I will be on The Funky Werepig radio show this evening at 9 p.m. to promote my latest books, The Kyoto Man and Diegeses, and to talk about whatever. Please tune in or check out the archive later on. You can access the show at www.tmvcafe.com. Thanks in advance to the host, Greogry Hall, for having me back. The last (and first) time I was on the show was in 2009 to promote Peckinpah: An Ultraviolent Romance.
Here's one more chapter from my upcoming novel Primordial (Anti-Oedipus Press 2014). It constitutes the beginning of serval pieces of gripping anti-climax. I completed a full draft of the book yesterday. Now it will sit quietly in an electric drawer for a year or so.
See how the monkey swings from the bowed undercarriage of Pure Energy to the collapse of numeric stability and the beginning of rawhide code? The question remains as to what is the most popular square root. This ushers us into the realm of cubic functions, but my typewriter lacks the capacity to format seven-story equations on a mere sheet of paper—I will need a CAD processor when somebody conjures the apparatus into existence—and in any case the monkey has confiscated my typewriter and smashed it over the head of a prominent trustee, one who has donated upwards of ten million dollars to the University in the last five years alone. Needless to say the trustee is dismayed and rallies with a crowbar, but the monkey has anticipated a rejoinder and fled to the bell tower, where he attempts to dismantle the primary carillon and hollow out the upper shaft. Meanwhile, in my dreams, I am contemplating the following equation:
A monkey attacks the University. He is not a big monkey but he is a powerful monkey and a purposeful monkey and the administrators don’t know what to do. They’re scared, but everybody more or less likes monkeys, even the evil, destructive ones. Prudence is required.
Faculty and staff don’t have an opinion on the matter. They left the University long ago. Or died.
Everybody here dies. Nobody here notices.
Meanwhile the monkey wreaks unmitigated havoc. How are we to negotiate his hambone antics? Right now he’s tearing through campus throwing bricks through all of the windows that have not yet been shattered by drunken students, deranged faculty, choleric staff and bored vandals.
“That’s no bonobo,” remarks the President, and takes refuge in a bomb shelter . . .
. . . inevitable postapocalyptic dreamscape clinched by the flexed biceps of Logic. When reality gets hairy, the best medicine is Hard Science. Hard Math in particular. Consider Euclidean geometry, namely the Pythagorean theorem—my theorem of choice:
a2 + b2 = c2
But even the monkey can perceive the holes in this pre-Socratic-addled configuration. Euler’s Identity presents a greater challenge:
eiπ + 1 = 0
Generally it makes sense. I understand at least three-fourths of it at first glance and can envision certain integers and combinations of integers flowing down the fiberoptic waveguides of its machinery. Integers stall periodically when they pass through the sphincter of 27a2d, and the final, bottommost plateau is deceptively conspicuous in terms of its moral stance. A bird’s eye view, however, reveals that the equation is a hoax, a kind of anaphoric pop melody that tries to be smarter that the summation of the dumb molecules that comprise its bawling physique. The monkey excitedly concurs . . . and then dies. It loses its footing and falls twenty stories down the shaft of the bell tower into the cellar. One wonders if the primate committed suicide or if its demise was a bona fide accident. Unexpectedly aggrieved (yet admittedly relieved), the administrators go downstairs, gather in a wide circle around the corpse, and wait for somebody to say something nice, sipping spoiled wine from makeshift decanters.
Here's another chapter from my upcoming novel Primordial: An Abstract. It's based on a true story.
It’s rush hour.
I accidently cut off a pickup truck with jacked-up tires.
At the next stoplight the truck pulls next to me.
The driver rolls down the window.
He glares at me.
He says I drive a faggy car so I must be some kinda fag.
“Subarus denote homosexuality? This is a Forrester, mind you. It’s technically an SUV.”
He swears at me. He tells me he’s going to kill me.
“Well, if it helps, it’s not my car. I ‘borrowed’ it from one of my roommates.” I laugh.
He threatens me some more. Then the light turns green. He rolls up his window. He flips me off.
I’m running low on gas. I stop to get some.
The pickup truck pulls into the gas station. The driver leaps out and marches toward me.
He has a patchy beard.
He wears a plaid shirt and a trucker hat and all the rest of it.
I get out of the Subaru.
The driver reaches back a bloody stump.
I am at least a foot-and-a-half taller and 30 lbs. more muscular than him.
He didn’t realize this before. Everybody looks the same behind the wheel of a car.
There’s more talk of me being a fag.
I take a step towards him.
He runs back to his truck.
As he retreats, I sort of yell at him in this resounding, preternatural death-voice. The subtext of my thesis: “You fucked with the wrong cunt.”
The driver tries to get the truck going.
The engine hiccups. The starter won’t catch.
There’s an aluminum bat in the trunk of the Subaru.
I retrieve it.
I stride toward the truck.
The driver is getting really antsy now. He peers at me in the rear view mirror. He hops up and down in his seat, stomping on the gas pedal.
I fall into a trot.
I lift the bat over my head.
I bring the bat down on the windshield of the truck, exploding it into glinting stardust.
The driver shrieks like a girl.
I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I hit the truck again with the bat. I’m screaming like a pope, howling like a holy ghost. I hit the truck again with the bat.
The truck roars to life.
Here is the thirty-seventh chapter of my in-progress novel, Primordial: An Abstract, regarding a professor who has all of his degrees revoked and is subsequently sent back to college to start over. Throughout the course of the novel, the ex-professor experiences a slow devolution from "man" into "monkey." Coming in 2014 from Anti-Oedipus Press:
I got to go to the bank.
I got to get some money from the money machine.
I put in my card and press the buttons and wait and press the buttons and wait and my money comes out. I take it, count it.
The money blows away. It’s windy.
I go inside the bank to get reimbursed. The teller gives me a hard time and she has to talk to her supervisor and they go back and forth and at one point the supervisor makes a phone call and at last they look at each other and then they look at me and they decide to reimburse me.
I count my money on the way out of the bank and when I step outside it blows out of my hands. The wind has picked up.
I go back inside the bank to get reimbursed and the teller kind of laughs at me and her supervisor comes out and laughs at me and they call somebody on the phone and I can hear them laughing really loud on the other end of the line. I’m persistent, though. Eventually my persistence wears everybody out and they reimburse me just to get rid of me, although I’m careful to explain that I’m not breaking the law, that I didn’t do anything wrong, that I can’t help it if the goddamn forces of nature are against me, against all of us, and finally that I resent the allegation, veiled or otherwise, that I’m trying to take advantage of the bank and get away with something. Apologizing like henpecked husbands, they nod perfunctorily and they dole out idle reassurances and they call me sir and so forth and I back out of the bank staring at everybody with my jaw flexed and my eyes round and wet and mad.
This time I’m careful to hold on tightly to my money in two fists but I’m pretty angry now and I don’t like those people in the bank and I might have had too much to drink earlier and I can’t hold my liquor like I used to so I may just relax the muscles in my fingers and I may just loosen my fists a hair so that the wind can rob me yet again.
Nothing happens. The wind is gone.
I open my hands and the money falls onto the sidewalk between my feet.
I stand there for awhile, like a soldier at ease, observing the crisp bills and wondering if the wind will kick back up.
At some point somebody comes up to me and sees me looking down at they money and they look back and forth between my face and the money and my face and the money and then they bend over and reach down and take the money and run away.
I run into the bank. “Did you see that!”
Nobody saw anything.
Getting reimbursed a third time is difficult but not impossible. It never is. Given enough time, the patience, temperament, and psychological endurance of the human condition will always run its course.
“At any rate,” I explain to the teller, singling her out, “why would I lie?”
I am a guest author at Seton Hill University's upcoming In Your Write Mind Workshop, which runs June 27-30. This is the first formal writing event I will attend in over a year vis-à-vis my quest to vanish into Pynchesque obscurity while focusing on bodybuilding competitions. There will be a book signing for The Kyoto Man and I will host a short workshop, among other things. More details when the schedule comes out.