A Semi-Literate Boy Named Bobby

I was a project kid, pretty but hard to make.

Most of the men I let into my life started in pursuit but stayed as teachers.

I was bright and gave my full attention to any man who was willing to teach me about the world of art.

The music I knew was the music of my parents and the other kids in the projects.

From my Father I got Porter Wagoner, Buck Owens, and Skeeter Davis.

From my Mother I got Dinah Shore and Kitty Wells.

From the other kids in the projects I got Motown.

With the music of Motown I learned I could dance and for me dancing is still spiritual.

Everyone said I moved like a black kid, and it was true.

Black folks were my friends and neighbors.

As far as I was concerned I was a Black kid with pale skin.

I figured that Blackness was as much about class as it is about race.

My friend Paul knew I knew my ‘place’ in Charleston’s antiquated class system and that I wanted out.

Paul lived in the rich part of Charleston; the historic district near Battery Park.

He invited me to lunch one especially bright spring day.

He poured tea and showed me a decorative plate that was inlaid with hundreds of shimmering butterfly wings.

Paul liked exquisite objects.

We stepped onto the patio that overlooked his garden and I brought a branch of wisteria to my nose.

Paul said that he wanted me to hear a record.

He said he wanted my opinion.

Then he placed the Beethoven Violin Concerto in D Minor on the turntable.

I heard the needle drop, and then a timpani followed by woodwinds.

I listened as Beethoven told me a story.

I had never heard a story more complex and profound.

It was more beautiful than anything I had ever seen or touched.

And I never stopped listening….

Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61

by Yehudi Menuhin, violin Wilhelm Furtwangler, cond Philharmonia Orchestra of London Recorded: 1953

  1. Allegro ma non troppo

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Switching Stations: Snagged on a Run in the Hosiery of Time

 

Tonight’s Cast of Characters:

John Steed as Captain Mach 10
Zsa Zsa Gabor as Leesa
Newt Gingrich as Queen Stretchmark I
Sean Hannity as Simp the Oracle
Clint Eastwood as Gore Vidal and
Gomer Pye U.S.M.C. as Aryan #5

Illustration based on a digital photograph staged in virtual reality that depicts a male and female avatar dressed in star-fleet costumes posing side by side
Captain Mach 10 with First mate, Trish

Stardate 90210.1. Dear Diary, the Chachka entered the arousing Areola Nebula at 0.100 and now we are trapped in a rope of unknown origin. I’ve ordered First Mate Leesa to steady the helm: she does her best:

Leesa: The ship won’t steer, dah-ling!

Mach Ten: What kind of rope is this?

Leesa: Humidity reads high, dah-ling!

Mach Ten: So sheer! So snug! Change course 32º mark nine zero two one zero!

Leesa: Course changed 32º mark nine zero two one zero, dah-ling.

(A horn blares followed by the sound of a crash. Leesa and Mach Ten reel from one side of the ship to the other. All goes quiet; we see Leesa’s breasts followed by a wide-angle shot of the Chachka’s interior. The decor is Chinese modern with a great big Chinese coffee table to accent a huge coral sofa with bright green cushions.  The helm is really just an alcove with a curved wall.)

Leesa: (tugs the hem of her uniform) Humidity reads normal, dah-ling.

Mach Ten: (Opens a quadraphonic space-map.) Where in the Areola are we?

Leesa: (Her beauty is unperturbed) Let me see, Dah-ling. (She pours herself over the map) I think we are in the Rayon Belt.

(The ship is suddenly filled with the sound of screeching  feedback followed by the amplified voice of Queen Stretch Mark I.)

Illustration based on a photo staged in virtual reality that depicts an African-American Avatar as the character of Queen Stretchmark I.
Queen Stretchmark I

Queen Stretchmark I: FEDERATION PRUDES! YOU HAVE WANDERED INTO MY LATEX FIELDS! YOU ARE ENMESHED! THERE IS NO ESCAPE! A HIGHLY TRAINED ARYAN SLAVE BOY WHOSE SMOOTH LEGS AND BULGING JUNK IS READILY VISIBLE IN HIS RED TIGHTY WHITIES WILL BE BOARD YOUR SHIP TO ACCEPT YOUR UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER.

Mach Ten: (Shaking his fist) YOU LIBERTINE TYRANT!

Queen Stretchmark I: YOU AMUSE ME CAPTAIN. I HAVE HEARD MUCH ABOUT THE PERSNICKETY MACH TEN AND HIS CONFLICTED SEXUALITY. ENOUGH! YOU
WILL BE BROUGHT TO THE SHEER SURFACE OF MY LATEX PLANET.

Leesa:
I’ve always been a bit bi-curious about this Queen, Dah-ling.

Mach Ten: She’s seductive and deadly. We’d best do as she says

(Chimes. Aryan#5 appears on deck.)

  Mach Ten: Oh the pain, the pain…

(Petroleum waves crash onto a Lycra shore. White spandex clouds drift above a rubber mountain. Cut to the Queens Throne room. Snow white carpets make a stunning background for pie-crust tables. Corner cabinets, all chiseled out and painted a lovely pink show off wedge wood and Chinese things. There are couches with deep soft cushions in which one can curl up and get lost. To the Queen’s left is Simp the Oracle; to her right is Gore Vidal. both men wear nothing but bicycle tights. Enter Aryan#5 with Leesa; an arm laced behind her back, a lock of blond hair lingers on her forehead to suggest a struggle.)

 

Illustration based on a photo staged in virtual reality that depicts an African-American Avatar as the character of Aryan #5
Aryan #5

Aryan #5: Howdy ur Haighness!

Queen Stretchmark I: Where is the male?

Aryan #5: He’s a feisty little feller–

Leesa: No! Oh Pleaze, dahling! These silk cords, they feel so tight!

Queen Stretchmark I: Silence! Why have you come to my planet?

Leesa: You trapped us in a huge pair of cheap intergalactic stockings
and brought us here you silly old queen!

Queen: Ha! You’ve come to bring reason to my planet! Reason kills!
Kill them!

Leesa: Getta clue, dahling! We’re the most unreasonable species in
the universe.

(Simp the Oracle giggles and winks at Leesa; Leesa winks back)

Gore Vidal: My dear, I think you were snagged on a run in the hosiery of time.

Leesa: (Rolls her eyes) Thank you for stealing my line!

Queen Stretchmark I: Call the male!

Aryan #5: Su-prise, su-prise, su-prise!

Queen Stretchmark I: (In a determined whisper) He’ll play dress up! I’ll make him!

To be continued….

Illustration based on a photo staged in virtual reality that depicts my alternates, Bobby and Matthew watching the physical me read Antonin Artaud
Next Week on Mach 10

Next week on ‘Mach Ten’:

Mach Ten: How is it you people speak English?

Aryan  24:  We’re so smart ur species little pea pickin’ brains couldn’t understand
us so’s when the Queen got here we scanned his brain and saw what was in it.

Mr. Haney: What you see is what you think, Mr. Mach Ten! Hey! Can ah interest you
in a book?


(c) Rob Goldstein 2018 All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Flight of Ideas: The Coke Conspiracy

No. Judy doesn’t love me.  And I don’t love her.

Her job is to help me do my job and in that way
our jobs are secure.

Together we could climb a summit of immense
dimensions!

I lay on the mat in the seclusion room and
considered the War in Viet Nam.

Had the hippies ended it or was it economics?

I mean, had the peace movement become another
hot property, or was it a brand?

I mean, why would Coke want to teach the World
to sing?

How much money does Coke make if everyone
in the World buys everyone in the World one
Coke per day?

I quickly do the math: 7.2 billion people x $2.65
USD per can of coke = $19.08 billion USD!

Per day!

Why is a man who understands Coke’s conspiracy
to end World hunger in a seclusion room?

I called to tell Judy; she had to know my secret!

But she was washing broccoli out of her hair.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Strange Dream #12

The snake yawns wide and shows its venom glands.

He is a large scaly ES on the queen sized bed in room 314.

“Ssunlight is an abomination.” sighs the snake.

“Oh fuck off!” snaps the dog with a twitch of his tail. “The whole
day  is an abomination!”

“I know where the Garden iss.” says the snake.

“So you’ve said,’ replies the dog, “where is it, again?”

“In Manhattan, marked by the statue of the unknown bodybuilder.
Every Christmass true believerss ice skate to celebrate his musscles.”

“So, how come you don’t live there?”

“I got tossed by a blast of righteousness.  God did a shimmy-shake and
I landed here with Frank. God was jealouss: I got a piece of the woman.”

The dog’s tail twitches again.

“Howss about you?” asks the snake. “How did you get here?”

“I was a happy Lab, bounding and slobbering and bouncing when suddenly a Toyota Celica flattens me. Frank peeled me up and nailed me to this here wall.

Frank’s a good sort really, taking us in like this.”

 

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2017 all rights reserved

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