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.

Thursday, May 29, 2008



An inchoate sensation cannot be described - bells in the ear a buzzer ringing soundly the whoosh of wind on fallen leaves the 'feeling' of repeating something you've surely gone through before (the deja vu of the wheelbarrow man) - all of that is part of the great creative jumble of what can only be called 'life' : limited means borrowed phrases misapprehended emotions broken intentions scattered needs and erstwhile deeds too : and deep within myself this is ALL I know the part and parcel of my makeup shilling silently along the way weeding remnants of my past and little parts of memory which lead to deadends alone : man's makeup is in creation and man's Freedom comes from separation : there is no reality but that which we make and that creation adheres then to all things (I mark you well running and I savor your disappearance just as much) - and the end result was that I added it all up and it came - finally - to nothing and my choices were clear and easy to make DEATH OR LIFE basically and not much else (I held the stammer to my heart and heard the shuddering repetition of what there was : the steam train pumped on the long drone of the iron whistle and the electric cars along the waterway with boats and motors churning the light evasions of the people at the bar the lackeys and the losers together looking out the parasols of the young and the wandering motions of the hand-fed monstrosity that was society and money and fame : as the girls chugged like bathwater their amber liquids they sat with their legs outstretched or their legs wide open and informally they thought about really nothing at all - just talking superficial sex and satisfaction homes and career where they went and why they're here and all the rest - the usual balderdash of entrapment and the wheedling sum of ten nations at rest as the zooming men clambered aboard calling each other for attention - the phone men and the clerks the construction guys the bankers and jerks - when boy meets boy ne'er the twain shall meet and a fist takes the place of a handshake nowadays and 'that's how I entered the lyrical slavery of those olden days' the fat one said).

Sunday, May 25, 2008

NEW WORLD WRITING (nyc, St. Mark's Place, 1967)

217. NEW WORLD WRITING (nyc, St. Mark's Place, 1967)

There's only a small passage between the distant past and the today we've brought upon ourselves and like the seven sins of anatomy there are many differences in approach and in effect and these are things we all partake of : one night I was sitting around the basement at the Studio School by myself and in one of the little cubicle-like areas where I sometimes slept and which a long long time ago were used as copy and storage rooms for the Whitney Museum when it began there in the 1920's (8W8th) - a lot of the old paper and cuttings were still around as odd pieces of this and that color and texture of cut-sheet paper always interesting and always odd and I was there one night just reading as I often did (for this location afforded to me total privacy and solitude) and I came across the to me startling Frank O'Hara poem entitled 'The Day Lady Died' which was included in a volume called Lunch Poems which had been published by City Lights and Lawrence Ferlinghetti - it was a poem I at first wasn't sure of and then after I learned what it was about and who (Billie Holiday) I found totally caught and captured that ultra-cool New York hipster feeling - in this case that of the writer in the midst of all his usual NYC activities stumbling across the tabloid headline and photo of the announcement of Billie Holiday's death and remembering in a completely soft and natural manner the things it conjured up for him and the simple memories which came forth recalled as they were amidst all his other activities : it was a wonderful poem for those few minutes in time it took to read and think of it and I reveled in that sensation too 'It is 12:20 in New York a Friday three days after Bastille Day yes it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine because I.......I walk up the muggy street beginning to sun and have a hamburger and a malted and buy an ugly 'New World Writing' to see what the poets in Ghana are doing these days....' and it goes on but go look it up if you want more because it encapsulates what I'm saying and the heck with all the rest (I met Frank O'Hara once he was five foot seven and walked on his toes and stretched out his neck and angled his head all to look taller and he was quite thin and wore collegiate white low-cut sneakers and was quite homosexual too a 'charming madman' a 'whoosh of air sometimes warm and pleasant though sometimes so gutsy you closed your eyes and and brushed back the hair the whoosh had disarranged' - to almost quote Larry Rivers) and just knowing I was in the middle of all that at any hour elated my spirits - it's difficult to say now or to get across now the sort of strength and bravado this sort of thing brought to me and it was almost as if I'd entered royalty in a realm of some new way of life - I'd met many people and lodged and visited and hung about with many others and I'd gone from the sorts of Tony Main and Andy Bonamo types to the austere cerebralness of Mr. Munching and some of the others and I'd walked and talked with Philip Guston and Morton Feldman David Hare Charles Cajori and Mercedes Matter and others too just to namedrop and the sudden rise in feelings and a certain esteem all this brought forth is difficult to define but easy to peg - suffice it to say I GREW and I LEARNED and the sorry world-ago from which I'd come was far behind me and (nearly) forgotten.
I had been dwindling and I had been fading and it took its time before the results of that were clear : I had a clear and open track to anything I wished and even if I wished for nothing that track was open too - remember with William Burroughs in the church at St. Marks in the Bouwerie even then so early on I was realizing the same dream or something of it which I had percolated through my brain into reality and as often as I was in a daze and essentially lost without direction so then too there were those wonderful times where I knew exactly what I was doing and what was all about me - the incredible sound-story music factories into which I walked with the street-fair format of open serenading all along St. Mark's Place and the Warhol 'Exploding Plastic Inevitable' and all that stuff at the Dom later the Electric Circus where people seemed stuck forever - both indoors and out - and there were times right there at the curb out front of that building where I'd see what amounted to 'families' of fellow-traveling hippie types immobile and totally spaced for one or two days and nights in a long row and no one ever bothered them and they used (apparently) whatever facilities they needed whenever they chose inside the building and all the rest of the time they simply stayed there smoking eating talking doing nothing and although it seemed a quite directionless thing to be doing they did it always and to my taste it was distasteful having no 'place' or reference except that of the fifteen others around you but such was what they wanted to be about as some form of fragmentation was occurring and the resultant society which was taking its place was vapid and loose as could be and even I for myself 'enjoyed' the sites for these people bore no shame nor modesty either and decamping to an outward city street in nakedness and certain lewdness seemed to mean nothing to them and I often didn't really know what I was seeing or perhaps I myself was so deeply embedded in some myopic positioning of my own from within a vast and newer inner universe that I was projecting these things outward but I'll never know and often at that time my 'place' was east 11th Street and just as simply any of these people entered with me what seemed a fine and secure hovel and they liked it as much as any but came and went until others took their place and I often awoke surrounded by strangers simply asleep or prone upon the floor and unknown and gone again that quickly and back - food was never an issue nor was much else and it seemed they were always high or drugged or distant (as distant as I was at least) and in the same way with them was the freest most strange climate of sexuality I'd ever imagined - hard to explain again now but what I mean I guess is a constant stream of fucking fornicating and changing relationships and partnerships with not a word ever said about anything and today now I look back and realize these were age groups of 17-25 year olds at most and I am stutteringly struck by what I must have been witness to and only NOW do I know what a 'celebrity' must see and must live as a lifestyle in the mirror - so the same way these people brought their own notoriety and I for one made good note of it : forgive me if you don't know what I'm saying for I really can't make it clear here I am dull and speechless looking back IT WAS A VAST MEDIEVAL SWARM I attended to and it all seemed like a colorful lusty varied and weird traveling carnival sweeping somehow over heath and meadow until it landed smack dab in the urban middle of some dying old-world city square of people leaving and people coming each without ever acknowledging the other.

Saturday, May 24, 2008



Having to say I've done nothing today doesn't make me happy - the clothes stink my socks stick to my feet and I'm tired of taking care of the little things : teeth nails face-washing and all the rest - IN FACT I'm bored with thinking about bored so I walk around looking at cars and people both of them to me about equal in stupidity and design and I like to look at faces as grills of cars and legs as wheels and the overall comportment of a person's walk and swagger as the extended design overlap of some tendentious car somewhere - all ridiculous lines and bulges and lights and chrome but CARS it seems never grow fat (if they are they're made that way) while people just load up and bulge to grossness and then they waddle around with stuff to stretch and cars on the other hand just roll over to the side of the road eventually and just DIE and get carted away while (again on the other hand) for people the whole atrocious arrival of death is a long and painful drawn-out affair with extra attention given to upkeep and elongation of useful time (but I never know WHY!) and just as it is so it goes and sometimes it's not even worth getting up in the morning until - JUST LIKE THAT - one day you don't.
And the lazy ones the crazy ones the frazzled ones they always go first and they seldom come back : twenty stories of valor fifty distorted lies of what didn't happen ten thousand epics related as fact to a believing audience of idiots vagrants and fools and little middle-men trying to make money on piss and vinegar and Puerto Rican babes hanging from the Perth Amboy corners of time like so much wattle on a sloppy old neck - they throw out their huge asses and ill-fitting jeans with knit tops five sizes too small for two gigantic overwrought top-heavy tits just ready to swing down and snap off your head and their faces are filled with lint and the dark hours of time and adhesion - mascara lipstick eyewash rouge beauty marks warts bumps pimples and more - none of it matters to Carlos NO MORE - and they're haunting tonight the old waterfront with Amazon parrots on their shoulders and they feed them pretzels and make them sing while the wedding-party guests at the Armory come by for photographs and leave a dollar behind as a way of saying 'thanks for all that' and the guys are still watching (come Monday morning they're milkmen again at the local drive-in dairy) and their tongues five-feet long hang out of their mouths and they drain their malfeasance with carnival bouts of malt liquor and vodka and Bayberry Rum and sooner than later it's over and instead of leaving they'd much rather come.
The man said "I'm turning green I can't see and my body won't sleep - what should I do?" as the doctor before him bent down to check out his feet and then the doctor said "it looks as though your feet are quite swollen in fact they've swelled over the tops of your shoes - when did you last have them off your feet?" and the man said "I never remove my shoes for I might have somewhere to go you never know at any time" and the doctor said "well you won't get there if you're blind will you?" and then he had the aides take the man away and said "remove all his clothing put him in a bed and sedate him considerably or at least enough so that we can give him a complete going over without any resistance" and then there was no one left and before he too finally exited I said to the doctor "what will you do bind him in stitches?" and the doctor replied "he doesn't need a stitch he needs a switch" and he left me a paper with directions on it for Montefiore Medical Center where he said they were giving out free anal retinascopes with refreshments for people on isolated relief - and I said "not for me - if it's a medical program run by the government I want nothing to do with it - it reeks of eugenics and nazi-type programmatic selective removal of class and social enemies" at which he laughed and said "suit yourself" and left the room.
'The day's haft dover - why didn't you get me up?' - I got a real kick out of 'half-over' being rendered as 'haft dover' like that and found myself chuckling and listening carefully for more but as quickly as they'd come they left (it was apparently a couple who'd awakened late and were just starting now with a street-breakfast as they walked) and the last thing I heard was 'yeah yeah I jest seent him'.
You're never going to know you're not gonna' know and because of that everyone practically always tries to figure out their destiny or their reason for being here and all the rest of that type of stuff and maybe there are entire philosophies built around this or that idea of being but in the end it's all no matter because every answer by the search itself eludes an answer and any conclusion would be anti-climactic anyway because you still have to go on living - and if you believe in miracles then go ahead and do so or if on the other hand you want for and wish for nothing then OK too - be the stay-at-home recluse you've always wanted to be - in the total end IT'S ALL FOR NOTHING.
The iron-fisted enforcer the stern taskmaster the odd fellow of a thousand faces he was just here hanging from a tree and just like Stalin's very dacha - which now they're renting out - you can spend years unknown and represented under false pretenses until Voila! one day you're found out and the truth is told and then everyone wants to line up under your Linden tree but it makes no sense that you ever got started - that you even showed up - and who would have thought that in such a manner things could be foiled : but even Christ was nailed to a tree and they sold his blood for a mere penny but erected around that an entire edifice of gold and silver and riches and wealth so the very unwholesome story of life (having to do evidently with trees) really has no finish ('world without end' I swear someone said but it only turned out to be the 'Glory Be' prayer which is in no way doctrine or official Biblical stuff just some crud made up by that church in 317AD - and for that they went running for cover) : and I like the funny stuff as much as anyone else but there should be limits to creeds and doctrines and beliefs but I'd rather it be told in some other fashion - like direct from the Heavens into one's brain at night or sent by lightning from some distant portal of awareness MAYBE THEN I'd believe in something old-fashioned something ancient something faded something aged.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


215. 'WE TRULY HAVE BEEN TAKEN OVER - BUT BEFORE THAT WE WERE NOTHING' (another view of the present day):

It's hard to write about place or it's made difficult at least by the preference people have for facts and figures when in essence the stronger factors of 'place' per se have nothing to do with that - I can recall grade school textbooks that would completely misread the 'places' they'd purport to be describing by accounting for instead 'Utah's copper output and bushels of wheat per field harvested' and then go on about the places resources animal husbandry farm acreage river drainages and inland port facilities soil makeup and substrata rock and such - reported in the usual dour fashion of fact-checkers on a most-routine excursion yet at the same time completely overlooking substantial elements of another level of reality the 'spiritual weather' if you will - its place in the scheme of thought and presence and all the many-layered parts of intangible creation which existed therein - and I always felt that this ignoring of things and this preferred mis-reading of reality had to do with the ideas and effects of propaganda and capture more than anything else - who is it that would want to face off the deaths and tragedies of the first inhabitants and the creative splendor of the pre-existing 'place' which was there before the tangible and countable effects of a mere business-like production of reality was constructed over the greater web of cosmic and spiritual and less-consequentially evident presences ? who but the victors of course - and all that realm has long ago been taken over (and HAD to be) by the 'control' factors of nation-building' which went into the destruction of the location it served - much as the old Vietnam adage of 'we had to destroy that village in order to save it' creed went : it's all stupid and false speculation based upon a world which doesn't really exist (business and facts and counting) but which drops its overlay upon everything and then changes the reality we experience (roads houses stores business parking lots cities villages and all the river-rerouting which is endemic for needs of power and control both electrical and political) [see TVA see any Chinese Yellow River Yangtze Gorge dam of the present day] - so and as such my conclusion always was and still is but the reason this is overlooked and ignored is because the people who do this stuff have no real inkling it exists - they are estranged from the aspectral spirituality of existence which brings this forth even though they would assert I'm sure their church-going and community-centered activities of benevolence and religion over and again : their worldview is broken and their fields have no output as their rivers have run dry and their mines are all played out : and I'm using only this one ploy of place to make the point that most of life has now grown inauthentic to the degree that it bears no longer any relation or connection to the vital centers of what go into things and instead we have reduced everything to a rote ceremony of citizen-know-nothingism and purely vocational education which addresses nothing except perhaps a certain level of social-comportment in which all people can get by and thus promote the function of the fealty which the 'nation-state' demands during its transference of pure reality to ersatz presence and activity alone - Perth Amboy for instance as I see it is dead and in its place has been erected a tax-dodging cheat of a city-square called deadsville and filled with the dead - and the same goes for every Cleveland New Brunswick Albuquerque and Camden which exist - the only 'vitality' left in place is the governmental vitality which comes in with its washes of money generated erroneously by tax-steals and then that is laid down into the greedy hands of the manipulators who erect their plazas and squares and civic monstrosities which strip and are bereft of any life from whatever once-living fabric there may have been but to then make it worse they 'historicize' everything they'd just destroyed so that walkways and planters are then bedecked with the markers signs and photos of the nether-world that once there was : a complete fantasy itself cleansed and re-directed into only the advancement of the state which stands sentinel over it all with its police forces and halls of record and courthouses jails city halls tax bureaus hospitals and enforced school-systems all being run by the lineage of the founding-bloods whose arch potential underlays all these things - the ancient bloodline per se of the alien kings and blue-blood travelers all still in place beneath their myriad disguises (pledge allegiance to that at your peril!) - I once lived in Chinatown not far from NY's City Hall and the old Hall of Records and I witnessed often enough the comings and goings of the black cars at night which arrived under covers of darkness and storm and from which alighted various versions of the ancients - the bent and stern old men carrying forth the blood-lineage of their secret transformations under halls and beneath buildings marked with the lamps and significations of their own fey mysticisms and the layers of the ruling ethos of houses-of-bloods from far far away and all these shape-shifting mysterions were at work endlessly out-of-time forming and altering the 'civic' forms of the suppositions which underlay the ritual experience of metropolitan living - I can say to you truly 'we have been taken ever' but at the same time 'before that we were nothing'.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


214. TOMMY AND LENORA (nyc, 1968):

Tommy and Lenora Vicks were two people I'd gotten to know from down along e12th Street - he was a stage-construction union guy for some of the big uptown theaters and she passed her time waitressing and trying to put together some sort of dance career - which never went anywhere that I saw - and the two of them were pretty normal in all other respects and by the time I met them it was surprising to me to be able to find two NYC people in a close age range who actually did live fairly normal lives from their own nice apartment - flowers and window-sill planters and a decent little garden spot out back nicely furnished rooms and kitchen and all the other amenities I'd normally have thought about for some older uncle or aunt somewhere - but they did this pretty well and I guess really the only thing they'd not acquired was a car - urban New Yorkers took that in stride and never thought twice about it even though it did stand out a bit to me - but Lenora's paradise was 14th Street and all the stuff it offered so that I suppose from that spot most of these things appeared and back in those days it was still the sort of environment where 14th Street yet held some dignity - fairly decent dress and gown and linen shops and dishes and stuff - whereas now it too has degenerated into the usual Chinese junk and imported trinkets sold by immigrants along the way - acres of cheap paper products and detergents indoors and ten dollar shoes and watches outdoors - and the rows and rows of carts and booths which now distract the eye and ear (and nose) were not there : another funny thing about old New York is the fact of the now 'glorified' charm of the old pushcart vendors who sold along every street their wares and fruits vegetables and most anything else in the early days before the establishment of sales taxes department stores and compartments and sections for selling this and that under roof and ceiling - now that same 'once-so-charming' outdoor sales effect has degenerated into trash merchants redundant up and down some streets and certainly any historic 'charm' has long ago been cancelled out : but Lenora partook of all this stuff and from it made a nice place and Tommy - always busy - just came and went as he needed and it was a pleasure to visit them - 311 e12th if I recall - the few times I did but before that Tommy Vicks had gotten into some sort of scrap with the law and had a few precarious months as he put it in jail or Rikers or somewhere sweating it out but he was always the same - direct and strong-willed with a foul-enough mouth used mostly on the job but it was all something he'd say you get used to real fast if you're 'gonn'a survive' and because of his skills he'd built a few really nice shelf-cases and tables in the apartment which added a nice touch but there really never were any books about - they'd load this all up instead with decorative stuff I guess called 'furnishings' or something that she'd get out shopping along the streets and it was nice visually but never meant too much to me to see and I did always rue the lack of books there - one day he came home with a small sculpture as I remember from some production or other - a form made of sticks and wire - some sort of human pose supposed to be evocative of something and he plunked it in the corner on a small pedestal he'd brought - it stayed there a while but the next time I went in it was gone so I never knew what happened : I was never much a theater guy but they always had those little Playbill books laying about too for any of the current productions and they were sometimes fun to see - especially the ads - and Tommy would say he needed them for work and from them he referenced names and titles and locations where he could at any time be sent on a job - made sense to me - and then I learned later also that 'opening night' Playbills or sometimes opening night Playbills signed by a cast member or two were very collectible and considered sometimes quite valuable - the 'opening night' specials were often sealed and stamped in a corner especially to denote their provenance or uniqueness or whatever - anyway I learned later that the root of Tommy's problem had been in forging signatures and falsely sealing and stamping playbills which he and another person had amassed and they'd been selling them as original 'opening nighters' through some form of mail-order or something for the theater crowd - they'd gotten caught and had been charged with forgery and theft-of-services mail fraud and a few other things and for a while it had looked bad (serious enough charges) but after a month or so in jail and after a few hearings they'd been able to buy a good enough lawyer to calm everything down - Tommy's biggest fear was in losing his job and his union card and all that - so that nothing much came of it all after a while - funny and totally unique story to me at the time.

Saturday, May 03, 2008



You are truly a mystery to me and always have been – the place and the why and the how and the everything complete about whatever it is you do : like doors swinging off hinges or that old dying sunlight at 8pm bouncing down off the mid-Summer glass and the reflections of all that’s outside of whatever it is that consumes you now EVERYTHING’S a mystery to me complete: I see the barges limping off the harbor and passing the Kill van Kull some weird Dutch name from long ago and I realize I married that name I was born right there I was in place at the time of the beginning and never met an end - starlight magic fountains jumping girls through flaming hoops some circus is in town again : I’m watching the bearded lady shave it off while a monkey sings off-key projecting broken pictures on the tentside wall canvas flapping like ribbons in the wind and no one stands nor sits but I ‘THINK’ they’re there nonetheless but I can’t understand how that can be and someone is reading the Zohar at the edge of the stage to two small boys with yo-yo’s and a kite ‘no strings attached – really!’ one kid says and the other stuffs a yellow rag down his throat and in the instant it takes to do that the large lady with the mellifluous voice ducks down and swats him with her hand and he goes flying - like some seaside butterfly broken on a rose thorn - and when he lands there’s a certain thud the kind that makes you think of death but he gets right back up and shouts back to her ‘you fat mother-fuck I always hated you and you’ll NEVER be my mother not now not ever again!’ but nobody knows the nothing of any of that anyway so I walk alone along the wharfside junkheaps looking for Scarlet Rita or Larry the Leg or anybody I maybe once knew but now they’re all gone and dead and wasted and over with not a glimmer left to show for time whatever once was just was and that’s the end of that - the guy who used to sliver oranges on the flat-top table right over here I remember well he used to sing Italian songs in another tongue while slicing and writing letters home: ‘Salvia aregamenturo moriscus tui’ I remember was one of his pet phrases from the very start and I recall he said it meant something like how you ‘maybe gat’a used to da place’a you is but canna’ never forgit the home dat ‘a you left’ but I never really believed him and I knew it was all just betting odds and names of broken horses and jockeys who’d killed but no one ever spoke about these things as if it mattered and my entire life was a joke and a loser’s paradise once twice or even more and I never knew the beginning from the end (may have said that already) but I do remember three things strongly still – dead bodies in their coffins laid out and looking nowhere my father my mother my father-in-law and even my brother-in-law whose box we had to keep closed because he had no head left - having blown most of his face and skull off with a close-range high-powered rifle – that’s called suicide if it’s successful and if it ain’t it ain’t ‘suicide’ I guess (figure that one out) and all I really ever learned was that ‘suicide’ was always successful or it wouldn’t be called that instead ‘attempted suicide’ which whatever the heck that was never made any sense back anyway – hell we’re all that no matter the rest and each of these dead people I noticed had cold skin like paper and some odd stretchy feel and their faces each only approximated something that might have been them once maybe or maybe not or someone’s bad idea of that look anyway who knows – when you’re dead you’re dead and there’s no taking back what you left behind or no having what you once forgot either – nothing wagered nothing gained I think they say – what the fuck do I know I only knew ‘em when they was alive : can you notice my attempt at being colloquial here ? I want to talk and write and act just like the rest of you so as to pass for human to fit in to get away with murder or however you may phrase that stuff : ‘the moon was arising on the plastered horizon by the seascape the madman made : and now that they’ve left the edgings off the books no pages can be turned and everyone merely looks about with the quizzical looks they’ve learned.’
And now all they’ve got is the picture of the girl running down the street or the Friday morning 7:00 commuter just ‘a tad late’ running for the train which is already on the platform and – alas – just will not wait : she is in pointed shoes with heels and a dark-colored skirt and jacket with a white blouse and none of that is at all really set up for running or even a jog but she knows this all and is self-conscious about herself as she rushes past - holding also a bag AND a leather briefcase of some sort and sadly I moan to myself how poor that whole thing is that these lovely ‘creatures’ were somehow not made for this and the scène itself is a saddening one as in ‘what have we done to ourselves here and why?’ but she goes on her way and I really don’t know if she caught that train or not but she went on and time passed us by - later perhaps at the office she’d re-tell the episode of frenzy as if it had all been but another challenge OR perhaps she’ll rue the day and rue the scene and hate thereby the life she leads but whatever it WILL go on : we are known to be like that and so we march lockstep amidst all things and I think to myself ‘in the presence of mine enemy’ I shall motor on I shall move along I shall head for home I shall continue and nothing can stop me now and I CAN SAY WITH SURETY – I have witnessed many things and I have watched men die and I have kept my silence as I selected and the wayward moves of law and order were nothing to me yet I remained amidst people with plenty to do : the man on the fourth-floor landing welding reinforcement struts to each fire escape along the way at each landing 8 stories high and each day he’d have made a floor or two and that progress was considered approved and that pace accepted and so before long this one side of the building having been completed was again certified somehow safe for those who must flee if perhaps they would need to : contingency operations to be sure but safety never takes a back seat anymore to anything and the glazier with his putty and his sheets of glass – mending windows and sealing frames installing wired safety glass in entryways and doors while the other man puts up convex mirrors along the lobby way – sight-spots for stealth or for watching who’s come and gone : the plumber with his work- case spec’ing out pipes and watching where the water leaks and how it runs the two garbage-men out front heaving trash the girl-scouts with their cookies and the Chinese food delivery guy parking his carrier bicycle out front while he dashes in with two white packages : I have witnessed the comings and goings of the good and the bad I have witnessed death as it lingered and birth as it walked by and I have seen the malodorous frenzy of what passes for a day go by me not once nor twice but some 17,000 and more times over and re-played like the dunning dice of a recumbent gambler on the mend from his awful wounds.
And maybe it all adds up to nothing or maybe not I’ll never know except by my own re-telling salvage the lot of it service the loss and gather gain from whatever profit there can be : I swig a shallow dose at Pete’s or at McSorley’s anew or sitting back at Chumley’s I remember Bobby and all that was - when that life beckoned and when he too lived and the old poet-hag on the corner nearby and the fey proprietor with his stupid dogs and the Irish firemen who incessantly babbled as they drank at the bar and then stood a’back just enough feet back to check out the girls as they’d come forth and walked along and stop to the very same bar : these men could talk and they could leer and they could ogle but I never saw them ever go home with a one nor get a fistful in the face : and all this sex was glory and all this glory was fame and that’s the way both men and women worked since all time began and ‘FACE IT!’ I shouted aloud ‘all men are hacks and all women their mere accomplices!’ but no one ever heard a word I said and now I sit at the edge of a river : broad river wide and swift and straight : and wonder at my meanings as I look down – how pale the ancient water yet how deep the silent currents run – parts of me want to jump and parts of me want to drown and die and disappear or never be present again to be heard and missed and lost and forgotten WHILE another part of me wants to set afire the flaming world and catch the smoke rising from these waters and brand men’s hearts with a message ALL of hope and glory ! but I step back once more and sense the time is over - nothing mine nor to be recovered and all hands were lost at sea everyone now is gone.