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.

Monday, October 29, 2007


180. DEVELOPMENT TAKES TIME (nyc, 1967):

There's a word around - manque pronounced mahnn-kay - which means not exactly that you're a flop but instead maybe 'short of' or 'frustrated' in the fulfillment of your aspirations or talents - which means of course chalk one up for most of the human population and it's particularly true or self-assigned anyway among writers and 'creative people' so that let's say back in the 1950's as example writers became 'Ernest Hemingway manque' and method actors became 'Marlon Brando manque' and witty women became 'Dorothy Parker manque' - to the point where it went on for so long that the mandarins of culture began getting worried - how could the younger generation (they'd muse) be turning out such loads of crap? - until Flannery O'Connor famously responded 'so many people can now write competent stories that the short story as a medium is in danger of dying of competence' and I found that premise to be operative as well in the small 'art-world' with which I'd taken company - everyone was actually pretty good and competent and possessed of themselves and painted mostly with intelligence and a talented competence and on the whole the entire atmosphere while sometimes edging on 'derivative' was so caught up in the sometimes mannered excitement of style and atmosphere and form and development that it moved forward quite well and with quality - gallery show after gallery show could attest to this and I'd see new art put up alongside old art wherein the heritage of the old was clearly comparative to the development of the new and the entire apparatus of visual determination was put over into the refinement of what had come before - so that it was nothing like the slap-dash format of 'let's-just-do-it' splash painting and the likes - which you'd sometimes see - but instead was serious and functional and useful and with value and in this monied art-world of soon-to-be-developed talents it never mattered the where and why of which new 'Giants' were soon to come up but instead merely the idea that 'they' were out there somewhere developing was accepted and awaited with a pleasant grace - it was after all only the stupefying media and the dazzle and splash of weekly newsmagazines and the fake-cultural denizens of cocktail party patter and soiree-evenings who needed things immediately and instant - they wanted new stars to dazzle with and hot personalities to enter with - so that for a while each month produced its frenzied new paramour of cheap culture and pop-movement but all of that had a way of flaming out and dying off just as quickly and anyway no one at work in serious endeavor paid any attention to any of that and again anyway that's never how things really are and all of life is a varied frieze of circumstance and growth so that any form of 'instant-gratification' of the sort these media and fluff types were seeking was at best ephemeral and stupid at the same time - DEVELOPMENT takes time and it's always a slower process than dazzle and shock so that patience and 'awaiting' held value of their own notwithstanding all the other 1960's noise and light going off around things (us included) and this enclave of the Studio School in its odd reddish building of multi-heights and interconnected hallways and stairwells went off quite well in its prodigious silence and inner workings producing artists and real art - lecture and real study - learning and real endeavor and I never for a moment lost confidence in any of what was happening here around me and always stayed glad too to be a part of that unfolding however it unfolded - it always amazed me how no one said a word about any of this - as if it all wasn't happening.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


179. MEETING COMMODORE SARNISH - the English Admiral

'"I never could get to the bottom of any study of human sexuality without realizing it had a big gaping hole in it" - that was my joke for Commodore Sarnish when he first came home and I was relieved when he laughed although no one else in the drawing room did (cocktails pretzels and small containers of caviar) as everyone went on their way : chamber music and minuets and all of that : but that was long ago and now I am listening to some crappy country music in someone else's background while trying to read Diedrich Knickerbocker and my memory of Tarrytown's hills is all screwed up as I confuse it with Ossining and Briarcliff Manor Spring Valley Yonkers Pearl River and all the rest ('Sunnyside' being something else yet again) and EVERYONE was unsure but they moved ahead anyway : ALL that the cat dragged in : it's very nice to be balanced and to have things in order and to certifiably achieve small things each day - to be able to mark off a certain form of ordered progress on a daily basis one small piece at a time : it's much as if a magician undertaking his tricks-of-the-trade succesfully uncovers the pace and progress of his magic as others watch - and they all together understand the grandeur of even the smallest steps within the achievement AND it's all of a piece with the progress and wonder of getting though to something - to a completion - and a totality of all what is : perfect concentration and uninterrupted focus : the smallest items of everyday life.'

Friday, October 19, 2007



It's always been too much for me to catch up with everything and because of that there are a lot of things which just accumulated and stayed there - half the time I wasn't sure so much as what I 'had' as what it was I remembered 'doing' - meaning the act and not the result intended or not was what stayed memorable - and that was pretty much the way it went and by which I learned things : the Collier Brothers in their way had nothing on me (they were two brothers who died in their apartment in Brooklyn or somewhere amidst an accumulated assault of bundled and piled newspapers magazines clippings books and everything else too - so I knew what that was about for sure) and I accumulated just as much although it was not often tangible 'stuff' as to be identifiable by description but that of course made it more mine and more singular by far and as it was I kept myself bounded by both the streets and their luck each in their own way : talking with Chinese people down along Baxter and Mott and Oliver and Cherry I was able to learn to fend in a unique way - eat on the cheap as needed get tea and oranges and learn where to find them and just as much visit the old dairy bars around Rutgers Square and Grand Street where an all-night vigil was never interfered with : endless and fascinating the leftover Hebrew scholars and philosophers and all-night eccentrics or the maniac madmen huddled over a cup of tea or coffee next to the Jewish Daily Forward building or Yarmolinsky's Bank where people would read Hegel Kant or Nietzsche all night and try to make some liquid sense of enlightenment's own tenets and existentialism's rebels - both fools sometimes akin to nothing but endlessly fascinating the hunt - and of course the Seward Branch library (a once-magnificent building that was and curiously American-styled too) or I would pace down to the river and its odd corners and currents as they wended along the old eastern streets - tug and barge traffic small boats and police craft wagons and fish and schooners and the slow and steady lap-lapping of the saddening river's flow as it crossed over and under a mostly-everything silence bounded both by mystery and all that was possible too and I KNEW THAT but my task was to learn the difference and I knew nerves wouldn't do it nor taunting or bombast nor the bravery of the stupid or the silence of the wise - yet somewhere between those two poles I sensed would be me and kept there finely-hewn by all I knew and whatever I'd decided : the memory of time was racing ahead of time itself and I gripped mightily that downing tree and greening park or ANYWHERE my feet could take me until I realized one day sensibly that I covered the actual length and breadth of that city numerous times knowing every nook and cranny as I paced and before me then it all changed again (for nothing stood still in this kingdom) and I'd have to learn new parts again or just let it go and I'd swear too that on some streets to be sure the elevated railroad - though by then some years gone - still cast its shadows upon the street and still buzzed around within people's heads and I'd think 'why did castles have moats?' and I'd answer that back to myself in the same way as if to say 'they did so to keep pillage away and conquest and mayhem and they ringed themselves with water for security on at least 3 sides with hopefully a rock wall of an elevated height behind to build into' and I'd match that with the little island kingdom itself I inhabited and question again 'was it what was kept out or what was kept in that was more important?'

Saturday, October 13, 2007



As if a fiery broth or a seething conflagration was about to tip over into something really horrid the city turned and began falling apart upon itself and its people became maddened and seemed incautious and furious about what was all around them : yet they walked on and made it matter not - the taller towers grew and the workers panicked the higher buildings surpassed and the inhabitants shrugged neighborhoods were broken by cranes and demolition and blasting and only the stalwarts fought and a hundred Jane Jacobs seemed everywhere loud and vocal and right and rude : something like Moses this time Robert was parting the waters with a staff made of greed and would have too until he was stopped in his own way and brought out by death and the truants he raised stayed on as Mohawks climbing bridges wild Indians climbing steel and driving back home for weekends at breakneck speed alcohol-livered and ready to explode they built the bridges and erected girders and steel and buildings and all that together pushed ever higher and made more brittle the swaggering city WHICH from my own perspective never changed from anything but what I saw at ground level - the gray and the brown the colors of dirt and steel and frenzy and grime traffic and crowd - all things I loved and stayed within and amidst as this maelstrom raged - nightly news reports soldiers dead issues fudged people shouting marchers maddened and all of this for nothing went I stayed at Eighth Street and I stayed at Eleventh Street and knew them both to be places of a pliant refuge and a secret rest a hideout within my physical world and my inner self too - as if both I'd made from scratch by dreaming - and there was nothing to stop me (I felt) from becoming that which I wanted to be and it was down along lower Broadway then that I'd make my way on those frenzied busy industrial days when the dark smokey mist hung low in the air and traffic crawled greased and steady through busy clogged streets with deliverymen on every curb and cars piled next to cars each awaiting something and the steady arrivals way downtown of massive beams on flatbed trucks and piles of rubble sky high as streets were cut and broken and just moved away as lines of Turks and Armenians gaped back as their small community was taken from them with no place left to go : the highly-vaunted industrial might once more of state and country had stepped in with its hungry maw taking everything in its path and no one could respond and there was no place to respond to and the dawns of many a morning then dawned on nothing but grief and all its noise : I turned away from the rubble aghast at what I'd seen and speechless too for this once had BEEN a place and a section a folk and a people and these once-favored myths of tribe and connection - in the end - I saw all meant nothing and were but story-lines grafted onto intentions so as to make things seem right and I learned that in this life things never were right and were infused with the lies of state and nation and the hideous romp of money and might lucre and greed force and its industry was allied with and backed by an insatiable government which from every level waged unseen wars on its people and this invisible class warfare went on all the time and consumed the world and any learning or sense given out was utilized first to attract and then to entrap the unknowing and the naive - the local schools and colleges hereabouts were filled with them - dupes who accepted all they were given - soldiers salesmen agents and scribes - making some Father's house a den of thieves - over and over again in a world and a place festooned with lies.

Friday, October 12, 2007


ADVISORY: This story contains material perhaps deemed offensive. It is as Mr. Daedalus spoke it: (A). - ALL OF THIS WAY TO HEAR MY PALE WORDS: (Toynebee's April Gazette):
"['Some people go to school to get strong some to get weak and it makes a big difference for the rest of your life which of those two options you select - if either - because the structure you're about to build gets built around that' - so said Mr. Daedalus on the fifth day of the week and if there was never anything else to balance the wheel there was always an incessant jabbing with the sword of one thing or another - a poke in the ribs for good measure and a look up the young girls' dresses too if it became possible : a week in the mountains with a stablemate of Jeffrey Kahn and all they ever did was talk about girls and tits and how to make out in the back of a car 'some say that foreign cars are too small for that and it's been PROVEN man that a Renault 4CV is by far too small to have sex in' but of course trying to tell that to 50,000 citizens of France would get you nowhere but laughed out to dimanche and beyond and the only thing that works is comedy - one joke after the other - just like the mime who plays endlessly over and over in Central Park - one or the other mime anyway they're all so much alike - all you can do is shrug and laugh it off while parlaying some inoffensive smirk into a circus act of wonder and awe and even if they DO mean to be tragic like some stupid clown it's always one way or the other you're going to feel something for what they've done and I myself have seen people in groups of ten and more huddled around these crazy fools laughing or crying together - they actually react to all this play-acting stuff open-air bullshit in the park and I always figure the way they hand out holidays nowadays they'll soon be a National Open-Air Bullshit in the Park Day and it'll be made into a 3-day weekend too just you watch and see - that's how strong these fucking unions are especially the teacher's union and the municipal worker's unions and all that crap they want time off for pissing for Christ's good sake and they want double-time for that no less but it's like that wherever you go - people with their hands out wanting this or that demanding something from someone else just like extortion or whatever it would be called in an any other context but for this for this they claim to teach your kids or take your garbage away or arrange your government paperwork and so much more but every union master living like a king on a hilltop estate somewhere has done all that with stolen money and the bribe-graft-corruption of lucrative double-dealing and falsehoods and lies but that's always been called GOVERNANCE and so what else and every so often they say they 'let you vote' yeah well so what here put your fucking hand down my pants and vote for this how's that why don't 'cha and the whole fucking liberal world's a slime-hole of cum and corruption so what else can we do - take your clothes off and lay flat down you flea-bag two-fisted cum-guzzling whore (that's the way you might as well talk to the world and to every freaking person in it) AfuckingMen!']" - and so said Mr. Daedalus on the fifth day of the week and I noticed too that he had a brown stained charcoal/sepia portrait of himself pasted to the wall and it looked so old and yellowed that I'd not have been able to place a date upon it if I had to but I was sure it had come down through the centuries and I figured just as much that he was probably three hundred years old himself and in his fifteenth consecutive lifetime or something talk about reincarnation and karmic effect and all that he was putting out some great lessons to the world if anyone would listen but it was worse than deafness this stupidity I sensed and the reflected glaze of frozen eyes in window panes just seemed to be as immaterial and dead to me as stories of the flood or any other ancient tale no one wishes to prove or believe in anymore and no matter how many times it dawned on people that they may have been here before and may have been responsible themselves for all the fossils of the past they still took no note of anything other than the end of their capricious noses : bridgeweed catdump horseplop bullshit all together one two three : and listen to the pundits talk about the pundits if that's what you want to do but I've got better things than that to do and I intend to do them and I'll build me a parakeet bridge by the Sermon on the Mount and cross over to the other side LA DE DA to you ('consider the lilies of the field - how they are poisoned and mowed and shackled and killed - and then look at your fallen brothers all dead on the field and counted as yield and corpses and death') AH the manuverability of wartime and all that IT brings - blood on the cots and death in the springs and I waited a long time for him to come out and I said back to him "sir what did you want to do by your words and to whom you addressed what you said" and he replied "my sovereign my soldier my legal my son I wish not for anything and I'm sorry you've come ALL OF THIS WAY to hear my pale words - for nothing was meant nor nothing deserved" and I figured if that was considered humility today it was good enough for me so we both sat down together at the outdoor cafe and had coffee and wine and tea and more and all he could do was to keep me from crying and keep himself from trying to placate the ornery crowd which had built - arriving en masse like some privy lord's possee - and soon enough someone else popped up (a reporter she said for 'Toynebee's April Gazette' and she asked us both if we 'preferred to forget or to dwell on philosophy's horrors' and 'was the twentieth century worse than this?' and then he stood up this Mr. Daedalus fellow and coughing up blood gave a long-winded speech about captives and cavaliers and the difference of each from the other but all that was over before I realized a thing and then he sat down and HE started to sing 'I want an old-fashioned kitchen where I can sit by the well and look out the meadow and see clear to Hell - it's not that much I'm asking and my father had more but I sure would be willing to take it I'm sure - and the wind in the meadow may whisper my name but I'll pretend I don't hear it if it's all the same' - and with the end of that wonderful tune he stood up to bend and the whole place applauded as he sat down again.

Friday, October 05, 2007


175. ROLAND (nyc, 1968)

Over time it came as no surprise to me that I was alive and I learned to talk to people reasonably well whenever I had to - I would strike a pose as a marauder or wildman or someone caught up in something - art words thoughts ideas philosophy - SOMETHING anyway they'd probably not connect to except in the most distant way and it all went along good enough for me as I stayed both moving and in one place at the same time : twenty-five cent muffins and knishes and coffee and oatmeal and anything else needed - which never was very much - and I managed to survive just like the best of them by wringing out the most from the least and swinging every moment from its own rafter - forcing the issue whenever I had to and my best friends were probably loneliness and absurdity together (what a trio!) and wherever I was they were too - the old tugboat guy Roland from Norway or somewhere with his enormous jacket and soggy boots and he always sucked on a pipe and smelled of the harbor and diesel fuel and kerosene and gasoline and grease all mixed together - a truly amazing smell actually which mixed with the pipe aroma he emitted so that all together he seemed to me completely foreign and from a far other land - he'd park himself down along the end of Canal Street where there used to be a bridge and the elevated highway and beneath all that - amidst the twisted shadows of the road and girders and the dark slants of a lowered afternoon sun across the island - we'd sit there for an hour or two at a time while he waited for an arrival tug or whatever to take him away and he'd talk to me in the most absolute real and adult fashion I'd ever heard about absolute real and solid things - things with no gray or conditional or even philosophical areas - engines hoists car parts industrial matters leverages and power winches cranes and boats and tugs and barges just all regular workaday stuff all of which simply made up his world as if nothing else ever had existed and he'd know nothing of values or marginalities or shadings of right or wrong and the long old lure of philosophy and drama and logic and tact and all of that other-worldly-by-comparison stuff was outside the realm of whatever he lived : totally in ignorance of the fact that the cosmos and the world might be composed of anything other than iron and steel he'd wander on verbally oblivious to anything else and I'd listen and learn and talk and it all went around.