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, January 17, 2009



These streets never meant anything to me except the trouble and toil which time brought - every season would change what it changed and no matter the concrete or the greenery I felt the same as if I was in some deep Vermont woods amidst those suddenly descending hillsides coated and filled with hundreds and hundreds of deep dark and mysterious fir trees but I was instead chasing some other matter along one or another of the same cold barren streets I'd always seen - the old dumpy firehouse twisting on its form or the old Village Dispensary with its sad old red brick just waiting out another era and crying back for something : and yes I saw the same ghosts on every corner and on the Dispensary steps I'd see my own travelogue my Baedeker of Poe as he slumped there and moaned while waiting to be taken in tended to brought back from another horrible precipice to which he'd stumbled and around the corner and over some the soiled streets along Minetta with all their dark and violent underbrush of street urchins hoodlums markers and killers too - they'd never really left those age-old trappings where the floors sagged and the windows no longer fit and the tired stairwells reeked yet of ancient tired families swaggering in their destitution troubles and anguish - those cries still lingered and those kids along the street were yet there - hanging back as they scanned what passed - picking an opportunity or sensing a danger and looming nearby too was the old old house of Tom Paine and the other house around the corner where he died and the tower of the Vesuvius Church all filled with wailing Italians at still another weird funeral - holy water and hearts each pumping together - and the cemeteries which now breached the ramparts of brutish neighborhoods with no strangers allowed the horse troughs the mudded paths the tired laborers the men in work-pants pulling iron through the streets along piles of coal and horse-dung and the itinerant cobblers and stable-hands seeking work for horses for themselves for anyone and anything which could make a penny - and all this was a world alive and still there for me right there is my air and at my fingertips as I moved about : people all about even in the coldest mornings a 7-degree cold staggering through their walks and they walked and mumbled discreetly while holding things umbrellas bags bundles and each store seemed like a religion itself with each doorway a church but I could never connect the meaning of any one thing to anything else - which as it turned out I realized too was the way of all philosophy and all those people living broken and fragmented lives apart from the unity of THAT which was and which they and we all should have recognized early on but never did and living thusly a life misunderstood is probably the most 'Original Sin' (as they would put it) there could be and the one with which we're all smitten - but being too much of a burden to shoulder all that's always left behind and left out too of all those crazed pious pictures and all that Renaissance and medieval art I was always stooping (and stopping) to see - lines and densities of brown and madder the distorted peaks and valleys of faith and tradition before anyone really knew what any of that was and these were essentially the same people over and over again - they might as well all have been painted in vignette - so I passed auditoriums and and halls and central rooms and high stairways with small windows atop them where I'd see vases left in light and with flowers in them they'd reflect back some other realm and reality I was just learning - or a light left on where there was warmth (it seemed everything around me was warm at all times - even as I was freezing) and the slow slow cairn of evening would arrive and sweep through me as all that warmth closed - libraries and sitting rooms and the like - and the shuttered fronts of things marked again the isolation and singularity of the situation : the God-awful refuse of street and gutter rose up from pure nothing to settle in and voices hollow narrow and loud rose singly and together to say something in this nightmare mind of energy and place I'd carried myself through - I sometimes had only slept fitfully and raggedly for days and had wrestled with some horrible anguish and looked in every alcove to see what was left behind - reading mission windows reading posted signs for meals and sessions and help - any congregations of people warmth clothes and food - ANYTHING a prisoner could need it seemed was free for the picking but I staggered on alone past the massive assembled trucks at District 69 on Astor Place - everyone loading or unloading something - the sunken and profane ego of men working trucks and boxing rings and card-shark hustlers and scams and street-priest cheap missionaries all things and people filled with zeal the zeal of the dispossessed or the dead and all throughout the grubby wintry 1967 city were all the other years which had preceded it the lost and the dead the broken-down latchkey faces of the worn-out mothers and sons and fathers and often it seemed that all the frolic and fun had died long long ago and only the remnants and echoes of that uncertain something were left - some slum-face ghetto of tiredness and sorrow in which leftover people still scrambled to live - and it's all been done and closed over like yesterday's supper and yet maybe there was somewhere to be found some dignity some little bit of it anyway in the destitute poor and in the sordid heart of each person I'd see passing by and every washed-out person I'd ever thought of was walking with me now ST. LUKE'S MORTON STREET THE BOWERY right up to Herald Square in an old industrial darkness of smoke and might and all of midnight's power brought together in one mighty place - overlapped conversations twisted tongues layers of other languages amidst scrawling screaming oaths and broken sentences distended from all meaning and worth 'I swear if they arrested me now I'd be declared insane in an instant' and someone else says 'I would not fuck her I would rather lick my balls than fuck her' and the two patrolmen walking along are oblivious to all this and to whatever they see - Tompkins Square Park itself on the criminal prowl and they are talking as they walk twirling their sticks on leather straps past sandwich shops and shutters and windows and doorways and I pass the little bird-store and see in the big front windows that birds are flying around and some jump from perch to perch while others just sit and the canaries and parakeets and all the little brightly-colored things just collect themselves and stay put - the strangely silent snatch of bird-motion amidst colors and branches and the reflection of the traffic in the other nearby window too seems strangely muted and as if UNDERWATER I am watching life ALL LIFE for the very first time - OBSERVING EVERYTHING UNDERSTANDING NOTHING!


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