2. "Traces to Nowhere"

"It doesn't mean a thing, in a way, to be here."

- Paul Monette, "Paris Days"

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by Edward Lacie

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Episode Two

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That theme music! 

I have the cassette tape version of it and other music from "Twin Peaks" (by Angelo Badalamenti) and am playing it while typing and rewriting this. 

Besides studying it, for a short time in college, I used to write poetry. I was especially interested in Rimbaud's "disorganization of the senses."

I not only studied, I attempted and achieved it! I experienced a self-combustion and an inability to write or think reasonably after that. This time I don't want to have the end result be an inability to write.

I want to reconstruct my previous uncontrolled experience in a controlled environment. 

"Rimbaud is an excellent role model" and "Rimbaud's life was a total waste" are each true at different moments in time, in appropriate contexts. I see how a statement's veracity may be dependent on when it was introduced to the manuscript. This is the rewrite talking. But, the following will be copied from the first draft:

We did not know, hearing this theme song then, that it would become a "single" (i.e., heard on the radio, available for purchase, etc.). We didn't know the song would (barely) support an entire album of music from the series. I haven't listened to my cassette copy for years.

A reference to Kurt Vonnegut's self-purported "last novel" - Timequake - is inevitable. It's told as a rewrite. I'll refer to a few books as I tell my story. A few, not all, are crucial. Likewise, some but not all footnotes are significant (and the least significant is the most significant). 

(Some of T.S. Eliot's footnotes for "The Waste Land" were intended as jokes, his sense of humor was that dry.

I began to read his work when Breakfast of Champions had just been written, mid 1970s. Timequake was published twenty-some years later, 1997.)

I've been very influenced by recently reading The Poet and the Murderer by Simon Worrall. It concerns a forger, Mark Hoffman, who became rich by "discovering" historic Mormon documents. He would also find other documents which verified the authenticity of his forgery. He almost brought down the Morman church. Worrall's book focuses on the fact that Hoffman also forged an Emily Dickinson poem.

(The Hoffman influence on this narrative would last only a short while during the writing of the first draft and was irrelevant by rewrite time, the same for the biographies of Rimbaud.)

Dale Cooper (played by Kyle MacLachlan), our main character, the FBI agent investigating the death of Laura Palmer, asks, "What really went on between Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedys, and who really pulled the trigger on JFK?"

Cooper asks this of no one but says it into his hand-held dictation device. He is talking to "Diane," a character the audience will never see or hear. 

The inclusion of the Kennedy assassination reference, in 1990, was meant to show that Cooper is a maverick, has opinions that differ from the majority. Now, in 2003, a majority believes there was more than a "lone gunman," unlike back in 1990 when "Twin Peaks" first aired.¹

Also shocking tv content in 1990: a high school girl has been killed, she's had multiple sexual partners and is involved in drugs, possibly in trafficking. Last year, 2002, was the year of 12-year-old girls being abducted and, usually, sexually molested, often found dead (I think of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis in nearby Portland, Oregon).

"Cotton balls!" Nadine yells at Ed.

I'd forgotten Nadine (Wendy Robie) on "Twin Peaks". She's married to my namesake, Ed (Everett McGill), Ed Hurley. He runs a gas station. She wears a black patch over one eye and is otherwise an eccentric character.

Jack Nance! 

He plays Pete (and found Laura's body in the first episode to start this whole ball rolling). He died about year ago in San Francisco. There's a documentary about his life and acting career.²

Richard Beymer's "comeback" it was said; it wasn't. He plays Audrey's father, Ben Horne. 

This was called, by some, Piper Laurie's "comeback" too, though she'd barely been away and hasn't really gone away (thankfully) since "Twin Peaks." She plays Katherine Packard, sister of the dead owner of the lumber mill and its chief operator but not the owner. He willed the mill to his Asian wife, Josie (played by the beautiful Joan Chen).

(I'm called away from watching by Jim Post, watching "Taken" in the living room. I'm in our bedroom. Jim calls out that the cable is having problems, "please stand by".)

Attending college a decade before "Twin Peaks" first aired, I tried my hand at writing poetry. After two years of in Spokane, I transferred for a short time to Seattle. When I returned to Spokane, I wrote my own "Season in Hell".

Rimbaud ran away from Charleville, his hometown, to Paris - did I mention? - three times. And it was back to his mother, now moved to her father's farm, where he returned, after being shot by Verlaine, and wrote his first extended masterpiece, A Season in Hell, his "farewell" to the life of a seer/poet.

It was after my brief time as a student in Seattle, where I studied poetry, that I returned to Spokane and began writing poetry. My disorganization of the senses included what I sensed was involvement with a local newspaper front page story, a suspected link to the recently arrested "Son of Sam," David Berkowitz. It was thought he may have been involved in a local murder and Satanic cult activity.

The Ultimate Evil, a book by Maury Terry,  was later published about the investigation. In that book it is postulated that Berkowitz was not the only killer involved in the "Son of Sam" killings. I believe Terry for many reasons.

Terry shows that David Berkowitz was imitating the poetry of someone he knew, Michael Carr, whose father, Sam, lived next door to Berkowitz. 

I'm reminded of my critique of "Howl" by Allan Ginsberg, a masterpiece poem, one of three highlights of Twentieth Century American poetry (Patterson, by William Carlos Williams, and "The Waste Land", by T.S. Eliot, the others). Although Ginsberg would write other well-written poems, few seem so well-crafted as "Howl". 

Sam Carr's dog would become a piece of the overall puzzle.

I believe that, rather than being representative of Ginsberg's work, "Howl" is an exception. A standout, it is written in imitation of Kerouac's On the Road (or, more likely, Visions of Cody, which had just been written, I think I read somewhere). 

Ginsberg was introduced to Rimbaud by fellow student Lucien Carr³ at Columbia. William Bourroughs encouraged Ginsberg's study of Rimbaud and many other unfamiliar sources. (One of them may have been Jacques Prévert's ""Attempt at a Description of a Supper of Various Heads in Paris, France" which can be viewed at "http://members.tripod.com/~poetx/libr.html".)

The woman who plays Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) can currently be seen in more than one commercial. As Lucy, she is Sheriff Harry Truman's secretary and receptionist, a daffy comic character. Andy is her equally daffy boyfriend, an assistant deputy who cries.

Robertson can currently, 2003, be seen in two commercials. One makes me laugh: door-to-door solicitors are dropped through a trap door on someone's front porch, a metaphor for unwanted e-mail. Robertson is barely noticeable in this ad, but an actress who plays a dominatrix and deadpans, "Wanna see my web cam?" gives an excellent performance.

At least Laura Palmer (Sherilyn Fenn) is doing B movies a decade after "Twin Peaks".

Maury Terry maintains that Berkowitz was writing in the style of John Carr much like Ginsberg was writing in the style of Kerouac.

I just love this "Twin Peaks" theme music.

End of episode two.

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