Footsteps Darkly Past

By Ken Bruen

And with new days
You slip
Another faded trace
Of joy, they deem as yours
And in the dying envy
They grasp so near
You’ll catch a fleeting glimpse
To conjure back
A clear but solemn day
That sees you thread, an
All too known path
Through words that
Never mean again
Unless
To veil
Your fitful pride
That leads to my but softer curse
Of being forever damned
In troubled fate

I hope you had a wondrous peaceful holiday

And the New Year brings everything you would wish for those you love

The above poem was written in extremis.

Meaning, I was in bits.

And my agent fired me, telling me, the best you can hope for is cult status, translate as

No reviews

Discouragement hits me two ways

One … initial depression

Then

Defiance

The voice in me head that asks

“Are you going to quit?”

The answer that thankfully comes

“Like fook.”

I’ve been reading Tom Piccirilli … he has a whole shelf on my bookcase

And one of his titles could sum up my agents/publishers theme song

Fucking Lie Down Already.

Tom has wondrous stories about the publisher’s reaction to that title.

Such writers as Tom are the true grit of our calling.

In Irish there is a saying

“Is maith an t-alannan an ochras.”

Hunger is the best sauce.

No truer words.

I hope you had a wondrous Christmas and you received everything you could wish for and then some.

Our Lotto was the 2nd largest in it’s history, 13 million Euros and a farmer in the West of Ireland scooped it, no need to ask how his Christmas went.

One of Ireland’s top models, aged 24, died from cocaine and two days later, three young men, none of them yet 20, died the same way. They were just ordinary guys and what this showed that coke was no longer the drug of the rich or the privileged. The papers and Goverment went into panic mode and a survey showed that  all the public toilets in the country tested positive for cocaine usage. Used to be the working stiff’s form of coke was Vodka and Red bull but now they had the, excuse the pun, access to the Real Thing.

The Irish Times proclaimed

‘Country awash in cocaine.’

A few days before Christmas, I was asked to speak at the Public Libraries party. Sweet irony this as for years they refused to stock my books, citing, “Crime writers are not our brief!”

Any notion I had that librarians were conservative and staid went right out the Christmas window. They party … like devoted banshees and when I tried to take my leave at 1:00 in the morning, they said they were only warming up.

The Head Librarian saw me to the door, asked

‘Did you know your books are the most stolen ones?”

Long as she didn’t think I was the thief.

I dunno if the title of most stolen author is a compliment or a lash.

Christmas Eve, I had a jar with The King of The Tinkers, I gave him a bottle of Black Bushmills and he gave me one of their hand-carved crosses with the inscription, in charcoal, NA BAC LEAT.

Literal translation … ‘don’t mind them’ or ‘don’t give them a second thought.’

He was referring to a recent onslaught of personal attacks and I told him, I was well accustomed to that. He took a long swallow of his Guinness, looked at me, said

“In the final analysis, it is between you and God”

Paused,

added, with a froth mustache from the pint, giving him the appearance of a sage

“It was never between you and them anyway.”

Which by one of those wondrous coincidences, happens to be one of my favourite lines from the prayer of Mother Theresa.

David, my Rabbi, in his newsletter had written about dreams and how we should treat the dreams of others.

I imagine getting The King of the Tinkers, David and Tom Piccirilli together for a pint and you know, I think it would be near as perfect a trinity as I can envisage.

I had told the King about Tom’s two dogs, named Lord Byron and Edgar A. Poe and even showed him a picture of them. He said

“You have to love a man who loves dogs.”

Shane Mc Gowan was 50 on Christmas Day and he gets my comment of the season vote, when asked what he thought of the Spice Girls, he said

“That’s what happens when you allow free speech.”

It’s this time of year my Mum and Dad died and it ties in with my drink with the King.

Day of my Dad’s funeral, the tinkers came to the funeral and gave me a horse as a mark of respect … Jesus, of all the times I wish I had a field.

Christmas Day, the main crib on Eyre Square was torched by persons unknown and all that remained was a smouldering misshapen manger.

The locals blamed coke.

Me, I’ll try to think he needed the heat, rather than ‘What Burns Within’

Warm mighty welcome to Zoe Sharp and Brett Battles to the crew of Murderati.

As this is Jan 1st, may I borrow from Tony Black, Donna Moore, Al Guthrie … and wish you Happy Hogmany.

We believe here that whatever you do on New Year’s day is what you’ll be doing for the rest of the year. Guess I’ll be blogging then.

To paraphrase Yeats, may I wish you all that whoever treads on your dreams … treads very lightly and that what you wish for the ones you love most, you receive your own self.

The final line I’ll leave to Tom P.

“He always stressed the truth of love, but never understood what that meant. The truth of love is that you accept what’s wrong and ugly and tainted in your lover.”

( From The Fever Kill)

KB

22 thoughts on “Footsteps Darkly Past

  1. Alexandra Sokoloff

    (Rabbit rabbit!)

    When a New Year starts with Ken Bruen, how can it be anything but transcendent?

    (Now I can go off and be as bad as I like today because I’ve had my blessing.)

    All love to everyone.

    Reply
  2. Craig McDonald

    To quote Mickey Newbury, “The future isn’t want it used to be.” And thank God for that.

    A wonderous post Ken, and here a wish for a transcendent ought-eight for you and all of your special ones.

    Reply
  3. Christa

    “….It was never between you and them anyway.”

    Never heard that before. But glad I heard it here. Thanks – and may your 2008 be all that you wish.

    Reply
  4. pari noskin taichert

    I’m glad you’ll be blogging this year, Ken. That’s auspicious for all of us.

    Beautiful post.

    On dreams — I once asked a wise friend what the most important thing was in the world. He said, “Hope.” I don’t know how you do it, but today’s post, with all of its curves, left me hopeful. Thank you for that.

    And here’s my New Year’s wish for ‘Rati readers and bloggers — and you especially, Ken:

    May the most that you want, be the least that you get.

    Reply
  5. JT Ellison

    (Bunny Rabbits x 3!)

    Ahhhh…… a sinuous, sensual post to lead us off. What a fabulous start to the new year.

    Ken, you are so beautiful. Thank you for another arrow of truth into my heart.

    Happy New Year, all!

    xoxo

    Reply
  6. Patricia J. Hale

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    Cult Status? Your books are in every library across the land! Much less the airport and bookstore.

    Thanks for the reminder that no matter how successful one is, there’s always somebody attempting to cut ya’ down to (their) size!

    Reply
  7. Josephine Damian

    Ken, what the fuck? (or is that fook)?) You agent fired you?

    Guy’s an idiot.

    I’ve been saying this a lot today in the blogsphere – “don’t let the bastards get you down.” If your agent was not enthusiatic about your work as he should be, then you’re well rid of him, and onto bigger and better, no doubt.

    Reply
  8. Josephine Damian

    Ken, what the fuck? (or is that fook)?) You agent fired you?

    Guy’s an idiot.

    I’ve been saying this a lot today in the blogsphere – don’t let the bastards get you down. If your agent was not enthusiatic about your work as he should be, then you’re well rid of him, and onto bigger and better, no doubt.

    Reply
  9. Josephine Damian

    Ken, what the fuck? (or is that fook)?) You agent fired you?

    Guy’s an idiot.

    I’ve been saying this a lot today in the blogsphere – don’t let the bastards get you down. If your agent was not enthusiatic about your work as he should be, then you’re well rid of him, and onto bigger and better, no doubt.

    Reply
  10. Josephine Damian

    Ken, what the fuck? (or is that fook)?) You agent fired you?

    Guy’s an idiot.

    I’ve been saying this a lot today in the blogsphere – don’t let the bastards get you down. If your agent was not enthusiatic about your work as he should be, then you’re well rid of him, and onto bigger and better, no doubt.

    Reply
  11. Josephine Damian

    Ken, what the fuck? (or is that fook)?) You agent fired you?

    Guy’s an idiot.

    I’ve been saying this a lot today in the blogsphere – don’t let the bastards get you down. If your agent was not enthusiatic about your work as he should be, then you’re well rid of him, and onto bigger and better, no doubt.

    Reply
  12. Josephine Damian

    Ken, what the fuck? (or is that fook)?) Your agent fired you?

    Guy’s an idiot.

    I’ve been saying this a lot today in the blogsphere – don’t let the bastards get you down. If your agent was not enthusiatic about your work as he should be, then you’re well rid of him, and onto bigger and better, no doubt.

    Reply
  13. Josephine Damian

    Ken, what the fuck? (or is that fook)?) Your agent fired you?

    Guy’s an idiot.

    I’ve been saying this a lot today in the blogsphere – don’t let the bastards get you down. If your agent was not enthusiastic about your work as he should be, then you’re well rid of him, and onto bigger and better, no doubt.

    Reply
  14. Josephine Damian

    Ken, what the fuck? (or is that fook)?) Your agent fired you?

    Guy’s an idiot.

    I’ve been saying this a lot today in the blogsphere – don’t let the bastards get you down. If your agent was not enthusiastic about your work as he should be, then you’re well rid of him, and onto bigger and better, no doubt.

    Reply
  15. Josephine Damian

    Ken, what the fuck? (or is that fook)?) Your agent fired you?

    Guy’s an idiot.

    I’ve been saying this a lot today in the blogsphere – don’t let the bastards get you down. If your agent was not enthusiastic about your work as he should be, then you’re well rid of him, and onto bigger and better, no doubt.

    Reply
  16. Josephine Damian

    Ken, what the fuck? (or is that fook)?) Your agent fired you?

    Guy’s an idiot.

    I’ve been saying this a lot today in the blogsphere – don’t let the bastards get you down. If your agent was not enthusiastic about your work as he should be, then you’re well rid of him, and onto bigger and better, no doubt.

    Reply
  17. Dave Arnold

    The final line I’ll leave to Tom P.

    “He always stressed the truth of love, but never understood what that meant. The truth of love is that you accept what’s wrong and ugly and tainted in your lover.”

    ( From The Fever Kill)

    I think it was Wittgenstein who said:

    “Love is not a feeling – it’s put to the test”

    Reply

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