Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Farewell Puerto Morelos

No doubt my dedicated readers--good day, uncle Dano and aunt Dana--will have blamed chronic sadsackitis for that melancholy that shows up whenever I leave a place.  This time it's Puerto Morelos, on the Mayan coast of Mexico, where I've lived for three weeks, the first two down the block from a sister or two. I blame it on lifestyle routine which, once established, is what living means to me and which, once lost, as today, leaves life a little hollow.
What is this routine I speak of? Mornings at the notebook, afternoons at the beach, in short (and I don't forget you, my angels of coffee, beer, chitchat, reading, food, walkabout).
As for the notebook segments, let me try to show you. The other night this line came to me in bed: If we were now a rowboat. Most of the time in my writing life, I would try to build from that, as in, say, If we were now a rowboat we'd be strong in the sea's long arms or the like. However, that's precisely the mode I've been struggling to avoid, preferring, as noted in an earlier entry, to write wrong, as in If we were now a rowboat pacing you-know-who, the rooster next door, Ashok would come to mean us.
How this matters, who knows. But I've written--or will have, with one more spell up at the airport in an hour or two--five thousands words embracing wrong. 
But farewell, Puerto Morelos. Whoever's in my chair, enjoy!

Friday, 20 January 2017


As a frequent solo traveller [accidental comma I deleted but like: As a frequent so, lo traveller . . .], I'm often seen, if seen at all, in the company of books.
Let me tell you about three I packed down to the My Paradise beach club for a six-hour session in the sun, shade and water today:
First, The Remains of the Day (K.Ishiguro), told in a butler's voice, a marvel of decorum and restraint which gives up its thematic kicks ever so subtly. 
Second, The Art of War, which accompanies my re-integration into the world of online backgammon.
Third, and most important for my present writing purposes, The Poet in New York by F.G.Lorca. This is the second time this book has blown up my world. Three years ago, it provided text-track for my poet-in-Andalusia travels. I brought it to Mexico now for more poet-in-a-new-land orientation. But, you faithful readers of this blog--buenos tardes, Uncle Copa and Aunt Vaso--will have noticed something or other a few entries ago about a certain non-approach approach to writing that I'm now calling "writing wrong," as in writing that refuses itself. What it looks like so far is five thousand words which may interact conventionally with nearby words but, a few words further off, have lost touch. Wouldn't you know it: that's sort of what Lorca was up to during his visit to New York in 1929-30. I'm no Lorca, you understand. But I'm trying to write evasion. (See Lorca's "Imagination, Inspiration, Evasion" in his Conferencias.) 
Come to think of it, Ishiguro's novel is full of evasion of the English butlerish sort. 
And Sun Tzu's 2500-year-old treatise on the theory of warfare is famous for this nugget: "All warfare is based on deception."

Monday, 9 January 2017

Red Flag

No fishing today.

Plenty warm enough but windy, good chance of rain. My sisters work on pelicans.

Pelicans chase smaller birds off their perch.

Puerto Morelos parks its low-tech charm.

And the boys pour concrete for a new restaurant.

Later, there were fish after all: catch of the day.