Writer's Table

My novel, NOISE. Posting Chapters soon……..I lived it 30 years ago. I wrote it ten years ago. A novel I call NOISE about a singular Brooklyn adventure when I was a Coney Island sign painter on weekends and Geraldine Ferraro’s Congressional press secretary during the week.

I fell in love with a Louisiana wildcatter who came to Coney for uproar after isolated months on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. A month later I quit Congress.

GoKart Track

 I moved into his tiny shiny trailer, smack on the Go Kart track for a summer of murder, mayhem, drugs, sex, and rock and roll. It’s a love story. Sort of. More Americana humankind. We are NOISE.

      I call him Bijou. Raised by his half Cajun grandma, showing extraordinary powers of healing as a 5 year old she gets him on a backwoods gospel tent circuit and he’s on his way to stardom. People follow him like they’re being pulled up by a whirlwind.  

Empty Coney Island

     20 years later there’s Bijou in a cold early spring on an empty Coney Island lot. The sky is late in the day black gray, 4 pm still NY winter. I’m looking for sign work, then I see him. He’s dark tan, sun-blanched blond, piercing light blue eyes. He’s got on white linen pants, zebra striped ballroom shoes, and he’s rippling barechested under a white tuxedo shirt blowing in the wind all hurricane wrapped. He grabs my hand, pulls me into the Haunted House and while he’s telling me what signs he wants painted he leans into me like a wingless bird with the entire solar system under his skin and kisses me.

      Bijou is electric, all piss and vinegar wildman, obliterating a past he can’t figure with anything he can get his hands on. He finds himself and leaves me when the park closes in September, heads back to Louisiana to track down grandma and confront her.

 NOISE is a fabulous story. I tried to get in touch with Kevin Bacon who could’ve done a spang-up career changing job of Bijou. I had a NY agent and a contract. That was August 2001, just after I got back from 2 weeks of being a cameraman’s assistant for Survivor-Africa. I’ve lived a peculiar life. One month later the world changed. 

      I lost my wildcatter in the fall of 1979, got a job writing news at CBS and ABC, and still snuck out to Coney Island on weekends to paint haunted houses, carousels, and steamy hot dogs. I’ve painted a portrait of Bijou, it’s all Fellini and Dr Calligari’s Cabinet. 


Bijou, Coney Island, Brooklyn

Cover jacket

4 thoughts on “NOISE

  1. Oh, such wonderful prose. I look forward to reading this after reading all the connections that came out of this adventure. What a gem it promises to be! Now off to Anmazon to see about Gandy’s Dancer!


    • Totally unexpected and fabulous for me, thanks for reading all the memories it produced, Kate, and for liking it. Isn’t it astounding. We never know what images and moments are locked in our own brains in contact.NOISE really needs to be published and made into a movie.
      Soon as I can order new The Gandy Dancer short stories and carry them here, I will. Amazon has them, a little pricey, but it’s a good read. And, by the way, Big Sur Kate, lots of early Big Sur experiences when I first landed on the West Coast, campsite 74 if memory serves, Pfeiffer State Park. Also the year of the old GMC, my Blue Thunder, l974 Suburban. What a trip.


  2. I am thrilled beyond words that you’re going to get The Gandy Dancer! I predict in advance that you will love it for a traveling vagabond adventurer’s companion to the splendid life you have currently set before yourself, and find similarities and differences…I can’t wait to hear in your reaction. Please let me know what you think of it all. Bless your heart! The book lives!
    I had a long rough go in the hands of agents and publishers with NOISE, and have not quite given up but I’m taking a breather. Your encouragement really enlivens me, thank you so much, John.


  3. I looked for this on Amazon and didn’t find it, maybe not published yet.

    But I did find “The Gandy Dancer” and after reading the tantalizing ‘preambling’ to “Grandpa’s Ticket to Ride” I immediately ordered it from Amazon.

    “One thing that happens when you’re on the move is the need for a whole new take on who the hell you are…”

    That is so wonderfully perceptive and yes, I too know that problem well! The discombobulation, the setting up of new references… In fact, you will probably smile when I tell you that before ordering your book I had to ask the desk clerk if I could have mail delivered to me here at my current motel!

    You have obviously lived a life thrillingly rich in risk and satisfaction and I am so looking forward to reading you!


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