I really want to get this going....

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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.


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