READING: TBR . . . John Horne Burns, (why the fuck did) I hardly know you . . .

No objectification or objecting this morning. Okay, one quick picture:

March 20, 2014

This photo is from the Tumblr “Where It All Happens” – click on the photo to go there.

This morning I am a BookBlogger; one, because books are my passion and two, because if I talk about ANYTHING else, it’s going to get too ugly and self-pitying, so, somewhere in the next few paragraphs, what I’ll be reading today while I do the dutiful son/brother/uncle/friend thing and try to drink enough water and eat enough crackers to convince myself I can survive the treadmill and elliptical without vomiting.

It’s been a rough week. It started Monday with some dry-heaving, balls-kicking, back-twisting, life-torquing virus thing that hit me after I left the gym. Still not quite right. Still haven’t been back to the gym. Still feel as if someone has been scraping and poking at my insides with a rough-edged tool, a kind of physical gas-lighting, slow, subtle torture that I am not quite certain is actually happening.

Not going to the gym upsets my chemical balance. I get sad. The sadder I get, the less I want to do anything. The harder it is to get back to the gym. The easier it is to convince myself I don’t feel well enough to get to the gym. Pile onto this a conflation of the illnesses and needs of others requiring my attention, the illnesses of others up-ending the moods and schedules of others which then up-end my schedule, and, too, this and that life/soul/morality challenge thrown into the mix during this time where I am – already – dealing with life armed by an already lowered resistance and …

… it’s been a rough week.

What I do, then, is bury myself in things. Like wine. Only I haven’t felt well enough to do that. I had one desperately necessary glass long around 11p.m. last night and I am still regretting it. Is that Dionysus or Bacchus decided to treat me like shit? Both, I guess. It was a gang bang of “I’m gonna hurt you” sort of thing. And, so, there’s always sleep. Only,  Hypnos – or, I guess in my case it would be Morpheus – like most of the other deities and lovers I have pursued – has been distinctly uninterested in spending time or bestowing his favors upon me of late; he, too, turned away.

But, no matter how abandoned and despairing I may feel during the long nights (and days) of my recent decline, that one thing on which I can always count, that place I can always run: BOOKS.

I read three really interesting, fascinating, intriguing books thus far this week about which I will be writing individually in order to give them their due. I am being careful with these reads and reviews as I have had something of a fever, read all three in something of a fugue, and want to make certain that what I write about each is actually relevant to and respectful of the work, about each author and their prose in a cogent, insightful and literate way.

Dreadful cover

Cover of Margolick’s bio of John Horne Burns; CLICK to see publisher, Other Press’ publicity page for this volume.

In the meantime, today, I must take the Mother-unit on some more here and there’s – and see whether or not I can return to the gym (my stomach still doesn’t feel up to it – and that wine I HAD to have last night did NOT help) – and, having been on a memoir.biography kick all week with Kenneth M. Walsh, Justin St. Germain, and Walter Kirn, I decided late last night – having finished Kirn’s Blood Will Out at 2:00 a.m. to begin Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns by David Margolick, which has been on my Kindle for months, waiting.

I am ashamed to say I had not heard of Burns until June of last year when Margolick’s book came up on my Kindle as something in which I ought to be interested. No shit. His first novel, The Gallery, has long been cited as one of the groundbreaking gay novels of the twentieth century. I’d NEVER EVEN HEARD OF IT. So, I have the bio on my Kindle, and the novel on my stack, and I am getting to both of them this week.

I TRIED to get a copy of Burns second novel,  Lucifer With A Book, but the CHEAPEST one I found was $187. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?

Lucifer With A Book

So, I guess I’ll add it to the list of books for which I troll in used bookstores and pawn shops and Goodwills and such, hoping to run across a copy that someone hasn’t realized is more valuable that Oxycontin. Speaking of which . . . never mind. Not COMPLETELY sure that reading a biography of and novel by a man who was a miserable, dyspeptic depressive is EXACTLY the thing I ought to be doing this weekend, but, there it is and here I am . . . going.

In the meantime, click here for the link to Charles Isherwood’s review of Dreadful from the July 31, 2013 New York Times.

And click here for the John Horne Burns Wikipedia page.


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