Chủ Nhật, 9 tháng 4, 2017

về một tác giả Mỹ hiện đại: 'a great gay writer walt WALT CURTIS', tác giả 'Mala Noche' -- Thế Phong giới thiệu / Published by Bridge City Books/ Porland, Oregon 97201.

về một tác giả Mỹ hiện đại: 'a great gay writer WALT CURTIS,tác giả "Mala Noche"
Nxb Bridge City Books, Porland, Oregon 97201

                                  vmt tác giMhin đi:
                                'a great gay writer WALT CURTIS,
                         tác giả 'MALA NOCHE'
                                    thế phong giới thiệu 

                                                                   mala noche/walt curtis, an autobiographical work,
                                                           became the basis for Gus Van Sant's 1985 film of the same name
                                                                                   (Google search' s walt curtis author)

                                                                               Lawrence Johnson (phải) + thế phong 
                                                                                (ảnh: thông dịch viên Michael Abadie)

                                                thủ bút + chữ ký nhà làm phim L. Johnson  ký tặng Thế Phong
                                                                   trên cuốn sách OREGON (nxb Impact, CA 95762)

lời dẫn:

 Năm 2012, nhà làm phim Lawrence Johnson ở Oregon tới gặp tôi lần 3; tiếp tục cuộc phỏng vấn văn chương dở dang-- anh trao tôi vài cuốn sách một tác giả Mỹ hiện đại; hiện sống ở Portland, Oregon .

 Đó là chàng văn nhân thi sĩ + họa sĩ Walt Curtis, tác giả truyện 'Mala Noche' .

Rất lạ, khi tôi nhìn thấy ở trang 1; có chữ ký tặng "For The Phong -- Peace / Walter Curtis 2012"; ký tặng trên bản dịch sang pháp ngữ Daniel Bismuth. (Livre de poche/ Hachette Littératures, 2003).

chưa hề quen tác giả; lại được sách tặng có chữ ký ; thật là một điều thật quí hóa --  hơn nữa lại là một  tay văn nhân thi sĩ + họa sĩ rất nổi tiếng ở  Hoa Kỳ.  Chỉ có một điều lạ lẫm đối với tôi -- ấy là tôi chưa hề một lần đọc 'văn chương đồng giới tính'của bất cứ một tác giả nào. 

 Sách chàng ta được AbeBooks. com ...  rao bán trên  mạng; qua nhiều ấn bản khác nhau; kể cả bản được gọi là Used/ Paperback, chỉ $8,68 US/ cuốn.

  có điều khác giữa USED/ Paperback, qua 2 tác giả; sách USED/ Paperback của Walt Curtis bán rẻ hơn bản chính xuất bản khoảng trên dưới con số 10.  Còn tác giả kia (là tôi đây); thì bán lại quá đắt; chỉ riêng đối với thôi -- thì 'The Phong by The Phong; the writer, the work & the life/ The Phong -- autobiography '-- bán tới $650 US/ cuốn ; thay vì ở Việt nam vào thập niên '70s;  chỉ đâu đó khoảng $5 US./ cuốn. 
* <AbeBooks. com>

Mala Noche : And Other "Illegal" Adventures/Curtis, Wall -- Published by BridgecityBooks-- 
-- ISBN: 10: 0962368342 -- ISBN: 13: 97809623368349 

                                                            bìa 1: MALA NOCHE / WALT CURTIS
                                                    ou Qui deconne avec le taureau se prend la corne -
                                                            bản pháp ngữ  Daniel Bismuth 
                                                                        (Livre de poche/ Hachette Littératures, Paris 2003).
                                                             trang 1 có chữ ký tặng
                                                                     "FOR THEPHONG-- PEACE/ WALT CURTIS 2012"
                                                                    trên bản dịch sang pháp ngữ của Daniel Bismuth

                                                      bìa 1: MALA NOCHE/ WALT CURTIS
                                                                  bìa 4:  lời bìnhcủa  đạo diễn điện ảnh Gus Van Sant
                                                                  +văn sĩ Mỹ  Beat Generation 50s, Allen Ginsberg ...
                                                 (Published by BridgeCity Books , Portland, 0regon  1977, 1997)

                                                     bìa phụ trang 1:
                                                                tác giả kiêm họa sĩ trình bày chữ độc đáo--
                                                                thêm một lần viết tay Walt Curtis  1 một lần nữa. 

 Ở bài 4 MALA NOCHE, có  lời bình nhà làm phim Gus Van Sant; dựng phim qua tiểu thuyết Mala Noche:

"Mala Noche is like Death in Venice on Skid Row ... The author of this story, Walt Curtis in Portland, Oregon ... he is a great writer, and a great gay writer." --  GUS VAN SANT,  VILLAGE VOICE, OCTOBER 1, 1991.

tới văn sĩ danh tiếng Mỹ, Allen Ginsberg, một trong chủ soái của Beat Generation '50s: 

" I read Mala Noche & liked Walt Curtis' raw account of street loves & losses, an American story many have liked and more will as our empire disintegrates.  Life' s disapointing, the kids are tragic, there are moments of joy & orgasm in soiled sleepingbags, & moment of bitterness when the immigration cops interrupt acquaintances on the roads.  Those who have no lifelong love with recognize their own hope & ache."   

Walt Curtis sinh 1941, hiện là văn nhân thi sĩ + họa sĩ danh tiếng  sống, viết vẽ ...  Portland , Oregon , Hoa Kỳ. 

Cuốn tự sự kể MALA NOCHE  được đạo diễn điện ảnh Gus Van Sant  dựng thành phim vào năm 1985 cùng mang tựa trên.  

Tác giả còn là đồng sáng lập The Oregon Commission. 

Saigon April 9, 2017.

trích văn:


                                                                               The Street Poet
                                                           Walt Curtis

Who am I? I 've been called "the Unofficial Poet Laureate of Portland" -- or is that Lariat?  I' ve rounded up my dogies!  I' m a "street poet," whatever that means.  I' ve  earned my laurels by reading in taverns and sef- publishing for the last years in Portland, Oregon.  Exiled from the university, I have 12 small -press books to my credit. Among them are Angel Pussy, The Eroctic Flying Machine, The Sunflower, The Roses of Portland, Mad Bombers' s Notebook, Journey Across America, Peckerneck Country, and Salmon Song.

Portland is known as the "the City of Roses" and each year holds a Rose Festival.  Naval ships come up the Willlamette River and dock between the bridges. Sailors ships come up the Willamette River and dock between the bridges.  Sailors spawn like salmon, and you pretty daughters are given over to them.  Virginities are sacrificed!  There is a carnival along the sea wall, and a grand floral parade culminates the June activities. In 1974, I legitimatized my "street poet" career by publishing The Roses of Portland on newsprint and hawking the collection to tourists for fifty cents. The columnists Doug Baker-- the Herb Caen of our town-- wrote in the defunct Oregon Journal a criticism entitled, "Manure For The Roses." It began: "Walt Curtis calls himself a poet but he doesn't know the difference between poetic expression and dung."

His judgment was a bit harsh, I believe, but not altogether unjustified. I' m a romantic realist.  My name is associated with notoriety. However, I have written some pretty poems about friendship and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  In other words, as a poet, I'm not a total failure!  I love our clean and green landscape in spite of the omnipresent rainfall.

Oregon is a unique place of storm-lashed beaches and river valleys rich with volcanic topsoil.  We can frow anything un such as an agricultural garden spot, including strawberries and raspberries, hops, grains, cheries, apples, and peaches.  I have written  many more nature poems than tavern or sexual ones, because I have lived all of my life in a verdant paradise. Snow- covered peaks, St. Helens and Mt. Hood loom on the blue  eastern horizon. If he didn't recognize the geography of Portland and its environs, a New Yorker without a road map could never imagine that the great outdoors is only fifteen minutes from downtown.

Portland is a literary town. Oregon contains many gifted writers. Ken Kesey loves in Pleasant Hill.  Ursula LeGuin's home is in Portland.  The poet William Stafford lived here.  Gary Synder and Phil Whalen attended Reed College.  Walt Morey author of Gentle Ben and Jean Auel, of The Clan of the Cave Bear, are Oregonians.  From the old days, Joaquin Miller, C.E.S. Wood, John Redd, hazel Hall, Opal Whitely, James Stevens and H.L. Davis. Stevens authored Paul Bunyan for Alfred Knopf -- and satirized Portland's literary pretensions in the American Mercury-- calling our city 'The Athens of the West." It was meant to be a joke, but-- next to San Francisco, we're probably the second most "literary" city on the West Coast.

Portland's strongest new "voice" is the brilliant and inventive novelist Katherine Dunn.  Is she the reincarnation of Flannery O' Connor?  Dunn's a "working" boxing journalist.  She goes to the fights! Earlier she published two fine novels, Attic and Truck.  Her breakthrough novel-- which has been translated into many languages-- the controversial and highly imaginative Geek Love-- is a major literary  achievement.  It's the story of the Binewski family "freak" show, bobling rivalry, and of the masochistic cult which surrounds Arturo, the Aqua Boy.

Dunn inscribed my copy of Gee Love:" for the first poet I ever met! Thanks for all your inspiration!" She also is a fan of the director Gus Van Sant, admiring his work very much.  In fact, she wrote a lengthy article 
delineating the differences in style between Gus abd myself.  Gus and myself. "The Rebirth of Mala Noche" came out in the winter, 1984 issue of Clinton St. Quarterly.  Dunn wrote:

                             "Walt Curtis assaults life with the fervent, belowing exulation of a sensualist
                             evangelist.  Gus Van Sant is discret as a car burglar of a first-class pickpocket. 
                             He arrives as a cat like the Ninja who paralyzes the sentry with a single 
                             whispered joke and then melts into the darkness without raising an alarm.  Gus is
                             in everything he does. Walt leams towards bombast.
                                  "Curtis ... is the patriarch of Portland's bohemian street port population. ...
                             He dresses in early Goodwill style ... His home is a bare apartment in a dcayed
                             rooming house ... His living is the Spartan penury of part-time checking in the
                             wino grocery stores ...  His politics nd his religion  are inextricable, churchlessly
                             Christian and humane, both ecpressed in an impassioned rant that alternately
                             moves and sadness his audience.  Walt Curtis may never have understated a topic
                             in his life ."

Like Charles Bukowski or Allen Ginsberg, I admit I've been sort of "dirty word" poet.  Not to shame anyone or be truly malicious, but only to prick bourgeois sensibilities!  If we can't speak of our body parts and their functions, how can we ever become truly grownup? Despite Henry Miller and D.H. Lawrence, America in the 1980s remains a conservative and puritanical society, intellectually speaking. Homophobia is rampant, no doubt exacerbated by AIDS, but also beacuase dundanentalists have successfully propagandized anachronistic.  Biblical values. We have "souls," but we also bleed, cry out, orgasm, excrete, laugh and will die.  

A candid and vital, "real" literature allows us to experience emotionally and esthetically even the mistake and embarrassing moments in our lives. I perform before "live" audiences -- scandalizing and enlightening at the same time.  I hope readers laugh out loud at my uproarious adventures in dealing with the Mexican kids. Cheech and Chong are true exemplifiers of Latino culture!   We discover who we are by living, not thinking too much about it beforehand.  By taking chances. Was it as mistake for me to fall in love with Johnny? Or Raul?

Back in college, there was an academic argument or literary criticism which went something like this: No good poet or writer wrote directly from his or her experience. Poetry and literature is always shaped, made up, and imagined-- or it's inferior.  Life is just too messy it goes on and on.  James Joyce and William Gass ans Gertrude Stein are great because they imagine it and made it up.  They aren't second-rate journalists like Hemingway and B. Traven.  My response to that is horse puckee!

The reader might ash himself, "Is he making it up? Did that actually happen?"  What difference doies it makes? It's lost in time anyway!  The characters could be dead. The location unrecognizable today.  I didn't know from one minute to the next what was going on. I wrote slice of life! Just as it happened. Half the fun of reading about real life-- is its immediacy. In this manuscript I've tried to maintain the extemporaneous unfolding of events and their veracity.  Do you care? That my hair has turned snow-white in preparing this book for posterity! That my eyesight is failing! That no amount of money-- or fame-- can compensate me.

I might as well be opening a vein and typing in my own blood. Right now. It's after midnight.  Writing like this is a fatal and masochistic activity! Look what happened to Raymond Carver, to Richard Brautigan, to Kerouac. They're all dead-- or went nuts-- before their time! Am I tempting fate? There's nothing glamorous about being a writer or a poet. If you write well, it' 'll destroy you. Jack London was dead by 40. D.H. Lawrence at 39. John Keats ar 25. Malcolm Lowry swallowed sleeping pills and booze.  Virginia Woolf waded into the ocean and drowned herself.  Paul Bowles is probably a vampire!

How good a writer am ! ? I haven't yet figured that out. All I know is-- audience have stirringly applauded my stand-up applauded my stand-up performances. I recall Allen Ginsberg asking after a reading in 1967, "Who is this Walt Curtis person, anyway?" In the '80s I read with both Burroughs and Ginsberg in Portland. In the '70s, at Ken Kesey's Poetic Hoohaw in Eugene, I shared the stage with Gregory Corso and Jack Micheline.  Kesey has praised my work, and I consider him a sort of older brother.  A heterosexual and family man, he doesn't feel comfortable with my affection for young males. Yet he has paid good money to notorious homos and amoral beatniks to perform on his literary platform.

How did my career as poet begin? After the publication  of The Erotic Flying Machine in 1970, I sent poems to the poetry editor of the Atlantic Monthly. Phoebe-Lou Adams happily announced to me that "The Girl With The Green Eyes" had been accepted. The editors also like "Cabages In The Garden" and were considering it. Over-
joyed and naive, I mailed the entire collection with its erotic drawings and tidbits about masturbation, golden dildoes, and revolutionary '60s kind of verse. Alas, Ms. Adams informed me conservative decisions foreclosed the publishing of further poems.

                         The Erotic Flying Machine

There once was an erotic Flying machine
it flews like a pterodactyl,
flitted like a bat.
The fuselage was shaped like a man and a woman,
back to back in love.
The wings were tufts of public hair,
and heart-shaped was the propeller.
Wherever its valor and velour went
birds followed it mating
strafing the clouds with love-calls and bird-shot.
Once it flew to China, once it flew to Rome,
when it landed in New York
great crowds gathered around in disbelief.
It was only after Valentine's Day came early that year
and couples, complete strangers,
fell down swooning and pawing at each other' s privates,
that there was some sign of general acceptance
among sophisticates,
Next weeks
a rocks group rose like a rocket on the charts,
sure enough, you named it, The Erotic Flying Machine.
Their first album was a smash hit:
Fly in My Eye
The next, Soar Between My Legs,
caused quite a ruckus.
 driven out of sytle
the part-bird part-human part-machine
packed up its belongings
and took off for the planet Venus.
Astronomers, love-sick, follow it to this day,
like a crippled comet,
masturbating and mooning
glued to a great eye-piece opening on the paradise of the universe
its groovy motion somewhat mocking
a couple rocking in bed,
numping butts
goes out of sight.

The Erotic Flying Machine possesses lovely, surreal line drawings done by Frank Poliat. Curiously, I used a black-and-white cover photo of a scrawny horse, pressing against a barbed wire strand.  Fir trees in the background. Anyway, I once recited the title poem to rock music.  The band Sleazy Pieces backed me up at Frankenstein' s Tavern on the Portland river front.  The poem is a masturbatory incantation -- part joke, part pean-- jotted down immediately after a bout with litle Mary Five Fingers.  When you' re young, eroticism is an excess, hard-ons and wet dream o' erspilling everywhere.  The pen acts like a penis, producing reams of poetry.

I write prose as if I' m chopping wood, a hatched swing at a time.  Picking up a limb, discarding a knot. Slugging away. Appreciate the bluntness and swiftness of the attack.  A mistake and off goes a finger. Whingzing! I learned that in 1961 at the S & M Sawmill-- named for the owners Steve and Matt-- in Oregon City.  I split the middle finger, left hand down the middle on a trim saw, at one end of the two-by-four green chain.  I felt a burning coals, when went numb. bLood filling the tornoff glove.  Throbbing for week later, years later, like a castration complex.  Still it has phantom feeling like this book.

I'm stabbed with emotion when I see  a Mexican youngster on Burnside, resembling Raul.  Leaning against a brick wall, broken wine bottle, vomit at his feet.  A couple of winos on the sidewalk, snoozing obliviously. Before the detox wagon arrives. Graffiti by drunken Indians moronically defacing a wooden door.  Or Mexican signatures, angular marks of identity. Looking closer the joven is just a type, hardly kin or cousin.  I sometimes feel puting this book together 15 or 20 years later is an exercise in futility. Who will comprehend?  The boys are gone and grownup, perhaps with children of their own.  I wish I hadn' t failed them! Could have helped some way to make their lives better.

Do you know the famous Mexican woodcut artist Posada?  he did those cheap prints of skeletons dancing, drinking, rollicking with sombreros on their heads.  Bottles of mescal in hand.  Humans right in the midst of their lives, but already dead! They don' t even know it! Or even if they do, in this lifetime there's no redemption for them .  Perhaps I' m one of those-- as a writer, a street poet. I wrote down the viscera, blood nervous spasms, jissom and fleshed-out diary of my relationships with the Latino kids.   Now clumsily go back-- and ram the bones, surgically open the mass of writhing guts and squirming muscles. Put in a pelvis or a scapula.  A cheek bone.  Bloody messy work imposing a structure on half a million words from the past, making a coherent book.  How do you say "butcher" in Spnaish? El carnicero. Undertaker? Embalsmador. A perfume of corpses. 


 (p. 4-11 MALA NOCHE)


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