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.

Saturday, February 25, 2006



When something goes wrong you want to fix the problem and do it again and have nothing go wrong so that you feel the problem is solved - yet then when it goes wrong again you are really distressed and flabbergasted that it's again happened : that can make for a really tough time and I was thinking like that as I walked along just today in Washington Heights high above the rest of the city on some elevated plateau where it's said General Washington looked out over Brooklyn and Long Island Harlem Heights and the river down below to watch the advance of British armies as he got set to high-tail it out of there over into New Jersey on the run from British troops - and all that may be true as far as I know but it bears no relation to the modern day which is instead like a Spanish six-pack of weird people and clumps of those I'd rather not meet hanging around and walking against things and I saw some blind guy shuffling along in dark glasses and a seeing-eye-stick and he kind of slapped it along the pavement as he went and I moved away figuring I didn't want to trip him up nor be tripped by him and his aggressive stick-style of walking and then later I saw some guy and decided as he nodded to ask him a question which I'd wanted to know about the building he was exiting and he cupped his ear and motioned deafness - which was OK by me - and I let it go at that and waved him away figuring if those two ever met he'd never hear the approaching tap tap of the stick from behind and the blind guy would never know he was about to crash into the deaf guy and I figured 'Whew! Washington thought HE had problems!' and it was called once also Fort Washington right there which was I guess what they named the Fort after Washington had left it or maybe a long time after because it seems no one ever gets things named for themselves while they're still there or around and anyway go ask Roberto Clemete or someone if you don't believe me because no one ever gets rewards until they don't need them - it's like some Catch 22 of life - and a few blocks north of there was The Cloisters - some old French monastery that John D. Rockefeller bought in France and had dismantled stone by stone and shipped here and rebuilt in Fort Tryon Park on a piece of land HE himself donated - talk about control and pushiness - and there it still stands all awesome and profound and things but it's now run by the stupid Parks Department and the government and all that so everywhere you go the attitude is 'sacred holy special sacrosanct' and there's really really no fun there at all just a bunch of thirty dollar an hour guards and ticket takers and flaneurs walking around with their medieval fake noses in the fake medieval air and for me that takes ALL the air out of things because it's far too serious by people who know nothing and who've gotten far too serious about themselves and what it is they're doing but it's like that everywhere - faux Tudor apartments on the street pretending to be old and wealthy in some fucked-up ghetto of poverty and medical stuff and lame people walking about everywhere all silent and sad and dour and intent on getting whatever they can from others because they're ailing and I really hate that kind of dependency and expectation and on the park bench nearby two guys are sitting - one all scrunched up and nervous looking and the other with this stupid little kinky goatee hugging his chin has his eyes closed and his polished head pointed up to the sky taking all the sunlight he can get on his face of course for free and George Washington be damned!

Thursday, February 23, 2006



In all it means the same thing one way or another whether I was in time or through time because I knew at one level where I'd started from and Zuider Zee or Nat King Cole - either one - would offer me a NAME of no recognition other than that which I understood to be (and I get sorrowful and sore in such pain and sadly remiss in the telling of same) but I'm sorry for whatever has occured and everything one way or the other relates to shame and release or sorrow and grief - but in the earliest of morning sunlight when the changeable sky just opens itself up to light and the passing sinecure of the moon to my side is falling and I move along in silence I watch the deer or some single raccoon traipse along and make its own way through nature as the railroad tracks roar with some tired old freight and smokestacks stand silent and barren where nothing is made and all the old fields have fallen to places where only housing now grows like a blight and I watch the Hindi family outside of their tan house piling into some car or another and they make their way out in strange silence while a few geese overhead are pealing and something else moves along the ground near the creek - but these people notice nothing - all might as well be a cactus or a palm and all the morning is silent no matter as people pass in bundles and nothing is acknowledged - the Baron in the trees would know no less and mosey on alone same as I have and THOUGH I've been nowhere I've been a million places and though I've been a million places it's a nowhere I have seen ; the brutal cold comes rolling in the portrait of stars is upon the sky the spinning orange planets they dance on high and all tomorrow's lanterns - already lit - are dying embers by noon.
I was out standing by a doorway and thinking of names and remembering places and all the things lost when I realized that for moment after moment there'd never again be another voice being sent my way another word of any sort NOTHING that I'd have to recreate textuate orchestrate - Althea Goodyear Wetz herself the girl I used to know the one sitting in the front seat back seat wherever and the big guy walks in with the stupid flower in his hat and sits down right next to her then he begins some trance-talk pretending to know what he don't know and the afternoon goes on like that for too long a time while talk turns to Ireland to where he says "I'm going back and never coming back" and silence is the watchword buzzword of that day but then I realize if there's no way to get back what once was yours then life itself has no meaning or not that much anyway but for whatever purposes that can be made of it we live it anyway nothing ventured nothing gained.
So why orchestrate the matter ? why try to make sense ? for "Theodore is not a hobo a vagabond or a dirty hitchiker he is instead a jobless graphic designer who has no work nor prospects because computer skills (which he also doesn't have) have pretty much replaced his version of T-square and art-pen graphic design HE having become OUTMODED and every morning before going job hunting he still bends down over his sleeping wife's head and twirls a piece of her hair around his index finger as he whispers into her ear 'Nan I'm leaving' and she in turn rustles a bit and mutters something and then finds herself wondering if he means for the day or forever and she never knows when she'll come home to nothing to the empty apartment to his absence and the lack of his warmth in the hallway or the muffled sound of TV in the other room or that smell in the place like a person has been there before her" and someone was apparently attempting to describe some domestic scene or something - recounting some story he'd heard or been privy to and as I sat there I found myself too listening to the words flow forth and I realized I too was part of the scene - able to be described as much as anyone else in the telling or the saying for each and every human episode is at base the same - something of emotion and heart or solace or envy any of the hundred things which go into the make of EITHER harmony or conflict and that's the human condition no matter what else anyone tries to tell you and it's all like some old black and white engraving of say Fiorello LaGuardia pugilistically intoning about something in front of some pinball machines painted evil or whatever and he attacks them with a hatchet - making emotion out of some passive rite some mental state of material - all really a NOTHING - but like anyone else he imbues it with something and thereby it lives forever and we still see him whacking the machines over and over a million newsreel minutes of ephemeral time over all these elapsed years the very selfsame things - elm trees across from City Hall a few old boats sagging in the East River harbor and the tired old sullen bell at the Seaman's Church clanging away for something for nothing for some other death PERHAPS at sea - and no one ever knows the difference nor cares yet life goes on in its stagey way and we the AUDIENCE are still trained to clap and applaud at the varied and prescribed times - as we dutifully do en masse for whatever reason it all may be.

Saturday, February 18, 2006



'More stuff about solitude and longing' - it seems sometimes that could be a pretty fair title of some of the stuff I'm seeing for everywhere I go it seems there is hurt and a wounded structure for it appears that even the very physical State of our Union is being ruined in the same way that the spirits of people have already been destroyed and it's something that I wanted to delve into but often was unable - back at the library in the old art school where I often slept on the floor overnight after reading for hours this or that tome on theory or practice or history of ART - and by the reading of that in such a place as I was reading it (a great enormous tiring spectacle of a centuries old series of buildings put together as a mansion with its stables and gardens) it seemed to grow even larger in life than in concept - the tall 19th century windows looking out over some stupid January 1968 street with its beast-like cars trolling by in the cold - causing little curlicues of vapor to trail them - the people in scarves and great-coats silently passing along their ways to whatever it was that was drawing them in - into a climate of change as awesome and yet as cold as the weather around them : WE all knew it was coming we all knew it was changing but we could not bring ourselves to explain what we saw so we traveled in silence and the only references right then that I had were references to the past - the past without endings and without doubt - some jagged part of the path I wanted to be on but which was turning out to be only some odd offshot without much meaning some dead-end where I'd flounder some island of limited potential from which I'd simply just never make connection NONETHELESS three floors below me on the street they walked oblivious past what I was inhabiting and all the histories which went here with it and all they had to offer to that date were feeble photo-shops 'instant passports enlarged blow-ups of your favorite photo poster-sized wall shots of your favorite stars' and all the other tendentious crap that went with it - eighth street shoe stores five step walk-ups with little lobbies of mailboxes in rows and buzzers at every address and the worn-down brownstones the sagging steps the forlorn claptrap of every shoe-shop and cheap delicatessen each had its own answer and tried to proffer it - the sailor-sized tattoo shop the smoke shop the ties and clothing stores the record shops and the bookstore and attached at the corner The Christian Science Reading Room lest I forget (that one-night stand of the hopeless and the beleaguered the helpless and lame) - and it was right across from there that the old bar/restaurant was with the Cezanne in the lobby and I often stood there just to see it (albeit through the glass for I never went in) and although it was never understood by me what that particular Cezanne was doing there or why or how - it was as if an extra point had somehow been added onto the personal compass I navigated by - for that reference was referenced as often as anything else : polestar northstar setting sun or riding-high moon : and whether by darkness or bright light each time I passed through MacDougal Alley to or from whatever I took it in and the old stables and the black metal fence and the tiny flicker of the gaslamps and the alleyway with all its entrances and my own back door (some leftover segment of a varied Victorian day when even old New York was answering to a different theme) they each meant something dear and right to me and I knew by the knowing that SOMEHOW right then I was in the correct place for that moment of my life even as much as most of it came to naught but NO MATTER that for I went on nonetheless waning and prospering and waning again as any light from another place was wont to do in the weird atmospherics of this heavy Earth we walk.
And then some guy walked up to me as I was looking in and said "you know what that is do you ? that's a Cezanne a card players Cezanne and we've only got it for a year or two before it has to go back from where it came - I can tell you're interested in it" and I looked over and said "interested ? yeah that's right I guess I can't get enough of looking at it" and actually I wasn't sure who this guy was or what he was up to or even if he knew or was telling the truth but I didn't let it bother me right then "yes" he said "yes and I can tell - well you KNOW what I can tell about you?" and of course I didn't so I said (stupidly in hindsight) "no what can you tell?" and he uttered these still indescribable words to me "that you're a lost little boy walking these streets with a LOT of pent-up anger and the very idea of peeking into a place like this to look at what you think is some form of high art gets you excited" and then I realized he was just another fag trying to pick up another young street-walking young man like me (for this wasn't the first nor the last time that this sort of thing occurred to me and I never knew why) and I turned and said "fuck you you slattern what do you know about anything anyway and besides you're nothing but a predator now leave me alone" and his eyes narrowed and he stared back "careful now fellow I wasn't meaning no harm rather just seeing if you'd be interested in anything" and in the usual course of these annoying Greenwich Village nights I knew he'd offer to buy me food take me home want to talk and then sit around and then try something stupid and try to bed me for it had all happened before and there'd always been something about these middle-aged Village lonely gay men that somehow leds them to find wandering lost boys but what really annoyed me was his weaving of the Cezanne bullshit into this whole thing - and what did he mean with the 'we've only got it for a year or so more' I wanted to know and I kept trying to think of something next to say while at the same time not wanting to take this any further so I turned on him and said "look pal if you don't get out of my face right now I'm going to kick you in the nuts so hard you'll be wearing them as earrings" and with that he turned away and quickly left.
I don't know why I mentioned that as I did but the trembling path of Eighth Street makes me remember things and I can't always contain what's remembered as I think he retreated back into Washington Square Park not far off and if I close my eyes right now believe you me I'm there again - as I can recall every sound sensation smell and item about that place the old Mews the old MacDougal Alley the old start of MacDougal Street itself and the little gallery on the corner across from the park and the park too and every person who by or along it and all my days there were filled with observation and (even then) the thoughts of memory and the past together - the bleak gray rooftops the cityscape seen from above the old housetops and roof portals of old Greenwich Village the coffee shops and the wasted corners and old havens of geeks freaks artists queers lovers and whores the Italian thugs from south of Bleecker coming north to beat the senseless shit of any fag or beatnik they could find the turning points of old old religion and old foreign custom and the bakers commingled together with vegetable men and lumber men the hawkers and their wares the spaghetti palaces and the twisty street leading downward and east to the Chinese haunts the smoke-dens opium hovels pharmacy and herb shops ginseng weed tubers of this and that and every potential herb and blossom known to man for everywhere to everywhere was Health to Healing known together. -
HOWEVER that is NOT 'end of story' - and I still remember a hundred other things : how that guy started telling me about some cabinet or something that was underneath the painting some piece of furniture I'd never heard of some French name as he put it "you know what that is ? it's a 'bon heur du jour' - a delicate fall-front desk of the late 18th century and it literally means 'happiness of the day' and favor is found in its time" for I guess he knew furniture or something or maybe he sold antiques or ran one of those musty antique shops downtown - I never knew - but he did seem to know his 'happiness of the day' as he put it while by contrast I was still concentrating on the Cezanne which concentration had started this whole scene and whatever this place was - restaurant or nightclub or bar/lounge or something I never did get inside there and never did really know or need to know for all I was doing was learning it by its art and that was certainly not for me the art of steak-fries or food service so it really never mattered and I've written of all this stuff a few times already but not like this - for this once I'd been transported to another time and place a scene entirely different and there were horses for certain and carriages and candles on mantlepieces and doorways lit by gaslight and darkness in the sky amassed with stars of a totally pre-electric era and I'd already left two centuries and entered a third and another besides and the language as I traveled was getting harder to understand thicker and sterner and more formal and the people I'd see were people from somewhere else and things were different and the streets were almost bare and in places non-existent and just pathways and tall trees and lanes and shrubs with horse-paths and copses and small bodies of water and streams and rivers and hilltops and the land shambled both up and down and made no sense or logic of itself and much of nothing was everywhere as the air was crisp and certain and I knew - certainly knew for sure - that I had moved along to someplace else.
And then I was pausing I just found myself pausing - short of breath and unable to even gasp as the thoughts were racing through me like racehorses images piercing sounds and the visages of people and things they'd done and said and it was all I could do on the evening's day to sit across from some Henry Jamesian doorway facing Washington Square Park and find a way to just let it all flow : '1958 Summerspace Merce Cunningham costumes by Robt. Rauschenberg music by Morton Feldman a pale-toned speckled design covering backdrop and dancers' leotards equally created an allover Monet effect as the performers camouflaged to sink into the background emerged as markings and exclamations as staccato events that were continually reabsorbed into the enveloping mood into the vast lyric canvas - a new kind of American pastoral sophistication (Carolyn Brown and Viola Farber as dancers) The Stable Gallery - Eleanor Ward's establishment in a converted stable on Seventh Ave at Fifty-eighth Street 'greatness in art isn't heavy it's light it strains to leave the earth but it's light' Kenneth Koch said that and Gustave Flaubert said 'be regular in your life so that you may be VIOLENT and ORIGINAL in your work' and Freidrich Schiller who died just recently in 1805 spoke of two kinds of pastoral poets the naive and the sentimental he called them and he said 'Nature has granted this favor to the naive poet to act always as an indivisible unity to be at all times self-sufficient and complete and to represent in the real world humanity at its highest value and IN OPPOSITION it has given a powerful faculty to the sentimental poet or rather it has imprinted an ardent feeling on him - that is - to restore from out of himself this first unity that abstraction has destroyed in him to complete humanity in his person and to pass from a limited state to an infinite state - and these two types BOTH propose to represent human nature fully or they would not be poets and writers but the naive poet always has the advantage of sensuous reality over the sentimental poet by setting forth as a real fact what the other aspires only to reach and SENTIMENTALITY here in writing is the offspring of retirement and science' and I thought to myself WHEW! I didn't want any of that - sentimental foppery being just what I hated the most - the faction of the wet-eye the moper the crier for God and his works the helpless the broken and those who can do NOTHING to advance themselves and their thought so to the rest of the world I said 'be damned' and meant each word of it too and it was Andrew Marvell who'd written in 'The Garden' - 'annihilating all that's made / to a green thought in a green shade' and then I looked up and saw two black men silently it seemed sawing a tree and for whatever reason I couldn't understand what they were doing until I realized the time and the place and saw they were servants or slaves at one of the advancing mansions along the way and they'd been out collecting wood for fires and stoves and their two carts seemed quite full but apparently they'd had one last opportunity at an attractive tree or a situation of a tree needing trim and so they were doing it as they closed the task and I went to them and said "Sirs sirs excuse me but what is this night and what day has it been?" and apparently my calling them Sirs had caused confusion for they seemed flustered and stepped back hurriedly and replied "we's only doin' what's the rightful task and so when y'ask us such a question we'not be unda'standin' what ya aksed us" and I said back "no - simple though it is I really want to know where am I" and they laughed and said "why's you'se here to be sure o'that and this is Master Henry Morton's wagon crew settlin' fo' this night - jes' we two nig'r's gittin wood" and I said "OK OK thanks for that" and knew I'd lost the game but still was hopefully sure of illusion only and not much else - for how was it I could be unattached to the fabric of both time and place and still inhabit both a lawn and a street together - these were things I did not know but wished for knowing.

Saturday, February 11, 2006



"The palaver of your misdeeds would be quite infuriating and I wouldn't now intend to even get started with that" the man saying that to me was named Bill Leary and I'd grown used to him - as it were - as a denizen of this straw-bedecked sawdust-floored liquor-pit where various men came to pass their time each suffering perhaps from the same disease of the elbow as it were - induced by the rabid (and sometimes rapid too) lifting of ales drawn and ales bottled and the constant hum and undercurrent of their salacious conversation back and forth was after this long a time something I'd become quite steady with IN FACT to be sure I'd introduced once a joke which became as the joke-of-the-century to them all - I would enter the storm-fronted entry of this dark place and sidle up to Bill (who'd be wailing anew at something or other) and set him up with another saying "Put up another for Bill Leary on me for he's leery of paying the bill I see!" and the crowd would roar - ten or so reclusive drunks somberly lifting their wares - like some Irish choir of old with 'for he's leery of paying the bill we see' in unison and then laughter and the chorus descended to its riotous charm and this day Bill was saying to me "would'ja look at this shit - by Jeezus what're dey doing dese days for sure YOU tell me" and out before him I saw a skin magazine of one or another current vintage and he was staring at the photo spread of three young ladies - buffed and polished each - with fifteen tools and smiles to boot doing something to themselves and each other and he said "By God and Mother Theresa's fine ass I canna' myself believe what I'm seeing" and I replied "oh shut up Bill you old drunk fool those pictures ain't for you and kids these days anyway don't look at that stuff - they just as easily see it all move on their sweaty computer screens and the more are better for it I'm sure AND that stuff's now made for old geezers sleeping in barber shops and old patsies set drunk at a bar and just wishing - KIDS don't need that stuff and now neither do you" and he said "yeah I was just thinking though that 'old patsies set drunk at a bar' might include me ya' see and I would'na want my two daughters or me dear mother partaking of this and God Bless you Mary Magdalene" and I said back "Bill I think you left out your wife" and he said "oh no I made mention of Mary Magdalene now didn't I?" and right then I saw that he'd started crying - that wee little cry of drunken old men saddled with something called memory and guilt or whatever passes for that these days and I let him stew for the moment as I just said "Jeez' Bill don't let it get to you now YOU didn't after all take the pictures and those are mail-order titties anyway so what's the difference - have another beer" and next to me some other guy Wee Willie Jenkins or something piped in "well Christ Almighty that's why he's a'cryin ! fer HE DIDN'T take the pictures!" and they all roared again with a laughter not heard since this side of Killarney to the Rock of Gibraltor and even I joined in on that one and then Jenkins said again "you know just last night I wandered back home and I walked into the room and there was the wife asleep on the couch and an animal in my bed and I said I said to me'self 'what de Hell is THIS!' and a voice answered and said back to me 'well Willie the wife wanted to sleep and the fox just wants sex' and if that didn't beat all night drinking!" and they all started laughing again as the room itself seemed to take on the jovial traits of a bunch of men talented at praying for one more beer and the waitress came over - known to all as Maddie A - and said "well you fine gents are having a whale of a time I see" and someone shouted out "why don'tcha' come Maddie and wail on me!" and of course it all ensued again so that even the candle pots wavered with their thin little flames and I said "oh Maddie the boys are just having a time" and she laughed and said "I can see that then can't I" as she walked away again back towards the mirrors as everyone watched (the simple connundrum was that with the mirrors lining two walls as it were a person could see Maddie right then a'coming and a'going too from both front and sides) and a few too many ales and a few too much to do and a man's head wasn't sure then what he was seeing but Bill Leary by this time had made up his mind and said "just as it is I'll just let it go and take these pulp pictures from me a'fore I git mad" and he drank another furious glass and stayed down all the harder till another was called for and another past that - and the night wound on and people came and went - the loungers the ones on a date the freebooters and the already drunk and it seemed in the half-light that with every face I saw another story too both came and went like some vast mirrored subterfuge of life confused and addled by barrooms and mirrors all put together in a funhouse of shame somewhere on an island of doubt and dread and I saw Leary as the gatekeeper and was (myself then) leery of that and Wee Willie as the Master of Ceremonies too made me trepidate in my own amber liquid but the place was like home and I never felt ill at ease or unkind either and I said "Maddie give the boys here whatever they want and have a nightcap for yourself on me" and she did and I never felt better.