Yo. [Here's a new short story I wrote about Velveeta, but I don't care. I'm here to write about Kip Fucking Dynamite]
NAPOLEON Is Grandma there?
KIP No, she’s getting her hair done.
KIP What do you need?
NAPOLEON Can you just go get her for me?
KIP I’m really busy right now.
Kip Dynamite is an existential hero.
If Kip went sheep hunting, he would shoot the entire cliff above the sheep and cause an avalanche and take out the entire herd. Like in this bizarre story by Geoff Kronik (sweet name) over at SmokeLong Quarterly.WTF kind of story is this? The way it is written, almost anachronistic, with that most excellent title, like Turgenev or some shit: A Disagreement Between Gentleman Hunters. Glow, dude, glow.
I mean the story has many layers. Then it avalanches. Almost like a story about story-telling, in its way. It’s very Kip, I’m saying.
But don’t you think that ending is a bit much? I do, I do. Maybe we should meet over beers and discuss? Sure, let’s. Let’s meet BY THE COWS BY THE CORN BY THE FERRIS WHEEL ON THOSE FLAT BOARDS. That’ll be great. I like when I meet people and make plans but then we never do those plans. It’s like a little death.
Kip Dynamite works in the kitchen. All day he makes nachos, nachos with sausage, paella, fried egg nachos, potato nachos, sometimes even plain, chips, you know, with cheese.
A kitchen. A kitchen. A Formica counter, possibly not even Formica, something cheaper. Maybe it’s made of sighs? If linoleum could speak, this floor looks like it could tell a tale or two, though the tales would turn out to be one and the same, ending with the same old lament (I’m never getting out of this place), about not just what happens in this kitchen, in southeastern Idaho, but in all southeastern Idahos, in retro 1970s style stained cabinet kitchens, in existential Mason jars of the soul the world over. We are, in other words, already in a realm of universal truth.
Kip is the priesthood of guacamole, green and spotted.
Kip is a python and a water snail!
[Laugh or weep? Parking lot or garden? Grain swilling in the belly of a horse.]
Kip is truly and undeniably beautiful, sort of like this flash by Danica Green.
But Kip is making nachos.The nachos, like all nachos, are something larger, something epic. An indicator. A symbol and a sign. A life force. A key.
Kip is Superman.
Kip is overcoming the one person blocking his way to a larger destiny–himself.
Kip is no Uncle Rico. Uncle Rico eats raw cow and yearns for a dead illusion, The Past. While Uncle Rico has to inflate his own biceps with a series of tricks and even slightly bends the mirrors in his orange van (This, obviously distorts his image, since it is essential that the surface of a mirror is smooth, because light reflecting off of a warped surface would scatter the light, thus no clear image would appear. Think of when, after you eat Chinese food, how you take a moment to reflect on the relentless march of time and maybe what you have accomplished and certainly not accomplished with your life and so gaze at your reflection in the spoon. A blurred image, right? That’s because the surface is bent.), Kip’s mirrors are like his spine–straight. He’s a man of honor. A man who desires the beyond of himself. He’s sort of like nachos, if you think about it and I am asking you to think about it. We can all agree that chance and mischance are arranged in endless permutations, like toppings, right? Right. So what’s the center, the nail that holds the spinning arrow to the game board? Nachos.
[Sorry, I mixed metaphors there. I was sort of thinking out loud, though not really since No actual sound was created by my thinking. I read some The Paris Review today. Aren't I fancy? Yesterday I swam after an airplane, like in the wake of one reflected on a lake.]
Kip is a man of the future.
Kip is an epic, a saga.
[ "As with a parachute cord, he should at some point pull it loose, then steep in the calm reservoir wicking from his lungs." This is a lovely, lovely line. Thank you, Danielle Shutt, over at that sassy Diagram.]
Here is a poem by Sarah Levine. In Kip Dynamite’s honor, I have cut the poem from its rightful location in elimae magazine and I have pasted the poem here, replacing every instance of the words geese and puppy with the words, Kip Dynamite. I hope you enjoy:
My God is dead. My furious big veined Kip Dynamite. Quiet as soap. Soap mothers use to soap mothers. Beside river where ant buries sister and children’s knees grow thinner than apple stems.
I am a terrible swimmer. All elbows and lungs. But you, forearms swifter than slide trombones, are song. Sweet boned Begonia. Wet yellow braid caught in wind. I know your noise. Belly full of fish.
I feel sorry for my shirts. Mother sewed my name into each one. On the tag. Herman. Herman. Her man. Could I be? Could I sew my name into your pocket? Let my fingers brood and gasp.
I am jealous of the air between your knees. The dropped stitch on your hem. Kip Dynamite squawks like donkeys and you turn toward him and his bugle throat, mesmerized by the unrehearsed choir of wings.
I will pluck Kip Dynamite from the sky. Knock kneed in fields of mint and pepper. In rain when bones become spoons, a throb song. When the wings are quiet and smell of blown out candles. And you will kneel, feet bare, a wet prayer folding from your lips.
What is worth opening a mouth for? My cruel reminder of need. The honeydew, the flame. Enough breath to rustle flags. Let the shoe nearly sit. Let my lips listen into the shell of your ear. Bony roads scattered with elms and white churches.
It is still raining and Kip Dynamite is still silent and mother here is Begonia. A beginning, a beckoning. Hair in knots, world in mouth. A river cold full of stubborn fish.
Now, in Kip’s honor I will stage a scene where I shoot Kip Dynamite. I will film this scene with my phone. It is raining, so I’ll need to stage this scene inside my garage. NEVER SHOOT A GUN INSIDE, kids. I’m a professional so am allowed to shoot a gun inside, for reasons of creative necessity and a prior record of safe handling, etc. Again, don’t ever try this at home. I am a thespian and a member of a nursing union and dabble in the avant-garde or whatever so am allowed. You are not. Got it? OK, here we go, this should be dramatic. Be careful with your life, OK? Don’t treat your life like a box of clams. Don’t watch this if you have a pacemaker or feel sort of pregnant or maintain a history of freaking out at zoos, that type of thing, etc. OK? OK, right, here we go: DRAMATIC SHOOTING OF KIP DYNAMITE AS A HOME INTRUDER!
That didn’t really work out too well. Stupid. I need a lighting person, a gaffer? Is that the word? I don’t know. I need a cameraman, and my voice sort of cracked. I think I was nervous because I was in the presence of greatness, Kip Dynamite. I wonder if Kip Dynamite ever gets nervous in the presence of himself? That would be such a paradox. Anyway, I feel better now that I made that little homage. (You can say homage with the “h” silent or not. I mean it’s acceptable either way. So don’t be worried when you say that word, homage, you’re not going to be looked down upon or have anyone roll their eyes or correct you. If that does happen, step right up and say to that person, “You can say the word either way. Fucker.”
Kip Dynamite controls the universe. Don’t believe me? Turn on the nacho scene of the Kip Dynamite movie (Napoleon Dynamite, Kip’s brother, also appears). Watch how the mound of cheese grows, shrink and grows, from cut to cut. Kip Dynamite controls the size of objects with his mind. His mind is a rainbow machine, basically. He squints rainbows into existence. Also eggs, he lays them, eggs that hatch into computers.
Lena Bertone seems pretty Kip to me. I mean unique, like here, at wigleaf.
LEARNING ABOUT OPPOSITES
She asks me what the opposite of in the middle is. She’s desperate. Her little voice quivers. I repeat it to my friends. We marvel and laugh at the cleverness but she wants to know: what is the opposite of in the middle? If her vocabulary were more advanced, she would ask: what is the fucking opposite of in the middle? I don’t know what to say. I think about a parallel universe invisible and adjacent to our own; the inside-out of a potato chip bag; turning a mirror around and looking into its back.
[I glow this review of Fog. Thank yeeeeeee.]
Lovelace is the internet and independent literature’s biggest proponent of flash fiction (that and nachos), so it’s no surprise that Fog Gorgeous Stag is a collection of flash in Lovelace’s inimitable style, incorporating word play and association, alliteration, assonance and rhythmic flow, all tightly wrapped around brightly moving imagery.
Napoleon Dynamite, Kip’s provincial and boring younger brother, needs money. Kip Dynamite doesn’t need money. He has a career selling bowls. He is a professional. Napoleon Dynamite eats Tater Tots. Who does that? You have the makings for nachos in your house, and you eat tater tots. Jared and Jerusha (great name, dork) Hess have always been opposed to symbolic readings of the images in their films but one wonders about the significance of the tater tots: Has Napoleon finally understood that Kip is a mystic? Was this his opportunity to follow Kip into paradise? If so, too bad for Napoleon: The tater tots are soon destroyed by the stomping foot of a high school jock.
[My treadmill just stops. Stops while I'm running along at 6:10 mile pace. Almost throws me like a baby porpoise. I am going to paint my treadmill pink. Also my forehead. I feel like bees or mice.]
Note to self: Every time I see people eating nachos on film I have a sudden urge to eat nachos myself! Just a minute. I’ll be right back.
Well, the entire town is provincial. A cage made of mayonnaise, basically. That’s obvious. But not Kip. Just look at Kip’s girlfriend (and soon to be wife). She’s beautiful, she’s talented, she’s selfless, she’s got smarts and a hot body, she’s everything, basically, everything outside of the realm of southeastern Idaho. She is the anti-southeastern Idaho. Again, Kip is a superman. He has elevated himself into glory.
This, from The Paris Review: You know that expression “famous last words”? We are naturally curious about people’s last words, but it would be interesting to compile an exhaustive list of the first words—not just sounds, actual words—spoken in a film by actors while preparing or eating nachos, run them through a computer, and subject the results to some kind of processing and analysis. In this film the first words are spoken by Kip and they are: “Hi.”
Obviously, this is word play. Kip is in a state of higher consciousness than the other character throughout the film. He is literally “Hi.” He is the one eating nachos, making the money, marrying the heroine, winning the karate tournament, moving to Detroit, implicating us in the reciprocity of his gaze, etc. Kip is Superman. He has surpassed our failings as humans.
KIP’S NACHO RECIPE
1. Obtain Chips
2. Grate large block of American cheese over chips.
3. Zen out.
Notice that Kip soon says, “What do you need?” He’s open and gracious, though he obviously isn’t going to bring Napoleon any Chapstick. Kip’s too intelligent and caring to lead his own brother into a lifetime of addiction. Yes, Chapstick is addictive. Putting any moisturizer on lips tends to be habit-forming. Lips are very psychologically-sensitive areas. Just thinking about them makes them feel dry. Whenever a friend or even enemy of mine complains of dry lips, I have to force myself not to lick my own lips while they’re talking. (For some reason, those who complain tend to be short people, though sometimes tall friends do too.) A person starts licking their lips for no particular reason, then moisturizes, and then the cycle continues indefinitely, as saliva dries out the lips along with the act of thinking about it, and so on. But I digress. My point is Kip is a benevolent, caring soul.
Kip Dynamite designed the famous opening title sequence to the film. I’m not joking. Look it up. Kip Dynamite’s photography has been seen in nearly every major publication and a book of his photography titled, “Some Photos,” published by Nazraeli Press was released in February ’08. He was awarded “Best Advertising” for his work with Citibank and “Best Website” in the 2007 PDN Annual. He was also recently awarded “Best Book” in the 2009 PDN Annual. His work has been shown in galleries in: Paris, Milan, Buenos Aires and in the United States. So stuff it. Kip Dynamite invented unegoistic passion.
KIP I’m really busy right now.
KIP I’m really busy right now.
KIP I’m really busy right now.
[Here is a thoughtful review of my book, Fog Gorgeous Stag. I am grateful as a singing fish caught on a line of hope by Kip Fucking Dynamite.]
What am I saying? Just this. While Napoleon harasses animals (chickens, llamas, etc) and Uncle Rico drives a nostalgia van backwards and Pedro Sanchez goes into government and Deb falls into Chapstick addiction and Summer Wheatly does porn, Kip is actually LIVING. He’s eating nachos in the opening scene! Kip Dynamite is someone who in discovering himself also discovers that it is in his best interests to reject any outside notions about food values, trusting rather what he finds within himself (nachos). He creates his own good and evil, based on that which helps him to succeed or fail. In this way good is something which helps one to realize his potential and evil is whatever hampers or stands in the way of this effort. Since to Kip everything in the world is transitory, everything is being continually reinvented—again, clearly like nachos. Kip embraces this idea of change which to him appears evident, he understands the fact that since there is nothing in the world which is permanent (expect for nachos) whatever exists must eventually be overcome by something else which comes along. (Take a bean and fry it. Then REFRY it. For example.) Seeing himself and his values in the same light he knows that these aspects must also be overcome by something stronger if not by him than by someone or something else. So in order to keep up with the times he continuously reinvents himself over and over always building something stronger, more powerful, on top of what went before. Kip Dynamite therefore is the ideal of someone who has mastered the practice of overcoming himself.
That’s a damn fine opening scene. It’s so good I’m gonna close with it. I’m hungry.