Saturday, June 04, 2016




 “Sour/The good and bad of it”
The first blackberries are late this year - it was a late Spring.
The blackberries will be that much more plentiful in fall - most will rot in the early rains.
Most did."

“Senor Heron” is the best* of me, which, however, in that respect, manifests itself rarely – the only other “still still” poem an incidental poet like myself recalls trying to perfect is entitled “Ras-a-Tanura” and was composed with the Hellenic Splendor at weeks-long anchor at that oil-loading station adjacent to Bahrein, Saudi Arabia

I observed those huge, ocean-going cows, the tankers, arriving high out of the water, gradually sinking, so that little of them remained above the water line. 
I no longer have a copy of Ras-a-Tanura, but recall Phyllis Seidel much liking it, Fred Seidel’s former wife, who seems to have retired as far away from Fred as possible in the South of France! I quite understand! The Ferguson girls did not luck out with their talented writer husbands Fred and Frank Conroy!
Even experiences that might lead to poetic moments of that kind are rare, although the Persian Gulf afforded yet a second one. A few days before arriving at Ras-a-Tanura the Hellenic Splendor passed through Straits of Hormuz, a famously tricky passage:

at half speed, say 7 knots, and at night, on a full moon, the sandy cliffs on all sides looking memorably ghostly, the silver sheen on a windless gulf, the 12 thousand ton vessel’s metal hull suddenly far less vibratious, and the porpoises surfing on the bow wave! Nirvana!
“Sour” and “Heron” are from my completed collection of chiefly - occasionally long and demanding - prose poems STEEPED IN SEATTLE [better than in an old tea bag anyhow!] 
With quite a bunch of them now pre-published, I need to make the entirety accessible - it certainly has found some splendid endorsements – fine pieces about the weather and my fine feathered friends here.

Seattle has the best summers. We are having one this June!

Summers are best in Seattle.
It’s just that you can never get all of the winter sadness out of the local noggins!

The greatest of discoveries at Urizen Books, the author and “accredited hermit crab” Michael Brodsky came briefly out from under his rock and another major novel in the making & me, merely hoping that he might like me “Heron,” he responded at lovely length:

"Michael--I've read your poem a few times. Anything I can say will immediately sound false, flat, anthologizable in the worst way.

In any event--Fact is, I found it very moving: I have the softest spot for niche birds, evidently. Am haunted by the phrase "adapted beyond all recognition". Of course a poem is infinitely more than the sum of its memorable phrases. 

Sorry--I cannot write too coherently about poetry although "I know what I like" (Dickinson, Hopkins, Mallarme, Trakl). Though by the same token I think poetry-specialist gasbags like Bloom should keep their hands off prose.

Liked, too, the split between complete fusion with the bird and delicate distancing.

I hope you continue. Hope you have many more such niche creatures up your sleeve.

I also have a set of SEATTLE SKETCHES drafted, though - with novels & one other Memoir, and the second half of The Devoloping Account of Time in Baja in need to be tied down [a la “Tie me Kangaroo, down!”] - I doubt whether the sketches will ever be more than that.  

With SCREEN MEMORIES, the memoir of my German childhood & American youth done – it was meant to be last thing I’d do, but I then figured “what if you drop dead isn’t SCR.M in some ways most important?” I realized I was tempting fate once more by shooting ahead in that manner. “At least get that done!” I told meself while continuing to noodle over the huge novel project. And so I did – but for one more revision I suppose prior to publication. Here a few Links to a few parts that I have put on line:

The Handke project

is in fair shape but for the

part, which could afford contributions from the wealth of scholars devoting themselves to that fine wrinkle in time-space that the Kid from Griffen, the Griffen Kid, “Kid Griffen” has introduced into the Logos;
and but for the

part of the Handke Project that has material on each and every one of Handke’s approximately 100 publications, withal that… who would have thought he would be so immensely productive and diligent!... 
and so you find me, too,going back into monkish mode after indulging myself by taking a month-long look at Handke’s latest play DIE UNSCHHULDIGEN & ICH, or as I might have it in Amurrcian THE NOT SO INNOCENT INNOCENTS & I BY THE SIDE OF THE COUNTRY ROAD: below link will lead you to a complex result and what the German reviewers say. 

Aside last June’s premiere of Scott Abbott’s and my translation of Handke’s THE BEAUTIFUL DAYS OF ARANJUEZ

there have been no further productions. With Seagull Books Kolkata now Handke’s chief publisher, we are far back in the que there & I am looking for someone to do it now while I am still around and need my share of the royalties. Friend and  novelist Jim Krusoe had a fine response to Aranjuez:

"I found Aranjeuz nearly unbearably beautiful and sad, though I suppose I find a lot of beauty really sad these days, like a farewell to the world. Not so much for me, though that’s coming of course, but for the dumb human race. In any case, as much as the liebestod it was the odd turns it took along the way that were also masterful."

I also need to assemble the variety of pieces I have written about Handke’s theater work into a single publication. The feat there is to have figured out how these pieces work on an audience.

Thus this finds me 
in the position tocomplete HEART-ACHE: BREAK-UP UNDER ANALYSIS; ANNOTION OF A STORY  which is a part of the huge DARLINGS & MONSTERS SPIRAL that was one reason why I left NY City in the mid-8os, and that then proved insuperable for someone who has his moments of genius* but not on as extensive and continuous a scale as the initial grandiosity required: the ball of wax I found I had written myself into, with my truly ancient Austrian-American narrator Fritz von Habsburg and his cast of patients. Thus all there will be of DM SPIRAL is a quite marvelous 50 k opening section- to continue at that point would have required total undisturbed concentration for years on end, one pointillist point an hour! In the same mode in which I composed GRADUATION BOOGIE, which took on year of living with a bee-keep, in the St. Monica Mts, just below Bony Ridge right next to the Preserve, and became the one successful legit screenplay of mine - amis ancienne George Malko, who took a close look at the original Fellinesque DARLINGS  & MONSTERS outline, suggested that if I elaborated on one extended scene it would do the trick of having a complete minuscule version of what I had in mind, and he was right.

In the process of fleshing out the DARLINGS & MONSTERS SAGA, in addition to HEART-ACHE, the Story, I have managed to accumulate and draft most of what I need for BREAK-UP UNDER ANALYISIS (B.U.A.0, but I am not going to slap slap just slap it together!

I wrote up my analysis and analytic training about ten years ago as A Patient’s Experience of his Analysis and I tell myself that the complete regression that adjudicated the event must account at least in part why me amygdala is as freshened  as a newborn billy goat’s:  Memories - especially now that I have done the memoir Screen Memories (of my German Childhood & American Youth) are so rich that I feel if I did a memoir of my 25 years in New York (which I am titling ALWAYS THE WRONG PEOPLE… and the really were during far too many crucial moments) it could be done one volume per year. There Knaeckebrod~ eat that! Not kidding! 

Reason that I am so late are not simply that I am slow and a slow digester & dreamer, and that I, a Proustian writer with a very small p,
knew as of my senior college year – with the then stories about the past written, that I needed experience of this country and the world. I then got experience in spades, up the gazoo during my 25 New York years. 

The delay is due in part, about ten years of it, to financial reasons. The small stipend I had when the carnally weak left a so distracting New York in 1985 disparu in Mexico about 20 years ago, I got the analysis and training and about 15 years of freedom out of it. I have been un-able to collect on my judgments in the many hundred of thousand dollars against an ex-partner in Urizen Books, in Palermo - not being the King of Spain, do not feel it wise to turn my King’s ransom of  judgments over to the Cosa Nostre; and, Roger Straus, culture vulture monster par excellence, dancing it then turned out on the verge of bankruptcy all those many years, managed to trick me out of three quarters of my participation in royalty-generating 20 Hesse books, chiefly there, that I brought the firm in the 1960s and that made millions for him; and his successors have been just as dastardly and not made good on the contract

and what a difference in my life and in the life of small Urizen Books

those moneys would have made during the time that these titles were really earning in the 70s through the eighties, these several hundred thousand dollar that I am out. Same set of brutal mouth on Donald Trump’s I just noticed the other day. It costs far too much to sue, especially from afar, and the titles still earn, but a pittance of what they used to. New York, city of thieves, is not for those brought up too trusting and over-protected, in my case even with bombs falling all around. Get an agent or at least a lawyer as soon as you venture into these fields. Actually, I was warned about Roger (“The Crook”) cherry-picking Straus, by Cecil Hemley, the founder of Noonday Books which he sold to Straus, and to whom friend Paula Diamond introduced me: and even so he managed it. Also, beware of the physically nauseatingly ugly – beautifully ugly is another and very interesting matter.

Also, I haven’t hustled the hustleble work of mine as I ought to have! I am not sure if anything positive derived from suddenly finding myself impoverished in Mexico. I was going to move from the so comfortable rural Mulege to Michoacan (the Mexican Michigan!) to the tribe that worships the Monarch Butterfly in the tropical conifers at 8,000 feet. The drive, the urgency with which I had left New York subsided under pastoral circumstances, a lot of Handke work had already been done, as well as my analytic education.   During those three Mexican years I translated two Erich Wolfgang Skwara novels, among them the marvelous The Plage of Siena; wrote a few Handke lectures for the annual  Austrian shin ding at U.C. Riverside, and recall working forever on the shaggiest of long shaggy screen play stories about a huge bird that is created using ancient DNA, it its incidents were amusing the hell out of me and my producer; and reading and walking and swimming a lot, and riding my mule, Durango! The work I then did in Seattle that produced Write Some Numb’s, Bitch! [link below] is priceless.

HEART-ACHE: BREAK-UP UNDER ANALYSIS: ANNOTATION OF A STORY will also be a bitter-sweet sweet and bitter memorialization of Downtown Manhattan, Tribeca of the years 1975-1985. It incorporates the gist of my “Downtown Stories” Jim the Pioner, The Fighting Building, Betsy’s Fridge, etc., and I note, now that I am well into the book, shades, at its edges, of Alan Silitoe’s Saturday  Night & Sunday Morning. I could do a lot worse than doing half as well as that. It will also most certainly the second most sex filled book by a Haverford author, which probably is not saying much considering Haverford would be a lot if we acknowledge Nicholas Baker as the current champion in that field, not just as Haverfordian. Here links to a few things along that line at Literotica:

You will not hear much from me until year’s end when friend and fellow Handke translator Scott Abbott and I will conduct an on-line discussion on the occasion of the U.S. publication, ten years after the German one, and many a year after the its publication in most major languages, of Peter Handke’s MORAVIAN NIGHT

and then when BUA comes out of the oven, or I emit one last fart as I descend into
The so-called “best of me” as someone through whom the fairy tale teller speaks too rarely, age twelve with the tale how a hill acquired the name Duevelsberg; or Sandro  freshman year, or the HEART-ACHE: THE STORY and can be, has been accessed, dragged out of me via a few translations, the sixty-five poem I translated for my edition of OH THE CHIMNEYS that I put together in the 60s for Farrar, Straus; the translation of Handke’s WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES experience left me a husk, it accessed every part of me, ARIADNE PRESS in the 1990s

And Josef Winkler’s FLOWERS FOR JEAN GENET. 
I won’t mention here those texts that dragged me down. I also knew early on that I would acquire considerable satisfaction on being an editor helpmate, servant, and the most amazing work along that line is briefly described here:

also see this:

June 5, 2016

The City named after Chief Sealth.


  1. Mein gott! You've been busy. Feels good to have so much underway. Hope you are backing it up so a lost or corrupted computer won't be a tragedy.

  2. I back up + to the cloud each day. Question is whether I can at least haLfway bring off what I have in mind for B.U.A/ HEARTCHE THE NOVEL. No more love affairs to distract me, don't need to go out in the evening, and I like my work and can fight through the times when it seems to get too difficult. we shall see how it goes the next six months, I'lllet you have a good hunk of it earlier than that I hope.x michael r.

  3. I back up + to the cloud each day. Question is whether I can at least haLfway bring off what I have in mind for B.U.A/ HEARTCHE THE NOVEL. No more love affairs to distract me, don't need to go out in the evening, and I like my work and can fight through the times when it seems to get too difficult. we shall see how it goes the next six months, I'lllet you have a good hunk of it earlier than that I hope.x michael r.

  4. I back up + to the cloud each day. Question is whether I can at least haLfway bring off what I have in mind for B.U.A/ HEARTCHE THE NOVEL. No more love affairs to distract me, don't need to go out in the evening, and I like my work and can fight through the times when it seems to get too difficult. we shall see how it goes the next six months, I'lllet you have a good hunk of it earlier than that I hope.x michael r.


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MICHAEL ROLOFF exMember Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben] contact via my website


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