Friday, July 14, 2006

James Ellroy Meets Miguel Ruiz

The Dreaming Cantos 28

Who killed Kennedy
suspends our disbelief
in no solution. Lone

assassins disassemble.
The grassy knoll is not
another solid lock.

But stories come and go.
Fantastic fabrications
make one hell of a show.

~Son Rivers 2006
I just finished reading James Ellroy’s ‘American Tabloid.’ And it’s one hell of a read. The writing itself is feverish. Ellroy uses very short sentences. Very clipped. Like quick punches to your consciousness. Only when dialogue appears does it slow down at all. Which is a most unusual approach. And it works.

The story itself is early sixties stuff revolving around Cuba. You have Hoover and the FBI. The CIA and the mob. And in the center of it all is Jack Kennedy, ladies man and practical politician. And his brother Bobby, kind of a catalyst. A monomaniac idealist latching onto Jimmy Hoffa and the secret pension funds like a pit bull on a bloody flag.

Everything is moving towards November 22, 1963. And this isn’t the Warren Commission’s story. It’s much more believable than that. Suffice it to say there’s a corrupt nexus of power in that United States and it thinks Jack, and maybe more so, Bobby, have been very bad boys.

Sure it’s a story. What isn’t. Our lives are only stories, dreams designed by our agreement. But, it’s what the best stories, like the best lives, should always strive to be: art. Unlike the official story, Ellroy’s reveals the dreams and sins of that era. Earl Warren rubber-stamped a cliché-ridden alibi for those in power.

Hey, I’m not taking it personally, mind you. I just think the Ellroy report is closer to the heart of things.

No comments: