saddened and attracted to the place. Which pretty much summarizes my whole approach to life. The ground is always soggy with some kind of, (no doubt) nuclear leakage from the LG&E plant and the sludge covered hills that separates the cemetery from the plant. The area is littered with discarded wooden crosses, hand painted memorials and sunken graves. While I was at the cemetery the other day I came across a head stone, (which is pretty good, because a lot of people here don't even get a headstone.) there was an old style cameo picture, above the dates of his birth and death. He was Vietnamese. Actually the first thing that caught my eye on the headstone was the word "Vietman." It took a second for it to register, Vietman? Is that a guy who went to Vietnam? I kept looking at it make sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. Yep, it says "Vietman." Then I took a look at the rest of the headstone and saw the date, the picture and the guy's name and I thought, oh no, is this a typo? (or worse, a slur?) This poor guy, who either donated his body to the medical school for a free burial or was indigent, has to spend the rest of eternity with a typo on his headstone. A typo! Hasn't he given up enough? What's next? "Blackman."
Monday, May 25, 2009
While running for Mayor of Louisville in 2006, (Vote with Anger). I kept a journal, both for personal and obvious historical reasons. Those were heady times and I didn't want to forget any of it. Also, I thought it would be great to show people how a real grassroots campaign works from someone who was intimately involved and not some biased and partisan account by one of your bitter ex-rivals, or by some disgruntled former staffer who has an ax to grind. Which comes to the real point of this of this post. While making an unsolicited and frankly, generous donation to the Little Sisters of the Poor, I accidently included some of my campaign journals. Which, for reasons known only to them, they are now planning on publishing as is. Obviously they were not meant to be published as is. These were personal and private papers that included thoughts and feelings that were not meant for public consumption, had nothing to do with the campaign, and were only supposed to be published after my death. This is very unfortunate. When I realized my mistake and contacted the Little Sisters, they said it was out of their hands, and that there was nothing they could do. But they went ahead returned everything else but the notebooks. (To them I say, if I still wanted a map of middle earth and a tuning fork I would have kept them.)
So I've decided to go ahead and publish them myself, warts and all. I will not be shamed into going away. And just for that, I'm going to steal the title they were going to use too.
The excerpt below takes place during the summer of 2006.
None of the names have been changed.
Thursday- 8 am
Driving home last night from a Vote with Anger rally, I passed by Skyline Chili, the sign out front said, "Treat yourself to a 3-way." When I got home, I asked Denyse if this was something she was interested in. She completely misunderstood what I was trying to say. As she was leaving, I tried to explain to her, that I didn't mind if it was another guy. She seemed angry.
Friday- 8:30 am
Aside from a great front page story by Joe Gerth, in the Courier-Journal, the mainstream media has been a real no-show on the Vote with Anger campaign. We've heard back from some people, most of whom thought it was great, but we have space issues blah blah blah. We did get a response from Mark Hebert, at WHAS. He said, and I'm quoting, "We don't cover comedians." Yet you "cover" politics? I didn't want to waste any time pointing out the massive irony involved with that statement to him. Or the historical precedent of people who do comedy who have run for office. You'd need a sense of humor to recognize one. If you don't cover comedy, how do you explain the mustache? What a hack.
Tuesday- 7:30 am
Drinks at the Pink Noodle. Don't remember a lot. I think it was techno night. I did have a great conversation with a beautiful woman, who had a hauntingly deep voice. (Was she Dutch?) I woke up in a parking lot with a horrible hangover and half a condom in my back pocket. I can't get the taste of Altoids and cigarettes out of my mouth.
Wednesday- 11 am
Set up radio interview with WFPL for this morning, they never call back. It was confirmed the day before. (Stephanie somebody or other. Probably an intern.) They didn't even call me back when I asked them about the mixup. If I didn't already have an interview with the school paper at JCC lined up I'd be even more pissed. Is this a media blackout? Have they been talking to Hebert?
Thursday- 8 am
Couldn't sleep. Went for a walk. Ran into my neighbors dog, a basset hound. He asked me what I was doing out so late, I told him I couldn't sleep. I asked him why he was out wandering the neighborhood at this time of night, he said he just needed to clear his head. The dog takes a dump near the temple. So do I. It is the most relaxed I've been in weeks. When I was leaving he said, "Oh by the way, I'm voting for Kelly Downard." (The Republican challenger.)
Saturday- 10 am
Trouble at the Rud last night. Showed some of our campaigns spots at the Last Call Film Festival, and took some questions from the audience. They were unsure at first but they warmed up. All in all I thought it was fine. I was outside smoking afterwards, when Josh came up to me and said some people were upset by the profanity. What?! Are you kidding me? It was probably that asshole down front. The guy was a dick anyway, "Do you really think you can win?", he said. "That's why I'm talking to fucking idiots like you" I said. It wasn't even a serious question.
(reprinted by permission from the forthcoming book, "God Does Make Junk")
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I recently, and accidently, discovered River Valley Cemetery. It's out in the South End, off Cane Run Road near the LG&E plant. It is a bereft little place. It turns out that this is the City of Louisville's potters field, where they bury the poor and indigent. It is also the place where they bury the remains of people who have donated their bodies to U of L's medical school. When you enter, on the left, is a sign that says, "Baby Section". I didn't know what to say at the time, so I wrote some lines for a poem.
The post is dated April 28, I finished the poem today.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
What I am listening to, and reading right now.
Bob Dylan - Tell Tale Signs - Bootleg Series Vol. 8
Rare and Unreleased tracks from 1989-2006
Bob is a genius.
Dennis Wilson - Pacific Ocean Blue - Deluxe Reissue
I miss Dennis, my favorite Beach Boy.
Love Sculpture - Forms & Feelings (Dave Edmunds first band)
If you have any interest in Rock and Roll find it.
Jamey Johnson - That Lonesome Song
Latest Country Bad-Ass who actually rocks. I like it but I don't know if I feel guilty about it. So I keep playing it. I do like it. There.
Jim Carroll Band - Catholic Boy
Junkie, Poet, Rocker
First album, best album, best version of band.
What I am reading:
Cheever: A Life by Blake Bailey
An excellent biography of one of the best writers ever.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Swine Flu Uprisin' (Will start strong, then fade fast)
Craigslist Killer (An early scratch)
Arena Fiasco (A money pit, will not win or finish)
Toe-jam Football (Sire of Walrus Gumboot, brother of Spinal Cracker)
Dirty Shirley (Will be disqualified for banned subtance)
Waterboard Dick! (KBR Stables)
Ditch Mitch (A filly, always runs to the right)
Ticking Time Bomb Scenario (Won't make it out of the gate)
One Lung Left (Heart of a lion)
Reach-a-Round (Likes to run in a crowd)
Rusty Trombone (Tends to bring up the rear)