And Gutenberg Lived Here: Elementary, My Dear Watson.


while working on how to kill a protagonist I didn’t really want to kill,

(although said prot. surely deserved it,

the way I have written it,)

which therefore meant I probably just wasn’t ready to do said prot. in,

which definitely meant more background detail in a piece

that already contains egyptian pyramids that don’t belong there,

but have to be,

and snakes that do,

even if they are boa constrictors in a story about asps

(the stage company can’t afford the insurance)

and everything else but the kitchen sink,

(actually, this is always the worst part of writing for me-

right up there with driving the plot off a cliff,

because there is no where else to go,

and hoping, in desperation, that the parachute will open before I have to rewrite)

Forget it-  you always have to-

I  suddenly found myself thinking about a note written to me by a wacko

who thinks that if she breaks my concentration regularly,

“she and I definitely will one day be good  friends”

And laughing hysterically.


in her latest note to me,

said wacko has decided to collect what I have written,

including to others,

and will “write my biography when I am famous.”

(hahahahahahahahahahahahahahah……etc etc.

From your mouth to God’s ear, if He wishes.


after at least five minutes of laughing-

gee, I sure do hope she is right…

me working my backside off at conferences,

staying in cheap hotels,

getting paid just about enough that,

if I write two books or more per year,

I can nearly pay the heat here in Gutenberg Land…

while she…

Wow, I sure hope she writes better than she does in her notes to me.

So anyway…

It was a dark and stormy night.

A pirate ship appeared on the horizon-

well, actually, it was a pizza delivery van-

a group of six musicians rent a place here,

and have coated the walls with egg cartons to set up a music studio-

it doesn’t work.

How many times can you play the bass line to Louie Louie

before you finally accidentally get it right?

Or your neighbor lets you have it with a rubberized composers’ piano?

Hey, maybe there’s a book in that?

So there I was,

me and Charlie Brown,


and hang on snoopy,

loping to the casbah,

needle-less Christmas tree dragging behind us on a rope,

ready to celebrate when the last chapter is done,


Out of nowhere,

Sherlock Holmes popped into my mind.

The last one before the hiatus,

or the next Hamlet performance,

whichever comes first,

so hopefully only temporarily,

like, apparently, until spring of 2020-

unless the hiatus is forever.


Known as” the Final Case”

in the film,


“The Last Case,”

in the Doyle version,

it is the story of Sherlock trying to work out what happened to him,

through evil agencies,

while being kept in the dark,

by an idiot who is actually his control freak brother,

After which,

Sherlock regards the real crimes going on in the “family”

And discovers  that,


he is the only one involved who really understands what is going on.

(Since he,

and John

are the only responsible adults in the “family.”)

And since the others-

family members and helpers-

have set up a world with no moral content,

no beliefs,

no humanity,

no decency,

and no joy…

Which they are not enjoying,

but do not change,

since they are so used to controlling,




and controlling.

(did I mention controlling…)

And earning money off of others.

Which they have set up as the basis for “reality”…

And since, as we all know, reality is a put-on,

the only way out of the “game” which is obviously afoot,

is to use logic,

and truth,

and fortitude,

to break through the game,

to reach any kind of a  level of decency…

A level in which those who want to play the control game

are kept at a distance,

behind the wall of sound.

Ie good and positive sound.

Like music.

Which lulls everything else.

And from behind which,

one can live in peace, and belief, and joy, the way it ought to be.

Ps. If the above reminds you of Sartre, or Godot,

that’s the way the Endgame crumbles.

Did I mention,

that my favorite writer is John Donne?

(Ever notice how his structures are so like a compass?)

The end.

copyright 2017


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