Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Cockeyed Ghost, Naked Lunch

I’m waiting for dinner to show, listening to Adam Marsland’s band Cockeyed Ghost, a CD I got for free a long time ago (99? somewhere back in Seattle, anyway). I don’t even know what category in which to put this CD, except that I never would have bought it on my own, and now I think it’s one of my favorites. I guess if you started with something like Verve Pipe or something and added in more of the whole singer/songwriter tradition of the late seventies with a bit of later Beach Boys (after they were done trying to get chicks on the beach and were trying to tell you how truly fucked up life really was) and made the whole thing fairly modern with a decent dose of alt-indie sprinkles. Anyway, I don’t know why explain any of this except I don’t want people thinking I just sit around listening to Gwar all the time.

I have been on and off sick all week, mostly with this pinkeye thing. My right eye has been alternately been seeping battery acid and/or wanting to clog shut and/or feeling like it’s got a large grain of sea salt stuck deep under the eyelid. I think the best thing you can do for pinkeye is not mess with it, which of course is exactly what I do on a constant basis. It seems to get about 10% better a day, although staring at a computer all day also makes it get about 8% worse, so maybe it will clear up by the fourth of July. I also have a slight runny nose, just enough to mess with me, and a certain amount of wheeziness that is probably just because of the 4% humidity in my apartment. I really do wish I had one of those Bacta tanks like they had in Empire Strikes Back so I could just sleep in some fluid healing gel all night and maybe make some headway on this whole cold season disaster.

I woke up about three hours early today, mostly because I called in sick yesterday and slept all day, and decided rather than sit in bed and listen to the radiator wheeze for three hours while tossing and turning, I’d just give up, take a shower, and go to work early. I found that before eight in the morning (at least at this point in the year), my cube is absolutely flooded with sunlight as the sun rises. It was nice to eat breakfast and get a ton of stuff done before people started showing up, and it was even nicer to split just after five and go home early. I saw a completely different crowd on the train, which mixed things up nicely. It’s so weird to see the same people on the train every day, and yet never know who they are or what they do. It was nice to see some new faces.

I’m re-reading Naked Lunch for the first time in years, and enjoying it so far. There is a new edition that came out in 2002, based on some old thought-to-be-lost drafts that were recently found in a library collection. Burroughs is a strange influence on me; I think if you read Rumored to Exist and any Burroughs back to back, you might see how I structurally and stylistically owe a lot to him. But I think when you talk to most people about William S. Burroughs, they assume queers and junkies and whatnot, and that’s not my gig. It’s like how I’m reluctant to tell people that I’m a big Bukowski fan, because they’ll automatically assume I write bad poetry about getting drunk and beating women, when that’s entirely not why he interests me. Oh well.

Looks like I will have a reading in Boston on the first Friday of June. I am planning on making a min-vacation of it, driving up for a long weekend and exploring points north. More details when I have them. I also have a brand new/never published snippet of a piece in the next issue of Zeno’s e-zine, whenever it comes out. And I got a royalty check from iUniverse for a whopping $28.85! Drinks are on me! (If you’re drinking Big K soda. Limit 1.)

Food’s here…