4. "Rest in Pain"

"The mountains of Harar are now visible to the south: twin peaks."

- Charles Nicholl, Sombody Else

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by Edward Lacie

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Episode Four

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I'd forgotten the sheriff's name, in "Twin Peaks," is Harry S. Truman. That constitutes a coincidence, not really a "B-M" - the occurance of the "Baader-Meinhoff Syndrome" named and defined in an online forum called "Bulletin Board" (the daily posting is also printed in the St. Paul [MN] "Pioneer Press Dispatch" newspaper), edited by Dan Kelly. Poet X is a frequent contributor to the column.

Cubism was an art movement that originated in Paris around 1910 with paintings by Georges Braques, Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso. It was also a movement in literature, the last time the visual arts and literature were "on the same page."

Cut-ups are a literary technique used by the Beat writers (whose activities of the 1940s informed the 1950s) in the 1960s. The technique was used by poet Harold Norse in a Paris room thought to once have been that of Rimbaud. The poems of Rimbaud were an early source material for experiments in cut-up poems and prose.

JWR co-founder Phil Willkie is the grandson of presidential candidate of the 1940s, Wendell Willkie. On his mother's side, Willkie is related to the financially successful Hefflefinger family, a Minnesota family related to Pillsbury Flour. After his father's suicide, Phil's mother moved the family back to her native Minnesota from Indiana and its veneration of the Willkie name.

"Do you know where dreams come from?" Cooper asks. "Break the code...solve the crime."

Besides his genius, all Rimbaud had was his legs, and he loved to walk: from Paris to Charleville, across the Alps to Italy, across the deserts in Africa. Years later, in Marsailles, months before he would die, they cut off his right leg and all he could talk of was being well enough to wear a prosthesis and walk again.

Albert is punched and falls on the corpse in the autopsy room, causing barely a blink in 2003, whereas in 1990 this was audacious content for a network show.

I've been taking Prozac for fourteen months. The initial dosage was 20 mg, prescribed on September 18, 2001, exactly a week after a date most likely remember. At the same time I was prescribed Trazedone as needed to help me sleep.

The dosage was upped to 40 mg sometime before I committed the murder I've mentioned, April 13, 2002. In May, 2002, my then doctor suggested the Prozac be increased to 60 mg. She was about to take a two-month sabatical.

Poet X is a shadowy figure. His birthplace is unknown. His real name is rumored to be Fred Sauser, but this is unverified. Greg Baysans has used the name for a "handle" when submitting his comments to Bulletin Board. Baysans began to use the moniker only after moving from Minneapolis to Portland, Oregon, in 1993, where he met Poet X sometime in early 1995.

("In Which We Serve," about a priest's sexual encounter, may have been inspired by a story told by Poet X who claimed to have once been a priest.)

A poem by Baysans, "Aboard the Kursk," chronicles the sinking of the Russian submarine in early 2000. Although historical references had been an element of poems from his Minneapolis years, in this poem Baysans constructed an entire work using a news incident as metaphor.

In 2002, in his 500-line "A Real Education", actual newspaper accounts become the lines of poems.

The pharamacist asked why the doasage had been increased.

 "I'm having trouble sleeping. The doctor thought that the insomnia should no longer be troubling me after a half year on Prozac. Trazedone. she's said, would be more effective this way, and the insomnia should stop.

Jim Post told me I have to find some kind of work¹ soon, even if it's not a job related to teaching or poetry or what I did for Enron. I know it too. I am anxious to work. The problem is that I am good at what I do and the zeitgeist demands that those working not know their jobs, demands Emperors in New Clothes. President George Double-U (Unqualified and Unnerving) Bush is Example One.

I note² a theme in the employment-related poems of Baysans. His unemployment is a reflection of the times and not of his abilities or lack of them. As in "A Real Education," pretenders have the jobs and the lawyers to keep them there!

"That's a high dosage," the pharmacist said. 

(A commercial on "Twin Peaks" for an Earth Day special features the casts of five different shows then in production, all since cancelled and finished: "Cheers", "Cosby", "Golden Girls", "Murphy Brown" and "Married With Children". It's hard to remember they were contemporaries.)

Nadine is strengthening up on a rowing machine.

I took 60 mg for the next few days but got a feeling like I was in a bubble and walking on air, so I returned to taking 40 mg and awaited the doctor's return months later.

At our next meeting, she told me it would be our last session. No replacement has been named at that clinic. 

Bulletin Board began appearing shortly before "Twin Peaks" first aired on ABC.

A frequent inclusion, besides "Cute Kid Stories", is the relating of what have become known as "BMs".

From the January 31, 2003, edition of BB, comes this concise definition of a "BM":

"Reports Papa Carl of Mendota Heights:

"A B-M is almost spooky when it happens. 

"Last night, I looked up Dickens in an Encyclopedia, as my son has a 10-volume set of the 'Complete Works of Dickens,' published in 1870. Discovered that Dickens died in 1870. Reading through a list of his books and stories, I was surprised to see how many I had read, seen in movies or on stage, or at least knew the titles. One title, 'Dombey and Son,' I had never heard before. I asked my wife if she had heard it before — but it was foreign to her, also. 

"I then picked up Jonathan Raban's 'Passage to Juneau' and began to read. Within a few pages, he began to list some of the books he had aboard his boat to read on his journey. One was Dickens' 'Dombey and Son.' He gave an interesting anecdote from the book. "I can hardly believe this all happened within a span of 15 or 20 minutes." 

Earlier today, even before I decided to start this whole "Twin Peaks" viewing, Jim and I were watching "Will & Grace" and he asked why they'd name a character Will Truman.

Already slightly familiar with the poetry of Baysans from the 1980s, which I'd discovered a decade later, in 2001 I was researching a paper on AIDS poems when I discovered Baysans's poetry on the internet. 

I was myself consindering a return to writing poetry after years of writing only critical essays and explications of Rimbaud, Valéry, Mallarme and other French poets in translation.

I asked Jim Post why he was asking, and he said it was because a president was already named that. I supplied the name of which he was thinking.

Then I remembered that Harry Truman was also the name of a man who lived near Mt. St. Helens who died when it erupted in 1980. What I did not remember during that conversation so many hours ago, though, is that Harry S. Truman is also the sheriff of Twin Peaks.

The Cubists were attempting to present an object's three-dimensionality in two dimensions. They also wished to bring painting down from some pedastal and, to show this, they would sometimes incorporate common objects, even newspaper, into their paintings and writings.

End of this episode.

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