Monday, February 27, 2006

Novel

Chapter I.
There is a very good professional pitcher
having dinner with his wife and
her best friend, a lesbian,
at one of the nicest restaurants in town.

This pitcher -- Heels, say, Heels McGee -- excuses himself
and goes to stand at the bar.
The bartender pours Heels a Belgian beer.
His steak arrives at the table,
but Heels continues to stand at the bar
and drink that beer slowly
for five or ten minutes.

They got songs playing at the bar,
like, pop music.

A sports fan at the bar approaches Heels.
He politely nods to the things she is saying.
("Ah yes, the outside fastball.")
He does not make room for her
at the bar so she walks away.
The lesbian friend of his wife
carries Heels his steak.
It is cooked very well.

She says, this lesbian, she says,
get a load of this, this lesbian says,
asks rather, "Heels, are you having
a nervous breakdown?"
And Heels goes, ha ha,
Heels is all,
"No, I'm having
a Delirium Tremens."

Through the room the women come and go
Talking of The Da Vinci Code


Chapter II.
Meantime, there's a bunch of artists
talking about art.
All they ever do, this bunch, is talk about art.
Last night, or the night before,
one of this bunch was saying "that for instance
religious art, take religious art,
there CAN'T BE religious art, right, because
how can there be, because
ART is REPRESENTATION, right, am I right!"

He was very impassioned. He continued
in this fashion, "We have mimetic representation
and we have a willfully distorted mimesis,
but in both cases, I mean c'mon,
the mimetic factors are what is essential, right,
and religion is a lot of things,
it's a sphere for the Telos, sure,"
(keep in mind, this is an artist talking)
"and I'll give you the Logos and you know,
some other good Greek words,
Arche, Meta, Ontos or whatever, but
the mimetic and the religious?
Hand in hand? Never."

That was sort of the nature of
this bunch. The next night
they were talking about outsider art.
Really there can't be outsider art
because how can a bunch of bi-polars
do representational anything?
They either see it wrong
or they draw it wrong. "Their
kronos is all effed up."

Still, this bunch was a lovable bunch,
all told.

And while Heels stood eating
his steak at the bar
this bunch was together at a booth
discussing conceptual art.
The booth was in the back corner.
They weren't well-to-do artists,
but one of them was a filmmaker
of modest success.
Probably he'd pick up the bill.


Chapter III.
Dina: He made a joke, Chrissy. That's a good sign.
Chrissy: Sure, sure. He's joking all the time.
Dina: Has his performance been bad -- on the field or in the bed?
Chrissy: Spring Training's been a breeze, at least that's what he said.
Dina: And elsewhere?
Chrissy: Not so fair.
Dina: That's a snare.
Chrissy: Oh, I don't care.

Chrissy: It's just the way he acts when he's at home.
Dina: Like he'd rather be at home alone?
Chrissy: Yeah, or maybe there is someone else?
Dina: A little something on the shelf?
Chrissy: Give it a rest.
Dina: Give him a test!
Chrissy: You're such a pest.
Dina: I think it's best.

Dina: You need to find out if Heels still cares.
Chrissy: Some way to test if there's still love there.
Dina: It's crazy but -- kidnap yourself!
Chrissy: Oh, hmm, that's good. Er . . . schmelf.

Chapter IV.
Jeanine -- scratch that, make it Rachel -- is in the booth
in the corner but she is not as skeptical
about the reality of conceptual art as her peers.
She takes a practical approach to the whole thing.

Say, for instance, a bet.
Say, letsee, say Rachel could make
just anyone fall in love with her.

She could!
She really could.
I mean, taken as a self-conscious thing,
right, a thing that is planned,
that is intentional,
a thing she does on purpose,
she could make anyone just
fall in love with her.

Of course, we'd need to define love
(oh my oh my the more we talk about it
the more exciting it gets)
and I guess that could be, you know,
that could be sort of
the whole point.

Isn't really good art all about love?

Really good poetry is the words you are saying
really loudly on the elevator
and then the elevator door opens and
you're in the quiet part of the library
finishing your sentence so loud.
No one knows what you are talking about
but you sound like you really mean it.


Chapter V.
Heels McGee looks in,
shakes off the catcher.
The catcher signals for every pitch
Heels throws.
He calls for some chin music
but Heels shakes it off.
"Put it away" the catcher signs
but Heels doesn't seem to want to
put it away.

Then the catcher gets up
and goes to the mound.
"What is it, Heels?
I called for every possible thing you got."
"I don't know,"
Heels says,
"I guess I just don't know what I want."

The pitching coach gets up
and goes to the mound
twirling the corner of his moustache.
"What's it about?"



Chapter VI.
Look at Chrissy,
tied to a chair,
blindfolded.

She confuses
the kidnappers
by saying,
"Not so rough
I'm the one that's
paying you!"

Dina has set
the whole thing up.
She hired some actors
to do the kidnapping,
and coincidentally,
she hired
the filmmaker
from the restaurant,
Rachel's friend,
to film the ransom
video.

Can you even believe it?
Footprints of Martin Amis.


Chapter VII.
Rachel makes Heels fall in love with her
by going to all his games and
cheering the loudest.
She cheers louder than any of the
other 32,000 people at the stadium
and that really touches Heels.

Heels forgets all about the ransom
he is supposed to pay for his wife
that morning in small bills
because he is meeting Rachel for coffee.

Rachel starts to really like baseball,
which alienates her from her artsy
fartsy friends.


Chapter VIII.
Taken by Rachel's success
as a conceptual artist,
the filmmaker decides he
should do conceptual art, too.
So when Dina tells him
She and Chrissy no longer
need his services,
their test of Heels's love has failed,
he decides to become
a real kidnapper.

Why not? I mean, Chrissy is
already tied up.
He lost his friend, Rachel to baseball
and that pitcher,
he doesn't even have that much money,
so why not send another
ransom note?

If he gets caught,
surely he can just say
the whole thing was
just an Ono-inspired
performance piece
called "Kidnapping."


Chapter IX.
But Heels has a change of heart
one day on the mound.
What's important is responsibility!
So he breaks in and frees
Chrissy,
then he wins the
Cy Young award.

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