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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, July 25

Gapers Block

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Terry Plumming has been putting out magazines and pushing fringe music for several years. Terry is a lot of people using one name. Terry Plumming's new magazine "Bacon is the inside outside world Terry Plumming is dead long live Terry Plumming (now with Vito Powers)" will be available at the (free) release party at 9:30pm Monday, Oct. 23, at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western. For a bit more exposure to Terry Plumming visit

To get at the core of such a bizarre entity, I thought I would try something other than the traditional three questions — something a bit off-the-wall. I have come up with the choruses of three imaginary songs, and I've asked Terry Plumming to come up with storylines for each. Wow. Here we go:

Hey, hey, a-mighty sigh sigh
Travis Bickle could have been a friend of mine
Hey, hey, a-crazy sway sway
He had his date with Betsy and my patience slipped away

Terry Plumming: On every street in every city there is a nobody who dreams of being a Vietnam war veteran. Insomuch, we appear because we feel we are responding to something, but this does not excuse us from being necessary. What is necessary to understand is that if a man kills another man he is a murderer, if a man kills 1000 men he is a conquerer, if a man kills bacon he is god. This is why Vito Powers drops the bomb at home (Vito Powers is the new Terry Plumming "no-nonsense" magazine). There should only be as many magazines as there are valid states of mind. All magazines are useless. All magazines are slaves to a way of thinking and as a result they despise thought. Terry Plumming is a single form. There is no one way to read a Terry Plumming magazine. Beings are crutched on time. Over time some cannot separate themselves from who they are and all that they have done.

I have often thought that assassins and artists are the same in the eyes of the masses. They are admired and hero-worshiped, but there is always present an underlying wish to see them destroyed at the peak of their glory. John Wilkes Booth is interesting because Rocky Balboa punched the beef to the same degree that he made himself famous by shooting the future currency in the space of his namesake, but it was at the opera and it was kind of like an opera. Faustian denials of the individual abound. The mirror is entertaining and terrifying at the same time; a disorienting revelation, and one obviously designed to call attention to the media's artifice. Warhol, "Mirrors are backed with silver."

I want to remove all of my organs and have them planted inside of a whale that travels through space. I want to be a space whale. I want to be nowhere but in search of knowing unknown unknowns, to eternally investigate. Say, I want to go to see this thing and it will take 100,000 years to get there, that would be perfect. The thing for instance could be the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Floating through nowhere not really that much unlike pure thought investigating everything and meeting and fucking other space whales along the way. Q: So, you will be inside this space whale? A: No, I won't be inside anything, I won't be anywhere. I will be the space whale.

Things were easier when it was just weed
I had money to buy things I didn't need
I spend my nights lurking down gangways
Your family artifacts bring me my paydays

Terry Plumming: Cattle is the animal that is known most distinctly by its gender. Steak is food, beef is like steak. The chicken came before the egg the moment that evolution stopped. Eggs were later produced that yielded identical chickens, the chicken that we know is not the chicken. It is a tool. No truth is more true than any other truth. You cannot walk upon egg shells to the same extent that you cannot make love. We, as a culture like to watch. We like to make sense of what we see. Byrne, "Stop making sense." We scratch at our faces to kneel in front of the tripod. This was very well represented in Truffaut's "Day For Night" when Valentina Cortese, the star of the film within the film, hadn't bothered to learn her lines and claimed her dialogue fluffs were due to the confusion created by the script girl playing a bit part in the scene. I believed Thackeray used Redmond Barry to tell his own story in a deliberately distorted way because it made it more interesting to him.

For example, with assassins, I could talk about the spectrum of bizarre ideas connected with the possibilities of accidental or unintentional warfare or show snow lightly falling upon Rock's new leather coat with tiger embroidery and eyelashes beside Adrian who was the new Stella. This proves (we believe legally) the boxing ring is the new dead Jesus in Dave Berman's hallway. The secret level or sphere where a term like "Pornographic Omniscience" becomes possible is Liza Minelli's dressing room when she was on the set of Warhol's "Chelsea Girls" portraying a drag queen. This is the type of sincerity one would come to expect from statements like just as a relationship defines its boundaries by its superlative wrongs: this is the blowjob one would receive from Stevie Nicks at the barbecue.

There is a lot of what the fuck out there. People think that there is this social network out there doing the work for them, a direction a goal a benefit. Michael Jordan was a dancer and an athlete. He put is inside outside with his tongue, it was a feminine act. When you are peeling a banana you are peeling the peel of the banana. It is possible to run out of sight.

John Wilkes Booth and Sirhan Sirhan
Two separate assassins with one identical plan
To destroy any castles colored by crayon
To be exposed as the aimed prejudice of man

Terry Plumming: Upon my walk I was worried to forget the lips falling away from the mouths and the sculpted landscape. I am a dowser without arms only in the sense that an elephant is to a swarm of flies. Labeled subversive acts begat the immaculate. Morning is the best time to go fuck yourself, what a luxury are hands. The eyes just see and click like shutters and the image evaporates and condenses into ceilings and other boundaries. As Bloomsday rots the last image unfocuses and you become pronounced and absent. A word is a result. Words are used when communication has failed. Absence is a matter of taste. The spinning and juggling fists of the peyote professor is enough to settle the deepest worries of the self.

Don't be so sure that if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck it is itself a duck or a lame duck. A lame duck is not a lofted pitch but it applies in this context. It is not the quality of lock nor the plywood barrier but the work you are doing psychically that will determine whether or not your car will be broken into. A standard retort to this is put it in a box and if you can't see that is okay. Every time you eat a McDonald's cheeseburger a terrorist dies.

One and the same civilization produces simultaneously two such different things. But it is not Terry Plumming's on top of his or hers. A succession of decomposed domesticities. A time lapse shuffling of artsy dinner plates and child rearing theory. We have to regress from the towel and play Tina Turner's "Private Dancer" to feed our babies into the high gloss. The masses that are asses: It is difficult to assume anything. There are fewer true statements than lies. Not all untrue statements are lies. There is no one more qualified to lead the people than a person.

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About the Author(s)

John Hospodka is a life-long Chicagoan, and today lives with his wife in Bridgeport. He does not profess to be an expert in anything; he's just a big fan of the arts and is eager to make more sense of them. Direct comments or suggestions for interviews to

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