Looks like we may be running out of summer. Now I may not get to the beach to relax in sand (a pain anyway, gets into books & notebooks, yikes!), but I remember as I watch the rain fall outside that I had promised a serial “roman d’été” or “beach novel” on NOMADICS blog this summer in the tradition of French & German daily and weekly newspapers. Well, here we go: a French author, Claude Pélieu, and his book (a novel it ain’t, but then novels are boring anyway) called KALI YUG EXPRESS, as translated by his life-companion, Mary Beach. And so, even if we’re not on the beach anymore, this is a Beach Book — & had both of them lived, the book may have come out as a “Beach Books, Documents & Texts” which was Mary’s marvelous imprint, way back when. (A French edition came out from Christian Bourgois Editeur in 1973). Enjoy over the next, oh, 5 to 6 days.
KALI YUG EXPRESS
© copyright 2009 by the estates of Claude Pélieu and Mary Beach
All rights reserved.
New Kind of Fascism has emerged in the wake of the so-called acid-revolution. Born of boredom loneliness and intense spiritual hunger, it has captured some of America’s most creative young minds. In a period of extreme personal liberation, it has caused more and more believers to opt for servility, to let their lives — their careers, pleasures, loyalties, even choice of lovers — be controlled by the holy whim of one man.
David Felton. From Mindfuckers, Straight Arrow Books, 1972
FOR CHARLES PLYMELL
IN MEMORIAM LEE CRABTREE
A WESTERN AT THE GATES OF HEAVEN
the sky is fringed with golden red tonight
Highways bleed dawn-stones. Frost lisps all year long. Bare stones fill time. your star-studded footsteps, & flowers scream “no sooner written no sooner extinguished.” An ink spot tells me that I’m not the toy of hazard.
KALI YUG EXPRESS, COCA NEON CAMERA SUTRA — grief banks are open day and night, laughter-banks too — waves carry bundles of tears away, and the buskers sleep in time’s bed.
“When a finger points at the moon, the imbecile looks at the finger.”
Good and bad news, via satellite, extraordinary, instantaneous news, sequences written above the landscapes, in smoke, on the deserted Technopolis sidewalks, in the echo chambers and the murmur in front of the reality studio, behind the TV jukeboxes, in the basement of the Videotheque of the Universe — crossing the oceans, the Great Plains, deserts, clambering down the mauve, snowy hills, wandering in arcades of slot-machines, from bar to bar — I see a neon sign, huge, great multicolored letters… “NO GOD NO PEACE… KNOW GOD KNOW PEACE… DAY-GLO FUN PACK”… wandering with the shadows, caught between two languages, wandering from hollow to hollow, escaping maturity, to the poem and prose kitchen, to routines, to the Brain Police, strolling on beaches seeing the old 50’s and 60’s grey film, the wall of lamentations of Hollywoodstock Market again, seeing again the huge hysterical and political circus in free fall… a super flash in the dew… I decided to write this book in any old way for just anyone. And for Charley Plymell and Joël Hubaut. “My days have wandered away,” blue in a wall of tea.
Crossbows, scents, miles of wind hanging onto a sex, jukeboxes and scatterings. Everything’s damp, shining, wet, quivering, and the rain hides behind a curtain of aspen. A grieving seagull pukes a wisp of smoke, orange stomps, like these written words, films broadcast over every landscape, dying on the spongy, gray screen of everyday.
New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dublin, London, Penzance, St. Ives, Beachy Head, Electric Rainbow Hill, Muddles Green, Coca Neon And Dreams For Sale. Softly grass-flesh cries out. Silence breaks into the flesh. I ignore academic and social grimaces. A shabby, purplish cloud deflates. Over there a lovely green grass coming from Kenya, cultivated on top of a mountain near a big blue lake — a floating typewriter over there.
Ink-solitude, gestures freed by patience & panic, the silence displaces a few drops of water, colors stolen from angels and children are reborn on a sprig of syringa.
Never slow down. Never. Hang onto light, like God. Then a wave of maple syrup. “Get off my cloud Shitface!” — you dig anecdotes, they say — in that case, my advice is to travel light. In the end all the nudes did go downstairs. Nostalgic ghosts return to the non-visions that dominate them, when unity exists in their deepest souls. They don’t know how to waste time nor to get stoned, they don’t know how to take the time, nor capture the wind. We’re on earth, among the living, in the heart of the Electronic Democracy, in the Kingdom of the Flower-Age, and we know that Eternity is a big whirling thing. We don=t need to the meaning of a word explained to us.
I accost you in a shower of colors.
Those colors belong to the Planet.
We’ll be neither worse nor better off.
It’s by begging that we become writers, of course, ink lies, mikes jostle each other, reality overflows, energy versus logic — mud isn’t against our having fun, demons sponsored that farce greatly — collective loneliness and absence of privacy may have awakened us, technology has given another meaning to life. Mist created man and woman, and those that want to alienate us at any price, they’re not autonomous personalities… as for the rest? The rest weren’t really inspired… the spinning of the Universe is very near to what we call madness, so, why did you lie down among the swine with your history books? Start doing your thing.
A friend committed suicide in Cleveland… one morning waking up, he unhooked a gun and placed the cold, damp phallus in his mouth, then fired the trigger, and the bullet exploded in his mouth like a very powerful youngster… The
Brain Police had already signed his death sentence. A prism-penis of hamburger-death dancing among flowers and trees, flashes modeling on the snarling, stupid mob’s bloodshot eyes… (I heard of his death in Honolulu)… When you abandon cities you see all of reality — silence and music translate your emotions word for word, image against image — our emotions have told us lately and unvariably that the Universe is perfect, unwavering, & if I understand well, the governments of the Earth have really decided to save the Planet.
A twilight-boat capsizes with fairy tales.
A sharp pain breathes in the heart of England. New Morning, American Beauty, and Nashville’s Enamel-gaze, the new sounds of Motor City fed by the wild winds of the Great Lakes — unsuspecting children go by while a dead leaf soars over them — they’re told to hurry off to school, they shrug their shoulders… dolmens & menhir show off their beautiful white teeth, a silvery wave carries a teddy bear away.
Coca Neon, grass vanishes behind the transistors of innocence.
Cities, mouth-taxis, blue zones, conscience-worlds, vaudeville, festivals, games, warm skies swallowed by lacerations, driftings, vanished throngs, Burger City, smells of pepper and mint, Mona Lisa ambushed in a neon-kaleidoscope toke… Southern Pacific, Jefferson Airplane, the Fugs, The Twentieth Century Train, Cosmic Drag… rebirth of neon, comix, light shows, automatic pilots, pebbles playing on the Heart-Strand, this world, yours, mine, ours — we were in the Valley of the Dead, everything was electrified, even the chirping of crickets — the planet’s huge stammering on a pinball machine covered with blue fruit.
I think the cities are still there, Paris, Panama City, Honolulu, Mexcity, L.A., San Fran, Chicago, New York, London… Gasoline Alley, Magical Street, the Lower East Side, Haight, North Beach, Snow Hill, Muddles Green… Nothing has changed. The cities are still controlled by the Brain Police, cordoned off, dripping with neon… drugstores, videotheques, supermarkets, Polaroid Drag, pollution hole — the automatic pilot makes a tri-colored jump, falls back, exhausted, into the puke of a generation — but of course, he’s a hero, shit!… it was a question of walking, waiting, spinning around, finding a good vein, surviving flat on the ground, back to the wall, gnawed by sickness and cramps, whirling with shadows, with corner-words of black cold and white hunger…That’s what it was, police-cars, banal chumps, raids, identity controls, what happens in any megapolis. We watched the garlands of perforated veins, unreal titles… the old films rotted with the detritus of hunger, thirst, fear… the spoon, the eye-droppers, the shit heating slowly, & grey and red flowers returning from the clouds. You’re either in or out of it — with a vague woman odor on a bench in a dive, very ordinary — with aging flesh, blade against blade. And you wake up in a grey dawn sick, you’re always given a bad role. Junkies always tell the same story. There’s nothing to understand, except what’s told on movie posters… you pull out the nine of hearts from your sleeve, snow three of a kind! And blood beats in your temples… short-legged delirium, lisping identities toppling in the great belly-waters… sadness, Heart Break Passage, pop eyes, drifting away — black streets, nocturnal almonds, boiling lead dripping on congealed idling periods.
Nerves hesitate, plastered on the sex-gills, in the death-pit of oblivion. Un-translatable silences. We on the right road, in blurs, inside, outside, and we live with our mouths closed at the end of the most beautiful night, a no-story wading outside of veins — a cabin in the sky — delta-lips dance on the wings of a missile, drunken gestures, semaphores of bone, aluminum and polyester trails… shrill whistles, flames, burned reeds, alfalfa fields set on fire, unkempt clouds all the way to your thighs, and the red mud of thousands of guys holding radars by hand.
Something turned white, swayed, flowed to the horizon, night, Obscure Vale, sorting out of stars, and at 13000 meters, in my sky, Navigator Flower… and sweet almond oil or carnation, protecting the grass in a dream’s backseat… blazing screens, subtitle sounds, Immedia Video, rainy credits… and the slowness, among daylight’s crockery, and the flesh that discovers itself automatically — so, how can you imagine anything? Intermission — that something that cracks like neon on Eternity’s velvet index, attacking bare lips. Dead water. Rutting punches. Games of solitaire.
Expressways, penis gas-pumps, all in bloom… the massacre of chromosomes, so we had to make a break, inside, that is elsewhere, close-up, obeying the call of nerves — and to write all that in bulk, and to talk — writing it on water, sand and wind, on branches… giant billboards… 1963, November, the awful news, JFK is assassinated in Dallas — American troupes settle in Southeast Asia… technicians the CIA and KGB’s dogs, napalmicans, Air Opium Pentagon, and then LBJ-HHH… fluid time tattooed with swells, leaks, the mad hitchhiking from North Beach to Monterey, Bodega Bay to Big Sur — a new consciousness was affirming itself, cracking the jukebox, like snapping teeth in grass wounded by frost. Arizona, New Mexico, sand mandalas take off, brown Mexican wisps agonize in the corn & black wheat fields, stones, turquoise curtains, wind choppers, and Indian flowers emptied of their sap. Mouth to mouth reanimated memory. Long flexible cocks making their way through blurs, in truth, the fiction-flux of something, and all the sounds of the world are more in tune, wider, more humane in spite of everything… like images opened with a knife in the Sierra, or in the flesh stores of Spanish Harlem… ultramarine blue tearing at the Ocean Planet. And signs in the cutlery that night had nothing more to murmur. Empty shippers on the other side of the rink, flashes, communiques, & from dawn to dusk swaying, with hands on hips.
Slowness. Ephemeral grimaces. We can only breathe in reality. And I wrote to William almost every day: Agony to breathe here. Signed: The Frisco Kid… then silence was transferred outside the ropes, the boxer was knotted up by a curt snapping of fingers, and on a stormy night’s smooth brow a very soft word burst, that word could sleep at last, like a ping-pong ball… Realities? Those smiles so forced because of dreaming, living… the angel gets up, plays the electric organ, night overflows.
Frisco in the gangways of the eye. The crumbs of an old western. The one we were writing in Frisco, Tangier, New York, London, Mannheim — electronic fairies had something to do with it, and the Enchanters will come again, in a month, a year, with their bouquets of eyes and fuck yous, with Panama Rose, Rose Nebraska, Tim Leary the Cosmic Whore, Xerox Punk, Kali Yug, Captain America and Snoopy… I saw that day tattooed on a child’s teeth — imagination’s sparkling crime in the Pranksters’ eyes, and the dead, as sad and grateful as gloves. There was no one in the Snow Subway.
Smiles, grimaces. With a spray can I wrote on the wall: THE SUN WILL SHINE WITHOUT YOU. And it was true. And it’s still true. Then a cross on your sucker-eyes, a cross on the junkie, a cross on everything — daylight never ends, people mature on white metal, & the silence they impose on themselves isn’t worth much — mechanics refuse to obey, electric fingers masturbate children who shit on the heads of their elders, they write on living rags, kill, loot, set fires, and the Chorus Girls are in the know… teargas fumes swallow mirrors and walls.
At that time, Allen, Peter & Gary were in India, Japan, Kerouac had left for Florida, Orlando or St. Petersburg, checking his satori-aim after having written Big Sur.
I drove day and night in blue silk. Dylan spiked light in Wichita, Kansas, cities were hungry and cold, the earth was warm as a child’s spit. Sexual shards boiled by Lucy Mirror, dog-eye touching-mouth pebble, morphine within reach… the Angel takes off from Chinatown which was star-studded at the time… creased heavens, panes sticky with sperm, milk-revolver, emeralds stumble, blue grass blazes — the electronic music of Democracy, Virginia creeper drowned in Coca-Cola, a pink tornado, session Hard Rock, Dixie flutes, tubercular TV — strange to think of all that now, see how things have changed, people, the world, life… Nova Kim was with us, and Boo-Boo, wandering in British afternoons, with the latest junkies, sniffing fluid and silent anecdotes… and Sharky, with or without a mustache, was hiding in the grey voices of cops.
An empty suitcase abandoned in a hotel on Magical Street.
A melon colored moon explodes.
Desperate last words in a sticky dawn, CIA smells, odors of China in Cut City — primrose was my name, a tornado cut in naked eyes — Image Base, Nebraska-fugue, and Blue Jack Ink arranged eyes in time, with the Sepia Kid dying in Oaxaca like a simple sound.
(to be continued….)