14. "Demons"

"The gun

"A false clue  

"Nothing can kill


"Not a poem or a fat penis. Bang."

- Jack Spicer, "Billy the Kid"

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by Edward Lacie

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Episode Fourteen

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Jim Post is watching "Trading Places" instead of "Taken", which he's given up on. Should I change my own title to "Harar: Trading Places in Twin Peaks"? I don't dislike that for an alternate title.

I'm warming up, having paused between writing the previous episode and this one. That theme music I love.

That's part of warming up: finding your place. Maybe I need to read back a few pages to see where I was. Pieces, pieces.

The last episode ended with Orchid-boy, Howard, asking, "Are you looking for secrets?" In episode fourteen writer/director David Lynch becomes an actor in the role of Cooper's super. He wears hearing aids and talks as loud as he thinks people are talking to him. 

I've told Baysans of my idea, inspired by reading The Poet and the Murderer, to create a fictional poet who writes poems that validate his - Baysans's. Baysans laughed and liked the idea.

Together we've come up with the following initial biographical notes from which to work:

Blaise Cendrars: born in Switzerland, wrote in French, quit publishing poetry in 1925, published two novels in 1926, and, according to a web-page bio, "did his best to fictionalize his past." (I whipped up a quick fake page for some poetry web-site I found that had no security set-ups.)

Cendrars was a runaway at 15 or 16, and his early poetry was experimental. He was acquainted with the originators of Cubism and was published by the originators of Surrealism. In 1915 he lost his right arm in war battle. (Baysans put that last detail in, another sort of veiled reference to Rimbaud.) 

In 1924 he met John dos Pasos and Ernest Hemingway. A decade later he was friends with Henry Miller. (I figured such literary acquaintances would be expected, and how could I help but want to mention Miller again?)

He died a well-respected man of letters in the early 1960s, a few days after winning the Paris Grand Prize award in literature. (That cruel twist of irony was Baysans's idea. And I thought I was bitter.)

The novels: Other than his memoir-based later writings, his two most known novels are: 
Sutter's Gold (1926), a fictionalized account of John Sutter, he of the California Gold Rush who died in poverty. The book, written in an almost childishly simply way, was a favorite of Josef Stalin. (Baysans had learned the fact about Sutter in a trivia game. I came up with the Stalin idea.)

Another work of his, a piece of fiction, I'll call Moravagine, the title character's name, is a madman descendant of the last king of Hungary. 

Moravagine (Latin, "death to the vagina", (my suggestion) dies in an asylum and his papers find their way to Cendrars, a character in the book (Baysans's concept). 

Moravagine's confusion is a result of his living in times of propaganda and war. Nothing is to be believed in his world. Moravagine's madness mirrors the chaos of his times.

My first draft refers to a Vonnegut quote, something to the effect: beware who you pretend to be, you will become it. I don't remember which book of his gives us this lesson. (This is my note meant to be researched later.)

In the first draft, I include biographical info about myself in this narrative for the first time. In the rewrite, I've moved that information to Episode One.

The following is one of the only additions by the hacker that I didn't delete before wishing I could retrieve them. A hacker struck my files in early February, 2003, as I was finishing this e-novel. I deleted what damage I first found and then, when I realized the damage was more extensive than I could manage, I enlisted the services of an electronic file retrieval professional. The following paragraph served as a sample for the de-bugger to study, so I'm glad I didn't delete it when I first started finding damage to these files. - ewl

Jimmy Carter, you don't really want to go to war. Jimmy Carter, I have a friend who just left for Iran and another friend's gone missing. Sheriff Gardner, it's them damn Satanists. Them Satanists, them Satanists and them Devil Worshippers. And them Satanists.

Of course I recognize it as a parody of, or at least a reference to, Allen Ginsberg's lines from "America" but I didn't put the above lines into this manuscript at any point, first draft or rewrite. The Satanist crap gives me chills that go back to '79. - ewl

If Rimbaud had a permanent address in Africa, it was Harar. His third visit there is a tragic one. Having been cheated and drained of his merchandise and by his dead partner's debt, after a three year absence, Rimbaud returns to Harar to collect on IOUs written by the local leader. He finds Harar had been ravaged by war. Most of the few Europeans left there when he'd departed had since themselves left. Corpses and the smell of corpses were everywhere.

A year or two later Rimbaud would return there (again!) and set up and run his own trading post, a modest success, one of the most identifiable successes of Rimbaud's life.

I should have just killed Baysans like I did Poet X. There's not much time to wait any longer.

The poems he's written since kidnapping him are good but not worth a sou, of course.

As I rewrite and retype this, I'm watching "Law & Order" instead of "Twin Peaks", resulting in a strange alteration of focus. I'm the criminal now instead of the voice for victims that I was when I took up Rimbaud's and Laura Palmer's banners.

After more than two months there has been no response to my demand for ransom for Baysans. I'm wondering why I didn't choose some local politician or even a cabaret singer, something, anyone else who might be worth a ransom.

My pile of rejection slips for manuscripts and essays on Baysans and his work is growing instead of declining. I've written a couple brief new explications as well, adding notes I've learned from Baysans the few times he's been willing to share such information.

I forget if there's a name for it, but something I learned in theater could be called "Chekov's Law" in which he stated, "If there's a gun on the stage it must be there for a reason included in the script."

I'm going to propose "Lara's Law" in honor of our neighbor. Her daughter, Sabina, told her about seeing someone in our basement. I mentioned in the first draft how I could be caught because of that mistake.

I can reveal, during the final rewrite, the sort of opposite to "Chekov's Law" that is "Lara's Law" - just because something appears "on stage" does not mean that it must be used. Nothing turns out as it's been plotted.

Baysans is getting interested in "Twin Peaks" which I've started watching with him in the basement instead of upstairs. It's got Jim Post even more upset and impatient with me.

Jim Post may get so upset he'll do the killing for me!

Talking with Baysans has not helped me learn what I need to know to be able to write poetry again myself. Baysans likes my prose style, though, so I'm encouraged to keep writing essays and such. I was surprised how little French poetry Baysans was familiar with. He's never even read Baudelaire! How can one "interpret" Rimbaud without Baudelaire?

Here ends the harangue.

End of episode.

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