One of first really ‘adult’ books that made an impression on me was John Fowles ‘The Magus.’ I still have by original paperback copy of it – somewhat better & held together with duct tape. I’ve read it frequently & have been drawn in each time. It is underlined & in the front are page numbers of particular passages I marked so I can reread them without rereading the whole book.
I think I read ‘The Collector’ first though after the movie was released, I think. It is a more ‘conventional’ novel. I saw how an adaptation differs from the source. It, & the movie, were the basis for frequent sex fantasy of mine – only there would be two of us – me & another man – who were abducted & confined. After a time we would turn to each other for emotional, sexual comfort. Sometimes, in the fantasy, I would be the abductor too but the other man wouldn’t know this.
‘The Magus’ is quite different from ‘The Collector.’ More clearly philosophical & literate. The plot adds layers of mystery even as it is solved. In the end one is never really sure what motivates our protagonist or how he inveigles so many people to cooperate with the elaborate set up. Trust me it is a very elaborate maze that continues even when one is out of the maze. This is what inspires me about Fowles – his unwillingness to give the reader an explanation – a writer doesn’t have to solve things for the reader to leave them satisfied.
I’ve also read ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman,’ ‘The Ebony Tower,’ & ‘Wormholes.’ ‘Woman’ was wordy 🙂 I didn’t get into the world he was creating & I it a job to read. I guess I wasn’t smart enough to appreciate him any more. ‘Tower’ is a collection of interconnected short stories & I did enjoy it more. The writer who sees the typed pages of the only copy of his latest opus destroyed by a burglar went to my heart. It was about this time I was tired of writers writing about writers – yeah I’ve heard write what you know about but please open a door to the world. So I lost interest in John Fowles as a writer but I still love ‘The Magus’ – when will Masterpiece Theatre do a production of it with Tom Hardy as Nicolas Urfe. Better yet: me & Tom Hardy held captive in some underground location.
I stopped at telephone pole
there were so many lost signs some days
I didn’t bother looking
but a sign gabbed my eye
larger than usual
the color quality was so commanding
I at first though it was for some movie
over a photo of a man’s arm hoisting a beer
brackets superimposed around the elbow
then under it –
have you seen my elbow
last seen Saturday
as I left Stoneman’s Pub
I’d had a few and passed out in my SUV
when I came to my elbow was gone
it had a good home
well treated never misused
never raised a fist in anger
never resisted hard work
enjoyed cradling my baby
her head now has no comforting strength to hold her
if you have seen my elbow
or know of its where abouts
please please call me
then a fringe of phone numbers
the wind and damp had curled slightly
into a row of empty elbows
Jimmy and I jumped into the swimming pool at the same time for opposite sides. He swam like a seal and I was able to copy him. We darted around each other pretending to be pups. Our bodies slipping and sliding almost caressing.
Jimmy was in two of my classes but we’d never spoken so I was surprized he’d be so friendly with me now.
The water became warmer. We lunged high then splashed down to wrap around each other like strands of spaghetti soft yielding then sticking to each other so easily. He was a giant tongue moving all over my body.
He began to bite me along the arms. Small love bites. They tickled and I shuddered with the tingles they set off. He began to bite harder and harder. I couldn’t make him stop. He was no longer playful but a shark that ravaged my arm. He had me by the elbow to drag me off to feed his family.
I woke thrashing the air. I couldn’t feel my elbow. It was gone. I screamed
‘What’s wrong.’ My mother rushed into the room drying her hands on her apron. ‘What’s wrong.’
‘My … my elbow is gone.’ I held the stub of my arm up to her.
‘Don’t be so foolish.’ She pinched my arms. ‘Feel that?’
‘If you can feel it, it might as well be there. Now, get a move on or you’ll be late for school.’
I couldn’t wait to get to school.
I couldn’t wait to get to school. Elbow or no elbow; today I’d finally say ‘Hi’ to Jimmy.
November TBA: Hot Damn! It’s a Queer Slam – 8p.m. – Buddies In Bad Time Theatre, Toronto
October 5/6/7 – Gratitude Round-Up
October scary poetry every Wednesday & Thursday
June – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C. capfireslam.org
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