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.

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.


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