I really want to get this going....

Each day's listing is an excerpted edit from my work. These are numbered and sub-headed for ease of read and isolation from full body of continued text. Each small excerpt is a single-themed piece culled from a much larger whole. Please follow the heading numbers down to #1, or click on 'archive'. The highest numbers are most recently posted, obviously. If so interested, for follow-up, you may contact via e-mail shown - perhaps for discussion or annotation needed.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

THE REFLECTIONS IN SHOP WINDOWS

43. THE REFLECTIONS IN SHOP WINDOWS:

I wandered towards the water it seemed no matter where else I was headed - east side west side it never mattered and the longboat of my own travel was some strange craft of my mind and the smoke which rose from either horizon tempered only my fear and the solitary presence in the cold and frost of being lost - ghosts which ran with the tide eddies in waters of my own imaginings : I'd watch the police pull bums from the water and I'd recognize the bloat of a swollen-collar on a dead man's neck or the haggard skin of some fearful white touch long after the last blood had flowed - for it was said a hundred times to me that Death Lord and Master has its own way of taking the poor and the outcast and all those down-and-out who've lost their way and I'd watch the skinny men as they gathered around barrel-fires and handed cigarettes back and forth and bottles of whiskey which to them may just as well have been pillows and I passed by them until they drew me in and only because I was cold and fearful too would I huddle up next to the fire and listen to their mangled talk and all those regrets they'd spew - women's names the boss who'd ruined them the last time they'd been out on the highway the time the last kid died - whatever it was it had to do with survival in their own mangled way : something they'd forgotten in learning to recall and no matter the tongue or the face (they'd SAID it all) the words bore no resemblance to where we were and as old as they were to me was as young as I seemed to them but NO MATTER for no one said anything and a nod was as good as a handshake and these men carried something with them - for the rest of their days - that I'd not yet met yet awaited so forlornly - a simple meeting of time a forced reverie of something missed and the shop windows on any avenue told stories we'd later learn to retell - the tall blond woman with the beautiful long coat the three girls in sweaters and the mothers with their sons watching the smart man look at his expensive watch with his gloves in just the right position - it became like watching the rich eat their meals in a big broad window while they watched down in turn to the scattered street below as waiters in white brought more cloth to the table and the mealtime shriek of laughter never died - yet here OUTSIDE the miserable wind blew from each direction and brought with it some cough of murder or stench of death and nothing moved but rats in the night and the taxi - scurrying by - stopped but for a moment and threw someone out to the curb : and another man was recruited for this the most sullen task - finding the way to get by and survive on some street one could NEVER surpass SO like armies of night in a daytime of dream every one of us - eventually - went on to something else - and even now AS I WALK the avenues and see for myself the reflections in shop windows it seems always as if some older reality is still parading by.

5 Comments:

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Annie Girl said...

hi! I see that your blog doesn't have any pics yet. That's okay. Neither does mine.

:-)

Have a nice day
~Annie Girl

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger gary j. introne said...

AG - Hello. My 'main site' (this one) is going to remain free of pictures, as I intend to keep it alone for text; as I've been doing. The other sites, and right now #3 and #4, do already have photos and that's where I'll keep putting them. (scroll down on profile page).vIt's relatively easy, as I've now found.

Thaks. Gary I.

 
At 6:28 PM, Blogger Kali Ann Natalie Elizabeth Hall said...

Wow that was very....intersenting. However when you said "Another man was recruited for this the most sullen task - finding the way to get by and survive on some street one could NEVER surpass" my question is that how do you know that this is the most sullen task? How do you know that these "bums" are not happy with being free,because that is what they are. They are free to do as they please. They are only forced to do it in a harder way,to fend for themeselves in a way the people at the dinner parties can't even imagine.How do you know that these bums don't look at their life and say I'm free,or is it that your saying that at one point,when they first started they said this? But only after a while did they realize freedom in their situation was not all it's cracked up to be,that fending for yourself is harder than it looks,although it already appears hard? Or is it that that is all they've ever known and they don't know what it would be like to be one of the "dinner party people"? Or do the dinner party people look out amoung the bums and rage out in jelousy because they theselves will never know that freedom? That they have expactations much higher than those of their counterparts? That they long to fend for themeselves as well? Well,if that is the case they are sadly mistakan. When they start out on the streets as a bird without a cage they too will sing a song of freedom. But once they are stomped down by this skewed and twisted world,simply because they are on the wrong side of society and we look at those people as losers, they will try suicide as well. Thinking maybe in Heaven they will be a dinner party person once more and they will know that curiousity kills the cat. I geuss it depends on your point of view.

 
At 6:32 PM, Blogger Kali Ann Natalie Elizabeth Hall said...

I'm sorry,typo,I ment to say interesting. *walks off into the distance humming "Free Bird" and doesn't notice that her black berry is ringing until the person on it starts to leave a message,even then she doesn't look down.*

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger gary j. introne said...

I really loved your question(s), and was happy to see them posted. They twist and turn, sort of like a licorice-twirl stick as it is twisted around. Each thing you ask, and answer, rotate to the next and the next situation. What I tried portraying there was an actual situation amongst men who once did have everything they'd wanted but who, over the 'twists and turns' of misfortune and mistakes and 'chance', ended up around that barrel fire. It doesn't happen as much anymore, since there are now so many many more social safety nets and organzied outreaches and all that, but (this was reflecting back to a winter '68 scene, in particular) this was a much more prevalent situation in those days. WWII and Korean War veterans, who'd somewhere squandered or missed their fortune-boats after the war, were by the late 60'd entering their fading late middle-age, and, once wasted, remained there and spiraled downward as all around them the world and society changed. They were a much sadder lot, serious (and, yes, sullen), almost tragic, with lined faces, bent postures and sad expressions of both face and voice. They ended up with the bottle, and not much else. Back then the Bowery was still a street of flophouses and beds for 25 cents a night; crime prospered, but not much else. Theft and physical harm was common among these men. They'd reach a point where they no longer would even tolerate THAT level of commingling with their fellows. They'd stretch nespapers and clothes on a sidewalk or a corner-siding, and that was their bed and home. Vagrant. Walking. Drinking. Panhandling. I, (at age 17/18/19) lived right there, in a simple basement hovel, and got to know and see them, in the old 'meatpacking' district on the lower west-side. Slaughterhouses, meat-rendering rooms, sides of beef hanging over the sidewalks on conveyor-chain racks, in order to be cut and packaged and loaded on the waiting trucks. Blood and guts were in the gutter, the air smelled of flesh, death and slaughter. No one, when not there working, cared a whit for what lived there after hours or behind doorways and alleys. Barrel fires (a thing of the past now) were evreywhere, and each had five or six men. It was magical, for me, to witness, remember and think over. I tried to convey some of that - actually the piece is much longer, and probably far more interesting in whole. The philosophical questions involved are secondary, to me, to the coloring and painting of the scene. Thanks for the read and the great eyes and interest to do so.

Keep in touch.
Regards. Gary Introne

 

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