Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I have come to regard Twitter as the 21st century answer to the haiku;  the participant is forced to consider and reconsider words at length, re-phrase and patch until what one hopes to express is captured in 140 characters or less.  Of course this can lead to ivy posters, whose banalities cover one's walls.  If you count toilet paper sheets as you peel them off for use it veritably recalls Thoreau's consumer-consciousness, but kindly do not report these statistics.  Not each time at least.

Anyhow, I should hold my tongue, having been more than liberal in my effusions.  Brings me to today's meditation on a Twitter message I composed last night but never sent:  

Dear Morrissey,

I am pleased to see you're interacting with your public.  Given the strand of celebrity you endure it must be difficult to appreciate Twitter intimacies without succumbing under all that heavy-breathing and repetitive ass-kissing. Christ, the volume alone!  That said I find Boz a terrific songwriter, and you, with your voice, perhaps this generation's Dean Martin.  I'm 33 now and have grown sparing with compliments.  May the short math bear out the magnitude of my regards.

My reason for writing--it is quite late here;  if you still live in Rome, as I'd read you did some time back, the evening is only getting started, is silly.  I picture you drinking molasses-colored wine on an oriental rug, eyeing your landscape.  Hopefully you are pleased you decided to keep the gardeners on in the winter--a time, as borne out in Lawrence Weschler's fascinating book, Robert Irwin: Getty Garden, when those activities are most crucial.  Provided you kept them on.  And of course as a former Los Angeles resident the Getty reference was not misspent.  Provided you have a garden.  Hell, regardless.  

A man doesn't need a garden to appreciate a garden.  

There are things at work compelling a person such as me to reach out to a person such as you.  I remember the letter you wrote as a kid to NME snarking on the clique discriminations between glam and punk.  There is no writing without confidence.  And as assuredly as it's the journey not the destination it is the bickering not the resolution.  So thanks for the colors.

This is silly mostly because there is no reason;  I feel like that old man in Jospeh Heller's Catch 22 in the culminating chapter, The Eternal City--and no, come to think of it, the Rome association was not planned.  Anyhow the Americans march in to liberate Italy from  the fascists.  They find a bitter old man who wants no part of it.  He's aware of the downward arc of his culture and finds this imminent salvation both naive and condescending.  He just wants to die already.  I thought of that feeling again several years ago when the Italian journalist, Oriana Fallaci, died.  The way she accelerated a xenophobic agenda towards the end of her life reminded me of so many of the great anti-heroes.  Our love belongs to their confidence, their resolution.  They have seen the last chess moves earlier than the rest of us, and they are not smiling.  The last piece I read about Fallaci (before her 9/16/06 New York Times obituary) was an extensive, highly conflictive biographic study written for The New Yorker.  Ms. Fallaci railed against the Muslim world and its encroachment on continental cultures; it was unselfconscious and sickening.  During the course of the interview the author described how Ms. Fallaci cooked for her, and did so in an almost grandmotherly way, as if demonstrating a nurturing inclination, despite a world view that abraded it.  I bring these things up because they tie your present home soil to a feeling of spiritual decline that permits me to express without known direction, as if it is done blindly or it is not done at all.

What I'm working at is a little ethereal--I'm practically self-hypnotized--though the guys at the bar where I work would just say I'm beat--and I know there is no strategic point to which I'm coming.  This thing is a safeguard against treatises like this.  People must express themselves in haikus to one another.  Regardless of message.  Having arrived without one, and taken up more than my allotted 140 characters in the shake I'll say goodnight.  Good evening.  May your Rome rise from the bickering,  may you have even greater success still with the new record.

Warmest regards,
The auld lang syne. 

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