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.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


280. MODICUMS OF PROP AND SCENERY / adventures in the slave trade - (NYC, aug. '67):

‘If I had anything to offer I’d invite you in’ – I’d never heard such a lethargic comment before in my life especially as it was now coming from a person I’d known for about a year in various comings and goings - she was dressed in black yet again and carrying a bag filled with fruit – so you see none of it made any sense already : her boyfriend’s name was Lucas and together they’d been seen a few places or at least enough so as to cause some talk - he was some up and coming folksinger on a lousy circuit and she wanted desperately to act - working as she was in the here-and-there of distant off-Broadway small-scale productions which mostly just ended up being readings or dramatizations of things in either large and very dark rooms or in small and very cramped rooms with but the smallest modicum of prop and scenery – costume never mentioned – she went around like this in an off-handedly beggar-like fashion and I knew that – sincerely – if I’d really wanted to go on she’d have taken me right in but I brushed it off and said ‘yeah OK and I guess Luke will be home soon anyway’ not meaning anything by not meaning but it came out anyway that they were seeing each other and she really just wanted to be alone – way alone – and anyway soon after that she was gone away so I never did get up there with her and we parted - it was nearing 8pm and I was once again slinking back towards the west side piers so as to watch the roiling river pass me by and let me think - as I passed the edge of the park and started my way over I was brought back to some sort of life by the idea that I didn’t really HAVE to do any of this and so I went instead down to the basement of the building I was living in – the Studio School main structure which had once been many things – a mansion and then a museum – and it enabled me to spend away another night scrunched up in a form of comfort I’d come to enjoy - reading a book and looking at some art-book portfolios I’d collected down there - it was all by fact simple and sweet and just perfect for me and without any expense whatsoever too and all of these things made it a picture-perfect fit so to speak for the life I was leading : what I called a ‘2X4 life in a 2X4 shed’ and in the grand old tradition of any (stupidly self-serving) starving artist I found myself thriving on the situation - great art whatever it is doesn’t really come from nothing and I figured one had to get hurt be bent be broken and finally and with disgust surrender to all things to make anything worthwhile happen – which is basically and pretty much where I was just then and the smog of alcohol or hemp and dreaming and disaster none of them had overtaken me I was free as a bird but tethered nonetheless yet to some form of too-Earthly lifeline that was still keeping me down and I knew I wanted – if not out – something by which to be lifted and I knew I had to make my own marvels and work at my own work regardless of anything and what else there was going on around me : which is what made it feel OK to leave that girl just where she was and forget about it : no regrets there and if she did have anything to offer me I’d not have wanted it anyway (go figure) – but soon enough the mid-Summer nightfall came and the same streets I just left were throbbing and filled again with packs of young people just meandering around as if every minute was and should be the adventure of a lifetime and it was about this time that one by one it seemed the entire young population of some foiled and aimless country was ending up here – the streets were filled with thousands of lost and abandoned Summer kids - some of privilege and some not so - and all they did was hang around smoke sing dally and love one another in some awkward and strange mist of in-between time wherein no one really knew the fit nor the meaning of anything and amid it was some sort of mass-growing-up ritual happening all at once and the only problem I had with it was how quickly and in what great volume it had rolled in and left behind everything that had once been there before it - tradition and heritage and all of that had simply been forgotten and no one knew a thing and it was all as if it were Year One from the very start and all this something new was beginning just right now and at this moment all the past could simply be forgotten and it was most apparent in the infantile and childish doodlings (let’s say) of the street-graphics that were seemingly hanging everywhere : wavy high-school type posters for this or that show concert gathering reading rally or orgy (for that matter) that any of these over-stimulated street-circus types looking to make yet another dime off of anything falsehood and blemish could come up with and it all just went on : food wagons down at Tompkins Park turning into patchy lines of maniacs figuring the world owned them everything and they had to do absolutely nothing to get it and long-haired prophets of nothing along the sidelines peddling dope or speed or heavenly weed – all that was just the way things were right then and the deep Summer air was heavy with something portentous but no one knew what – it had taken a long time to get to this 1967 point and it seemed more and more to be a point of departure than merely a destination and out there ahead no one was sure what was situated : some bizarre string of unknown Magellan islands or some indeterminate squall that would – instead – wreck and bring to an end the entire mission before it had really started.
So anyway she was gone and I never went back to check on her and whether Brecht or Artaud or any of those other theater guys did finally have their way with her it was beyond my comprehension how or why it was to be done and all I had instead to do was keep plodding along running off straight ahead and I became dazed and as deranged as anyone else before long : lock-key smithy thievery along the wharves sleeping in gutters and penny-ante hovels after meeting people I’d never see again and whose names I never did get straight making arrangements and jumping in cars to run up to Beacon or Poughkeepsie or Ossining for pickups and for still further meetings with people holding contraband money or stolen goods – ferrying one or two people running north up along the Hudson straight to Kingston and points after that unknown – distribution of runaways through Niagara Falls into Canada considered then as yet a harbor for any anti-military type seeking shelter – and then myself coming back down into the city with whomever was driving and oftentimes not having a clue as to what was in the cargo we were carrying – and in another direction out along the Bruckner there were strings of 'junkyards' which took anything in or other times we’d have to go to garages and small buildings along the eastside waters where intense fat men and swarthy business-types would look us over look over what we brought dole out some cash and say ‘get lost and don’t come back’ and we’d go knowing nonetheless that whatever happened we were under the protection of the varied crime lords running these operations from a spot just one-level higher than there bizarre moronic idiot types we’d have to deal with - a sort of silent and sedentary code of conduct and business was run in a hoodlum-style by unknown and invisible levels of people and I often wondered if ever and when these people ever met one another – and if when they did only some one or another came back out alive to tell of it all - and so for my part too it was ‘I’d invite you in if I had anything to offer.'


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