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, October 27, 2009


291.FLOTSAM AND JETSAM AND A BODY TOO - (nyc, Sept, 1968) :

Like having an apple off the cart or purloined from a grocer's counter I fed the junkman's horse its oats while waiting in the street - the dark light of assemblage along the watery end of west 16th where the piles of wood and crates were pretty much all that was left from the pre-dawn unloading and truck-loading which emptied out as soon as it was done - all of to points east and north the 'everywhere' towns which peppered the area and the smaller carts and wagons nearby too were filled with their local delivery items as the junkman (Harmon Pauch) stood idly by with a Greek-cup coffee feathered in his hands : likewise I too lingered - waiting between things for something to do and before too long I'd be going off to the usual 8th Street lair wherein I kept myself amidst piles of stretcher bars and canvas and paints and painting but first the lure of the street kept me steady - a few dollars each day made from helping load and unload along these westside wharves and trucks dens was all that kept me going : potatoes pens and pencils and paint were just then the 4-p's of my existence and to which things I kept first allegiance - a fire in the barrel or a fire in the belly made no difference - as the later hours of morning approached I always moved on.
Coming towards me I saw one Jackie Lanekay -an odd fellow usually wielding a hammer with an apron and something vile atop his head - this time he saw me right off and came forth to say that 'before long you know they're gonn'a put a stop t'all this shit - and it's us who ain't gonn'a have nothing to do' and I didn't know what he meant and said that and he replied 'every frickin' day it's something new again and this morning wouldn't ya'know they got another dead guy from under the wharf by Denagal's truck bay - the bastard was so dead he was stone cold white and stiff and as my aunties favorite you know what - dumb bastard'd been cut up good - now they're swarming and we're WE're stuck God dammit in place!' - seeing as how I'd not known any of that I wondered what to say but nothing came and I did see the assortment of black cars and detective types standing in place (which I think was one of their modes of operation anyway) : NYC cops pillars of all that's good and dainty always made the most sense to me when they were deeply entwined in a horror-mystery-murder-case like this anyway and usually it brought out the freaks and ghouls but seemingly not this time - even the couple of local whore-girls (or whatever) I knew to be about had suddenly disappeared (or were busy with the cops - who knows anyway) but it did seem that the day had certainly now gotten off-track and just as I started moving away to head out I too was stopped in process by a cop-fellow with a badge wrapped around his neck who asked who I was from where why and how long - all the usual cop gibberish that as always so easy to answer : 'I'm always here in the morning I do some work and get paid I know lots of these guys I work and leave and NO I saw nothing and don't even know what went on' and after the obligatory 'leave your name with Brenda and a place where we can reach you' I was let go and I learned before that that it made no sense to make these names and addresses up because these goons will always find you if they've a mind to - repeat behavior on all our parts - so I walked off watching now two patrol cars come slowly blinking up the wrong way street they'd decided to drive on and I only hoped they'd notice the horse I'd just fed but I didn't even stay around to make sure of that - went sideways instead into Connie's to get coffee and a roll and stood there watching from a distance as they dragged a bag from the wharf to the Cadillac ambulance parked bear there - no movement I could see - but then the dead stay pretty still unless they're forced if you know what I mean and probably this guy anyway was lucky he wasn't just fish bait in the river by now - I turned to Connie and said 'another day another collar - 'cept this time there's a dead body attached' and she smiled grimly and said 'Hell I'm losing customers left and right ain't I?' and we laughed.
Noticing a body beneath a tarp isn't a great achievement I suppose but in this case someone had done their homework and concealed the body just enough so that it wasn't stretched out there in the open yet was not - as well - so artfully concealed as to never be found - so the message had to be that someone HAD a message to be given - some idea of getting a point across by this deed and whether it was money debt crime betrayal gambling women guns or freight there had to be a thread somehow connecting it all to the place and the people amidst whom this dead-bomb had been left : the Police figured as much and so did the people around and probably the only unaffected partner to this was the junkman's horse - whose use for and need of oats continued unabated - that old oaken bucket was always near-to-filled and I was usually always about to make sure some of it was passed the horse's way and there was a certain tenderness in feeding the horse - a tenderness which came across even over the bleak streets the workhorse plodded over - morose sorrowful and dark perhaps his horse-breeding AND horse-brooding too - but I tried to salve his conscious and mine by being some mad-mercy poster boy for excellence in tending the junkman's horse - it brought the best of me out (what little of that there was) and offered me an informal entry into these people and pals who'd otherwise warily stay about at a distance just watching and wondering what I was doing there : this horse (named Dogget for whatever reason and a truly uncomplaining fellow) represented for me the poetry of the streets and the old ways in their passing for both the Dogget AND myself both knew his days were as numbered as mine as all about us the street was changing - the old wharves and docks were disappearing the roadway was getting all slicked up and what parts of it were not were by contrast crumbling (above us the elevated portion of the road was a constant westside danger to be heeded and remembered) and before long (I look back now from the old salad days) the decade(s) would change and everything would be lost IN FACT the only trace-semblance left of what I'm telling you is the fact alone that I'm telling it - this is entirely gone all finished and in its pace now (I shudder) hideous walkways fashionista-design houses hotels cuisine hovels and all the rest of that now-today modern day and YO! though we must we live through what is thrust and don't do much about it or counter the flow of mad-history's amble through time - I digress.

Sunday, October 18, 2009



There actually was a day when the streets were treacherous when ice rolled down the sides of that Winter's sledge hammer - a frozen Hudson clogged with huge slabs of ice rolling and resounding piece by piece into the lower bowels of the churning harbor - when trucks lined up at the water's edge and dockhands threw cargo forward and aft loading whatever they could into packeted jumbles of fleet and indy - little guys driving little trucks and big guys with bigger trucks - and the streets daily aflame with protest and a certain form of violence which took the workday just to the edge of things and then pulled it back : construction crews taunting anti-Vietnam protesters waving placards and shouting in response fists occasionally flying and young-faced boys in line to be sent off to their other dominion of following orders learning rules firing weapons and killing or being killed and great maps of napalm and flame and the horrid sorties of mega-bombs showed up on every newscast along with the rolls of the dead and the maimed and wounded and that was what was left of the vast American jumble - a war-state creeping towards its own new totalitarianism - claiming its own patrons by murdering its own citizenry in the ostensible service of a false Freedom and a wish for gold - lucre on top and huge mechanical corporations underneath trying to fabricate market-share expand the borders of trade and forcibly recruit the world for inclusion in its own lousy dominion and it had its tentacles everywhere and everywhere it was they tried to reach and the story I tell here is not unlike a thousand other stories of another time and another place past but yet recent and living on yet in the fevered leftover minds of all those who lived through it though hard to get across to the naive denizens of today's far-paler corridors : 'They'd finally caught up to me one day in late '67 and away I was waltzed in handcuffs to the cheap remnants of the Whitehall Induction Station along lower Broadway to be grilled as a common criminal for the mischievous infraction of non-registration for the draft or circumventing a military edict or running from death and the killing of others or whatever phrases they were using in those pathetic days of yore (it's different now - people sign up willingly for all this piffle to kill and maim and get generous benefits for the rest of their days and ain't that a lot of crap : socialist statist pig-living ways of going about one's own enslavement but we pay for it all and they live high on a hog for the rest of their days having joined as an employer-of-last-resort the Military to engage) to cover their own asses and I laughed in their faces and told them to drop dead and said I'd already fucked all their daughters and what of that ! and all it did was anger them more I got roughed up a bit pushed around and rumpled but survived 2 days in a common hole getting fed whatever slop they could induce me to eat and then they bussed me off again to Newark NJ oh fair fucking oasis of slime and grim petty bullshit creep-ass trolley town of death and mayhem and maker of nothing and they let me off there to for further questioning and then the shrink the ever-present shrink who arrived in the room as I sat there and asked to me my very own questions from a list all about what was wrong with my why and how and what did I expect and how they could if they chose just send me off tomorrow morning to some deep jungle blood pit to be never heard from again and was that what I wanted ? well was it ? and I responded saying what if it was anyway it was none of their business I could get there myself if I'd a mind because tomorrow morning as I could see it was way too long to wait I wanted to maim and kill right NOW get started immediately don't you see and the first thing I'd do when I learned to kill was to turn the weapon on the very person who'd just taught me to use it and how would YOU like that now thunderhead Dr. Fucking Demento how would you - and it went like this a long time papers and checkmarks and things written down and scribbled and one or two other Dr. types ambled in and took part and before I knew it it was all over I was gone free'd taken off the chopping block they said I was demented needed help should be put away here's a bus ticket home can you get to the station all right yourself or should we get you a ride and I said 'No No No ! please I'll go myself skipping wistfully into your dead-eye'd space' and it was winter it was a cold November and they threw me out and said they'd be contacting my parents (believe you that!) and having me put away blah blah fucking military bullshit blah and I believed none of it but was more than willing right then to blow that entire place right up AND down to the ground too - military cockmouth dickwash bastards that they were - and to this day I can't believe that people live like that and profess such bullshit my country 'tis of thee and all that : taking deep breaths for fucking non-existent Liberty brain-washed master class of school and home and hearth televised fiddle-faddle idiotic crap washing over in waves the enfeebled and captured minds of tens of thousands mannered mindless stupid dumbfucks tripping over themselves willingly backwards into their own trash and praising that too ! and to this day every maddening recruitment shed I see every military asshole poster I see every time a crooked mouth with a crooked voice proclaims the job of 'Defending Liberty' I still and again fucking croak and puke once over and once over again!'
How distant the day when one had to relate in that manner the uncertain fierceness everyone was living ? really not that distant at all.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


289. I ALONE TO TELL IT VENTURE: (wglein*), nyc, 1968:

I was trying to work this constantly like a mule in the mud a handful of hay in a storm - something to hold me back - and it was only the day I found the old doorway in the rear room of the old Northern Dispensary that I took real interest in anything and it led to (after a slow creaking opening bereft of any oil and crusted with one hundred years of silence and neglect let alone any real working hinges) a small stone set of stairs down into a mud room which led in turn to an old wet muddy path out of what seemed the building and along into the streets below - as it were UNDERNEATH everything I'd ever known - and I followed it through the wet darkness and tripped and slid and wondered about the air and the light and everything until I came after some fifteen or twenty minutes to what I sensed was a deeper area of water and reed and some form of pooling sludge or whatever and slipping my way through all that too I espied before me the low marsh of the seeping riverside the very Hudson I'd known and loved to find and realize ONLY THEN THAT MOMENT that for all these years while the world above had been a'building with tar and concrete and wood and mineral this place far below had remained the same and what it apparently was and ever had been was the way of salvation for runaways and criminals and slaves and the like - a secret underground passage from the Village Dispensary right down into the shore-depths of the North River now pretty much referred to as Hudson and what this was was the freedom passage for so many to secret-midnight rendezvous plural to waiting boat and ship which would scurry them away and over to the Jersey shore for points north far and away Canada eventually after Catskill and Adirondack and Vermont border towns and all the rest : one glorious subterfuge by which so many had been saved and fled to wherever it was their salvaged lives took them - Underground Railway Elizabeth NJ Buffalo NY wherever points north Hudson and northwest beyond that : I'd stumbled onto a Manhattan secret and even to this very day TO-DAY as I passed the Dispensary now all savage looking and tired and soiled and abandoned yet still in place and still there awaiting whatever I nod and I know what beneath it lies and these days I speak of now are 40 years past the day today but this still lives REAL AND VOUCHSAFED by me alone as far as I have heard tell at least I ALONE TO TELL IT VENTURE and it was here in those beleaguered earlier days too that Poe himself has stumbled and struggled for treatment in and out - a form of early socialized civic-medicine for the indigent and the broken and all those in need and now this post-society form of breed and the compunction by which its punctilious ways are forwarded has erased all this from memory : contact industrial and corporate and municipal ALL of that has rolled over and taken down the old person-to-person reverence with which we once lived and this old dispensary building all its old red brick and slumping steps and narrow crooked entryway and even its weird triangularly placed plot at the convergence of other now more-modern streets all combine to make it somehow the something it was not ever and is not now and the finding of this underground passage of great fascination was to be as if the foundational steps of Heaven itself had been stumbled onto all Heavenward and skyward and all that and I of course immediately went in my thoughts to some Mark Twain Injun Jim Huck Finn grand litany of story and escape and adventure and loss and gain but all to no avail for I needn't have done any of it as the reality of it all made pale by comparison anything I could conjure up and only now by some secret compunction of mindless interference do even our subconscious longings grow any better tales than this : the midnight rendezvous the grand escape the secreted shuffle to transient and transit points : I too had miraculously myself escaped from a backwater of the day to a place far richer and dense - a place where the old resounding bells of the past were still ringing far-sightings distant and bright - men and women on the run with a sliding passage of wagon and carriage and mud and boat in secret dark moments all pledged between people in agreement on their mission to safe and to free those in other bondage and it went and I stayed down there as long as I could wondering too what behind me I'd left ? a closed door that would not open for me again a sealed hinged not ready to move ? was I stranded here within ? I knew none of these answer and so because of that instead I strode straight out into the running water of the Hudson's murky edge and after adjusting my breathing to the cold and the wet I made my way up through mud and marsh to the higher ground above and once I knew where I was again I boosted myself over the low trucking fence by Washington Street and the end of Spring and made my way landward once - and happy I was in the twilight's mysterious awakening.

*Whatever 'wglein' it was the name or the letters scrawled in a common hand in some black paint or something like it across the top left of the doorway I entered onto the facing wall opposite.