Date: 16 March 2013
Subject: Creative Nonfiction
I believe my mother has an intuitive sense of what you call creative nonfiction, or what I call street theater, which is what I practice in a literary mode. You can find, not all of it in obvious places, sixteen years of my work on the site. I will obviously not pay you US$25 to read it nor to publish it. I already have a printing press, and a lot of readers among the police and judicial branch of the French government. However, you will be happy to learn that I don't recognize copyright, nor even copyleft, so please feel free to borrow, steal, plagiarize, misquote, or otherwise enjoy my writing in any way you wish. The Chocolate Bread is a good example of what I mean. I didn't buy the bread to reup my mother. Obviously she climbed up the crane with enough food & water for a day or two. I didn't even buy the shit for us all to eat at teatime, although that is exactly what we did. I bought it because I needed a prop, what to do with I had no idea until the police kindly suggested sending it up the crane. My mother did the same thing with the peanut butter. My great-uncle Murray calls creamy peanut butter "goy", but I complained that her chunky peanut butter was so crunchy that it was ultra-orthodox. Thus, and I'll send a pic I took this morning when I can get my 'puter running again. Nothing got out of this vacation unharmed, she taped the labels "goy" and "haredi" to two jars, and put the appropriate kind of peanut butter in each of them. My writing works the same way. I take what life gives me, using the long-honed rhetorical skills in my linguistic toolbox, phonology, syntax, allusion, etymology, foreign tongues, and create art, or at least I would use that word to describe it. Caveat emptor. I do not like making shit up, so I don't. As my friend Flaubert says: "Tout est interessant, a condition de s'y interesser."
SAGReiss, father of Rose
Date: 17 March 2013
Subject: The Orphan Umbrellas
Jean Bolze, known as Papy, the Memory of Les Vans, is dying in room 223 of the local retirement home, hospice, called the hospital. You can see him here: http://sagreiss.org/webalbum/2009_08_16.htm, a picture he just told me is still on his mantle. It was Rose's birthday party. In July 2010 my mother brought three Dora the Explorer umbrella's, which she couldn't give to Rose because C the G broke the law and committed custodial kidnapping. The other two were for Kim (http://www.sagreiss.org/passover.htm) & Naia (http://www.sagreiss.org/webalbum/2009_11_08.htm). I never got a chance to give them to them, but I shall. Today (Anti)Strophe & I borrowed one of them, as it's raining hard, but the girls share their toys. I'll send the pics tomorrow, if I can get the adaptor. It's hard to write, so I think I'll live a little more today in order to wrest a new paragraph out of life's clutches.
Date: 17 March 2013
Subject: 2 Virgins or How to Die
I remember now. Papy told me he was tired of life. He wants to die and be creamated now. I told him my father wants to see Rose, then when the time comes be burried next to his parents on the Mount of Olives. Papy is dying of love. He got divorced in the fifties or sixties (He told me he has just celebrated his 84th birthday.) and was probably the first non-widower in France ever to obtain custody of his children, two sons. His wife, Marcelle, remarried, but Papy never did. I suspect that, like me, he will die a virgin, meaning his last fuck was his ex-wife. A month ago, when he heard she had died, she who had cheated on him, fucked him over many times, about whom he held no illusions, as I hold none about Rose's mother, he had what we call in Les Vans a malaise, but looks more like a stroke. The nurse told me it wasn't visiting hours. I woke up at half past two this morning, had breakfast with the cat, did housework, tried to take a nap, but the cat wouldn't let me, went out, and visited Papy at about seven. I told her I was well known in the hospital, having caused many a scandal there when Alan was dying (http://www.sagreiss.org/revenger.htm) in the summer of 2010, as my beloved daughter was being kidnapped. She apologized for being new in town. I told her that everyone knows the Americans of Les Vans, as we've been arrested, climbed up giant cranes, and have generally caused a ruckus wherever we've gone. She seemed to understand.
Date: 19 March 2013
Subject: Free Quiche for Gay Parrots
Contrary to my wont, as I'm condemned to a cybercafe for at least another two hours, I'll add my notes interlinear, but I'll spare you the all caps.
On Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 7:10 AM, Nichelle wrote:
On Sunday morning I went to a French restaurant with two of my friends, Jim and Tammy. You know Tammy- she's the one you've been flirting with on Facebook. So far I think you're in the clear. Jim doesn't seem to have noticed. It was a good restaurant. Not an authentic, refills-are-not-free, pretentious restaurant, but more of a we-say-there-are-no-substitutions but we're-way-too-nice-to-adhere-to-it type of place. You might have liked it. The coffee was strong and good, but served in a blocky, inelegant mug-thing.
I was flirting with someone? I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. Not even the Prosecutor has accused me of aggravated flirtation.
I ordered quiche. It tasted like yours. Your crust is better, though.
Tastes like my what? Crust?
You write beautiful letters and I'm ashamed of myself for not answering them. I don't know if I've told you this, but my heart aches when I read them and I feel very sad about the situation with your daughter and the struggles you are going through.
Every father in this situation loses all of his friends. We are obsessed, monomaniacal, Ahab-like, like Lenny Bruce towards the end of his life, unfunny.
I wish you joy. I hope that you have some in your life, in the places between the fight.
I still have Joy here, although she's blocked me on Facebook because I said something insensitive about the Connecticut child murders. Two fucking children out of ten in France never (9%) or seldom (less than once a month, 11%) see their fathers. As the Marquis de Sade rightly argued, capital punishment is far worse than murder. The murderer only claims the power to kill. The State claims the right.
I thought of you when I heard the song Anthem by Leonard Cohen.
"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in."
This is beautiful verse. For such a horrible poet, sometimes Len just manages to catch the fire of inspiration.
Some things that brought me joy recently:
Tom Waits singing Shiny Things. Not because I feel joy when I hear it, but because it's rough, imperfect, gravelly, stirring. Because it feels like it's made of something real. Because it's off time and out of tune in places, and that makes it all the lovelier.
The ones about Macbeth in particular. He shows a series of snapshots of what it looks like to be in love with a creative collaboration, and his joy for the project, his glee in the weirdness and bloodiness of Macbeth makes me want to make things.
I'll check this out when I get my hands on a working 'puter. Thanks. Macbeth is good, and it seems to encourage people to write good criticism.
As Flaubert once said, "Les recharges ne sont pas libres. Aucune substitution n'est permise. Nous vous méprisez pendant que vous mangez notre quiche."
I was not familiar with this quotation, but I find it comes from Bouvard & Pecuchet, the Dictionary of Commonplaces, the article on cellphones. There's also a footnote in the Pleiade edition, which your translator apparently left out, as I'm sure you would have transmitted it: "Free quiche for gay parrots."
Date: 20 March 2013
Subject: Aux Ami(e)s de Rose
Parents des ami(e)s de Rose, Kim, Naia, Marie, Archie, Clovis,
Vous savez depuis longtemps que je suis accuse d'inceste. Vous qui (contrairement aux psychiatres qui n'ont pas pris la peine) nous avez vus ensemble savez qu'il n'y avait aucune "relation pathologique" entre ma fille & moi. Vous n'etes pas des gens a regarder la tele, donc les dernieres nouvelles vous ont peut-etre echappe. J'ai rallume mon blog, contre l'avis de mon avocat, parce que nous n'avons rien a se reprocher, rien a cacher, rien dont on ne doit avoir honte, donc libre a vous de parcourir notre vie familiale, et en particulier ces pages dediees a l'action de la grand-mere de Rose, qui n'est accusee de rien du tout, et qui s'est vu pourtant priver de son droit de visite legal parce que la mere de Rose ne veut pas, avec la complicite active du Procureur de la Republique & des Gendarmes qui suivent ses ordres:
http://www.sagreiss.org/unbound.htm (Je mets a jour ces pages quotidiennement au fur et a mesure des actualites.)
Ceux d'entre vous qui avez ete assez solidaires pour ecrire une attestation pour moi ou pour ma mere ont ete contactes par Mme Uccellatore, ce qui est contraire a la Loi contre la subornation de temoins. Certains d'entre vous ont cede a cette intimidation, ce que Rose & moi vous pardonnons, car nous comprenons la force de pression qui a ete exercee sur vous, C'est effectivement plus facile de dire: "Je ne veux pas prendre position," mais c'est une prise de position, pour la mere de Rose. Rose a besoin de ses amis, et vos enfants ont besoin de Rose. Peu importe ce qui se passe entre adultes. Nous comptons sur vous au mois de juillet. Rose reviendra.
Je vous remercie de l'amitie que vos enfants ont offerte a ma fille, et de celle que vous m'avez offerte.
Scott, pere de Rose