thinking of doing a solo tour of poems, performance art, & music. thing is, my tour won't be a 'world', 'u.s.', or 'regional' tour. It will be a two-week Gainesville tour, complete with commemorative T-shirts and products (books, CD's). ideas include a 5-minute introduction to meditation followed by a two-hour demonstration of 'chair' zazen in a loud and busy venue like maybe an Action Research show at The Laboratory or something along those lines. another idea: "Watch Tom Type". poetry readings as a scheduled feature at the various po-events around town. the 'Bad Attempt at Stand Up' Routine I've totally not been working on. live painting! venues could include Wild Iris, The Lab, The Atlantic, Puerto Tagwa, CMC, DoubleDown, Kickin' Devil Cafe, The Bull (for Film Night, during which I attempt to view in temporal sequence all the Werner Herzog / Klaus Kinski pictures in one sitting). maybe show the skunk-ape trilogy somewhere or the films of miller & frog [get frog as a special guest]. these are just ideas. I don't think anyone has ever done a local two-week tour of their own home town. maybe it's time for some action, complete with 70s porn soundtrack. live cooking demonstrations? maybe make a documentary of the tour. I don't know...I gotta pay rent.
painting at Maude's coffee shop in gainesville, florida, the known center of the universe. it is a picture of a freak with boobs (for eyes) and a second set of hands painting a painting. in the painting's painting, the painting is screaming, "please stop", and that is the nature of my life. drinking an old milwaukee purchased on a tab that to me seems never-ending...until matt finally takes a look at it and says, "you know, Tom, it's maybe time to settle this up." i always pay, but never timely. but i always pay. never timely. that is the nature of my life.
i almost have everything i have ever wanted. that is the nature of my life. someone said, "i could use a blow job right now," and really, who couldn't? i want everyone to have a blow job.
my heart is broken for no good reason. i almost have everything i have ever wanted. i have friends, lovers, stalkers, a roof over my head...i play the victim even when there are victims worse than me, people missing hands who set themselves on fire for something they believe in, to have such conviction, i don't have that. fuck that. i'm not setting myself on fire unless it's an accident and then i'll be screaming, "no! no!" i'll go out like a chicken. a fucking yellow chicken. fucking fucking, go out fucking like a yellow chicken.
dystopia. does that mean anything? let me check the big book...spellchecker doesn't believe in it. turns out it's true: oppressive control systems. yeah, that sounds right. i am being conspired against. by me. i'm keeping me down in the art...just below sea level. the air is just above the water line. i remember a guy who told me, "i'm gonna' dunk you under four times and only pull you up once." i said that.
and man, i can not tell you how beautiful he is. what a mystery. i love a good mystery. seems to me that if you solved all the mysteries, we would be living in a buffet line at a chinese restaurant run by indonesian purple jews. even i don't know what that means. is everybody just trying to get a blow job?
when you are that beautiful, something is bound to go wrong. all the beautiful people i see on television or in magazines, when i see them in person, they look like shiny rubber monkeys. they sprayed them down with mace on black friday, and nobody ever made it to the two-dollar waffle-maker. pity.
the cause of every motion
is a force of some kind
including the one
at her own game
allowing the expanding cosmos
to speed up instead of
maybe the big bang
is really the big suck
instead of an explosion from a singularity
some inverse function of darkness reached out
to one point from all points
at the perimeter of infinity
and sucked singularity outward
into the universe we know today
a cosmic dustbin
in the vacuum of space
9/22/2011 – 953 Words
West Civ – Prof. xxchexxx
Mrs. Humphry in “The Exorcist”
This essay compares two documents: an 1889 letter to the Editor of the influential magazine, Nineteenth Century by Mrs. Humphry Ward, and an excerpt from a French suffragist pamphlet published in 1913 by the French Union for Women’s’ Suffrage. Ward’s argument rejects woman’s suffrage outright whilst the French Union for Women’s’ Suffrage presents an idea of reform, allowing women the right to vote in matters of State to positively benefit society’s future. If Mrs. Humphry had not been so possessed and defined by her static world view, she could have had the foresight to recognize that unique contributions of women in society are completely compatible with the right to vote on matters of State and Country.
Mary Ward was a best-selling British novelist. She was also an anti-suffrage supporter which is ironic as “her declared aim was ‘equalization’ in society” (Arnold). It is interesting to note that in her popular writing and her articles and letters criticizing suffragettes, she signed her name as Mrs. Humphrey Ward instead of Mary Ward, which puts forth a notion she is the property of her husband. This moniker has been opined to be an intentional choice to further drive home her philosophical point: that “constitutional, legal, financial, military, and international problems were problems only men could solve” (Arnold). Her letter to the editor posits women have a separate sphere of existence than men in which they are uniquely able to serve and provide. In Ward’s view, unlike women, men have the practical experience and physicality to enforce matters of policy, especially as it relates to foreign interests and the possibility of disagreements which can result in war. Conversely, it is the women who are naturally nurturers and educators. Ward fears that to allow women the same platitudes as men will lead to “a total misconception of women’s true dignity and special mission” (Ward). Certainly it would not be unreasonable to adopt such an attitude in the late 1800s. Hers is a conservative approach that both fears and rejects the winds of change. But as years progress, change does arrive in the form of the French Union for Women’s Suffrage.
Founded in 1909 by French nobleman and feminist Jeanne-Elizabeth Schmahl, the French Union for Women’s Suffrage sought to secure women’s right to vote. From the pamphlet published in 1913 titled, A Pro-Suffrage Argument, we are presented with the basic expostulation that as women are working in greater numbers in more diverse fields, and as she has a responsibility to her children and family, her opinions are matters of significance. Or as more directly presented in the writing, “If she [a woman] is in business, she, like any businessman, has interests to protect” (Levack 747). It is argued in this pro-suffrage pamphlet that the conditions of society will improve as women add their influence from their unique perspectives; new and better social laws will be established, the problems for women of men’s alcoholism will be addressed, and more attention will be paid to matters of health, welfare, child labor, and prostitution. In short, the temperament of a woman’s perspective can offer society more reasonable and cautioned communal options in lieu of men’s impulsive flight or fight mechanisms. Twenty-four years have passed between Mrs. Humphrey’s letter to the editor and A Pro-Suffrage Argument. Quite an incongruity presents itself when one considers that only seven years further, Mrs. Humphrey published a book, England’s Effort at the request of former President of the United States, Teddy Roosevelt in 1916. This manuscript was designed to encourage America to enter the war.
The Pro-Suffrage position in the pamphlet by the French Union for Women’s Suffrage does not, however, argue against separate spheres between men in women. Rather, it seems to suggest an overlap in which the two spheres can become interdependent for what each brings to table for the betterment of the whole of society. The pamphlet eloquently frames the importance of women as compared to men by embracing the uniqueness of what women have to offer: “Finally, her special characteristics of order, economy, patience and resourcefulness will be as useful to society as the characteristics of man and will favor the establishment of laws too often overlooked until now” (Levack 747)--which brings us to “The Exorcist.”
Mrs. Humphry was possessed of a simpler time of chivalry, when men opened the door for women and swooned for their affection. Men were known as the bread winners and women as the caregivers. The kinds of struggles and responsibilities men had to bear for women made Mrs. Humphry’s head spin. Then suddenly there is a knock on the door and Mrs. Humphry answers it. The fog rolls in, the dramatic music tones. It is the future calling! Women can now be doctors, lawyers, and clergy of the Church. Mrs. Humphry turns away and pukes rather everywhere. But the future is unafraid. It gives women the vote, allows women into the army, into higher office, into great positions of corporate power. It shakes Mrs. Humphry by the shoulders and says, “TAKE ME!” And then the future jumps out the window possessed by the devil of history, rolls down a long flight of stairs, and appears to break its neck. ‘Mrs. Humphry’ is no more. It is now the un-possessed Mary Ward who remains with us, free of her demons, unshackled from all impression of her husband’s proprietorship, living on in the words and the wake of her actions--her legacy so much more profound than simply that of a novelist, an activist, a pioneer of modern child day-care, and the inadvertent cause célèbre of contemporary copyright law. She is free, for now.
The future returns in Exorcist III to mixed reviews.
Arnold, Mary. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Mary Augusta Ward". Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh ed. Cambridge University Press.
Ward, Mrs. Humphry, "An Appeal Against Female Suffrage." The Nineteenth Century (1889).
Levack, Brian, Edward Muir, and Meredith Veldman. The West - Encounters & Transformations. 3rd ed.,. 2. New Jersey: Pearson, 2011. 747. Print.
the next act
broadway dave and his magical hand-dancing
and saunter off to the toilet
there on the lid of the toilet
is this white thing
i'm thinking it's a crack rock
and i pick it up with my fingers
like it's some delicate china
and nibble on the end to see
if it numbs me or what
and i realize it's a piece of grout
that fell out of the wall
in this laboratory of science
and some of my tooth
chips off as i flush...didn't even pee
and rush to the stage to introduce
the banjo player from some other town
who played it raw and real
his teeth were chipped too.
to think these things can get so hot
like the first toaster that cooked a grilled cheese sandwich;
are you kidding?
was it not good?
yes, i think it was.
now arteries appear,
what about us?
don't you want clean arteries?
we are moving stuff from one place to another,
don't you want us doing our thing?
the thing we were meant to do?
try life without fried food and you'll beg for
another chance to smoke
i suck the smoke
into my lungs and say
"someone's coming over"
if i get half a second to see
the sun peek over the horizon
to wink like a bordello whore
who wished for love and the way out
to look into her eyes and see
the beginning of time and maybe
somewhere in the middle
you figure it out
do the math
count the days between
what started and ended
and tell me
if a man walked on the moon
why can't I be pondered?
tiny pinches of sand from outer space
are carefully monitored
to make sure nobody gets the upper hand
if you have one of these
a fortune awaits
those who can wait
until nobody thinks it will be worth a damn to wait.
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
Ramblings of a Half-Hearted Ideologue