Saturday, August 25, 2018


EXCERPT # II    Once we had floated down the Little Tok we entered the “Delta” and what a Delta it is at Delta Tok Junction! We spotted    our Personnel Carrier parked on the bridge across the Tok at the end of the delta where all the Toks had become one sizable stream and we started to hoot it up and cheer and let the stream flush us towards our destination and into a big curve at a goodly speed and Lady Luck nearly drowned or froze in the glacial water thirty second and hypothermia sets in and dragged down by silt filling every pocket as the front of the raft got stuck, lodged under a not that thick sapling that had decided to grow horizontally across the river and sink its crown into a sandbank.                 If the sapling had broken in the hands of either of the seven of us, with me last, scrambling hand over hand to get ashore… we would have lost a lot more than gear. I lost a camera, but the Little Brown Books were safe. Roadrunner, who had allowed us to break out in happy cheers and let our guard down at the sight of two weeks of work well done, had packed them in plastic in his backpack. Fortunately it was a sunny day, and like very wet dogs we shook the freezing 32 % water off. This was the third and closest of the three close calls, although there is another verge of a close call ahead during which I might have frozen to death and/ or become a Wolf’s meal. We found a roadhouse to dry up and eat at Delta Junction.    About Delta Junction    Today a community of 1,058 residents, Delta Junction began as a telegraph station in 1904 and came into its own during the Chisana Gold Strike of 1913 and when it was chosen in the 1920s for the government’s buffalo importation program. Delta Junction is home to the 90,000-acre Delta Bison Sanctuary, which was created to contain a free-roaming herd of more than 500 animals. The area features spectacular views of the Alaska Range and the Delta River. On clear days the panoramas of Mount Hayes, Mount Moffit and other peaks are stunning.    After what probably was no more than a day or so of rest in Fairbanks we were off on the longest slog through the below kind of territory.      The below map shows the course of the Alaska Pipeline, and subsequently, many years after our long slog when I looked where the pipeline was laid, I felt sure that someone used our Little Brown Books, and I want some royalties too, for though we were told we were surveying a potential Fairbanks Nome road, we were heading straight north towards Point Barrow and got about midway to the Yukon I think, close to Ramparts, before we turned back. There was no road to the Yukon or what is called Ramparts on the map then.       The distance to the Yukon is about 125 miles by air and the route we explored once out of the old gold mining area now has the pipeline and the Dalton Highway, a gravel road that runs all the way to Prudhoe Bay. 125 miles, a bicyclist does in one morning if there is a flat road. You can walk it in five easy days. However, we were on a slog that stopped every quarter mile or more frequently and spent at least fifteen minutes doing our sketch, and probing the soil. If we did five miles a day we were doing well. Moreover, we were carrying about 50 pounds of stuff, and the ground was moss, the now ever so familiar resilient one or two feet “moss” cover, this Geflecht, thickly interlaced organic fabric, lichen cum what not, might indeed be regarded as being easy on your feet – our’s was not Bill Styron’s Marine’s painful “The Long March” – but that you sunk into the moss meant that you also had to extract, which is an effort, and is why the so much lighter Roadrunner had an advantage over us also in that respect, and why I call our progression a slog. Did I have all my guns along? I don’t think so. I think we apportioned the guns, there was one rifle, one shotgun and one side arm 22. Since I kept going for Grouse I seem to have brought the shotgun. We had heard, and it made a certain sense, that you could kill a Moose by shooting it in the neck with a well-placed 22 long bullet – you needed to hit a prominent vein so the animal would bleed to death. However, however many Meese we saw, and tempted, we were not near villagers to whom we could have share left-over meat.    There are no major rivers between Fairbanks directly north to the Yukon, you leave the confluence of the Chena and Tanana at Fairbanks, but there are small streams, fordable in September unless there has been heavy rain, and there had been no rain for months, and then we did some fishing before we moved on. When there were hills or we approached the “White Mountains” – yet another White Mountain range – near the Yukon the diggings became more interesting and the Professor could profess on the unusual mineral deposits or rock formation, but he never mentioned or puzzled over the question whether the landscape, its form, or frequent lack of form, its flat formlessness, promised ontologically anchored peacefulness. (see “Afterbirth/ Tremors”) I myself came upon some unusual mineral concentrations, of the kind that would become valuable to the makers of computer chips I realized years later, and some goodies valuable to miners but found no gold, and mentioned them to some prospectors I then encountered back in Fairbanks. Mica and other silicates in particular in high concentration, sheets of the material.    I don’t recall where we stopped ploughing North, but it was at the verge of the “White Mountains,” the weather turns cold by Mid-October in those latitudes, it has started to rain. What bothers me most about my memory, though, is that I don’t recall how we got back home to the road to Fairbanks. We had had a few helicopter drops of essentials, but no helicopter ferried us back home. Were we near some kind of something road-like that a vehicle could attain? Did we then do a forced march of a few days back without stopping to do our customary investigating? I literally have no idea and have not been able to locate my Roadrunner Professor no doubt very emeritus at the University of Washington if not in the grave if he died in bed. I suspect the Alaska Department of Roads has a record somewhere, if only of the last Brown Books turned in during the slog. A forced march would have been exhausting and I would surely recall, as I would some special vehicle that could navigate that terrain. My guess is that the driver who would bring us our personnel carrier when we were ready for it found a way of taking it north on some path – goat path I would say for Baja California, but that was then very far in an entirely unanticipated future. Moose run? Caribou defile?    At any event, after a few days back in Fairbanks we relocated about fifteen miles north in the old goldfields. There were a few codgers left who made a  living, sort of, sorting the dregs.  We put up a ten man dark olive U.S. Army tent not too far from the main gravel road leading through the district, by a small road alongside a stream, there were only four of us now, and then there were only two of us and the Roadrunner stayed in Fairbanks, and the wolf who followed me each morning as I did fewer and fewer hours of actual surveying, and then it not only froze at night but the frozen stream near which we had erected our big tent was covered with more and more snow and the rabbits started to gnaw frantically at the bark of the saplings and willows growing out of the frozen stream which eventually froze solid and I started to shoot rabbits with my 30/30 Mustang rifle, decapitating them with one shot – not the best way to kill rabbits, since stepping on their heads once you have made a few incision at their legs is the most efficient rabbit skinning method. But that is what I did, because I didn’t want led pellets in my meat and using the 22 long hand gun, for that it was too damned cold. At any event, I shot a lot of rabbit and shared, even with the Iowa kid. However, you cannot really live just on rabbit since rabbits have no fat. Yet when I think on that period I see dozens of rabbit running and sitting in the snow on the frozen stream, very white horizontal with grey vertical strokes indicating the saplings growing in the banks of the stream. Why do they congregate there? I had never seen them until the stream froze over and it started to snow!   The saplings I suppose. Ice by itself is too slippery. Rabbits are not good ice skaters but have good snow shoes.                   #  Now comes the day that comprises the entirety of the experience at our last surveying post, the one time we were not on the move. And this is how it begins. I have had a good nite’s sleep as has my enemy; that is, we have slept 14 hours, as though we are bears starting to hibernate – actually the bears have beaten us to it - I haven’t seen a bear of any kind for weeks. If we have not got the proper amount of sleep for this time of year the Iowa boy with his scraggly beard and I would most likely bite each other’s heads off, angry as bears. As it is, after thawing water I make some instant coffee and oatmeal. Well, yes I climb out of the tent and take a pee in the snow at a spot where the snow is yellow. In addition to the thermal Army underwear and clothes I don a heavy duty parka and insulated pants, I pack a roasted rabbit, take my spade and rifle, and don my snow shoes! A good day to penetrate the permafrost after you hack your way through the frozen layer of moss! A good day for banana fish! And head out into the snow, carrying the spade and the rifle, on snow shoes. After about a hundred yards I turn around to check whether my companion has joined me. Yes, he/ she has. My friend, the neighborhood wolf, who started shadowing me within about a week of my solitary, brief and utterly useless expeditions.    I am not sure what to make of this wolf, it is most unusual for him not to be with his pack. Is he a miner’s pet who is looking for a new hook-up? I start leaving rabbit carcasses, and he disposes of them. I try talking to him, but he never comes closer than 50 yards.    I find the general area I am supposed to survey. I take off my gloves, take out a pencil, and make the roughest of preliminary sketches, and put my hands back into my gloves, Then I do something very stupid. I try to dig through the snow with one of my boots inside a snow shoe because I don’t want to sink up to my knee into the snow! It is that deep!  I am bent over forward…. and something freezes in my back, it is a shooting pain, and I am unable to move, I can’t even lift one leg, and my upper body is parallel to the snow. Well, maybe I will freeze to death and the wolf will have a really good meal off this big rabbit are the thoughts that go through my head as I allow myself to fall to the side, hoping that my back, that has locked up, that is frozen with pain, will thaw, loosen up in a more comfortable position – as it obviously did, and I forgot how long it took, and I did not acquire frost bite and my friend the wolf did not approach any closer. And the experience of letting myself fall becomes the metaphor for “fear of falling” in my analysis with Dr. R.!        On the 4th of November 1960 I voted half a dozen times for John F. Kennedy in Fairbanks and the bum still loses Alaska to Richard Nixon because you can register and vote at six different polling stations at one and the same time. I expect that if someone bothered to check someone might have come by to arrest me. However, since Nixon was the clear winner no one seems to have noticed. My address is on Airport Road, it’s just a number, it doesn’t say “Mom and Pops from Montana’s Firefighters Camp”. I make love to Alma but Alma continues to have a main squeeze who is out of town, a lumber jack working in South East Alaska. If I had been her main squeeze and she had asked me to move into her teeny cabin I would have given the matter serious consideration, no matter that the wages of cabin fever -  jealousy induced shootings - had been on display at the Fairbanks Court all summer. I kept saying “I think I am going to stop seeing you,” but then seeing Alma again anyway, and she kept pointing out the contradiction to me. Alma knew how to get the best from Connie Lingers, and she was not te first hussy who knew how pleasure is to be obtained. Cabin fever shootings were regarded as an extenuating circumstance, the way the Mistral, the Föhn is in the Alps and in the Pyrenees. The standard punishment was two years. These trials were what folks in Fairbanks watched for amusement in the summer. I would have found out what living with a woman was like, after all I hadn’t done since my days as a kid, for seven years, with my governess, and that had ended in what felt like murder! But this was not the time that I would find out the devastation that the early imprisonment had wrought; after all, I was living out the reaction to it, in the wilds, but now snowbound, and without a job. Alma didn’t live in Fairbanks but in the adjacent College, where she had a job as some kind of assistant. I tried to keep up a tenuous link to the rest of the world which is so easy to lose if you are out in the field, tht kind of field, for such long stretches of time by reading the N.Y Times at the Fairbanks and the College libraries. One item that caught my attention then is worth noting. It was an account of the U.S. Army training Cuban soldiers in Guatemala. Castro and Che and their overthrow of Battista were a big deal to me. Hm, wonder what Uncle Sam is up to now!? Occurred to me. What Uncle Sam had been up to became devastatingly clear the next summer as I happened to be on the balcony of Frank and Patti’s apartment around 110th / 96th street and Amsterdam Avenue, about the 20thfloor. The final nail in whatever delusions I had retained. Thus, shocking as it was, the assassination – I was with Frank and Wilfred Sheed at Frank’s place in Brooklyn Heights – was not that surprising, no end of folks had reason to eliminate the charismatic president. And I always referenced the fact that all this was freely advertised as about to happen in the New York Times and that I had read about it in Alaska.             Alma mentioned one matter that has always stuck with me as a possible alternate life. The University of Fairbanks was host to an émigré Austrian biologist who ventured out each summer looking for a possible surviving band of UR-beavers, the kind that were 12 feet long as compared to the present-day six feet critters. His theory went that with all the thermal springs in Alaska – Fairbanks had the nearby Chena Hot Springs – it took just one band near a hot spring. I felt maybe he ought to get together with my professor of Geology. Perhaps there was also something wrong with his timelines, did they mesh? At any event, I regret never meeting the man.                                    I never took Alma to the Timberline – and am trying to think why I didn’t, probably because we were both so eager to fuck once I was briefly back in town. I had planned to take Kim Novak there, just to see what my friends would make of a lively girl like that. What if she had talents as a vocalist? Roadrunner pulled me and the Iowa kid back into town about the time that I injured my back, the finishing touches on the evaluation of an alternate route through the wrecked landscape of the gold fields would wait until Alaska’s late Spring set in. It appeared my tile and marble man’s apprentice papers might get me a job laying ceiling soundproofing tile in a supermarket under construction. But construction was halted for the winter. I went by the offices of the Daily News Miner, the Fairbanks paper, and talked to their editor in chief about a job they had advertised, reporting on Indian Villages. He misheard Harvard for Haverford and I had the job… it entailed spending one week each at one Indian village after the other and filing reports on everything that had transpired since the last time a reporter had shown up, births, marriages, deaths, dog fights, fish catches and then the bush plane took you to the next village. All winter long, all long winter long, and if I hadn’t spent that unfortunate 4th of July in Koyuk with my friend Dominik I would certainly have said yes. It could have got me a job as an anthropologist subsequently I suppose. The good editor was so so eager to find a body for that job. More bush planes crashed in Alaska than anywhere else and they still do. What to do certainly pre-occupied my thoughts. Making money while adventuring in strange parts was an attractive proposition – for example, driving trucks delivering nitro glycerin in the Venezuelan oil fields was extremely well paid but also extremely lethal even after seeing the Wages of Fear just once. There was the rumor of deep sea diving for conches in the south sea islands… that combined fantasies of Gauguin’s women with wealth, the only, and what an only, was that I hated to get my head under water – it reminded me of governess-like confinement! If I had known that the negative role model of my childhood had his own Safarilanda in Mozambique, and not be a ships chandler in Lorenzo Marques any more, I would have gone there, I cannot imagine why not I was in great shape after these nine months, I felt secure as a hunter – not that I would have stayed forever. A cousin photographer went later and was appalled by the racism. Who knows, I might also have joined Freelimo, my political persuasion, and my revolutionary fervor certainly went in that direction. In the future I would get along better with Africans of all kinds than with any other group of people. It was a matter much on my mind, even during the partying nights on Chena Ridge and during one of those nights with my mind drifting off it hit me, and when it hit me it was like a jolt went through me, and my friend Carlson, sitting next to me, said “You have just reached a big decision.” And what a decision it was, it was a seizure – I was seized by Pound’s ABC of Reading! And the kinds of madnesse that a life along those lines affords exceeds the wilds of Venezuela and the South Seas and Mozambique (see Postscriptum).    I had started to go to Chena Ridge, where the drop-outs from down-under, the lower 48 who had not gone to Ibizza or Majorca were wintering by leading very much a McCabe and Mrs. Miller life, Darmouth outdoor fellows. These were all big tough big-boned – big-boned is what comes to mind first - fellows and they loved to drink and brawl and I quickly concluded that I was merely semi-tough if that, 150 pounds and small-boned. And the equivalent women, several from Texas. I had recollections of what the comparatively gentle Munich Fasching had been like that had left me exhausted four years prior. There were orgies and then there were orgies. I had a crazy wild utterly obscene fuck in my Nash with a blonde who and I picked each other up on Chena Ridge. I woke up the next morning with a serious case of the willies, I was spooked. I had had this idea of driving back south on a now, snow-packed Alcan highway. The idea disappeared as I sold the car, asked Mom and Pop to take care of my guns and grabbed the next plane, it happened to Seattle.

Monday, August 20, 2018


Mossback opening is as full of comforting platitudes and clichés as my old dog is of ticks or as my favorite frog has laid guppies. I know it is one of the hottest summer, but is even the moss turning brown? Mossback seems to have entered his dotage. When was Seattle livable? When the original inhabitants were being displaces, when the hills were washed into the bay, during that extended building spree? When the Chinese were being expelled after they had built the peculiarly named ship-canal, when the Japanese were interned?
Seattle was a one factory town as it is in the process of turning into but of another kind. It was also home of the Wobblies and Hooverville. It is an American city and suffers all the problematics of U.S. Capitalism.
I take Mossback’s word that for middle class kids it was nicely laid back at one time, as I think it is now if you have enough bread. And not to be too bloody-minded, I have noticed old-timers who had that kind of comfy childhood and life and within limits I enjoy their presence. I know and have read of a few other American cities of which the same is the case, Charleston S.C., Ashville, Savannah, St. Barbara, of course, is the most unexpected gem but it takes a bucketful of gems to live there.
One of my first impressions of Seattle on coming here in 1994 – to see some green and have some rain after a decade in desert-like environs. and get to know some relatives who had emigrated to the region around 1900 and started the Vancouver stock exchange, build Normandy Park, become the saviors of Issaquah and of some coal-mining and be interned for their effort when the U.S. entered the war on the side of the U.K. in 1919 – was of Aurora Avenue, at the end of which there lies no aurora, but the usual American hustle, American survivalitis as I call it, its bedrock or is it its bed of nails?
I needed a library card and being worthy the U.W. afforded me and I came to know the humanities there as anything but illustrious. Good hospitals, good science and tech work. Aside my work as a longtime NY editor and translator I had a side profession as dramatist-translator adaptor and discovered that what was called the “greening of America” in the Seattle in the mid-90s was graying and had not laid good roots and I found Seattle to be profoundly unconducive to artistic activity, too anal, folks are always cleaning, too many narrow-minded supervisors, in short provincial in the wrong way. I also found Seattle to be cheap, historically for the reasons of historical memory of whence the immigrants came.…/seattle-uconducive-to-arti…
However, Seattleites, like Americans in general - as I came to know them as an occupation force as of 1945 - are nice folk, amazingly considering what life puts them through, at least as long as you don’t become too intimate. I, of course, have had the most amazing negative experiences here but they are not unique to Seattle, and I have had them, as I have had positive experiences, no matter where I have set foot, even in the Kolkota of 1972.
No doubt Mossback is right about the dust eventually settling from the regional expansion; or of course it may not and by compare to scores of American cities Seattle is still preferable.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

ROCKY excerpt # 6 from WRITE SOME NUMB'S, BITCH!

“ROCKY,” THE MONSTROUS HOMOPHOBIC DWARF      And then there was Rocky. Getting to know Rocky, really getting to know him and no end of the wrinkles of Rocky’s evil being made the entire tele-marketing experience worth its gruesome while.                                                                                                                   Rocky stood about four feet six inches tall and had the head of a serious old-fashioned cast-iron gas lantern. In analogy to Boris Karloff and Boris wannabees the lantern tapers from a wide square top to a slightly less wide, angular, squarish bottom and to a jutting jaw; a true Butthead in other words, very early vintage, Rocky has lobster claws for hands and these claws are attached to fragile, thin, stubby, shortish forearms, and these forearms are joined by stiffish, creaky, underdeveloped, flattish, gnarled elbows to equally weak upper arms. One of Rocky’s feet is a club, and Rocky’s hideous bray lacks no compunctions about threatening to use it as such. Perhaps a malformation due to thalidomide or one or the other wonders of the chemical industry that has wreaked havoc in the agricultural lands of which the Yakima Indians have been dispossessed in south-central Washington, on the eastern side of the Cascades, this freak of nature must have been, until the mid-fifties, one of the most monstrous beings ever to emerge - be expelled? crawl out? Plucked? - from between a woman's thighs, and this no doubt is why his natural parents had so unnaturally deposited him sans dog tag on another family's doorstep. At which point “Rocky’s” luck started changing for the better: not many such depositees get as lucky as Rocky did, his finders keepers had backed Rocky up, when Rocky got an A in the compulsory driving class but, for insurance reasons, never was allowed to put claw to wheel, these parents taught him how, and so on; but maybe the world's luck started changing for the worse, because once you got to know Rocky it was a hard call whether the old adage about drowning the runt of the litter should not have been invoked in this instance, and so spare the world the expense and pain that Rocky brought into it.                                                                                      Rocky was not just an oversized lobsterish dwarf, he was also an overweight dwarf, Rocky looked pregnant, and though when he was in good humor I tended to over-look his many physical malformations, yet when the ague sputtered out of him, which was most of the time, it appeared that Rocky was pregnant with hate and that he might give birth, at any moment, to a Baker's dozen of little Calibans, it was at such a furious rate that hate, the death instinct as he so easily personified it when love so easily ceased to bind it, kept geysering forth from out of Rocky’s mouth, hate's vent.                                             Day men receive few incoming calls on their own lines, the lines are not only nearly always off hook, and usually its identity is blocked, and the number is given out most discretely, which is why there's a common "call-back" line. Rocky’s lobster claws, however, to operate his own telephone, required a headset, but with his head-set attached to his lantern Rocky was "on line" and unable to receive incoming calls. Only with headset off could Rocky take the few incoming calls from the few people who had the number of his direct line, but to be able to do that Rocky had to take off the headset and lean one elbow down to his desk to use the amplified speaker phone there, arduously clutching and squeezing an ordinary receiver to the side of his head while the speaker phone broadcast his wife Donna's venom. - Rocky had to use a pencil to dial his numbers. Many a morning, at City of Hector, as I had only occasionally at Cain+Able Productions, I put “Rocky’s” headset on for him, placing the set over Rocky’s lantern top and its sparse growth of porcupine hair; fitting a flat, black, three inch long and half-inch-wide placer just above Rocky’s right ear, locating the ear-phone pad over his left ear and then "scrinching" [cinch + crunch, Rocky’s contribution to English vocabulary and the lingo of tele-marketing: "Scrinch, Michael"] tight the two metal bands that, via a plastic cinch, connected the two parts of the placer-ear-phone caliper contraption. The penultimate step in this procedure was to adjust the transparent, plastic straw and its metal-tip microphone in front of Rocky’s small anal mouth that, like a baby's, frequently needed wiping, and finalment - the last touch in this procedure of dressing Rocky into the world of the electron – I, or whoever, would clip the small, plastic, gliding, clothes-pin-like snap of his headset's telephone line on to Rocky’s T-shirt, clipping it on in just such a way as neither to leave too much nor too little slack in finicky Rocky’s line to give him sufficient room to twist his lantern about. - Rocky’s T-shirt was invariably as thick with dog-hair as any dog owner's carpet, so that Rocky mostly smelled like Begera, a dog with the kind of doggy smell that you who liked doggy-smelling dogs would really like, thus transferring some of my fondness for dogs, but that was all, onto Rocky.         
Rocky can, with great accuracy, be described as a compulsive, rabidly uninhibited hater. Most of all, inveterately, Rocky hates homosexuals, which must have been, and so obviously continued to be, his greatest fear: when Rocky was young, being a freak in Yakima, being homosexual was probably the freakiest thing those who had replaced the Yakis [undoubtedly related to the Yaquis far further south, and not only linguistically] could fear being, and Rocky being already several degrees to the left of the pale, being homosexual he would have been completely off the scale, everyone with an accent was suspect. Freud's "narcissism of the small difference" loomed like a Sasquatch in his nightmares; and so the easiest way for me to get a rise out of Rocky was to threaten to have a mild lunch with him at the Wild Rose. Invariably this joke produced a babbling brook of horrified, anxious homo-phobic and anal-reaction-formationed blusterering. Living in a world whose homosexuality he feared closing in on him, Rocky yet is sharp enough to mimic joining the enemy. The Swinger Ron Badger explaining to Rocky that he'd gotten some of the best young pussy at spots like the Wild Rose left Rocky completely non-plussed, and Rocky had to seriously ask how you might make love to two women at one and the same time. In that abattoir of language abattoirs, the City of Hector, “Rocky,” who had to pretend to be one of the Joneses when it came to making claims of heterosexual exploits, managed to achieve the zenith of the grotesque, the zenith of the nadir as it were, and though I spare my readers little, this nadir is one of them.                                                                                                                              Obviously in fragile though sufficient sturdiness to make it to work nine mornings out of ten, riddled with castration anxieties, it was anything but a surprise that Rocky lived in terror of the consequences from A.I.D.S. Yet Rocky fancied that he had the good looks of Rock Hudson, which however, homophobic that Rocky was, put his vanity in the quandary that if he claimed to be as good looking as Rock Hudson they might also think that he might be as gay as Rock Hudson had been, of allowing people to compare him to Rock Hudson which is why, because he was so hateful, he was called Rocky in the first place, but then hated for the knowledge of what had contributed to Rock Hudson’s death. He did and didn't want to be associated with Rock Hudson not even in the slightest verbal fashion except in the mirror by himself: was terrified of the consequences, socially and personally, and how all these intertwine, of really being him. But what with all of Rocky’s racism [at his training camp, “Intelligent Marketing Solutions,” Rocky had kept a noosed rope with thirteen knots in his desk] and taking his hate out on features that differed from his despair at being so far off the map off the standard lower middle class American pink-skinned W.A.S.P. model, Rocky [of course] flinched the first time I called him - small, pregnant, pink, half-aborted, lantern-headed sow though he looks - a "jughead." Rocky could dish it out, but he couldn't take it; not even the slightest ribbing; anyhow, not right off the bat he couldn't, it took him a few times around the block to avert the inevitable ribbing by bringing up the subject himself. Rocky had his sensitivities, and he had to steel himself to numb them, as who doesn’t. - The crucible of “Rocky’s” identity had been hate and pain, thus his identity was forged, and since he was so proud of his pain, there it resided inside him, immovable as Plymouth Rock. Flannery O'Connor would have loved him.                                                                                                                                    When Rocky’s rare flights of good humor went the way of the will-o'-the-wisp, his pain threshold being so easily pierced, Rocky became a pain to anyone in his proximity, and it took months of close acquaintance to become aware that Rocky, so far at least, had always pulled out of those crucifixions on his cross of hate. And, also, that he would take immediate advantage of these rekindlings to regain what favors he might have, meanwhile, squandered.                                                                                                         The reservoirs of Rocky’s strength wore out more quickly than did other folk's, his lousy circulation dimmed the tip of his nose, of his elbows and of his fingers and probably of all his other extremities, in the direction of the snouts of the only thing, aside some hefty cash at week's end, that might make Rocky beam - that is, in the direction of the snouts of his beloved dogs, Buddy, a Shelty, and Begera, a Beagle-sized light-brown brown-nosed Lab. - Rocky’s Husky-violettish nose-tip became the object of fascination of my observing eye. This tip was like a barometer: the darker Rocky’s snout, the darker and more aboriginally jackelish Rocky’s mood.                         Rocky was born in pain and Rocky had to shoot himself with a couple of 222s a couple of times a day in his club foot and several other spots not to feel too excruciating; that is, he did not carry an interestingly calibered rifle but was an Ibuprofen addict, Ibuprofen laced with codeine; and it took a dummy like me a while to catch on to the fact that Rocky, being so disadvantaged, had yet managed to finagle and beg no end of ways to get his way, and that his adopting parents had, if inadvertently, "spoiled" him [not that everyone shouldn't be all the time!]; that Rocky traded his disability and the near constant pain he claimed for his feet and joints for all their arthritic and goutish worth in sympathy, indulgence, forgiveness and helpfulness, and that the more you helped Rocky the more he hated you because he hated himself most of all because needing to ask for help or being helped kept reminding him of how needful he was.                                                                                    Rocky used, moaned, whimpered his disability for every small advantage that it might provide him or that he might gain by his own intelligent and ungiving doing. Rocky was a case of “hospitalism” if ever there was one – thank you Dr. Leo Spitz for so apprising me. There he, a ferociously good telephone salesmen, stood again by your desk begging like Begera for some good bones you might throw his way, there you had to deposit the requisite coins in the coke machine for Rocky’s favorite Orange Crush, open his various doll's house sized lunch jars and unwrap his cookies for him, and if you didn't he became a threatening and ornery s.o.b., knowing full well that no one but his knowing wife Donna might hit a paraplegic who then claimed that he had allowed her to hit him! – The fact that he had a wife at all! - Once when Hector, at The City of Troy, was dicking him, and in this instance it really meant sticking his permanent hard-on in his punk shorts against Rocky’s body, the victim asked Hector to "step outside" - which offer flummoxed this boxer, who looked like a white Jackie Robinson, into a state of utter bafflement. – Donna, Rocky’s wife, cracked a milk bottle over “Rocky’s” head every few months.                                                                               
Rocky was Cain +Able's galleon figure, its mascot; and shortly after Rocky left this good ship to telemarket The City of Hector's Nile Shriner deal there would be no more Cain+Able, in part because, in good part because of Rocky’s ugly doings on the telephone. Rocky could get too threatening, to smash in someone’s car window, whose car window then happened to be smashed in by some hoodlums; and too insulting: sometimes folks whom he had just "sold" overheard him cussing them for being cheap. Rocky sold few folk twice, one reason - a second was Bill's getting all the good "taps," - why Rocky kept pouring over the new business listings in the Journal of Commerce and would spend his business men's lunch hours calling information for their number.                                     If only for the reason that at Hector's Police Guild deal Rocky and I found ourselves for some weeks working out of the same room [as well as we did subsequently at "Able Company Services," as which one half of Cain+Able was reborn after the A.G. had shut it down, in good part because of Rocky’s doings] I came to know Rocky better than any other of the Cain+Able "pros:"             talk about a paraplegic foundling who had found a way to assert himself; in Junior High by smashing a stool against the face of some brat who wouldn't stop taking out his cowardliness out on an apparently defenseless runt, Rocky sent that coward to the hospital for a week of stitches and a life-time of guffaws, or so he claimed, the truth in Rocky’s mouth, as it pertained to himself, had a way of becoming as distorted as his limbs. Some of the Cain+Able owners' joker friends continued to abuse-tease him, say Joey, a Cuban-American, who had learned Bronx jokes and talking Bronx in the Bronx and never lost its farty sense of humor in pulling garbage bags over Rocky’s head, the coward's victimizing knows no end.                                                                              Though once you get to know Rocky you could imagine a wealth of reasons for wanting to do serious damage to him, and once you met old co-workers of his you learned of many who had had the same impulse to string him up or smash a stool over his head, still I was astounded to hear [and during Cain+Able's K.C.P.U. anti-domestic violence campaign] that Rocky’s wife, big Donna, who stood about 6 feet tall, had banged his lantern with a milk jug, allegedly for buying 2 per cent instead of one percent milk, and Rocky looked pathetic and sad when Donna had beaten him up, the moment he entered the door that morning he had that off look, you could tell something had happened, for day's on end Rocky was in shock. Rocky, with his love of his "children" Buddy and Begera, in relationship to which you could not even kiddingly accuse him of bestiality without incurring his serious wrath, would certainly have been happier off tending a kennel than telemarketing. And Donna, until one day I had dinner with her and “Rocky,” indeed sounded as hateful as her beating up a paraplegic makes her sound, and as she often did resound on Rocky’s telephone speaker.                                                                  Yet with all these of Rocky’s characteristics, you needed to pay proper respect to the fortitude with which Rocky had addressed the life that fate had bestowed on him, and to the intelligence, gnattish-lensed though it was, with which he addressed the problem of surviving - and in the tough world of telemarketing "badge deals" at that, as well as appreciate those rare moments when Rocky was in fine-king-of-the-hill fettle, as he was when - his specialty - he had had a good week fleecing "fish heads" as he called his Asian American victims, his most hated ethnic minority, and Mexicans as he called all Hispanics, using, when all else failed to obtain a "sale," the threat of "immigration" and withdrawal of the "green card." At those rare times when Rocky was sputtering happy guffaws, he made for a one of kind of unrestrained theatrical experience and his performance shamed any hiccup that W. C. Fields or Fellini had elicited in me, if only these performances had had the happy hilarity and absurdity of the Marx Brothers.                     But it wasn't just for the reason that Rocky, that hate-filled counter-phobic coward, took advantage of the disadvantaged, and that he was filled with near-boundless hatred of what he considered different, that he came to signify to me the naive emblematic heart of lower class white America [surprisingly, unlike Rich Seahag, who was improbably so, Rocky was not a Reagan democrat] yet subscribed to three of the single most boring underpinnings of American ideology, ideology as lie, ideology as patent absurdity upon the slightest realistic reflection: [1] never to give a sucker an even break, [2] that you could make it on your own, [3] that there are a million losers born each and every day [nearly as many, of course, dying too], and that [4] life was a winner take all proposition; and he believed these fictions despite the fact that he in each and every contemplated respect was living proof of their fallacy.                              Following this grotesque line of convenient mental maneuvering, Rocky indeed gave no one a single break, I tested him once and it took a week for him to split a deal of mine he had walked in on, but he only did it because I had used the threat of no further help. Using my cut of a ten-ticket sale to "The Black Pearl" to buy 20 dollars worth of splendid food from that splendid Chinese Restaurant for the City of Hector's night crew, if niggardly Rocky wouldn't give up a few spoonfuls to make up a plate for a latecomer. - And by no means was Rocky a depression era dwarf. Since Rocky had worked as a day man in telemarketing for close to a quarter of a century, since for those many years he had kept the company of crooks and thieves and folks who took the slightest edge you gave them and tried to grab another edge, he had become such a one himself; and it took some great digging in the fallow fields of goodness to find a residual ounce of human kindness in a soul which was as malformed as the body that housed it.                         Let it not be said, that though Rocky read only one book and that it took him a year to do so, that Rocky was dumb, even though he claimed after reading this piece that he “did not understand it.” Rocky specialty at telemarketing was to write "picks" from Mom and Pop type operations, at City of Hector Rocky averaged $ 500.00 a day in sales, all of them “picks,” ranging from $ 48.00 to $ 160.00 - that is, half a book plus that one $ 8.00 ticket "for traffic reasons," a book of ten $ 8.00 tickets, and the occasional book of twenty tickets. Of course those tickets didn't come in "books", that was a telephone convention, just another telephone sales trick, like the "traffic reasons" the traffic reason being that nothing under $ 48.00 was “picked” by the daily driver.                                                      Rocky, being who he was, it of course shouldn't have come as much of a surprise, as it did to me, that he was an ultimate pro in some respects. What choice had he had? Come Friday, or whenever it was essential to cash in one of those hard-earned telephone commitments, Rocky would go pick them himself [Donna too would send him picking, errands for her - he did so, he said, because he knew what was best for him, Rocky resided in the safety of his knowledge that no one but Donna might hit a cripple! who after a few weeks would come up with the face saving excuse that he had let her!] especially his own, and the agility with which his creaky-elbowed claws manipulated the wheel of his personnel carrier also came as a surprise, and that he tailgated like a fiend, even during the downpour that Saturday we took I-5 down to Milton to the Puyallup Indian reservation cigarette stores to save 25 per cent per pack. Rocky was penny-wise and -ante to the point of self-endangerment and an accountant's nightmare.                                  
Rocky was also a creature of tightly set routines. He was on time, at 9 a.m. his first task, like the best drug dealer or stock broker in town, he confirmed the hard-phoned "picks" for the driver: "You remember, one of our volunteers is going to stop by today... if you happen to step out, could you leave the check under the mat [or with a neighboring store]." And, oddly, didn't mind the time spent confirming everyone else’s picks, too. Rocky had learned the hard way the evanescence of badge-deal commitments. “Rocky,” thus, would have made a great dispatcher. Setting the "picks" was “Rocky’s” bread and butter. He was the ultimate pro at it. Money in the bank: ought he have lived off disability? Which only allowed him some measly extra income per month at that time, and a wife with a K-Mart's hairdresser's salary? Ought he have done that? What with not just a big but ugly head with a sharp mind inside bereft though he was as to what to do about the consequences from attacks of the ague?                       Rocky had learned to work his Zippo lighter out of his pants pocket and light himself one of the chain of Marlboro's that enchained his lungs. One elbow leaning on the hood of a car, supporting the tragic cast iron lantern, the other hand smoking, is the ultimate snapshot memory of Rocky.                                                             Rocky must be a known quantity to the businessmen and women, especially to Asian Americans and Hispanics, in King County, State of Washington, population 1,500,000, as a scourge. Rocky was a pit bull to them, yet sensing a certain kind of elastic resistance might give an inch at a time: "If you can't do a book of ten [tickets that is at 8 bucks a pop], just this morning I had to cut one of them in half, perhaps you can do half a book," or "I'll find someone else to do half a book," saying which had been preceded by his not altogether meretricious spiel regarding traffic reasons that allegedly made difficult the cutting of books into smaller denominations, not completely meretricious I say because there was a $ 48.00 cut-off for "picks," at least until the end of a drive, when a second driver might come aboard to pick-roust just about any dead-beat. - From this "cutting of books" I, who specialized in residential sales and in selling the family ticket that admitted six for 35 dollars, my ears exposed to someone who insisted on paying 20 dollars evolved the grisly line “of hating the sound when I had to cut the third child in half!”                                                     Rocky didn't allow the caller an edge in - that was "the secret" I concluded, noting that beating a victim down with an uninterrupted and uninterruptible pitch was the one common denominator of truly successful badge deal phone men. Rocky didn't let him or her to get off the line ["The word ‘no’ is not part of this conversation."] or try to palm his call off onto another day or the afternoon or onto the bookkeeper or, worst of all, to someone in "human resources" - human resources is a voice mail grave site if ever there was one! It is the black hole of your voice, no echo, no call back, no never.    Making a call Rocky became "just an old guy who was doing about as well as you'd expect an old guy to do." That "old guy" was his response to the rejoinder "and you?" that had greeted his initial "how are you doing today?" "Oh, about as well as you'd expect an old guy...." As a youngster Rocky had been in young Ronald Reagan's line of work, Rocky had recreated baseball games, from box scores, not from the ticker tape. And that's what you heard in the imperturbable and invariable patter of his pitch. Rocky could have been a great sports caster, he was that good, his pitch was constant, consistent and exciting and on pitch, Rocky never missed a beat, and when all this failed ["I'm done" was the calculated, abrupt end of his uninterruptible pitch] to produce a sale, Rocky not once failed to pronounce a requisite curse or to emit an obscenity for every T.D., that is 'turn down' not a touch down you idiot!                                                                                             But the most telling detail about Rocky comes from one of his former and again current Able Services boss, Bob A. Bob once saw Rocky work his club feet in such a way as to untie the laces on his club boots whereupon he went to ask Bob if he'd tie his undone shoelaces up for him. No wonder that Rocky occasionally looked so pleased, that you could also catch the secret tyrant beaming; and when we were both back at the old phone grounds, that now bore the insidious name "Able Company Support Services," if Rocky didn't try his shoe-lace trick on Bob Able in my very presence - albeit with a new pair of club boots "whose laces didn't tie properly." He noticed Bob A. and me exchange a knowing glance, and only if he ever reads this [which he has, claiming not to understand a word!] will he [therefore he does] know what all that knowingness was about. Rocky Screw, once but never again secret tyrant! Rocky was a primadonna, had become so willy-nilly due to his physical misfortunes, had had so much attention paid to him at an early age, a case of “hospitalism” if ever there was one.                                                         
But “Rocky,” evidently, is intelligent and sufficiently realistic not to be bound by his hatreds at each and every moment. With the buttered side of his bread looking again more enticing at a place of work that he recently tried to turn into the police - say, his hatred of Hector Emerson's circus deal - Rocky is quite willing to return to "the difficult circumstances" there if the money is right. If Hector, in one of his petty, sadistic, dickish ways, docked Rocky fifty cents an hour if Rocky [who stupidly so as to show a teensy bit of earned income on his S.I.S. forms] had missed one of those hours that he was meant to work “on the clock” during the night shift when with his talent he could have easily made another $ 100 for himself instead of being paid $ 10.00 an hour, Rocky would be in a blue-bottle-nosed funk for at least a week.           That “Rocky’s” only loyalty is to his dogs  was proved  when "Buddy" endured a broken hip from an unguarded encounter with a car and Rocky actually was able to overcome his love of money and ask the Cain+Able owners for an $ 1000 advance to pay for the cure.                                             
Even before returning to Cain+Able Rocky had talked to Bob Able, and as part of cutting himself a deal in a potentially resuscitated day room, had indicated that there were only two people he didn't get along with, Sabrina and me. Able wanted a good "writer" like Rocky back, and Rocky, feeling needed, exerted, took full advantage of his now genuine primadonna status, skylights in Seattle might be nice in winter, a large one in summer produces a hot-house underneath, Rocky wanted the fan I had organized all to himself. And so by the time Rocky actually showed back up at the metamorphosed Cain+Able, which was new only in name and in a cleaner smaller office [by which time the fabled Tom Stumpteeth of the razor mustache and two rows of smashed black nicotine-tarred teeth had been sprung from Rikers Island in N.Y. to get the day room "rocking" again] Rocky and I, Rocky who had asked me to do so much for him, for whom I had done so much, and I had not ended up on good terms during the waning days at City of Hector, chiefly I think because I had threatened to take him off the clock if he didn't "write some numbs" if I got a night room running there, no more easy rides for someone who could do so much better on his own. Rocky it turned out didn't understand a joke as long as it involved him; or his orneriness derived from my having shared with him too many of my observations of his modus operandi, of his being, knowing his every whimpering trick, his false way of making up, his politicking, that if he hated anyone he hated himself most of all, and hated being in a position sometimes of really needing help.
Spending some months in the same room with “Rocky,” the Reverend, too, confessed that many a time he had felt like wrapping a telephone cord around that thick ugly neck of someone who had kept a 13 knot rope in his desk at I.M.S.                                                            The first few days back at Able Services were like pure hate between us, by the second week there was a kind of second honey moon, the odd couple got along all over again. Rocky even asked me to go picking with him! However, one ride with Rocky, interesting and redeeming as it had been in many ways, was of the kind to last a lifetime. Ours proved a brief Indian summer, and I found a way of moving to another part of the office to write my chapter on the Veteran’s deal.                                                                 
Upon “Rocky’s” return from vacance to Yellowstone Park - the whole office fantasized what it might be like for his two male companions to spend ten nites in the same tent with Rocky! yet without Buddy and Begera - there was another brief reprise. About the only episode worth recounting from those few weeks back together in close proximity is of the moment that Rocky was musing whether he oughtn't to bring Hector up on a charge for "sexual harassment" for dicking him as Hector had in such a literal fashion. My response to this odd idea of Rocky’s was to state that such an accusation might certainly make for an "unusual" photo in The Stranger. Narcissistic wounds indeed seem to be the deepest, of the many living illustrations of which Rocky was an embodiment, also of Freud's profound observation that, first of all, “the ego is a body.”                                       Rocky, it turned out, was also bit of a ward house politician, he approached Don Cain, the person he hated most, with the line: "We never had a heart to heart talk." As livid, as incensed at Hector as I had been after I had left, Rocky had been equally livid with Don Cain, the man who had repeatedly stopped him from "picking," his own sales come Friday afternoon; and who wasn't even his boss now - but might be again somewhere down a fundraising for Que Sera? There was a totally abject Rocky giving Don Cain the goods on Hector Emerson where Rocky had made better money than ever before in his life, albeit under difficult circumstances. - It had been funny, that fall, to have Rocky come to you to make sure no one knew that he would be leaving Cain+Able: why or whom would I tell? One reason that Rocky was leaving was because primadonna Sabrina had taken it upon herself to file “Rocky's” daytime commission income with the I.R.S.: that meant the death-knell for “Rocky’s” disability payments, Sabrina might win a few brownie points with the I.R.S., but her precipitous action cost the firm at least a thousand dollars a week, because “Rocky,” on the average, “wrote” between $ 1,250 and $ 2 K a week, of which he kept 25 %.                                                   Rocky” wasn't to be obligated or anything by gratitude - that word was not part of his mental and emotional repertoire, except to the extent that he knew how to avoid acting under its suasion: if Rocky had ever heard of gratitude it applied solely to his savior step parents whose graves he drove to visit on Memorial Day in Yakima, over-announcing that bit of news from the Screw home front until you became seriously uninterested in it. Yet if you failed to ask about the outcome of this or that trip or one of his fishing expeditions - Hector, for Rocky’s club-footed waddle, called Rocky “Penguin” and, thus, I claimed that Rocky went on fishing vacations to Baffin Island! As he did for real to Yellowstone, with some male buddies: imagine spending a week in a tent with Rocky! – yet, your failing to inquire where Rocky had been on Memorial day was as though the "great man" hadn't been paid proper respect: there resided a vain tyrant in that dwarf who, of course, was also one of the ultimate voyeurs [as what else had he been most of his life!], and an ultimate snoop and gossip. If you wanted to broadcast a secret, especially one pertaining to the gossipy world of Telemarketing, all it took was confide it to Rocky who knew how to boast and give good phone to those whom he was schmoozing up. Fridays, the slow days in telemarketing, was “Rocky’s” gossip day, he called day-men he knew around the county just as a clubhouse politician would.                
CODA                                                                                                                         The morning of the trip to Milton was not a day of great poetry; where were we going to have breakfast? At the Varsity Inn? Donna had gone to work by the seven A.M. of my arrival, we went to “Rocky’s” breakfast shop on Aurora. Rocky had two breakfast shops, one was downtown, the other was on Aurora, the Varsity Inn on 65th would have been our compromise, but I was interested in places that he might hang out in.                               
Rocky was a fellow of set habits. At the Aurora shop you could indeed get a good steak and eggs and the owners allowed Begera inside to chew the bones and be fed some roast beef strips; Bob Anderson, the Circus Drifter from City of Hector, showed up, it was a hangout for telemarketers who lived in the motels there; during the drive, it was my first and only one with Rocky, I found out that, as compared to his utterly and proudly bourgeois, meticulous living arrangements, on the highway Rocky was a fiend, even during a rain storm; what did he save by driving 70 miles to buy two cartons of cigarettes? Some dollars in cash that then had to pay for the deprecation of the car and the gas; he did it to get out, to go for a drive, he said; and I have no reason to doubt it.    I can't say I minded the drive, though I could have done without the extra risk that Rocky’s driving introduced into the proceedings; after all, I found a surrogate for the American Spirits I was smoking then, the surrogate was Gunsmoke, like American Spirit it's tobacco claimed not to have been fucked with by the chemical companies, fucking nature had been left to its own devices. Gunsmoke came at half the cost of American Spirit, of which the two Indian reservation owned stores in Minton were sold out of except for one pack of American Spirit menthol! Not only was Gunsmoke pretty much the same kind of natural poison, it's cover, as compared to the thunderbird on American Spirit, was "The Blonde" - a Stetson hat, that hair streaming on the diagonal around her neck and left shoulder as she blue-eyed you just underneath the rim of the Stetson, her mouth with a knowing dominatrix's wry twist, a black whip in her left hand which reached out right across her western scout's shirt front, her right hand clasping her left waist, a narrow belt, a big belt buckle and the legend "The Woman" was printed on the underside of the pack.                                                                                                             My one other visit to “Rocky’s” condo was when I got myself invited to an excellent meatloaf to fiddle with Donna's computer, she had put some monster software sewing program on the hard drive, it was that program's fault not the computer, and all I got to repair was his answering machine. That was my second encounter with Donna, the first time I set eyes on her was the time she had shown up at Cain+Able, and she looked 6 feet tall and like a lanky lady bouncer at the Wild Rose; she turned out to be able to look far more attractive, the dinner was fine, particularly I liked “Rocky’s” mother in law, who reminded me of my own 89 year old cousin, Margaret; perhaps genetic engineering could arrange it for babies to be born well-aged; but after dinner, when Rocky, who had had a hard day, wanted to stretch his pained body out on the couch he was not allowed to do so, like one of his dogs he had to lie down on the floor, he grumped and groaned and bitched, but did as he was told.                                                                                    Keeping in touch with the Bogbeast over the years, and running into the odd Cain+Able graduate, I heard a few years later that Donna had left Rocky for “another man”! Moreover, she was claiming instances of assault on Rocky’s part. Since Donna had the house, Rocky was prepared to go to Idaho for a while to beat the bushes there… But then Donna returned, there was no divorce, but Donna had liberated her arrangements.

Rocky,” initially, had been a certain fun - at that time I only knew Rocky outside his little office, that is at meetings in the great vastness of the first Cain+Able office or gassing with him while we went downstairs to have a smoke; at The City of Hector, working with him in the same room for a few weeks I had become clued in to the degree of his professionalism and his monstrousness; and when there was no more City of Hector and Rocky returned to what was now Able Company Support Services.


Monday, August 06, 2018

URIZEN # 2 a more intimate look

Here is a more intimate look at urizen books and what went down at that time and how i failed to prevent it & a lot of etcetras 

again handke plays a role.x mr

Once more URIZEN BOOKS, with feeling

also see


I would say that if I had gone to a lawyer in 1978 when it became clear that Schulz was using Urizen to sluice the funds from his mob-co-owned pornographic -dubbing firm Vicland Productions and  if I had eliminated him and then run the firm on my own it would have continued to exist a few more years – eliminating the drain that was Schulz would have saved several hundred thousand dollars right there and then - although whether I would have wanted to continue to live at the edge of that cliff forever ever is another matter. I am quite happy to have done a psychoanalysis – a full time job itself  - and seen a few other beautiful spots on this earth. But let me start at the beginning of what became one of the most unexpected and nightmarish adventures,

And perhaps I’ll even poster it @:

In I think it was Fall 1970 Schulz and a side-kick of his – Henning??? – showed up at my Lantz & Donadio office on 57th Str. where I was agenting Suhrkamp Verlag and wanted the rights to do a few Handke plays at Bob Kalfin’s Chelsea Theater/ B.A.M. This was welcome news – I had translated all the early plays, trouped around town with a returning hippie troupe – from San Miguel D’Allende; worked with Herbert Berghof and E.G. Marshall on the texts; and agreed to revise my Kaspartranslation for Peter Brook;  in exchange for giving him a year’s option received free tickets to his Midsummer Night’s Dream , an offer that  I exhausted to the consternation of Brook’s business manager – I happened to know Brook’s work quite well.  But I was not achieving public performances with the Handke plays– Berghof’s  private HB Studio two week runs had led nowhere.
  In 1971 Spring was the premiere, attended by Handke, who and Kolleritch / Stadtpark Forum Graz, and actress wife Libgart Schwartz were an Austrian Cultural  package tripping around the USA – the trip that produced the marvelous Short Letter Long Farewell. 
Handke was not pleased with the premiere and subsequently paid a visit to the director and then mentioned during our cab ride toElaine’s  that [a] it was just as  well the premiere had taken place in Brooklyn – little did he know of its growing cultural significance - and [b] that he thought Schulz was “very dark.”  When I questioned that assessment, Handke qualified by saying that at the very least Schulz was “very German” – by which I felt he meant what I had observed on the West German Autobahn’s where the U.S. vehicles seemed to dawdle compared to the Krauts, and Martin Walser  had then explained to me that that is how one drove when one had lost two World Wars  – a good enough way of putting it.
  I myself had had no dark experiences with Schulz , then girlfriend Pamela [King] Bellwood , who had dropped out of Self-Accusation to take the lead in the touring company of Butterflies Are Free, mentioned that Schulz shouted.  He seemed a bit deferential to me, not the sort of thing I like, but it seemed minor Nice parties at the 65 WB  Loft. Oh yes,  Schulz was dressed in a clown’s suit that American hippie girlfriend Barbara Becker had made for him.  As the world turns,  From one clown suit to another as we age :

Wieland Schulz-Keil

Address in Germany:
NEOFILM – Gesellschaft für Leinwand und Bühnenunterhaltung mbH
Niebuhrstrasse 57B
10629 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 50594184
Cell: +49 172 328-7771

Address in Italy:
Via Fici 4
91025 Marsala (Tp), Italia
Tel: +39 0923 715890
Cell: +39 333 6765701

There was an Indian-American helper, Suki, Schulz was starting to make socially oriented documentaries for West German T.V. ; WPA was one of his subjects and eventually the knowledgeable Amerkanist Olaf Hansen appeared on the scene.  Schulz surrounded himself with other interesting folk; Schivelbusch, Heubach.
  Lantz-Donadio and I resigned the Suhrkamp account that same year, 1971, because Unseld turned out to be an unrepresentable con-man and contracts drawn with Suhrkamp once they involved real money became liable to blackmail interference.  In general those two years were financially disastrous for me since Straus found a way – as dawned on me far too belatedly - of divesting me of ¾ of my participation in the books I had brought them – the Hesse being the goldmine, and Straus managed to do so even though I had had warning that he cheated.  Big mistake of mine not to have let my agent Max Becker handle all matters of that kind. I didn’t think that someone for whose firm I had millions with the titles I brought them … ah, but that was one of my many ways of being wrong.  Turns out - if you read Boris Kachka’s FSG book  - despite the riches I brought them the firm was verging on bankruptcy most times! Not that you would have thought with the estate in Purchase, the Mercedes and the way he carried on at the book fair..
Though there was very little left to sell of Suhrkamp when I took over the representation, and little of their hugeedition and other productions was placeable, and an impossible and notorious governess type, Helen Ritzerfeld  ran their rights departments and disenabled half of the few deals I managed to raise,  I got to do a lot of reading and read how edition andbibliotheca Suhrkamp were editorially developed – it was the sort of thing that had interested me  since the early 60s when I was reading for Collier-McMillan who were dreaming of putting all the toughest books out in quality paperback and onto drugstore shelves! And so when  Herder & Herder was sold to McGraw-Hill and Werner Linz, who now ran Herder, agreed to my proposition to start a kind of American edition backed by the immense resources of McGraw-Hill I jumped at the chance.
  During my one and only truly well-salaried year McGraw moved from that great Art Nouveau steamer on the West Side to one of these upright , airless shoeboxes on Sixth Avenue; and all great plans came to naught because Harold McGraw and  sub-rights lady Beverly Loo fell for one  Irving’s fraudulent Howard Hughes autobiography – perhaps you recall the NY Times headline the morning the fraud started to unravel …. After millions had been wasted.
  I had been around the folks who had split off from Suhrkamp and had started the Verlag der Autoren / VDA – one outfit that has persisted from those hoary days; some fine folks at McGraw   - Joyce Johnson,  Stanley Aronowitz’s editor; the once wunderking Robert Sussman-Stewart, Lois Berman,  and I sought to create something similar to VDA n New York, but did not find sufficient support among authors; who turned out to think that this kind of venture might afford them greater royalties.
  Herder Herder then  sought  to get itself back out from under the dark McGraw cloud, and I got a six month  reading shipboard vacation before Linz hooked up with the bishops at Seabury Press, and Herder split into Continuum [secular] and Crossroads [religious] and I managed to get a few nice things done there , an inkling of what I planned.
  Linz , it turned out, was yet another con-man and I never detected a passion  in him for books of any kind and have no idea how he came to publishing  -management, biz?? – he sold American Herder out from under nice Frank Schworer [who returned to Krautland and started Campus Verlag;] for an estate in Rye; and Linz turned out not to really back my ideas or authors not even when they involved making some real money, which is how it came to that evening at your place x-mas 1974 when I proposed to Schulz that he and I ought to start a publishing firm at some point – I had turned my German representations over to him, though Suhrkamp turned him down; but he had been effective, I knew him to be effective, had no idea of his financial status, but  the look he shot back at me that evening told me that he liked the proposition.
  Simultaneously, Charlie Weber - who passed this past x-mas - asked me to do a new book for Brecht’s Three Penny Opera that he was going to direct for the man who became the third Urizen partner, Leo Feldsberg [Oberon N.V] who was worth approximately 50 million courtesy of selling Fructo,  a Colombian fruit packing company, just In the nick of Castro – Leo  wanted in and got in for $ 100,000 and I ought to have pointed out to him what it cost to  put a new firm on solid footing, about five million, the start-up capital of Atheneum around 1970. Urizen was started with $250 k , 100 Schulz, 100 Leo, 50 me, thirty borrowed, and  had it not been for Sussman’s Sex Differences Reader being sold to  six different book clubs we could have closed up shop even before the end of the first year – Leo wanted a distributor and the kind of deal I made with Dutton forced us to put out everything we could as soon as possible, otherwise the fee that Dutton took became prohibitive.
  I recall a visit from Schivelbusch to the Rockaways where I lived before I moved back into the city – Schulz’s representative who proposed “social history” as one of the firm’s major emphases – no objection on my part; I disavowed what seemed to be a desire to regard belles lettres from an ideological perspective. At the end of that afternoon, Wolfgang famously marched into the surf which rapidly upended him; he lost his glasses, got a bad headache and “Slavegirl” had to drive him back to the city.  – Prophetic~
  Initially, once the firm was incorporated, I bought a lot of stuff at marvelous bankruptcies – prophetic!
  After the first hair raising year I then found the first tax shelter infusion and for a while Urizen seemed to flourish; we had a good salesman, Howard Linzer, who assembled a good sales force.
  In Spring 1977 I received a call from Susan Sontag, a friend, who wondered whether I was aware that the source of Schulz’s funds were a firm called Vicland Productions that dubbed porn - U.S. porn at that point was mob produced – at which point I became aware of a pal of Schulz’s, Victor Bertini – Vicland, how cute! Schulz himself by then had turned out to be pretty much of a shouting screaming bastard who was taking a salary without working and starting to have the same kind of toxic effect on me as he had on the progressively more distraught Soldati, Victor B.  and who was laying off all kinds of WSK Production expenses on Urizen – something I failed to stop when it started, which it did at the inception of the firm.
  By 1978 Linzer had quit and for a year we had dead space by the name of a defunct Korean Hyung Pak , who however alerted me - during Schulz’s failed attempt at a trifecta that involved Klett Verlag being taken for half a million dollars - that WSK was sluicing large amounts of money through the Urizen account to improve his  capital position as well as to wash his multiply washed funds – eventually I learned how Vicland had come about. Schulz had made one of his documentaries about the production of U.S. porn – and then got a call from someone in Germany offering to pay if he could deliver dubbed versions. Those were the sources of his excess funds. Via Leo Feldsberg [whose investment came via Obereon NV, Netherland Antilles], Schulz got his vehicle, Princeton N.V.  Later, the Vicland dubber, the killer Christopher Gierke whom Schulz had imported to do this work, told me that Schulz also screwed Bertini out of half a million dollars – I well believe it.
  it wasn’t that Schulz was a complete drag, he did find us our UK distributor the Trotskyist Pluto Press, who I think are still around, a fine mutual arrangement. Especially since they turned old-time Stalinist Wilfred Burchett’s Grasshoppers & Elephants  over to me, which they were willing to distribute but not  publish on their own.  Klett - before they pulled out - put in 50 k.
Editorially it became evident at once that Schulz carried petty grudges – it appeared that Adorno had shown him the door in Frankfurt, so I couldn’t do my now aging Adorno reader; his interaction with Handke had left him ill-disposed and so the only Handke we did was the one I had when we started, Nonsense & Happiness.  I must say that the only time I acted in a similar petty fashion was when I blindly opposed Marshal Blonski’s Semiotics reader – still puzzled by my perversity!
 Otherwise Schulz and I pretty much agreed editorially –  Brodsky I did entirely on my own account, whose work Schulz hadn’t the faintest, as he turned out to be entirely “amusisch” – however, he kept coming at you so that I  often just  gave up,  Olaf’s Randolph Bourne Reader made no sense since Bourne was widely available;  though the Bourne then became Olaf’s meal-ticket to the US Amerikanisten – Schulz stole his WPA work and never gave him credit in the film he made of it.  - I also just gave up in the case of Dick Howard’s boring compilation – the sort of thing I hated.  And then it went into a second printing!
  In 1978 I did not immediately go to a lawyer or get in touch with Leo whom Schulz meanwhile had screwed out of 50k on a film deal they had been involved in – Leo for me was an instant embarrassment, the proverbial dirty old man who made you understand how one became a millionaire by truly suffering the loss of each and every buck. Simultaneously during that time I was  the night time sounding board , with one of her banker lovers, or an old flame, cathy wolfman, who had bus stop shelters inc, which was besieged by several monster billionaires; and facing a hugely corrupt city  bureaucracy – this night work
involved taking those strong alkaloids that get you over the Andes and acquaintance with an alkaloid dealer, let’s call him Charles, to whom I got via some  friends at Elaine’s who fancied the stuff recreationally. At Charles I met fellow publisher Jeffrey Steinberg [Stonehill] who was both a  junkie and became my tax  shelter agent for a powerful second infusion.
  The Bus Stop Bankers wanted to put Urizen into the proper financial condition – but passed once they got a whiff of Schulz’s arrogant behavior; ditto for a banker whose wife’s autobiography I edited [for 10 k for Urizen was my fee for 100 hours] – one look at Schulz and he bowed out.
  When an IBM heiress asked me up to her Paris apartment for a “cup of coffee” all I did was drink coffee until she kicked me out – just too unattractive. Carey Cameron if you remember her - who loved threesome had made that introduction - herself an oil heiress.
  Simultaneously around that time  I edited Robert Kalich’s The Handicapper, which brought in 40 k for Urizen after the Kalich organization paid us 20 k for editing it into shape and another 20 to take the property back when Urizen did not achieve the kind of advance they fancied – they Bob & twin Dick T he first twenty came in via subscription to members of the Jewish mob for whom Bob had been the handicapper; some of it in brown paper bags – and that is how I got to know the Jewish mob! The book was eventually done by Crown and became a Book of the Month club alternate .  On one of these biggies was the banker for the Italians, and I met the head of the Harlem drug trade at Abe’s Fifth Avenue apartment!  Most were indistinguishable from legit business folk, Abe’s brother Robbie was Costello’s best Jewish pal. One look from him, I recall, as I entered Abe’s place one evening with the Kalich twins, and my flesh felt carved cleanly off my bones. Most of these folk had started with pushcarts in the Bronx during the depression. One was a fine lawyer and ex-Colonel in the Marines and became a fried, office in the Woolworth building where I went swimming with Ed Koch in the mornings at Jack LaLanes.
  Charles, the dealer had been a stellar bar keep and had a book I was helping him edit, a kind of ultimate bar man’s guide – something I knew I could merchandize.  It was one of my aces in the hole so I made believe.
 Schulz took over the firm in 1979 abd I was vain enough to think that as an eminence grise I could keep it going anyway. Schulz claimed Feldsberg wanted him to run it, and I did not find out that he had lied until I saw Leo one last time well after bankruptcy. Schulz at that point  in 1979 must have run into desperate straits with his film making operation. By 1980 he failed to pay not only my salary but the Urizen fulfilment service – Urizen may have been indebted  to the total of a quarter million  but it had a monthly income via sales of 10 k – and to fail to pay the cut that they service took for fulfilling sales and collection is one of the remaining great  puzzles. Schulz needed 25 k desperately – it appeared that I might be able to borrow against a small inheritance that was then becoming available, but that turned out to be impossible , too. Then Schulz sold the heart of Urizen, its dozen best-selling titles, including your reader, and a few other things such as friend Kurt Mueller-Vollmer’s Phenomenology  Reader – to the man to whom  you could sell the Brooklyn Bridge , that is, to Werner Linz. At the bankruptcy hearing Schulz claimed he could not pay the fulfillment service once the firm had filed for Chapter 11 – and no one called him on the lie, and those 25 k went into his pocket and paid whatever he was desperate to pay;  I never found out what the  specific problem was; I did not get to see the checkbook during the last year and made it a point to ask and have Anne Hemenway ask him for it; he forbade Glaviano our accountant, a sliver of an office on the same floor, from showing it to me; his desperation must have had to do with the films he started to make and which he did not manage to sell. It was not that Victor’s people had caught on  - if they ever did.
 He stopped last employee Anne Hemenway’s 100 $ I had given her at x-mas.  The 25 k did not pay for the screen rights to Under the Volcano which he stole from my friend the Spanish film maker, Gonzalo de Herralde Grau. I later checked with the screen writer,  Guy Gallo –  his dealings involved a simple 1 k option initially,
Schulz stole once more when the firm was in bankruptcy was caught and then never showed up at another hearing.
  Meanwhile I had kept the firm going by pledging to be good for half the debt to our main printer, the George Banta Co. in Nina-Menosha, darling people.  Wanting to get that debt - $80,000 k - off my shoulder I finally served Schulz with a lawsuit and what do you know, the fellow turned blue and ran; and I won the suit without the slightest opposition; and Schulz did not get himself a lawyer until the U.S  Marshall had posted his mews announcing  sale of his assets! At which point there is the first duces tecum [discovery of assets] hearing at the office of the George Banta lawyer. Kilsheimer – Schulz congratulated me for bringing him down and winning the suit – the sadist turns out to be a masochist of the most disgusting kind, as someone who had been intimate in his affairs also confirmed later on.  Kilsheimer refused to prosecute for perjury – endless perjury at the first and at the subsequent second duces hearing  once Schulz had madeUnder Volcano with Houston directing in Mexico and been caught pulling the same kind of financial shenanigans, duplicate and false invoices, sluiced investments; and got caught and ended up with nothing. I had warned Houston’s producer Michael Fitzgerald. Schulz tried the same stuff when he and Chris Sievernich produced a film based on Joyce’sThe Dead.
  To get back to Charles and alkaloid for an important moment. Charles was distributing Colombian material.  At one point one of men who were controlling him made a proposition having to do with  Leo Feldberg and  Fructo and Urzizen being a perfect vehicle for importing substantial quantities  via printed material too – and I nearly agreed .   But I realized that though I would enter the so-called “big time” in more ways than one – it would not end well, not unless I decided to join FARC in one of their jungle hideouts. So begged off, I said I was scared, I didn’t think Urizen  made sense if I went into business with  FARC and Pablo Escobar.  And the revolution does not make sense along those lines – once hooked it will never get off the vice. - However, all the mobs and the Colombians knew and dealt with each other I realized – just a few steps and you can be in the middle of the  depth of it.  I still shudder when I think how close I came to taking that step.
Something else transpire around that time that led to my eventual arrest. Charles called and asked me to make a call to someone you may have known as a bar-tender at Barnabus Rex and then at Mickeyss  – Peter Pearl.  Sure, I made a call telling Peter where and when he could pick up a kilo of the stuff.  And then something went wrong at that transaction, Charles called to ask me whether I had any idea. And that was bothersome – how could I. I had lunch with him and a new partner of his at Patsy’s the uptown restaurant that I used to lunch with Robert Silvers  and then  I had nothing further to do with Charles, or alkaloids, and his book was not finished either. The deal had not involved  money  –  or I suspect I would have spent some time in jail.  But it constitutes possession -and I was not going to fight the entrapment, there were indications that the folks who had turned Charles around  - especially his so-called “new partner” [ a DEA Agent] it turned out  also knew of other matters of mine along the line. By the time I was arrested and let go but convicted I hadn’t had anything to do with alkaloids for several years. But what a look I got into the depth of corruption! And it was then that I decided that I better see a shrink!

  I got another judgement against Schulz on the West Coast, neither has been collected in Sicily where he has his home base. He keeps getting caught and doing it again! Not heard anything in the past five years, probably ill, lost his Berlin apartment during his last film deal,  Children of Huang Shi.

  Thus one would have to say that Handke was right, and in spades, in his assessment.Dommage all around!


 Excerpts from a letter to George Malko which addresses some of the same points:

Handke after meeting Schulz subsequent to the premiere of his play at BAM said that he was a very dark fellow, and upon my demurring, qualified to say that at least Schulz was very German – i.e. brutal and in a rush!
I myself had no reason to worry about him at the time, then g.f. Pamela Bellwood whom I’d got a gig as the girl in Self-Accusation mentioned that he shouted – it would be another five before I witnessed his shouting when I and the crew had returned from a hard-working ABA in Chicago – and I didn’t put a stop to it right there and then. {The temptation had been to take him by the throat and threaten to toss him out the window if he ever shouted like that to anyone at the firm again – that was the time Schulz introduced that loser Bernard Hassan into the firm, whose sole contribution was to alert us that McMmillan was giving up on its transltion of Rudolf Au Augstein’s JESUS SON OF MAN, which we took over. Hassan oversaw the editing and had a boyfriend of his do the proof reading of the galleys, leaving thousands of misspellings.

Schulz’s g.f. Barbara Becker, known as „Slave girl” in his documentary-making crew, mentioned, at the Urizen startup that he was maltreating or stealing from the pay of one of the other workers, a certain Christopher Giercke, who it turned out did the actual dubbing of the pornographic films that were the source of the income that Schulz used to start and sluice through Urizen.

The existence of Vicland Production - his partner soldati Victor Bertini supplied the Fick for the humorous punning-name, I was made aware of - in Spring 1977 I think - it was via a call from Susan Sontag, a friend, whom I was advising how to go about getting a loft – it was always astonishing the things that Susan knew, such as that Elaine Kaufmann of Elaine’s had run a lesbian after hours club – as she mentioned when I took her and Peter Weiss to her restaurant in 1966. Frank Conroy and I had seen Susan there once before – the night in 1965 that she and Jackie O and half a dozen other famous folk had waltzed in during a snowy night and when they left Elaine famously said: „What do you know, I’ve got it made.”

Upon that bit of Sontag news I ought to have realized that I might be „unmade” by staying in a partnership with Schulz, but I decided that Urizen was already so deeply started I did not want to bail, and to Schulz when he returned I merely said that it would be good to know of things like that – my assumption had been that the source of his funds was his domentary making for West German t.v.
By the time Urizen filed for bankuptcy Schulz had taken over the firm under false pretenses [that Oberon N.V/ I.e Leo Feldsberg had wanted him to], failed to pay the fulfillment service – Urizen was making 10k in sales per month! So why would you not pay the service that brought in the money!– and sold its heart – its 12 best selling titles including the six Sam Shephard play collections - for apparently desperately needed 25 k with which he then failed to pay the fulfilment service arrears , claiming in Bankruptcy court that bankruptcy law prohibited him from doing so – and none of the lawyers questioned that impossible lie! - Schulz must have been desperate  and got himself in deep trouble his own film making , and but his fleecing  Urzizen and Vicland apparently did not do the trick – that is the one obscure spot in the whole dirty tale, why was the fellow so desperate for 25 k, – Gierke whom I’d gotten to know, a real snake of a charmer, mentioned that Schulz had screwed Victor out of at least half a million. But towards the end I was wide awake to what Schulz was up to and had him lined up for my best shot, and the big surprise was that the bully bastard turned out to be a coward when my lawyer finally served him, and he turned blue and ran and never showed up in court to defend himself! I had been bluffed again, idiot me!
I must still hold back on some of the dark details.  Intimidated on the one hand, yet willing to chance life long prison if not worse on the

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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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