Matthew Conrad

May 15, 1986 - Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski

a day worth toasting

as i sit perched on my folded foot on the windowsill,
having a ms. amber cocktail with ginger ale,
smoking a cigarette, i gravitate to the empty
standing rack of shelves...
what remains on it, as the paint dries?
a tub of wall paint: fine rosemary,
tissues, sunglasses,
a game sheath: chess and backgammon
in one... a c.d. walkman,
20 copies of my curricul vitae,
a 1:26000 ratio map of Warsaw...
heidegger's ponderings VII - XI,
a thin book of poetry:
Πoετιc Oπτoμεtρy - by some vague unknown
semi-anon. Mateusz Conrad...
i'm hoarding about 200 copies of this work,
perhaps this lazy sod will finally get to
send this printed copy, some raw manuscript
pieces and a covering letter to
Austin Macauley Publishers:
sounds like a good deal...
they accept any manuscripts, with or without
an agent, published or not published,
expect a 3 week wait...
a letter dated 16 April 2019 for an appointment
at the Community Outpatient Cardilogy Clinic
(Dagenham RM8 2EQ)
with Anamaria Lunca...
24h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
(aged 33? not bad... )...
Plato's Theaetetus,
Man-Bat: part 1 of 3, 1st. part,
DC comics, chuck dixon, flint henry,
eduardo barreto - Feb. 96 - two $2.25...
Doctor StrangeFate, Amalgam Comics,
#1, Ron Marz, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez,
Kevin Nowlan, April '96,
$1.95...
Littlewoods F.A. Charity Shield:
Manchester United v Newcastle United
Sunday August 11 1996 Kick-off 3:00pm
Official Machday Proramme £5.00 -
venue? the old Wembley...
inside? another matchday programme...
West Ham v Manchester United
Barclays League Division One
Wednesday 22nd April 1992 kick-off 7:45pm
£1.50 for the programme...
- the mask returns: john arcudi (story),
doug mahnke (art),
titan books, first edition October 1994...
Czeslaw Milosz - Zniewolony Umysł
"Culture" Paris - 1953...
- Bartman: the best of the best 1st edition
January 1997...
- a few figurines...
a porcelain tortoise: WADE - made in england,
a Kenyan shamanic totem -
a figure with a bloated belly and only one eye,
a polish clay cockerel,
London's China town red figurine:
standing proud on coins of wealth roaring...
1986, my year, moderate wealth -
well... given this list... i had to move all
the books i own that are supposed to be on
these shelves into the hallway, some onto
the windowsill and some into the box room...
the paint has to dry...
a boomerang...
a Wawel dragon figurine...
(hell, in the west the dragon is associated
with wealth... Smaug... in China the tiger
is associated with wealth... didn't know that)...
some amitriptyline 25mg tablets...
tom waits: glitter and doom (live) -
seriously - there are only about ten albums
in this world where the live performance
outstrips the studio version,
notably? going out west...
a pencil and a piece of paper...
where i scribble my braille tally
to teach me how to drink sensibly
my two ciders and the banquet of whiskey:
currently standing at 4... shit...
oi! tender hands that never worked or
played the guitar, giv' us'us the braille
count to show you have no more fingers
than that tender index of yours!
⠁⠃⠇⠧ ⠷ ⠿
it's working... 'nuf' said...
- virgil's the aeneid,
- h. p. lovercraft: against the world,
against life - by michel houellebecq,
- NewScientist - 50th anniversary special
(1956 - 2006)
- Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House programme,
i won't be dropping names...
shit, i will:
karim abdullin - soloist,
maria alexandrova - principal,
artemy belyakov - leading soloist,
yulia stepanova - soloist,
igor tsvirko - leading soloist,
- three letters from a Magdalena
Wielgołaska -
handwritten letters and all,
a pen-pall i managed to pick up a conversation
with in Edinburgh when she was
working a b & b for the summer...
very self-conscious about her
height... well... she did play volleyball...
- old notes from university:
history essays... all a solid 2:1 grades:
matriculation no.: s0458467
tutor: kirsty chatwood (canadian dyke
who became pregnant, great sense of humour),
e.g. why were there so many rebellions
in Europe in the mid-seventeenth century
(word count: 1,991),
how and why did Napoleon succeed in
establishing French power over so much
Europe? (word count: 1,956)... 2% shy of a 1st...
so... no, not even i can answer this question...
since i also own copies of...
a traffic management copy of
my organic lab schedule:
synthesis and acetylation of ferrocene,
preparation of 7-trichloromethyl-8-bromo-Δ-p-pinene
by free radical addition of
bromotrichloromethane to β-pinene,
the photochemical interconversion of trans-
and cis- azobenzenes,
witting synthesis and photochemical
cyclodehydrogenation of 1-styrylnaphthalene...
silyl enol ethers: a directed aldol reaction...
i used to do this sort of "stuff"...
but the pièce de résistance while i moved
my private library from these shelves?
ahem...

E. O. Richter & Co.
Präcision
Kopernicus IX set...
das prazisions-reiszeug

i.e. the most pristine instruments for technical
drawings... the sort of technical drawings used
in metallurgy, engineering, architecture...
people would conflate a hoarder with me...
me? i'm a connoisseur...
i respect the sort of materialism that
transcends that shallow form of materialism
that equates itself with immediate gratification
not as a per se: but as a tool to attract...
unwanted attention...
flimsy materialism, gluttonous materialism...
a materialism that occupies space
and short-attention span gnats...
materialism of a temporal rather than
a spatial nature? now we're talking!

and here's to toasting this day...
tomorrow i will erase that fateful day that
coincided with me painting my room
crimson - the Bataclan Massacre...
fine rosemary pale hue will replace
these blood soaked walls that have become
my gallows...
a shade much less the green
of my own eyes... and perhaps...
my mind will rest with a mild lapse into
a curiosity of a serenaded mind:
i'm not even looking for serendipity.

it really didn't occur to me with regards
to the state of h'america...
once upon a time any european would
look toward h'america as this unified
continent of sorts...
prime cultural export juggernaut...
now? with the cracks showing,
with individual americans making youtube
videos?
clearly "we" europeans were lied to,
well: "lied" to...
i would never have thought that the states
were so divided...
that even moving from one state to another
can be deemed as supicious...
maybe that's heavily reliant on the fact
that we're talking about a federation...
in Europe they call it nationalism
what in H'america they call patriotism...
and populism is just the glue in between...
like that whole: ex-pat is not an immigrant...
but i love the h'american approach
to us old continent boyos...
styxhexen-... about the europeans:
'like we're enlightened and shit'...
that really sums it up....
notably, compiling the above list?
i almost forgot what i was going to write...
-hammer666 did enlighten me...
i would have never have thought that
h'american "soccer mums" and goody-two-shoe
ruby-slippers christian folk would ban
children from reading 'arry Potter...
well of course i knew of the satanic panic
music, and the gaming: thing...
but i never heard of 'arry Potter books being
banned...
enlightened and shit...
if Nietzsche was going to brag about reading
Stendhal... did him in my teens...
nothing to brag about... after all...
i did see a movie adapation starring
ewan mcgregor as julien sorel... and rachel weisz
was in it too... the first book adaptation on
film that spurred me to read the book...
if only the lord of the rings did likewise...
alas... not to be!
no thanks to my scottish english teacher...
sure: of the g.c.s.e. curriculum?
i'm the king of the castle was the only
book of depth...
yes, i'll give him this:
he did introduce me to jazz music...
ben webster's how deep is the ocean...
no other sax player as ben webster...
but: 'we're enlightened and shit' as an american
might put it...
same teacher... on a trip to Glasbury-on-Wye
(Powys, Wales) -
oh god, i was dying to go on that trip for ages...
we were first supposed to go aged 15...
year 11...
but the outbreak of the madcow disease
prevented us... so a year later it was...
great place... caving, canoeing, horse riding...
and just in general the great outdoors...
any teen's dream living in the outer
east end of London...
anyways... so the teacher inquired...
'what are you reading',
he walked into our dorm while
guys my age were... snorting sugar dust
through their noses...
fizz wiz space dust... yep... down the noses
it went...
i was reading a book looking at them
like a gorilla might look at a human...
'mr. bunce? what am i reading?'
so i handed him the slim copy
of Marquis de Sade's groundbreaking short-story:
Incest...
now, if you ask me...
the Marquis would have been the emblem
of short-story writing, he was the best as short-stories...
all those long repetitive regurgitations are...
well... 120 days of sodom...
but Insect is where he shines,
the story is succinct in a citrus fruit sense:
i.e. piquant.
succinct and piquant: such lovely
words could only have originated from
French and have to be treated as: loan-words.
besides: i find h'american criticism of europe
a wee bit funny...
sure: an honest critique of the states
and the union, grandiose politics cogs and
all the labyrinths' worth of bureucracy:
like anywhere - same shit, different cover...
but when it comes to social norms and their
taboos... h'america is very truly backwards
when it comes to what culture its citizens
are allowed to ingest...
me, in europe, reading marquis de sade
aged 16...
the equivalent of me, in h'america,
being prohibited to read: 'arry potter for
fuck's sake!
sorry... on the level where my opinion
might or might not matter...
americans are backwards...
those puritanical roots do not do them much
favors... esp. with their extravagant
punk-esque tropes signifying a rebellion
that never seems to occur;
christianity truly undermines the idea
of america...
if not bound by shackles,
then shivering under the burden of the shadow
of the cross: which none of them wish
to carry... the mere looming shadow frightens
them... and... mind you? american neo-atheism?
boring as sunday's midday sun.
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