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Posts Tagged ‘Knights’

I am reading two books at the same time — one chapter from one and then one from the other. I guess you can consider both of them sf/fantasy novels. One, written by CJ Cherryh, leans more towards swords and sorcery science fiction with an underlay of the Welsh legends of Morgaine who later morphed into Morgan le Fey of King Arthur and Merlin fame
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Morgan le Fay
— the other, by China Mieville, more a steampunk story about conflicts over language in a world far in the future.
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Despite the vast differences between the stories and the styles of their authors, they have begun to intertwine in my mind into the semblance of a third story — Morgaine, her deadly (Vorpal?) sword Changeling in hand, rides madly across the cosmos toward that lonely, small, strange, steampunk planet at the edge of the universe where humans have taught the hugely competent and hugely huge indigenous people how to lie and then addict them like crack freaks to the sound of someone talking shit to them. Then these native lexemic junkies start killing each other and everything else until they are persuaded to enter a complex linguistic twelve-step program. Meanwhile, in Eddy Poe’s world, the Raven still cries “Nevermore Lenore.”

I cannot wait to get back to Bangkok where the bizarre is real life, the government an indolent autocracy, everyone lies and the sex is twenty dollars retail.

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It was Autumn in Paris. We walked down Rue de Grenelle on the left bank, my arm around her shoulders. She wore a long checkered coat. We stopped to look into the window of a shop selling antique playing and tarot cards. I pulled her towards me. We kissed. We were very much in love. We stood there arms entwined gazing at one another. She was very very beautiful. That was the point when, last night, I realized I had been dreaming. I could feel myself being pulled away into wakefulness. My dream me cried out. I, however, felt no tears. I lay there in bed the rest of the night unable to get back to sleep. It had been like a reverse nightmare, waking up was the horror. The whole thing reminded me of a poem I had written many many years ago when I was much younger and living in Rome. I fancied myself a poet then (more a lifestyle than a profession). I lived in a small pensione on the top floor of a building on a side street just off via Nationale across from St Paul’s within the Walls, the major American Protestant Church in Rome. In the evenings I would sit in my room by the open window and listen to the then love of my life, practice on the piano in the church rectory were she lived having been sent there by her exceedingly wealthy Danish parents to study music at The National Academy of St. Cecilia in Rome. She was exceptionally beautiful, an accomplished musician, a doper and a bit of a groupie, especially attracted to bass fiddle jazz musicians with lots of hair. Eventually her family felt she was spending too much time with a certain Italian-American drifter and called her back from Rome to marry someone more appropriate. She is now Chairman of the Board of a major subsidiary of the family’s shipping empire. Sic transit gloria.

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Anne Moller

I hung out with a group of ex-pat would be poets none of whom ever made it as poets (one became a high school teacher in Santa Rosa) and a few con-man who also to my knowledge never made whatever it was they were hoping to make. In ex-pat communities world over, there are always a lot of those on the con. How much less interesting would the world be if there were no con and no grifters to fashion them. Movies often tend to make the grifters happy-go-lucky sociopaths, sometimes even with a heart of gold. Although they smiled a lot, most of the sociopaths I knew were anything but happy go lucky and as for their hearts, it was far more likely they were lined with lead. The poem was part of a lengthy piece most of which I no longer recall. It was lost many years ago along with all my other attempts at turning doggerel if not into gold at least into something useful like molybdenum. Pretentious Imagist drivel, it went like this:

The wanderer travels not by hook But sprawled upon the empty tides of fairy world and real And the sham cult darkness lie that was Yet will not be Marks its passage on nothing But cognition.

The entire poem ended with perhaps one of the more tragic images in all of literature, “red sails returning.” Tristan, before embarking from Cornwall on his latest war in Ireland, promised his beloved Isolde that upon his ships’ return, if he were still alive, he would unfurl his white sails but had he died his men would put up red ones. Upon word of the ship’s approach to the harbor, Isolde sent her handmaid to the top of the tower to report what she sees. Tristan, still alive, orders his men to unfurl the white sails. Unfortunately the sun was setting at just that moment causing the sails to blaze a bright red. Upon the maid’s return from the tower Isolde asked her the color of the sails. “Red” she answered not knowing the significance of her response. So, in sorrow and despair Isolde killed herself as did Tristan when he discovered his beloved’s body.*  I always envied Tristan. As far as I know, there have been very few people who longed for my return after I left the room. * It should be noted, that there are several versions of the Tristan tale many of them that differ substantially from what I have described. First of all, in a lot of them Isolde waiting in the castle in Cornwall was not the beloved Isolde, but Isolde of the White Hands, T’s wife. It seems that while T and the beloved Isolde were playing hide the salami, she was married to Mark the King who was also T’s boss. Eventually the lovers agreed T would go away because, in part, they both liked Mark the King and felt bad about what they were doing, but mostly because Mark the King was the King and if he found out what they were doing he would cut off their heads as well as other important parts of their body. So T left and married the white-handed Isolde because he liked her name and she had a castle near the water. Frankly, when T returned from his slaughter of his Irish kinsmen and found white-handed Isolde dead due to a mistaken perception, he was not too broken up about it. There are also many versions of how T died. Some have him poisoned, probably by a jealous husband and others have him chopped to bits in the midst of one of his ethnic cleansing jobs. I, on the other hand, believe he died in a bar fight with some bikers in Pocatello Idaho. However it was that he died, I am not particularly jealous of this version of T. He seems to just be like a lot of men – completely fucked in the head.

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So, last night, at bed time, I continued telling the series of stories to my grandson Hayden that I had begun about two years ago. The stories concerned the adventures of Danny (Hayden’s alter ego) and his trusty pony Acorn (who Hayden now and then rides whenever we visit the ranch owned by our friends Bill and Naida).

Danny was resting at an oasis in the desert following his besting of “The Old Man Under the Mountain.” With him were his two friends; “The Black Knight,” a gorilla (Whose alter ego, a cuddly toy that Hayden insists shares my bed) who is “The World’s Strongest Knight” and rides a white horse with brown spots like a cow and is called appropriately “White-brownie or Brown-whitey,” and; “The White Knight Who Used to be ‘The Old Man who Dressed Like a Beggar’ and was The Worlds Most Powerful Magician,” until Danny, in the throne room of the Green Castle, defeated him in a duel of magic aided by “The Monster Who Lives in the Closet and Who Now Lives in Acorn’s Saddlebags,” and turned him into a mouse.

In order for Danny and The Black Knight to escape from the dungeon of the “Old Man Under the Mountain,” Danny, again with the aid of “The Monster who lives in the Closet but Now Lives in Acorn’s Saddlebags” turned him from a mouse into a young handsome human except with less magical power so that his full name now became, “The White Knight Who Used to be an Old Man Dressed Like a Beggar and the Worlds Most Powerful Magician Until he was Turned into a Mouse and Then into A Young Man who was Not a so Powerful Magician.” The White Knight rode a black horse named, “Blackie.”

They had just finished dinner and were drinking their milk while staring into the campfire when a troop of musicians and actors who were camping nearby came by and offered to put on a performance for the famous Knights.

The knights agreed that they would enjoy that and the chief musician tuned up his Lute and began his song by introducing his main protagonist a skinny boy of indeterminate age named “Heimlich.” Heimlich lived in a not so great but good enough castle in a dreary country somewhere that was always foggy. Heimlich was sad because his father, who was called “Pruneberry the King of the Castle” (and, if truth be known, King of little else) had just died. In addition almost before the body became cold or whatever it is body’s become after its inhabitant dies, his mother “Natasha Dewlap” married Heimlich’s uncle, “Julius Caesar” (we both thought that was a very funny name).

Anyway, Heimlich and his friend (who strangely did not have a name but it could just as well been something as ridiculous and “Guildenstern” or “Rosencrantz” or even “Miracle Max”) one evening, for some unknown reason, decided to go the grave to visit the site where Pruneberry was buried. Along the way they came upon a pile of bones and a skull. Heimlich thought the skull reminded him of “Mortimer” his old kindergarten teacher.

Anyway Heimlich’s friend decided to return home after they discovered the bones because he was a sensible lad and was creeped out by the bones and Heimlich’s weirdness. Heimlich went on by himself.

When Heimlich arrived at the gravesite, a Ghost popped out and said, “Heimlich I am your father, Pruneberry and I was killed by Natasha Dewlap and Julius Caesar who put poison up my nose while I was asleep.”

At this point Hayden asked me, “How can a ghost speak after he died?”

“A keen observation,” I acknowledged. “That is why Heimlich did not believe him and went back home.”

The next morning, as coincidence and fairy tales have it, a group of traveling actors came by the castle and asked Heimlich if he would like to have them perform a play. Maybe, Heimlich, thought, if they perform Pruneberry’s death like the Ghost told it in front of Natasha Dewlap and Julius Caesar one of them would be reminded and say something like, “Say that looks familiar,” and Heimlich would then know what the Ghost said perhaps could have been true.

And so the traveling players put on the show and at just the right moment, Julius Caesar turned to Natasha Dewlap and said, “Say Natty does this look familiar to you?” At which point Heimlich became furious and drove Natasha Dewlap and Julius Caesar out of the castle where they were forced to live in a tent and sell apples and rutabagas to passers-by.

Hayden then asked me, “What are rutabagas?”

I said, “I did not know.”

Heimlich, thereafter spent every day alone in the little castle in that dismal country with his furry white cat named “Snowy,” looking out of his window and down upon Natasha Dewlap and Julius Caesar trying to sell their apples and rutabaga to passers-by, except for once a year when the troop of actors came by and they had a party. The End.

I then told Hayden that the actors would perform another tale for the Three Knights that I would tell him about tomorrow (I was already working on a children’s version of King Lear). But, Hayden asked me if Danny was ever going to go back home to visit his mom who lived in the cottage by the “Deep Dark Wood,” before setting out on another adventure. He thought it would be a good idea if he did.

I told him that Danny told the musicians that he would not listen to the story because he needed to get a good nights sleep so that tomorrow he would be well rested for his trip back through the “Deep Dark Wood'” to visit his mom.

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Women are more favored than men in indulging their passion for coition. it is in fact their speciality; and for them it is all pleasure; while men run many risks in abandoning themselves without reserve to the pleasures of love.”

The Perfumed Garden, Richard Burton, Trans.

INTRODUCTION

Throughout the history of the world there have been shores on which the flotsam and jetsam of humanity have washed up. Some of these nomads and refugees arrive looking for adventure and fortune, others to escape either the authorities or penury, but most travel to these places for sex and to find release from the burdens of unrelieved competition,  stress and failure that marked their livesP wherever they came from.

Thailand in the last few decades of the Twentieth Century and the first decade of the Twenty-first is just such a place and Pattaya can be viewed as its ultimate example. Originally a sleepy fishing village, it evolved into the R and R location of choice for the American soldiers fighting and dying in the steaming jungles of Viet Nam. The Mid-west farm boys and ghetto youth of all races got their first taste of oriental hospitality and sex. They liked it and many stayed. Many of those that left could not forget and ultimately returned. Later, as the City grew into a justly famed center of worldliness, others, men mostly, came to retire or otherwise escape the apparent pointlessness of what they referred to as the “Rat Race” and the women (and in some cases men) who did not understand them or rejected them for others more pleasing in one way or another.

Almost every afternoon at about 3 PM a small group of these men would assemble at a comfortable bar in a building located on the border  of Pattaya’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘The Outskirts of Hell’) and Jomtien Beach (hereafter ‘Paradise by the Beach’). They would gather for a few drinks, to swap stories and on occasion to enjoy the attention of the large number of young woman, independent contractors, who offered various consultant services to the generally quite older male clientele.

Now, our gang, the Geriatric Knights generally sat at an oval table in the back room of the bar. From this perch they could observe the comings and goings around them as they and everyone else went about their business, because indeed it is business that is the purpose of the establishment and everything that goes on there.

The name of the place is “The Kennel Club”. According to one of the Knights it was so named because it is a place, “where old dogs come to die.” In addition to the large oval table, the back room contained a long bar, a few sofas and another large table in the corner. Also,there was a public hot tub located about three paces from the oval table for use of the ladies and their guests.

The Kennel Club had another large room bathed in red lights containing a smaller bar, some more sofas and tables and a darkened corner referred to as “Blow Job Corner”. There also was another room which contained the inevitable pool table. In this room the free Wednesday and Saturday BBQ’s are served. Off this last room were about 5 well-appointed smaller rooms containing a bed and a bathroom that could be rented out on a short time basis so that a gentleman and lady would have some privacy and quiet  to discuss such things as the “Problem of Evil” and the “Big Bang” theory.

Now our gang consists of 5 middle-aged and older male refugees from the incipient ruin of the US. For purposes of confidentiality they shall be called, Harvey, Density, Spy, Giufa, and Jerome or Horace as he preferred to be called.

Now in order to accurately picture these stories in ones mind, I suggest that the reader imagine this as a big budget movie starring aging male celebrities and movie stars. Our Knights then could be played by Al Pacino, Keith Richards, Nick Nolte, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Willie Nelson. Feel free to replace any or all the characters with celebrities of your choice.

The owner of the bar, an American with a mysterious past, who goes by the name of Carmine, always sits at the end of the long bar. He will be performed by Robert DeNiro. His girlfriend and mamma-san of the Kennel Club can be played by the aging but ever lovely surgical wonder Cher. Her Thai name is Nat.

One of the more notable customers (not a member of the Geriatric Knights of the Oval Table) is a Seventy-two year old man with single long drop earring who  attends the Kennel Club almost every afternoon. He is often referred to as “The Dancing Man”. You can imagine him as played by Gary Busey.

The Bar girls, although numbering between 25 and 30, for this initial tale we will be meeting only three. Playing Tai is Angelina Jolie. Natalie Portman plays another bar girl named  Daw. And the young Miley Cyrus, having just achieved her 18th birthday has been cast as Maliwan a bi-spectacled, clumsy strangely dressed young women trying to break into the business. All three are sitting at the oval table with the Knights when the our story begins.

But first an explanation as to why western women movie stars have been chosen to play Thai woman and not Thai celebrities. The reason is not racism, or at least the racism that one would expect. It is because no self-respecting Thai lady would expose herself to the humiliation of playing women like that in a movie such as this. However female Hollywood stars are used to humiliating roles and besides everyone knows that good female movie roles are hard to find these days.

Anyway, our tale begins with Spy (Willie) offering Angelina Jolie (Tai) 100 baht ($3) to remove her bra and panties and throw them in the middle of the oval table. After collecting the money she does so with aplomb and as an encore flashes her yoni and nipples to all at the table. Miley Cyrus (Maliwan) jumping up and down squeals to let her do it next.

When Spy hesitates, Cher (Nat) approaches him and says, “Go ahead, give the young girl a break”.

Spy responds, “I will do it only if you also will take off your bra and panties and throw them onto the table.”

Nat agrees but only if she is paid whatever the other girls are getting.

Spy pays and Cher whips off her bra and panties throws them on the table, flashes her yoni and returns to sit beside her boy friend.

It is then Miley’s turn. Unfortunately she has difficulty unhooking her bra and needs Angelina to help her and she then tears her panties when they get caught on her spiked heels as she hurriedly tries to remove them

Meanwhile, Natalie Portman (Daw) is busy giving Density (Arnold) a full body lap-dance.

Stay tuned to the next installment in which Harvey (Nolte) discusses conflicting economic theories with Tai (Angelina).

 

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