David Christopher la Terre… Cynical Internet Pundit & Dead Jester


Cynical Internet Pundit & Dead Jester

we are being led. even the grumpy, cynical internet pundit – s/he’ll go kicking & hackneyed – but led down the same path to the same pit that history half-recorded: for the wits had their glasses shot off, & all the sportos were in charge of cargo transport. the goon squad is reborn everyday in learning institutions & halls of government. i painted myself as a satyr but still made bids with ATMs & communication companies, as head-nodding Heaven & organ-failure Hell looked on .. even this pendant life doesn’t accept characters or emoticons on their .docs. we didn’t make the template. we just went down the hole

dead jester: send more jesters. send a variety of shop-sink malbec with talons in spirituality & survivalist mediocrity. is this gonna be the matt damon version or the gary cooper version of floating literatzi bogem? a car is a salute is a hamburger. love comes slowly like an annual teetering orbit & we munch on panini mango in the channel-separation. hail, here comes the coolie retail chain blocked-hat. Caveat Bipedum; IED in the afterlife Barneys party dress parade ~ i walked out of the experimental film of my life .. this ‘anteroom’ smells like cliched embryonic buzz.


David Christopher la Terre is an old punk, advertising brat, artist, writer, hit-and-run orator, humorist, exfilmmaker, “asexual icon” and sentimental Modernist pursuing work in new formats, hybrids, language arts, Sound Poetry, decon, “post-mod,” prank-art … ‘living satire’ … he has been published in the Slate, Spleen, Lost & Found Times, Rag Mag, Roar Shock, Open Minds & Monkeybicycle.




David Christopher la Terre… Margaret-Piece


i called her a ‘commandant,’ but not aloud, & to-myself – the manager of our subsidy building – ‘a building full of retards’ as one local comedian said (after our underground power line caught fire &        displaced           150          of         us.          we’ve         had           a           lot         of           fires becausewe’reabuildingfullofretardsapparently. but that’s another story). & i often reiterate she was completely the wrong choice to manage a low-cost building of the mentally-ill, disabled, blind & elderly, since she was so insensitive, sadistic & passive-aggressive. i often thought: how could the holding-company appoint her? i even wrote a detailed letter to her superiors/my ‘advocate’ there, relating 18 months of mean-spirited victimization (& a ‘failed inspection’ due to boxes that had just come out of our family storage & hadn’t been distributed, but that’s still another story). more recently, she intentionally kept me waiting – procrastinating – & casually walked round the building while she got me a set of replacement keys, which cost $45 for three. i had asked her for a copy of the mail key until one could be made, but she told me “I never get them back.” i told her “i was a First Class scout; i’ll give you back your key!” i often wondered if it was just me she bullied or treated coldy, or everyone. (in hindsight, however, i really think it was everyone.) -what an odd choice to assign one so gratuitously stern, like some villain-marm. she seemed to get off on draconia, along with affixing excessive fines for simple maintenance or replacements that i always felt were personally pocketed.

-now i wasn’t responsible for her getting fired. the letter might not have helped, but it was 15 months old. one weekend i just saw a box or two of her materials by her office door: various files & a placard that read Margaret. i stopped seeing her car – always parked in the No Parking elbow of our driveway like a showpiece (with all its patriotic bumper stickers). at last i could discern that the office was virtually empty. finally i saw her the second-to-last time down in the basement – our ‘first floor’ – speaking seriously & quietly with our Resident Maintenance man (having replaced long-time repairman Tom, who died of swift & aggressive cancer & was the agreed heart-and-soul of the building). the next thing i knew; she was out & another woman was shuffled in – threw an Introduction Party – & was mysteriously & quickly replaced with another woman. (even since then the holding company has changed again along with the management).

& that was the last time i saw Margaret, again in the basement; coming to join the festivities of that mysteriously-vanished first girl. & i tell you: i felt bad. i shouldn’t, of course. i had no reason.

once we talked – briefly – of her passion for Civil War history. i don’t remember much other non-building discussion. i never saw her as anything but invulnerable. but this seems to be a story of one ‘mentally-ill’ narrator’s – humanity? – vs. another’s out-sane inhumanity, or some misplaced .. predator? i had every right to feel vengeful; i had every reason to feel righteous. but i didn’t. her karma burned up in the atmosphere. no, i don’t know what inevitably ‘caught up’ with her ..

i just think of that line ~ perhaps speaking of my own sensitive & even rigid mental illness ~ from Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion: “Damn this world that just won’t hold still for us! Damn it anyway!”


David Christopher la Terre is an old punk, advertising brat, artist, writer, hit-and-run orator, humorist, exfilmmaker, “asexual icon” and sentimental Modernist pursuing work in new formats, hybrids, language arts, Sound Poetry, decon, “post-mod,” prank-art … ‘living satire’ … he has been published in the Slate, Spleen, Lost & Found Times, Rag Mag, Roar Shock, Open Minds & Monkeybicycle.




Cruel Summer… by D.C. La Terre


Cruel Summer

seven months: i loved the non-linear & abstract writing i was doing. & the most prolific i’ve been in years. but he told me, more or less, ‘give it up. time to give it up. oh, i do so prefer your more linear, statement-writing instead’ (the basic statement, manifesto or ESSAY easily understood by all).

of course that person was like that; devaluing what most considered my otherwise progressive & inventive work. i had to question his motives. he was competitive. he would never give a compliment without some variety of dismissive rejoinder – especially if it encroached on his limelight.

i often thought: what would the world be like if there was only one type of writing? surely the aim wasn’t unselfish: eliminate all attempts of attaining the new apart from his own? he once related: ‘you do have some good attributes; you’re a good audience member.’

i have had some experience with Negative Imaging. i view this very strongly. the manifestation of low self-esteem often belies some negative-imaging done in the past. -which is to say, not constructive criticism. i have had two such harsh critics from the past who were not professional critics.

i should state here that since i’m not a NAME, since i’m (for the most part) unpublished; & that i pretty much do all this for nothing, i should be beyond criticism. like most writers, i am prolific enough – more bad than good, & stowed away in countless folders. the only reason i’m not ‘mediocre’ is because i’m not in the GAME.

mediocre isn’t this wincing valley of bad & failed work; it is, ironically, completed & successful work that is read, published & usually notable in some degree. many don’t understand mediocrity. it is the result of time & labor, that merely achieves a middle-ground; but not greatness. a mediocre piece can even move the emotions. there is nothing wrong with being merely entertaining, inventive, playful & progressive. does one expect a salmon rushdie from a rod mckuen?

likewise, it is ineffectual for mediocrity to criticize mediocrity; it of the same pool. a writer cannot grow from such comments if the critic inhabits the same middle-ground. should greatness even be expected or taught? it simply appears. it is almost never cultivated. you cannot suggest it …

mediocrity should not strive to be great. it is this desire that encourages less-than-creative competition. although this variety of critic, to his credit, will always preach perseverance. but in the end, if not the beginning, they will inform you that you are limited. a teacher wouldn’t say this but a critic would.

what motivates a critic? what portion of their job is helpful & what part of their job is sizing-up-the-competition? & critics should not be in the trade. they should do what then is their job: produce constructive criticism apart from product. let them teach then; let them labor in the progressive & noble role of contrasting & comparing. yet they want to push them to the next step, just not in the same town! that ‘critic’ may also want to write; they may have an old manuscript between the bookcase & the wastebasket…

though a critic is not entirely against abstract & nonlinear. unfortunately they know that the market is usually limited to the novel, short-stories, essays, nonfiction, or even epic poems & libretto. they claim to be realistic. ‘let someone else forge new writing so we can all dive in, only after it’s been established.’ critics want to make discoveries (& take the credit) – they long to be taste-makers/they have ulterior motives!

my response is: i have now been published three times from working seven months in these formats. yet the critic argues ‘it’s not mainstream.’ -you know, mainstream like steinbeck or hemmingway … ‘-but that’s outrageous – they were so great!’ no they weren’t. & that’s my point: innovators had to stay off to the edge. ‘-but surely these artists were finally appreciated…’ no, actually, they weren’t. go to the library – go to the second-hand/did they survive?

you have to dig deep – for inspiration, & in your own work. these folks have done a bang-up job burying the work of artists so you can’t find them. & i’ll tell you this: they walk among us! they’ll tell you that they are looking for the New, but they refuse to showcase it. if you bury the Next Big Thing then you can achieve a wide middle-ground. -why does it have to be so wide? so one cannot tell the difference between mediocre & GREAT – & everyone can play.

‘-just get out of my way because i got a dusty manuscript i want to pass off as the Next Big Thing!’ critics, bless their hearts, don’t actually know what the world wants. they’re like the Borg; stealing & assimilating culture – trying to forge the same crap into the same pressed-wood bookcases. -it’s just like Tooey in the Fountainhead …

you know, you can’t argue with a HOBBY. you cannot argue with the timeless pursuit of mindless busywork. you can’t repackage & judge mediocrity. nor can you expect mediocrity to lead & inspire the masses. you cannot appeal to the masses – they resent it.

i really do wish a genuine non-trade critic would emerge with suggestions that don’t apply to what-worked-before. i would often walk away from these realistic ‘sessions;’ review the world of abstract & nonlinear writing & forget all about the ‘critic.’ for this reason these people cannot actually discourage anyone. they cannot alter anyone’s inspiration. they can only allot a temporary ‘value.’ all these pundits can do is compare your work with some other work.


Copyright © 2002 by D.C. La Terre





….Pretty in this Town / Satellite…. by David Christopher la Terre


Pretty in this Town / Satellite 3-31-2011

six weeks ago, she was acting-out the drama in high style. six years ago; six generations, then six hundred years ago – the same thing – driving ’round in her (car) & (honking) at stupes that … & now, here she is, 616 years old & out of suitors; she can still taste the potato skins on the back of her teeth: hard to look pretty – hard to look like a beamster gymnast or championship pianist when every guy in the (room) thinks you’re a prude. the boy (girl?) who broke her heart; only ’cause she gave himher/it too much time, some six months prior, like a county prison sentence – bad teeth – like one of Leno’s Jaywalking victims: couldn’t even tell you where the west coast was; couldn’t tell you the body of water that floated Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica (fuckable) … to any guy in the (Old Chicago? TGIF? Applebees?) bar: fuckable … no strings … the author has quit the page. resigned. union walk-out. you can all go home! -fall off the facebook of whatever … he put his dick in yourmy/our purse & the world, sadly, has blemished. (the world being a 600-yard radius & even the author says [goodnight]). NO WOMAN NO CRY; NO WOMAN/OKRA! but back to the page. she moves to VA, inland, determined to reinvent herself: sexy librarian … tongue-twisting ambidextrous commandant … SLAVE TO NO MAN. but something went wrong. she forgot about mother. she forgot about school. & now she remembers: the boy-thingee’s Irish eyebrows; the big teeth & jaw of prolonged colt years. i quit. enough. -the west coast? i’ll find it. shit. i’m outti. fuck mom. fuck Hallmark. boys R toys. i’m doing the lounge. you’ll see. you’ll cry. six years.   pricks.

David Christopher la Terre is an old punk, advertising brat, artist, writer, hit-and-run orator, humorist, exfilmmaker, “asexual icon” and sentimental Modernist pursuing work in new formats, hybrids, language arts, Sound Poetry, decon, “post-mod,” prank-art … ‘living satire’ … he has been published in the Slate, Spleen, Lost & Found Times, Rag Mag, Roar Shock, Open Minds, Spankstra Press & Monkeybicycle.

Copyright © 2011 by David Christopher la Terre

Also check out William James’ blogger page Pen Head Press.