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.

Friday, January 11, 2008



Ishmael Nothing you can call me : the ART of serenity befits me - ('amidst an outsize ego in a town of superegos' but I think they meant super egos (two words) as a (one word) superego means conscience which is somehow from the Latin combination of con (meaning 'with') and science (meaning 'knowledge') and if that goes together than most anything else does too) - furthermore they say 'sex between old people / ick' and if that's the case I hope they either never get old or never again have sex when they do...but that'll all be their problem thanks...I've got my hands full : - in 1939 Pepsi's 12-ounce bottle was twice the size of Coca-Cola's and was being marketed exclusively to Negros mostly the poor who clambered for the opportunity to get twice as much product for the same nickel and 'Pepsi survived the Depression by appealing to Negro consumers' and maybe that's true but it no longer matters and there are fifteen other sorts of people these days and we no longer have 'Negroes' and NO ONE resembles a poet as much as another poet which means (I think) that the competition among poets is fierce and fast and furious too and even Robert Frost had written about 'the exception I like to think I am to everything' : 'SEEK first in poetry concrete images of sound/ REALITY is the cold feeling on the end of the trout's nose from the stream that just runs away' and 'an artist delights in roughness for what he can do to it' (monarch of a desert land I could devote and dedicate forever to the truths we keep coming back and back to) - 'don't you know he's just bustin' your balls talking big and stupid like this as if he really KNEW all this shit and what it meant but actually he's a crafty little urchin trying out tricks and I know for a fact that he once went up to a woman on the street and started spouting Verlaine 'here are some fruits some flowers some leaves and some branches and here is my heart which beats only for you' at which point he unzipped his pants and presented her with an organ quite different than his heart...and she screamed and ran off and he was quickly arrested for indecent exposure - to which he said 'well I don't know - I always thought it was pretty decent' which didn't add to his reputation either' - but in Paris the truth is that Notre Dame stands on a place of Druidic sacrifices and pagan worship and long into the 16th century was the site of an orgiastic four-day saturnalia often ending in murder and group sex so so much for history and what we THINK we've seen - and as in Bellow Herzog says 'if I am out of my mind it's all right with me' and then goes on a five day flight from his disintegrating life and on a spree writing letters to everyone - newspapers friends relatives people in public life and at last to the dead to his own obscure dead and finally the famous dead : Randall Jarrell on Walt Whitman (which I oh so much want you to hear) - 'an author who is a world and a waste with here and there systems blazing at random out of the darkness as beautifully and astonishingly organized as the rings and satellites of Saturn and we cannot help seeing that there is something absurd about any judgment we make of its whole - for there is no 'point of view' at which we can stand to make the judgment and the moral categories that mean the most to us seem no more to apply to its whole than our spatial or temporal or causal categories seem to apply to its beginning or its end' and 'what the hell you talking about you gimcrackery piece of garbage?' (some guy said that to me at the train station while I watched the prisoners get walked by in chains - three prisoners all connected to each at the wrists and ankles by some weirdly expensive seeming length of chain and in addition some over-sized white wire ties at their wrists and the whole thing made me think of an automobile - with chains on the tires and wire ties holding clumps of wire like on some tired old rust-bucket just trying to run at a trickle down the street) and I turned back and said 'ain't saying nothing just thinking of things' and hoped that was that with nothing more to be said : but I sensed that the conditionality of the human situation would bring me nothing but shame pain and grief no matter what for in any direction as I looked there was nothing but annoyance - three paltry nuns the Sisters of This or That in procession and childlike passing and one with a small suitcase intending to board a train to somewhere trying to look angelic but their concerns could never be mine nor the innocent emphasis they made on goodness and prayer and all good intentions but I knew their worldview was as twisted and wicked and evil as any other and if they could not time-travel and only needed a train then I washed my hands of them too and the short round fat Pakistani woman whose skin was so dark as to the color of brown leather but in no way black she looked surly and soiled trying to sell candy newspapers cigarettes and trinkets and her insane newsstand was fitted out like some housetrailer of the mad leaning sideways with an elevated platform from which she dispensed her change and kept a wayward Paki eye on the shit-head Americans passing her by BUT IT WAS like that everywhere amidst the stench of commerce and pain as each day darkened and broke to night and re-opened again in caravan dawns where no birds would alight - travel and structure and food pain and hurt - collapsible men pissing before urinals like altars with mop-wielding acolytes passing around and the genuflecting ladies keeping their own doubled time before their holy mirrors too but no one could speak a sensible tongue for all language had been debased and nothing worthwhile was found to say and the whole dark human race was dwindled to its desperation seeking rain or wind or snow SOMETHING to enliven their days (and all I heard were odd cliches) : 'I am escaped with the skin of my teeth' /'in skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed' and most amazingly 'my decision to go by train today is confirmed by the crash they had last week which will make them more careful in the immediate future'...and then of course my own reply to all of that (somehow from Robert Frost again) : "I HAVE BEEN ONE ACQUAINTED WITH THE NIGHT.
'The winter evening settles down / with smell of steaks in passageways / six o'clock / the burnt-out ends of smoky days.'
Anglefire was a crazed streetguy I knew through the years he walked the streets - almost savage and always ridiculous he was edging constantly towards a state of total insanity - mixed as a concoction through the use of alcohol bad food the occasional whatever and an anger which sometimes cropped up unexpectedly and weirdly too and he would reiterate it's 'Anglefire not Angelfire just remember that you asshole and throw something my way a'fore I steal your dreams and rip your daughters head off!' - undoubtedly a real way to gain sympathy money and comfort I always thought - and he was taken away so many times that it became ludicrous to think of them even trying but they kept it on and every little assorted stupid thing he did along the Bowery or MacDougal or 8th or wherever usually got him into some form of stupid problem and then released just as quickly because no one can understand a stupid homeless idiot and no one wishes to expend time or money trying and one day along Waverly Place some drunk kids turned on him after he started annoying them and they beat the living daylights out of him which is how I came upon him crumpled on the sidewalk and with his face bleeding from a few cuts but he was still cogent and I was able to get him up and he stared talking again "dem dem bastard kids I could kill 'em if I got 'em they ain't woirth the piddle they piss in and this is what I mean y'see why I can't go nowhere it's always something coming up like some frigged class warfare against the lonely single ones and I jes' want to be left alone but they won't so this is what you get now take me somewhere I gotta' shit and my stomach's killing me too" and with that he sort of just collapsed and became lifeless and propped up against me for the instant I could hold him up but that wasn't long and I let him down gently onto the cold sidewalk where he just stayed and I noticed his color and it wasn't good and I thought to myself Jesus Christ he looks like the Civil War a blue turning to gray and I kind of knew he was dead just then like it dawned on me I had to do something but luckily too other people had come out from their places and they were standing around watching and all I could do was say "somebody call somebody this man I think is dead" and a few minutes later there was a cop car and then an ambulance later after that and they'd already covered him when I got back from answering questions with the cops whose main concern was what I was doing there and why and who I was and all of that stuff and I said I really really didn't know much except what he'd muttered to me and then someone else piped up they'd seen the beating and the kids from their window (they pointed up nearby) and they said he was getting hit and kicked pretty hard for a minute or so by three guys who then ran off but that wasn't any help except to me when he said I wasn't around for that so the cops let it go and the ambulance took his body away and I later figured he'd been processed as dead homeless without anybody and probably taken out to Randall's Island or wherever they take the Potter's Field dead people who get buried by work crews from Rikers Island prison and that was it for me and him and it was a hard lesson to understand - some unmarked dead guy who you just occasionally run across but never get to know and the simple fact was even after he was dead I knew nothing absolutely nothing of him - not if he had effects or where he stayed or where anything might be NOTHING except the fact of his presence and now its lack and I wondered how many unmarked people like that just die in doorways or are taken to shelters and stuff to languish and die and they never speak of connections nor want anybody to know anything about them either and it's the best way they can see to live a life unseen and still never get happy but so what I guess it's always like that for everybody else too and maybe only the dead know the dead.
['Death is the great leveller / There is a remedy for everything except death / young men may die but old men must die.']
'Immolient amostacia cartana mesia' meaning (I was told) something like 'if I ever get your head I'm going to burn it in acid' was pretty much the feeling on the streets back then for the landed gentry and the rich and ruling classes (as they were called) and there was envy everywhere and the people who had nothing seemed filled with hatred for those who had something anything and everyone wanted place and attribute literally WANTED what others had but thought it to be theirs somehow by birthright - which of course it never is and never can be - but there's no solution for envy or bad taste either and the two of them together make for some powerful medicine : here I remembered a little rhyming thing I'd heard about the average life of the average man and started smiling to myself because it was still funny and still fitting so well 'first you get puking and mewling / then very pissed off with your schooling / then fucks and then fights / then judging chaps' rights / then sitting in slippers - then drooling' that was by Robert Conquest and it was like a new riddle of the Sphinx or something even though we didn't need it of course but when your head's filled with words most anything's liable to pop out and the storehouse of memory has many strange pillows stuffed into it and the rabbi says 'God isn't redundant' which I guess I can understand and they use it as a reason to read a text and then come up with a totally different interpretation of it - which was always somehow puzzling to me but much of it was based on the old magical rites of an old religion and these rabbi's of course were always trying to burnish their credentials for wisdom and religious knowledge and I guess that was OK too but sometimes it makes a person weary after a while - how much of all this stuff can a person take anyway ? and after a while every little bit of this was getting to be contentious and annoying to me the rabble in streets shouting for 'rights' the soldiers unhappy with the war they had to fight the parents and voters at home protesting in the streets the atrocity of their own war the daily body counts the foolish newscasters mouthing the lines they thought they really meant and everywhere it was the same the bewailings of stupid lost folk - without reference past any point except an immediate and dead culture right there at the ends of their noses and what were called 'limousine liberals' walking through poor neighborhoods to show their 'solidarity' (yeah that made me laugh) and the unfettered tongues of a hundred Jew leftists bellowing about this or that about a holocaust and an old dead war while their little NY ghettos were stripped of everything else INCLUDING them and like Wittgenstein said 'what is your aim in philosophy? - to show the fly the way out of the fly bottle' but I can never remember if that was a question or a statement as he said it.


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