Friday, October 14, 2016


It is Difficult to Talk About...Buttholes.

By this title, I do not mean to suggest that I personally have any difficulty in speaking of the Butthole. Oh, no.

It is just that I notice how many people fidget and squirm away from both this word, and this topic. They try to use such replacement phrases as "pucker" [Téodor, who curiously "oralizes" the concept] and "knuckle-sucker" [Ray, who lightens things with humor you are forced to visualize] as they look for any way at all to avoid saying Butthole. It is as though the Butthole were an unstable dictator in their lives, and they did not dare address it by name, so as not to awaken its ire.

As you have noticed, and to make things more comfortable for you, I capitalize it. As though it were just, "our friend Dave." I want you to know that I will be using this word a lot tonight. This, Butthole word.

We may train our faces to lie for us. We may master their reflexes. We may control our breathing, and heart rate, so that we can defeat the polygraph tests which seek to wrest us from our path. But there is one feature of the body which is no liar. There is a part of us which, if we were to seek its counsel, and place it hard against the mirror, would always show us our true self.

I was first drawn to consider the fantastic power of the Butthole by an airplane mechanic named Jurgen. He was an old gray German man who lived in an RV on a dusty mechanic's lot on down by Harvicchio Way, which ran past the local airstrip. He slept in his dirty bibs and took his liquor upon rising, as a fresh baby screams for aid. I would collect hood ornaments for him, and he would give me a nickel apiece, and it wasn't long before I was something of a fixture around his yard. It was nice to know the sensation of appreciation for skilled work given on faith.

Jurgen described to me, one time, an incident in which high winds over a shoreline nearly caused the light aircraft which he was piloting to crash to the ground. He said, in his sharp German accent, ...

[...and forgive me, as I try to recreate his accent in words, here. I have a, "tin ear" for accents... —Ed.]

...He said, "Ven I felt the plane drop ten feet, I felt my asshole clench!"

I had never considered this involuntary "tell" before—this idea that the Butthole was of the same honest stuff as our heart. My mind latched onto it like a chigger on a mud-drowned dog. After that, whenever I could, as a part of my learning about others, I made it my job to picture not how someone's face behaved, but how their Butthole might be behaving. To this day, thanks to experience, I can sense the inverse relationship between forced laughter and a clenched Butthole. And I can make many decisions based upon that.

But first we must abolish the stigma of talking about this amazing, "oracle," if you will. Here are some suggestions of how we might change the way we talk in order to create that future.

Just imagine...
I wish to put my stake in the sand, with these time-stamped thoughts. May unashamed Butthole awareness guide a new generation of study of the mind. May we cease to demonize this omnipresent resource, this, "consigliere and confidante." May serious concern with it no longer be branded a lack of genius.

Peter H. Cropes
Alcanuñez, NV

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Return of the Sports Car.

As you may recall, some while back I was much taken by this Sports car, which I had seen during a walk: 

A car suitable for "making a statement."
At the time I was about to advance handsomely in the Publishing industry, with the release of my new volume, A Wonderful Tale. Dreams of operating within the society of the "see and be seen," the "cognoscenti," if you will, were mine, and this dashing car would suit my new lifestyle. But it was not to be. The public was not ready to enjoy my masterpiece. At the time, if they wished to read anything, it was the story of a wizard-boy who got banged on the head by the devil and became the friend of thousands of owls. The tastes of the public are surprising, to be sure, but they cannot be resented. It is simply the job of the Artist to sit and tide until he hits the gusher of public consent. 

Today while I was on an errand to the hardware store for a new hacksaw blade, I again saw the Sports car! I take its reappearance in my life to be a great omen. Perhaps an agent, working late into the night in his cramped Los Angeles office—surrounded by towers of unusable screenplays and failed pitches—has finally discovered my manuscript, ripe as it is for film adaptation. Perhaps I am about to write again—this time a blockbuster about a child who sings fire into being. It cannot be said; all that I do know is that this symbol of my dreams is alive and well again:  

The Sports car reappears, this time at the hardware store. 
The car was guarded by a large dog, but he did not make too great a fuss as I drew close to capture this image. In fact, the creature seemed to bear pride in his station: 

I have witnessed the sin of Pride in many forms, but when demonstrated by this simple dog it seems harmless enough.  
I drove home elated, considering what a good turn things had taken on an otherwise plain day of errand-making and simple meals taken standing. What could make this day better? 

Why, the appearance of this "beach model" version of my van! I saw it parked near a store that sells second-hand clothing for wealthy children. O how I did picture myself cruising up along a sandy stretch of popular beach, sunglasses calmly resting on my face, a Hawaiian-print shirt indicating that I was right at home. How I could watch the surfers work out their difficult social dynamics among the waves, and notice those who did not make their cut, forced back to shore. How I could wait in the dunes, ready with an easy smile and a few kind words. 

Ah, I see it is "National Novel Writing Month." That seals it. I shall begin my new tale tonight, so I can enjoy the spoils of fortune, of dreams.  

The Ford Econoline "Beach Model." Note the many alluring windows, which invite like a jewel-box of delights. 

Friday, October 30, 2015


In the End, I Do Not Know If Anyone Actually Died.

This could get rid of a lot of trouble

O how the dawn wind did chase itself through the trees with the double-backs of breeding creatures; thick and greasy was the rainwater on the windshield of the old van. I was on my way to get a new favorite pastry at Gillie Tillie Mae's, a modern bakery frequented by thin women and weak men. They produce marvelous, tender delights without the benefit of wheat flour, and I am lately much at the mercy of their walnut scone with Meyer lemon curd thumb-print.

Would you, "look at me now," as the famous saying goes.

It was at the recommendation of Pat that I try this bakery, as I had been telling him perhaps too richly of my Autumn digestion. I must say that to this end he was on the mark, which is unusual for him when it comes to foods that others will enjoy.

As the van pulled its way up New Grammond, a major thoroughfare I often use, I noticed the blinking antlers of a highway trooper in the parking lot of a Safeway supermarket. At first I did assume there had been thievery, as the area is one of cadaverous men lurching perilously across the roads in mid-block, but then the sirens of an ambulance whined their way toward the scene, causing the plot to thicken somewhat. I imagined an old man—his flat yellow-white hair many years out of trim, his jeans the size of a circus tent, housing great and pallid unwashed loins—collapsed in the aisle by the Google Play gift cards, his agonic growl bearing the fury of his knotted heart. Perhaps a kind soul knelt by him; more likely, no-one wished to engage the disgusting spectacle.  

I was made to consider that typically at this time of day I am still in the comfort of the living room easy chair, taking in the radio news or working through a mystery. Today, though, I was reminded that the world thrashes on about its day without cease, great drama always at one's elbow, the limit of earshot just the beginning of the action. It was good summons to more often be out and about in this world, for, "You never know who will be dying at Safeway."

I am tickled by this new line I have coined, and I expect to get much use from it. It has a lasting ring, much like the bite-sized wisdoms of Ben Franklin or Carl Sagan, if you will allow it. 

Sunday, October 06, 2013


(Achewood, CA) Hot on the heels of Thief of Graves, FRAN.CE has released their second hit single to the world, "Dance Night." "A haunting night of Dance will transport the listener into realms of cyber intrigue and heart-stopping beats," said a representative.

FRAN.CE, Europe's hottest band, is slowly weaving their success in America, one hit at a time.

This is the first hit single by FRAN.CE to be "pre-mastered" by Téodor Orezscu, who worked backward to the original files by tracing down the artist's recording process and exposing the rare, raw tracks. FOR ADVANCED LISTENERS ONLY. 

Dance Night MP3
Dance Night M4A (pre-Mastered by DJ Tre-Odor)

# # #

Saturday, October 05, 2013


It is now...FRAN.CE

I have noticed a great silence, following the release of my Classical music. At first I was angry, because I had worked so long, and shared so much. The work is fine, calculated against its own measure and balanced in the manner of the great masters. The top half dances across the bottom half, like a marionette of an ice skater in the hand of a child, the cantus firmus of its blades touching down in stretches and swirls above the providence and planning of a somber, paternal frame. It is Music. It is all-piano. It is Classical. I know this to be true.

Then it struck me: Classical music is never appreciated until long after its creators are dead. Beethoven went insane in his own time, never seeing a penny, dying in a cold apartment with only oats and their gravy in his stomach. Mozart--plopped into the anonymous gutter of souls, only so that his corpse would not attract vermin, not so that it could be honored. Schubert, with his venereal diseases.

To pep myself up again, I give you the first release by FRAN.CE, my digital band. I imagine them to be of European extraction, in their crisp white coveralls, golden silk gloves on their fingers as they stand on a glass stage at their "Digital Audio Workstations." Their hair is fluffy, and of the fashion. All dance, all are entranced, as the steady beat and whirling, unrelenting melodies snake into their veins. There is man-made fog. The pleasure is note-to-note, in the moment, and vanishes quicker than the smoke and sugar-fed bodies...Is electricity the enemy of music? Or is it the future? FRAN.CE

Thief of Graves - FRAN.CE
"Their First Single"

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Behold, I have written Classical Music.


Although the reception of my Piano Music has not been much to speak of, I am undaunted. That is how I operate, and perhaps I have learned to work best this way. My many novels also languish on the shelves of history, unread and uncared-for, perhaps to be discovered by the Smithsonian or some other clearinghouse of repute. In time folks will see the effort I have made, the hours I have spent.

After hearing a stretch of Classical Music in the van the other day (I believe it was an Italian fellow who played under the name of Giganto, but the reception was not altogether perfect), I was inspired to write some of my own. Apparently people don't do that any more, but no matter. I listened to several Classical pieces, with the pretty piano "lines" that sound as though they are echoing in a glistening, white marble hall (all surfaces in Classical music must be imagined as glistening, never matte - that is one of my "tricks"), likely a hall where everyone has either died or is outside marveling at handsomely-curried horses. Perhaps it is Austria, in the famous mountains where white men eat fine chocolate as they march along flagstone streets, or perhaps it is ancient and forgotten Boravia, the wealth of which impresses no one any longer, the smiles of its children forgotten by all.

I must hold myself back. Please, here, enjoy this piece of Classical Music. It will remind you of glossy, airy marble halls, or I have not done my job.

Behold, Classical Music (mp3 format audio file, or "iTune")
Peter H. Cropes, Programmer of the Piano

Friday, September 13, 2013


I have shared a second song, "Peach Titus."

In the joy of haste, and O in the joy of growing familiar with this tape recorder and its frailty, I have released my second "single," Peach Titus. Those who do or don't know can read here that Peach Titus is a Southern tea, meant for correction but just divine as-is. It is my companion on many drives, in hot weather, humid, among the sleepy Acadians and Baptist-Huguenots (funny people, those) both. It is the beverage of a passive state, between works, a drink to be earned.

There is a slight error in the recording of this song, and I apologize for it. You will notice it, but you will forgive the early embarrassments of floating my music into a great and unknowable sea of blank faces.

Peach Titus - Peter H. Cropes, Programmer of the Piano

Hello, I am a Band now.

Good Evening. It has been some years since I have spoken with you, since we have shared words. I have been on a magical journey—to use the words of a showman—and I would like to tell you about it.

I am a band, now. Perhaps I am several bands, it is hard to say. This is how it happened.

There was a boy who thought well of himself, and he was quite fond of the latest, flashiest technologies. His iPhone, that Judas's cradle of the modern world, that bearer of hollow crux and vinuous grasp, came into my possession one day. On it was a harmless-looking computer program, and when, on a lark of sorts, on a long drive, I opened it up—it allowed me to place small blocks in a grid, and those blocks became sounds. They became music, they became tunes, through the machinery of men who work in Cupertino, California. It sounds like a false place of fallen orchards and glass, but their perversion has created something useful to me.

I was immediately taken with this easy ability to put down the tunes in my head, and change them over time to suit the knowledge I was gaining., that great website, taught me of "circles of fifths," and "counterfeit modulation." Such lofty terms. So, fancy. But they are useful, hard-won things. They ride unto us on the shoulders of madmen, of lunatics who died from their exertions in the service of music, strangled upon the tether from which they hung by the heavens. Beethoven. The mournful Russian Rachmaninoff. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (diminutive coprophiliac and giggler).

I am quite likely several bands. They suit my many moods.


   I have found kin in that plastic instrument, that lipstick, the synthesizer. I do not know why, but its tones soothe me. Perhaps the precision of its "attack" and "decay" can be specified so cleanly, it is therapeutic. Please, enjoy the music of FRAN.CE.

2. Piano Dan
   Perhaps you might say, he is my "alter ego." Or just a character I have schemed up. A "piano-loving friend" who diddles all the night and day on his keys, creating the most delightful—or perhaps the least delightful—simple piano melodies. I imagine him as serious, silent, leaving when he is done, walking up round the fertile berm of the lane that wound from home to the world beyond.

3. Downtown Mammal
   This is something I don't know that I do.

As you have been aware, I am not of an ease with computers. This "iTunes," with its crazy spelling, is something I simply cannot make known to me. To hear Téodor say it, the songs become one in the air, and appear on devices which have an understanding placed in them by the wealthy. I will have none of it. In my world, music is a good old thing, listened to on cassettes, and easily shared in that way. Because I can not e-mail you all a cassette, however, I played my iPhone into my tape recorder, then played my tape recorder at a computer's microphone. From there it was a hop-skip to share my first song with you. If you enjoy it, please hold your own tape recorder to your computer's speaker, and then carry it with you wherever you go.

Orris Root Tango - Peter H. Cropes, Programmer of the Piano
This little tune may be considered how it feels to drive at night, down the furrowed hard-clay lanes of Parish Amortane, Louisiana, between the orris fields and the fragrant sassafrass, knowing it was time to do what you had felt building inside you for many days.

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