3. "Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer"

"I am on my way from London to Tangier. In North Africa I will contact the wild-boy packs that range from the outskirts of Tangier to Timbuctu.... I am nobody I am everybody.... I stay present I stay absent."

- William Burroughs, The Wild Boys

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by Edward Lacie

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Episode Three

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"Did you say Leland Palmer's daughter was killed?" There's a long pause. 

The question is asked by Ben Horne's brother, Audrey's uncle, Jerry (David Patrick Kelly, I saw the actor for the first time since "Twin Peaks" in a preview for an upcoming new series just two nights ago, as I type this in early 2003).

When David Berkowitz was arrested for those murders, it was the easiest way out for collective society to think there was a lone madman. People in positions of power had enough of the same to make the "quick" explanation the only explanation.

Similarly, a few years later, a Naval explosion was initially blamed on a gay crewman's "suicide." The government was eager to have an official explanation from which all subsequent truth would be drawn. A quick response is an important part of the formula (cover-ups are implicit).

A fault in this manner of investigation is evident only after the fact:

Choosing an official version, and then ensuring that all subsequent "history" conform to that version, is like doing a rewrite before you write a first version. I wonder if it could be done in fiction! (As I rewrite and retype this, I see that I've tried to do this and have failed.)

The most obvious example is the one that began the new century: George "Dubious" Bush willing himself a Presidency. He even got the eventual help of the Supreme Court who had come round to his way of seeing things before their ruling was made.

March, 2003, an "inevitable" war seems a day away for weeks now. George's rush to war in his head is too unresolved to be included as part of this text, but I strive for his certitude. 

I know the ending at which I want to arrive: I want a job as literary critic responsible for introducing the poetry of Greg Baysans to a wider audience. Once that's accomplished, my explications of his poems will be published. Income, income, it's about working.

About seeing the actor David Patrick Kelley on "Twin Peaks" in 1990, and never seeing the actor again until earlier this week as I write and  rewatch "Twin Peaks" in December, 2002: Is this a "BM"? [I'll be explaining my use of "BM" here very soon.] Or is it only a coincidence?) His next line is one of my all-time favorites from the whole series:

"I'm depressed."

That brings up my mental health and drug history, covered in the next episode. I should explain the murder first. Where to begin?

I committed murder as a humanitarian gesture. It's not a result of taking prescribed drugs.

Not drugs that made me kidnap, either. That was, I stated earlier, supposed to be a second murder. 

Murder would have been easier. Kidnapping has become burdensome. Things never turn out like they are intended.

The kidnapping itself was pretty easy. (My hostage's identity will also be revealed a few episodes after the other revelation.)

I discovered The James White Review (hereafter "The JWR" or just "JWR"), a gay men's literary quarterly, in the mid-90s when I submitted an essay on French poets. It was rejected. 

The JWR was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1983. 
Founding editors Phil Willkie, Greg Baysans and Paul Emond were members of a writers group. Willkie was the founder of that group. Baysans was a typesetter as well as fledgling poet. Emond was a novelist at work on "the great American novel" which he was over half-done with in first draft.

"On the day of her death, Laura Palmer wrote this in her diary," Cooper says as I pause to watch this scene, another favorite. Cooper throws rocks at a bottle and calls out the names of the suspects in the murder of Laura Palmer.

"But did not break. Very important. Lucy, write that down." 

The country was looking for a scapegoat when Lee Harvey Osward was caught. Berkowitz too. In my case, I was looking for a murderer among my circle of acquaintances.

My poetry, in being all-inclusive, had pulled me into the role of seer and when I indeed saw I didn't like it but couldn't turn away. I saw myself as a new Jesus walking through a Dead Sea of evil. I had apostles, a Mary or two of my own. I was writing the new biography of a false prophet. I was fighting snowstorms. There was great and terrible power on a plate of toast.

I can't memorize my own address or phone number. Like cars, numbers are numerous but at heart all the same and peripheral.

Halloween, 1979, the day before Iranian fundamentalists took an American Embassy and inhabitants hostage. Happening one day after my paranoid (or was it?) night before, my breakdown continued in the direction of up.

A rock or two later, the bottle breaks on "Leo Johnson" and I gasp, twelve years after first seeing this. I didn't expect that. Leo did not kill Laura Palmer.

The person I killed was a blight, Berkowitz-like, a sponge and usurper of humanity. I cracked up in 1979 and murdered in 2002; I'm sure there's no connection between them.

Miguel Ferrar (playing FBI Agent Albert Rosenfeld)! I'd forgotten that this was his tv series debut too! (He's also George Clooney's cousin.) He's on more than one series now-a-days, doing very well. (It always seems like he's playing this same semi-obnoxious role.)

"Ed, we're gonna be so rich," Nadine purrs.

Years after my own "disorganization" (usually referred to as my breakdown in the direction of up), while reading the poetry of Greg Baysans in back issues of the JWR (in the archives of the campus library in Spokane), I sensed an immediacy like that I felt when I had read Rimbaud during my trauma, a quality of paring down essentials of language what others bury in games of language and decoration. Each has a distinct voice that is both passive and one of authority. 

It was no surprise to discover that Baysans identified with Rimbaud. In his poem, "Is this garbage?", Baysans refers to the "seer letter" of Rimbaud (as well as to another famous letter of poetic theory, Keats's "negative capability" postulate). (The poem has recently been posted at http://members.tripod.com/~myrightmind/aa005.html.)

I must write about Rimbaud's Illuminations but won't have enough time to briefly explain that complex story before this episode ends. Briefly, Illuminations is Rimbaud's second book, one he wrote but never collected or published. Verlaine is largely responsible for it becoming known to the public. Rimbaud was unaware of it being printed in Paris while he was living in interior Africa.

"Twin Peaks" made apple pie popular. I baked it at Comfy Kitchen in Spokane where I worked before and after my schooling in Seattle.

Jim Post calls from the next room for a back rub. He goes by "Jim Post" because Jim is such a common name and "Post" is only one additional syllable. I occasionally refer to him as just "Jim" but it's usually as naturalistic to write what I'd say, "Jim Post."

End of episode three.

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