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.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


193. FOR MY CURRENT IMMERSION IN DEATH (& a walk through Central Park too):

This isn’t a cavern isn’t a cave isn’t much of anything tangible and as the words go on although they accumulate they are nothing "I like to look at the stars yet although there are none there I pretend there are many and I pretend to see deeply into that vast myriad of swirling dimensional light that deep space eventually becomes and IT IS NOT silent for there is behind it all a vast buzzing background hum the simple white noise of the universe the fizz of creation and we pretend not to be able to see past that uncertain somewhere point of origination yet that that is our very soul and out there we are simple and urgent simple and strong and weighty and waiting so we are all things just like all things and if I hear a song I often wonder if it is from that distant place for that is why we seek melody – for it is memory – and that is why we walk the sea or seek the endings of the land or scan heavenward while we walk in darkness and the sad sea echoes back ONLY THAT WHICH WE HAVE HEARD BEFORE and if a philosopher or a scribe would say there is nothing new under the sun he would be wrong and right by degree for it is all the same ONE BEING as God or Sun King or the Wind and such building blocks can surpass our thoughts but cannot alter our being" now is that wasn’t that a sermonette as they say in those little church guidebooks I’ve seen handed out then if it wasn’t then nothing is and I absorb only as much of it as I choose for behind me the clock on the wall says completion and time and hour and the little second hand bounces around seemingly as unsteady as the universe’s chimes themselves would be if they could be heard and like that background noise comment said I know I’ve heard that too heard that many times and internalized all of whatever was THE SOUND WALL THE CAVERN THE DISTANT CAVE and many are the appetites of man - many - so you cannot hold one or more against me or anyone like me as ALL ARE ADAM’S stock and seed and steed alike ‘failure to prepare is preparing to fail’ they say the garbage men say the men who pave the roads say the toll-takers the clerks the police and fire men say the accountants the governors and the teachers all alike too say and are apt to mouth the essential piece which defies for them what they are and where ‘be quick but don’t hurry’ becomes their soiled mantra things like that BUT WE WE IT IS who know better ‘sky full of water rain pouring down’ and like a royal legionnaire or a guy with big bucks we start acting too proud and too haughty about meanings and motives and why’s and where’s and soon enough soon enough LIKE BOYLAN they’re having it shouted down to us from every rooftop and sidewalk stand ‘if you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the result of a hundred battles and if you know yourself and not your enemy for every victory gained you will suffer a defeat and still if you know neither the enemy nor yourself you will succumb in every battle’ and it becomes then meaningless like just something we’ve heard in a meadow somewhere something small and vacuous and ‘utterly without merit’ as the critics say ‘BUT SIR IT’S AN UMBRELLA’ but it hasn’t rained around here for nearly three months now as we remember it and the broadcasts tell us since the time the airplanes fell from the sky into those two tall buildings ALIKE together and so many died and then the Leonides surprised us by visiting the sky above and the waves and waters everywhere took them in and the other plane crashed RIGHT ABOVE OUR HEADS major and I swear it was something to do something to do with that fireman who said ‘you can kiss my ass and I live in Rockaway’ and there’s freedom to and freedom from and you better remember that Mr. Sharkey and it’s all out there written mysteriously in distant messages from some Mt. Palomar of the mind centered in light and image within each of us and here as I look at the deep and faraway pictures from deepest outer space the constellations and galaxies and forming gaseous stars and broken trajectories and finger eruptions of cosmic gas and the spectrum colors and dazzling lights and shadings in deepest space I wonder and nod and realize the place within me WHERE THE STARS ARE LIKE WORDS AND THE WORDS ARE LIKE STARS.

So I’ve gone from the Van Gogh of vision to the DeKooning of the dustbin and just like an apple on a still-life table somewhere under natural light the exposure the open sky the painterly line and flow of each expression captures rightly what exists so walking through the land and through streets beside that light and outside of experience becomes the right thing the right approach the masterly form to be rounded shaped with the charcoal’d control arm of the painter’s thought and there they are too in the sunlight with easels you can find them in bright weather lined up along the lake along the parkside castle villa even in the café doing colored chalk oils waters pastels pencils every motivated medium on paper and board and canvas whatever it may be the artists are aligned by their eyes to see and the gruff old man performs the turtle race guy shouting aloud like a barker on his blanket alerting the passersby to the faint alarm of his game and the boxed turtles so slowly emerge and his painted race track is lined out on his blanket and ‘HEY! just fifty cents a throw the turtle race is quite a show’ the show’s about to begin and his solace evidently is the solace of everyone and the couples lovingly pass by some stop some laugh stop continue on their lovers’ way and still the artists with their easels paint while the oriental masters along the sidebar benches ply their ancient crafts the man who paints a portrait on the brooch the other man with the wispy thin black whiskers five inches long paints he claims YOUR NAME on a grain of rice like every grain of sand is numbered so we guess are names and if not numbered than most certainly wondered about ‘back-bench massaged rubbed down pain eased away monkey on a string come talk with my green parrot pretzels ice cream here hey ! most certainly let those kids into the zoo I bet they’d love to see the animals today’ as the slow park rangers glide by in their dour sorrowful striped gray uniform pants like aging bohemians their pinched sallow faces aged decades since they last recalled the fun of obsolescence as I see she’s got the burned out face of a bad genuflection and lost so deep right here in the middle of slowly forested it seems city’s prideful park and they walk this park today in hats just watching what occurs these people one after another one after another sitting on the benches in rows like pellets like fleshy ammunition live awaiting flash and powder awaiting my God ! something today the guy reading the paper like some daily giant encyclopedia but it’s junk the junk of movie-star names and scandals and taxi-men complaining about their bowels and arms and hours the sale sheets of stupid stores the summer’s fat array of scores and every sport is someone’s grudge the new york post news journal times voice press eyes watching earns recognition only by the noise they make and so many HERE THE DEAD PICKED OUT BEFORE US sit arrayed beseeching someone for something oh IF THEY ONLY COULD and I hear the parkland echoes through the gleaming gliding sound the slice of butter the toast of recognition all the noise the thought of the globe each and every moment ‘what is it about medieval kings named John ? King John of England (known forever as John Lackland) was never forgiven his loss of Normandy and Anjou to the French or his involvement in murder and the perceived maladministration of England and at Poitiers in 1356 King John II of France was defeated by Edward the Black Prince and became a captive in England leaving his country to languish and even Scotland’s own King John…’ so it goes on my eye spies the college student girl complete with telephone and bag and books and lunch reading History Magazine while typing notes on screen her face so small and white (yet serene) providing image beneath broad elm oh had I brush and mind to paint I would Literary Walk indeed vast spreading widening trees on high above the sculpted garden soaring into light and with light the patterned passing of people in the varied positions of this world far past England’s clime past all of history clumped like bridge notes somewhere hidden hidden silent until found out alone or found out all together the hieroglyph’d meaning of this life is wanted the ROSETTA STONE of existence sought and all of these scratching surface peoples drifting with pencils through a long-dawned summer’s day an afternoon of a faun indeed (a time of ministration in such a time of need).

Thursday, December 20, 2007



"Busy me ! invited to an awesome party!" I heard the girl saying that from behind the counter where she was standing as someone had just given her a telephone number on a slip of paper and mentioned to her his desire for her to attend a party on the upcoming Saturday night and then I saw as she raised her hands up and said loudly "Unity! Unity!" as he was leaving - she was a regular behind that counter nearly every time I went in there and I always thrilled to see her - perfectly buoyant joyous bright and happy each time - I never knew her name nor anything more about her so to myself (for whatever it was worth) I called her Carolyn Gregg the Reverend Gregg's widow and just then a train went by the window which faced across the open field to the left and the small yet insistent presence of the three or four car train lent some strange urgency to the scene - as if we were or had just stepped into some other vignette of travelers in a mill town across from the only-occasionally busy station and then a girl came up to that same counter and gave the widow Gregg a container and said "here are some cookies for you - I baked them - Merry Christmas from me and Jeff" and with that she plopped down a small plastic container with about ten big flat home-baked cookies in it and I was surprised actually that she didn't mention getting the container back - such Tupperware having a certain intrinsic value in such societal circles as this - women after all will be women : even ones who shout 'Unity' aloud - but no more was said on that count and the two females parted ways and I continued watching as I sat there - perhaps 5 tables back from the counter area - as the widow Gregg cheerfully toyed and played verbally with everyone who came in ordering their coffees pastries teas or whatever and it was that sort of happy place where the same faces often saw the same faces and knew the proverbial routine of greeting and uplift : thus a wonderful occasion happened about every three minutes which after all really should be the way of the world.

Thursday, December 13, 2007



There are and always have been things I won't talk about - but in that I guess I'm not alone : the manner in which possessions pile up the way they all get dusty the mess I left behind the disarray I live amidst the way I race through time the manner I try to cover-up my flaws the regret I always face the million little times I looked at myself in disgust the thousand things I didn't do the hundred times I could have : there's no sense going on - the gargoyle on the corner still laughs at my regrets the featureless blanks of the chimney pipes run rainwater down on my head and the guttersnipes of the curbway near me throw back their ridicule into my face and there's NOTHING I could do nor should anyway for I have certainly not yet died or found hunger as companion or withered from disease or staggered home with blood dripping from some open wound NO NO I am sound and of good mind with just too many things to do (it seems) and not enough whatever it is to do them - or at least to do them well - and I tell myself I will I tell myself I will a hundred times a day and try to guide my landings through the marshgrass of mistake and trepidation though it doesn't always work (I have landed on my ass I have landed on my head those times my feet were absent where they should have been instead) : I've taken chalkboard to my knee and tried to write it sensibly - the everything of everything the why I've mastered nothing the things I've missed and what I've grabbed the means I've been sent packing : I've no fame nor manner I've in fact got nothing of renown or worth - only sensible moments of insensitive time and things so little missed I don't remember 'til I find what it was I forgot I'd lost : it's all so simple really THINGS ARE RUNNING DOWN as so am I but I LOOK at the morning sky and still find hope (though little) still watch the rising sun come o'er the open sky and brighten something like a day until it fades away - alas no moment such as this is ever right but yet recurs three hundred times and more a year to no avail or some I suppose : memento mori memento omnia memento Maury - whomever he may have been - I shake a whorlstick at Father Time as he races down a hill (that old fart will stumble before long - oh I know he will) I challenge the matter of death and potential and any future skirmish with meaning and free-will FOR YOU HAVE MADE ME NOTHING Lord or whatever I'm supposed to call you now YOU have made me as invisible as gas and as sick in the gut as a dead man can be JUST RIGHT before he goes - that's all that matters and that's all that shows : BUT I GUESS I'M NOT ALONE.

Sunday, December 09, 2007



One day I walked into a place down along the east side waterfront - a joint called Placko's - which was really just a cubbyhole of old brick between some buildings and a loading area and it served the usual fare and soups and occasional cheap fish platters but was always warm and homey and close-feeling run by some old Italian or Greek guy named Gennato mostly called Gene and I'd just recently finished reading a book by Luigi Barzini called 'The Italians' which I enjoyed and because of which I'd gotten my head filled with interesting ideas about everyone I saw and even though I right then wasn't up in Little Italy - which had an entire other raft of appeal and food and sights and sounds - I was sure that whenever I went into Placko's I was at home in the old world of Italian ambiance (even though I was probably mistaken anyway) but this day I'd walked in and saw on the counter a book laying about which evidently had been read already by a few people in the Placko family or so it seemed but as I read the title from an angle I mis-read it as 'Jews' and figured I'd probably better read that too as an accompaniment to 'The Italians' which I just finished but when I sat down to a bowl of soup and a cup of coffee with the book to look through I realized I'd misread the title of the book by Peter Benchley which was actually 'Jaws' and which - little known to me later - was a big title in the popular culture world and which soon came out as a big movie too but it all went to show how sheltered and parochial I'd become all protected and wrapped into my cocoon of personal life (which was always OK with me - that habit) and not part of general culture at all - anyway this entire Jaws thing later came on as a topic of waterfront conversation quite often and it seemed to tickle people's palates that such threats to leisure work and comfort could exist even in the seeming serene and placid local waters of nearby NYC environs and what was funny to me too and apparent was how something like that - really an almost comical book about local geographic life and stock characters - could go about defined as 'culture' to so many people and become the cultural touchpoint of the moment for many others - for some it defined their entire idea of reading at that time - and many a joke or barb came from it as guys would be heard to yell out things like 'Hey Tony ! did'ja catch Jaws today?' or 'Carlos ! You bringin' Jaws in?' - waterfront fisherman's jokes of no substance but balefully funny in their small way and I enjoyed watching the odd sideshow whenever it popped up - I remember one time they were all standing about talking about what sort of armament and what distance was necessary to cleanly take out a shark in approaching moments of danger or how to hand grenade lethally enough an attacking shark while causing no harm to others - crazy useless things of that nature as the idea had somehow been planted in everyone's mind that these possibilities now were inherent and present in daily life - it's how things grow and take off as ideas of 'mass consciousness' wherein everyone at once goes along with the program wrong or not and falls into place behind erroneous ideas and do so with the enthusiasm and energy of acolytes and missionaries or else - and it was like that for many things in fact as people would often live their entire lives captive to such ideas and creeds or ideologies and still do - war hysteria terror concepts ecological disaster outlooks fears of scourges approaching diseases lifestyles and all the rest : many are the folk whose lives are RULED by such : but alas for me it was NOT to be and let's just say I FORSWORE rumor as a tenet and became determined to stay outside the crowd (but then again what else but that is advertising and entertainment and all those industries of poor-idea based on ? in fact they thrive on and demand and produce it) - a large part then of LIFE itself is in cleansing and keeping away from error and wrong ideas and I think so much of what stems from religious attitudes and ideas of 'right' living stems from all that : in the way a 'Vegetarian' say is not so much concerned with NOT eating meat or harming animals it's RATHER that their entire effort has been transformed into seeking virtue AND VIRTUOUS LIVING IS WHAT THEY SEEK and that's understandable to be sure but they never admit it to themselves and there are to be sure in this modern day issues and times when one can simply no longer define things in that manner and in which the characteristics of 'goodness' or 'virtue' have simply been lost forever and cannot ever come back - short of natural holocaust - for instance the ISLAND of Manhattan is long gone but so many people - in their effort to be conscious of VIRTUE and to appear to live like that with the FINESSE and 'rightness' which such VIRTUE demands - try to act is if it can be and they can singularly undertake doing so even though the ecology and natural commitment of time and space has passed - it is by contrast a concrete block not at all natural - but eating (they say) the right granola or natural food only and discarding the right waters only will somehow suffice to mark the effort and bring back the VIRTUE and that's error - nothing more - just error for what's gone is gone and the overlay of the modern day - in this instance - has taken over and obliterated any smidgen of the 'natural' from most of our lives (and from Manhattan Island to be sure) so there not by any means any reason nor motive to proceed as if any of that is still sustainable and to do so is mere folly : better it is to come to terms with LIFE itself and proceed in that fashion by the intuition it affords : forget trying to be right or retro to a fault for there's NOTHING clean nor nothing very natural anymore BUT at the same time there's nothing wrong with seeking VIRTUE if only you find the right means of going about doing so but if that effort negates LIVING LIFE itself than it has no worth and such is the powerful philosophical paradox faced by Mankind today - whether or not to go forward from this time with an attitude of acceptance or an attitude of resistance for one cannot drag everyone else backwards at the same time as you yourself seek only ephemeral improvement for something which isn't really there anyway - crusaders are always annoying and ever moreso when they are both in error and in denial AND the other thing about this also was how it seemed to me that people in their usual ignorance had somehow confused Moby Dick which was essentially a 'crusade' towards a whale to be 'brought in' with the shark(s) in Jaws which - by contrast - was a suspense-adventure-real life yarn about beachfront adventure and a shark - not at all with any of the nobility nor intellectual interweaving of Moby Dick - but these waterfront people (even right here at the Battery) knew not the difference really - as if 'Tony' truly was going to bring in a shark.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


189. A DISEASE OF MADMEN TO BE SURE (nyc, 1967):

There are always ten million possibilities lurking : I went down again to the east side docks between Corlears Hook and the Brooklyn Bridge - it's a big section to walk but if a person needed to find anything it could usually be found there - the east side had different ways and habits than the west side did as I've written before and it was oddly simple how they could be defined : the east side was fish and the west side was meat : that basic little rule could act as an allegory to define the two for they in essence were as different as that distinction - they had different people different activities and different feels and smells just as the two defining characteristics of 'people' types did too - the huge meat-markets against the huge fish-markets - and whenever I thought about DECIDING which of the two I'd select I would go through this routine (somehow it seemed I always ended up selecting the lower Hudson down along the Westside docks below Canal which up until the late 70's still had some life and activity to them especially beneath the old elevated highway there - it was still often redolent of trucks and oils and cargo and fluid and boats and ships along with all that old quality of stevedore and handler bum drunk and layabout - a rough terrain fitted for desperate combat and constant intrigue alas NOW all gone!) and end up somewhere - this day I remember watching two older guys with a station wagon pulling a boat on a boat-trailer and as they maneuvered and worked their way around the cramped and essentially off-limits-to-them area the boat and trailer and car with it somehow all went rolling off the edging of the dock/landing area where they'd been trying to get and much to their drunken chagrin apparently down it all went ! I watched from a distance as they flailed around unable to understand what had just occurred and what they could or should do or be doing about it - too bad for them I thought - and it wasn't about fifteen minutes later that two cop cars showed up (quietly) and began the usual activities - some sort of questioning investigating sizing-up measuring and the rest as the guys were put into the squad car and driven away in one cop car as wreckers and riggers showed up I guess to retrieve what could have been (for all anyone else knew) a murder weapon a car with people stuffed in it or a locked-door death trap or a contraband laden boat or whatever and I stayed awhile and hung out just watching as others arrived too but after that it was all anti-climactic and I never really found anything out BUT anyway that was the westside (facing Jersey) not the east (facing Brooklyn) but the same sort of thing could have happened at either side - the east side river front though was different and for one thing right off there was the bridges three of them and the outwardly widening waterfront as it spread to the harbor and the Statue of Liberty and the old fort on Governor's Island and the hulk a'distant of Ellis Island Island of Ghosts and a million ghost stories and OF COURSE the sunrise the ever and eternally recurring daily SUNRISE over the waters over whatever over everything before you with the brave city at your back NOT TO BE EQUALLED - a thousand fisherman shoving and heaving at Fulton Street and a thousand more behind them with trucks and carts and boats and ships and hooks and hoses all yelling and thriving and doing their fast and multifarious 'fish' business in a less-than-fishy way though forthright as all get out and there was no beauty there ever except the beauty of sweat and brawn and toil and the heave of expectation and profit on a penny if such exists and the small scowls of the wasted and the fierce growls of the strong both went together to make the vast and horrid clown face of deceit and death and promise and profit that the huge fishmarket was and the reeky slime salt and water and dreck of the drains and the thrown-down toil of the men together came to nothing more than another small trickle or some vague tidal eddy of human groan and stink as it too dribbled back into the roiling and running great River of the East as it rolled its way either in or out depending on tide and fortune and anything else of the moment that passed and I would see old men curled up amidst the muck trying to get their sleep and young men lost and derelict hugging beer cans while dead cigarettes dangled from their lips and two men I watched one morning throwing fish to each other - fish of long fat rope-like shapes hanging in each man's grip as they suddenly stopped to discuss something else - the colors of fish are sometimes startling as horrid surprising pinks mix with spotted greys and rippled blacks and everything in between from silvers to blues - the weirdest shades of whatever mixed with water and light - and it was once said to me and I remember it like yesterday and true as all else by some stranger of the moment's babbling 'if the aliens ever come it won't be with colored lights and spaceships - it'll be in new colors colors we've never seen before' and that utterance startled me and stopped me in my tracks MUCH AS did these hues of fish before me : a new and wildly treacherous world and one filled to me with everything NEW and everything ever to be.
It was always filled with wonder this old waterfront experience and this was the day remember of little regard for anything - the waters were terrible and polluted the oily surface was often a rainbow and fish died and washed up and I remember seeing men heaving buckets of oil or kerosene or black slime or whatever right into the river from their boats - not once but always - and this happened over and over with bilge and ballast and waste and shit being thrown into the waters (everywhere) as if in some horrid medieval canal dump and no one seemed to consider that things died and sickened or that things UNSEEN could die and the entire world (what we now call 'environment' and all the rest) went along unaware as the black waters darkened and stayed and the sky was grimy and the air itself stank and Mankind - that massive propagation of slobbering sexual beasts - expanded itself and grew and roamed and took over whatever it chose and the felling of trees the building of anything new the paving and the destruction of anything natural was done with complete disregard for order and grace as chaos was the watchword : all thought became chaos all action became chaos and men seeking profit were the only thing which mattered : and in that regard I always thought the 'war' operation was their own just dessert - the torrid pace of highway building and resultant highway congestion and clogging and the snarling prance of millions of cars stuck in traffic and people sickened by their own cancerous smoke and habits and disregard for Earth and and inclinations of salvation crawled along as zombies or minions of some disgusting cult of destruction a disease of madmen for sure.