Thursday, June 3, 2010

Labyrinth of Poodles




Any time something is written against me, I not only share the sentiment but feel I could do the job far better myself. Perhaps I should advise would-be enemies to send me their grievances beforehand, with full assurance that they will receive my every aid and support. I have even secretly longed to write, under a pen name, a merciless tirade against myself.--
Jorge Luis Borges


It's the other one, HoseMaster, that everything happens to. I love books, Northern Rhone wines, baseball, the aroma of wet dog in someone else's bottle of wine, the prose of Jerry Lewis, and limp celery. And he, Hosemaster, loves the same, only in a creepy way, a way that demeans while pretending to celebrate, like an award for a cretinous, self-published blog. I wouldn't say that I hate him, that might be hyperbole, but I live so that he can create, so that he can aim his broadsides at the fools who give points, are pointless, point at themselves ad nauseum. And more and more I become him, that loathsome creature. I confess that he has written a funny piece now and then, managed to heap scorn on the right people, people with astonishing amounts of hubris who certainly do not own mirrors or they would notice they all look the same in the mirror's reflection. Is that Laube reflected in that circus mirror, or Parker, though it looks like Tanzer, and might be a Heimoff if only it were much smaller, and I don't mean in height, I mean in significance. They are all one and know it, but must not surrender to the illusion that they are individuals or they might cease to exist. That is, if they exist at all. If being a wine critic can be defined as existence, which most would say it cannot. More and more I am subsumed by HoseMaster and little by little I can no longer be saved by his works. His works are not mine, and not his, but are owned by the Internet, that Truthslayer, and consumed by thankless automatons with only electronic lives. They are nothing without FaceBook. The word is apt. It is not FacesBook. They have but one Face, and it's pretty hopeless and ugly. It's the Face of the Internet, it is God's Face. It is the face of loneliness. For what is real loneliness but to be surrounded by imaginary friends? Friends who all have the same Face. Your Face.


In my dreams now I am him all the time. The separation I feel from him in my waking hours does not exist. I am him in my dreams. I do not exist in my own dreams. In his dreams we are being pursued by poodles. More poodles than one can count. Everywhere we turn there are poodles. They seem threatening, but are not. The poodles are different colors, relentlessly white, chronically black, and all kinds of sizes, though they are mostly toys, and they are all toothless. We run and we run, HoseMaster and I, though it is only him in my dreams and I am forced to will myself into his dream mind, which he forbids, though it is I who is asleep. Wherever we turn there are more and more toothless poodles. The poodles bark as ferociously as they can, which is a kind of chorus of canine yawns, but it is still inexplicably frightening. Even more horrifying is the way they urinate everywhere, marking each other, leaving each other messages that only have meaning for them and no one intelligent or sane. When one poodle disappears, another one takes its place almost immediately. They reproduce without procreation. The poodles are a many-headed Cerberus of inanity. He is surrounded by the comically scary poodles and when he runs, and as I struggle to keep up with him, with myself, HoseMaster is caught in a labyrinth to which there is no end, and in which every turn leads to a post, a post on which each poodle has left a bladder-inspired message. Here is the post about Wine Tasting Wednesday, a frightening puddle of stupidity beneath it. Around the labyrinth's next corner is the Parker post. Or is it the Laube post? Doesn't it seem like the Vaynerchuk post? Does it matter if they are all the same? No. But to imagine it the Vaynerchuk post, does that make it more pleasant to micturate against? But save some, there is another post around the corner. Or are they all just the same post, the same post that every poodle visits and revisits and from which there is no escape? If you read them, they are the same posts excreted by different poodles, who believe they are different, but are, in fact, very much the same.


Most nights the poodles have human faces. The males are all castrated, powerless and toothless. The bitches parade around, tails up, but they are clearly unsatisfied. The human faces when they appear to the HoseMaster are also toothless. Saliva pours from the canineless canines. This passes for thought among the poodles. If they stop barking they vanish. HoseMaster, using me as his vessel, his portal into this dreamworld we all live in, hopelessly tries to get them to be quiet. He looks at their human faces and knows what to do.


HoseMaster and I run into the labyrinth once again, only now the walls of the labyrinth are covered in mirrors. He knows not to look into any mirror. I know never to look into a mirror in his dreams. The mirror will reveal him to himself as another poodle. But the poodles don't know this. The poodles pursue HoseMaster into the mirrored labyrinth. They bark toothlessly at their own reflections. The castrated boys lift their legs and piss on themselves, thinking they are leaving an intelligent message for others to read. The bitches just stare at their reflections and seem confused. Only one poodle, neither dog nor bitch, stares back at each of them. Everywhere they turn it is the same poodle, drooling. The poodles are silenced, and they vanish.


But we always wake up.



28 comments:

Samantha Dugan said...

Damn. Brilliant Love, this was brilliant.
Wow....

Steve said...

What? Brilliant? I'm often a fan of Los Hose, but this made me nearly fall asleep....

k2 said...

Fucking dark. Man, I felt like David Cronenberg just reached up and gave my taint a slight tickle. Fiendishly brilliant!

One of the poodles,
K2

Thomas said...

To paraphrase Neil Sedaka: Waking up is hard to do.

Samantha Dugan said...

I thought of suggesting reading it again while moving your lips....helps in comprehension and has the added benefit of assisting in that staying awake thing. Worked for me, well before I dropped out of school....

Steve said...

Ah, yes, because it's patently ridiculous to think that someone might have comprehended this post and, *GASP*, not enjoyed it quite like you did.

Doesn't HM mention something about hubris somewhere....?

Samantha Dugan said...

He does and he is often speaking about me. Just didn't get how you could not like it but you are correct, being bitchy...sorry bout that.

abc said...

Good to know ahead of time what tonight's nightmare may be about.

Charlie and I and our assorted entourages are going to Oakland to see the Red Sox on 7/21. You should join us.

John M. Kelly said...

Suffering from ennui, are we? Existential angst? Perhaps that's why so many of the great literary lights drank.

I don't see poodles. I see football and I don't care which side of the Atlantic we are talking about. The uniforms change but the players are interchangeable, and there are only so many plays that can be run. It may be a billion-dollar industry but in the end it is just f***ing football.

Or maybe we can simplify further and just put everyone either on Team Edward or on Team Jacob.

But "...consumed by thankless automatons with only electronic lives." - ? I took time out of my day to read your work (and thank you for doing it BTW) and further to comment on it - and this is what I am reduced to? Diss me like that again and I will piss in your Manhattan.

Charlie Olken said...

Is this what happens when someone gets 100 comments on one post and then another 50 after that? Does popularity breed contempt the way that familiarity breeds poodles? Is the Internet all knowing, all wise, all full of grace or as pointless as the Harlots, Chix, Palate Press and Colored Girls? Who can we trust in times like these? Where do we turn when Tom Wark leaves us? Is the Hosemaster angry at us for making him famous and popular or is he angry at himsself or has the Hosemaster became so powerful that he is taking over for Mr. Ron, and leaving us not knowing who to love anymore? If the Internet is God, is Gary Vaynerchuk Zeus?

We need to know the answers to these questions. Preferably in a group of one-liners. Served without the suet pudding, thanks.

Dave said...

I'm confused, is John going to micturate in your cocktail or spend a penny in a NY borough? Either way won't be pretty, should not have let the big HM break bad on him.

D J R-S said...

I'm with you on this one. You don't have to be class clown all the furschluginner ticktockticktock, man. Mad Gentleman Hopper is dead. Keep mixing it up. Damn the torpedoes! Captcha: HALOGIN

Samantha Dugan said...

Okay now I'm confused.

k2 said...

Ron's words and these comments are shades of Dorothy Parker in a drunken rage going all Praying Mantis on her Algonquin Circle.

1WineDude said...

What's next, poesy?

:)

Ron Washam said...

Hey Gang,

After this rather surreal and difficult to understand (especially for me) post, I thought I'd just step aside and let it bark for itself. Until now.

Steve, man, I guess I could start reviewing $10 Merlot in a faux 1WineDude voice which comes off as hip and condescending rather than knowing and interesting, but I write for pleasure not self-promotion. That said, I'm grateful for someone to show up and state an honest opinion that he was bored by my little Borges parody. Honest opinions are scarce on wine blogs. So thank you, Steve, sincerely.

Kevin, you were once an early supporter of HoseMaster,then you vanished, removed me from your blog list and moved to Samantha's place. Well, welcome back. You may be a poodle, but you're one of the ones worth listening to.

John, you mean you're going to ennuiui in my cocktail? And you're right about football, that's for sure. I'm a baseball guy. And your call here screwed up my perfect game.

Charlie, I just write 'em, I don't explain 'em. And, as the post explains in lousy Borgesian prose, I just house the HoseMaster, I don't tell him what to say. Borges has been on my mind for quite awhile and the HoseMaster finally decided to have some fun with him. The literary parodies are truly done for myself. It's like writing a piece of music in Beethoven's style, or Dylan's style, it's how you learn a craft. Spending a few hours reading Borges was pure joy, and then writing a bit like him helped me understand him a little better. It's kind of the same when I parody bloggers--Alder or Alice or your son--you come to understand them in an interesting light. OK, enough boring talk. The post, love it or hate it, stands.

1WineDoody, man, you don't know how close I came to breaking out my Whitman or Dickinson parodies!

D J R-S, thanks. More and more I just do what seems like fun. I might even right about actual wines again. Depends on what the HoseMaster has in mind. He constantly surprises me.

Steve said...

Hey! That $10 Merlot drank like at least 12 bucks!

k2 said...

Hose,

My apologies for caving to the Man earlier. Sticking by my guns now and have your back from here on. Cheers!

off2wine said...

You're my civil dawn, Ron.

abc, I like the convenience of the A's (in Oakland and sentences) but I'm Natl League.

Samatha's right. Writing isn't a voice without rhythm.

Anonymous said...

off2wine,

Do you mean that without rhythm, writing isn't a voice or that some believe writing is a voice without rhythm?

Signed, confused in the writer's block.

Erin M. Davis said...

Borges, one of my (two) favorites of all time. Interesting post, mister. :) (I'm playing catch up.)

Doug said...

Goddam that's funny. I was almost bored to stone but I stuck with it, and I have to say, that was goddam funny. Brilliant even. Well, at least funny. I'm off to smash all my mirrors.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Doug,

Welcome. I'll settle for funny. Brilliant might be a little much.
Thank you.

D J R-S said...

NYTimes refuses to let Borges die? Borges on Pleasure Island - http://nyti.ms/an1bJm
'...Borges did have some mortal qualities. He lived most of his life with his mother. He loved detective and adventure novels. (His first story in English was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.) Though he started to go blind in his 30s, he never learned to read Braille. And in his later years he made some unappealing political remarks about being happy that, following the military overthrow of the Perón government, “gentlemen” were again running the country. (Perón, to be fair, had “promoted” Borges from head of the National Library to head of poultry inspection.)...'

Ron Washam said...

D J,

I lit up when I saw an appreciation of Borges, one of the more interesting characters of literature in the 20th Century, though the piece was not particularly revelatory. I have a craving to go back and read him again, though it will only make me depressed at how far short of his talents my stupid parody falls.

And then Saramago had to go and die recently. One the the giants of literature in the 20th Century, and beyond. I'm back reading Saramago again too. And looking forward to a September release of a translation of one of his last works.

I've never been a wine snob, but, alas, I'm a horrible book snob.

D J R-S said...

Yeah, article started out promising but it ended up a fluff review...
In the self-loathing dept., I'm reminded of (Former)Love-of-My-Life's warning, 'Let's not play 'Can you top this', but...' --I'm an unpublished (but for student rags back in the day) minor poet in two languages, who hasn't ever read Saramago...now that he's gone to the Big Underground library to trade invective with Borges, everything will probably be back in print-- I could even try to bluff my way through something in the original Portugues...Heh-- can you imagine us getting together over a bottle of vino next time I make it West? Friends might dub us the Death of the Party...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

D J,

Saramago has never been out of print. I love "Death with Interruptions," and "Blindness," and "The Double."

If you ever do make it to Sonoma, let me know. We can share a few drinks and bore the crap out of the room. No Jagermeister.

D J R-S said...

Deal. I took a hands-on crash course in Basic California Spoofulation Wine Technique by signing on to three separate projects at Crushpad for the '06 harvest. My cases just got moved out of their old SF digs & up to Napa. We can, perhaps, take a chance on some of those?