ADVENTURES IN THE UNDERGOUND
Published March 1, 2007. Volume 3 in the Postcards From Pottersville anthology series.
Part One. Yardbird. February 12 - February 27. 25,000 words. I begin writing RETIREMENT. I apply for a job as customer service associate in a video store I can walk or ride my bike to. I add the subtitle, OR, OPUS POSTHUMOUS, to the title of RETIREMENT. I see that I am writing for the desk drawer. This both liberates me and makes me grumpy about my situation, as a failed writer. Fawzy Zablah sends me a copy of Ciao! Miami and I review it on Amazon.com. I go to a Valentine's Day party at Palm Tree Books in Port St. Joe and Mike Lister tells me that Adventures in the Underground is off to the printer. He will have some book-launch activities planned, I suspect. And I'll get to send contributors their copies, hear back from them. This is something to look forward to. Small comfort afforded by the profession, as Malcolm Lowry says. I'm not as bad off as he was. In fact, many of my small press friends don't have social security, as I do. Because they worked off the grid, and didn't pay any in. Fawzy Zablah tells me RACE, SEX, AND WORKING FOR A LIVING: A THREE-RING CIRCUS, which I sent him in exchange for Ciao! Miami, is worth looking for a publisher for, so I pitch it to Fugue State Press. I attend a job fair and give a resume to a local manufacturer who might need a technical writer to update some technical manuals. I add OR, MY WAR to the title. When I see that I am writing about my relation to the military-industrial complex from 1957 to the present. Then I just shorten the title to MY WAR. From RETIREMENT, OR, OPUS POSTHUMOUS. OR, MY WAR. I compile a list called "How Bizarre: Five Years in the Writing Business, July 2002 to June 2007." 85 books written (counting this one), 50 pamphlets published, 2 books published. How bizarre! I see that "Yardbird" is Part One of MY WAR. Short for MY WAR WITH THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL-ACADEMIC COMPLEX, MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS, AND THE WAR HEADS IN PUBLISHING, THE MEDIA, FOUNDATIONS AND ARTS AGENCIES, AND UNIVERSITY ENGLISH DEPARTMENTS AND WRITING PROGRAMS. Followed by Part Two, "Navvy."
Part Two. Navvy. February 27 - March 11. 32,000 words. Adventures in the Underground comes from the printer. It's priced $18 instead of $15.95. I begin sending contributor copies and review copies out. I will hear back from contributors and respond to their comments in this book. Adventures in the Underground is a good example of a correspondence novel. I wrote my friends and asked them to send me something about the underground. When the book was printed, I mailed them copies. Soon, I will hear back from them, with comments on the entries they hadn't seen yet. I'll respond to their comments in this book. We got us a movement going here, a subculture of the invisible, Hugh Fox called his memoir Way, Way Off the Road: The Memoirs of the Invisible Man, and said we are invisible, the post-Beat writers. We are pinworms in the brain of the monster. I make up a pamphlet, 8 Short Reviews of Adventures in the Underground, and mail it out. Jim Wilson gives Dread Clampitt a plug on Outdoor Adventures, on WMBB-13. I saw him at The Red Bar Sunday, but didn't know he was working. I was working. Writing in my head. I start writing more and more poems. About shit jobs I have held. This book is turning into a list novel. In verse. What a revolting development. How will I sell a list novel, in verse? I change the title of MY WAR back to RETIREMENT, and add "Part Three. My Double Life."
Part Three. My Double Life. March 12 - March 22. 20,000 words. Short for MY DOUBLE LIFE: ASYMMETRICAL (AT-WILL) EMPLOYMENT AND THE GUERRILLA (PINWORM IN THE BRAIN OF THE MONSTER) TRADITION. The struggle between come out in the open, erect, and fully exposed and go, or stay, underground. I get a CD in the mail from Grant Peeples and the Baker Act. Down Here in the County. County being Wakulla County (he lives in Crawfordville). We correspond. I get a temp-to-perm job and end the book, to start working again, full-time. Ah, the Golden Years. Heap starts a new job as handyman at the L. A. (Lower Alabama) Folk Life Center. He starts posting POSSUMS IN THE DRAIN at his web site, then changes his mind and stops. He doesnít want to get fired for blogging from this job. For grumbling about this or that, or sharing his politics. The Panama City Writers Guild, which had invited Heap to speak, disinvite him. The program chair, in consultation with the board of directors, decide the membership would not be interested in what Heap has to say. Heap doesnít know whether to be insulted or amused. You canít be pissed off at a bunch of eejits. He adds "Possums in the Drain" to the end of "My Double Life" and declares RETIREMENT finished.
Appendix. Editing. March 26 - March 31. 5,000 words. I add an appendix, "Editing."
Part Four. Backstage at the Museum. March 26 - April 5. 13,000 words. I write a pamphlet, Oprahís Sex Tips. I write another pamphlet, The Handymanís Tale, by analogy with The Handmaidís Tail. I start a third pamphlet, Razz Heap: A Poetís Life. By analogy with May Sarton: A Poetís Life. I begin posting pieces of the pamphlets at The Daily Bulletin. I call what I am posting APRIL 2007. I end up adding "Backstage at the Museum" to RETIREMENT.
Part Five. Talking Blues No. 4: A Conversation with Razz Heap at 67. April 6 - April 19. 27,000 words. I begin looking at my life at ten-year slices, like "Slimís Talking Blues No. 2." Starting in 1957. I was a little down, at the end of "Backstage at the Museum." I rally. I am trying to be content with what I have, to appreciate what I have. To be grateful. I take a Watercolor Workshop at How Bizarre! I go to see Rejoice, Dear Hearts at the Martin Theater. I read Duaneís Depressed and When the Light Goes. Brenda and I watch The Last Picture Show and Texasville, from Netflix. I write "I Feel Pretty" for an erotic literary online magazine. Imus is fired and Kurt Vonnegut dies. The massacre at Virginia Tech happens and Alberto Gonzales testifies before Congress. Life goes on. Introducing the 2008 Razz Heap. The 2008 Razz Heap is the 2007 Razz Heap.
JACK THE RAVER: FOUR BOOKS SET IN FLORIDA
April 21 - __________. In progress.
Home | About | Mail