The Last Gentlemen


  1. I have nothing to say to this other than that I’d buy that book. Right now.

  2. Jonathan Potter says

    All I remember is I was having a spate of boot-to-pants wardrobe malfunction that weekend.

    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

      Of the ‘boot-top-versus-pant-cuff’ type, I suppose — in other words, not of the ‘edifying’ kind.

    • I was going to say that those boots are the most exciting things I’ve seen on this blog in a long time. But I’m the kind of person who googles “boots” when I’m bored. True story.

      • Matthew Lickona says

        When in disgrace with Google and gal’s eyes,
        I all alone beweep my unshod state,
        And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
        And look upon my feet and curse my fate,
        Wishing mine like his, boots more rich in feel,
        Ankled like him, like him with boots possess’d,
        Desiring this boot’s rise, and that boot’s heel,
        With flats I most enjoy contented least.
        Yet in these thoughts my boots almost despising,
        Haply I think on Jobe, and then my state,
        Like to stilettos five inches high arising
        From sullen earth, to make my calves look great;
        For thy sweet boots are fitted with elastic
        And that I scorn as if they sported plastic.

        • Matthew Lickona says

          Oh, never mind. I put Jobe in there and then veered in another direction. Joke’s over.

          • Matthew Lickona says


            • Dude, stop these feeble attempts to make the rest of us feel better because in our spare time, instead of whipping out clever parodies in sonnet form, we sit around eating cold cereal from the box and reading comboxes.

            • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

              ‘Matt Lickona’

              Whenever Matt Lickona wrote a post,
              We in the combox read what he would say:
              He was an easy, entertaining host,
              Self-deprecating, in a clever way.

              And though prolific, he was far from old,
              And had a solid memoir to his name;
              But though he’d yet to heap up hills of gold,
              We knew he’d someday scale the heights of fame.

              And there was beauty in his life each day –
              His locks, though sliver-tinged, would not thin out,
              His bride rose like an army in array,
              His children flourished like the olive sprout.

              So on we worked by day, and wrote at night,
              And slogged through ceaseless drafts, rewrote and cut;
              And Matt Lickona, every other night
              Went home and put a shot into his gut.

              • Jonathan Potter says

                This needs to be framed and hung over the Lickona liquor cabinet.

                • Matthew Lickona says

                  I hate all of you. Angelico, do you really mean “So on we worked”? Seems like “So on he worked” works better. And what’s this nonsense about every OTHER night? Anyway, I think I should just stop trying now – there’s no way I can live up to the the hopes of even those who are friendly toward me. This was just supposed to be a thing that happened – I went somewhere that turned out to be interesting enough to write about. Now it’s going to be the failed second memoir. I think I need to strap on some stiletto heels and put on a kicky dress and go out on the town and forget all this writing nonsense.

                  • Jonathan Potter says

                    “… and he glittered when he walked”

                    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

                      You see what I did there!

                    • Matthew Lickona says

                      Well of course he does. And I? I work on his bloggy site. And I curse my occupation. And I wish that I could write. Yes, I wish that I could write…

                  • Southern Expat says

                    You stole “kicky” from my post about LEGO, I just know it.

                  • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

                    It’s part of the perverse charm of this place that I have no idea how seriously to take your comment. Just in case, I’ll put this in prose so you’ll know I’m not ‘spoofing’ you:

                    Please don’t let the weight of my expectations crush this project, because Psalm 118 and the the Star Wars prequel debacle taught me not to rely on human works. I’m just glad to exist, like a Percian ‘ex-suicide’, and anything else is icing on the cake. A new Lickona tome, as welcome as it would be, might not even be icing on the cake, but a sprinkle on the icing — and there’d be nothing wrong with that. So: New Orleans travelogue? Second memoir? City-hall expose? Mad Men spec script? Pop-up book? Whatevs! All is grace!

                    That’s (obviously) not to say your work might not prove to be stronger nourishment and/or medicine than a sprinkle on the icing on the cake. Swimming with Scapulars was more than that. But as a Korrektiv fanboy, I happen to enjoy your perspective and the way you express it, and am grateful for whatever you, the muse, and the marketplace may combine to give. (That goes for every other member of the Kollektiv, too.)

                    You may have an infinite number of valid reasons not to write, but modest hopes of this member of the Peanut Gallery surely aren’t among them.

                    In sum: I hereby dispense you from an obligation you never even had.

                    And again: Good luck and Godspeed.

                    • Southern Expat says

                      Hey, Angelico, I meant to tell you congratulations on gaining a Gravatar.

                    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

                      Thanks, ma’am! Figured it was time to become a ‘power user’.

                    • Matthew Lickona says

                      Very kind of you, sir. I will keep writing, if only because this thing won’t let me alone. Which reminds me: we are expecting a visit from JOB in February. The Wife and I would be delighted if you would join us for dinner some evening – that is, if you are in driving distance from San Diego. We could put you up if you like. Feel free to bring that Robert Simpson fellow, if he’s about. Of course, if you’d rather keep your relative anonymity and distance, we certainly understand. I don’t want to kill the goose that lays the golden comments.

                    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

                      Mr Lickona,

                      That is extraordinarily gracious! My thanks to you and Mrs L for even considering the possibility of allowing Bob and me to darken your towels. I’m gobsmacked, and will be a monkey’s uncle.

                      Bob is reigning Kurtz-like in darkest Arkansas, and he confirmed that his travel plans won’t line up with JOB’s. But I am — and, barring any seismic cataclysm, will still be in February — just about two hours’ drive away. (Yep, a straight shot up the 405: Babylon.)

                      Much as I’ve enjoyed the distance of being one of the (apparently) few kommentators never to have met any of the Kollektiv in person, I’ve mainly tried to use that distance to offer honest opinions about you-all’s work(s) and the value of yall’s overarching project, such as there is one. I reckon the honesty of my opinions is as well or poorly established now as it ever will be. No great loss in closing that distance.

                      (As for ‘relative anonymity’, JOB already knows where I collect my mail, and under what name. No big loss there.)

                      I’ll email you in the next 24 hours or so to see if we can (begin to) work out a plan.

                      Must go now. Thank you again — VERY much.

          • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

            Like to stilettos five inches high arising
            From sullen earth, to make my calves look great

            Mr Lickona, do you see yourself as a woman?

        • There really is nothing worse than plastic boots. I’m glad someone finally made this point in language worthy of its import.

  3. Cubeland Mystic says

    Recipe for a Successful Writer

    Mild substance dependency
    Plagued by self-doubt
    Willful material poverty
    At conflict with broader society
    Coincidental Abbey Road type photo similar to literary hero
    The tragedy of being Irish

    It seems like it is all there for being a successful writer. I beat my brains but I cannot find the missing piece here. Any thoughts?

    (BTW Great Photo!)

    • Cubeland,
      The truth unveiled.

      p.s. agree on the awesome photo. And ML, go forth and write.

    • Matthew Lickona says

      Thanks, CM. The trouble is, I’m the one taking the picture. Anyway, it’s not a big book. But it was a fun trip, and I thought I’d write about it.

  4. Too tired to read or type. Nice/funny photos!

  5. I swear I only read this blog for the comments. And… and… the photos.

  6. Jonathan Webb says

    A woman was in your room not your wife to take that pic.

  7. Jonathan Webb says

    I just self-edited. Talk about spiritual growth!

Speak Your Mind