Nachos. No Colony. Woody Allen is a Tree.

You begin here:

And go anywhere you want…

In a really poor serving of nachos, it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.

I did not wish to eat nachos from the bottom up, but rather to go before the toppings and on the deck of tortillas, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now.

I don’t want to express alienation in the creation of my nachos. It isn’t what I feel. I’m interested in various kinds of passionate nacho engagement. The hot peppers of life! All my work says be serious, be passionate, wake up.

**

I am back training but do not want to JINX. Like all athletes and gamblers, I am very superstitious.

I did two tempo miles at 6:00 pace (12 minutes total), 1% grade on treadmill, then threw in a 5:15 burst for maybe a minute. I am trying to take things VERY easy, but my personality is hyper and once I get going…

Will now start up some fartlek to try to get back in shape.

Sawbones gave me a cortisone for the Achilles (you should NEVER inject into the heel–but I was desperate). This helped, greatly.  I see why football players inject constantly before games. Then again, they juice and Lorcet up before games, too, and I don’t take Lorcet without wine and a decent copy of Annie Hall.

I took steroids once and they made my heart roar up and down, smaller and smaller, bigger and bigger, a wild bird trapped in a microwave safe dish. So I quit them. Also my mouth tasted like shellfish. Weird. Anyway, I didn’t even take the full dose. Sold it to some gym-head off Delborn and Main.

As you know, I have, at one time or another, held every job. EVERY SINGLE FUCKING JOB. For a while, I photographed road races and track meets for a sports magazine. Here’s one I did for the Smoky Mountain Marathon, up above Knoxville, TN.

A bit staged, eh?

**

I was twenty-two feet in the air dangling off an oak tree watching the sun rise. I saw a raccoon the size of a two liter Dr. Pepper. I heard something go KWARRK! Not sure what that was, but it made my heart go all tuna salad sandwich. I think the average person sees like 6 sunrises their entire life. Those people should enter the woods and be quiet. I was in the woods and being quiet and reading No Colony.

I had a few hours so read the whole thing.

I finally got a copy. Blake would never send me one but I found one on Ebay for $345.

I called Blake. I said, “You gonna send me that magazine?”

He said, “Dude, I did not cheat at your poker game. I always raise before the flop, no matter what my cards.”

I said, “You got me confused with someone else.”

He coughed, a dry one. I lost my cell while driving in Tennessee.

The stories in No Colony vary greatly, some crazy-quality voices here, some cutting edge structures and flow. Thematically, I do sense a bit of umbrella. Of doorway. I’ve found collections and anthologies tend to hit on, or fall into, a few overarching themes. I wonder if this editor intent, or from the reader? The reader’s mind categorizes, as a default. Anyway, I thought the book, as a collection, has this as one theme (of several):

* Characters (and us, as humans) are confused, existentially. No one knows how or why they were placed on the stage of this play called inspiration, expiration, walk forward. Life. No one asked us to be cast. No one gave us any script, or even told us what the damn play is going to be about. We only know it ends, sometime n the near or far future (we don’t even know when, though your chances of acting out your role more than 122 years are very, very slim).

So everyone, as Ryan Call points out in”Sometimes Babies Act Like This And Who Are We to Question Them?”, does this: They run around in circles and pound the sides of their faces.

Or Brian Evenson might say “She muddled her way through another night at home…”

(you might want to read Evenson’s other books–he’s a tad bit of a badass.)

Or, in one of the funniest pieces (many, many of the works in this collection are funny), Sam Pink drops a little play on us.The characters stand in suburbia lawn discussing how happy they are while holding steak knives to each others’ throats.

John Cheever meet Samuel Beckett…

On and on and on. A bunch of wonderful authors hammering this same theme, with their characters sort of frozen, watching each other, seeing things fuzzy, walking around in darkness, making lists but crossing them out, husbands and wives sedated and ignorant in the beds beside them.

A wicked little book.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: You wake up. You turn to this copy of No Colony and hand it five bucks (the new purple bill) and say, “NC, run down to the store and get me some milk.”

And NC stumbles outside. Looks around for a cow. That’s how you get milk–you “milk” a cow.

But there are no fucking cows. Unless they are on people’s feet or covering people’s car seats or shoved between spun white sugar buns in a little square fast food restaurant over there next to the liquor store and the check cashing/pawn shop/discount cigarette shop and the police car idling on the curb, big-ass rangy drug dog in the back.

So NC turns down this alley. Scrambles up an overpass. Walks down the highway shoulder with the glass-cut condoms and the crushed raccoons.

And finally gets to a supermarket. Big ass green and red and all of that.

Greets the greeter and the greeter greets NC.

Sees the words MILK.

Stands in front of:

Milk

2% milk

Soy milk

chocolate milk

buttermilk

rice milk

skim milk

strawberry milk

carrot milk (I swear to you–look it up)

whole milk

ESL milk

powdered milk

non-pasteurized milk

Grade A milk

On and on and on–all caught in the hot crackle/colorful rainbow of acetylene hyper-lit shopping market aisle # 14.

Fuck, NC thinks. World all backwards-ass fragmented. All not-how-it’s-supposed-to-be. One hundred years ago I’d be kneeling in the warm musty air below a cow, cow with a name, our cow, my family’s, and I’d be breathing in that sweet hay/manure stench, and cow huffing there, me and her, in the cool morning air, and I’d squeeze the teats and hiss of milk, frothy in the metal pail: ring, ring, ring of the hot milk, the body’s milk, the pure man and cow and morning sun.

So NC seizes up. Falls to the cool floor beneath some fake cheese crackers and a big-ass Gatorade the color of neon lab krack. Grabs its stomach. Heaves, heaves–vomits up a bunch of truthful words, all its feeling inside, all these days boiling on their very own stomach juices, all these days folding in on themselves–and I like it!

Go get a copy.

Go dangle, from a tree.

Buy now (pun).

**

I feel 1/567th of this guy today.

Never watched even one of his own movies. NEVER.

We could all learn a lot from that, my friends.

*

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10 responses to “Nachos. No Colony. Woody Allen is a Tree.

  1. really wonderful review Sean, thank you. you said it very well, the overarching umbrella. it was not clearly stated in our minds, but probably came more out of taste. its interesting to see you point to it so well.

    i didn’t know WA never watched his films, that is really interesting, but may also explain the load of pure shit he dropped in the last 10 years.

  2. Thank you for that nachos photo, but, man, I hope your next one has more stuff on it. I think you like it better that way.

    Nice with the running. I ran a ten mile race (my first and maybe only) last May- 1:39 minutes. I think I came in 900 out of 2000. My knees hurt for 6 weeks. So 6 weeks later, I started being able to run again with no pain. Since then, I run 3 and 1/2 miles only. I do that twice a week or so. But maybe I’ll train again for the race in May (it is every May).

  3. Oh hell no, Blake.

    I get your point, since I have seen EVERY Woody movie, except 4. He makes one a year, period.

    The problem with your comment are the words, “pure shit.”

    Most movies ARE pure shit the last 10 years, period, by anyone.

    Match Point is shit, but not pure.

    Same with his latest.

    And Manhattan, Annie, 3 sisters, Crimes and Mis, Husbands and Wives, Midsummers night…

    All those don’t give you the right to drop that one Woody.

    NO!!!

    Go drop it on every other suck-ass director.

    ps:

    He has also NEVER arrived to accept an award.
    S

  4. bought mid summer’s night sex comedy.
    those nachos are JANKY LOOKING.
    woody allen took naked photos of his daughter, then married her

  5. It wasn’t really his daughter, not that I don’t have some other dirt on the guy (my sister’s friend is a whooer, the fancy kind), but she never lived with him– she lived with Mia on the other side of Central Park. In fact, beyond that they never lived together, I am fairly certain that he never “adopted” her, so he was in no way her father. She had 13 children. Two or three of them were his biologically, but that’s it (again, fairly certain).

    I walked by the two of them on Madison Ave eons ago, and she was literally dragging him down the street, stpomping away in her 400 shoes, swishing, pulling him like the dog he is. Poor old man. (hmm, sort of mean that…am conflicted…)

    I like some of his movies of the past ten years. Sean’s point that all other movies are more ass than his, is a good point. Match Point was so heartless.

  6. Wait: only one was his biologically? Sorry. I have not been studying my Woody Allen lately. I will say I think he’s gotten more cynical, oddly, with his recent work. I liked his middle period “heartfelt and ful” stuff.

  7. good post sean

    i did not think of an umbrella until now

  8. wait, you are injecting the heel?

    man, dont do that shit – achilles tendonitis, etc, you got to back off man. mine’s been fucked since early july. im taking at least until end of dec.
    ive been massaging it with an icecube and doing these achilles exercises.

    http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0125.htm

    i also look really dumb

  9. Ryan, we should discuss this. I pretty much had to inject by this point. I did EVERYTHING else, including PT exercises, not running for months. I injured this thing March 8, during an ultra-marathon.

    The next step was surgery…

    I’ve had ONE injection. And it very effective. I’m hoping not NEVER inject it again.

    My foot is still kind of f’d, but the achilles is much better. I am able to train right now, though not seriously.

    I am ramping up.

    S

  10. yeah, i just looked at what youre running, and basically i should shut up.

    i konw nothing about marathon/ultra.

    mine started in my calf (thought id just had a sore calf) but i think that put extra stress on the achilles. a day later i had pain right on the tendon (maybe the upper part of it), it was very stiff, rough to the touch, etc. and ive been off of it since july. id just increased to running 30-40mpw and felt good.

    it sounds like yours is much much worse than mine.

    im scared of needles and surgery. i would be scared to get a shot – i just try to keep inflammation down with ice/ibprofuen.
    some days are better than others

    i want to know how you feel after the effects wear off? are you training for something specific this fall?

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