(The entire book appears at this link with chapters added after appearing online: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)
Chapter Three Synopsis:
Poetry night continues at the Blue Bayou.
Events take an unpropitious turn towards ugliness due to a
convergence of circumstances attributable to karmic order. Mona
Mona and her friend Roger initiate a riot resulting in the total
devastation of the bar. Tyger and Armor’s escape before the
“What a Revolting Development This Is”
Hang around like a glider, comrades, for every eon of
boredom infinitum sometimes passes over an interesting nanosecond,
In this case, hurtling towards an uncertain future, a
petrified past remains; but only as interpreted by the likes of
Do not pretend to understand the forever never . Simply try
to grasp the momentary soft landing.
A voice from mission control memory recalls the last booster
stage rocketing through space-time at the Blue Bayou.
“All you so-called genius poets suck. You dried out toadies
who think you are …fuggedaboutit.YY ou dried out
suck suck like 10 zillion vacuum cleaners
toady weeds. You
suck. Get fucked.”
Another parish heard from.
So forth and so on after the break as a tall long-haired
performance artist snaps the small crowd with his lashing tongue.
Blah blah blah blah.
Armor ‘s assumes a righteous pose. “But words will never harm
me–nah nah nah nah.”
The crowd gathers momentum growing by an anorexia nervosa
case there, a rotund space monkey here, straggling in random
disorder. The girl, in particular, attracts Tyger’s gaze.
For a girlish slip so thin with an eating disorder, she
appears amazingly sexy in a short short black dress. She turns
on the lights in the dark room like a sodium vapor lamp.
Sweet memories of youth enter the club stage left striding
purposefully to the bar counter. “Uhhh, two cokes please,”
requests a crew cut rap artist. He remembers this night through
age immemorial, or not, depending on random brain waves.
The next poet assumes his historical place on the small
stage above the audience. Tyger and Armor’s have taken their
destined seats in a middle row. The usual interchangable 30 souls
fly like blackbirds into neatly arranged order.
“Fuck you Reagan. Fuck your dirty little wars. Hey fuck your
evil empire and fuck your emperor’s no clothes.” the poet singsongs
raising the potential for confrontation a level beat.
So on and so on he blows hard wired by a surrounding cloud
of cigarette smoke. Someone throws a wadded up piece of paper at
the stage. Wide right. The poet dares not notice.
“Najibullah is a foolah. Hit me with your half-greased
ruler. Wham it in and bam it out. You is feeler than a turnip
sprout.” After break rap poet numero duo rambles.
“ls this a rap, a rap rip-off, or a rap take-off?” Tyqer
requests agreement. “You never know,” he manages.
Maybe there is a full moon. Possibly a few Saints fans are
still hung over psychically. Perhaps the sudden cold snap change
of weather has bent a few, shall we say, minds. It might be
abnormal sunspot activity.
A change in attitude seems apparent for whatever reason.
The natives definitely are growing restless.
“You suck. Rapmaster ‘8’–for booooooring,” snaps the twig
of a small girl who bends rapsters like bamboo. “Fuck you too,
you tool,” he shouts back.
“Booooooring. Boooooring,” continues twig woman gaining an
authoritative air soaring like stars without restraint, picking
up locomotive steam considerable. “Boring, like a sick autistic
gopher. Out damn spot!”
A William Burroughs poster hangs from the wall riverside. He
grins sideways. What a revolting development this is.
Cuckoo George-bent-on-bad-rapping poetry winds to a stop.
“Fuck you then,” and storms off the stage. There is one poet who
knows when it is time to stop.
Rapmeister Dick kicks at a chair on his way to the back of the
bar, perpendicularly turning to owner Big Al Santalucito who, no
request necessary, sets him up with a Jack Daniels shot, Dixie
beer chaser, that is rapped home in a loud show of force.
The next, in this case, poetess begins. She is another neat
looking girl with short black hair, lovely long dress and shapely
body. “Uh-ho,” Armor· s cautions, “I see it coming.”
She recites an ode to her wet pussy. “Not a bad
recommendation for a first date,” Tyger nudges Armor’s who
doesn’t acknowledge due to a jaw dropped open. “I’m in
Continues the poetess with wonderful descriptions of her
numerous orgasms while waiting for public transportation in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia. She meanders through the five minute time
limitation, then politely refrains to sustained applause and some
tasteful finger-snapping. Life is looking up for Armor·s.
Tyger notices heavier than usual traffic around the bar.
Liquor consumption appears to pick up considerably for some, as
yet inexplicable, reason. In fact, alcohol has replaced marijuana
as the current drug of choice which seems highly irregular.
“What’s the deal,” Tyger finally asks as he turns backwards
to pretty, moon faced, tall as a tree Mona Mona, who looks
sweetly innocent but does some wild performance art with dildos
and blow-up animal creatures.
Drinks free fall, flowing in mass quantity although there
seems little in the exchange of cash for services rendered. Big
Al floats like a monarch butterfly but stings like a drunken bee
maintaining service across the vast bar expanse huddled beneath
the glare of so-called motel art — weird flowers, seascapes
and children with big eyes — hanging above and beyond the bar
“Shit. Well, shut my earring,” entraps another poet, almost
too well dressed in suit and tie as he begins. “Certainly shit
being a daily unctuous function deserves your full
attention being essential to human condition. Hallowed be our
“O.K., I will give him that,” Armor·s says. At final stage
then, the poet blasts off, then stumbles, tripping over a
microphone chord. The audience, in tribute to Allen Ginsburg,
Many like the children of the spirit they are dissolve in
mirthful laughter. Armor’s makes another fake fart, then looks
around in bogus recrimination. “He who smelt it, dealt it,” Tyger
This much seems certain: it is a tough room that night.
Poets like the mighty ocean roar. Their verbose waves of chatter
fall and rise like amoeba plagued red surf. It is a dangerous sea
out there for fair weather sailors.
Big Al yells in the corner. “Hey there! You there, who
forgot your drink. Hey buddy. What will it be?”
“A zombie flash sir,” a bearded youth rap-plies. “Noooo
Hey, what is going on here? Only the shadow knows. The poet continues
moving his mouth, true, but nothing comes of nothing.
Tyger contemplates the meaning of this message. Then, a
thought strikes. “Hold it,” Tyger mumbles to Armor·s. “This guy
is drunk as a skunk.”
Ka-boom, splooey, phooey; the general noise level rises like
high tide exploding by a microphone amplified podium beaten.
Those entering the Blue Bayou as if privy to a secret sandbar,
immediately body surf towards Big Al, the rapidly pouring kahuna.
Big Al jumps over the bar — not quite for he is as huge
as two Hawaiian love shacks. Yet, he gives it the old Big Al try,
finally oozing a large pot belly over the bar-top towards
the small stage.
The timid poet eagerly relinquishes his microphone’s
umbilical chord, hoping to disappear into darkness as Big Al
prepares to make an announcement.
“Hey hey hey I don’t usually do this but I have had a big
week,” he announces. “I hit a $5,000 jackpot betting on the
“So for the rest of the night,” and a pause that refreshes
as present converges with and diverges from bar-life precedent,
“Drinks are on the house.”
“Uh-ho,” Tyger realizes as the Blue Bayou, indeed, starts
turning very ugly. Big Al certainly knows how to attract
everyone’s full attention.
A loud huzzah envelops the tavern as the collected deadbeats
become Al’s new best friends. Various groups embark on favorite
modes of jubilation.
“Have some N’awlins tea, corn-pone,” Tyger abandons caution,
lights a joint, and hands off to Armor’s grasping paw. “Have
another hit brother,” Armor’s swooshes in a lung full, “of sweet
air . ”
Armor’s finishes smoking reefer glowing. No one notices.
Poetry night fast approaches ground zero.
Two men with guitars and a woman sing folk-style “You can’t
beat me I’m working for the union,” in a surreal accompaniment to
the more frenetic activity of poetry patron grabbing on to bar,
doing whatever it takes to get at those freebies.
Big Al pours frenetically like some mad appliance gone out
of control. He is ably assisted by his girl friend, Carol.
Blurt blurt more hurt, the race for space along the bar
outrageously flying fur as songbirds belt out a
“For he’s a jolly good fellow,” dedicated to
rousing chorus of
you know who.
They end without warning, dashing like dots for the serving
troth. “I will have a peppermint Schnapps,” from voices heard
above the rabble babble.
“Wild Turkey?” “Scotch on the rocks!”
“Bartender, an old fashioned. No, make that a Manhattan.”
Ka-boom! Big Al falls to the floor. Nobody seems to
notice. The poet.ic party has engendered a momentum all its own.
Nobody is in charge anymore.
Drink service, exotic and otherwise, continues at an ever
expanding universal pace. Word travels like a moon shot heard
around the neighborhood, attracting an unusual aggregate in
Maybe 60, 70 persons — Nicaraguan exiles, African-Americans
from the nearby ghetto, redneck mothers — paint the Blue Bayou
black, white, yellow, and red with an ad-hoc Rainbow Coalition.
It is a van conversion meat market out there. Little halfpints
down twice their body weight in sparkling burgundy and
imported beer. Bigger piggies further demoralize call liquor
brands by the bygone bottle. Marijuana smoke drifts everywhere.
Nobody is on the podium. Nobody cares. Guess it was time for
another break anyway. Smashing glass sound. And it was time to
break something, too.
“Uh-ho,” Tyger turns to Armor’s who has disappeared over by
the end of the bar to grab-ass the anorectic girl as they grapple
for a bottle of Stolichnaya Vodka.
Scene shift to a series of dissolves illustrating the
increasingly anarchic state of the Blue Bayou. Staggering
poets, patrons, patriots got to revolution spinning heads floating on
indeterminable rivers of liqour gushing over the floor.
Spike haired boys and fat chicks with black dyed dreadlocks
sweep across the room playing an imaginary game of what? Who
knows. Who cares.
They rattle around in dark corners, smashing glass in a
modern Greek chorus. Humbaby, wawawawa, a nitrous oxide fit
builds as the building resounds.
More bottles break. Pointless arguments ensue, devolve into
riddles, disdainfully fret their time upon the stage and resume
the usual infinities of anomalies.
Armor’s turns to a blonde haired Nordic beauty, 6’3″ tall
and stacked like a deck of cards. “Who aaaaare these persons, my
dear?” he ever so suavely inquires before clumsily tottering into
a near chair.
Armor’s looks up at what he considers God’s most glorious
creation: Wall-to-wailing-wall titties. “Down spot,” replies the
goddess Mona Mona. “Like yeah,” Armor’s, the dude, abides.
Thronging poets awe behold. The situation is out of control.
Icebergs? Damn them sir, full speed ahead, gulp gulp.
A strange kind of white noise bellies up to the bar wrapping
conversations around curved universes bouncing like superballs
between the cracks in the room’s atmosphere.
Everybody is a comedian. Never heard a story so funny.
Hahahahaha. Noise and confusion starts making too much sense.
Sunspots burst, then vector into dark space tailed by the
now routine liquor in free fall. Big Al like a shot off of
Cecil Fielder’s bat is long, long, way long gone. But he is at
the Wrigley Field of the soul and a fan throws his home run back.
About 10,000 years of mankind’s development is stuffed into
one cocktail glass upright on Mona’s Mona’s nose. “That is not a
bad trick,” notes Armor’s, laid out and back in a corner chair
observing the spaced out action. “Not bad at all.”
“Whose toin is it now,” asserts a middle-aged receding
hairline. “I came here for a good poetry reading.”
“No,” corrects a unison of voices mocking the Monty
Pythons. “You came here for a poetry reading.” Hahahaha laughing
gas. II I am not slurring· my woids,” bald guy asserts defensively
although no one could possibly have noticed or cared.
(Drink calls in the background become quite unusual as
patron and management successfully intermingle, bond, and become
one. Pink lady, Goombah Smash, speedbal 1, Eth cocktail, and
marijuana with a few micrograms of LSD straight up, etc.)
The open mike name sign-up list melts down in the frenzied
chaos. There is considerable confusion about who should read next
if there is a next.
“Oh please God,” Armor’s prays with hands outstretched Jesus
style . “Don’t let it be me . ”
He is gratefully passed over like the ancient Jews in Egypt.
An anonymous poke in Tyger’s ribs follows.
replies. “I read last time.”
“No way man,” he
Finally a very attractive redhead, small and pert, pretends
she is a salmon swimming upstream and mounts the stage. She has
washed up on shore ready to comment.
“Like I have really gotten into the life force here. Every
one of you is like so beautiful. It blows my mind. Thank you.
Thank you. I have learned a lot tonight. You are beautiful. Yes
Meanwhile, a bearded man casually flicks lit matches at the
bar flowing with highly flammable liquids and such. Hahaha redux.
The room is swept away by the excrement of its patrons·
exalted excitement. “Is she giving that guy over there a blowjob?”
Armor’s inquires mid-burp. “Don’t ask me,
replies. “I· m not here anymore.”
Tyger snaps his fingers beatnik style in automatic response.
Time for the next er er er what-ya-call-it: recitation.
“Everything seems to be da da da, coming up r-oses,”
proclaims a ruddy complexioned youth sporting pink bunny ears on
his fore and a bushy white tale to his aft.
Armor’s looks at Tyger. “Don’t ask,” the T-man preemptively
strikes. “I don’t want to know.”
“Hey man, that’s cool,” Armor’s replies noticeably relieved.
“I knew it wasn’t just me. That’s cool, tool.”
Next. Next. Drum press roll please. Make that a press roll,
kaiser roll, beignet to please. A nondescript boy in horn-rimmed
stops, begins crying, then madly kicks at the
He mumble, rumbles, crumbles, bumbles, and reassembles. This
fits right in because he seems to be having a nervous breakdown;
er, make that breakthrough.
Then he is the silly rabbit who jumps back in the hat. He is
“I hope he doesn’t hurt himself,” a disembodied motherly
female voice pretends to care.
“Ah, he does that every week,” another through the carnage
reassesses, accent on the second syllable.
nice,” the woman answers through the haze.
Next. Who’s next? Tyger this time
“Well then, that’s
Hahahahaha. “Have another hit, friend. But no way am I getting up
on that purgatorious stage of dismemberment.”
No matter. A pretty young thing with long thin legs
delicately walks on-stage turning ever so chic on thoroughbred
ankles just the way Francois Truffaut claimed to like them.
For a moment, silent runs the ragged room. It is all the
more surprising for the contrast with the last hour of frenetic
hell-in-training . “It is my great
pleasure to introduce our feature this
evening,” the girl begins with great pomp and ceremonial
circumstance. Armor’s coughs, nudging Tyger yet again.
“Have another hit,” he says passing the reefer. “There is a feature
His voice breaks the suddenly sacred silence of the monumental moment.
“Shhhhhh,” many voices now chime together .
“And in this corner,” the pretty girl with the microphone
continues, “weighing in at a svelte 235 pounds, 5’3″ in his
stocking feet, grey goatee, 50-year-old artistic wonder. It is
Roger. Yes. Roger.”
Polite applause greets Roger climbing into the ring ready for his next opponent.
That would be, in the absence of any clear target, the audience. So, what else is new?
“And in this corner,” the ring announcer motion. “A slick
cat, a mean machine, 6’3″ tall, 150 pounds. It is,” she whispers
to Roger who, as an unindicted co-conspirator replies out of the
“Mona. Mona. Mona. Let us hear it for these two dahlins.'”
More polite applause. The rowdy crowd seems to be passed out,
passing gas or otherwise resting.
Ahoy there hearty multitudes. Roger and Mona Mona present
arms. For now, amazingly, the room is fairly quiet having soaked
up the wild wetness like a dry sponge.
Mona, Mona Mona begins in manner innocuous singing a
tasteful a cappella medley of theme music from “the Beverly
Hillbillies,” “All in the Family,” “Bewitched,” and, of course,
the crowd pleasing “Brady Bunch.”
“Not bad, not bad,” Armor’s adjudges. A couple of poets by
the bar chant “Go baby go. Let it all hang out. Surf’s up!” and
similar obscurely semi-rude comments.
Roger starts dancing with himself in a slow semi-circuitous
motion. It is about 11 p.m. Big Al has retired to a stupefied
heap on the floor.
The frenetic pace has withered at the vine with time as
everyone has accepted the notion of free booze. Patrons help
themselves at will to whatever is available. A certain sense of
polite kindness now predominates.
Marijuana smoke and liquor fumes fill the atmospheric aroma.
A couple of firemen have somehow gotten word of the party and sit
uniformly cloaked at a table.
Half the persons in the room resemble various barnyard
animals. The rest look like refugees from the Ethiopian desert.
Everybody seems pleasantly plastered as the dynamic duo onstage,
mainly Mona Mona, sing in mellifluous atonal tones. Make
Tyger a pallet on the floor: she penetrates virgin souls, walking
over timeless passion.
Then dear Roger magician presto produces a portable cassette
player. Mona cJears her throat operatic diva fashion. So much for
the pleasant preliminaries. Now begins the rest of the story.
“Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa… a most indescribable wai 1, so
horrible, so awesomely annoying like the worst scratched
blackboard sound combined with a million cats squealing.
Mona rapidly travels up and down the musical scale or what
passes for it to the rabble. Tyger covers his ear. Armor’s turns
around to see a room gone finally to seed just when one thought
nothing else could happen.
“Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, hoohoo-eeeeeeeeeeeek… Oh man, hel 1
of a noisy rain forest. Roger whirls madly like a Turkish dervish
on the small platform–perhaps he calls it dancing.
Kerblam! Kerslam! A number of glasses combustible are
spontaneously smashing. A mirror explodes.
“How much bad luck is that?” Tyger yells above the fray at
Armor’s holding his head. The dear boy seems to have an early
The once seemingly dead crowd has hallelujah resurrected. Some spring
to their feet as stirring sprouts bending to the hard-to-fathom
superhuman musical scales.
Up and down driven on by a crazed elevator operator in the
person of tall as a tower and thin as a reed, moon faced Mona
Mona. “EEEEEeeeeeeeeeeee … ” Fingers continue scratching a song
along a tortuous black chalkboard. “AAAAAAaaaaaaeeeeeeee … ”
Yeah, right. Tyger looks at his watch hand. T-minus infinity and counting.
Rather T-max delivery for how long has it been–three minutes, four, and counting.
Is that all?
Seems like return to forever.
All that passes for attention rivets stagebound.
Mona Mona definitely exhibits an unusual style.
Geezus bejeezus, Mona Mona is breaking the sound barrier.
And Roger? He is perched like a mad parrot at the front
of the stage making obscene hand gestures, apparently at the
“What the actual fuck!” the fat man in the corner starts yelling in
competitive fervor as he stages a last stand. “Fuuuuuck! Fuck
He rises. “Fuck you already and your fucking Yoko Ono
imitation.” He walks hands clenching rather menacingly towards the
“What do you think?” Tyger asks Armor’s who does not respond.
Tyger pokes his friend. Armor’s removes wadded paper napkin
from both ears.
“What? Hey, I’m finally enjoying this,” he says.
“Never mind,” Tyger screams. Armor’s plugs his ears again.
Fat man and Roger stand practically eyeball to eyeball at
the edge of the stage. Roger continues making hand gestures, which
are beyond conflicting interpretation. The fat man, red face,
looks like a bloated seed about to germinate.
What we have here, gentlemen, quoting Cool Hand Luke’s
Strother Martin warden, is a failure to communicate. And how.
From the rear, near the bar, a few loose objects spin into
view. They grow astronomically.
They are the usual space garbage missiles defying gravity–
glasses, bottles, pretty much anything not tie-dyed down. Then
trails a steady explosive stream of anti-matter.
Ash trays, candle holders, glasses, every kind of projectile
imaginable, clothes, a bit of what is that–sheetrock? Holy shit,
have another hit and by all means quack, quack, duck.
Man oh Manischewitz, the crazy broad won’t stop. She
continues wailing in a superhuman effort to prove the outrageous
power of her vocal traik.
Roger and the fat man square off, push leading to shove as
they wrestle to the smashed glass strewn floor. Six minutes and
counting mission control.
Some higher power needs to scratch this bitch off the
mission. “Here this small prayer Lord,” Tyger asks, “and make it
Art if art is anything is truth. The truth of the matter, in
this case, is Mona Mona and Roger bite. Sad but truth.
Patrons near the back rise in agitated states and blast off,
launching chairs towards the stage.
Big Al, }ike some huge hibernating bear sensing
his den, rises groggily, and warily, glances around. “Uh.
happening?” he asks half a heart, half a heart, half
“Nothing dear, go back to sleep,” Carol, his girlfriend,
answers. “Oh. Oh. O.K.,” Big Al mumbles and collapses back into
his fetal position. Lucky guy. Di course, he’ll regret this in
Let’s face facts, comrades in confusion. A full-blown poetry
riot has erupted.
Two large motorcycle types go from table to table picking up
the asteroids, flinging them across the universal rumor, tumorous
“Oh my goodness,” exclaims Tyger as a little old lady pulls
off her wig, pushing it into an old man’s face. “She’s bald.”
“And she has a moustache,” a lip-reading Armor’s notes,
Time expands by a minute, two, three; stops, reforms, and
like an earthquake rumbles. Ultimate truth is going down
splintering wood all around the bloody blooming booming bar.
A large table gracefully pirouettes in the air and tumbles
down cracking. “Waaaaaeeeeiiiiii!”
Riotous sounds share Mona Mona’s loud tribute to art and
outrageous fortune. Disorder, comrades, and a lovely poetic
passion reign supreme.
Armor’s smiles approvingly, turning to Tyger. “I am getting
into this now,” Armor’s reports. “This is one of the better open
mikes, I do believe, sir.”
Tyger surveys the anarchy with an alarming conclusion.
Armor·s joking. Right?
Finally, at long last, the wailing appears to subside
although it is hard to say if this is so given the Blue Bayou·s
chaotic din. Mona Mona evacuates the stage, punctuating her exit
by grabbing a chair and smashing it on top of the Roger
offending fat man who promptly collapses in a heap.
Roger carefully dusts off himself and takes the microphone.
“Thank you all very much. We’re stopping now,” he says. “You have
been a lovely audience. I hope we can do this again next week.”
“Oh yeah,” Tyger says. “Fat chance.”
Another type of wailing can be heard in the distance. It
seems to be approaching rapidly like a comet or … what·s that, a
Danger. “Ai-ooga everyone,” Armor’s says rising to the
The place tones down considerably. All appears much calmer.
The visual wreckage, however, belies that pleasant aural
The Blue Bayou resembles Hiroshima mon amour after the atom
bomb was dropped. (In a dark corner, a couple on a first date
discuss Wallace Stevens and the concept of chaos versus order.
“Ai-ooga, aiiiii-000,” the unmistakable signs of law
enforcement close in on the anarchic state. Armor’s again
removes his paper ear plugs.
“Sounds like the cops,” he says. “We better like a banana
split.” “Nooooo problem,” Tyger replies stirring like a wok-man.
A growing bonfire sparkles in the corner. The firemen run
for cover in the opposite direction. Roger shakes someone’s hand,
ready to beam me up Scotty out and over to Tchopitoulas Street.
“Yes, let’s do this again sometime,” Armor’s says as the dynamic
duo approach the escape hatch.
“Let’s do lunch,” he adds exiting though the fire door.
The police siren approaches ever closer announcing
itself loudly now that the furor has split ended.
Our nutty cosmonauts vanish into the night. Lost in space
and feeling the impact of a special moment far out memory
recalling. They like stars in a black sky suspended mote float to
the vehicular module.
A postscript dear comrades: Such was the last open mike
poetry night, or any performance, at
persons were arrested.
the Blue Bayou. Only five persons were arrested.
Tyger and Armor·s blew a lovely last “fatty” joint before an
existential retirement. And no one ever saw Big Al, Roger, or
Mona Mona again. Thank goodness, once more, for small favors.