Remembered Letter 2.2020

Anyplace, Year X
A Good Place to Rot

Old friend,

Should you find my writing a letter strange, consider the alternative: linked by small black boxes at all times, sharing small bursts of life publicly, or perhaps in a direct transmission that that you can nonetheless swipe away, leaving nothing but a smudgy residue of distraction. So: paper, pen. Would you be interested in hearing more about subvocalization and the psychological share of inner monologues, a veritably diverse phenomenon, spread amongst the population at large? I hope your brainfolds have left space for that sort of activity; even now, perchance, this letter reminding you of our mother tongue. By which I mean it hasn’t fully occurred to us how physical presence over these last years has been of tremendous importance to the both of us over this trying period.

When you write, the critics call it Whole Cloth. Of what material is never said, but we must imagine velvet. Velvety blue whole cloth, the kind you sniff inside the mask of laughing gas. By comparison, mine would be cracked sheets of rusted aluminum, blazing down a dirt path toward Gomorrah. So it was with great happiness that I learned you had agreed to write [Pio] Piopelli’s eulogy, though StrangeWays had already commissioned me with great material promise to publish mine alongside a dusty unpublished interview we finished in his famed Zeppole store on 14th Street. I look forward to the livestream of the services and would enjoy even more simply comprehending the speech in written form, which I suppose will have to wait for the English translation.

Liberating myself further from the annoying work of making a living by writing, I’ve taken to recording videos of myself reviewing books under the influence of large quantities of liquor. Pixilated Pages. The name needs work certainly, but Watch Time plus Subs are up and you wouldn’t believe what GoPro preroll brings in these days. As I said, I’ve turned down otherwise lucrative journalistic endeavors, saving actual thought for such artistry as this, surely returning the proper nobility to the actions of my wrist.

While the gravy cooks down, I should like to recount the superb evening I passed last weekend with one Mr. Floppibienz, the counterpart I’m told of Lester Ballard in McCarthy. Old friend, we lost all control of our jaws (and bowels I must shamefully admit)! But nothing could compare to the first sight I had of the man at an asexual stripclub he runs from a stage in Ridgewood, his sidetable aclutter with Speedos and bejeweled pacifiers. He’s an absolute cokehead at all hours of the day, but let me save the full tale for when my secretary returns to record our dawn-seeking adventures. I’ll have him send the notes as gifts inside ancient cloisonné boxes Mr. Floppibienz filched from the storage room of The Brooklyn Museum, where he volunteers Sundays for their Daytime Raves series.

Where does that leave us, old friend? I’ve done my part and spilled the last of this ink, so the horse is in your carriage. Would you like to know more about how Chapo has gone to visit Grayzone again to start the same disputes under different circumstances?

Dinner Party

1. It shouldn’t occur to you while preparing for the dinner party that the hosts may have disappeared, or that some catastrophe may have befallen the underlying structure of their home.

2. Should it occur to you, brush it off and watch that your garlic doesn’t crisp up too much in the pan.

3. “You always put it in too soon, fucking dingbat.”

4. Surely they’re still there, living all around you doing what they do; not gone, not sinking deeper, dissolving, into the dreadful hole the second coffee is burning through your….

5. “– it’s just that they haven’t been returning my texts, you know – do they need anything – cups! – for fuck’s sake?”

6. Try and take it easy on your drive along the bay, where the feathery clouds stretching in the hopeful autumn air shush down the buzzing, gray, eternal —

7. Undying Season of Junk Death.

8. “Gah! Don’t be so dramatic, moisty boy. Gilroy is right there on the side of the house, he’s…”

9. Doing the Change Vomit trick, but we can’t spot a dirt bike kid in sight. (The trick is a fraud and everyone knows it. He never swallowed the quarters, but kept them anyway.)

10. “I didn’t mean it. I didn’t. I just needed a little extra to save for the turkey ties,” he says, and he leads us up the porch into a yawning hole, melted flesh and charred bone, the shattered glass of a heat lamp beside an exploded stove, where once, moments before, the dinner party might have been, maybe.


The Count is present. I think He’s a He. Or it. Does He prefer It? Whatever. It or He goes by a name, probably something like Joe or Randall or Geoff. A boss name and if he doesn’t have a beard, he sits cross-legged immaculately shaved in a mid-century chair somewhere. Everywhere. And you can tell He’s wise or at least confident beyond man. Big something energy. A fucking know it all in a suit. He crosses his legs where a lot of guys, but not bosses I mean, might start to sit and then catch themselves thinking, “shit, if I keep sitting like this they’ll think my balls are all crushed up or I don’t have balls. I shouldn’t sit like this.” The Count doesn’t get anxious like that. He owns the ball-crushing type of crossed-leg, doesn’t adjust the outside of his foot to the opposite knee to appear quote unquote manly. He can sit forever like that just waiting for your inferior consult. In any case, I’ve never seen Him, but He’s there. A good question would be How do I know? Eat shit is how. Believe me, ok? He’s there and who else would I be asking my endless questions to everyday? Excuse me: To whom. To whom do I wonder how many, exactly how many, golden Mycenaean bull rings have yet to be discovered by aging archaeologists and will they all end up in the ground before the rings come out? See that’s a good one for The Count because he loves jokes too. Picture him laugh. He’s a real cool guy. And if you can’t see the smile beneath his beard you might catch a glimpse of those false teeth, a hint of panic white against a black void.

This story.

apocalyptic daydream

This story doesn’t want characters. It has a place and the names of people — — all important, but as backdrop; the what is of this brief marker in time, passing. One man, murdered over a disagreement pricing horses. Two people, seeking shelter from a hail storm, fallen in love. A beggar, earning the price of chai, recites heartbreaking poetry to camel breakers. This story wants from the reader: just one image, a crossing, from two sides of a world and the color of its shared sky. Town and country, animal and man, divided neatly across an endless track, all under an anxious low ceiling of purple, dust and rage. This story wants to go home.