Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Desiree Robinson yeah sure that's a name. I've
heard that one before  -  waltzing through those 
Princeton halls with the kids Angelicus and Abercrombie
side by side together, walking as if they had one head.
It's pretty distressing, this mess  -  when the grounds
crew cares more about trees than people. The one
with the power-blower, blasting leafs and wearing
a head-scarf and earplugs too. But what about
everyone else? There are a few golf balls
too on this big, broad lawn  -  what if I
should break my neck?
I walked right up to this lawnskeep guy, and just
said, 'What is it you're doing?" He looked up and
said 'It's not poison I'm spraying, it's palm-water-lime,
something trees and grasses like.' Shrugging it off
I had to assume the creep was right : even though I
knew he wasn't. 'That's highway fudge, that's salted
loam, that's the effervescent water angle of the
five constituent lotions.' You can tell people
anything, and most of the time they'll
believe what you say.


'So, what are you going to do with all those things
you're storing?' No answer for that one, no, for
sure. He had me there : 'Gonna' build me a castle,
walk straight on up to the Moon. Gonna' stand
here waiting for the girl who gets off the 5:13
to come by here again. Gonna' buy me a seat for
the playoff games. How's any of that for ya?'
Tendencies to obliterate the truth usually come to 
the fore in a crisis situation  -  as this was, being
asked and put on the spot like that for an answer.
My being was never equipped for that. I don't
need answers at all, and even the questions will
never do. I was born in some other land, and it
takes a lot to meet the requirements of that.
So, anyway, thank the chief for the handkerchief,
and tell him I use it to blow my nose, whenever
that need arises. I've got a good dog, and she
takes to me well. Tell him I said hi, and
then to go to Hell.

7227. BELOW THE WATER LINE, pt. 24

(pt. 24)
Sometime in the late 1990's, Hazel  -  that lady
proprietor of The Maple Tree, of which and of
whom I just spoke, having become friendly with
me, let me get involved just a little bit  -  in the
most warm and good-naturedly way  -  with her
past. She had been born and raised on Perry Street,
New York City, it just so happened. Her last name,
obviously, was something else entire  -  not Pichalski  -
but I do forget right now what it was. Anyway, she
spoke to me often of her 'old' days on Perry Street,
the ways in which they were there raised. The kind of 
street and building lives they'd led, the schools and the
churches, etc. All old-world stuff, to be sure  -  coal chutes,
ice-wagons, dogs running free, no traffic enforcements,
and the rest. On the corner right there, which was at one
time my local NYC neighborhood in my twenties, was
The White Horse Tavern  -  I need not tell you how it
was a legendary, literary watering hole, a place for workers
and drunks, brawlers and Irishmen, dock workers, thugs,
killers and whores, all mashed up together. Great and famed
spot  -  there to this day. Hudson Street fame and fortune,
Dylan Thomas, Dorothy Day, Jane Jacobs, I could go on and
on. (In the year 2005, perhaps it was, I walk in during pre-World
Series playoff-games, and who's sitting there, beer in hand, at a 
table, looking up at a TV, writing and working on his commentary,
for later airing, I guess, but Ron Darling  -  once a Mets pitcher of
fame. Said hi, mingled a moment, shot the shit, and walked on (me,
that is). I'd seen Ron Darling, back about 1979, pitching for Dartmouth
at a Princeton vs. Dartmouth baseball game, before he was anything. I
just laughed him off thinking, 'who's going anywhere, with a butt-of-all
baseball-jokes last name like that?' Turns out I was wrong).
Anyway, in The White Horse, everday day, same time, same 
appointed and reserved corner seat at the bar, was a guy I knew, an 
old-timer, named 'Jackie'. He'd grown up right there, on the corner 
above, on Perry Street, in that neighborhood. Putting two and two 
together, I asked him if knew a Hazel whatever last name it was then. 
He beamed  -  they'd been best friends, girlfriend/boyfriend kids, all 
that. I told him I knew her, etc., etc., and he said he'd love to see her, 
bring her in some day, and the rest. I went back home, told Hazel the 
whole story, and she too was thrilled. Two weeks or so later, having 
finagled all the arrangements, using her car, Hazel let me drive her
in. I parked nearby, no problem, and she and Jack had one of the
grandest, heartwarming and happy reunions I'd ever seen. We stayed 
a bit, then let them be (a few others from Woodbridge area had, 
arrangement, met me there). Getting back to them a little later, 
they were still  -  now with others  -  rollicking in the old times, old 
days, and old people. Alas, now, some years later, Jack is dead, 
and Hazel too. Such, then, is the life we're given. It all amounts 
to love and personal extension.

7226. BELOW THE WATER LINE, pt. 23

(pt. 23)
There was a time when we could walk clear out
through the prison cornfields and woods and
eventually get ourselves out to the backfields of
the Maple Tree  -  a bar and picnic grounds  -  once
called I think the White Star Farm or something
of that nature. There was a pond there, where now is
a business/warehouse thing called 'Premier Die-Cast'
a machine shop of some sort. The old proprietor of
the Maple Tree Hazel, (wonderful lady, she only
seemed old; was probably in her fifties), used to tell
me how, when her husband broke up the property, in
the 1960's, the pond was covered over when that
warehouse/machine shop was built  -  covered over
without much fanfare. And she'd tell of how the people
in the business there were always complaining of things
being wet, the basement flooding, etc., and how no one
really ever let on. I don't know how true all that is, what
with building codes and things, but that's what she used
to tell me. That pond, when we'd finally reach it, was
sublime  -  it had a gracefully arched wooden bridge
running over a portion of it, and sunfish and small fish
were always being fished for  -  from that bridge and
from the sides and the banks. It was really a wonderful
spot  -   just a little distant, and just a little secluded.
Nothing crazy, in either direction, just distant and
secluded. We pretty much never went past that, to
anywhere else, and I  -  back then  -  wouldn't have
been able to tell you much past Rahway Ave. Only
later, with that paper route and stuff, did I venture
farther downward to the lowlands, as I explained,
the 'Way-Outs.' Some of that wooded area, with the
stream and waterway, is still there, on what's now
called 'Paddock Street', just a long, downhill slide
from Philadelphia Quartz, by the prison and by the
State School. That side of Avenel was familiar
enough to me, but no real freindships or connections
ever grew  -  only for church and school functions
did such disparate people come together anyway. It
was funny, all the little groups were different and
stayed to themselves. Our group, Inman Ave., Clark
Place, Monica Court, were for a time the 'newest'
constructions and therefore the latest 'outsiders' to
blow into 'town', or whatever Avenel was. So things
never really gelled  -  people stayed apart, the older
of the old timers even keeping themselves from the
oldest of the newcomers groups. Fragmented and
very structured, this society, the old society, had its
older and original names. I can't really recall any of
them now, really  -  maybe the Krugs, and the Cenegys
for that matter. Maybe. There were town names, yes,
but I do forget them. Messina. Cermayan. Ciggatura,
Kuzmiak. Taylor. Kosik. Gross. Crawford. Pichalski, 
which was the White Star Farms name, later the
Maple Tree. I don't know too much else on that.
I made mention before of the real lack of wildlife in early
Inman Avenue days, probably still now but no matter. These
days, however, when I walk that hill up Paddock Road, or 
whatever it is, Avenue, Place, etc., the woods stretching to 
my right have a herd of deer, perhaps 7-10 strong, numerous
ground animals, and a fine, running stream that looks not so
bad and which is, in fact, dog-drinkable. Big difference from
the dead lands and the turgid water-flows of dark grey, horrid
looking water back then. Nice to know. I know, of course, that
looks aren't a real key here for water quality, of course, but -
just sayin'  -  as it's often put today. The lands leading in and
out of that sunfish pond area were golden lands for me  -  there
were stands of trees which had apparently withstood the tests
of time, a lot of broken limbs and apparently storm-damaged 
stuff, but great for kids. Certainly, best of all, no people.
I always figured that a person had to think, really think it
through, to determine the how and why of this conquered land. 
I figured, and spiritually still feel it so, that the most-vibrant and
important spots and land, places where the frequencies of that which
spoke to peoples' spirits, were the first places taken over and covered
by 'Government' buildings and functions  -  their way of stifling
any pick-up on those vibratory remnants and thus stifling the
free-flow, at the same time, of peoples' thoughts and intentions.
It's a sort of invisible, mental colonialism, a slavery of sorts that
gets dropped into place.  Here, for instance, one had, first, the
railroad lands  -  taken over and used for ostensible 'public'
needs, but which were anything but. Then the vast prison grounds.
You just knew the prison, first built as a foreboding, Victorian-
era boy's reformatory, had to have been placed over important 
eddies of energy  -  the gurgling streams of revolt and anguish,
the old paths and settlement centers of the 'Rahway' River-side
natives (what we call 'Indians', only by mistake and enforcement
by edict  -  to make them sound distant and faraway). This all has 
to be stifled, sent-away, so to speak. A marauding National Govern-
ment can't successfully exist if the small corners of thought-insurrection
and revolt are left in place and allowed their workings. Those are
the spots whereon government buildings, town and city halls, schools
and churches are built. To quash what's beneath them. It's a curious
sort of American smothering, the past be damned, and those in
power, they know they're always to be running scared.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


I crossed the Alleghenies by driving quite fast.
Wanted nothing for wasting my time. Now headed
to Pittsburgh, I wanted to sleep. Some dip-faced
hotel in a little alley-town along the way. I got off
the big road, and just kept driving the turns 'til I
got to some lights. A bar, a tavern, an Arby's,
a closed-up barber-shop, a drug-store, and the 
Cantwell Motel. What a cool name, I thought 
to myself, entering. The lobby was more like a 
ticket lounge in an old movie-house. The guy 
behind the counter said his name was Ned. 
I said 'Ned, I'll need a room for two nights, and 
as long as it's got a bed and a sink I don't care
about nothing else.' Still he went on : free coffee
machine for use in each room, with complementary 
coffee, WIFI everywhere, large screen TV. No, he
didn't get my gist, but I got the room. It looked out,
I saw the next morning, over a lake named 'Lake Orange'
where someone once  -  locals had it  -  saw the image
of Jesus in a scarce reflection on the open water. So, of
course, there's the Lake Orange Chapel right there too.
That's why, Ned said the next day, 'we don't got no
porno channels or nothing like that. Hope you don't 
mind.' What a weird thing to say. Saw my Jersey plates,
or what, I wondered.  I sat in his lounge-chair lobby
a while, just to see what passes for life on this side of
those mountains. Which aren't really 'mountains' anyway.
But whatever. Indian tribes had different names for
different things  -  we call it Lake Orange, with a Jesus
attached; God knows what they called it : 'Akeemawapo
boniwicca'  -  I think that means 'Lake of Some White Man's
God' in the local Allegheny tongue. Whatever. Now all they
do is gamble anyway, and take the white man's money.
Even from a guy like me, just trying to make Pittsburgh 
soon, even from a guy like me, though I don't let them.


Outside of Shopsin's, the Autumn wind is
already beginning to blow : leaves are scattering 
and street-vendor's smoke is no longer to linger.
Good for that. Inside the old Essex Market, now 
the newer kids make up for lost time : doubling
their special and healthful sandwiches, demanding
now a gluten-free pizza. Old Shopsin's just shakes
its head. If that's all you want, go elsewhere.
I seem to think, just by looking at a guys glasses
around here  -  eyewear  -  I can tell what he'll
be soon to order ; pineapple juice with a shaker
of cream, eyelet fries topped with mayonnaise,
any all of that so-hip food. Today's the world's
Medusa raft. I'm think we're all going 
down with this ship.

Monday, September 28, 2015


This foot knows no bounds. The shoe store
guy is bending over, and trying to fit this
woman's trouble. She drinking from a juice
container  -  some crazy-healthful tropic
concoction she claims will fix her ills. Looks
like coconut and water juiced together, at 
six-ninety-five a pop, to me. First she worries
of her health, now it's on to shoes. 'I'm so
tired of wearing Blahniks,' she says, 'and
everyone's got them now, I even saw them
on QVC, with some atrocious woman from
Georgia calling in, with that perfectly horrible
accent you know, about how 'wahnderful' those
shoes made her feel. Gawd!' The poor guy just
has to keep working  -  I don't know how he gets
paid, but if it's commission, he's going to 
earn his pay on this transaction.


So, I was born 9/29/49. A long
time later, a gypsy lady on Lexington,
telling me my fortune, said 'those
numbers are awesomely auspicious.'
Then she went on about the trailing strings 
of 9's, adding the number together, and then 
as a whole, etc. The usual twenty-dollar stuff.
I said back: 'Awesomely auspicious? Seems
more to me as 'awfully suspicious'.
Never brought me a God-damned
thing.' She grinned a Gypsy grin,
and with cigarette smoke coming
out her teeth, simply said, 'My son,
you are just looking in all the
wrong places.'


Having loaded up on everything else, I figured
to go ahead - a tube of soft, white stuff, no so bad.
It wasn't like those other soft cheeses, from wine
and cheese parties and the rest of that old fondue
food from 1974, on Irvine Place, with Nelson and
Kristin in Elmira. Well, anyways, they always turned
into pot-fueled orgies anyway -   languid people just
trancing around. I stayed on the fringes. It always
scared me off. Haven't had soft cheese since. Elmira
College and all those horny dunces, Elton John and
Fairport Convention on the turntables. Now that I
dug. I always did like that Matty Groves tune, and
Sandy Denny had a wonderful voice. I think
now, those are my people and that's where
my head is still at. Go figure.
Jeepers, how crazy the way memory works and
signals its intentions to take you back. So. Take
me back then : lemon groves, liege and lief, just
don't make me cry. I'm such a dumb and saddened
person. You can't take me anywhere.
Oh world of old, I really do 
love you so.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


No, not, and the Viceroy is coming for dinner and
all I have is this soup : where am I to turn? The little
take-out place around the corner from MOMA maybe 
can help me, but their stuff is always so hot. If I
ask for no spice, they'll throw it at me. Fiery
pepper powder can ruin one's afternoon.
Instead, I can roll some onions and order in : Pop Tarts
maybe can do for dessert? (No, stupid, I think not).
Oh, so confusing; if I only had an inkling of what to 
do. I'll call Lana in 5b. She always knows this stuff.
This guy calls himself 'Viceroy', but I think it's a
fake title  -  he says he works for Random House
but a Bennet Cerf he ain't  -  more like a bowling
champ at the Wing-Dong Palace League Hotel.
Right over here, just as well, I can ask Ponchitta Pierce
or Megan Marshak. All neighbors whom I've known quite
well. Why not, and what the hell?


(pt. 21)
When I say there was only the bible in that room, I mean that :
my mother did have a subscription to Reader's Digest Condensed
Books, which kept arriving. It was through them, as least, that I
read such lower-tier claptrap as 'Seven Days in May', by Fletcher
Knebel, something like 1958, about a government coup in DC, or
something to that effect; another book was 'Advise and Consent', also
something about the inner workings of politics and Congress, though 
dressed as drama-writing, fictional. I don't know what of it all I 
understood, but I kept reading. I enjoyed The Haunting of Hill House, 
by Shirley Jackson, probably most of all  -  there were any numbers of 
others. Each 'condensed' book, as they were called, I guess had things 
left out, shortened by deletion. Whatever. I was 10 years old, what did I
care? I just reveled in words, and let the little plots and things carry 
me along as I watched the word-magic and let it take me. I just rolled
with it. I cannot rightly remember right now what other titles were
in these selections, but it was enough for me. Avenel did have a tiny
little library, an 'elbow room' of sorts. I borrowed lots from that too
I remember books entitled 'The Illustrated Book of .....' whatever each 
one covered : Astronomy, Electronics, the Oceans, etc. And I
loved, also, the 'Landmark Books' series; history/people. The little
library was quite nice, and then  at the same location - it was torn 
down and replaced with a larger, newer structure, with my friend Phil's
mother, 'Mrs. Muccilli' as the librarian and check-out desk clerk.
Always a pleasant place for me  -  they also had some photographs
of the old place they'd just torn down, on the wall. And one of them
surprisingly, had another neighbor girl of mine, Linda Napoli ( she was
about 6 years older than me) as one of the photos, standing near the
main desk as a book was checked out. Fascinating to me.
If that was the genesis of my interest in writing and in words, or even
if it wasn't, it's a good enough spot for me to call it. I found, by that
time, that talking didn't do it for me; writing was much better. When
I was writing, it was all my own  -  talking had to be too shaded, things
kept indirect, the end result of what you were saying needed to be 
considered beforehand (remember Jim Yacullo's repetition of what 
he just said, and my reaction to it as 'why don't you do that first?' a few
chapters back?). Writing was an imaginative magic. Talking was drab.
We were poor. We didn't have an encyclopedia set. I used to call over, 
by phone, to my neighbor's house, two doors over, Ed and Betty 
Fehring, and let them know I'd be coming over, to pick up the 'E' 
volume, or the 'S' volume, of their Britannica's. Mrs. Fehring (always  
just 'Betty' to me) was a daytime friend of my mother's  -  coffee 
clatches, visits back and forth. I had been given, by her, the 
dispensation of having open availability to any of their encyclopedia 
volumes, any time. I never abused it, it was always evenings, like 7pm, 
and always school-work stuff, and returned the next day. I'd go over 
there, knock at the back door (the kitchen in the house was always 
dark, as they were in another room, with television, and the 
encyclopedias, I think, were on some shelves in that main room too. 
It was great). We had the very same shelves, built into the very same 
wall, but all they held were knick-knacks and a few condensed 
books. Mr. Fehring was, as recall a local mailman, and I knew him 
to say hi to. They had two boys, Walter, and Ed. Ed the younger, 
I still have contact with. Walter moved to another part of the 
state, I think. I always liked those boys  -  never had much real 
boyhood 'friendship' contact with them  -  age differences  
and all  -  but anyway.
Remember the war guys and the wounded? Well, another 
instance:  right after we moved to Inman Avenue, the first year or 
maybe two, there was this fellow named 'Whitey'  -  just 'Whitey', that's 
all we ever knew him as. He seldom talked, never anyway much to 
us kids. The houses had all been built without storm windows and 
storm doors. This 'Whitey' guy had somehow managed, from his 
work truck, with supplies and roof-racks and all, to make contracts 
with almost everyone  -  a house at a time  -  to install storms, 
screens and storm doors. He was a constant presence  -  silently 
working, three or four, maybe, days per house, I don't recall exactly.
I guess his strange little monopoly was good enough for him. 
My mother always just said something to the effect of 'you boys 
leave Whitey alone; let him do his work and never sneak up on 
him or scare him.' I remember him, also, constantly smoking, 
and always at work, head down, oblivious. She said he'd been
 'affected' by the war and we should just let him be. 
One day he was just gone.
He'd managed to cover pretty well most of the block  - storm window
stuff back then wasn't like today. It was only in silver, some horrible
non-color like raw metal  -  nothing colored to match, nothing fancy,
real utilitarian stuff, and most people also got a grid/shield thing on
the front door which had their last-name initial, large and centered
in the grillwork. Kind of an attempt at royal presence. Inside these 
houses, I noticed too, curiously  -  for no one else ever seemed to 
make mention  -  the builders had not used wood. Around all the 
interior entryways and doors, the sills and moldings  -  they were all 
metal. I guess it was a volume-factory thing, a cost-cutting measure. 
Straight from the factory to the work-site in great bundles. White, 
painted metal, like a trailer. I used to like them, actually, for 
drumming my fingers on  -  nice, varied, hollow sounds. I did the 
same with the metal sides of the stove, and my mother had some 
pots and pans hanging, on  a head-high rack, onto which I also used 
to drum, using sticks or whatever. Great sounds. Now they call that 
stuff, I think, a 'junk-band' sound and play it in Brooklyn. 
Maybe it's a 'noise band'; I forget, and don't care either.
However I grew out of Inman  -  however and if  -  I have lots more 
to tell and say, but the main quality  -  I really have to say  -  that I 
took with me, took away from those truckyards and prison fields, 
trailer parks and woods and factories and swamps, was a disdain for 
the world; a complete and utter non-faith and non-interest in the 
workings of it  -  in the formal sense  -  and I somehow found out that, 
behind everything, every situation and format, is a lie. That lie is 
foremost. It is the underpinning of all the rest. It's all illusion, and 
people make stuff up  -  they erect 'structures' onto which you are 
supposed to hang your Self, after completion. An individual first 
needs be taught (and this is what the 'system' is all about) and then 
accept, all these pathetic and ridiculous assumptions about things : 
that's the 'system', that's the way. That's why police have badges and 
schools have doors, that's why clocks have faces and those doors 
have latches and locks. It's all to enforce; enforce those assumptions,
 even as wry and belittling as they may be. Without it there is 
nothing and Man is a 'feebling'* monkey, struggling at great odds, 
to tear a shape from his miserable time on earth. Formless and 
meaningless too. The rest is all made up.
* feebling : made-up word


Ah, no, not one of Henry Hudson's ships, no,
nor Christopher Columbus either. It's the celestial
mind-navigation of a very mistaken tribe. Only here
and now do they look up and proclaim strange things,
their precious blood-moons, their sudden urges towards
living as one  -  after, of course, having destroyed the very
destiny of the Nature they now, of a sudden, revere. Forty
different brands of toilet paper, anyone? Fifty different
brands of toothpaste? What is it you really like?
Tell me.

7217. BELOW THE WATER LINE, pt. 20

(pt. 20)
One of the best things I always kept to myself was
the feeling of first walks in the snow. Much as the
archetype of early and tribal man is the single  -  lone
and solitary  -  man setting out upon uncharted lands to
see what's there, so too I would re-enact that each Winter
snowfall. All along the to-me-then-vast prison-farm 
fields, and the railroad areas, which could be walked
singly all the way up to the Rahway train yard, 2 or 3
miles up- never a footprint in front of me, the wide,
white expanse  -  if it showed anything  -  showed
bird or pigeon feet, tracking along, or perhaps a
rabbit print, that funny drag step rabbits leave in
the snow. Not much else  -  I was always the first.
I'd leave evidence-tracks of myself everywhere, 
walking the perimeters, cutting through and over 
things, and the rest. Until  -  usually  -  I just got cold
and frost-numb enough to give it up. I found there to
be the 'white' of snow, the 'blue' of snow, and even an
'orange' of snow   -  all reflected colors from the varied
and changing aspects of the world around me  -  dusky 
or bright sunlight, the harsh, white snow-sun of the cold 
windy days. Painterly apparitions, everywhere. Shadows
that were not black : blue maybe, but not black. There
was nothing around me to compete. I do not really know
what the prison-schedule for field maintenance was for the
Winter months, but apparently it would all stop. Out in the
farther reaches of the field areas, nothing was ever disturbed, 
and I learned to be able to aptly measure the snowfall by the
level of its coverage of the corn stubble. Big storms just left
nothing to be seen, but my favorite was the 'almost or barely
covered' storms, which left wavy, ocean-like rises and swirls
on the snows just covering what was below and still reflecting
the shapes and varied heights. 
During the war years, actually only some 10 years past, 
remember, my mother, from Bayonne, was one of those 
Rosie the Riveter gals, females on the home-front working
in the factories and jobs left by the men who were away. She
just always said she 'worked in the defense plant.' I don't know
what that meant, nor did I ever find out what she 'did', in fact.
But, during her work time, by whatever means, she managed to
get her right-hand middle finger mangled and cut off. All she
had there was a short-stump remaining. Her big visual joke was
to put that stump to her nose so it would appear then that the 
finger itself was (perhaps) in her nose. A real nose-picker
joke, by Mom. 
Funnier yet, about 1958, some 12 years later again, my father  -
as I said, an upholsterer  -  was working a power band-saw one day
and, at work, simply zipped right through his thumb. Yes, his thumb,
or 90% of it anyway, was on the floor. He claimed to have not panicked,
to have simply bent down and picked it up. Others came to his aid,
and he went to the hospital. He said he'd thought to just hold it back
in place, but it was no good. So, he too had a stump, his being the
thumb. If one, in life, has to find a mate, I guess there's nothing better
than two nine-fingered people. He was bandaged up big time, on
that hand and thumb area for a while, but that's all I remember, as,
from that point, he just went on in a most normal fashion after
it all healed. 
I mentioned Dr. Homer and the sick room. On those days when we
were home from school, sick, we'd be put in the parents' bedroom. I
remember the intense boredom I faced. There was nothing there except
a radio, which just had always too many adult people just yapping on, 
singers crooning hideous songs about love or broken hearts or longing,
and not much else I could ever find. I do remember, once, the joy of
hearing 'Mack the Knife', by Bobby Darin, and enjoying that tune -  
later learning much more  -  mostly because of that  -  of Bertolt
Brecht, Kurt Weil, Lotte Lenya, the Threepenny Opera, by John
Gay, The Beggar's Opera (it's plebeian version for the masses, a
stage-play) and the films made of all this. Nice introduction. The
only other thing there was a huge, 'Family' Bible  -  the kind with
lines and blanks to keep filling in all the information as the family
grows  -  kid's names and dates, milestone occasions, as all that. This
book was huge, thick, heavily leather bound and the gold-gilt on the
pages' edges would come off on your hand. A young kid like me,
yes, associating it with the riches and wealth of all the biblical
kings and Solomon and all the rest, somehow haphazardly assumed 
this to be a real and valuable Biblical Gold, of intense worth, now
rubbing of on my own paltry hands. Some people never washed
their hand, back then after shaking Elvis', to me it was much the
same with the biblical inversion of the ages. However, as much as
I tried, the reading of the bible could not hold me. All those queasy 
lists of names and lineages and begats. That begins pretty quickly
after you get through the beginnings of the Genesis stuff, and it 
always bogged me down. My favorite was Genesis 6, where the
Bible quite blatantly talks of the 'alien' beings coming down to
Earth, finding the Earth women attractive, having intercourse with
them, founding the Earth races, and then being chastised for it,
and damned. Then they go into, a bit later, all those names and
family lines  -  I just knew they were up to something in that big
outside world : something I didn't like nor wish to partake in. 
They were trying to make these birth-line connections so the 
'reader' would then somehow be convinced (later on) that their 
guy was a valid messiah, or whatever, with all the right family 
connections, even though at the same time they  -  at the other 
end  -  downplayed all that and made sure you knew he was but 
a humble carpenter, living poorly, getting shuttled around, by 
two lowly parents, even though he actually had three parents, 
one of them being the 'other' Dad, curiously named God. Forget 
about the poor, old Joseph character, banging his wood and 
cutting his boards. I often wondered how many fingers he had,
and if God would have just re-attached his thumb for him, out 
of kindness, or at least as a favor for kin, and since he could.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Moonlight slaps the water I am looking at;
my mind numb-wanders, thinking thoughts to
match  -  a high-level meeting, a break-up of
an old alliance. Anything deep in these 
whiskey-weeds, I'll keep that hidden and
quiet. No one else need know the ending.
My million-year-old monk has the mind of a
wattle but the experience of an encyclopedia.
No one does it the same : along the way, we
travel the stars and the passage on high : with
Ursa Major, known forlornly here as the Big Dipper,
we circle the north celestial pole without ever setting,
wheeling counterclockwise around the North Star.
Astounding how all these things are in human terms.
What's a dipper anymore anyway these days? And 
who would know?  Instead, water-shadows are 
pealing the sound of this surf into the mystical 
chords of an enlightened dealing : such grace
makes gratitude back  -  and I am so 
thankful for that.