ZeitBites: The Personal is …

P.S. Before I even start – I DESPISE April 1. In a world gone as mad as this one, who the holy hell knows when outlandish claims and ridiculous stories and the profession of idiotic beliefs and commission of acts of hate are supposed to be a joke or put-on or joke? So, I do NOT do April Fool shit. There are too many fools on every day of every month – I only wish we COULD reduce it to one day.

The personal is … I wish I knew. Is it political? Is it didactic and dull? Is it pornographic TMI? Is it pointless to go on?

I want to be KNOWN as a writer. I want to be Joan Didion Edmund White  Charlie Smith. Yes. But, who is Charlie Smith?

libertytown coverUnable to get anyone to pay any attention to my novel – okay – maybe it does stink – I’ve been struggling with the contour and tone of this blog for more than a year. I needed an outlet once I’d lost my paid gig as weekly Ranter and Raver and theatre reviewer at the late, lamented Want to Dish, and HereWeAreGoing was meant to be that. It has morphed repeatedly. What began as hubristic on-line diary with appeal only to the approximately five people who gave a fuck that I’d lost my regular gig and killed my Facebook account, grew into a more gay-centric-pseudo-activist-political mish-mash combination musical theatre-esque fansite, from which it segued into long-form, long-term suicide note, the natural next step of which became a semi-nude celebrity worship/half-naked model-type with the occasional dick-pic adventures in the life of an aging, lugubrious gay man with sharp tongue site, and now, finally — or, rather, currently — it has become a literary leaning, book reviewing, author and agent stalking site – which still sometimes has pictures of half-naked men and bits and pieces of all the sorts of things my blog and I have been up until now.

It is, HereWeAreGoing, finally, the record and memory and shades and shadows (and pseudo-long-form suicide note) of my own personal Zeitgeist.

Thus, the Zeitbites entries. I see so much other really interesting stuff each morning as I troll sites,  Zeitbites I think ought to be shared with a wider audience, with those people whose sensibilities intersect with mine. I assume that if you are reading my blog, there is some connection to something about me, some identification of mutual or like interests. My hits and visits continue to rise, so, I must be appealing to someone — well, in my virtual life anyway — but enough about me, here’s MORE about me, in that, it’s the shit that appealed to me today . . .

Good, right? But if I could GET A LITERARY AGENT (Alice Tasman – HERE is her Twitter, she tweets about a lot of cool, add to your TBR pile books] or anyone at JVNLA LITERARY AGENCY [Click Here for rejection letters] – are you reading this? Of course not, why would they?) they would — no doubt — tell me that leading with my own 300 word precis into an essay on the same topic is NO WAY TO GET HITS. I was, when still Dishing,  REPEATEDLY told about myself by a former New York Times editor that ANYTHING LONGER THAN 300 WORDS WAS JUST MASTURBATION. Hmph. Apparently I have a rather prodigious gift for lit-jacking-off. Again, I say, HMPH. But, to prove that I CAN INDEED TAKE ADVICE – here is something short and sweet and freaking hilarious.

He’s a funny kid. A seventeen year old funny kid. A seventeen year old funny kid who knows what sells.

  • Speaking of which, here is a link to Andy Towel’s Towelroad item today about now 43 year old author,  Marcus Ewert, [CLICK HERE] who, at 17, stalked and bedded Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. I wish that I – at 17 – had had balls (and looks) enough to have taken off in pursuit of my gay-lit-icons. I can’t really remember what I was doing at 17 in any detail – although I have joEwert Ginsbergurnals and folders and boxes full of shit I wrote then somewhere in storage. Pretty sure that at 17 I had run away to California and was being rejected by flannel-shirted men in San Francisco and fucking “straight” marines I’d found eating alone in restaurants over Thanksgiving – a bad habit, that. Not eating alone, I actually miss that, but, rather, the whole “straight” marine thing. Ah well . . . seems I should have been like Marcus and been stalking Edmund White and such.

But, I didn’t. In fact, much of my life was spent surrounded by very few members of my own “gay” cohort and far too many seventeen-year-olds — who most certainly did NOT stalk me — and far too many “personal essay” types, if by personal essay one means people whose self-interest and selfishness and myopic sense of right/wrong/compromise had all to do with the world revolving entirely around their needs and wants to which all others must bow … yeah. That.

But, as my blog has morphed, grown, changed, segued, so has my life. For example, my birthday month has begun – it is now April 1, and last night I went with some dear ones to dinner at one of my favorite boites in downtown Frederick (people use the acronym DTF – but for reasons I should think perfectly obvious, I just can’t), Olives [click HERE to visit] which is usually deserted on a Monday night but was SLAMMED last evening because Roseanne Cash   [click HERE for her website] was in concert at the Weinberg Center down the street. Luckily, thanks to the MANY hours and MANY Mondays my DB and I have spent falling off renting space on barstools at Olives,  I and my friends got pretty fast service – and it didn’t hurt that my favorite bartender was working AND my favorite “I am stalking you” twenty-something waiter took care of our table. I would like – someday – to type another sentence about something that sweet, young, barely-bearded one took care of for me – but, I wouldn’t, because my specialty is discretion.

  • What? Right, after dinner we went to the Roseanne Cash concert. Have to say, loved it. Her rendition of Ode to Billie Joe is just EVERYTHING one wants it to be.

I want – so much – before I die (personal essay time again) to do ONE MORE cabaret, and I am including Ode in the set list. In any event, great night. And she did an encore of 500 Miles which – for some reason – moved me to tears.

I was moved to tears again after I got home. Minding my own business, catching up on episodes of Bates Motel, about which I am unsure how I feel, and I am assaulted by an ad for an upcoming program at the Weinberg Center, from whence I have just come. No details and no worries, but the ad pushed memory buttons – some of which were unpleasant – which is what upset me. Let me clarify without clarifying – it wasn’t so much the content or the acts behind the content, but, rather, that I thought I had cleaned all that up and it makes me feel “less than” to realize I still have some residual infection. So, I cried.

But, EVERYTHING moves me to tears. I, who don’t even like basketball, somehow got caught up in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen thing (and wouldn’t this have a much sweeter, cooler flow if that was SWEET SEVENTEEN and I could tie it all together? But, alas – as usual – sports are NOT my friends.) and on Sunday, when the Kentucky team won with that final shot by one of the Anderson (I think) twins and the camera caught his Mother in the stands . . . yep, I wept. I’m not a “straight” marine. I’m a weeping fool. No bro, all homo, here.

Like I said, ALL HOMO BRO. Or, at my age, really more ALL BROMO, HO.

In any event, this post is WAAAAAY-OVER 300 words — in fact, it is OVER 300 WORDS TIMES 4 — which I guess means I have a chronic multiple masturbation problem? Or, at my age – a gift? No. Not really, maybe when I was a seventeen year old and lacking the sense to actually search out Ginsberg and Burroughs and do something about it. Damn that was a long time ago.

Like the beginning of this entry . . . so I guess I ought sign off and do some living so I have something new about which to write. Later. Much love,

Charlie

 

 

 

 

 

Zeitbite Tuesday … I can’t blog, don’t ask me …

I really need to spend LESS time blogging and more time working on other writing projects.

As soon as I typed that I was self-snarked and taunted with the question, “Why? Who says?”

You know, I don’t know. After all the energy I have spent trying to de-program myself from being a slave to cultural assumptions about fame (you’re not a writer unless you are published in hardback by Knopf which is really Doubleday owned by Random House owned by Bertelsmann and – see, well, it’s all a huge corporate game, right? It’s not like the legendary “literary world” of which I dreamed) and economics and sex and every and anything else … still I think, “GET PUBLISHED IN HARDCOVER!”

Lol. So hard to escape the brainwashing and the zeitgeistian MUST SHOULD DO NOW YOU FAIL ALWAYS BE THIS BE THAT BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN CONTENT IN WHO AND WHAT YOU ARE.

I do want, however, to be read. And I am. (AND I THANK YOU FOR THAT) But, not by tens of thousands. My blog numbers are growing but I’m not viral, hell, I’m not even a germ.

Nonetheless, I PROMISED myself I would keep this under 500 words today. Because I do have to do my 1500 words and get to the gym (although during my web-trolling today I saw this and determined – ONCE AGAIN – I really need to find the gym where the cool boys go)

gym boys

and finish the novel I’m reading

SHOVEL READY by Adam Sternbergh - so good so far!

SHOVEL READY by Adam Sternbergh – so good so far!

and make dinner for everyone

nutribullet

Started BACK on healthy eating yesterday, I am IN LOVE with this NutriBullet blender – it makes spinach shakes you can actually enjoy.

and watch President Obama give The State of the Union tonight.

I know, it's President Obama and First Spouse, Michelle, but I LOOOOVVVEEE Michelle so much.

I know, it’s President Obama and First Spouse, Michelle, but I LOOOOVVVEEE Michelle so much.

So, only a few zeitbites.

I can’t blog because … after I read this article in New York Magazine (the only magazine to which I STILL subscribe, which says something since I used to have fifteen magazines regularly delivered) called What is it About Middlemarch by Kathryn Schulz (CLICK HERE TO READ – really, CLICK HERE because the column is KICKASS!), I was overcome by that uncontrollable GET THAT BOOK hard-on. Now, I have that book – but it’s somewhere in storage and I don’t know how long it would take me to find it and so … yeah, at 2a.m. I was downloading three different Kindle samples to see which version to buy (although there is a free one, but, I’m capitalist brainwashed and am sure that one would suck) or if I REALLY needed a hardcopy in which to note my oohs and ahhhs of pleasure, appreciation and new insight.

I can’t blog because … crap, I only have forty words remaining. Okay. Done. Follow me?

… zeitbites … Friday, January 3, 2014 … who needs hookers now that CraigsList exists?

I do my cruising now in a virtual world, as in, I have pretty much surrendered on the whole “real people” thing and accepted that I’m going to live in the books I write and read … so I stay in touch with the world (such as it is – and that’s not such – or much) via my computer during ingestion of my morning coffees. Yes. Multiples. COFFEES. And woe be to the person who tries to talk to me before – say, cup four or five which is a good thing to know before reading my morning Zeits, which, I am afraid, are a little snarkier than I would ideally like to be – as in, prior to coffee I am a suicidal, dark son of a fuckwad. (Following three images are from SICK PAGE art tumblr … follow here.)

Christopher Saccaro

Christopher Saccaro

John Estwards

John Estwards

Mike Bailey-Gates

Mike Bailey-Gates

My nephew said of me once – on a morning when I had had only one cup of coffee thus far and was irritated by a driver and started swearing profusely (although, of course, with great syntax and panache), “Does someone need more coffee, Uncle Charlie?” Yep. I’m old school. A two-fisted, heart-rate and health concerns be damned, coffee junkie. I am the Hemingway and Parker of coffee drinkers. Straight-up black. Re-heated all day long on a wood-stove to a muddy, acrid consistency if possible. All day. And I’m only on cup two now. I can’t even dress until having slammed down the first cup, cooled with ice to a gulpable temperature, after which, cup two can be a bit warmer and thus savored. Here goes . . .

car hookup

I read Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York blog (CLICK HERE)  – but not too often – because I can’t bear seeing the evidence that the New York of my youth has been decimated and the city turned more and more into a strip-mall of storefronts owned by multi-nationals. I also have the sneaking suspicion that people have been feeling this way for generations; everyone bemoans the loss of the way things were in the good old days, and – truth is – the good old days meant I couldn’t marry my boyfriend and the cops were bashing my bros at Stonewall . . . so, change is, I guess, good . . . but not always. And what Marriott did to the Algonquin Lobby (which I’ll be writing about in the continuation of my New York Chronicles – but you can read PART 1 (CLICK HERE) right now and PART 2 (CLICK HERE) -)- is INEXCUSABLE as is the loss of Colony Records which happened because, as recorded by Jeremiah: Colony Records: 60 years in same location closed when the new landlord, Stonehenge Properties, quintupled the rent to $5 million per month. Wow and holy fuck. I couldn’t bring myself to get anywhere near it while I was there this time.

Empty ShellNew York City isn’t what it was … but, honestly, it never WAS what it WAS. It was just a place, a symbol I – and billions of others – made up. Nothing is what it is, even though I say – almost every day – “it is what it is” – but, in fact, we all make everything up by filtering and interpreting and languaging the energy of reality into our own narrative . . . no two of which are alike. It isn’t so much that the emperor has no clothes, it’s that there is NO EMPEROR at all – only the clothes – fuck it, it’s Friday.

 

…friday zeitbites…2 vids of kids who make me proud…

It’s Friday and my eyes are blurred with sweat and tears (luckily, no blood) and I am feeling all Tennessee Williams from watching young people on videos making the world a better, lovelier place, including Riley Roberts testifying for marriage equality in Nevada, and Beth Crandall bringing a “Guys & Dolls” vibe to Justin Timberlake music.

It’s too damn hot. I was born for cooler climes.

The inimitable Mr. Tennessee Williams

The inimitable Mr. Tennessee Williams

The oppressive humidity and heat that radiated earlier this week belong not here in what is essentially the Mid-Atlantic, but, rather, in the deep south, that landscape strangled in the embrace of creeping kudzu and rotten with the ripe perfume of the magnolia and lilac with a hint of the stench of swamp and too, that rotting odor of the barely-repressed desires of Tennessee Williams heroines.

The only benefit of the sweltering, scalding scorch of the summer’s searing parch is the emergence of the bare-chested boys on their bicycles or bouncing, loping lazily along in laconic languor, not quite completely settled into their humanity, still part sweaty, wanton satyrs, casually concupiscent, prowling, sultry and libidinous, sticky and ripe with torrid, blistering, dangerous desires ready to explode like the thunder-storms that come and rage with the same sort of beautiful but terrifying and tumultuous, uncontrolled energy; that whibare chested bicycle boych cannot be constrained, that which must seek to roar in rapturous release; rash, incautious, heedless, unwary of and unable to contain the violence and destruction that sometimes results.

Youth. Today I am moved by two very different videos with this in common: they moved me to tears, they gave me Continue reading

IT COULD BE WORSE

Thanks to the fact that I stalk authors on Facebook who I think are geniuses, I saw a link today on Armistead Maupin‘s page (YES – that Armistead Maupin, writer of “Tales of the City” and “The Night Listener” – go ahead, be jealous) to this Vimeo Webseries called “IT COULD BE WORSE” starring Wesley Taylor, who plays (or, I fear, played, past tense) Bobby on “SMASH.” He has become my new obsession.

The Skivvies, Wes Taylor© Monica Simoes Wesley Taylor© Monica Simoestaylor, wesley headshot

It is completely riveting – especially if you have ever been anywhere near theatre. WATCH IT! My new obsession (along with genius authors.)