Tailored 38 Special


When I turn to page 38 of The Art

of the Steal by Frank Abagnale, I see “North

Carolina.” I think Highlands, the town where

my Aunt Mercedes lives. She drives a Nissan.

We haven’t spoken since my father was killed.

James Joyce? What do you have to say about it?

Ulysses: “Naturalich. Put there for you.

Woman and a man. I see her skirties.” Jesus!

Is he looking at a Monet or something

by Dante Gabriel Rosetti? Speaking

of Dantes … pfft. What does Virgil say on page

38 of The Aeneid? He says this:

“It was the hour when for troubled mortals

rest – sweetest gift of gods that glides to men.”

Ah-ah-ah, my friend of a friend. According

to our pal Faust we must toil until we

reach salvation. No rest for the wicked. None.

Sounds like Raoul Duke, right? Let’s see what The Doc

has to tell us in Generation of Swine.

From the top: “Death to the weird.” Hunter Thompson…

This is a man, ran for Sheriff of Aspen,

and shaved his head so he could refer to the

other guy (who had a crew cut) his “long-haired

opponent.” Hunter … what a pain in the ass.

He raised ostriches and did more drugs than all

of us combined in the history of time.

He’s one of the reasons I started writing.

Back to the bookshelf. I spy Lord of the Flies.

Ugh. Why do I own this? I’ve never read it.

Page 38: “Piggy watched him in disgust.”

I’m throwing this book out the door and hoping

no one is unfortunate enough to pick

it up. All due respect William Golding. Oh,

what about Dylan? Chronicles, Volume One:

“The books were something. They were really something.”

Damned right, Bob. Next up Ezra Pound’s Personae.

Read the poem Ballatetta. You should know why

it reminds me of Emily Dickinson.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is next. Mark?

What do you have to say? “Several pupils

had a few yellow tickets but none had–” What,

Mister Twain? A golden ticket? No ticket?

Let’s ask Plato and listen to him shout from

The Republic … wait a minute. There’s not one

exclamation point on the page. Why? Because

Plato said things like “DO YOU REMEMBER?” It’s

right there on the page in black and white type set.

Cut. Hold it. Watch that word. When you say set, stop

and understand your mind is being used. Take

a deep breath and open a book. See what it

says. “I’ve watched you all these years.” Well … that’s creepy.

It’s from The Godfather by Puzo. The last

book I’ll mention is Bluebeard by Vonnegut,

and this is just God being funny through Kurt:

“How come you never use semicolons?” and

“How come you chop it all up into little

sections instead of letting it flow and flow”

I guess that’s me to know, eh? This poem’s…


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