HEY KIDS, SAY HELLO TO YOUR FRIEND, … NERO!
1. Frank found in Veronica the muse he had needed so, as he was a literate drawer, no Jack Davis he, fine enough. She was living embodiment of the pin up girls he used when drawing Dejah Thoris and Jane and other Edger Burrows Tarzan dream girls, these newspaper goddesses, as like mythology, all had been left to the seedy and the dismissed as the wives of gay men beards had taken hold of the earth for those with no discernable sense of humour. Once when still friendly me and Gay bon ve bon writer of trite I mean truly so, crime novellas and gossip, Truman Capote, hewing effeminate little thing saw what a vile man named E Howard Hunt had been given a prize in writings, and we both shocked, he more than I, we knew the world was going to go into the hands of Jew hating, catholic girl raping, pompous cretins, of which I always had an inkling.
He now, I take it is a miasma of disco balls and coke and panama hats and such, but then, I think as suit at my desk here at Mercury, which I utilize the name as a way to fight Anvil and its dredged Thor, a hammer stolen from old man Foxy, I think that Capote is a dissolving man as I shall never be, as he is left behind, nay dismissed by his scions and his dauphins and his matrons, who I have never liked , as I shall I think, be a bitch to the coldest, meanest, satirical and snide, to the bitterest end. Kurt Vonnegut called me in my mid roman hero worship as I play Virgil again as I had when having a set of household gods sold as roman figurines in the back if comics when I was a boy in the chitlinsless south, and I sent away for this box of roman centurions sold as were Vikings, the 82 airborne, the infantry, ect. He tells me Capote has had a heart attack, to which I bellowed not as angrily at him as I sounded, You woke me up at three am for that….? I was sure it was an attack of the vapahs. If real at all, such was from too much cocaine use at the discotheque he shimmies at. If true, I said, tis a wise career move, and hung up, causing me to now be seen as mean as I always really was.
2. Later in the day, before his shift of watching the beauteous was done, Frank came to the bullpen and stopped everyone from working. The bountiful, red lips made up, and redder nailed, Veronica looked up from her outline maps. People, He said with a usual tiredness which over took him after lunch now a days, I am making a shake-up to our line up...The sales are dreadful and I want to jazz this concern up around here, From now until further notice, Stanny , your sports comics is cut to two stories, get a bell…. like a Gillette ad or something... The affable black sports artist, with an eye on anvil, took the suggestion almost more literally than he meant it, which shocked him , …And, Veronica, you’re gonna do Saturnwoman, he said ... He turned to the bow tied comics artist man who had been here a while, Professor Irwin, he said as the older man sat there, still holding the puppets and footlocker toys, which he used as a ventriloquist to do the war comics, You will do eleven pages of that out of date gi Joe shit as a back up and no more....The last thing I wanted was some bozo , probably psychotic two faced war addled man with a puppet angry at me. He winked at the bow tie wearing drawer of tanks and helmets, but was frankly serious.
The Mortimer snerd puppet merely looked at his asshole of an alter ego and sneered with a wooden contempt. I shouldn't be surprised a jack sass like you would lose yur job to a toots, you big dumb jerk..." Irwin, the drawer of a perpetual Anzio said through the aging, chipping puppet, as the puppet said to the forlorn man, a slick, pompadour, cigarette chewing, thin man, who had a exaggerated Adams apple.
HEY, HEY, HEY, Frank said, Take it outside.
A fat affable buddy of mine, a pulp writer of men’s life like magazines that the horrid Playbouy magazine had placed out of business with its pretense towards a kind of literary magazine with pin ups strewn in it, looked up from the binder in which he was constantly scribbling, as he had been since he wan a Italian immigrants son, in Canal street. Don’t bother, Frankie… the large Victor Putzo said to him, thick horn rimmed glasses on a moon face of a great Italian boy man, Don’t bother he said, I just sold a script called the Mafia to some Jewish hack at Mammoth Pictures, he said, and fixed his massive glasses on a more massive face. Im getting out of comics, while I still have a chance, he said and walked towards a sign reading . In white mid century letters on poison green, ‘MEN‘.
This hurt the other Italian younger and talented who knew if anything he be doing a variation of this comic shit forever, and sort of started to get away from ghosting the comics strips where he first had and learned of Veronica, the Venus in the weeds, to where he now was going to try to sell paintings of Romans and barbarians to collectors for whatever he could get.
He was a fine artist as such, but like all mythology, in fact all which the ethnics have always been devoted TO, was demeaned into ketch, a word for art that brokers cannot sell, and like cupid and other Roman affectations, been demeaned and diguareded showing the ethics of Luther, and of the Klan, are never as far away as the nimrods and Westinghouse news readers like to portend. But like Cupid, and the other things demeaned in a horrid book called The Roman way by a witch named Margaret Hamilton, or is that Grouchos matron, or is that oz with the dear old lady selling chock full of nuts now. Ah whatever, this book is banished and woeful, awful, and yes there is a reason that even still after the fascists that there is a streak of Romanism ruining through everything dreadfully English including if I may the rags of lefties called the guardians and other like classics of bullshit. At times, the cupid, as I recall him from Virgil sets the stuff of Pocono’s newly wed bathtubs, and sometime the Roman stuff embossed as irrevocably earnest and real, as despite what they say, the Lutherans and the white trash are more superstitious than any Mediterranean ever was or would be, as they in their puny soul fears the sun that can bake them all.
Again this is 1970, and a revision like this hadn’t happened in a decade, since Jerry Leiber and Shapiro his bag man, had repented Anvil from a rancid little cartoon book outlet, to being hip among the college crowd with its campo and Lichtenstein colours. And yet in saying that work looking back is amazingly silly, bad, Which in fact, as BD Crumwhieght had become a stand in for mods and howling bongoing Maynard G Krebs, well, that was alike and a mistake as old BD was a fascist, Anglican division, as unlike Mussolini’s Italy , where my beloved home, La Goldfinch, all English pretence was allowed, even glorified, and his little peopled middling earth was a not so thinly veiled battlement at seeing the world as one giant shire to be controlled by Mother Britannia.
And too, Shapiro used as camp was mistake, or even an insult to both he and camp, which a good American, like satire he knew not of, as he was always as serious with his shit as a tooth ache. I make the connection, As seated here, see a newspaper that BD Crumwhieght, English poet laureate of the medieval, had been somehow and out of the blue, self immolated, as it seemed to those who saw him attacked at Oxbridge university that he has been set afire by a gaggle of what seemed to be butterflies, which if true is a perfect way for a English fabulist to die, as somehow Mater Natura gets even and back at its accuser, as funnily all the German barbarians seemed after the fall of Rome to die at Parthinium, in Italia, showing the return to the ancient ethic, though to get around this the white trash would alike to chalk it all up to VD and the gracious ladies if NAPLES, WHICH WHEN ONE THINKS OF IT...
3. Well, the trick worked, and soon, All star was a steady number two, in a matter of days. F. knew what he was doing, unlike the other full of shit analysts who merely kept getting long nosed, schnauzer, bottle heads to do boring newsprints. Every sad house husband, every player, every black and Chicano drug seller band every wop Mafioso who sat and dreamed of sunny Naples was glued to the newsprints cast from trucks to newsstands to watch the bouncy girl who, he had settled the argument, had to wear red tight clothing.
One day, they brought her out with her black hair in over styled ringlets like a porn star... he demanded they take her back and take that shit out of her hair. There was a nice gal quality, a good girl bomber art ethic at work with this chick, which was played against her big bust, and played against all which that bosom has been said to announce since the middle ages. They quickly got her back to the way she was, but not before we had to switch the run down around. Frank knew that he'd made a star.
As she stood there, her hair still wet and making thick swerves of basic black waves against her neck, he saw the goddess AS had been needing all along. I like the way she points at the Atlantic ocean, he heard the male anchor hero, an old fuddy duddy, a bloated bag of walnuts, a human Wayne Boring cartoon say with a wink. I have become an admirer of his National Uberman work, which Jack Vernay has committed sell to me for the hefty price of 5,000 dollars, a pittance to cover his boy Biffs’ Bar Mitzvah, ahhhhhgh, as I am told by him he wants no part of National in a place that doesn’t take well to Nazi anything and Uberman is Nazi with a capital N. Boringly saw a humanity in this Achilles tripe, like Statius before, which is why the ninnies who preen their hardiness constantly, hate him.
The next day, when Frank had come in at eleven, rolling in as thinks he owns this place as I am an unwitting stooge, as had done before, he took a look at the overnights sales , up 40 percent, and saw that her use in a comic called Saturn woman, in a style his parents had told him about, a fumetti, had made this the greatest success ever. He put her comic’s report, against all known research, to last in the book, as was never done in comics, with a quick cheap photographic daily news calibre picture shot of her reading the days comic at page O6. The other marketers thought he was nuts, but they didn't have Jane Russell doing their comics crap, and I did. Later in the week, before the kids show that ended everything, he got her on as a guest, Nero’s Palace, a strange image for a kids show, the bloated Roman mad king, but appealing to a Romantic Italianate crowd of immigrants, WOT, called Rot tv in the hinterlands, was on channel nine out of Secaucus new jersey.
He, as all star’s eic, got her booked in this afternoon cartoon show as a heroine, just on the strength of just seeing her image in black and white dots shown to Paul, the gravel voice of God, who amazingly liked Saturday morning and showing cartoons with his dancing girls and a midget named Rex Read teaching kids to read amid the dick jokes pop got , and a lovely Dog named Maximus, and the styriophome palatine, in which they had made for this adventure time show. It was on five days a week with a Greek host named Tricky Nicky, who, It was said, tried to now famously fix the lottery with his shady underhanded Greek buddies, which of course made all the local Italians laugh.
She was booked as a guest, many of whom under Paul had a well turned ankle to appease the Roman Lord grumbling bald anchorman at canal 9, who again, like the dago weatherman Chilly Phil, loved his sanctuary Midnight monster chillier horror spectacular in which he parented to be a count said to be based on Me, Count Gore FUGAL, and so introduced badly made movies made by funny Italians artisans who would sadly show that the b movies would be the future of films. A coming truth in the winds, in ways I, writer of QUO VADIS DOMINEA, and The last days of Atlantis, always trying to give this trash a underpinning of decency, while others just trudged through it all, the last fil before Brutus the God hit big, despite the Timers open hostility, with smouldering Sophia rebuffing the advances of Victor Mature, a sludge that couldn’t have imagined, but which drives Jack Vanrey out of the goddemned business.
4. She was seen and booked by Paulie, from badly remade photos the cereal box presses of All Star could use, Frankie went up to her. He took her red blouse and he undid the buttons which she often, being naturally shy as a busty gal, had all this time been buttoning to the top. She winced. Oh, Franky, She said, as he was more randy than usual, but more publicly. then ever here at the station, as a bloated fat man anchorman dressed as Nero stood among cute park way broads in a Doric salon made of plywood, and whining about beanie and Cecil or other Jay Ward fares amid the pillars made of styrophome and marble, which just was painted old weather maps.
She pulled back, but her in the rosy Speedo with the embroidered Saturn ringed planet on her long formed torso drew the drawer a bit mad with ancient desire, as was seen in a long ago Naples, which both families had left for a golden door. Frankie, puleeese…she said pulling back, afraid that Italian girls in America are always ore step from being whores, if they ever give in to advances espially from married white men. Yer one of the few allowed to call me that, he said to her, And putting a pink hand to her breastbone, she said, I'm a meteor girl, a super heroine, I'm not a piece of cheesecake...please, sir, I'm trying to rehabilitate...Just as in Dagwood’s holler, aint huthin wrong wid sex per say, she said giving into a bit of a Virginia esque drawl, But taint good round here, Frank, please leave me be…
5. At this, a giant arm out of no where, not hers, strong and meaty, came out and took Frankie Franzetta by the collar and hurled him onto a wall of pulleys backstage. Frankie turned around to eye what this was, and saw a Marty like Borginine old Italian Nero, a Centurion of the drainpipes and the pop bottle signs, an acting cartoon show Nero, a Prcineipate from the jersey badlands, Nero himself, stand there next to the pretty and exotic woman.
With a TV hostess dancer vestal named Vickie something between the Damon Runyon anchorman, and the man who played Fred Flintstone, but had been in guys and dolls, but not Alan Reed, the grumbling man in sheet toga came and socked Frankie in the jaw. Did yew hear wat de gouil told yuz, handsome, you faggot fuck, he said, with deep sunken eyes and massive figure draped in white and gold station identification Romanism, and with giant laborer thumbs said, Beat it, touch guy before I mudder ya, you capish…? Get lost, he said gruffly, See, or ill make yas lost, got it, Casanova…? Girls there as handlers of the kiddies dressed as vestals stood in the wings, wondering what had happened. The children stead in the penut gallery cheered their hero on. I called Mister Pentangeli to apologise voraciously and tell him when I had heard that Mercury, I lay that name on when trying to show off, or seem better than the usual hacks, was in no way assorted with Frankie anymore, and that he had been sadly when I think of the numbers and his thoughtfulness at knowing the ancient pull of the goddess, been summarily, fired.
The Nero dressed man stood there at the tall lean figura of the comic book goddess next to him and smiled a big toothy grin somewhere between scholar and button man, she wasn’t sure, but she had met many of these Italians who ever no where to be seen in the holler of vicious hillbillies who had all seen her if at all as a combination of witch and or whore, which is what most of the war brides from Anzio found when they got here. Though the rest of the week he growled the news at a angel to the camera from the desk, he enjoyed his Saturday morning stint much, and strangely he pulled off the look amid all more real by his glowering and his girth. He did make it count as they say in the theatre, proving there are no bad parts, nothing that cant be given dignity if done well, oer at cross purposes, as carry it off did Paulo. As somehow his material, self same, inherent grumbling disposition did help to sell the white bed sheet with gold trim, the throw rig mantle and the lettuce leaves like Laurel eh wore on a balding comb over head.
He smiled, did the smitten Nero, Paulo Pentangli, called now as ethnics must analgise a name, Paul Strong, and let her collar open, as he was in control, he to show the great swell of flesh just begin. NO honey, he said, See, he said with dead end kids charm, You’re more like a lady finger.... This made her smile, as after dagwoods and the strange mixture of being constantly made to rival daisy Lu and yet still fend off the unwanted advancements of Klansmen always wishing ironically for a vampire like they saw in the newsprint comics handed about, she soaked up praise as did Captain slurp up the sun raqys. But she was uncomfortable, as if she really wanted no more attention paid to her bosom than it already took up. She did her affable heroine cast, to boys who knew somehow instinctively this was someone they wanted, knew they wanted eventually before the America of Donna reed would make them choose from homogenizer wives who, as the war brides knew, and as Victor Putzo sadly realised to me, they would abort their Italians children these women would, with agree and a usefulness which would evocatively become American law from all woman, those who had stupid Italians husbands or not.
But she was strikingly preoccupied. SO was F, as he watched a small circle of pink flesh, as it popped and hovered over a fold of red silk. Seeing him still there, Nero gave a signal he hd given before and a blond TV goddess in cheap Toga dress hauled off and kicked him off the Jersey premises. Nero, the grumbling newsman, who did this for fun, and dancing girls, looked back his country woman, the sort destroyed here in the country he had come to as a boy and never bought the shit about quickly waved flags, and he knew somehow he had fallen for one of his girls in way undone before.
6. There was something about this woman, something beyond her striking, dark beauty. There was something even beyond a scene of giant bosoms, which as the fetish of every man, as the cheap men magazines then said, before they were re done by the gyno exams coming in the dower and Lutheran pressed Playbuoy, at least those red blooded and from the Aegean sea as was curly haired Francisco.
And, soon, he found himself not just falling in destructive passionate lust for the Sicilian chick, more so as he had for his gaggle of sport contest cheerleaders and lotto ball holders, but found himself desperate to want to follow her around and beg her to be his Sinorina, a fear deep in the heart of every mischievous boy man, and Franzetta was no genetic exception. He was thrown out of WOT, TV, CHANNEL NINE, as Nero w as showing already old copies of Cisco and Poncho and Sea hunt and Uberman when It was played by suicidal fat actor Loren James, who never worked again, and when those first shows where a lovely and immaculate creature named Phyllis Coats perfectly played spunky newspaper girl Rhoda Reign. A seemingly old now sixties show of Ratman, now certainly disavowed comic camp was shown, and the boys in the audience looked and saw in the wings Veronica as a herald of what they both wished to find and already missed caught their blue and green and toe head eyes.
At the end of the show, he walked out to leave the building when he saw that the dressing room area door was opened. With no bigger thought in mind than to just shut the door, he walked over and saw, far off in the corner, the Super Table girl, who shined here with more than a van nyes shine many porno queens and bus girls used here had, had come to get out of clothes which were basically owned and bought by the comix company. A lot of the women anchors were not trusted to buy the right clothing, as most actually were quite frumpy even after the hours it took to carbonize them into something fit to be put before the skyline scene at six pm. He went to close the door, but instead, he saw Ginny, as her friends called her in the weeds holler, as she unhooked her clothes, and stepped out of her skirt, and allowed her blouse to fall off her shoulder.
She now stood before the mirror half clothed, bundled in thick white underwear, of the sort her fleshy, though not fat at least not then, before our queer anorexic age, body needed to be placed in. Frank’s beater was there as silent as a boy peeking through the windows of a mother's friends house, to see a neighbor in her hidden truth, as he had done at the first emergence of Levittown then, when Lucy bought the horse and all were told to journey to the suburbs like Ulysses buying a station wagon and a grill, and he began to smile. She was mindlessly humming some radio tune, but, he had stopped listening to that new fangled be bop crap a few years ago. This girl was something else he thought, like some Italians do, tiring of the American scene in his warmed dago blood, and gagging in images of horrid women in tweed dresses constantly shilling the better lives found through the goggey signage and space aged dishwashers and appliances from Westinghouse, the grumbly, angry, strangely dispassionate anchorman before this Saturday angel came. He stood there slightly hidden, as he more impressed than sexually voyeur, he watched her dress back in a this time blue, but similarly cut dress given to her by the only friend she made lately, of her mothers Romanian maid, the only person of her size, and Nero stood there as of a naughty little boy again, as she had as his mothers war bides had, both inflamed and interested that boy whod be another well off gumba on the parkway, with a decent job and as far as he or Jews could get in the suburban wasteland.
7. He didn’t know yet that WOT TV was being bought by Group W, who had plans for the station, which didn’t include news at all, but showing repeats of Gilligan’s island and the direful, heinous, Mets each night. As this had seemingly become a road to riches among the plutocrats with daddy issues, and the charm of local television would melt away into screeching Negros with bad cheap k mart deshikes screaming about bus fairs, but the days of Bennie and Cecile and Bullwinkle and Rocky, the mighty heroes, and Flash Gordon Buster Crabbe movies soon enough made by Gordo Lucan, bought by Pizney, bought by Colossus, bought by Matsomuro motors, et al, and days of Phyllis Coats on television as usual, were numbered.
A man named Fred Silverman was sussing quality television as a kind of gimmick, he always held tit shows in his back pocket, anyway, and so well see how long that lasts, but today, at the quietening studios, where big mouthed capped teeth survivalists demagogy would wipe their ass with American flags just for the sheer great circus of it, as the statuesque girl who reminded him of Julie Numar from that camp tv show, but with Hershey’s unsweetened chocolate powder colour hair, no, it really showed blue like an Arab queen might have, he stood in awe of the woman, who this time Paulie didn’t have to, once important in casting, actually see naked. This w s the powre of Veronica, once called Moon girl, now freed of the dying woods, like the ancient smart ass princesses in John Hespa, Angelicas long before who, God knows, not with his late lest cash flow, the dissolving Arthur Pizney would and could never make into one of his plastic haired theme park goddesses
So, Paulie was out, and would find out soon enough as the station would bring in cheap awful Jap cartoons, sorry world war two and the Aleutians sticks with one, and a show would be syndicated about some effeminate who drives a car that looked like a white feminine hygiene product, down to the strips of red blood and who like them all, had the bedroom eyes of Elisabeth Taylor. But for now, as he tells me at the arrangement, for once , here as the over sugared brats played prates and ball players and superhero as the kids do and did, and which abortion on demand shall turn all in to little lord faulterloys if not worse, who rereads Trazan now, I ask.,..
As this magma Grecia will soon enough be a Sicily unto the sons, always freed from the abortionist sink, as the awful women always have a inkling taught to them by witch woman mothers, that this day in Secaucus did the days of wine and roses returned to The bay of Naples, where he grew up and as a little thief watched the goddesses frolic in the surf, Cynthia’s all, from a middling awful and middlebrow earth. And he looked at the girl as she in fact did take everything off making him wince with a kind of pain, as Vickie whatever watched this unstirred what to say or do or think, but sure not to tell Martha his American and hateful and awful wife back home. The days of cartoon colorama and Merv would be taken away recapped with a dredged live and Five, as helmet headed bimbo’s and cocklebur fat black men spoke in hushed tones about the next thunderstorm. He, he said remembering looking at her as she redressed, didn’t yet knew that even bore Westinghouse had sent him the pink slips they would send to almost everyone outside of management.