time for love
it's the notes you don't play
Each month GZO Jones adds to his own pungent
aura by answering as many questions from our readers as he sees
fit. He swears he lives in Brazil, was part of the Beat movement
of the 1950s and 60s and recently recovered from a lengthy
coma. Want more? Check out the GZO
Jones Town Web site weve been there and all we
have to say is ... he hits his deadline, so who are we to argue?
Dear Dr. Jones,
Are the terrorists going to strike again? What are
they waiting for?
Shaking in my boots
You can bet your 401-K they'll be back.
I don't want to pull a Cheney and get everyone
panicked, but hear me out: You snag cookies from the jar, what
does mom do? She puts the jar up and out of reach. So what do
you do next? Stack chairs precariously to the ceiling such that
you can reach the jar, even if it means you fall down and go boom.
More to the point: If I were a terrorist on a
somewhat limited budget, would I strike every month? Certainly
not. I'd let many months pass so my eventual victims could worry
themselves into a dither. Seems to me that that's a far more devastating
and cost-efficient method than high frequency.
If I were a terrorist (I'm not) I'd hold out
for a few things that haven't happened yet:
Now, I'm not saying these silly events should
be blown up, just that they would knock a significant section
of the populace for a loop. I think that will be the terrorists'
intent now that national paranoia is in place.
It's not unlike the Miles Davis method of making
music: Sometimes the notes you don't play are the ones that resonate.
Just something to think about.
Dear Dr. Jones,
Philip Whalen and Dear Abby both died last month.
Whalen was a former "Reedie" schoolmate of yours and
Abby was columnist to the desperately disenfranchised. Is there
a cosmic connection? Or will I be receiving a posthumously written
Perplexed in Portland
I think we have a few misapprehensions here
that need clearing up.
While I may write for a Portland-based e-zine,
I don't really have much of a Beaver State connection down through
the years. And I most certainly didn't go to Reed (I'm a Vatican
seminary dropout, as long-time readers may recall).
Much like Kerouac, Phil Whalen took Buddhism
very seriously. If I'm not mistaken, Mr. Whalen was ordained a
Zen monk in the 1970s. He wasn't a half-bad poet, either. But
since I didn't know ol' P.W. was still alive, his death is a sad
Now that Ginsberg, Burroughs and Kesey are gone
as well, there isn't much left of the Beats just Lucy Carr's
boy (who does his best to write as far from his pop as possible)
and me. And little Caleb has been mad at me ever since I crashed
a book-signing and started autographing copies of The Alienist
in my name. And I can't really blame him for that.
As for Dear Abby? Actually it was her twin, Ann
Landers, who died.
What can be said about Ann ... in a rare moment
of seriousness, I'll simply say that she'll be missed. Any advice
columnist worth a lick ought to realize that without those crazy
Lederer girls, this particular calling would yet to be invented.
Just for kicks, let me paraphrase a favorite
Ann quote that runs through my addled brain every time I sit down
to open my mail: I can't salvage lives that have been rotten
for 20 years in a little bit of cyber space.
I can merely shed a little light. But is there
a cosmic connection? I think not.