Sunday, March 27, 2016


One thing that I wanted to make clear,
with this South Plainfield story, is how
often, philosophically, the modern world 
just messes with your mind-patterns. It
actually opens up the field to great
new musings. Here's a for instance:
Somewhere along Hamilton Blvd, near
to Belmont and Montrose Aves., there
was, until not too long ago, a two-centuries
old farmhouse, with the old remnants of
what used to be all its fields and
out-buildings still standing; whitewashed,
and wooden. It made for a very nice site,
if your mind could overlook the slow,
over-the-years encroachments that took
place  - a schoolhouse, some ten or so
houses, widened streets, a large business
building., etc. Then, some five or six or
more years ago, it just all came down in
the Spring  -  nothing mattered, and 
nothing was left : all the remnants of an
orchard, a nice little flower-garden area,
the very serene rear porch and overhang,
with a shelter of perhaps a Summer-kitchen
or a farm 'mud-room', as they used to be
called, for the exits and returns for the
barn-chores and cow-milking necessary.
I remember those days well myself  -
in Pennsylvania  -  mud encrusted
boots, manure-splattered pants-legs,
old, wet barn-coats and chore-jackets.
But, anyway  -  here they just took
everything down, and in a few months
time, the new construction was in place
(they'd built a 'Senior-Citizens' Housing
Complex), along with all of its new paving.
Now, here is where it gets very weird.
These few years later, all the construction
in place and done, I am passing by,
remembering what was here  and all of
what I recall, when  -  lo and behold  -
a cop car sits, I see, well back on the
macadam'd area of what once had been
the farmhouse and yard I just had 
described. At this point, my mind 
short-circuited, sparks flew, and I was 
momentarily stirred to either murder or 
nothingness. I had been brought to the 
precipice of the unexplainable. My History, 
the pulp and matter of my days and 
life, had been reduced somehow to the
takeover I'd just witnessed. There was no
explaining it; there was just nothing to be
said. I knew once more that  -  at that
instance  -  I was alone in the world, a
world I did not understand and with which
I could not communicate. There was a vast
and wordless gulf, and all it proved to me
was the dense, layered, multi-dimensional
world of my own. Centuries had disappeared,
and without a blink, the 'civic' pattern of the
present day  - quite disgusting, may I add  -
had taken over. A young cop, in  a squad
car, brazenly sitting there doing traffic duty
-  checking and watching the cars as they
went by, alert for those who'd speed, or 
those with violations. The now and present
interdiction of force and law, without even
a comment or acknowledgement had taken
over all history. Maybe I wouldn't mind so
much if they at least said something. Are
they even aware of how they've trespassed
time and all its eras; flattened and collapsed
all of the past into storybook lines, alone,
in some stupid schoolbook of History while
they themselves have flagrantly violated
the cosmos in this way? Authority had
simply taken over, and now it sat there,
hidden  -  not even bold enough to show
itself  -  to ensnare the unwitting, to stop
the citizenry, to remove even more of a
human birthright's claim to being. Is
there any awareness to any of this, or,
instead, just the grumpy ignorance of
Law and its manifestations : senseless,
ignorant, unwise and Satanic? The Devil
himself drives a police car, I've read.
So, as you can see, I don't really know 
what to make of this, or, if I do know, I'm
not sure I'm getting it across. It saddens 
me to have to be the bearer of bad tidings
all the time. I have joy in myself too. You've
got to understand that, but part of the 'joy'
comes in the telling of the betrayals, so in 
essence my paradox is in the joy that 
comes from telling of the bad. How do 
you get that, and live with it all? It gets 
maddening enough to just have to be a
quite ordinary adult who  -  by this time  -
thought I'd be King or President or some
big ass Nobel prize winner or such, in
Literature and Art and all that. Never did
turn out that way, and that burden's mine.
But it's OK, that was never the matter. It's
fine because I 'see' other things. And those
other things have turned out to be what I
write about, and it all suits me fine. To sort
of paraphrase something from the 'Franny'
chapter of 'Franny and Zooey', by J. D.
Salinger (oh, old-timer), here's what a
writer is supposed to do  -  writer, poet,
whatever, and hopefully, here, something
I am doing, no matter the consequences 
or the reality of what is done : 'a writer is
supposed to leave something, after you
get off the page and all. The crummy ones
don't leave a single, solitary thing, except
about themselves maybe. The good ones, 
they get inside your heads, and leave 
something there, just because they do,
just because they know how.' Yes, that
works  -  they leave 'droppings'. Those
droppings can be anything at all  -  a 
story, a picture, the idea of something, 
a place, even just a unique pile of words, 
words which do something you've somehow 
never seen done before. It's a grace, 
and it's a graceful pity too. Solitary.
Singular. Serene. Strong.

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