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, December 29, 2008


255. FALLING IN PLACE (nyc, 1967):

Had I not known better I would have thought I was falling - the catalogue of things presented to me in favor of that proposition was startling : the very first night I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge I was struck by the confluence of noise and wind and the lights of the city on either side of me and in each case there were startling motifs staring back at me - the Brooklyn side with its 'Watchtower' sign just a little less overwhelming while being so totally different too from the screamingly intense and vastly intricate layering and interweaving of lights and depth and canyons and towers which the Manhattan side presented and it was as if I was flowing through a system of blood and people and sound and volume and light and space all together in re-entering that atmosphere from another time and place which in reality was just across the water and on the other side of the bridge - and the bridge walk itself was a tonningly burdensome lightness (as paradoxical as that can seem to be) stretched between two points and over a confined and busy stretch of black water; this again was long ago and the river traffic was different and the cars and trucks were different and even the road-surface upon the bridge was different (it does no longer but did once resound with the constant drumming and bass noise of all the vehicles upon it thrumming their way across the metallized road surface - which resultant and constant noise was a dark deep sound akin to something being drummed and dragged along and that sound too accompanied all else - the wind the stars the lights and the river below) and wherever I looked it seemed there was something different : in one direction the eastside towers of all the housing projects thrown up in dreary and sordid arrangements to house the poor when they were poor - some strange municipal effort to lift up the downtrodden from their misery and implant them simply somewhere else twelve floors higher up but not really different in station and in another direction the stanchions and factions of Chinatown and all those broken-down Tong War refugees trekking the streets amidst produce and fish and restaurants and all the tiles of Mah Jongg games and dominoes too while - just south of all this - the masterful thievery and awesome presence of the finance crowd and all those Wall Street boys in their buildings and towers and counting houses and exchanges - it was all a very weird feeling of displacement for sure and each time after that as I experienced it all I underwent the same rigorous form of self-examination and displacement as if it again were the first time - I was always just unable to get over the fact of where I was and who I was to become - one a mystery and one a cipher and all of that together was for me too bad and too unknown to be comfortable with.
Sometimes among the people I knew I would sense various attitudes and world-views which I couldn't understand or fathom and mostly they stemmed from upbringing and/or money and the sorts of families and lifestyles they'd enjoyed (which by contrast I could say I never had and most certainly had never 'enjoyed') and privilege being a pre-requisite of taste I was often left holding the bag as it were - seen as the low level representative of some alien life form of the sort which did sometimes come into and inhabit the city - a case of 'new-money vs. old-money' as it were (except that in my case the old money was no-money) - and in most every aspect of taste there were huge differences which also in my case of twenty-five cent soup and muffin meals meant that any outward expense of more than that was trouble - while they went about in their own allegorical fashion eating filet mignon every twenty minutes and with perfect silverware and service at that - it was just really too much of a divide to cross and so it stayed that way YET I managed and they welcomed me in as much as they could and whenever they had to - which was nice always when it happened - but I held no grudges and went about my business learning everything and watching as closely as I could too all that went on so as to absorb from it as much as I could -- there was no telling when at any time something might come up into which I was drawn and where my very own personal points of views could be different enough to perhaps show them something new or different by simply expressing a viewpoint or approach which BECAUSE of their upbringings or attitudes they simply would not think of - which was sometimes just as much a revelation for them as most often their stuff was for me : an odd converse of events which sometimes amused : and I liked it all well enough and I kept carefully within my own precepts and parameters which mostly meant things like not volunteering any information or at least not letting anything slip until the very last moment or when I actually had to - that was one means of holding it all close to the vest as it were and thereby harboring as many aspirations of seeing what was first expected and what was considered 'a'propos' and normalized from their points of view as it related to whatever situation was at hand - I spent time reading and reading carefully those things I liked and it didn't much matter there they stood on any scale of propriety or taste : I loved what I loved and delved at will through anything I could find which fixed my interest and which related in any way to the art-philosophical-psychological points onto which I was trying to focus and set my course and I spent plenty of time as I said (as much as possible) with the likes of Morton Feldman Philip Guston and all the rest of those around me at the Studio School as I possibly could and those who were not near me - in turn - became as real to me through their words as I could make them and the constant referencing of unseen peoples and forces around me led to some startling and scary events for me too - almost hallucinatory in nature sometimes these things were - but just as much edifying and instructive and (for all those reasons) my friends were legion and mostly unseen.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


254. RIMS ON RUNNERS - CARTS ON WHEELS (Old 4th Ave at the Bowery, 1967):

It was never my intention back then to be a junkman or a scholar and in either direction I went I realized I was really nothing more than an outsider : art-student writer-kid observer highway stalwart drifter walker quiet-guy bum in no special order : and I used to like to scour libraries and bookstores too and they were all over the place back then especially all along lower Fourth Avenue and Astor Place and all that - one after the other of these dusty small crowded and sometimes creepy little bookstores run it seemed by captive old men caught in the web of words and bindings and pages and covers - gold-gilt leafbacks pages yellowed and bindings dried out and one after the other of old personal libraries bought for resale at ridiculous prices and places where there were 10 cent surprises at every turn and in every aisle and no one bothered you no one said a word - little alcoves and shelf-corners and desk-top surfaces for reading and writing with huge old wooden chairs half broken and stained beneath poorly lit second and third and fourth levels reached by rickety old stairways or precariously perched ladders here and there - rims on runners carts on wheels - and the old men would come in - bent and tired and lame with great coats and small bottles in the inside pockets sometimes to just rest and read or at least pretend the refuge meant something to them : no words needed to be spoken where a nod or simply ignoring would do : there were all the usual stories the potboilers the mysteries suspense murder-tales science-fictions of old and encyclopedic tomes and grand old dictionaries and research books - arcane dinosaur studies and literature criticisms and endless books about books and science biology space heaven and all the rest - every great author had its space - and out front of each stood 10 and 20 cent carts filled with the torn the soiled and the stained erratic books of cast-off and haphazard nature and the street itself was a bent and ragged as the stores lining it - people milled about and it was the days of leather shoes and tophats still and coats and umbrellas and even ties and briefcases - a grand sort of sepia-toned Depression era holdover in a place which had never really turned nor been changed over to the excitement and brash stupidity which eventually took over and everything there right then was flavored essentially by old time and old matter and meanings which would - today - be little understood or wanted and I'd walk from there right up past Union Square - which was still a dark gloomy paradise of mis-represented laborites and drunks and losers and the lame - and I'd sit with a book at a bench by a tree to just aimlessly take off and then I'd go over towards Gramercy to the Academy of American Artists or any one of the hotel lobbies and public rooms to sit some more and watch or take notes and ascribe meaning to what I saw and in every tavern I'd pass I'd see the people sitting about through tinted windows of grime and gloom and not often being a drinker myself I'd wonder what went on inside these places and where the grave-money came from and the Olde Towne Tavern on 18th or wherever it was would present itself each time to me as a miracle of the old days - drinking room restaurant grand old staircase wonderful front entrance and the ever-busy hum of writers and talkers and newspaper people and local politicians coming and going to talk and make deals and refresh their lives with something new and different - I'd often set-in but for a moment just to breath the air and sense the odors and sounds and light and no one ever said anything and it was all accepted : and there was as well all the great old names around me the places and streets and buildings of old where the men of the past had lingered : Mark Twain Tom Paine Washington Irving O'Henry Theodore Roosevelt Dreiser and Crane and all the rest too - these were their streets just as well as they were mine and together we all owned everything and nothing at the same time yet I walked on as misbegotten and forlorn as happy and gleeful too at the same time that I could be - no Minerva no owl no grim reaper had yet met me.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


253. ERMINE PEARLS AND ALL THE REST (Harley Hedge, nyc, 1967):

Ermine pearls and all the rest - I would have never sung for MY father and the only scoundrel left alive I knew of was living on a coal-heap off the side of 28th Street doing no good by no thing - his name was Harley Harry Arvage Hedge - true name like some old-money ultra-rich New Yorker family of old but a bum complete and through and through playing pool ten times a week with knives for toothpicks and grimy wet hands for gloves landing broad punches to any lady's face whenever he could bribing the cops for bribing him holding hostages at every turn riding the Coney Island loop-de-loop over and over until it was dead : he often walked on water even if it was salt - and was known the break into the poor box at St. Ignatius Church of the Little Flower on holidays and feastdays and Sundays and birthdays too - which is pretty much whenever in that neck of the soiled old woods : there wasn't a laundry basket safe with him around and foodstuffs galore would disappear and the guy was like gold that had once been in a tooth - already annealed and pounded and worn and used but (maybe just maybe) still gold - he'd done small-time for robbing a crowd of movie-goers in line to see West Side Story or something and he'd claimed to be holding them up so as to 'give the local thrill ya' all came here for you stupid bunch of bus-bound Broadway tourists' but he was apprehended just that quickly and taken off and did (he said) two weeks in the 16th where he soiled his pants twice just for spite and stank them all out 'so's they couldn't do their fuck-ass paperwork' and that's the sort of thing he took pleasure in BUT thinking about it I did too - it was kind of funny - but Harley was magical in his own way too - even though it was all cliched and stuff I'd often think of him as the big bear with a heart of gold made angry by all the circumstances of all life itself around him 'born in poverty kid back when they didn't reward you for it - born like a crippled Jesus in a stolen manger and for my very first Christmas - Christ almighty I got a gun!' he'd told me that once or twice and I never believed him and he was always talking about 'setting out over the river to the west - Pennsylvania and the mountains - over to where other people can breath and eat almost for free and the stories I hear are always good ones - and I'm going too' and actually it was odd because in NYC you never really heard of anyone talking of anything 'country' unless they meant north or upstate meaning the Catskills and Troy and Kingston and Albany and all that - right up to the Adirondacks - and really anything 'Pennsylvania' never clicked because it was thought of as nothing but like polka and beer and places where men really labored to make steel and dig coal - so you see the difference right there already was all his and I guess somewhere deep inside him that's where his family had come from or been originated or something but I never asked and he did eventually run off to some far-away area of greater Pittsburgh but not city Pittsburgh just the old dark hilly woods out around it : so sometimes you see I really did know people who made good on things they intended to do and he was a Korean War veteran he said and only sometimes went on about that but I never listened much - I always hated and still do hate all that 'veteran war-story combat what I seen' crap because you know sooner or later it's running up to some plea for sympathy or extra help or consideration because all those guys they never were right in the head anyway as I see it - the reason you get involved in that Army shit is because that's where your head is at and then if combat or whatever it is then screws you up all you want is help and attention and understanding for the rest of your days but hey the way I see it was that's all part of the game and the game is what you chose so shut-up about it already and even if Harley Harry is dead by now I guess he'd be happily well-put in some stupid veteran's cemetery somewhere near him : that's how they all end up : and I always figured it was a real shame how Nationalism and the 'State' can just cavalierly get into people's lives and claim for this or that their own dues and ownership factors and all that and never for one minute did I or would I ever subscribe to any of that crap - the State's the enemy no matter what and if for one second you first give in and cede something away they're never gonn'a stop taking from you more and more and then they start talking it up all positive and nice-like and saying they're helping you and society too and it's all bullshit and glamor-crime-theft and the rest and as far as I was ever concerned every politician should be rounded up and shot in the forehead but that's just my opinion and Harley Harry Arvage Hedge was a perfect example of the detritus and the shambles that's left after you let them get a piece of you : too bad on that count : but he never got any sympathy from me and neither did any one of those Vietnam War vampire pigs either - and they were always skulking around trying to round people up or take in draft-dodgers and other rebellious types as if army service was to be enforced as correctional training or something - which was a totally bogus and bullshit idea anyway as it was and all that military crap ever was was a grinding death-mill of losers and anal-retentives intent on following rules and orders and making regulations and putting everyone into a straitjacket and lining all of society up in perfectly straight lines and everyone following instructions and never asking questions and all that - just like some Communist Fascist Bullshit horde and all that shit was ever the same to me and any rattletrap debate that ever went on about it and about which 'system' as better and all that was a total crock of shit because they were all the same and NO MATTER to anyone...Harley Harry once cut a guy's neck open with a three-inch blade and watched him writhe on the ground with the blood just pouring out of him until he was essentially motionless and I guess dead too and it was all for about one hundred and five dollars that the guy was carrying in his coat pocket - that somehow Harley Harry had seen him stash into the pocket or something and the guy didn't fight didn't holler just went willingly like a lamb and that scene always stayed in my head because if you ever saw someone with blood pumping out of a hole it's like a living florid shower of life and glory itself just pouring out onto the ground in a grandest most glorious fashion as if it was a celebration of life but actually is nothing but the saddest most fraught with horror bloodletting of all God's creation could ever be - and pity the lamb or the pig or the ox or the cow that's ever been sacrificed to some God above let alone any human who was sacrificed for the same cruel purpose WHATEVER the definition or the cause.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


252. CARMEN : 'Counting From Zero'- (nyc, 1967) :

The wasn't any register too low for the voice I was hearing - he was without a doubt spectacularly adapted for basso-profundo roles and stuff I never cared about but whatever it would have meant to a normal person meant nothing to me : I found that I disliked in no order opera singing chant and vocal music in general and thought that the people (people endless people) who did it were vain and boring yet I couldn't tell why but the simple fact of being in the middle of some art-capitol sickness-center of the entertainment universe which NYC apparently prided itself on brought forth every amplitude of that very value I detested - any drugstore chanteuse could turn out - I'd found - to be the neighborhood whore on the very next block - and that went for men and women both since it apparently didn't differ much : an entire cavalry of transvestite and hooker-types would parade the planks along the waterfront nightly and everyone in touch knew both exactly what they wanted and where to go for it all - the tired and work-weary crowd which left the docks by 7pm would probably often have been surprised at what went on there by midnight and beyond - witnessed only by the night-crews and cops and taxi-people who frequented these dark and under-the-trestle places : roustabouts and bums too I'd suppose and (as well) the itinerant observers homeless types and walkers like me - anyone without an agenda : these things went on well into day-breaks and mornings and the few diners along the waterfront were kept vivid and happy with breakfasts at all hours and coffees muffins teas and whatever else - passed out people staggered people dead people and hungry people : each and everyone tried to find a dawn-solace in the simple race for time they'd partake in and every new runaway who arrived at the water's edge took the place of another who'd just failed or died or left or been locked up - it was simply like that and no one questioned it - and I always thought it quaint how such a perversion or turnabout on the old Statue of Liberty Ellis island crap had taken over the downtown waterfronts and wouldn't all those pious and sad/sorry immigrant types of a hundred years before be sorry or surprised now at what they saw : where previously at the docks they'd have been scapped up (if they were free and able and sound in body) by Civil War recruiters and field-managers hungry for bodies and men (and women) with false promises fake money and stories of ideal and intrigue (all twisted) now what once found most often were needle-pushers drug-lords whores addicts and aimless losers down on their bad luck (already twice over) sleeping in canyons of gutters in overnight dense soups of shit puke and piss in any order you'd like - narrow-faced whores plying their trade in broken-down trucks and wagon-backs and the murderous organized-crime types hauling their fingers of doom from any secreted and purloined cargo they'd just brought in under cover of darkness (a darkness which - really - never ended) and sometimes the very best job to have was the job of mortician or coroner or at the very least the guy who went around in the meat wagon and picked up the rubbish left for people like that : but anyway I digress....this opera-singer guy was something else indeed and before he finally disappeared he'd made a lot of friends down there - by throwing money enough about getting his way whenever he wanted it and singing mysteriously to stars and moon and sky any beleaguered aria or opera-sodden tune he'd want 'just practicing the chords Sonny just practicing the chords...'