I really want to get this going....

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Saturday, April 28, 2007



One of the things I learned while living here along the streets of the city was that everything was to be determined by learning the timeline of whatever previously had transpired there and my favorite two places - because of that - which weren't really even in today's New York City any longer but once had been well within its pre-geography purview were Black Tom and Paulus Hook - now both respectively parts of greater Jersey City but that never really mattered to me since it was all the same all these places and situations where things had happened in the past - I'd gone to Weehawken so as just to walk and look at the area of the field and shoreline where Hamilton and Burr had had their duel and I was able to imagine the landing and their pacings and situations very well even though most of it was now nothing just some crummy mention of what might have transpired and even the land and geography had been long ago altered but as I just mentioned you can't alter a timeline and its existence is forever and just remains and goes on from some strange geometric point and fans outward and anyway it wasn't like I was going to find drops of blood or old bullet casings or something like that - no real 'evidence' no clothing no scarf no shoe-buckle - it's all in the mind at that point : storybook and historybook melded together with the usual amounts of bigmouths and know-it-alls telling you what you're supposed to 'know' about the accepted storyline and the correct means of thinking about whatever fairytale they're putting across (see above) that's called 'teaching' - and when the 'means of production' of mental picture frames and forms of knowledge are in the hands of idea-managers and fascist-bastard ideology mongers WATCH OUT ! for shit's about soon to hit the fan (same with churches and same with medicine too) and the same went for Paulus Hook and Black Tom (by today's names) where so much of pre-civic Manhattan affairs had taken place - all those old cranky British generals and Washington and Paine and Burr and Hamilton and Benedict Arnold too they were all over this place like flies - and I was always amazed at Light Horse Harry Lee - one of Washington's sidekicks in the Revolution here - turning out to be Robert E. Lee's father and some 65 years later all the Civil War stuff from both sides coming out as an offshoot of all that - lots of that sort of thing never spoken of and left unsaid in the wake of ideology and pure dumb stupidity too - the sort of stuff so prevalent today - and even though you KNOW these things you're not supposed to KNOW them in any sensible manner and the great crazy transformation of everything that had taken place everywhere was already many years advanced and it was already difficult to step backward and re-source everything which had been around before : so as I started to say IF you can get the timeline of a place and the situation which had and was developing from that timeline so many other things become clear - the old forts and redoubts the old farmroads and places and overlooks and views and the spots where the dead and wounded had fallen the places bones were buried the steps of the original tribes and indians and warriors who lived around on everything the marshes and creeks the original old paths of the waterways and all that - some guy named Gaston Labronte I met once started telling me his viewpoints about what he saw as the true historiocity (as he put it) of New York and he said that 'everything that might have happened had happened and because of that every old possibility which was once 'possible' had taken root and been given a chance and the place is because of that filled with ghosts and spirits of everything that was tried and failed - they don't have no tangible places or beings except old ruinations which have passed and been taken down and only that which succeeded was kept - so anything you see around here now is a product of its own success' but he was nothing but some old drunken graybeard who kept hanging around some old dive down by the fishmarkets on the East River and every time I ran into him or saw him I got an earful of almost didactic craziness or - let's call it - wise pedantry aimed at ME and he was never drunk to speak of but always close which became his means of always getting another one or two beers out of me (or anyone else too I guess) for the privilege of hearing him talk - world-weary story-line weaver non-stop talker ace-in-the-hole perfect-aim sharpshooter-with-words that he was - and the best thing I liked about him was that he never drank any special beer - none of that 'on tap' stuff for him no specialty ales and the like just 'gimme a regular fucking beer' and that was that and it always at least gave his words and points of view some better authenticity even though I sometimes always worried about what he really knew and how much into what he said he really was - some people you just never learn anything about and they just go getting mysteriouser and mysteriouser all the time.


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