Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Showing it by the style

O Brother. I'm tired. I just spent the entirety of a night writing an essay for a poetry magazine and it turned out to be 2700 words. I might try and slim it down tomorrow. I can't believe people in academia still whine about having to write a 5000 words essay every four weeks or so, what do you do with all your free time, construct cathedrals?

So this may be the chronicle of the 'aborted ideas for blog-posts' in the head of Andrea Tallarita, where there's enough space for a couple of dancing soirees anyways. Firstly, I intended to write a nice post about Blood Meridian. That's a novel about some guy you might have heard of, you know, William Shakespeare? Hello?? No wait it's Cormac Mc Carthy actually - what the fuck have I been reading all the time? Did that lady at the bookshop screw me up, like when I asked her for an edition of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason without the philosophical bits?

It would have made for a nice good book review or something, and though this may have twisted the panties of all those who saw their nuts falling onto the floor-tiles with tedium after I ejaculated my mumblings about Ulysses (incidentally that didn't feel like ejaculating at all, I've had better orgasms when my adolescential wet-dreams still failed to distinguish between hot and tumescent and they got me in bed with my math teacher, who was a fat reef of such proportions that when she sat in the sea, mussels started building homes on her ass), though it may have caused pain, I was saying, it would nonetheless have been a safe bet.

Unfortunately this possibility was taken away from me. For one thing, the novel is the most violent thing I've ever read in my life and it made as morose and depressed as Sid Vicious. You're basically following this kid who runs from his house and within the first chapter he's jamming a broken bottle into the eye of a guy whose ears have been ripped off. You'd think that would be the climax, but it's only the climax to the extent that being found out downloading porn on the week before your grandparents catch you humping your stuffed dolphin while wearing a scuba mask and fins can be called a climax. I mean, you'd think this is a joke or something, but the book goes so far as to have a slaughtering of puppies! Goddammit, what the fuck did McCarthy's parents show him before bedtime, videos of Abu Ghraib?? But it must also be said that the novel is gorgeously, gorgeously beautiful, not to mention intelligently clever, remarkably notable and unbelievably incredibly, and a really sophisticated historical novel. Arguably one of the best American novels of the 20th Century, and I didn't feel like I could do it justice in a quick blog post. (Of course I could write another epic as I did for Joyce.... the fuck I will! I'd rather cock-fence with the snout of a sawfish than do that again!).

So onto more banal subject matters, I went to the cinema today to see Robin Hood. Not bad, but this is the last time I'm buying popcorn and pepsi at the movies. Seriously, for what fucking reason do they serve the Pepsi in double-pint size glasses?? What do they assume I am, an elephant? I wasn't halfway through the glass when my bladder started sending acute alarm bells and I had to jog out of there for the toilet. This wouldn't have been a problem per se, but in a cinema which could have accommodated 250 people no sweat, we had all for some reason decided to sit on exactly the same line. As a consequence, in a surreal atmosphere like something out of the vacuum scenes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, I stepped over the knees of eight different swearing couples to walk outside. And then, back. At which stage my father had to go of course, because he doesn't exactly have a bladder as a dragon-heart, and I sat there waiting in the vague fear that he may get lost and I'd have to go and look for him.

I could have written a proper blog entry at least on Robin Hood, but this was made impossible by my level of fatigue. I'm so tired, dude. I think it shows by the style. Then again, everything about me shows by the style.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


It’s ten minutes to midnight on the 4th of May as I write this, and tonight is my birthday. Twenty-five, kiddos. There’s a lot of yack I could put down about my feelings on this day and all that, but I find this kind of talk works much better when I’m getting drunk, so I’ll leave it aside for next time I meet you. Because if you’re reading this, then the odds are, we’re going to meet, or meet again. I’m like a bad penny, you know.

I’d like to discuss a couple of things that have been going on in my life, something which I normally don’t do on this blog if not in humorous terms, because they’re relevant to this page. For a long time I have wished to work on the sea. Not necessarily as a career for life, but at least for a few years, I wanted to become acquainted – personally – with that entity by the side of which I have grown up. It is true that I spent most of my early life in Rome; but it’s also true that my grandmother used to live in the countryside by the sea, and since we’d go to her place almost every summer, my childhood was spent in touch with the Mediterranean. When I grew up and came back from Spain, the score did not change. I used to spend my summers at my grandmothers, an exile which allowed me to spend all my time reading and writing. Again, the sea was always by me, be it in the early-morning walks after a night spent writing, or breaking on the rocks where I’d sit with a copy of some obscenely hard and boring book, battered by sunlight and obstinacy.

Though it took a while before I could put my aspiration into practice, when coming back from the glitz of Paris I decided it was time to give it a shot. I gave myself the time for the journey through India, which had the effect (among others) of utterly draining my finances. Then I started looking for jobs at sea. It was an incredibly frustrating task and I went through several ordeals which I really have no patience to recount, but finally, and mainly by luck, I was offered a place as steward on a cruise-ship (I look so snazzy in those suits it’s something you would not believe).

I have no idea what the hell this is, it looks like a Julia set with marine colours (a notion I find really, really beautiful).

I am saying all this because working on the ocean, all sources agree, is hugely taxing, especially on a cruise ship. It does pay very well, but it leaves little time for much else. I am giving up my football journalism for it; hell, I won’t even be able to see the matches of the upcoming World Cup. My cooking is going down the drain as well. I will cut down on all of my writing but the poetry, which I do not intend to give up. There will be no articles for any sites, no opinion forums, sparse letters to my friends. And there’s good chances that I’ll have to shut down this blog as well.

I’m hoping that this is not the case; and I reserve judgment for when I actually get on the ship, that is to say, the 17th of May. I embark in Portugal. I have a plane to Lisbon in just about two weeks from now, and from there, we sail across the seas of Northern Europe: North Germany, Denmark, Scotland, Iceland, and all of Scandinavia (a personal dream of mine). Then the second season will take me to South America, assuming of course that I’ve survived the trial period of the first two months.

Once I do embark, I promise to post at least once more. I will see how life is like on the crest of the spume, and I’ll find out whether it allows me to keep posting on this page, for the which I have developed no small measure of affection. If I can, then I shall continue posting from the surface of the waves. If I cannot, then I shall put up a farewell post, and it will be time to shut down the blog.

In the meantime, I hope you are all well. I am enjoying these last days of vacation, and I am looking up at the stars a lot. Astronomy is one of the few things I will not have to give up once I’m on the sea. If anything, I should see clearer skies than anywhere else in the world.