21. "Checkmate"

"Pour yourself a liter, a liter of libido

"And this trendy originality"

- Blaise Cendrars, "Life Shots" ("Natures Mortes")

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by Edward Lacie

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Episode Twenty-One

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After two days of being missing, the Major reappears in his family living room during a thunderstorm.

He, like Ben Horn after a few days in jail, is somewhat unstable just now. I can relate.

I kidnapped Baysans on November 30, 2002, my birthday. In the first draft of this prose version, written while he was captive, I list here my reasons for kidnapping him: the death threat a way to acknowledge that poets' lives are worth nothing until they are gone; how creating worth for his work would increase the necessity of the explication of his work, something poets themselves are untrustworthy writers of. 

Huge area here removed by the hacker, unretrievable. -ewl

Someone mentions the White Lodge. There's a knock at my door. Have I been followed, found out?

The White Lodge is a hotel in Spokane where I used to sit in the parking lot, smoke marijuana like Verlaine and Rimbaud, and write.

Cooper has Lucy look for a mention of Windham Earl in the want ads of major cities' newspapers; she didn't find one.

I feel like Lucy at the beginning, rather than the end, of her task. 

(In the background, her television airs the soap opera they watch in Twin Peaks, "Invitation to Love," an entirely fictional series. I should pay more attention and see if there are ever cast credits given for those performers; there'd have to be.)

"The plot thickens," Dick says, intending it to be cliché. I've not mentioned him before. He's the rival to Andy for paternity of Lucy's unborn. All three characters provide comic relief.

Nadine, still super strong, beats Hank! This scene is a scream. She, too, is a comic relief character. Ben, who started out as so professional, so mature, such a civic leader, is a basket case. I feel like him, too.

This is all easier, empathy is, when hungry.

Jim Post is mad about everything, the way I leave an impression in his side of the couch, the foods I eat and don't pay for, the way I sleep at his side which we once both enjoyed. He yells at me more often than not which is not the right equation.

The plot of "Twin Peaks" slows down here while James, on the road, has an affair with a manupulating married woman. It's a storyline that seems soap-opera only, no strange element of Lynch bent-ness to it.

I'm too private to mention our lack of sex life. Again, Bush tries to create a foreign policy, Andy Dick attempts Racine, Berkowitz tries being the real Son of Sam.

The formula has to be right to achieve a vision, but even Ram Dass isn't giving it out. He'll tell you it involves fasting, though. So will the Bible (Jesus' time in the desert). And walking which is a form of prayer. Just ask Rimbaud. 

Poor Donna (Lara Flyn Boyle) has to content herself with postcards from James. (Second rewrite inserts the jokes here and there including this one here that was deleted in the next rewrite: What are three famous things Lara Flynn Boyle has been on? "Twin Peaks", "The Practice" and Jack Nicholson.)

"Then we both die," Cooper says as if to answer my question.

"Before you came here," Jacques Renault's brother says in heavy French accent, "Twin Peaks was a simple place." His speech is crucial to my on-going narrative, my metaphor.

Dennis/Denise brought Cooper a gun in her panty hose. I still can't get over Fox Mulder in drag. Like "Twin Peaks" is "Blue Velvet" grown up, "X Files" is Agent Mulder grown up whereas his earliest days as a rookie are recorded here in "Twin Peaks"!

Suddenly there is another character (in "Twin Peaks" at least) dead. I'm not revealing who.

(A second attempt at a joke appeared here: Rimbaud ran away to Paris three times. The second time he walked home to his mother's which took a week. Why didn't he walk home the first time? Answer: That was the time when he'd been raped by a barracks of soldiers.)

Although Rimbaud never used the cut-up¹ technique, there is a connection between Rimbaud and the introduction of cut-ups to the Beats who were fond of the method: Harold Norse, in his autobiography Memoirs of a Bastard Angel, writes, "In February 1960, before moving into the Beat Hotel and after leaving the apartment, I began doing ink drawings and cut-up poetry at the Hotel Univers² ¸on rue St. Grégoire de Tours next door to Edouard Roditi. He had often put me up at number 8 where, he said, Théodore de Banville had rented a room for Rimbaud."³

It has to be frustration from the failure of this venture which leads to the possible murder of a man named Ali that Rimbaud commits around this time.

(Final draft: I'm keeping the above two paragraphs exact from the rough draft because I can't "edit" them well enough for the final version to eliminate the "Gun Run" [get-rich-quick scheme], but I'm also lazy and will leave the research to the readers. My first version, written during the rewrite of this so not included in the notes I have on paper, included a description of this misadventure that I don't wish to rewrite.)

As I rewrite this months later, I do an internet search for Blaise Cendrars and discover that he's been translated from the bogus "translations" that Baysans and I put together back to the original French! There are many sites in French which have taken up the banner of Blaise Cendrars and his little-known part in Surrealist literature.

"You've seen this before," Truman eerily says to Cooper (the same words of the Giant once?). Cooper describes the wounds on the latest body before they are revealed, showing he knows who the killer was: Windham Earl, their on-going chess game. "I can still feel his presence. Windham Earl is a genius. (He) and I played a game every day for three years."

Jim Post has told me I have to kill Baysans or let him go. Or leave myself. That's the last option. I meant to finish this rough draft in the next two weeks but now that schedule has been speeded up.

Of love, Cooper tells Truman, "I've brought some baggage. Carolyn (the woman he was in love with and who died) was Windham Earl's wife. I think he killed her."

Djami, no mention of Djami, the servant and companion of Rimbaud for longer than anyone in his life, the only person to receive an "inheritance" by name.

No mention of the women, either. Two of them. No mention of Rimbaud's last few letters from Africa, before the amputation changed everything.

"I look forward to marrying. Will you find me a wife?"

Another episode's end.

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