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.

Thursday, August 30, 2007



Sometimes I juggled spit and other times I merely stayed with air but either way I have plenty of memories of those days which I try over and over to clarify now from a distance (haze cleared/way open) and there really was a time when these sorts of characters existed just under the night-radar of old New York quickly waning and that old undercurrent of mischief intelligence craftiness philosophy and neo-morality is pretty much and seemingly gone now but in the days I speak of it was always there - as I said - just 'under' the reality of the common day - for it was in its way brighter and more brilliant and dazzling (as an undercurrent) than was anything else you'd see - the usual gruel of business and deals and boredom and money and toil and task ALL of this other stuff this GRANDER world was there but OUT OF REACH unless you first knew of it and sought it out (or sometimes were just 'invited' in : and Frontini it was who said as I now recall that 'Life' was lived in the thirteenth grade and to him all life after high school's compulsory schooling was the 'thirteenth grade' from which you 'move forward you go on - after all them years of learning the shit they teach you and feeling the cold steely hand of their controls all over you - you finish with it get it done and move on to the thirteenth grade' and he'd say stuff like that as he sauntered along - with his limp - and with some ascertained logic or reason making him go on thinking it was right and proper right then - at that moment - to bring that idea forth (he was funny about picking times and places to 'go' with information) and then it was only later once when I was reading about Sacco and Vanzetti somewhere that I came across a neat old Italian saying which suddenly like lightning fit right in place : 'he who travels with a lame man learns to limp' : and that always amazed me even if it actually referred to Sacco and Vanzetti's time with the Gruppo Autonomo and their anarchist activities but it seemed to hit me at just the right time to fit in even better with the entire character of Branco Frontini from Elizabeth Street in my life : he was a cool Italian character low and slick with black hair very shiny and a skin color near olive and over the years I've seen his character be attempted in a hundred portrayals but never attained and it sometimes seems as if every Italian movie-character done up to show a 'type' attempts him but gets him wrong and maybe so because he was a one-off for certain and he lived four floors up along a little creaky staircase which led to a door which entered his apartment - brown like some gravy and dimly lit with an old metal ceiling and a curving large window and not much else - a half-room for sleeping and a big room for sitting and everything else and a sink and stove pressed over to a corner also near a small toilet room - all small and cramped and mysterious and old but he kept it well and only ever paid like 60 bucks a month back then for it all ('all' as he would say with pride) and he never kept much there some coffee and bread maybe some sandwiches and the like but for most everything else he was outside anyway - real food drink and stuff - and all this room ever was was a place to stay when necessary and a place to say one had when needed - actually a grand and wise set-up causing very little burden or drain and he seemed happy enough for that and it was never a wreck or anything either and he lived there within the mad qualifiers of an elementary religion which included lots of old-line Italian family stuff God and candles and people with names like Brindisi or Giacomo or Beltrando and Maria and which worked for him and how I ever hooked up with him I can't actually recall but it was from the westside piers that it began and from there it just went on and there were lots of other people too - some much more 'modern' than Frontini ever would be - and others I just knew peripherally and still others I just kept away from through reputation or witness (I just KNEW they were bad and didn't need the trouble) but still I knew I could always be represented by Frontini if I had to be.
It was always like a TV oriented towards home and a surprising upper deck from which to view or that's what it seemed and the Vietnam War and its draft were raging and much of that became a subtext beneath so much of what went on - both in the streets and not - as young men and teens and boys (like myself) almost seemed to define and section things off only as they related primarily or secondarily to what the 'draft' would do to whatever plans were afoot - lottery numbers draft picks mandatory appearances for call-ups and physicals and the crafty strategy of deferments and school terms and all the rest and it was a constant undertow which seemed to pull back on any possible forward motion ('be the first one on your block to have you boy home in a box') : the caged ideal of all one's concepts became caught up in strategies and ploys which referred to the draft and the war and even to walk down Broadway sometimes seemed like the ordeal of a time held captive to war and its extremes : catcalls thugs and construction workers (who for some reason felt THEY had a right to be there and YOU didn't - they assumed of course you should be in Vietnam or if not then at the least SUPPORTING the war) - which first-off WASN'T a war (no one really knew what to call it) and which secondly bore no reality of its own but was instead a manufactured artifact of either side of the verbal conflict on the homefront and everyone (it felt if you believed all the country-stories) was getting married before they shipped out or mothballing their hot cars or turning them over to dad or little brother for the duration - all cute Life and Look magazine stories worth nothing in fact but some weird propaganda value but even in NYC most of this couldn't be avoided - it was everywhere like some filth or neglect in the gutters and curbs on each block and if you ever met one of those magazine people you'd want to puke anyway - they were always clean and perfect and simple starlets of some midwestern fantasy-world where everyone somehow drove station wagons or hot cars and all the girls stayed cute forever and any Danny Donny Dimmy went happily off to war (right after the last local football scrimmage at the high school field) and I never got onto par with any of that and never figured its Glen Campbell rightness out - never wanted to either - I instead always seemed to carry about something other - a hero worship I'd guess it could be called - for artistic dissidents and outcasts with a fierce determination to follow their examples and continue their quests and I lived too (and still do) with a maniacal fear of oppression by faceless institutions - 'outsiders the individualists the people who have a messianic view of themselves and are able to stick with their vision despite all odds - the people that can stick with that they're the ones that are really going to make a difference in the world and they will always be a small number.'

Tuesday, August 21, 2007



Skulls and bones and carnivores and Jane Goodall looking through the bars watching great apes go to and fro and she wants to speak of Gombe but says nothing of any import as I try to realign the senses to make sense of something near me and the weather has taken some fierce turn for the worse twisting trees and ripping them from the ground like corkscrews in reverse action and water is everywhere lashing windows and drains and streets are clogged with water while cars and trucks and people wait and I watch the secretaries rushing home with umbrellas held open as they leap or try to over puddles and the all old solid men with their determination head forth looking down across acres of plane and ocean - do they wonder where they are or are they imagining a sea? - and as much as I'd like an answer there is none and the cathedral along Fifth Avenue remains gray in the rain and mist while everything seems reflected in a somber springtime light in some awkward double-vision of movement and distortion : yellow taxis in a rippled effect and big buses seemingly made of wavy clay both enormous and wet and I'm still trying to remember what I heard about Charles Whitman but can't recall whether the tower or Austin was more important to what occurred : Dallas Tacoma Ft. Washington Tarrytown Albany Paterson and Troy : they're all the same in a little way and some meaningless parody each of a hot dog stand and a bakery like some Allentown on the Seine if ever that could be : I want to be cured I want to be sane I want to listened to I want some gain I want a name and each of those factors walks with me wherever I go along these old streets and avenues built of dredge and doubt and the two men with signature gloves are smoking cigarettes in the alcove of some building near where the doorway to their tavern sits and some girls are just then walking quickly by oblivious to what they are - all beauty and grace under pressure without comment or note - and a loading-dock worker is standing idly by maybe awaiting a truck or wasting his final moments on a long and dreary shift and there are department stores and expensive stores jewelry stores and make-up stores beauty and clothing in one fell swoop as an anima to the eye of all the beholding masses - nail stores and hair salons candle shops and sporting goods : one insane world of commerce 'midst the vagaries of wants and desires but who can stare back and who can care that everyone has everything they need but they just don't know it yet and I wonder if it's ME who is consoling time or time which consoles me (neither has a need nor reason neither) and had I the chance I'd just as swiftly walk away and enter another realm - the more magical one of chiming doors and rhyming notions in some twenty-six letter kingdom of goodness : the flower shop itself is drooping the nightclub is shuttered for day the barbershop bears no customers for trimming the bookstore has had its day and people are walking in two's and in three's speaking someone's name or chattering in that amiable way which shows how sublime this negative feeling can be - the world is a sordid place an assorted place an assortment of grace a sort of a trace and a soaring base from which to trace the nature of GRACE (which is all we really inherit) and the dooming light of the Sentinel the Devil with the flaming sword is the only figure we get to meet before we greet the horde who've met the Lord and by such means are great books written page by page and one by one and word by word until we're done (and like the drilling-master says : 'there's nothing more boring than boring')...
I met a man who had no face he was wearing the wind he had rivers for hands and mirrors for nails and mountains for feet his intentions were meaningful though a mystery to all and where he came from no one knew and he walked along the Bowery and up to 17th and he headed east for the river well past the tanks and the power-stations and when he got to the shoreline he crouched down low and disappeared amidst some glade of pine and myrtle and the last I saw of his nothingness it was gliding back to water - people watched in awe a cop nearby said his oaths and swung his stick at chimeras and ghosts nearby while trees swayed violently in the sudden wind and white snow seemed to start coming down and covered the ground - steamboats tugboats barges and floats all went by and from the far other shores where the insane asylum was a crowd seemed to surge with a cheer from their lungs so deep it all seemed to arrive new from another place and as one the island engulfed what it saw and SUDDENLY there was NOTHING no more : and time itself passed THAT quickly and removed all traces of that which I'd seen - now paving and building and roadways and ramps covered everything over - a dreary simulacrum a sorrowful trait an awful traipse to the 'other' side of our minds where everyone now is trapped - there is no forever no more there is no perhaps any longer - the five men by the icicle canyon are setting a trap for the wolf and starting a fire so as to keep themselves warm : it's like that everywhere now - and nowhere too (there's a line-up of blood somewhere that's mine).



Perfidy is a mind's-eye problem and I found that to be just as easy as true - everything's in how we view it and even the supposed definitions of good and bad and evil and right (as you may have noticed) change well over time and flip back and forth over on themselves - we hate the Russians we hate the Germans we hate the Japanese we love the Japanese we find wrong and evil here and later there and then that very same evil is seen as a 'working and positive good' and such flip-flops and changeovers are sequestered and isolated and then brought out again in textbook and assumption after a time to begin all over again their strange ways of counting : and so no one really can claim a prescience nor a lock on to what will be ever or may and because of that perhaps you may as well just go with the flow and most of the many times I had a revelation it was about 'response' to things - I found that there really wasn't a way or a need to respond and that silence is the best response and not everything needs a response nor does one have to have an opinion about everything - there just are certain things you need not take a stance upon need not reflect nor consider - and that became one mark of my own distantly-dawning maturity (it was John Cage too who at one or another of those lectures I'd go to spoke something perfect about responding with the response of a silence which is nothing but a nothing responding - or something like that) and all those terms and names and figments and forms and diagrams and assumptions (as those just above) are false wrong twisted and evil themselves because nothing of that sort of 'being' even exists and those are all man-made-up categories and distinctions and so therefore only is silence appropriate to such a quality of wrongness (all based on false logic in that A never equals A and most certainly never leads to B but these are the things called mystery and the sort of matter most people never touch).

Thursday, August 16, 2007



Somewhere in the back of my mind at these times was the idea and the realization that when people spoke of 'New York City' and all its magic and excitement what they were really talking about was a place and a time that was gone and for all practical purposes but a fading memory - for the city itself was at this time already foundering and breaking apart and what was left was a saddened reality which had somehow lost most of its more true vitality and instead become enmeshed in another world entirely of modernism and lightness and because of that so many of the places and scenes of the old days started just disappearing and the city was getting made over again into something new and different - glass and steel replacing mortar and brick and concrete - and people changed too and because of that everything began to be different and seem almost foreign or unreal and circus-like and I wondered (or began wondering) 'where are the serious conversations?' and 'where are the things of import which matter?' and I knew they were mostly gone or dwindling and it was apparent everywhere : a funny memory I always had was of a time when you'd see cars - station wagons mostly - with rear widows covered over sometimes with twenty or thirty of these odd travel-decals people used to put in their windows - things they'd picked up from their various destinations ('Weeki-Watchee Florida Yuma Arizona Knott's Berry Farm Georgia New York City Cape Canaveral Pike's Peak Niagara Falls) and they covered the entire country because apparently most every destination had them - these colorful water-transfer decals - and slowly they all began diminishing and I'd see less and less of them as apparently fewer people still 'understood' the naivete necessary for these things to be in place and as that went so too did much else and a more strange sort of abrupt self-awareness began taking its place and with it the self-consciousness necessary for irony and humor and parody and all of that to take place and set in and essentially what resulted from that was the cultural cross-referencing which made many other things suddenly intolerable (like the things which took innocence or naivete to be tolerated) and once they were gone there was no bringing them back and that then was the end of the old scene even to the extent that I noticed the old dour darkness and solid serious of old New York had simply vanished and much of it by the late 1960's was being replaced with plastic and light colors and better lighting and modern fixtures and more colorful decor and wild designs and fabrics and shapes and while that night not seem like much it really IS much and makes a great difference to oh-so-many things and New York City was in the forefront of all that as it grew into its own self-awareness and 'Fun-City' crap and all that (from Robert Wagner to John Lindsay to Michael Quill to Abe Beame in one fell swoop) and while 'DISASTER' is its own best friend it does - at the same time - arrive with plenty of announcement and fanfare and all of that was very apparent and obvious for all to see IF THEY WOULD HAVE BUT LOOKED : but they didn't.

Sunday, August 12, 2007



I once saw some graffiti on a wall up in East Harlem out by the water tower or the old viaduct or whatever that area is called which overlooks the high Harlem River or East River or whatever park that is which runs the aqueduct to its end from Croton – there’s an awkward but interesting view from there out over the water and the railroads and the developed areas stretching before you and the old aqueduct right there runs in from the east all old stone and arches and everything like that - grand old Roman style stuff ending with a grand and large stone tower - mostly forgotten now or little understood anyway there was a piece of strange graffiti I couldn’t even begin to understand and it was written dynamically in some slanted scrawl and decoratively done too with a starburst and some color but I didn’t know what it was except realizing it appeared odd and almost African in origin and there were a group of black kids bumbling around with a few soccer balls and they nodded hello and seemed friendly enough and all that and as I watched from their sidelines there were a few of them nearby and I simply asked them what it was - that odd writing that scrawl that strange language - and they answered with much laughter that it was ‘a local street artist from Kenya or somewhere’ and he often went around at night doing things like that until he was caught and stopped and then started over again each time getting angrier and wilder and the actual translation of that – although not very kind or proper – was ‘Jonas : Vagina of your mother’ or in other words ‘Jonas – you are your mother’s cunt’ : and with that they began laughing uproariously and I never did find out who Jonas was.


‘Art digs an abyss between the appearance and illusion of this bad and perishable world on the one hand and the true content of events on the other to reclothe these events and phenomena with a higher reality born of the mind. (Hegel) and a literary critic now dead (Naomi Schor) invented a term ‘besextuality’ – a combination of textuality and bi-sexuality in writing – meaning ‘the refusal firmly to anchor woman – or man – on either side of the axis of castration’ – that was a section of something I was reading the day before – just previous to this day (get it) and I was still mulling it around in my head as I walked down by the old Federal Hall in the morning light watching the hordes of people pass – it seemed always odd how many individuals actually do come to that location with its statue of George Washington and its silly exhibits so as to take photos from their foreign or international point-of-view as if this really was the spot where Washington too (back then) his oath of office (he didn’t) and anyway that quote about art and castration and stuff seemed a really strange thing to have in my mind as I sat there on the steps hunched over with a cup of coffee from the nearby Borders bookstore (late arrival now to this neighborhood in the present day inhabiting an old grandiose bank or securities building nicely and serving Dean & Delucca coffee) but it all does really come together because NOTHING is real and I remember a quote too of Andy Warhol’s which referred to the moment in his life when everything for him changed and got right and became clear – it was the moment when he realized that the answer for ANY occurrence or occasion is a simple ‘so what’ and even that make eminent good sense to me here where everything else seemed certainly absurd (is this ironic detachment or just a distant reserve?) : different languages and the nuances of exotic conversations odd fabrics from distant other lands a hundred people bedeviled by cameras and movie-taking countless children being dragged about lines of souls waiting their turn to get a photo on the pedestal of Washington’s statue the pretzel man the trinket vendor the teenage girls without a clue the reserved and the old - EVERYTHING it seemed a’jumble and a mess just vying for space and time and none among them even at all aware of other options for interpreting the world but instead just buying into it all and just shucking everything they could into those OLD wineskins they inhabited - and you know what ! THAT was all OK by me as I presented myself with not a care in the world in reference to it nor to what I saw - and I wondered it that what criminals do ? is that how they are able to distance themselves from their crime or from the savagery and hurt and humiliation they’re about to inflict on someone or some situation and do they cleanse themselves by distancing or removing their person from the emotion of what they’re about to do - and if that was so I realized I could never do that never get so clinically callous or bereft of feeling as to relinquish concern and do a dastardly deed to others : weird I thought to myself how weird.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


162. AND AT MOST I STAYED ALONE (nyc 1968):

My big yawp of a mouth could have led me in either direction - towards trouble or silence - and that choice was really not very difficult considering the fact that I felt myself greatly humbled by knowing nothing - as I realized quite quickly upon arrival - so I spent my time pretty much in silence and a silence which was always OK with me : I really missed nothing and found that getting involved verbally was most often just too much trouble anyway but there's a certain line of life which bisects awareness with silence and that line is different from the one that interacts with noise - just look around yourself sometime - whatever you see going on is usually a cacophony of bad voices and guttural grunts and any 'conversation' which takes place has to cede from itself right away any depth or reason that comes with thought and there are anyway a hundred chances for things to occur but really only one or two absolute alternatives of that which will really occur - the key is finding those few and throwing out all the rest - which cannot be done by the normal drivel of inattention which conversation brings and I had to face it I was NOT really ever happy (and you need to be happy to talk with others) and I was NOT ever really 'sociable' either (and you have to be sociable to get along or to care) so because of that BOTH of those things were already gone from me and I didn't mind nor miss them (I remembered too that I'd once read that 'if there is no God then anything is possible' and such a statement was to me more engaging than any stupid banter with an ulterior and/or lesser soul would have been and I liked to just think about things and that called for silence - I often wondered too whether the next step to that statement was to turn it over and say (or realize) that 'if God does exist then nothing is possible' for that was the sort of boxed dead-end canyon most people sought for anyway and they just filled their idle time with chatter hoping that there was NOTHING possible for them to do anyway) - THOSE then were my merits and so much COULD have been done that the really paltry amount of which actually DID get done saddened me if I really thought about it at all but I was hamstrung in my way by ignorance poverty and circumstance too - I was new upon the scene pretty much unschooled very young and poor without resources - ALL I had was imagination and image and the 'idea' of myself which I had to constantly push forward and actualize into some better realization of itself at bay in the world : I learned to live with crumbs and subsist on the minimal but no one else around me did and all I saw were people having lunch or eating or going and because of that I was locked out of much - I followed no thing or no creed but examined them plentifully (and there was a time too when the only 'ism' I was after was 'jism') and I'd say quickly 'you have beautiful lips' just before I'd kiss them running or I'd awake in the same frenzied daze I went to sleep in - my personal quandary had no open solution.

Friday, August 03, 2007


161. HEMINGWAY SEIZED THE DOILY (notes about Chloe):

We were sitting around the theater’s lounge drinking black coffee from enormous white mugs (as actors often do) and Mike Bartholomew the flue man stood up and started to address the room “I know Chloe and I know her well enough to know that she’d never put this material in this manner down on paper - I think she’s meant all of this as merely an open-ended ‘idea’ for us to operate out of or to depart from as starting point and the entire point anyway of this production is the quality it has of ad lib or improvisation BY the actor FOR other actors and no so much for the stupid audience - which will show up no matter what we end up doing or saying for it’s JUST that kind of crowd and that sort of production” and although he was quite certain of what he said (you could hear it in his voice and tell it from his mannerisms) no one still was yet converted to his way of thinking - all wanting direction and rules - BUT if theater is something to be hatched then what really does it matter who wrote what and who says whatever in whichever manner - after all it’s all but actors and writers playing with words - and how can you set up a believable scenario of anything if no one (really) knows what it is they’re trying to do ? so so much for all of that and I thought of Chloe herself right then (she was dead almost a year – having committed a wonderful oven-suicide a la Sylvia Plath but forgetting first the fame (or mixing it up perhaps with ‘flame’) – who knew?) and like Chloe herself I remembered someone telling me of my own work how it overlaps and mixes up time and people are ‘there’ and ‘not really there’ at the same time and how it’s sometimes difficult to differentiate between what really happened in my work from what one just ‘thinks’ happened and all that together is the mystery of it and its unfathomable appeal is in its everyday plain and easy use of conversational language and manner mixed and underscored by the weird time-travel and dispersion of words ideas and occurrences and people all within it and the reader (or listener) is left wondering ‘is this factual or is it fanciful and what’s going on here anyway?’ but I never followed up on any of that for further discussion even though we were both supposed to write to each other broadly detailed notes about what went on in each piece – yet as I found out with Chloe LIFE IS A LOT SLOWER THAN DEATH (or is that death comes a lot swifter than life?) but no one meant to differentiate and nothing mattered by three o’clock and then on the nearby TV we were all just haphazardly watching something going on on the screen behind Mike Bartholomew’s back when I realized it was Lee Harvey Oswald himself being led out through the basement of some police-jail station when suddenly on the black and white picture of oh so long ago out pops some arm or something of some Jack Ruby nightclub owner whoremaster strip club pimp and he shoots this Lee Harvey Oswald a few times in the gut and the whole scene breaks down and Oswald crumbles and later dies anyway and that quickly it was just ALL over - as we wondered aloud if we had Chloe to thank for all of that too for really really really that was the end of all old time forevermore!