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.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


264. ...IF IT WILL EVER BE LIGHT AGAIN (nyc, november, 1967):

But let’s listen no matter for the water is washing the walls and the sea is coming up from its limitless depths and flooding the walkways and the saltwater seeds what it can as fish die flopping around and the little pace of seaside snails and crab-legs too are seen slithering slowly to their own small demise - the windows stay wet and everything is damp and there really is no weather any longer - for the sky has become the air and all atmosphere as only rainclouds perform at street-level now and fog is the name for the daylight : we wish it were not so BUT yet it seems as if this civilization is over and ‘we have tanked the attempt we have surely ruined the effort but whether or not we get another chance is the question on everyone’s lips’ and at night when the world goes dark it is such now that no one is ever sure any more if it will ever be light again (and for that a certain uncertainty is certain).
Nonetheless those who linger will stay behind - watching the seawall falter watching the great ships at anchor and seeing the riotous waves as they surmount the bulwarks and the walls the bulkheads and the landings and everything will seep and totter and twist and fall : there will come (most certainly) a time when the momentary lapse of whatever resembles calm will overtake us all and the waverings and movements of the world around us shall seem as nothing else but this - a wild ponderous degradation a failing of the essences a destruction of elemental notion and a complete fragmentation of the unitary world as we have ever known it.
And then I went far downtown - to where the Lebanese guys along the West Street piers drank their lime colas and heavy brews from chairs they'd set up on the roofs and they'd sit there and watch the evening fade to darkness and they'd curse the west and curse the darkness AND the light together and then the one who knew would get up and go inside and he'd come back out with two rifles and they'd point straight out to the west and looking across the Hudson in the dwindling light they'd simply fire their guns until there was no sound left and the darkness came and they'd invite me in and we'd sit some more - this time with their sickly sweet tea - and I'd listen for hours to their weird crazy tales about other lands and other places and what I knew of the differences between counted for little - Beirut to Ankara and Turkey to Lebanon - none of it meant anything to me just a breath of fresh air in the late 1967 air.

Friday, February 20, 2009


263. JUST AS WE BROKE- SO THEN WE STUMBLED (nyc, art-studio, 1968):

The surrendered angle the alcove of some mad perdition the shade of an arching tree – any of those things could have held me forth or kept me dangling just above the edge of danger : masked men shooting randomly into crowds myself included with very inauspicious endings but I just went on paying no mind to what was around me and marveling instead at the sharpness of the attitudes I’d see : the fat guy from the music studio engineering a full board of slides and power turning a set of songs into something they never were – adding tympani and verve to what the poor guy had barely whispered the firemen out front of their station – slowly painting red the old wooden doors – probably their 50th coat of paint (it was thick like its own separate plywood) since its own time began and I wondered ‘why does nothing change do all things just go on?’ and even though of course I knew the answer I asked too - words anew for something sterner to do – 'question existence ! pander to nothing for the common man ! take no prisoners!’ and of course and most importantly ‘whitewash no fools!’ - which last one I never really knew what it was supposed to have meant BUT nonetheless I always thought an idle man to be a dead man and so BECAUSE OF THAT I lived on and just kept working I hoped at something : walking swiftly down Great Jones Street or Cornelia or Sullivan or 7th or Spring - all of those weird little enticements half neighborhood and half trying to be international-in-flavor big-city streets and stores but in essence none of it was anything except for whatever gloss was put over it all by storytellers and guidebooks and tourist crap and truth be told each street such as these was filled up with the anxious the loud or the angry or fired up old Italians on their last red-sauce legs or crinkly wizened Orientals shuffling along bent on something and bent of back with Slovaks and Spanish and Negro porters leaning into doorways or peering out windows to see what was down below – the airshafts filled with debris and mattresses broken bottles and cans the old window sills the stone of which had either been already broken or chipped away or in the process of becoming someone’s ridiculous artboard for profane graffiti or ignorant markings and the tumbling beatnik potheads or ghosted storytelling hippies crossed each other like twisted ships in the night : half-hearted artists and gay young men with brushes and flowers to paint while staring at naked beauties posing as models for artists-to-be (‘there’s nothing easier than this’ she said ‘anyway they’re all queer men so nobody makes a move’) guys drinking black coffee from oversized Okinawa mugs – dark colored hints of something in magenta clothing with oh-so-flamboyant scarves – and the fortune-tellers were out in force squeezing little hearts into over-sized chests while the lesbians geeks sat at the bar at Bar 55 staring out in their overalls and jodphurs and boots and everyone was smoking something while they littered the field-of-play at the Sheridan Street Station with old New York Times or Village Voice junk and gum was stuck to the flagpole and some stinking old rag hung limply forlorn – turpentine-battered oldsters asleep on any bench or guys with their dicks hanging out just barely exposed but touching themselves nonetheless while they watched : cars taxis and buses the subway beneath the Maidenform bra mothers and the 18 years old girls pretending to be pure while salacious horny cops twirled their sticks as they slowly walked on watching everything and nothing too or seeing it all but seeing nothing : and as I watch the fey young kid waltzes by as lightly as an angel with a wiggle to boot he floats along as gaily homosexual as a butterfly or hummingbird could be and I wonder about it all ‘self-consciousness’ at least or ‘what’s he feel as he does that stuff?’ or ‘are they born in the wrong skin or in different skin anyway just trying to get out?’ – and surely nothing of it mattered to me but I wondered like a saint in some pure wind-driven snow and I was thrown to nowhere in this mixed-up mash of people : as I often wondered are we ‘a part of this life’ or just witness to it ? do we take in our awareness while playing a part in it too ? are their still mysteries about - about things which will be found ? and up high above my head I stare at the sunlight passing across the old building top – old wooden-plank siding and two small windows in a leftover house from 200 years back – leaning and creaky small and yet serene amidst all the city verve that’s grown up around it and only in this part of ‘town’ as they call it can these old places yet be found - the twisted lanes and wooded copse of an old Greenwich Village and the surrounding areas of what once were marsh and brook with twisty lanes turned reluctantly into streets and the potter’s field and ammunition grounds to parks and groves and every corner has another old vista - wooden buildings once shacks that housed the masses and these quaint old buildings were still stuffed – like stuttered words in an active mouth – between things and behind others as the new and old mingled and the lazy days and evenings brought forth the memory and attitude of everything that long ago was – I watch the sunlight make a triangle in the sky and a geometric proportion of goodness on high and the imagined tri-arc of light to sun to window and sky somehow sweetly settles my brain – some personal and cosmic overflux of peace and well-being and the storyline of what once was but shall be no more : yet somehow it makes me feel fine.

Saturday, February 14, 2009



The yellow-handed congressman with the broken leg had just left Trenton for Lower Egg the Atlantic City coastline the cesspool of correspondence and circumstance and luck and coincidence : the fat Mafia boys in their tie-dyed suits were walking two-by-two down the sacred old boardwalk of what used to be : peals of laughter cries of glee and that crazy diving horse jumping precariously - and in each pocket they had a gun and under their suits a very-penny-ante bulletproof vest which sequestered their chests and their sternums pressed - but nonetheless the moment of the day was high-noon and the fair old sky was passing soon - bright golden sunlight arrayed and the spraying ocean high was rising - overall and each a pleasant horizon : and here comes the Boardwalk Goddess herself - one Shiva Lash Montalvo - walking along as without a care and singing a song to herself she sees the black car approaching off to the side and know just knows it's her afternoon ride but first she must preen one more time for the manager fellow in the nearby lobby who as usual will take her up to his office and make sure she 'still has her voice' - likely shot that - and she shrugs off and hates what she does but it's a living to make and make it she does - she enters the Palace at Ocean Avenue where she performs every other day and 7 and at 2 for the warm-up evening crowds and the late-night boisterous few (they know no time and care not to) and she remembers her grandmother used to say (a dancer too in the old days) 'performing each day at 5 and 9 is still better than 5 and dime' - nice sagacious thought she always felt but grandma's dead now some 18 years - and that withered old lady was worrying about her granddaughter and any possible failure or career disaster - whatever that ever meant - but no matter as time went on and Shiva prospered and grew into something actually quite sweet and 'cry me a river cry me a river - I cried a river over you' became just one of the old quaint standards she sang each day and both glitter and nearly nothing : standing straight standing fashionably tall and sexy while in her spare time and on the side studying things - the likes of Henry Chapman Mercer and John Sloan instead during mornings at the nearby community college where she wished to major in art but found herself instead studying phrenology and reading old phrenology drawings those kinds with the compartmentalized sketches of the brain and what part controls this and what part controls that and she read all about Walt Whitman and all that New York and Camden stuff she could find and she tried to learn whatever she could while working and earning too and it wasn't always easy : the roving eyes of men the grand gesture of the stage-lit singer the investment banker's greedy hands - - and now she stares out at the sea thinking of her future self and what it should be - withered and tired and old as slime or happy and joyful and enjoying the time - and she realizes she'll never know no matter until it happens no matter and in the distance she watches the ships roll by with the horizon tethered to nothing at all and the open harbor great steel beach crawling on the level sea and knows her chips are down and it's getting hard to be and she wonders 'what shall I sing when the audience is gone ? what shall I sing what song?' and this talent-house local queen of the labyrinth came out of cattle-call number 11 in the Summer of 'o1 and she never has left - benighted city broken-down garbage heap of false-promises-rubble-trash and junk beat-up hostess broken-down chattel-tramp of siding salesmen and used-car bilkers and matinee-mashers criminal drunks and crooks - and she realizes the mob guys are still out there strolling so she stays put - Elk's lodge and ladies auxiliary bus-rides long trips to sin-city nowhere at all - trashy old women and their dead-to-die husbands together shopping-mall field trip from anywhere loading cranky elders into their one-death to live tramp steamers and stuffing them all in one place to die - the 'Ride and Die' contingent it's called but the new signs say 'Fun' while the people sing and the boats careen and one day along the harbor she hears 'Mommy Mommy I want to sing like that someday too' and the family from Pennsylvania waits in line and they hold the little girl's hand and then someone handing out leaflets approaches them and says 'are you better off without Jesus ? are you better off at all?' and they question the question looking back at the asker cold-stone scared into a mirror of doubt and invisibility and say back sheepishly 'well yes we are - actually we're here aren't we?' and their pale non-answer has to suffice and they all start walking away three abreast while skywriters overhead leave marks in the sky and a small plane trails a banner across the beach reading 'Rocky's Palace - Great Eats Beach Party' but no one says a word for as it seems to her all the world is quiet but she's singing 'the world's a better place...for you for you.'

Saturday, February 07, 2009



It was peculiar to its time and place - windswept waters near the road covered by leftover cars with fins and carousel-trucks still wet with kids and mothers - the simple sort of things one finds at carnivals and flea-markets at the broken edges of both marshes and minds - all those flaky neighborhood kids coming out with broom handles and bats to play stickball at the back of the alley where the old factory trucks still slumping slowly lost the air in their tires and the right to ride : anyway those three vagrants who lived there had always lived there and nothing for them had changed - cardboard to pressed board and a shopping cart to boot - just like the exotic animal that was shipped from New Zealand but never made it to the zoo from Paris to New York it came - all those outlandish ideas of eccentric men tumbled over the years ('we are free we are slaves God is dead God is enraged it's all up to you it's all pre-ordained' - listen up and take your pick) - over the years nearly all of Manhattan's weird streets accumulated myth and legend one over the other with personalities and activities arrayed from the likes of Barnum and Lincoln and everyone in between and since - playwrights authors robbers and thieves cheats and swindlers whores and preachers scribblers artists dramatists painters builders charlatans liars explorers men of science pimps hookers whores doctors and kings too in every walk of life there's trouble and joy whether an amble trot or run they come the came and they stayed and because of them then the city was as it was (is) and grew to be what it is (was) - a bifurcated mix right now of crap and garbage and trite death with all its junk - and we read the past with its glories and stories FOR THAT IS SIMPLE ALL WE GET and that was the time and place : from it one at a time the individual basis of hat we are each doing 'I make my reality you make yours and I make mine again' as multi-layered and cantilevered as a ziggurat from some biblical fantasy rolling at a trot over the bounding landscape and WE inhabit it ? do we ? at a risk to ourselves : the speaking man says 'I don't know any of that for you see I was born here and really don't know anything else unlike many other people I talk with who seem to know it all or think they do and who are always from somewhere else with far-flung journeys which bring them here whether it's business or theater or education or whatever and then they never seem to leave and I often wonder the multi-layered effect of this city is composed of how much of original people born here and raised here and how much by deft outsiders who adopt in and make stay - and where do these natives go I wonder when they leave their parents' nests and how do they find other places - it is easy or difficult for them is it expensive or not and do they take the parents' places over as death and illness wear them out to death and how much beneath all that old bedrock of once-New York is flavored by the constant and ongoing old blood of people who've been here over family generations and who have influenced the sense of place that comes with all that for you an outsider can only bring with them whatever they've taken from the outside which eventually changes the flavor of New York as New Yorkers seem to have only their own hard way of doing things certain and peculiar to themselves but it's simply all we get - one step from cannibals and killers as we are' and I listened hard with nothing but disinterest - the kind New Yorkers get - for really how much of this is one person supposed to take ? it's all over before you even listen anyway - all those Hannah Arendts of the base-philosophy of the little-man - the gentleman Jim of the tidy-sum slum going about his business and carrying out orders with nary a doubt nor a second-look in : down by the wharf I was watching the rats scurry - they jumped from tire to tire and each tire piled up in a heap had some water pooled in the bottom and each rat in turn found its own secure way of tasting the film to see what the logic within tasted like.