Archive for muse

Hedwig’s “Origin of Love” (Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in Fur Reals, Goof & Glamour, Intuition & Gut Intelligence, Movies & Movie Stars, Music & Life & Sundays, Psyche & Sexuality, punk rock, Rock & Roll, Romance, Romance & Relationships, Spirituality & Religion, Style & Fashion, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel, Technicolor Pop, The wisdom of the universe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Last time I saw you, we had just split in two.
You were looking at me. I was looking at you
.

We are always finding something once lost or newly discovered: some elusive idea, fragment of self, new friend, old friend, tribe member, ally, totem, trickster, co-inventor, muse, fellow hero, soul mate.

This search may be the very point of being born to this planet, of being given this skin.

Life is a lost & found.

We have our third eyes pealed, on the sacred look-out for our fellow mutants. We piece our lives together like legos. We sew the tattered bits of our selves into a kaleidoscopic crazy quilt. We wait to meet the pieces we lost. Our owies are eased as things fall in place. Everyone is engaged in this secret vision quest, everyone one is on alert. We’re hoping to heal the mysterious hurt. 

On the look out, always.

Origin of Love

When the earth was still flat,
And the clouds made of fire,
And mountains stretched up to the sky,
Sometimes higher,
Folks roamed the earth
Like big rolling kegs.
They had two sets of arms.
They had two sets of legs.
They had two faces peering
Out of one giant head
So they could watch all around them
As they talked; while they read.
And they never knew nothing of love.
It was before the origin of love.

The origin of love

And there were three sexes then,
One that looked like two men
Glued up back to back,
Called the children of the sun.
And similar in shape and girth
Were the children of the earth.
They looked like two girls
Rolled up in one.
And the children of the moon
Were like a fork shoved on a spoon.
They were part sun, part earth
Part daughter, part son.

The origin of love

Now the gods grew quite scared
Of our strength and defiance
And Thor said,
“I’m gonna kill them all
With my hammer,
Like I killed the giants.”
And Zeus said, “No,
You better let me
Use my lightening, like scissors,
Like I cut the legs off the whales
And dinosaurs into lizards.”
Then he grabbed up some bolts
And he let out a laugh,
Said, “I’ll split them right down the middle.
Gonna cut them right up in half.”
And then storm clouds gathered above
Into great balls of fire

And then fire shot down
From the sky in bolts
Like shining blades
Of a knife.
And it ripped
Right through the flesh
Of the children of the sun
And the moon
And the earth.
And some Indian god
Sewed the wound up into a hole,
Pulled it round to our belly
To remind us of the price we pay.
And Osiris and the gods of the Nile
Gathered up a big storm
To blow a hurricane,
To scatter us away,
In a flood of wind and rain,
And a sea of tidal waves,
To wash us all away,
And if we don’t behave
They’ll cut us down again
And we’ll be hopping round on one foot
And looking through one eye.

Last time I saw you
We had just split in two.
You were looking at me.
I was looking at you.
You had a way so familiar,
But I could not recognize,
Cause you had blood on your face;
I had blood in my eyes.
But I could swear by your expression
That the pain down in your soul
Was the same as the one down in mine.
That’s the pain,
Cuts a straight line
Down through the heart;
We called it love.
So we wrapped our arms around each other,
Trying to shove ourselves back together.
We were making love,
Making love.
It was a cold dark evening,
Such a long time ago,
When by the mighty hand of Jove,
It was the sad story
How we became
Lonely two-legged creatures,
It’s the story of
The origin of love.
That’s the origin of love.

I first saw Hedwig & The Angry Inch on stage — at The Shim Sham Club in New Orleans — and it was absolutely, indisputably magical.

Even the Robot loved it and he mostly loathes musicals.

We were so impressed by that Hedwig-Live experience that we were skeptical of the film. At first. But fear not, the movie managed to keep the magic intact.

“Sometimes grace and hope come in surprising packages. The title character of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a would-be glam-rock star from East Germany, undergoes a botched gender-change operation in order to escape from the Soviet bloc, only to watch the Berlin Wall come down on TV after being abandoned in a trailer park in middle America.  Writer-director-star John Cameron Mitchell packs an astonishing mix of sadness, yearning, humor, and kick-ass songs with a little Platonic philosophy tucked inside for good measure. A visually dazzling gem of a movie.” (Bret Fetzer)

If you get the chance to see a stage version, jump at it. Even if it’s put on by 6 year olds. Especially if it’s performed by 6 year olds!

If you haven’t seen the film, well, you really should schedule some inspirational “me” time.

Mix up some cocktails. Rat your best wig. It’s high time for Hedwig. 

Have fun!

The film Hedwig & The Angry Inch, with John Cameron Mitchell (writer, director & star) is  available on amazon. So is the soundtrack.

Authors note: This is not the real punk rock gospel for this week. It’s a repost meant to reward you for your support. It’s merely meant to tide you over until I can post today’s intended PRG, which mysteriously disappeared from the screen at 4:28 am. I was writing the PRG (more of a love letter really) when we went off line. While waiting to get back online, I tweaked the sucker for 2 hours and ended up with a fabu finished product. Which I was liable to lose if I couldn’t get back onto wordpress. (I know! I know! I need no lecture. I get it. I waz the stupidz. They don’t call me the Lusty Luddite for nothin’!) Craving wi-fi, I crept out into the dark sreets — a vamp-cyber gently carrying an open computer to the parking lot of a shuttered coffee shop. Hooray! Houston, we have contact. I uploaded an image — something I’ve done countless times — and every bit of text just escaped into the ether. WTF?? Is it due to wordpress’ brand spankin’ new image/gallery widgetty whatucallits? What the hell happened??? No sign of it in revisions either, only an early draft. It’s just gone. Oh, I’m bummed. And stunned. Anyway, I’m gonna go back to the key board! But it will now have to wait until Monday. In the meantime, let Hedwig heal your irk (and mine) with her spiritual, romantic fairytale. *Originally posted on October 12, 2008*

Last time I saw you, we had just split in two.
You were looking at me. I was looking at you.”

*Painting By Genevieve Crotz.*

via Cream Scene Carnival

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Sunday Morning Coming Down (Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in country music, Friendship, I Heart My Love-Tribe, Music & Life & Sundays, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2010 by alphabetfiend

On the Sunday morning sidewalk, wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
‘Cos there’s something in a Sunday, makes a body feel alone.

Some sad-sacks say this song is depressing but not me.   I say it’s breathtakingly beautiful. 

 

A feeling doesn’t have to be “happy” to be worth something. 

A Sunday doesn’t have to be “joyous” to be well, a SUNDAY.  

I think this song — this “sad” song — is very life-affirming, very human, and very very AUSTIN.   It’s everything I’ve come to know and love about my life in this stony Texas town: Saturday nights spent with people I adore, music that moves me, drunken 6th street hugs as we all disperse after a great show.   

Maybe in the morning you will feel achey or godless or lonely but that’s okay because you are an Austin punk-rock darling who loved Saturday too much and now Sunday is giving you the cold shoulder.  

Have a smoke, eat an egg, enjoy being alive.  

Make amends with Sunday.

Now go pick a handful of yer neighbors posies and see how easily Sunday forgives. 

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Well I woke up Sunday morning,
With no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt.
And the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad,
So I had one more for dessert.
Then I fumbled through my closet for my clothes,
And found my cleanest dirty shirt.
An’ I shaved my face and combed my hair,
An’ stumbled down the stairs to meet the day.

I’d smoked my brain the night before,
On cigarettes and songs I’d been pickin’.
But I lit my first and watched a small kid,
Cussin’ at a can that he was kicking.
Then I crossed the empty street,
‘n caught the Sunday smell of someone fryin’ chicken.
And it took me back to somethin’,
That I’d lost somehow, somewhere along the way.

On the Sunday morning sidewalk,
Wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
‘Cos there’s something in a Sunday,
Makes a body feel alone.
And there’s nothin’ short of dyin’,
Half as lonesome as the sound,
On the sleepin’ city sidewalks:
Sunday mornin’ comin’ down.

In the park I saw a daddy,
With a laughin’ little girl who he was swingin’.
And I stopped beside a Sunday school,
And listened to the song they were singin’.
Then I headed back for home,
And somewhere far away a lonely bell was ringin’.
And it echoed through the canyons,
Like the disappearing dreams of yesterday.

On the Sunday morning sidewalk,
Wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
‘Cos there’s something in a Sunday,
Makes a body feel alone.
And there’s nothin’ short of dyin’,
Half as lonesome as the sound,
On the sleepin’ city sidewalks:
Sunday mornin’ comin’ down.

***********************************

I’m on the road, heading back to Austin from my dog days in Mississippi. I hate to go. I hate like hell to be separated from Thing 2, my baby niece who is at the cutest age (almost 2) and will grow too much before I’m back. We’ve forged quite the juicy bond. Uncle Robot sez, “She loves you! Your name is an exclamation of joy to her. Dia! Dia! She says ‘Dia’ like most folks say ‘hooray’.”

Who wouldn’t miss that?

Anyway, back to Texas I go and so I have chosen this post ( another repost* “Sorry” gulps the gasoline gypsy) because it was a love letter to Austin and I need to feel some of that love. But it’s also a love letter to Saturday nights and Sunday mornings, wherever you may be, and an ode to the punk rock good life.  

*An inferior version was originally posted on the 21st of September 2008 as one of the very first punk rock gospels. Back when the idea still had wobbly newborn legs. Back when I tried to keep things brief. Do y’all prefer a shorter gospel? Let me know! 

If you’ve read this before, don’t despair. Check back in the next couple days for I hope to post a brand new special “Belated-Birthday” edition in honor of my Dad’s August 9 birth. So you know it’ll be a good one, being as I am a daddy’s girl who loves that man more than books. Fur reals.

Alphabetfiend is Dia VanGunten — a writer & wanna-be circus freak living in Austin, Texas.

A Wordpress “Why-Not?” (To Alice)

Posted in Alphabetfiend, Books & Writing, I Heart My Love-Tribe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2010 by alphabetfiend

I have written this letter in response to a recent conversation between Alphabetfiend (OK, myself) and Alice (a most beloved Cream Scene Carnival reader and new friend.) I have chosen to post it here because it was way too long for the comment box and also because I gave voice to some of the things about wordpress that have surprised and impressed me. Why not say them and let the words fall where they may. Consider this the wordy equivalent to blowing the fuzzy afro of a dandelion. It’s for Alice but hey, maybe it’s for you too?

If so, let me catch you up!

A*Fiend:

Do you have a wordpress, Alice? You should! Your writing, your sense of delish, it’d be AWESOME!

Alice:

Oh my! I am swooning from your compliment, because I admire your work so much.

And no, I am not on WordPress, I will leave that up to you , and the other talented writers out there, for now.

I am still an eager student of the writerly craft;so thank you for your encouragement.

Here is a quote, describing how you make us all feel…..

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader–not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” E.L.Doctorow

Peace, Alice

OK, finally, after a long delay due to birthdays, babies & strep throat is my (pushy?) reply which hopefully makes sense considering it was written at 4am while drowsy & jacked up on cold meds.

Dearest Darling Alice —

If you’re interested in doing one of your own, you are certainly more than capable of kicking blogosphere butt. Maybe it doesn’t interest you and I totally get that. It can be a time-consuming and emotional process. Maybe it’s not for you but NOT because you’re not “ready” writing-wise.

I only came to wordpress because I’d started goofing off with this stupid myspace blog, putting time and effort into it. So the Robot urged me to move my efforts to wordpress — because it was “more prestigious” and “hooked up with google and other search engines” and “intended for blogging” therefore more user-friendly and more likely to build a real readership. I was actually getting some readers on myspace which was very cool but nothing close to what came my way on wordpress. The coolest part of wordpress for me, and what I so did not expect, was how easy it was to create something that was really pleasing to me aesthetically. I still pull it up sometimes and marvel at how “real” it looks, like something I’d run across on the web and totally dig y’know looks-wise. I never expected to have something so… nice & pretty & cool & circusy etc, something so like the little me-magazine of my dreams. The writing I could wrap my mind around but I assumed that a low-tech Luddite like myself would never be able to make the writing and the aesthetics match up. I honestly had no idea that wordpress would be so freaking easy to figure out and play with. I’m in love with that part of it and that once seemed so beyond my grasp.

As a reader, I’m sure you’ve figured out that wordpress users are as different as snowflakes. One of my favorite blogs never ever uses pictures or video and he’s still using the stupid winding road header that came with the theme. For him, it’s all about the psychological exploration and the journey his mind/heart is on. It’s just text and he never sullys his space with pop culture etc. I love it and have read every single post. I appreciate his approach very much (tho I’d love to hack into his account and change that generic header! hee hee) Then there’s other blogs that are just pretty pictures or cool stuff with only two or three sentences of text. Some are emotional & confessional while others are just odd or goofy or funny. Another blog that I follow is the packaging from vintage sewing patterns combined with brief musings. There’s a lot of difference too in the frequency of posts or even the perfectionism (grammar, typos etc.) Not everyone (barely anyone) is trying to “do it all” like I am, with big long-winded essays on every possible thing from tv to spirituality. My little mash-up is fairly unusual and no doubt alienates a lot of readers. In fact, all of the many books I’ve read on the subject of blogging strongly advise against such a broad and wavering approach. Suggesting instead that the writer pick one theme/idea and do that one thing really well with a fierce and thorough examination of the subject be it music, babies, sex or “creepy things in jars.” Those are the kinds of blogs that have seen commercial or critical success. I truly believe those books are 100% right. I’m completely convinced of the good sense in that. But it doesn’t change things for me or for Cream Scene Carnival cause I wanna do what I wanna do and so that self-indulgence must serve as the unifying theme for Cream Scene. 

Basically, anything goes and anything is possible.

I have no dog in this fight. Hell, I could be greedy and keep you all to myself, all witchy gingerbread-house style. *Guffaw* It’s really not my intention to pressure you into it cause what’s the point in that? I guess I just wanted to say that your writing and your ideas, your curiosity and generosity, are well-suited to a unique wordpress project of your own creation. What might that be? I dunno! But my mind marvels at the possibilities. Do it, don’t do it, doesn’t matter to me either way. I only know that you could do it but have no idea whether you should do it. I just want to say A) Hell yea you’re writing — and you’re mojo — is on par with anything anything on wordpress and B) If, like me, the whole idea of doing it to your satisfaction seems intimidating or impossible then I must bear witness to how surprisingly easy it is. As easy as signing up! If I can do it, so can you. Of that I am absolutely certain. So don’t let that influence you. Cause honestly if the Robot hadn’t pushed me into it and if it wasn’t so immediately satisfying and easy, I definitely would not be here. I was just too daunted by the process and my own perfectionism.

As an eager student of writing as a craft (that rocks btw, people don’t necessarily view writing as a craft anymore or appreciate it as art) there is something to be said for playing around with words on a regular basis and blogging can be a place for that. One of many! Perhaps not the right one for you. You’re a purist and a perfectionist. I get that. I love that. Just don’t let that hold you back. (Sez the pot to the kettle, “Yer black!”) I support you whatever you decide. If you do it, I’ll read it and link to it. If not, I’ll be glad to be greedy and keep yer pretty words all to myself. My Alice. *Smirk.Shrug.Grin*

Lastly, I must thank you HUGELY for supporting me in my own endeavors, for reading Cream Scene and for commenting. Every time I see an Alice comment on the dash I get giddy and gooey. Thank you especially for that E.L. Doctorow quote. To say you feel that way about my work… wow, that’s enormously kind and it is fuel for the soul in terms of forging ahead and fighting the literary plague of self-doubt. 

I feel honored to have attracted you into this here rabbit hole.

I just ADORE you. Thank you, thank you, a million thank yous.

I look forward to more Alice-ness. Alice-ness is a wondrous and goof-blessed thing. Damn! Is it ever!

All my love,

Dia VanGunten aka “The Alphabetfiend.”

The Mrs. Butterworth Book Club

Posted in Alphabetfiend, Art & Culture, Art Lover, Books & Writing, Cinema & Filmmaking, Goof & Glamour, I Heart Funny Fellas, I Heart My Love-Tribe, In Celebration of the Absurd, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2010 by alphabetfiend

“I’m one of the few who voted for Obama because he was a friend of Bill Ayers.” -JW    

I too am one of those few.    

 

     

My freaky filmmaker friend, Tim, and I recently started a two-person book club. We dubbed it “The Mrs. Butterworth Book Club,” after a surreal conversation we had in highschool in which Tim asked me, out of nowhere, “What would you do if you woke up and Mrs. Butterworth was at your bedside? She’d have to be on yer pillow cause she’s rather short.”    

I’ve always had a soft spot for the absurd and so I have a soft spot for Tim.    

“I didn’t have to worry about fitting in with a crowd I didn’t want to hang out with in the first place.” -JW    

 

Both fans of John Waters, we chose his new book “Role Models” as our first MBBC selection. “Role Models” — the latest of several memoirs by the filmmaker, writer and professional outcast — focuses on people who have inspired or influenced Waters. The book begins with >surprise!surprise!< Johnny Mathis then moves on to reformed Manson Girl Leslie Van Houten; later comes Commes des Garcons designer/deconstructionist Rei Kawakubo who crashes into various hillbilly heroes from Baltimore such as Ester the barmaid and Lady Zorro the lesbian stripper.    

    

“Nothing is more impotent than un unread library”   

John Waters writes about reading the way a junky waxes poetic over crack.  

I’ve just finished the chapter “Book Worm.” Love love! Waters is a notorious and obsessive bibliophile, owning nearly 9000 volumes of wordy goodness.I can’t wait until he writes a whole book like that chapter, where he’ll delve into one weirdo tome after another. That would be a fantastic book! Waters has smart, obscure taste in literature and continually surprises me with his thoughtful insights.    

The chapter on Little Richard is next. I can’t wait.    

I saw Little Richard not too long ago. It was a free show, just a few blocks from my house, in the U of TX quad, so we meandered over.    

   

I’ve seen many old greats and I’ve learned not to expect too much. I saw Hasil Adkins at The Continental Club, paid a penny too, he played maybe two longs and left the stage. I’ve seen Ramblin’ Jack where he’s talked all night tellin’ one great story after another but there was one raspy time where he sang a song, coughed, sang another song, coughed and took a bow. I think it was James Chance that left the stage in a hissy fit like he waz Fred Alan Wolf at a physics conference. (Wolf’s hissy fit worked out well for me. I chased him out and we chatted all afternoon. He set up his laptop in the shadows of a patio umbrella and semi-patiently explained to me his theory of the thalmus gland as rudimentary time machine. I Heart Fred Allan Wolf!)    

Little Richard did not disappoint.      

Little Richard glittered like an LSD rockstar. The old man rocker took that place down to the ground. Holy hell! I fuckin’ cried. Yep. I wept as Little Richard sent spasming waves of energy through a crowd of cheap, clueless college students.  Seeing Little Richard that soft summer evening was a spiritual thing. I had my own Little Richard religious experience.      

"Saint Richard" by Vicki Berndt

So far the Mrs. Butterworth Book Club mostly consists of gushing to one another on facebook about just how fucking great Role Models is and how much we love John Waters as a way of life, posting killer quotes as our status updates and generally annoying the rest of our facebook friends.    

Screw those less-enlightened folks whose only knowledge of John Waters is “he has something to do with that fat drag queen who ate dog shit in some movie that no one’s ever seen.” If that.     

Makes me wanna scream, “Divine ate the dog shit! The film was Pink Flamingos! John Waters was the director! Fuckface!”    

I’d throw in that fuckface at the end, just for extra measure, like the cherry on top of the sundae or the pretty that flatters please.    

No, I kid. Really. So what if they’re morons who wanna wait (who CAN wait) until Role Models comes out in paperback. Whaddo I care? I don’t, cause I kid, but it is funny how things have changed and yet stayed the same. Tim and I hung with different crowds in highschool. We might never have spoken if our inner freaks hadn’t had such magnetic pull and now, all grown up, I have so much more to say to Tim than to the gorgeous girls I once hung with (who are now smiling mothers posting owen mills portraits all over their facebook pages, with not one free moment to read and if they read they certainly wouldn’t read Waters’ odes to Manson girls, trannie derelicts or Johnny Mathis.)     

   

The Mrs. Butterworth Book Club has only two members but that’s more out of necessity than design, being that no one else has expressed an iota of interest.    

That’s fine with us, right, Tim? All the more dog shit for us!    

Today I went to type out a few sentences on Tim’s fb page and try as I might it wouldn’t post. Old school friends were im-ing me and I was losing patience in fine Luddite fashion. The pups were barking to announce guests and the Robot was calling from the other room. Frazzled, I copied my note to Tim and stuck it into my open wordpress window under quick-post for safekeeping….which has me thinking….hmmm. I was gonna review the book for y’all anyway so why not post my thoughts here and then send the links to Tim? Maybe some of you are reading Role Models too and wanna pipe in? Maybe Tim and I can convince you to read Role Models? Even if you’re not reading the book, please join the discussion and tell us about some of your own role models, heroes & muses. What about an infuriatingly brilliant nemesis…anyone got one of those? (I sure do. Don’t I, Sugarbear?) 

Waters sez "Read this"

If you’d like to join our very informal Mrs. Butterworth Book Club, we’d be glad to take on new members with a taste for the odd in literature and in life. We’re keepin’ it simple. See!  Here’s my fb note to Tim:    

Hey Tim! Checkin’ in to the Mrs. Buttersworth Book Club… am just about to start the Little Richard chapter on p.183, had a houseguest for a couple weeks and fell behind.    

All that stuff about the Manson’s O-MY! I never knew they’d sneak into houses and move the furniture. So trickster, I love it, but stabbing someone 16 times? Nah, not for me.    

All the Baltimore stuff in the bar chapter was a riot. I have some these “artsy hillbilly” friends from Baltimore and they tell the craziest stories ever. Plus I loved The Wire and Homicide, both set in Baltimore. Homicide was brilliantly cast by Pat Moran, whom Waters mentions repeatedly as “My friend, Pat Moran”.    

That stuff about lunatic mothers and the craziness those kids grew up with? I found all that to be just waaaay too familiar. Great reading tho. Great writing!    

 Finally, while I consider myself to be a big reader, life-long, I must confess to not having read even one of his five recommendations. Have you? Guess we know what we’ll read next in the MBBC, huh? Which one do you suggest? The pervy kid or the deluded ladies? Or pages and pages of dialogue? I’m up for any and all!    

I’m not a huge fanatic as far as his films go but as a man, as a mind, John Waters is thrilling.    

He’s also a hell of a writer and a real storyteller.    

This book has been a treat. I’m loving it. I’m devouring it.     

“Tennessee Williams wasn’t a gay cliché, so I had the confidence to try to not be one myself. Gay was not enough. It was a good start however.”    

 ** The Saint Richard painting is by Water’s soul-sista Vicki Berndt whom we’ve featured before on Cream Scene Carnival. Role Models is available at amazon and so is the Waters pick: In Youth is Pleasure by Denton Welch, with a forward by William Burroughs.    

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