Tuesday, July 17, 2018

10,983. RUDIMENTS, pt. 378

RUDIMENTS, pt. 378
(avenel antiques)
Once underway, I sailed pretty
good. There used to be a place
in Piedmont, NY, it was perhaps
the first town over the border up
by Cresskill or whatever that is,
that was a converted church, made
into a luscious antique store. Back
then, 1966 or so, antiques was
an entire other line of undertaking
than what passes for that today.
Most everything today has already
been handled once by buyers
or brokers  - the devious kinds
of twerps who trade in this line
of stuff (as usual), turning most
anything worthwhile into a mere
factor of dollars and cents and
'how much can I get back on this
after a re-sell?' It's typical now,
of that schooled merchant-class of
people, especially up there. The
place was grand and eccentric,
and still fairly 'hippie' too. That's
a lousy word to use, but you had
to live through the period to
understand the usage. It really
did mean something  -  an outlook,
a way of life. Something that was
changing, everywhere, all around
us. It had to be called something,
I guess, and that was it. This little,
old, white clapboard country
church, with its step-up layout
and wonderful early 19th century
feel would be impossible to find
today  -  even the ones that come
close are false and pretentious,
way too aware of themselves, and,
most certainly, the people running
it or those inside it would also
totally ruin the effect. The modernity
of those passing themselves off now
as 'authentic' people is a fallacious
mess. Phone heads. By contrast
this entire scene was a slow, easy,
and an open technicolor splash.
Something you dabbled at once,
and it took you in  -  but only if
you had the right wavelength,
the right feelers. Otherwise it
kept itself closed off to you  -
and too bad for that.
-
Just approaching the place brought
you to another air, another plane.
Things were simple, in ways that
were complicated to explain. You
just knew it, just by what people
drove in to get there. Tiny, classic
Morgans, or Bristols; a Vauxhaul,
and the ubiquitous 'hippie' vehicles
of the day. Renault Dauphins, VW
microbuses. Man it was living, and
park your Humber SuperSnipe
over here. How is it they used to
say, 'everything old is new again.'
I don't think this could ever be.
-
It was just fortuitous circumstances.
Up the Hudson, looking out, to the
right the towers of the great city,
way down-banks, across the way,
depending on how high you were
up along the river, the old GM
plant by Yonkers, or the Spuyten
Devil train crossing, and the
rocky top of Manhattan Island,
around which the Day Line and
Circle Line cruises would slowly
pass, showing people the high
jumping-rocks with the Columbia
Univ. logo painted on them, from
which rocks the frat boys and
daredevils used to jump into the
waters far below. And the trains,
which ran here, from island to
mainland again on their threading
way northward. The Hudson Line,
or the Harlem Line, your choice.
It was quite the location.
-
I had never seen anything like
this before. In Avenel, or
Woodbridge for that matter, I
had never seen or heard of an
antiques store  -  the oldest thing
around here was probably some
crank's old lawnmower, or maybe
one of those old toaster things,
before toasters, whereon you
stood the bread up on this
metal frame, over a stove
burner. They were cool, and
by 1955 already as outmoded
as coal. No one here kept or
treasured or valued anything
like that, certainly not in the
manner of 'antique.' That was
another world and another
economic class, almost New
Englandy or Connecticut at
least, where people were
aware of things, and valued
things  -  and condescended,
yes, to sell the crap from old
Henderson's farm when it
was broken up. It takes a
certain kind of place and
person to do all that; an
equivalent feel to being
erudite, and almost overly
precious too. All gone now.
All. Later on somehow both
my family and my wife's family
ended up with adult people  - 
much  to my surprise  - who
moved to such communities
of' the prized, antique world,
in New Jersey. One place
was Cape May, and the other
was Port Republic. They were
both, in the 1970's and early 80's,
pretty cool places for something
of this sort of thing; but I
never got there much and
was never much onto the
far-off scene.
-
I was always drawn north,
for some  reason, north of New
York City; the city becoming my
southern baseline. South never
interested me, after my seminary
years in Blackwood. Except
for Philadelphia itself, it seemed
nothing as much as a sandy
bungle of Abner Yokums
everywhere. (L'il Abner was
a cartoon character of the era,
back then  - comic strip stuff,
Tennessee back-country and
moonshine stupidity. Pure goof).
I think everybody worth anything
eventually establishes a personal
compass, for themselves, by
which they orient and steer the
directions and affairs of their
own personal beings. That was
mine. North to Alaska! In this
case Alaska being New York
State and Vermont. Things were
brewing, and I could feel them;
it was all in the air, even though
Woodstock and all the crass
marketing end of things hadn't
yet happened. One thing I found,
from this, and from Yonderhill  -
I guess I didn't make mention,
but that was the name of the little
old converted church, as antique
store. They called the place
'Yonderhill.' Which was a little
hokey, but nice too, and they
had it engraved in wood, too,
up above the entry door. It was
pretty nice. The place is still
there, I think with the same
name and doing the same
business  -  but it's lost that
touch that once drew me in.
Or maybe I myself have just
changed that much.
-
Anyway, Avenel had no 
equivalent to it, or of any
antique operation to it at all, 
and what it ended up teaching
me, this Yonderhill place, was
that there's another 'place' where
things exist; that everything has 
a history (even Avenel, I guess,
as tawdry an dry as it was). It's
a place that doesn't really exist.
A sort of personal 'Yonderhill.'
You have to make it, construct
it, through information and 
seeking out and imagination 
too. Sort of a 'research' of the
heart and mind  -  that's what 
makes an individual; someone
who stands out and is whole 
and right and reasonable 
within all facets of every 
thing. Such a person really 
ought be listened to, and 
treasured. These source-finds 
are everywhere, but it's a 
special kind of person who 
knows how to tap them and 
bring something back from 
that dark mill of the mind. 
To uplift and exalt. To give 
meaning to a struggling
lifetime and quest..








Monday, July 16, 2018

10,982. TO PRONTO FROM TORONTO

TO PRONTO FROM TORONTO
Making a left at Greenland doesn't
work and I can't do a thing about that.
The idea of icicles brimming is more
to my liking. But at this long stage of
a day-lit life, the waxy buildup is thick
on the sides of all the candles.

10,981. BRIDGE

BRIDGE
Raise high the unsaid heartfelt
lipstick of the ages; unfurled
passions burning above. Unwind
and stretch, ye fraughtful beings
bought with stone and mud and
trinkets. There is light above the
canyon : other places where 
the mind can go.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

10,980. TO ANNE WALDMAN

TO ANNE WALDMAN
In supposing you said all you
wanted to say, you said it first
and gave it away. No, I'm wrong.
In some odd fashion manner one 
still has to 'buy' this. You capitalist 
pig-fool. A bear will never touch 
a dead body? And....so?

10,979. RUDIMENTS, pt. 377

RUDIMENTS, pt. 377
(crime-waves; just don't wave back)
I probably could have been
an arch-criminal; though I
never wanted to be one really.
Stealing money was easy;
goods and things a little
harder. Breaking and
entering was a lark. It's
so easy too  -  all you
have to do is 'pretend' that
you honor the law, and then
break it. No one ever suspects.
It's an easy game, and one
that politicians have honed
to a science  -  except they
compound it a little by always
having to first create 'deniability.'
A real criminal never cares
about that. (But then again
a real criminal stays outside
the law and operates freely,
in an anarchic fashion. The
others are too fearful to do
that, they just 'make' new laws
that cover their cowardice).
I used to enjoy, first, reading
'A Clockwork Orange,' by
Anthony Burgess. In the '68
Studio School basement, on
those Winter overnights of
just passing time while mostly
sitting up, I'd read and re-read
that little, cheap, paperwork
copy of it I had. I can't remember,
but I think it was a one-color,
maybe bright yellow or ochre,
and all it said, very generic,
was 'A Clockwork Orange.'
It was pretty cool stuff, and
then somewhere along the line,
maybe in the '70's (I forget that
too) it was a film  -  graphic,
shocking, and right to the point.
I'm not a film guy by any means,
but I managed to see that once
or twice. Why not? It was like
a school for crime, and all their
methods of removing crime from
this main character guy Alex's
psyche were laughable.
-
Some were the times that I could
have killed and/or stole with no
looking back or even thinking
twice about it. But, like with
most everything else, my efforts
fell short and I just never stayed
with it. Jail-time, prison-time,
and all those butt-busting jail
guys I always heard about just
never were my style. Cutting my
hand open one time, on a shard
of the window I'd just quietly
broken, ended my biggest caper,
because of the blood I was leaving
everywhere. I might as well have
just dialed 911 and said 'Come get
me, I'm here in the Arnot Museum.'
Stealing treasured relics and stuff
is stupid anyway. Where can you
go with it? I mean, really, safely?
Every buyer out there for that
sort of hot stuff is worse than
you are as thief of that hot stuff.
They'd sell you over to the next
high bidder in an instant, for some
more money, and your nice little
career is over, like that!, out on
some pier or wharf or warehouse
loading dock 'accident.' Now
damn, how'd he get in the way
of that fork lift?
-
Ben Johnson, a long time ago
wrote, 'How near to good is
what is fair!' I used to say, 'How
near to good is what is wild!'
Well, I never said that, and I
was never really 'wild' in that
sense, heck, I was never wild
in any sense. It was just cool
to think like that. Where I came
from, there wasn't really any
sub-level of subversive efforts
to beget crime. Or, as a kid
anyway, I never saw much of
it. Avenel was sedate; calm,
and boring too. There's just
so much you can do with
Little League and flag football.
Each of those were fairly
pathetic attempts at keeping
kids in line. I never minded
much of either, though I much
preferred tackle, for football.
The other one, which I referred
to as fag-football instead, was
a bunch of sissies running
around for safety with a stupid
plastic belt around their waist
and two little plastic strips, (the
'flags') velcro'd on, one per side,
and instead of tackling and
mauling you for fun, the
opponent had to be satisfied
with yanking off (no pun,
Wilkinson) one of those flags
on your waistband. Yeah, tell
me that wasn't a joy-boy's idea
of paradise. Like going shopping
for handbags, I'm sure.
-
New York City, by contrast, was
filled with crime. You could sit
down somewhere, and, if not careful,
lose within two minutes, probably
your shoes, whatever was in your
pockets, your watch, and  -  probably  -
the account number off your bank
book, if you had one; if not the
book itself and the heck with the
numbers. In countless little offices,
guys' jobs centered around crime :
extortion, bribery, stock fraud,
illicit contracts, insider trading,
freight and cargo hijacking,
covering up other crimes, like
leakages of poisons into the
Gowanus, or the East River,
drainings of fuels and ballast,
commonly called pollution.
No one really cared, and it
was all a living. Now it's all
different; things have expanded
so much that crime has come
to us. Mob guys and Russian
racketeers, Israeli swindlers,
even terror operations operate
openly, and now in suburbia;
well what used to be that
anyway. There's nothing
suburban anymore about
Woodbridge or the surrounding
county areas. Except maybe
lawns, and schools  -  if you
can count as suburban any
school at which a cop car
is constantly present. Or
perhaps it's learning itself
that has become a crime
and that's what they're
guarding against. (Let's
ask Clockwork Alex, as they
pin his eyes open and make
him watch endless porno to
break him of the habit).
-
It's funny really, how all those
years in the seminary, say, with
all that proto-holy stuff and the
rest, the one thing they never
really talked about or touched
upon (I dislike saying that in
the context of Catholic men
and boys cloisters) was the
base part of human nature
that's within all of us. They
simply turned it into a version,
conceptual, of their own concept
of 'original sin' and the fall of
Mankind. Which was a cop-out
as I saw it  -   easy to blame any
shortfall or mistake, or whatever
on that. Too easy, all that 'fallen
nature' stuff. It got so bad, along
the way somewhere, that they'd
engrained it right into their
basic church doctrine. Of 
course, half the time, they 
were the biggest offenders  -  
so we're right back to the 
politician thing I made 
mention earlier. Anyway,
nothing they ever taught ever
covered the propensities of
humans for being lousy beings.
Swindlers and crooks, even
murderers and liars too. They
somehow, and for some reason,
always acted as if the whole 
world was happy, sweet and 
gay (frolicsome) in all its 
aspects  -  I always saw
that as a great shortcoming.
I guess they just saw it as
coming. Well, I guess that's
my church joke for this chapter.
Next chapter I'll tell you all
about the heist I did once
at the old Thelma's Bakery.



10,978. HAMLET'S CRAZY HUT

HAMLET'S CRAZY HUT
Here at home we are bored; standing
listlessly by the entrance to old banks
and outdated concert halls. The guy with
the flugel horn from the Mephistopholes'
Dance-Hall band has just left. I think
they layed him off. No one writes for
that instrument anymore, and even
polka-dancers won't dance to it.
-
A lady came over today, with her
little girl, while I was standing by the 
car, my dog with me, just staring, right
by the dollar store where Sentry TV 
used to be. Boy, those were the days.
The little girl says, 'We have a dog,
at home. Named Blanco.' I said, 'Hey,
I bet it's white!' She said, 'Yes, he's
all white, all over.'
-
Just down the street, right by the
tire shop named Atlantic, still stands
the burned-out hulk of the go-go bar 
that used to be called Jammers. I 
wonder where all those girls have 
gone. Old people's homes? 
Or just mothers at home?

10,977. RELIQUARY

RELIQUARY
My angels are of the stars,
but I only ask forgiveness
of men

10,976. PENT-UP NEIGHBORHOOD FRUSTRATION GLEE

PENT-UP NEIGHBORHOOD FRUSTRATION GLEE
Harold, don't leave me hanging and
cut me some grass I want that guy's
wife like a beer can wants a can
opener and if you can't tell by now
why I'm edging this lawn you're a
bigger jerk than I thought.
-
Marvin, get your fat ass down from
temple and come home right now; the
curtains need trimming and the dog
has not been fed for days. You big
jerk-schmiel-milkentoasten, or whatever
that crazy stuff is you call everyone else. 
-
Lucretia, I declare take your stone mantle
down from the bricks and stop wearing
your fake pearls on Tuesdays. Shop-Rite
doesn't care about you.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

10,975. RUDIMENTS, pt. 376

RUDIMENTS, pt. 376
(avenel's riotously laughable lies)
I probably should have been
a comedian; everything else
has been a bust. I should
never have gotten started.
Mostly, all my days, I was
genuinely pretty funny. A
quip, an aside. The problem
was, I was often enough 
pretty foul : Not too much  
of a filtering mechanism 
in play between words and
routines in search of a good
punchline. Seinfeld? Hell,
I gave him his first joke :
(What did Adam say to
Eve on their first night 
together: 'Stand back, Eve,
I don't know how big this
thing gets'). A comedian
can get away with lying;
it's easy and it's part of a
stand-up shtick. You expect
to be laughed at, and the 
material to be skewered, 
so you naturally get
outlandish. 'I had a dog
once. Named it Spot. It
was a nice dog; but I don't
have it anymore. Spilled
Spot remover on it.' All
untrue, and not even an
original, but so what and
who cares? You can't do 
that with 'writing.' It's a
much more difficult gig :
You need to be ready, at
any time, to defend what 
you just said; give sources;
describe it in some other
form. That sucks, all around.
It's akin to a straitjacket; a
straitjacket, of course, a 
comedian never dons. 'We
have nothing left here,' the  -
rich guy said.  'The cook has
gone back to Honduras, the
gardener is in Mexico City
for a month's vacation, and 
the two pool guys are back in
El Salvador, getting their work
permits updated. All I've got
left is Carmina, the Peruvian
maid, who, let me tell you, ain't
such a bad deal (wink, wink).
This new slavery has its perks.
We keep messing up the bed,
she keeps re-making it!I say,
'Bring your Andes Mountains 
over here.' She says, 'OK Mr.
Andy, anything you want.'
-
I don't remember any 'comedy' 
clubs, per se, back when I first
lived in New York City, although
I wasn't exactly looking. Now I
know a few, and read their marquee
boards as I pass  -  a lot of local,
passing schlock, but maybe it's
funny. I never go in. I never enter
anywhere where there's a table
waiting for you, or cloth, or 
candles. Doorman-types and
welcomers; forget about it, as
the old New York joke thing 
goes. That's immediately like
a 9 bucks a drink, 3 drink/set 
minimum; so you can drool at
some jerk's Jew jokes, or his
making fun of that guy's date's
cleavage. Even if it's another guy. 
The entire comedy thing has turned 
into an industry now. A circuit. 
There's one right next to the entry 
of the Chelsea Hotel; but I never 
know any of the names. And 
along Bleecker Street too. 
-
There were a lot of situations
in my life that were, or would
have been, great comedy plants,
for jokes and routines  -  beginning
of course, first and foremost, with
my own crazy family. Extended
family too. A boatload of nutcases.
It all depended on how clinical
you wanted to get, and how much
you wanted to skewer these people.
The Brooklyn guy next door, who
was a 'chemist' at Schaeffer Beer,
and was even on  a Channel 9
Schaeffer Beer documentary, in
his beer-lab jacket, no less. What
was up with that? Taking blood?
He was walking around for the
documentary with his little hypo
and some test-tube the whole time.
One time, when I used to hang
out a lot at the Avenel train station,
reading my Lawrence Ferlinghetti
in the cool little wooden shed that
used to be there, on the northbound
side, as the shelter for the train-waiters,
I got to know this guy I kept seeing
there -  gay as a fruit cake (I think
he said his name was Wilkinson)  -
he kept showing me his fashion
drawings  - which, as his job, he 
drew in  NYC for Sak's, or 
Alexander's, or Ohrbach's,
one of those dumb stores. He'd
start explaining all this crap to
me  -  skinny little pencil-line
girls, perky and cute as all
get-out, and their outfits. 'The
outfits must take precedence, 
you realize. My drawings are 
secondary, always. But there 
are rules too I must stay by  - 
the distance from the top of
the (unhatted) head to the
eyes must be 1/3 the distance
to the bottom of the (usually
upturned) chin bottom.' There
were other things too, I forget,
like about the length of the arms,
ratio of the body-trunk to those
arms, etc. Real crud. It too
seemed like a 'straitjacket',
but for stupid drawings, and 
he didn't seem to mind. Then
he started getting personal  -  he
was probably 23 maybe, to my
17. All that 'waiting for your
girlfriend' stuff. The bastard.
Really. Asks if I've 'gotten in her
panties yet, seen her tits?' Totally
bonkers, and this from a guy
so obviously gay he had 
hammer-toes. I couldn't
believe it. He purported to
know everything  -  'here's 
what she'll be doing, this is 
what they want, here's what 
you do, this is how it works.' 
What an asshole. (Mothers  
-  don't let your kids hang 
around train stations, not 
even in Avenel). I finally 
told him I was a cartoonist 
for Playboy, and pretended 
to give him my card. I told
him to call me, I might give
him some work. And I left.
-
One of the things that irk me,
now, is how 'encroachment' 
happens; almost by accident.
For instance, go ask the local
Woodbridge State Senator, 
Vitale, if he's gay. Then try 
and find that Wilkinson guy 
who was hired here, 2 years 
ago, at full salary, and who's
as gay as pig's feet too. Then
look at the swoosh staff he's
assembled (in abstentia) to
purportedly run this local
Art Center (Avenel having 
an art's center is about as 
funny as Vesuvius and 
Pompei together running 
a chain of sweet shops), at 
like 100 plus grand a year, 
and who's had nothing ever 
to do with Avenel. See if 
there's a connection there.
(Not that there's anything
wrong with that!!) [stealing
back from Seinfeld]. There's 
a big lie here too, in that
Wilkinson at first said he was
'traveling the country' seeing
how other places do their arts
centers, but who on his own
page says he's happily packed
and ready to be off! to Atlantic
City for the Summer. I wonder
on whose dollar that is. (Comedy
again calls. What that noise I 
keep hearing? It's like a big
swoosh coming in to Avenel.
I'm wondering why we allow 
that stuff?)...
-
If you read Henry David Thoreau,
he has a book, commonly called
'On Civil Disobedience,' although
that's not the actual title of it; it
somehow just ended up with that. 
In it he claims for us the right to
resist. I here close with this quick
compendium of how Authority
coerces us into believing and
accepting their comedy bullshit:
The political classes are constantly
at work, even at the very smallest
of levels  - think municipal, think
'senior centers,' think 'music and
free concerts in the park.' Primary
here is the idea of getting people to
where they can no longer distinguish
the natural from the false (it's easier
here in Avenel, because no one knows
anyway). All theories of the ideal
organization of life become equal. 
None of them can be understood 
any more or any less connected to
planetary truth. So the person or
group, then, that can speak the
most loudly or forcefully or
'organized' (easy when you're a
mayor's task force of lackey's
working off tax money), can be
made to be convincing. It's a
strategy. Reality and its definitions
are now up for grabs and have
become a game. They become
better at the game than anyone 
else  - re-shaping disordered 
minds and tilling a new soil
from which monsters will
inevitably grow (their own
monsters). Confusion is also
sown, no one knows what will
happen next (parking permits?
lawn restrictions?), they are
adrift. All information becomes
believable and not believable at
the same time. Nothing is not
arbitrary. A park is 'built' and a
grand opening is held. 9 months 
later it is closed. Walkways are 
paved. 'You can only walk here.'
Completely randomly done). 
People cannot defend themselves.
(RESIST! said Thoreau, resist!)..
The past gets completely obliterated.
History is revised. It is impossible
to prove contradictions, so the
efforts gets abandoned. Without a
point of comparison, all information
is equally real. Contradictions can
no longer be proven, so the efforts
are abandoned. This effort by
'Authority' is to then purge all
references to any alternative. 
Whatever is offered as real (Ernie
Oros fake BS nature park) can no
longer be faulted. Nothing is now
provable by direct experience
because all experience is manufactured.
All existence is arbitrary, subject to
the creation of Authority. Ghetto
housing projects built, with grandiose
names and stations and art centers,
all to nothing but theft, corruption,
and money-laundering, well-hidden
within contracts and pay-offs. 
-
Now the hard part : The goal becomes
keeping people focused on their own
satisfaction and limiting their needs
to those that can be satisfied by
social engineers. This precludes
discontent. People are led to believe
that anything 'natural' is wrong. 
Experience must become confined
to predetermined patterns. Human
feelings and any wildness within
are complicated and unwieldy and
reveal alternatives. They are seen,
therefore, as dangerous to the 
'controllers.' Any of that must be
ridiculed and eliminated, and all
experience must be contained
within artificial, controlled
environments ('This is a tree;
you will walk here, not there').
Lastly, they try to eliminate
personal knowledge, making it
hard for people to know about 
themselves, and 'people' must be
kept separate from each other;
no crowds unless in pre-arranged
experiences (control) like [you
guessed it. Think municipal, think
'senior centers,' think 'music and
free concerts in the park, again.']   -  
events that occupy all attention
at once. Concerts, sports, circuses;
any spectacle in which focus is
outward and interpersonal exchange
is subordinated to mass experience.
Think of all that the next time some
local monkey posts happy-talk 
messages. Or maybe just go to a
comedy club. See if I'm on the bill.