Who was Jim Morrison? And why do they say those terrible things about him?

Excerpt from “An Evening with the Ghost of the Lizard King” by JTWestfield.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please attend carefully to these words and events. It’s your last chance our last hope. In this womb, or tomb, we’re free of the swarming streets. The black fever which rages is safely out those doors.
My friends and I come from Far Arden w/dances and new music.
Everywhere followers accrue to our procession. Tales of Kings, gods, warriors and lovers dangled like jewels for your careless pleasure.”

“Interview is the new art form. Self-interview the essence of creativity. That strange area where you try to pin down something that happened in the past. Try honestly to remember what you were trying to do. It’s a crucial mental exercise. A chance to confront your mind with questions. What art is all about? You should be explicit, accurate, to the point. No bullshit.”
JDM (Lost Writings from Wilderness) Vol.1

‘Yeah, like Miami. Everything hinges on that one night in Miami. March of ‘Sixty-Nine…’

**Play excerpt of actual Miami concert: Jim screaming, “You’re all a bunch of fucking idiots! Lettin’ people tell you what you’re gonna do! Lettin’ people push you around! How long you think it’s gonna last? How long are you gonna let it go on? How long are you gonna let ‘em push you around? Maybe you like it? Maybe you like getting’ pushed around? Maybe you love it? Maybe you love gettin’ your face shoved in the shit? You love it don’t you? You love it! You’re all a bunch of slaves! Lettin’ everyone push you around. What’re you gonna do about it? What are you gonna do about it? What are you gonna do?”
One lone female voice cries out: “Fight it!”
‘Yeah, fight it. I love that one chick. But you can’t understand that night in Miami without knowing all the shit that lead up to it. Ahh, I was just dressing ‘em down, y’know? Like they do in military school. Shock ‘em a bit. Set ‘em back on their heels. Like my father, the Admiral, used to do to us kids. Try to get us to crack. Break our spirit.
‘That was me quittin’ too! Old ‘Bozo Dionysius’ hangin’ up his rubber nose once and for all. (pause) But I’d quit before. Eight months before Miami I’d walked right into the Doors’ office in LA and said, “Fuck it! I quit! I don’t want to do it anymore. Play this rock star freak. Do the bullshit image game. I’m sick of it!”
‘Ray, the keyboard player, talked me out of it that time. “Give it six more months, Jim.”
‘I went along. Ray was always talking me into something. Why was I quitting, you ask? When we’d just become the biggest rock band in the country?
‘I was quittin’ because the whole thing had become an absurd joke. The musical séance was over. The spell was broken! Our audience had become too self-conscious. There’s a moment there when you’re right in time with your audience. Then somehow, you both grow out of it. You have to move on to something else.
‘Besides! They didn’t really need me. Six months before Miami, they played a full concert in Amsterdam, without me. I’d been waylaid by Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane. Ray sang all my words perfectly well. It was such a kick-ass show, a lot of people didn’t even realize I wasn’t there. Shit, I wasn’t sure I dug that exactly. I mean how could you hold a séance without your shaman? How could they create that atmosphere? Haunting. Suggestive. A feeling of someone not quite at home, not quite relaxed. Aware of a lot of things. Yet not quite sure. How could they create all that, without me?
‘Oh sure, they could play the songs all right. But could they actually create that feeling of eerie séance? Conjure up spirits of the ancient cave-dance theater? Could they do all that without me? I think most rock stars enjoy what they’re doing. It’d be unnerving to do it just for the bread. What screws it up is all this extraneous crap the press lays on you. The publicity people and the fan magazines. All of a sudden you start to doubt your motivations. Then there are always the adulators, who just jangle your sensibilities. So you start to feel a sense of shame and frustration about what you’re doing. It’s too bad really.
‘See by the time we played that show in Miami, the intimate séance trip was long dead. We’d become a sort of regimented freak show. I’d become this monstrous entity. This Frankenstein-geek who bites the head off a live chicken every night. Boring! But when we’d first started out we’d been a viable force. We set out to change the system! We had created séance for several hundred people in a darkened space. We took them to a strange place inside their own mind. I was much less dramatic, less artificial back then.
‘By now, by Miami, the larger and larger crowds, you had to project more. Make up for that lack of intimacy. When you’re a small dot at the end of an arena you have to exaggerate your movements to the point of grotesque. That’s what we’d become. It was over. The intimacy was gone. It’d all strayed so far from that so-called “Summer of Love”. By the spring of ‘69, all that love had turned to hate. And the big money boys had joined the fray. The ones who lusted so hard for those teeny-bopper bucks. They kept pushing us into larger and larger places. The intimacy was a joke, an absurd impossible joke.
‘Crowds this size required a whole different psychology. Besides that, you had the police and security elements to deal with. It was like juggling balls, the cops, the crowd and the band. Three months back I’d been arrested right off the stage in New Haven, Connecticut. I dropped the “cop ball” that night. Here in Miami, I’d been determined to bring the cops right along with us. Keep them feeling safe in their cop reality. While we, the band and the crowd, left our realities far behind.
‘It was all about crowd psychology for me. Always. Going back to my college days at Florida State. Professor Geshwender? Funny how you remember names of certain teachers. I’d sent away to the Library of Congress for some of the stuff I spouted off in that class. And ol’ Geshwender, he’d actually defer to me. Right there in class! All about how a crowd is torn between curiosity and fear. If you can get them curious enough to overcome their fear of the unknown or the unfamiliar, then all bets are off. You’ve got them!
‘Yeah, I was shoutin’ in Miami. “Fuck the rules! Fuck the fucking rules, let’s take off our clothes!” And a lot of them did. But the rock press missed the whole point. They wrote, “Morrison failed to create his riot.” Shit, I was talkin’ about fun and lovin’ your neighbor. Not no riot. Another wrote, “Morrison crossed the line tonight, they’ll never forgive him for this.” Maybe they wouldn’t forgive me for exposing them, the rock press, to themselves?
‘What line did I cross that night in Miami? A line of truth? Another writer said, “The failure of Miami was also the failure of Morrison’s ‘Break on Thru’ philosophy. Miami failed to make the audience see themselves. Failed to make them cognizant of who they were. The Dionysian fell short in Miami, just like it missed at the Singer Bowl in New Jersey and became a joke at the Forum in L.A. Nietzsche only works on paper.”
‘A failure, eh? Well, one man’s Waterloo is another man’s Appomattox.
‘Anyway like I said, by the summer of ’69 it was all about hate. Hate the war. Hate the president. Hate the Doors! And loving to hate us. They wrote how we’d “lost the fire” and about my “calculated antics on stage”, my “spasms” used to conceal my lack of talent as a singer. Shit, I was no singer, I knew that.
‘That summer at the Hollywood Bowl, I’m trying to re-create the séance, calling on the gods and the dogs, but it all keeps slipping away like some half-remembered dream. The audience seems totally self-conscious! They can no longer suspend their disbelief in me, or us, or whatever it is they’re searching for, the “dream”. I’m the shaman still, but I can no longer get the crowd on track with me. They’re unable to give up their egos long enough for me or the Doors to penetrate.
‘Only a month later, in Queens, it was electric from the instant we arrived. Hands reaching right into the limousine, searching and grabbing anything! That was one of the first nights I tried some freeform partying on stage. Titillating the crowd with snippets of erotic allusion. Getting them all heated up! And we played great. Almost too great! During the show it was like waves of fans rushing the stage being repelled by lines of cops with clubs. Afterwards we huddled backstage, the band and crew, like frightened mice. Hordes of fans beat themselves against the door trying to get in, it was like Hitchcock’s “Birds”. Seriously frightening though, being confronted by the ravenous demons of your own fame.
‘Sometime later I saw film of that concert and I was totally taken aback. Being one of the central figures on stage I could only ever see it from that perspective. But here seeing things from the God’s eye as it were, I began to realize, I was only a puppet being controlled by a lot of different forces, forces I only just vaguely understood…

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Survival pt./ Helga Wallnau

“Do you know what it means to be Jewish?”
My 93 yr. old friend Helga used to recount this story, a “survival point” for her, in Brussels under Nazi occupation.
“I was fourteen. And my friend from school and I had met to go to the movies. The theater was a couple of miles from where my mother and I stayed with an old friend of hers.
We had fled the Nazis in Berlin. But they had followed us now to Belgium. My mother always made sure that I wore the hideous yellow star. However I had a large handbag that I wore high on my shoulder. The handbag covered that ugly star. When the movie finished I said goodbye to my friend who lived in the opposite direction. As soon as she left I noticed the man in the black coat watching me. He comes up and greets me in German. I reply in German.
‘Where is your star?’ he demands. This man is Gestapo, I know, but he shows me nothing himself. No badge or I.D.
‘Right here,’ I say, moving my handbag aside to show the awful star.
‘Why do you hide it like that? I could arrest you just for that, you know?’
I say nothing at first and think of my mother, if she should find out I am arrested. Then I say, ‘It’s too ugly on my nice coat. That is why I hide it.’
‘Do you know there is a curfew for Jews after eight o’clock? Where do you live?’
I tell him the address of my mother’s friend.
‘That is two kilometers or more, you cannot possibly get home before the curfew,’ he informs me
This Gestapo is only a few years older than I. He is very highly trained. A German boy from the country. He can speak Hebrew and Yiddish both.
‘I could arrest you or even shoot you! And I would get a special medal for this. Do you realize that? It would be a big plus for my career. Do you understand that? I could shoot you!’
I merely nod and answer yes. But I am searching his eyes. To make contact with the human being underneath all the training and the brainwash. Eye contact. It was always like that. If you could reach the human element in their eyes, you could tell. You could turn them your way.
‘You are Jewish. You wear the star. Although you hide it. Do you speak Hebrew?’
I shake my head no.
‘Do you know the Torah?’
Again I shake my head no.
‘Do you have any idea what it means to be Jewish?’
‘No,’ I reply.
We look at one another for a time. Then he says, ‘It is such a shame that you should die for something you know nothing about.’
His words are horrific, but there is little fire behind them. Spoken more like general information rather than a threat.
I say nothing now. Just wait. And hold eye contact with him.
At last he tells me to go. Get home as quickly as I can. And don’t get caught out again after curfew. That was one of the bad moments. I realized later. Another survival point,”
read more: jtwestfieldexp.wordpress.com/eyecontact
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How is it, like stars, we “fall” in love?

CutThroat by JTWestfield ($0.99 ebook now on Amazon) seeks to explore the nature of such a fall.  To describe the very nature of the attraction itself.  The bio-chemical magnetism!  If we are indeed made up of star matter, then we attract and hold others in the same way stars and planets hold each other.  Almost beyond our own wills!      Sometimes you meet someone at just the right moment.  Maybe you’re both vulnerable?  Maybe you’re both seeking something you don’t even realize you’re looking for?  Until you find yourself in it and it’s too wonderful to forsake.  A love that stops time and space. A love that completely alters the path of your orbit. That’s the nature of the love that springs up between Thomas Krieg and Ellen Caitlin in CutThroat.  Characters based on real people, as they were back in the summer of 1973 around Cornell University.

The story opens as the lovers have been resisting this urge for two months.  On a marshy hike along a campus creek-bed, as they debate the merits of their mutual feelings, the force of the attraction over powers them.  They share a “kiss of no return”.  It’s no return because the kiss opens the floodgates of energy between them, literally puts them in mutual orbit.

The fact that “Caitlin” is married to “Miller” is not merely incidental, it’s integral to the storyline.  The three share a house together.  She is the rare woman who believes she can love two men equally.  Without hurting either one.  Krieg comes to believe it too as he sinks deeper and deeper in love with her.  Miller has a harder time accepting his wife’s affair, but he’s determined to do so.  He and Krieg bond almost like brothers in love with the same woman.  And compete in a strange way to win the three-sided game of love, not unlike the three-handed “Cutthroat Pinochle” the threesome plays.

Marijuana acts as a sort of fourth side to the love triangle.  Krieg initially resists smoking with Miller, but he soon gives in to his old fondness for weed as he surrenders to his new found love with Caitlin.  When pot shifts from a pastime to a livelihood, it forces Krieg to shift his outlook on both the herb and 20180731_112612 (1)Miller too. The notion of a border scam becomes an irresistible test of courage for the two men.   Cannabis lurks throughout the story, exerting its influence on various levels.  The psycho-sexual.  The philosophical.  The socio-cultural and economic.  This is the cannabis lifestyle at its inception during the 1970’s.  Make love, not war!  Smoke pot.  CutThroat takes you there!

Light up a bowl and take a trip back in time!

 

 

Illicit Love and Cannabis

Today in 2018 we’ve entered a new age of liberalized cannabis use and enjoyment!
But have you ever wondered where it started? The 1970’s were the inception of the cannabis lifestyle. Getting high! Use of LSD, esp. on college campuses! The whole notion of “free love” and “altered states of consciousness” burst into the mainstream during the early 70’s. Marijuana had always been a fixture in the black culture and in the music world, but the 1970’s saw it spread deeply into white college world society.
At the same time our American culture began to view love, sex and marriage in a whole different light, a light now tinged green. Cannabis green! The psychoactive properties in marijuana can greatly heighten the pleasure of sex. Any old hippie will tell you: “We got high all day and night and screwed our brains out!”
When reading CutThroat, I invite you to consider the effects of pot smoking on the main protagonist, Thomas Krieg, and on the love triangle itself. It’s obvious from the start, Krieg knows if he indulges as heavily as Miller does, it will spell trouble. Drugs affect Krieg’s libido drastically. Miller, an acetic philosopher, does not feel this same effect. His wife Ellen Caitlin does not smoke it, yet she seems to pick up the “contact high”.
Cannabis is actually the fourth side to our love triangle. It breaks down Krieg’s inhibitions against the affair. If he never “descends downstairs” to smoke with Miller and hang with Caitlin, the affair never gets off the ground. Krieg talks about the smoke cloying up through the floorboards of the house where they all three live. He’s not even sure “what exactly” brings him down into their web. The cannabis magnetic effect?
As he gets high with Miller, Krieg falls further susceptible to the dynamic between Miller and his wife Caitlin. They share little or no intimacy. Miller considers himself “beyond all that sexual stuff”. But where does that leave Caitlin, his affection-loving wife? She has no interest in starting up anything with any of their friends, but Thomas Krieg is a basic stranger who’s come into their lives. A sensitive type, Krieg is quickly unnerved by Caitlin and how she’s being starved of physical affection.
Their affair ensues. Illicit love now puts Krieg into an altered state. But cannabis seems to play a background role as well. Does smoking with Miller actually prevent Krieg from adopting the necessary “Cornell Ivy League attitude”? Does getting high actually stop Krieg dead in his career?
Krieg is always a little torn by his growing fascination and affection for Miller. But Miller seems to have no use for Cornell or his degree.
Once the trio is back united in Arizona, pot is no longer just an indulgence, it’s the force driving their finances. Krieg is forced to see Miller in a whole different light: that of a successful pot smuggler.
Cannabis warps our perception in subtle ways. It can cloud our view of life and love and ourselves. It’s the driving but semi-hidden force in CutThroat. It fuels the erotic as it heightens the drama. It’s the 70’s and the root of the new cannabis lifestyle.

CutThroat ebook on Amazon

What kind of love disrupts a young man’s entire life? Deranges his thinking? Puts him into an altered state of mind?
“CutThroat” is a sexy rollercoaster ride into such a love, an adulterous, forbidden love. A love that alters time and space. A love that turns worlds upside down.
How much did marijuana affect his thinking? Was pot the fourth side to this love triangle? Are our twenties the time when we’re most vulnerable to such deranging loves?

Excerpt fr. Chap. 1: The Kiss of No Return

She looked at me steadily, my pain reflected in her eyes. Eyes whose color matched the sparkly silt of the streambed. And there I was sifting through our emotions as if panning for gold. Fool’s gold? No way, I thought. Her eyes were the color of truth itself. As true as the pain we both felt.
The longer I gazed into her eyes the deeper I sank. Why couldn’t she be right? Just because you couldn’t fathom it—loving two equally—didn’t make it impossible. Maybe it wouldn’t matter that much to him anyway? We stood there forever. Deeper and deeper I dove now into those eyes, getting swept up in a current, a slipstream running in there. Suddenly I was drowning and drowning quite happily. Wait! There was air after all, a rarefied air, dizzying, intoxicating, as if composed of triple the oxygen.
Everything in her face said, ‘Yes! Why not! Don’t be shackled by your doubts and fears. Admit you don’t know half what you think you do about love. C’mon, take the risk with me!’
All that I saw in her eyes, I began to feel too. The steadiness of her gaze, unwavering unflinching, unnerving, burned a path after the last of my doubts. Her certainty chased two months of resistance down far tunnels to forever.
“So,” I said after a long spell. “I guess we’re saying what Miller doesn’t know?” Then I had a thought. “Unless you’d tell him?”
“Tell him what? Nothing’s happened.”
“But if it does?”
“I might try to tell him. Without hurting him somehow. Without him thinking I love him less.”
“Then what we’re really doing is weighing our feelings against Miller’s hurt?” Our eyes locked again. Neither of us spoke for a while.
“No,” she said not breaking the gaze. “It’s not like that. Worth more or less.”
“Still it’s a question of hurting Miller or denying our feelings.” I fought to keep my voice even. “That’s why it’s so hard to kiss you.” I stopped at the sight of a tear skidding down her cheek. Beyond Miller’s comprehension, I thought. Then I was floating again in the world inside her eyes, a world of chamois and daisy, a weightless sensation of flying, tethered only by the apprehension we would both vanish if we didn’t kiss before we blinked.
And still another eternity seemed to pass before we did. Then our eyes slammed shut, our arms wrapped around and we melted into the embrace the way you ease into an overly hot bath. Tentative at first, we were both suddenly aware of our nakedness and vulnerability here. Then we began to relax into it, further and further, quelling the feverish bliss as best we could.
The kiss of no return! Nothing after this would ever be the same for either of us. Even as it was happening I couldn’t believe it. I’d resisted the impulse so long, over two months, I suddenly realized she’d been resisting as well. Only a few days ago she’d said she thought we had this aspect under control. Yeah, I thought, like a fire in an elevator shaft.
Just don’t deny you wanted it to happen! Even though you hoped and prayed it wouldn’t. You’d only been fooling yourself. Holy shit, what was I doing? Besides Miller and all she was splitting for Arizona in a few weeks, while I was supposed to enter Cornell. Dear God! This feeling was insane though, this rush of adrenalin, a pure shot of fever charged with lust. It was like an exotic drug, a drug from which you never ever wanted to come down. I’d slipped into a lucid dream, so vivid and so thrilling and enticing I would fight against regaining consciousness.
How was it even possible? How had any of this happened in the first place?

I’d sensed trouble the first night with them two months ago. Miller went comatose smoking pot. He left me and Caitlin chatting away till all hours.

Eye Contact: The Book of Helga

via Eye Contact: The Book of Helga

It is already dusk when Helga and her mother arrive in Aachen on the Belgian/German border. Their cabbie on hearing the address fails to start his meter and refuses any money for the fare. The house is an average brownstone, all quiet, on a quiet street. Elka, Helga’s mother, knocks on the door. Nothing happens. She knocks and knocks for nearly half an hour before anyone comes. Outside in the freezing cold, the pair see the door open a crack and an old man appears. Elka repeats the password. The old man does nothing. Finally a woman comes up behind the old man, she hears Elka say the password, then she apologizes, opens the door and lets them in. Stepping inside is like stepping into Grand Central Station at rush hour. The house is packed with people in transit. Suitcases and trunks are everywhere. “Have you a guide?” the woman asks Elka.
“No,” she replies. “But I do have some money.”
“Well you might talk to that man over there. He takes people over the border. He arranged to meet a man here from Hamburg, but the man did not come.”
Once introduced the guide explains that his method of transport involves jumping off a slow moving train as it winds its way into Belgian territory for several miles. He says, “The Nazi guards on the train will shoot, but they do not aim to hit.”

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Water People

Unvarnished inside look at big time swimming!”…Now there’s a butterfly!” This girl’s thin spidery arms swept out in front of her smallish head, elbows high, like a seagull’s wing. Delicate long-fingered hands entered the water cleanly at an optimum angle, then stretched out further to maximize the leverage as her legs whiplashed, propelling her slender body forward with astonishing grace and efficiency. As her hands finished each stroke and came out of the water, her fingers made a slight flip forward, like a dancer’s accent. Subtle, but it was there. Those same fingers seemed to part the water gently as if parting air, no disruption to the flow. Her legs were long and slender, her hips narrow. That whiplash action, the secret of the butterfly stroke seemed to originate far out in those fingertips and ripple down the length of her body gathering force and power and imparting her dolphin kick with a menacing “thunk”, like the sound of a boxer’s glove hitting a sand bag.
Jason had seen butterfliers before, the best in the world. But he’d never seen anyone swim butterfly as fast and effortlessly as this girl. Her face on the odd breath looked perfectly composed, her eyes closed, no strain or pain, as if in a trance. Her mouth made a tiny “oh” when she snatched a breath. She looked for all the world as if she were dancing with some invisible water god. After the race she hopped out of the pool, barely winded. Her hair was a shimmery natural blond, almost platinum. She had a small high bust and a cute tight behind. Not quite a woman, but no longer a girl, thought Jason. She belonged to this water nymph species.
“Her name’s Brigid Stohl,” Lori told Jason. “She’s joining the team this fall.”

Latest work by JTWestfield now available!

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“Fred Easterbrook” : From the Palace of the Kaiser Wilhelm in Konigsberg, Prussia, where he grew up to the Palace Theater of vaudeville fame, Fred Easterbrook is the classic immigrant tale.  During a two-year enlistment in the German Navy he encounters cannibals in the Solomon Islands and sadistic ship’s officers.  On a layover in Melbourne, he meets his wife-to-be and eventually the two join the throng of immigrants arriving in New York just after the turn of the last century.

This “memoir/novel” is based in part on the true story of the author’s maternal grandfather’s actual recounting of events during his stint in the German Navy circa 1912.