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Supplemental Notes to Godlike
by Richard Hell

These are various notes Richard made regarding his novel Godlike, primarily detailing the sources for most of the unattributed quotes, allusions, and translations (whether from French to English or English to English) included in the book. The primary source for the book, though, while not mentioned anywhere in or on it, is not named in the supplement either -- that being the story of the romance between Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine, which serves as a template or point of departure for the two main characters and much of the action of the novel.

In the below list of "quote cops," the quotes that have quotation marks around them appear that way in the novel, and the lines without quotation marks appear that way. The notes were originally compiled as a giveaway pamphlet for attendees at readings on Richard's 2005 west coast tour promoting the book. The note-list was eventually published in 2008 in Kier Cooke Sandvik's art and literature zine Flesh World out of Norway.

Quote Cops
["slight misquote" = negligible error; insignificantly misrecollected]

p. 13
"God made everything from nothing, but the nothing shows through."
         --Paul Valéry

p. 23
"Scent of garbage and patchoullie and carbon monoxide..."
         --slight misquote of John Ashbery from his intro to Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara

p. 24
"Tomorrow is another day. But then, so was yesterday."
         -- James Schuyler, from "Bleeding Gums," Hymn to Life

p. 24 (also p. 37)
"teeth to hurt"
         --Ted Berrigan, from "Poop," So Going Around Cities ["Nature makes my teeth 'to hurt'"]

p. 28-29:
the untitled poem, "Most of all I meant to come to you," is a translation by R. Hell of Frank O'Hara's "To the Harbormaster," Meditations in an Emergency

p. 33 (also p. 37)
"I lift my voice in song."
         --Ted Berrigan, from documentary film Poetry in Motion, as quoted by Ron Padgett in his Ted ["The gods demand of the system that a certain number of people sing, like the birds do, and it somehow was given to me to be one of those people--and I mean I did have a choice--I could have decided not to, to be a truck driver or a filmmaker. But I like doing that, and I feel that probably the major reason I write is because the gods might destroy...the whole thing could fall apart. I lift my voice in song. I lift my voice in song."]

p. 33
"And I'm just like that bird, singing just for you."
         --Bob Dylan, from "You're a Big Girl Now"

p. 35
the candor of his odor
         -- modified from Paul Verlaine, "To Clymène," (in the book Fêtes Galantes) Selected Poems, trans. C. F. MacIntyre ["the candor / of your odor"]

p. 36
But the snow is sand in this tedium.
         --modified from Paul Verlaine, "Dans l'interminable..." (or "VIII" of "Ariettes Oubliées" in Romances Sans Paroles), Penguin Book of French Verse, "plain prose" translation by Anthony Hartley ["In the interminable tedium of the plain the shifting snow shines like sand."]

p. 41
'The sound of an apple broken in half.'
         -- modified from Bill Knott, "Poem (I am the only one who can say)," Auto-Necrophelia ["Your nakedness: the sound when I break an apple in half"]

p. 57
"Wouldn't it be booful if we could juth run together into one gwate big bwob?"
         --slight misquote of William Burroughs, as quoted in Ted Morgan's Literary Outlaw

p. 57
"your lips are indeed a disaster of alienated star-knots"
         --Frank O'Hara, from "Second Avenue"

p. 63
"Johnny's in the basement mixing up the medicine / I'm on the pavement thinking about the government"
         --slight misquote of Bob Dylan, from "Subterranean Homesick Blues"

p. 63
"My arms are warm."
         --Aram Saroyan, [untitled], Aram Saroyan


         My arms are warm
                Aram Saroyan

p. 84
"That gutter drain [in Paris at the end of the 19th century], slobbering mud and rubies, is the mouth of a tomb, buried church, a subterranean temple (as in Egypt): the flickering muzzle of the god-jackal Anubis, guide to the underworld. While, above, the flame--inverted pubic-hair triangle--of the oil-lamp street-light rises from the wick which gathers as a storm, as a storm gathers, the insults which comprise it, and the flame still always reaches upward, perversely, no matter how the lamp sways: poetry of Baudelaire. Baudelaire. Not funeral wreaths dried in cities without evenings could serve as offerings to him when the very city's shimmering reality is the ghost, the soul, of Baudelaire, like an atmospheric element we must breathe even if it kills us."
         -- Mallarmé, "The Tomb of Charles Baudelaire," (a sonnet) in prose translation by R. Hell

p. 85
mint-condition can of Rumford's Baking Powder, celluloid earring, Speedy Gonzales, the latest from Helen Topping Miller's fertile escritoire, a sheaf of suggestive pix on greige, deckle-edged stock
         -- slight misquote of John Ashbery, from "Daffy Duck in Hollywood," Houseboat Days

p. 89
"Let the dead bury the dead," and let the young fuck the young (but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God).
         --Luke 9:57-60, New Revised Standard Version ["As they were going along the road, someone said to Jesus, 'I will follow you wherever you go.' And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.' To another he said, 'Follow me.' But he said, 'Lord, first let me go and bury my father.' But Jesus said to him, 'Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.'"]

p. 90
Also, he let language have its way with him.
         --asseverated by Frank O'Hara, talking at a Club panel, 1952, as quoted in Brad Gooch's City Poet ["Poetry which liberates certain forces in language, permits them to emerge upon the void of silence, not poetry which seeks merely to express most effectively or most beautifully or most musically some preconceived idea or perception."]

p. 90
It's all appearances, and what is art but playing with appearances, etc., etc.
         -- asseverated by Jorge Luis Borges, preface to the 1954 edition of his 1935 first book, A Universal History of Iniquity ["The learned doctors of the Great Vehicle teach us that the essential characteristic of the universe is its emptiness. They are certainly correct with respect to the tiny part of the universe that is this book.... It is all just appearance, a surface of images-which is why readers may, perhaps, enjoy it. The man who made it was a pitiable sort of creature, but he found amusement in writing it; it is to be hoped that some echo of that pleasure may reach its readers."], and Jim Thompson's suggestion that "there is only one plot--things are not as they seem," as quoted in Robert Polito's Savage Art.

p. 112:
the untitled poem, "The skywriting of all things was," is a translation by R. Hell of Frank O'Hara's "Poem: 'The eager note on my door...,'" Meditations in an Emergency

p. 118-119
He kept drinking malted milk. Malted milk kept rushing to his head. His doorknob kept turning. It must have been spooks. The hair rising on his head: a warm old feeling.
         --modified from Robert Johnson, "Malted Milk"

I keep drinking malted milk, trying to drive my blues away.
I keep drinking malted milk, trying to drive my blues away.
Baby you just as welcome to my loving as the flowers is in May.

Malted milk, malted milk, keep rushing to my head.
Malted milk, malted milk, keep rushing to my head.
And I have a funny, funny feeling and I'm talking all out my head.

Baby, fix me one more drink and hug your daddy one more time.
Baby, fix me one more drink and hug your daddy one more time.
Keep on stirring in my malted milk, mama, until I change my mind.

My doorknob keeps on turning, it must be spooks around my bed.
My doorknob keeps on turning, must be spooks around my bed.
I have a warm old feeling, and the hair rising on my head.

p. 120
"We live as we dream--alone."
         --slight misquote of Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

p. 122-123:
the poem, "Evening Prayer," is a translation by R. Hell of Arthur Rimbaud's "Oraison du soir"

p. 121-124
Paul said to T., "I understand you." T. just shrugged his shoulders.

While I'd thought we were two happy children free to wander in a Paradise of sadness.

The world turns and we become sick. He defined vertigos. I do believe that true life is elsewhere.
         --These and a scattering of other phrases and lines on those four pages modified from A. Rimbaud's "Delirium (I & II)," A Season in Hell

p. 124
"Poetry is making a comeback." But why is it always bad poetry, or a false idea of poetry, that is making a comeback? I don't think good poetry has ever made a comeback, or ever will. That's one reason it's necessary to keep on writing it.
         --Kenneth Koch, "My Olivetti Speaks," Straits

p. 126
God said the world. In the beginning was the Word. Later, the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.
         -- John 1:1, 12-14, King James Version [In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God / The same was in the beginning with God. / All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. / ... / And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.]

p. 128
"The external world is only a manifestation of the activities of the mind"
         --"Lankavatara Sutra," trans. Suzuki and Goddard

Everything Is Its Opposite
[Everything is true, but very little is permitted.]
Diamond Dusted
Demonic Clarity
Pink and Blue Smear
The Magic of Intensest POETRY-SNOT Penetrating Literature
[Godlike [[Thorax...]]]
The Compassion of the Poets
Nipple Rouge
Cheap Hotel Room
Know Secret
The Morning of the Poem
The Way Things Are
He and I
Phenomena Make You a Joke
Things Are
Lilac Sky-Flow [Lilac Sky-Floe]
2-D Beckoning [and name T. a double D. name instead, like Dermot something]
Love Is Real
A Paradise of Sadness
Paradise of Sadness
Sad Heaven
Heavens of Sadness
Paradise of Sad
Sad Paradise
Mortal Heaven
Heavenly Sadness
Broken Open
Most Completely

  • "One recognizes the truth by its efficacy [, by its power]." --Bresson, Notes on Cinematography [the same as "the truth is what works"]
  • "I want to write a poem about an old person dying of loneliness. I want to write a poem about an old person, alone in a room, dying of hunger and loneliness. No one has ever written a poem about an old person dying in the cold, of hunger and loneliness. Except of course Ava Gardner, who is always our master." --John Weiners in 1984 interview with Raymond Foye, from Weiners's Cultural Affairs in Boston
  • "...No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one's existence--that which makes its truth, its meaning--its subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream--alone..." --Conrad, Heart of Darkness
  • "Off bending down the thrown gulp / In funny threes" --Padgett, from "Detach, Invading"
  • "None of the famous landscapes that we saw / equalled the mysterious allure / of those that Chance arranges in the clouds..." --Baudelaire, "Le Voyage," Les Fleurs du Mal, trans. Richard Howard
  • "It seemed to me that everyone should have had several other lives as well. This gentleman doesn't know what he's doing; he's an angel. That family is a litter of puppy dogs. With some men, I often talked out loud with a moment from one of their other lives--that's how I happened to love a pig." --Rimbaud, "Delirium II: The Alchemy of Words" A Season in Hell, trans. Paul Schmidt
  • People aren't real; they are just books.


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