November 2009, COAGULA ART JOURNAL, Issue 99



As any writer knows, it is very hard to get published. A vaunted role such as a columnist is an impossibility. This is my story.

Literary talent is subjective; therefore talented writers must have an extra advantage. I have made a study of success in literature from 1650 to the present. The findings are consistent throughout every era. Brilliant writers are related to, or, are sleeping with their editor and/or publisher.

I came to Los Angeles with a gleam in my eye that was soon blackened by the Philistines. Esquire, Confidential, Variety, Hush-Hush and even Bazoombas turned me down. Not one of them wanted my column about hot jazz, champagne, fine art and silk stockings.

You can trip me but you can’t stop me. One night I was in downtown Los Angeles at a huge art event, a happening of hundreds of artists, joyful and free, when I stumbled upon an ugly act of violence. A ham-fisted accountant-type was badgering and shouting at a bespeckled, shaggy haired artist in a striped tee shirt. The ugly man was screaming about slander and slight. With increasing aggression, he was calling out and threatening the young man who answered back in a clear and steady voice.
I recognized the young Lincoln as Mat Gleason, editor of the most lauded and hated art magazine in the nation. Some Westside-nut-job was hounding this art world titan. A crowd was beginning to form around the combatants.
Suddenly, with a howl, the bean counter lunged at the editor. I was impressed with the way Gleason parried. Obviously, this was a smart man who knows you never strike first. Anyone with street smarts knows if you swing first you go to jail and anger management. I liked this Gleason.
The bully accountant was flying fists and blubber, really throwing his weight around. Gleason was soon overcome by the ferocity of the ugliness.

I sensed an opportunity. I dove into the fray and separated the two. The attacker who had been saved from his own hubris continued to bluster and steam scream.
Gleason was a little unsteady after several blows to his head. Realizing he might be woozy, I introduced myself and whipped out the column that I always keep in my back pocket. I tucked it into his.
Gleason had a hard, smart face, but he was addled and disabled. When my ethics did a two-step backward, I stepped in and shook his hand. Excitedly, I said, “I am so excited you like my work. Thanks for lunch. Next time is on me. I’d be proud to be a columnist for your fine publication.”
Gleason was obviously confused but in no condition to figure it out. Concussions have their benefits. I smiled, ran off and a week later I sent in 1200 words.

And that’s how I became a brilliant columnist without ever having to sleep with Mat or marry his sister.

GORDY GRUNDY is an LA based artist. ‘Fetish Fortuna’ the fourth show in his series the Fellowship Of Fortuna can be found at: