Saturday, April 5, 2008

About This Blog

Since moving to Taipei, where I work as a teacher, I’ve much missed Madison, and of the things I miss most, being friends with Cosmo certainly ranks near the top. The man was a gold mine of good humor and mythmaking wit. Madison was lucky to have him to add his particular edge to the city, and Cosmo, in turn, was lucky to live in Madison, a place where people made space for him on his ever-expansive good days and looked after him on his bad days.

I’ve read some of the recent online forums about Cosmo (check The Daily Page) and could see how many different kinds of people were saddened by his death. Many had things to say about him in memory, stories they wanted to tell. I’ve opened this blog to make a space for people to post memories, stories or anything else related to Cosmo. I’m hoping if you have some recollection of something he said or did, or how you knew him, that you'll take some time to type it out and send it to me. I’ll post it directly onto the blog. No matter how brief the entry, just send it in. Let me know where and how you knew him: "My name is . . . . I knew Cosmo when I was studying . . . / working at . . . ." and go from there.

I make this request for stories and memories to anyone who knew Cosmo: State Street acquaintances, long-time friends, family members.

In memory of Bob Hicks, aka Rock ‘n Roll Bob, aka Cosmo di Madison. He will be sorely missed.

Send your anecdotes to:

Eric Mader
April, 2008

P.S. --Enter the Labyrinth-- My own writing on Cosmo, which I sweated over considerably back in the day, is linked here, most recent things first. In this writing I was doing my best to make a complete portrait of Cosmo’s “doctrine,” his ideas as best I could get them from him, which sometimes wasn’t easy. Some people might consider this a pretty strange project, but not me: Cosmo's imagination and way with words were often magnificent. I don’t know about recent years, but back then, early 1990s, Cosmo was a great preacher and spinner of tales.

I've tried to write in a style appropriate to the sometimes Gothic, sometimes funky, usually conspiratorial Cosmo I knew. The result is that the writings are definitely murky and arcane (reader be warned!) but still, most people, once they get past a few pages, usually start to get the knack of Cosmo's way of making history:

Picnic Point: What is it Really? (And other Unpublished Texts)

Gospels from the Last Man: the Deeds and Sayings of Cosmo di Madison, vol. I

Gospels, vol. II

Gospels, vol. III

In any case, regarding the above links, my warning in the published book still holds true:
. . . .I ought to take this opportunity to warn new readers of Gospels from the Last Man, those who haven't already read Books I and II. Do not proceed too quickly, but do not lose heart either. Do not laugh too loudly while you read, lest a demon fly into your open mouth. I've seen what can happen, and believe me, it's not pretty. You are liable to feel in the beginning as if you were dangling helplessly over a valley strewn with sucked cadavers. This is because the doctrine here presented holds together in a very circuitous manner, like a giant web in fact, with the inevitable result that one cannot begin to know the pattern of the whole until one has gotten one's limbs tangled in many troublesome particulars. You yourself will get tangled up. You'll be stung by this spider repeatedly. It doesn't sound pleasant, I know. But trust me: you're in good hands with me as your guide. I've been through this web myself, and I know it like I know my own mind. And I can assure you: the beauty of the web, once glimpsed, will make any loss of blood along the way seem insignificant.

1 comment:

Carlos said...

I once ran into Cosmo in front of the Good & Loud Music Store on University Avenue, on what can only be described as a dreadful late February day. It was about 34 degrees, and an icy frozen rain was falling steadily.

I parked my car in front, and as I was walking in the door, Cos was walking out. He was barefoot, and the only clothes he had on was a pair of black leather jeans, tighter than Jim Morrison's. He had a Fender Stratocaster strapped over his shoulder, and he just started walking out to the street. I told him to duck back inside and I'd give him a lift after I was done picking up my guitar. He just shrugged and said, "Nah, man, I gotta go."

He walked out to the road in that miserable sleet, stuck out his thumb, and about the second car picked him up. When he opened the door, the driver said, "Cosmo, get in! Where ya goin?"

To me it was just another example of Cosmo's karma.