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.

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.


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