Stephen C. Rose's Blog

February 4, 2017

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001IZZ7QS/...

I wrote this back in the ’90s as part of a collaboration that went South. It sat. I think it stands as a good lay person’s intro to the content and messages of the Bible. It is more middle of the road than representative of a particular viewpoint. In fact it has some interesting perspectives drawn from some equally interesting sources. For a few dollars you can give this a read and if it serves your need you may have something you can pass on to others looking for an enlightenment they may have difficulty finding in today’s fractious times. There is a sample that is reasonably generous. It will give you a feel for my approach.
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Published on February 04, 2017 17:32 • 25 views • Tags: writing

November 6, 2014

From "Some Stones Don't Roll"

There are other Bills in my life. There is Bill Rewalt who was in my class at Trinity. They say his parents did it once a week and you could see it through the window of their apartment. There was Bill of the family I took as my own at the age of three until it was over and I became homesick, There was Uncle Bill one of my Cleveland family who had one of those chiseled, aged almost permanently smiling faces I associated with ageless Ohioans. He came to live with us as his agelessness morphed into death. There was Bill Saltonstall at the end of the Harkness table at Exeter talking of Herodotus and Thucydides in 1951. I later got into trouble for suggesting he run for the Senate in New Hampshire. Then there was Will. A friend. A tear. I do have friends. Now dead or gone. My angel is my friend. Her name is not Bill.

When we got to the turn to Amherst I saw the familiar bulk of UMass on on the left and we dead-ended into the large rectangle at the end of which Emily Dickinson waged war with words or were they minnows? Tony's shop was on the East side up the stairs. Did I lend Bill the money for the guitar? I don't remember. Money for me was and is an oddity. If I lent it to him, then it was my guitar. Do I want to sell Bill's guitar so I can return money that was mine to Bill's parents in whatever town they occupy? Can I work up sympathy for them. They are probably long gone too? Like all the instruments I once owned.

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Published on November 06, 2014 07:39 • 127 views • Tags: concealed-violence, crazy-violence, hidden-violence, real-violence, sudden-violence, surprise-violence, unexpected-violence

November 5, 2014

From "Some Stones Don't Roll"

I never knew Bill. Darkish. Dark. Bespectacled. Intelligent. Verbally sharp. Sane. Quiet. I do not make friends easily. Funny to say that now that everyone is my friend, mandated by the hopeful and erroneous vocabulary of those who do the virtual thing, which has become the real thing for channelling things in the charade called money. In the milieu called social. How did Bill get money? He had been at McLean. I didn't know that. He had been at Gould Farm. I knew that. Gould farm was rehab for non-violent young folk. I never knew what a paranoid schizophrenic supposedly was until after I saw what seemed to be his bloated body on the table. My doctor was the king of robotic surgery in Manhattan, soon to be a fixture on FOX News, opining on health matters. We emailed for a while after the operation and then he did not respond until just the other day. I received an email with a single url - the address of a work online opportunity. The man was trolling for referrals! Would I sell Bill's guitar? It's back in Needham or Dedham. Wherever he lived. Bill's only possession. Had I lent him the money to buy it? I don't remember. Bill, Bill.

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Published on November 05, 2014 05:54 • 269 views • Tags: concealed-violence, crazy-violence, hidden-violence, real-violence, sudden-violence, surprise-violence, unexpected-violence

November 4, 2014

From "Some Stones Don't Roll" a remarkable study of a paranoid schizophrenic's last day

The water is running. It is shower time. I had a dream before waking of a friend making love in my sight, no just beyond my sight, on a window ledge, intimate. Bill had no woman. I ended up in the dream making off with the woman on the ledge and silently holding hands with her until whoever she had been with came back, at which point I stood up and went back and got dressed. Did Freud still impart truth, I would fish for a meaning around the desire for pigeons on my window ledge and my own parlous post-prostate condition. Senator Coburn is quitting. He says he has prostate cancer. He says, almost as an aside, that he thinks it is receding. He says he has at any rate five or ten years. When I was revving up to the danger zone on the Gleason scale, I found a prostate doctor who was doing what is laughingly called non-invasive robotic surgery. I said I did not want to have a barbequed organ lingering in my body. I said cut it out. Many opt for the radiation course of treatment. Radiation and seeds. Maybe hormones. You go in multiple times. Your prostate is done is, you hope. It sounds as though the Senator allowed his religious oblations to intervene long enough to make a surgical option impossible. Who knows? There is always a cause for such things. I wish the man well. The President should have heeded him more. Wait a minute. He did and still got whacked by Mr. Coburn's crazed colleagues. Everything has a cause. It will be 2020 until the national cancer created at the end of the 1960s is enough removed to enable a resumption of something like a beloved community black and white together deep in our hearts.

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Published on November 04, 2014 05:53 • 247 views • Tags: concealed-violence, crazy-violence, hidden-violence, real-violence, sudden-violence, surprise-violence, unexpected-violence

November 3, 2014

From "Some Stones Don't Roll" a novella

There are no dogs here in the old McAlpin. A block from where Charles Sanders Peirce used to amble from the Century Club downtown to the Brevoort. Did Peirce have dogs? We did. The recumbent pooch that graced the three albums I made after the time under consideration was our Persephone, a diarreah-prone chocolate Lab we rescued from the pound during those guilt-free days. Always a thought of RCA. Now 30 Rock. The Victor dog on old 78s. There is one dog here in this building. A tiny one, one you can slip under your jacket. Must have been allowed during lean times. Lean times come ambiently to Herald Towers. That is the name of the old McAlpin Hotel, the one that balanced the Waldorf when it occupied the site of the Empire State Building. My angel is the ultimate lover of the furry things, She keeps a veritable menagerie on the couch. They sing and speak and say goodnight. They are the icons of our private life. And no they are not dogs. They're people. Only CSP did not see that much difference between us and them, consciousnesswise.

We drove to Pittsfield in the dark of a March evening almost a year from the time Bill wandered off and we entered the building where he lay. I do not remember if it was a hospital or what. It must have been since he was in a room with glass in the door. I stood at the head. The cloth was drawn back. There was no smell. I looked down, my head inclined to his, about the same distance as when we sat together in the car the night I heard Charley Pride singing in my head. Everything will be alright. Since Bill died. we have locked away those we suspect of violent proclivities. We have locked everyone away, one way or another. This is Bill's father's world. Yes that's Bill, I said. I lied. It was him by inference, By formality. But I had no knowledge of Bill. I did not recognize him even when he was alive. Or I did not acknowledge him. He was right. He was not getting from me what he needed in a relationship.

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Published on November 03, 2014 06:16 • 117 views • Tags: concealed-violence, crazy-violence, hidden-violence, real-violence, sudden-violence, surprise-violence, unexpected-violence

November 1, 2014

More from "Some Stones Don't Roll"

My chest itches. I wonder if that consciousness I had will return. I hope not. I am in no mood for panic now. There is a change afoot I know. I feel it. The itch is gone. Now another one. And another. Sweet mother of mentality! Did Bill have a sister? Did Bill speak once of a sister? Does she hold the key? Each one of us is different. Each one of us a destiny? No that's too easy. I hear noise in my head a higher pitch than what rises from below, the traffic punctuated by the workers. Always there are workers moving things about. We had a woman named Mrs. Detchen who came each week to clean. I never knew one thing about her. She came in and she went out. The only thing left now is a smell. But I can see her. Or perhaps some celebration beyond the rub-a-dub of cloth on shelf and cabinet doors closing. I shall Google her perhaps. Find a vampish great grandchild somewhere who knows the granddaughter of Bill's sister. Only four degrees of separation this AM. When I write, the sound is still here. I multitask. It's all reality. We contribute to reality with every scratch. Bill became a giant. That is what a winter's bloat will do. He lay inert on a hospital bed in Pittsfield.

Woof woof woof woof went the doggie. I do not know what the dog said. I do know when winter breaks smells return and that Stockbridge still has woody areas ascending and descending and adjacent to its structures including the odd structure of that building just down the hill toward the railroad tracks where Bill went after being at the Red Lion Inn or rather the Lion's Den. The very place where Bill and I sang songs I can't remember. The doggie found Bill in the forest as the spring began to stretch from a long winter's sleep. Make that woods. Forests are for books. They got him moved from where he lay in clothesless innocence, the ice preserving him, and yet he grew out there to twice his size it seemed. I did not recognize him on the slab. I lied when they asked is it him. It was and it wasn't. Woof.

She is taking a shower. It is 7:34 AM. A detective came during those months Bill lay frozen in the woods near Blue Hill Road. No one knew he was not still off somewhere wielding the knife. But as time passed we thought it likely he had done what he did. Wandered off. No one went so far as to suggest he would have plunged that serrated knife straight into his heart. With all the force he used playing pool at Mundy's. When we knew he had stabbed George within a few centimeters of whatever artery life hangs upon, that is all we knew save Bill was gone. We figured we might be next. We spent a night up on Yale Hill and then returned sheepishly, survivors. Charley Pride went through my head. I began questioning my ex about the ethics of not telling me that Bill might become violent without his daily pills. I became a fundamentalist committer. Lock them away. Did I say I had empathy? No I did not. Shower is over, No drip. No itch. I think I saw a pigeon moving toward 33rd Street.

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Published on November 01, 2014 04:50 • 86 views • Tags: concealed-violence, crazy-violence, hidden-violence, real-violence, sudden-violence, surprise-violence, unexpected-violence

October 31, 2014

From "Some Stones Don't Roll"

It is 8:43 AM. It is 2014. The tub drips. The traffic moves. I have family scattered all over the place. My dear boy is in Nevis. My youngest is in Bristol the UK one with her hub and the two beautiful children, girls. My other daughter still in Massachusetts, a minister no less. Her daughter in Chicago, another closer to home. My angel is across town at the laundromat. I do no work. I am a spoiled boy. Nothing I do all day is work. It is a stab. Did I say stab? Yes, it is a stab at form, creation, connection, nowness. No, get it straight. The NOW is stopping all that. Everything. Closer to what goes on when I attend to the drip and the traffic and the flexibility of fingers on plastic. Tub dripping. Life ambling. I could not abide the reality of those I did not will to know. I am better among the crowd of strangers. One day, it was Christmas, I drove to NYC to the Port Authority with my Marveltone guitar and sang "I Am a Pilgrim". And a stranger. Travelling through. This wearisome land. Then I turned around and drove back. Acts and road. Those were the days. It is my fantasy that if we come back at all, we do so as entities who can access every memory by thought alone. Everything we ever did, went through. Every conversation. Nietzsche's eternal return. My ultimate universal judgment. We will all be condemned or privileged to know every element of our lives. Whatever existence we have that has a future is a mystery. But there is that capacity to grasp every moment, every nuance of every time one summons up. Would Bill know I had sung Charley Pride in my silent head sitting next to him in the car? No. Could he intervene and ask me a question? No. He would merely see into the car and perhaps surmise things in the light of what happened. Oh no. He could also access this truth telling. Yes for now is this already in memory and my imaginary entity can access anything that has transpired in the great continuity bazaar.

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Published on October 31, 2014 05:20 • 224 views • Tags: concealed-violence, crazy-violence, hidden-violence, real-violence, sudden-violence, surprise-violence, unexpected-violence

October 30, 2014

Excerpt from Some Stones Don't Roll

What is reliable to me? The rhythm of the vertical line after each just-witten word. It has the beat of life. They call all this computer stuff virtual but it is as real as me driving Bill up to town silently seeing that everything will be alright as long as I can forget I've ever known him. My then-wife was not reliable. She was one of those early ministers, those pioneers, the generation that would catch the wasp churches on their way down, projecting smiling wisdom in place of the scrimped faces of the men who suffered the end of their era. She told me Bill was a bright fellow over in the rehab place (where she is chaplain) who just wanted to play music and write songs, a perfect fit with laid-back me mouldering in the Bershires still in exile, my future murdered long ago. And so we wrote for some months and performed. I cannot remember a word. A title. A thing. Just Bill in the car. Or Bill unleashing a mad pool shot at Mundy's Silver City in Glendale. Or Bill in my kitchen the evening of the night he disappeared saying he was not getting what he needed from our relationship and me saying well I give what I can give you know. And that fading into the meal the kids and my ex and Bill and me. Yep. We fail without looking. No hands. She never told me he was a paranoid schizophrenic who had gone naked down the street from McLean's a year before, after trying to assault someone with a knife. It's that confidentiality right. What would I have done if I had known. Did she know? We do not lock people up just because they ... Or do we? In the last analysis, the only real victim was Bill. No wait. We are all victims.

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Published on October 30, 2014 07:54 • 152 views • Tags: concealed-violence, crazy-violence, hidden-violence, real-violence, sudden-violence, surprise-violence, unexpected-violence

October 27, 2014

From Some Stones Don't Roll
Ficmem at Kindle


Maybe I have gotten to now. It feels that way. We went out as we always do Saturday nights. You will remember yesterday was presaged doom-laden. But I watched and nothing like that transpired. Prescience is a chancy vanity, a Bardian scutcheon. Another strip of death material. There is nothing in now but now. It is the readiness that Hamlet, even sad Hamlet, knows is all. It is a state. It is being. With the drip. The traffic. Ready. No place to go. Billy Joe Shaver has a song I love that is not among his hits. We all have hits that are not the best of what we did. This is his celebration of Brenda light and lively and in it he speaks of there being nothing much to do and longs for her in the now that is so palpable. It is too good. My books are all around me. A stack of three sits between me and my monitor. Beyond the Psychoanalytic Dyad, Shakespeare A Biographical Handbook Hamlet. Ophelia was not crazy. That I know. Most probably the victim of rape. All women are. She states truth in her crazy rhymes. I do not understand scholarship. Traffic is knowledge. Hum is knowledge. Drip. And still no pigeons.

So Bill got dropped off at the Red Lion and went into the Den to hear her sing. That is what he said he wanted to do. It was dark. Early evening. Then he must have walked down the hill and gotten to George's apartment and they talked into the night about freedom. About free will. Or so the story went. Then the long blade serrated that miraculously missed the death artery by a millimeter and off into the night with the knife went our Bill an ordinary guy. Ordinary except when not ingesting whatever he was being given to keep from doing such things. His Mom and Dad are probably dead by now. I never knew them but I can see them peering out from some suburban door near Boston. The man had the nerve to call me after we finally found Bill four months later. He had run off with the serrated knife and we did not know where he was. He the dad wanted to know if I could sell the new guitar Bill bought the day he disappeared, the one I had driven him to Tony's in Amherst to find. You do not buy a guitar on the day you intend to end it all. You do not intend to end it all. It was all a matter of the pills. What gall. I mean about wanting the money Bill had spent. That would put you on pills. That would send you raging down the street stripped naked. Like Lucy Jordan.


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Published on October 27, 2014 05:57 • 130 views • Tags: concealed-violence, crazy-violence, hidden-violence, real-violence, sudden-violence, surprise-violence, unexpected-violence

October 26, 2014

From Some Stones Don't Roll
Ficmem on Kindle


The drip. It is my one constant. The drip. The traffic. Where was I? Yes. It was Charlie Pride singing in my head. And Bill sat next to me. And next thing you knew he was twice his size inert on a table in a Pittsfield hospital. I figured it was him. I said it was. It was not the Bill I knew clever and bright. It was not my singing buddy up on the riser at the Lion's Den. Now I cannot remember a song we wrote together. I cannot remember anything but the fear that he would strike again. I cannot remember most of everything. One day I imagine I will simply dial up memory at will. In my immaterial future saved from that abyss within the finitude of heaven beyond being carved up and disposed of. Yes, I shall donate myself at death. Drip. Drip. Bill did you bring your pills? Did you take them? That is the story we believed. He didn't take his pills. I never knew that he was sick. I didn't know a thing.

There are no pigeons today. I watch for them. I listen for the gurgle of their confident communication. I see their bulk and wonder how they fly so easily. The heady newscasters are macerating the thin yield of news of a missing 777. When things are lost they are lost that's all there is, Oh yes there is the toll to be considered. The endless tears of love eviscerated life undone.Who knows. Some I miss some I don't. Love is visceral. Love is bodies. Love is mutual memories. Love is lyrics. Love is the anxiety of failed favors. She is almost moving outbound now. She will start her daily five miles after completing her 120 sit ups. She traverses all Manhattan. She is the walker. I sit, She walks. I watch for pigeons. She watches for ice and what careens. She smiles. She is a child. She saves me daily. She is not going to New Jersey. Bye bye. Walk careful.

Solitude, Drip. I roll forward and back. I shake the coffee. Nothing left. Traffic. Inaudible breath. Now. I have not even gotten to now. What else is there? Envy! Yes. If I could just write like... If I could spin a verbal sophistry. Drip. Whoa. I must look at my email. Ah, some forex spam and a chance to get one of my Kindle books reviewed. Nothing heart-breaking. Does this mean my prescience is finished. I have moved into my now stage. I am quicker on the draw. Fastest mind in the East. Or does it mean the day ain't over yet as my friend of the road used to say. Maybe I shall call her. I am doing another book of digital art. When I showed her some she complained they did not MOVE. They do for me. I sell copies of my first one. I am on to something. The eye is art. The art world is dross. Drip. It is clearly time for more coffee.

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Published on October 26, 2014 04:26 • 218 views • Tags: concealed-violence, crazy-violence, hidden-violence, real-violence, sudden-violence, surprise-violence, unexpected-violence