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There’s a bluebird in your heart

David Breithaupt Archive

David Breithaupt

I Have Become a Cranky Old Fart

October 16th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

It’s been a slow encroachment, subtle, like the onset of age or the shot that divides the casual user from confirmed addict. Perhaps it has been ticking inside me, like some DNA time-bomb waiting to release its gas, infecting me in increments until finally, I awake one day to realize: I have become a cranky old fart. (more…)


David Breithaupt

Amongst The Un-Molested

October 3rd, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

I have to confess, my childhood was somewhat idyllic. I wasn’t molested or fondled, spun or mutilated. I wasn’t MacKenzie Phillips’d nor did I grow up in a cardboard shack in some stranger’s backyard. I wasn’t abandoned, duct-taped, burned, bandied about or water-boarded. Was never felt up by a priest nor unearthed horrid events via hypnotism. My early years, as you can see, were a bit on the normal side. No one wanted me. I felt so left out. Many of my friends had been damaged by such events and I wanted to belong and share their terror. I set out to create my own.

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David Breithaupt

Beer Tubes at the Steak House

September 13th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLS, OH-

At 11:30 each morning, John the stroke victim delivers the mail to our office. I hear him before he appears, hobbling down the hall like a peg-legged pirate, tilting, rhythmic, yet inching forward, accumulting feet and yards until at last he is in our office doorway.

Some people have coffee or smoke breaks, I have John. He is a mile post in my day. I know he will spend the next half hour struggling to tell me what he did yesterday or what he will do today. He lives in a realm of scaled down choices - lunch, movies or libraries. Everyday I tell him I might just leave and join him and everyday he shakes his head and grunts in acceptance, “come!” (more…)


David Breithaupt

Make Your Characters Come Alive!

August 24th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

Never expect a good literary critique from a federal agent. I learned this the hard way, through a roundabout lesson via a maze of fear and loathing. These guys aren’t readers, they have other things on their mind. Seek your feedback elsewhere. They don’t hang in bookstores. (more…)


David Breithaupt

My Mother Loved Mud - The Untold Story

July 27th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

It’s true, my mother had an affinity for mud. Perhaps her penchant was derived from some hardwired inborn affection stemming from a DNA memory recalling our emergence from the primordial slime. She loved the stuff, shaped it, rolled it, sculpted it and threw it on the potter’s wheel. She couldn’t leave it alone.

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David Breithaupt

A Thousand Words: Talking About My Beat Generation

July 17th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

It’s December, 1988, a few days before Christmas. The Lower East Side is undecided between becoming an ocean of slush or a frozen plain of icy glass. It settles on cold and damp and stays that way into the new year. The invention of Prozac is still years away but if we had any we would be tossing them back like M & Ms.

I’m en route from NYC to Ohio to visit my ailing father. My mother had died the year before, followed by a sixty day stint I did in rehab to mend a massive predilection for alcohol. I was back in NYC now, not drinking, healthy and properly feeling the delayed grief my boozing had bottled up. (more…)


David Breithaupt

Big Novels And Middle Age - Why I Joined Infinite Summer

June 20th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

If I’d been with David Foster Wallace on the last day of his life, I might have offered him a chocolate bar and put some Prof. Longhair on the CD player. Chocolate’s always good for getting the Dopamine flowing and enlivens the “reward center” in your brain. As for Prof. Longhair, well, who can be depressed after hearing his Rum and Coco-Cola or Big Chief? (more…)


David Breithaupt

Alarms And Perversions - Thurber Redeux

June 14th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

It began innocently enough, a summer day, a quiet cemetery, a three-piece box of KFC (dark meat, original recipe) and then the clothes started coming off. Suddenly, faster than a mourning dove could coo, our sweaty limbs were entangled like human pretzels atop a cool marble slab. Six feet below was James Thurber slumbering in literary eternity. The rest of the world ceased to be. (more…)


David Breithaupt

Making Time with Thurber

May 28th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

I mentioned to my girlfriend last week that we should make love on James Thurber’s grave when the weather becomes warmer. It was an idle suggestion, a sort of thinking out loud comment that I should have put more thought into before I spoke it. (more…)


David Breithaupt

Rescue Demons Needed - The Plight of S. Clay Wilson

May 9th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

SAN FRANCISCO-

Star-eyed Stella, Ruby the Dyke, the Checkered Demon, Capt. Pissgums and his Perverted Pirates…how can I forget these icons of my youth? Sure, I led a double life and delved into Spider-Man with his plutonium-powered spider blood. I lived with the original X-Men and cherished their particular brand of mutantism. I wondered if it hurt when the Thing took a shit or if the Hulk’s pee was green. But it was the nightmare creations of underground cartoonist and one of the original Zap Comix artists, S. Clay Wilson, that branded me at a young age, warped my perspective and taught me more words for the female anatomy than I ever dreamed existed. (more…)


David Breithaupt

Killing Pain With Jerry Stahl - A Brief Interview

April 8th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

I kicked my last dope habit in federal prison and I can tell you, there’s nothing romantic about it. Whatever you might imagine the experience to be will probably not be far off the mark. Picture hellish monotony, cramps that never vanish, months of sleeplessness and of course, that special craving. Making art out of this experience is difficult. My own recollection of the episode is dank and foul. As Dante said of his Inferno, death is hardly more bitter. (more…)


David Breithaupt

Remembering James Purdy Esquire

March 16th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

In 2000 I had the opportunity to write a 10,000 word bio/crit piece on James Purdy for Scribner’s American Writers Series. Jay Parini, who was editor of those tomes at the time, gave me the green light when I suggested a piece on Purdy. James was always on my mind as a great writer who was under read. This would be my chance to champion his words.

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David Breithaupt

That Blood Pumping Organ

February 5th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

Fourth grade, 1968. Ohio. It’s February and my hands are dry and caked with that elementary school paste we all love to smell and eat. Piles of red construction paper. Scissors. Scraps are all over the floor. We are making valentines for the whole class and a stack of crudely cut hearts was growing atop my little desk which doubled as a Duck & Cover shelter in case the Big One ever dropped.

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David Breithaupt

A Midwestern Koan - Reflections On A Possible Wisdom

January 30th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

Shit is gold. That’s the message I saw written in the snow on the State House lawn as I waited for my bus transfer. It was Monday, January 19th, the last day of W’s reign of dumbness and I was feeling jubilant.  The stinging cold did not hinder the usual crowd of stragglers, panhandlers and misfits. Even the Thalidomide Kid was in his usual spot across the street, bobbing to his interior beat next to his coffee can full of change. I was hoping for the bus to hurry and as I waited, I wondered what the anonymous author meant by his cryptic message. (more…)


David Breithaupt

Learning The Ropes - Betrayal, Death And The Circus

January 23rd, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

I first encountered betrayal in the sixth grade. Nothing I learned in school prepared me for such an event. Certainly not the Dick and Jane books we read when were younger where nothing bad ever happened on Maple Street. There were no crackheads in Dick and Jane’s hood. No divorced parents, pedophile priests or ethnicity of any kind. Certainly no betrayal. (more…)


David Breithaupt

My Year Of The Ape

January 7th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

This damn book. For twenty-five years it has nipped at my heels like a stray dog, with wide and expectant eyes, remaining ever ignored. If it were a suitcase, it would have more travel stickers than Paul Theroux’s luggage. Of late, it has resided in a pile of other unread and angry books, glowering at me even in the daylight, like a piece of Madame Curie’s radium. I am speaking of my albatross, my creator and destroyer, a book I still have yet to read, a whopper by Wyndham Lewis, The Apes of God. (more…)


David Breithaupt

My Favorite Things

November 22nd, 2008
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

Dozens of books, boxes of correspondence (including a post card from Charlie Manson), a 200 lb sculpture by my mother, an assortment of dogs, volumes of journals, my own student paintings and a slow parade of forgotten furniture, make up the life-long assortment you might call my three dimensional autobiography. You could look at it when I’m dead and judge me by my vapor trail then say, this is the kind of guy Dave was, he had all kinds of shit. We are a nation of consumers and what we hoard is as unique as our own intricately coded DNA. I have been a pack rat, loose in America for decades. The baggage is now heavy.

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David Breithaupt

Ronco VS Marxism

November 18th, 2008
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

Heavy hitting, “pimp of post-modernism”, French philosopher, Jean Baudrillard, came up with an interesting idea in his book, The System Of Objects. He wrote; “Could we classify the luxuriant growth of objects as we do a flora or fauna…?” He goes on to add “…everyday objects proliferate, needs multiply, production speeds up the life span of such objects – yet we lack the vocabulary to name them all.”

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David Breithaupt

The Dive Not Taken

November 12th, 2008
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

My brother was visiting from out of state last week and told me some stories at dinner one night. He recalled one of his former corporate jobs for which he had to attend a workshop headed by a motivational speaker. The attendees were instructed to turn to their neighbors and tell them of a life changing experience they had in less than three minutes.

Perhaps this is why I have never worked in the corporate world.

My brother said his partner told him of the birth of his first child and how it changed his world. I believe my brother mentioned handing out fliers at 3am for Mo Udall back in the 70s. He was at an auto plant in Detroit and he described the shift exiting the plant amidst a huge burst of steam as the gates opened. Of course I was doomed for the next few days, to wonder what occasions have altered my own existence. Anyone who has reached middle age has experienced such dramas, the death of a loved one, falling in love, falling out of love, realizing your own mortality, making your first perfect souffle, house training your pet. It’s different for everyone. For Nabokov, it was it was finding his first rare butterfly in America at the Grand Canyon in 1941 (Nonympha Dorthea). For Vlad it was impaling the town folk. For Popeye it was discovering spinach. And so on.

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David Breithaupt

Speaking of Artifacts

October 30th, 2008
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS- OH

Yesterday was cold enough to wake my winter coat from its summer slumber. Temperatures sank into the 30s and I could see my dog’s breath linger in the air like an afterthought. I went through the coat’s pockets which seemed full, as if containing some seasonal time capsule, so I commenced an inventory. There were gloves, my hat, an inch or two of what seemed like fine leaf compost, two grape Dumdum lolipops which my bank always palms off on me, $1.25 in change, a ticket stub to a movie I don’t recall seeing and a broken Bic ball-point pen. This was last winter’s autobiography, patiently hibernating until now, when I clean and ready it to be filled with a new season’s worth of trinkets and souvenirs. This is my life boiled down, if I were to be hit by car or die on the sidewalk from a stroke, my pocket contents would say, this is the kind of man he was, a lover of mulch, patron of the cinema and connoisseur of hard candy. My epitaph at last.

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