Thursday, September 30, 2010


 The creeping crud and sinus crap got the best of me over the weekend and part of this week. I still don't feel the greatest and I'm about to sleep for the fourth night in a row on one of our living-room recliners. I can only sleep sitting up, otherwise, I feel like I'm coughing up my lungs. Today was the first day in almost a week that my brain thought about writing, stories characters, etc. I always know when I'm very sick because I have no interest in anything and my thinking and creative process seems to dry up and go away. It is the only time in my life when I feel lonely when I'm alone. I don't like it.

So here are some thoughts from a brain slowly coming awake.

Learned about the god like architect Nicholas Hawksmoor 
from reading Alan Moore's wonderful graphic novel From Hell which blew me away. Not only was I flabbergasted by Moore's genius on so many levels, the lyricism of his prose, the meticulousness of his detective work and research and his epic story telling abilities, but his notes and annotations were amazing. He actually supported his work with a graphic retelling of his research that was a brilliant achievement by itself.  The novelist Peter Ackroyd also wrote about Nicholas Hawksmoor in his novel Hawksmoor 


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Monday, September 20, 2010

My Play "Quaternity"

I participated in a poetry reading for Freedom this evening with a bunch of excellent poets. I wrote a poem specifically for the theme I call "Duality." Written in two parts, the first section was about what acts have been committed in the name of freedom, the second part examined what I consider freedom. The reading went well to be in the company of such distinguished poets that consider me their peer. I have been inspired to write more poetry. I don't know if I will write poems with the furious frequency of prolificness I showed when younger. I will be writing more than my average output for the last couple of years.
While searching for "lost poetry" in my documents file I came across the following review of my play "Quarternity," The review is good and pleases me. I had almost forgotten this review, it has provided me with a much needed boost about my writing,

here it is...

New play offers a bleakly comic view of life By BOB ROSE Published: Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Special to The Post-Star

GLENS FALLS -- It's always exciting to be included at the beginning of a new play. Such was my case when I attended a workshop production at Crandall Library of local playwright Lee Gooden's latest effort, "Quaternity."

Produced by The Random Act Players, it will have its initial public run this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Hilton Music and Theatrical Center in Albany.

"Quaternity" bears some kinship to Jean-Paul Sartre's "No Exit," which, in fact, is referred to by Gooden's four characters as they sit around a table in a brightly lighted room where time seems to have stopped and life is on hold.
Gooden's play employs some of C. G. Jung's psychology of requiring four functions.

These functions are an awareness that something is present, called sensation; an identification of what it is, called thinking; a decision as to whether or not we wish to accept it, called feeling, and then some indication of where it came from and where it is going, known as intuition.

His four characters apparently aren't dead, though they might as well be, since they have stopped living, if by that we mean experiencing and expanding their existences.

One lady obviously cheats at cards, a game she plays continuously, always dealing, always establishing the rules and always winning. She seems to possess no other interest.

A young fellow is basically hungry, recalling and yearning for his favorite meals, which are pretty much of the fast food variety. Impatient to leave the group, he plans for but delays execution of his escape.

Meanwhile, he is quite entertaining, though his character's talent is somewhat meager. He does an Elvis impersonation and threatens everyone with a Michael Bolton audio tape.
The third character, a lady who hates Bolton's voice, smashes the tape before it can be played.

The fourth character, really the main one, who selfishly controls the behavior of the other three, is a loud-mouthed brow-beater insisting that where they are and what they are doing is all there is. He says there is nowhere else to go and nothing else to do.

During the course of the four short acts, these characters attempt to interact but they have nothing in common and apparently no control over what they feel, think, or do.

Gooden has included some very comic lines to lighten the overall sense of hopelessness and doom, though at this point the earlier scenes accomplish this more effectively than the later ones.

It's an interesting concept that holds one's attention. It is not a picture of hopelessness alone. If three of the characters can motivate themselves to do so, they can escape and regain control over their lives.
Gooden, who directs his own play, has a talented cast. Mike Cannon is the controlling character, Veronica LaMaire is the card player, Daryl Peterson is the hungry fellow, and Georgianna Bull is the Michael Bolton hater.

Peterson stands out, whether he is in a comic situation or a dramatic one. When he falls to his knees sobbing, you find your own eyes tearing up. And when he partially disrobes in a poker game, you burst out laughing. I mean, a big, brawny fellow wearing a bra?

He's not a transvestite. As he says, he was cold and donned whatever he could find. He handles it very well.

"Quaternity" is different, it's interesting, it's funny, and it encourages us to take a look at ourselves to see how well we are faring in what we perhaps too glibly call our "lives."

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