Thursday, June 30, 2016


No glide but what the air drags out,
no feeling for the rain at the end of
a drought. I am sailing, high and above,
and everything passes by far below me.


Like the little dump of a town I
live in now, 50 years later, the
lower east side had all the ways
and means of a poor person's
paradise/ghetto. Which is why
I liked it, and why I like my town
right here now too; a simple 20
miles off. No pretension, no
make-believe goo-goo about
being or acting like something
we're not. Noises, and curses.
Overgrown kids, just slightly
too big, rolling down the street,
on the side of the roadway, on a
little bicycle, some home-made
derogatory version of what may
once have been a Sting-Ray or
something. Behind them, standing
on the rear-wheel bolts, standing
and above the bike-pilot, is some
12-year old, long-haired, dirty
grimy kid. The two of them,
oblivious to all else, jamming
along. The kid on the back with
a big, shit-eating grin while his
face hits the wind. That was just
today, in fact, right here in Avenel,
down by the Post Office  -  for
now the 'ghettoiest' part of this
town. Kids shooting driveway
hoops, loud bastards with their
firecrackers. My dog, asleep
here at my feet, in the yard,
catches the breeze too. Just
yesterday, back at 10th street,
over by Astor Place, and 4th
Avenue's corner, sitting out
having a slow, early-morning
coffee, same kind of kid goes
down the street, older, bigger,
on some hot-rod skateboard, looks
at me as he approaches, and loses
control somehow, and hits the
ground. Hard, but he was OK.
The skateboard, and this is honest,
literally, goes flying down the street
towards the big intersection at
Astor Place, honest, like it has a
dedicated life of its own. The kid,
and me, are in awe; it's flying,
through two lights and streets,
hitting nothing (early morning,
light local traffic), and only finally
comes to rest by the cones and
pylons protecting the work site
down that way at Cooper Union.
It finally comes to rest, flying a
flip-jig at the barricades. The kid
looks at me 'so great, man, thanks,'
and skitters off down the street
in pursuit of his retrieval. Any of
that could have been right here,
and vice versa. It's the world
I like.
Point is, I guess, I'm not really
going anywhere. The Macadamia
nut that's been presented to me
has been OK. I always laugh at
my own jokes: What do they serve
on an airline flight of Professors
headed for vacation in the islands?
Academia nuts. Everything around
me has always been swirling  and
any question ever asked of me I've
usually come up with an answer for.
It's like a still-life, this living; all
things settled now and set. Is that
the way it ends up for everyone?
I wonder if what we end up taking
with us is just what we were given
to begin with anyway  - as if all
numbers and every equation of life,
in the very end all adds back up to
the same number you started with.
Divine justice everywhere : or
maybe just zero. Ashes to ashes,
and dust to dust. Underneath it all,
and I know this, that still-life of
my familiarity is still there. Where
the problem comes in is how the
overlay of all the new stuff just
takes over. Over at Astor Place, 
by Cooper Union, there used to 
be this arty thing, a sort of big
black cube, tilted on its point, and 
if you pushed it, it rotated. No big 
deal, almost stupid, but it was there
for years  -  blues guys and punk
guys and dancers and magicians,
they'd all come by and do their
little stuff with the hat out. Guitar
stuff all hours. People selling crap
on blankets all along the Cooper
Union base  - the mysterious old
building looming over it all, like
the rancid ghost of some dead
Abraham Lincoln lording it over
a seedy and run-down Bowery
America, wordlessly telling you 
it had somehow turned to filth.
That the dream was over. Now?
It's all gone, and you can't find
a trace of it. The old stuff maybe
is still there, but it's dwarfed now
by these atrocious new crumpets 
of way over-busy architecture. 
Chrome and steel, burnished 
aluminum, all that crap; no straight
edges, everything swirling and twisting. 
They don't even use bricks and mortar 
now. Little would Andy Bonamo 
know, if and wherever he is now, how
it's like the whole entire world 
now is suffering from some 
brutal LSD trip, all on its own.
I used to sit and stare at the
General Slocum Memorial and
just try to think of tragedy, and what
tragedy must be like. But, I realized,
tragedy no longer existed. I was in
a curious, closed-pocket of time.
Especially about tragedy. Little did I
even know, but down from me about
20 blocks they were beginning the
close-to-final aspects of the
Twin Towers, which would
later, much later, be viewed as a
tragedy, perhaps in line with this
Slocum steamship of 1900 or
whatever it was. I didn't yet know
the future. I hardly knew the past,
but they were both there, out before
me; and I was trying to read both.
The Slocum disaster, right nearby,
had killed many Germans out for a
day-excursion. Children, and adults.
They just burned in the harbor, on a
blazing wooden ship. The community
was devastated, and after that most
Germans just packed up and left; giving
up the lower eastside entirely, they just
all went, en masse, up to the east 90's,
a section called Yorkville, and simply
transplanted themselves  -  free of the
awful memory and remnants of that
fire. That's still where you go now,
in NYC, for the German community
and all their foods and cultural
traditions. I was living in the ghost
hole of all that had been theirs. What
really can you do when one day
you're in some oddball smalltown
highway pit-stop on the way to nothing
and the next morning you awake on
park grass, in the heat, with about
10 or 15 other people doing the very
same thing. Indigent. Lost. Sleeping
on open grass. 'To be indigent you
can't be indignant' -  that was another
one of mine. I was at the very same
park again, at sun-up the other morning
(that skatebboard kid day I just told you
about). Nearly the same time of year too.
Travelers around. School out. End of
June. And lo and behold, I walk
over to the Slocum Monument to
bid it a hello, and there again, on the
grass, some 7 or 8 bodies  -  bags,
blankets, shoes, hats  -  all asleep or
just rousing, on that grass. As if the
fifty years intervening had just never
occurred. Everything about the same.
That's what New York was like  -
one little heritage-ghetto after the
other. The Germans left, and then
the Jews came, and then the Slavs
and Poles, and then the Russians.
I wandered about, at times almost
listless, from my concern and
my confusion towards all
that I was seeing.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


My erstwhile roommate, Andy
Bonamo, that first August, had
somehow gotten involved with
the procedural planning and
set-up of what was being billed
as 'The First Annual Psychedelic
Festival', in Forest Hills, NY.
I stayed out of it, but it was
being billed and planned for
as what now would amount to
a forerunner of the Woodstock
Music and Arts Festival, of
'Woodstock' fame, a few years
later. Except that part of the
actual, advertised, allure for
this  -  in addition to rock music
acts  -  was psychedelia and
drugs. Make no bones about
that  -  a good portion of the
idea was to push product.
Andy's and his suppliers'
products. The music list was
secondary, although it was
pretty good too, for what it
was, and it would draw people.
I knew little of any more of it.
They'd had tickets printed up,
(I got one for free; it's around
somewhere, saved and unused.
Though I don't know what it's
called when you save something
so well that you can't quickly
find it. Supersaver?) - flyers
made, a couple of goofball
kids hired to hand out flyers
everywhere they could, and
all the requisite planning and
set-up done. I remember Andy's
big job was to arranging the
power-light show, kliegs,
strobes, and the rest  -  all
sorts of things to be dancing
in the sky. Kind of like a new
version off drug-hippie
fireworks. Anyway, it was
fairly tedious and seemed to
go on for a long time. I can't
remember exactly, but I think
maybe it was for Labor Day's
newly-extended weekend (those
3-day holidays things weren't
around back in the 60's. That
was all arranged a little later).
Anyway, whatever came of this
'festival' I never found out. I'd
'split', as it used to be put, from
that apartment by then, even
though it was still in my name
and all that weird criminal stuff
going on there could still have
ostensibly be called mine, or
traced back to me if authorities
were really digging. By the
dead Winter of that year, as I
related way earlier, the place
had been raided, cleaned out,
police-taped, and everyone was
gone. I never stuck around to
find out what had occurred.
Psychedelic Festival, for sure.
I only mention this stuff because
it's part of the strange and new
experience that I'd stepped
myself into, all by getting on
the Carteret bus to NYC that
first day, with my five dollars
in hand given to me by Bill
Yorke. Had I only known. But
then again had Columbus only
known, we wouldn't have
Getting to New York by bus is
different even than getting their
by train  -  yeah, they're both
cattle-calls, granted, but the
bus depot routine is bizarre.
You enter from that strange
Weehawkin helix that brings
you down to the Lincoln Tunnel
past all that grand skyline
waterfront 'New York staring
you in the face' stuff, like it's
some wonderland. The
slowness of traffic just extends
it all and presents it to you
as some sort of unreal, imagined
still-life stretched out before
you but separated too by a
half mile or so of water. It's
visceral, and real; but you
can't touch it. You can tell,
just even from the Jersey side,
that it's thick and dense, noisy
and packed, even though you
don't know any of that from
 there. It's all sensation. It's
all thought. The buses slide
through the tunnel with their
unique bus gait and bus manners.
Traffic, honking, buzz-flash
noises and views. The buses
queue up and make their way,
each, to their intended spots,
from which you get off and
enter a warren. A maze, of
shifting people, luggage
carts, heat, noise, porters,
carriers, those confused
and those concerned.
Looking at subway maps,
trying to discern where
they are and who to ask.
Cops used to be scarce  -
now they're everywhere,
with machine guns and
dogs, staring down
anything that moves.
Seeing how it was all
a daze to me, I can't
remember how I made my
way down to the Greenwich
Village area. Subway?
Walking? My second-sense
here tells me, initially,
back-then it would have been
subway. Ten-cent token, or
whatever it was.  Nowadays I
never use the subway, and find
it, and its people, despicable.
I've grown quite comfortable
walking anywhere I need to be
going  -  within the city, I
mean. Ninety blocks, one
way or the other, and back;
all good. Back then, however,
from all my previous visits, 
and from the standard NY 
romantic lore, the subway 
was all part of the experience.
All I know is that I got myself,
by first nightfall, into my own 
new world  -  an entire 'something
other' than what I'd ever known 
before. Oh yeah, it's hard to
put, and I'd be hard-put to put it.
I made some friends quickly.
Some I've mentioned, others I've 
not. There were some quite a few 
characters, to be sure. I used to think 
about all that I'd learned, or tried to 
learn or had jammed down my throat, 
in high school, about civics and the 
American system. Too much of it
was high-minded bullshit, and still is,
with no bearing in truth at all. Like
that leather-sandals guy would say, 
'If  you can't make a dollar one way,
just find another way.' I think they
could take all their civics and history
textbooks, and just chuck them  -  
because that almost haiku or zen-like
saying better sums up 'America' for me.
Make a buck, entrepreneur stuff, the
unfettered, Adam Smith work of
free enterprise, deals and money.
That's all you need, and that's what
it's about  -  make no mind about
who gets hurt, what lands and waters
get ruined and spoiled, how many 
die or get diseased or injured over 
your quest for a self-satisfaction  
that seems only measurable in the 
whore-like measure of money.
Despoliation. Grunge. Dirt. Fire. 
Filth. and Death, Yes, always and
ultimately, Death. Look at China. 
Look at Russia. Hell, look at us. 
Look at Andy Bonamo : the true
American entrepreneurial spirit, 
setting' up a fee-enterprise festival,
gleaning some profit, tickets, etc.,
all in the name of the grand American
capitalistic spirit of selling drugs and 
poison to kids and being applauded
for his courageous, business spirit.
Ruination everywhere. 


I have a really good nightmare: I am
walking along these canyoned streets
with you, and no one knows we are here.
The kettle-drum guys on the corner are
playing, and their idiot dancers are
running around. Hats out, and the 
monsters from Dubuque and from
Quebec are giving them dollars. Oh
what a nightmare world we've made :
this is now 'so New York' that it 
makes me afraid. I am afraid of
one hundred things. And I am
afraid of nothing at all.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

8347. SLOTH

By opening these decadent Himalayas,
you've marked me out new trails in
the hills. These are all too high, yet
I must carry this load. There's a new
saint in this roadside chapel, but I
can't yet remember his name.
Saint Alphonse of the Spitfire, 
that's what I'll call him  -  praying 
incessantly too. For greed, and for
avarice both. Let's see what he brings
of the seven deadly sins.
Why do you think this all is easy? I work
and I slave over five thousand words
to but whittle it down by day's end to
two hundred. And even then it takes
more, and it all must make sense.
Too much work, Saint Alphonse.
If you're bringing things out,
I'll take some sloth.

8346. DR. MAX

I am caught up in duct tape
and can't move a thing. My arms
are behind my head, my feet are
ringed like a donut. If this is
torture, I am insipid. You've
read me all the scripture lines
you say I should know about   -
the meek inheriting the Earth, 
that 'don't look back' thing and 
the pillar of salt, the prodigal 
son bit, the plague and the 
locusts. It's all over the place,
this is  -  all that anxiety and
fearsome angst. And then
they part the Red Sea like
they were parting Rachel's
hair. You want me to wail 
and pray to this? Dr. Max,
I'm all twisted, and I
need to be fixed.


And how I can make things stop?
I just really don't know but I don't
wish to sleep and I don't want to go.
I am maxilla and mandible together.
Like in a kitty-cat car at the carnival rides, 
I gather my brothers and sisters as one to 
crash-land this boutonniere into something 
other than us. They've let all the water out 
of the Tunnel of Love, and these boats 
shall be stranded forever.


You can stretch things until
they break, or, if you're really
fortunate, they just keep on
stretching. Or maybe the trick
is to just know the breaking
point and only go that far.
Some sort of engrained talent,
maybe. But, no matter, because
it only works in limited formats;
you can't kill five people and
then figure that a sixth would
just be too much.
In Avenel, back when I was
just busy being a kid, there, to
me, existed none of the finalities
or closed doors that arose later
in life. Partially, that was just
because of youth  -  raw and
unblemished, wide open, trying
out all sorts of different scenarios.
I can remember, once, deciding
I wanted to be an airplane pilot,
but only based on the experience
of riding my bicycle almost
endlessly over the sidewalks,
and the cracks and rises and
dips and cracks in that sidewalk,
all up and down the street, on
alternating sides, and pretending,
or almost actually 'experiencing',
that sidewalk terrain below me,
as I looked down riding it, as if
it were the land and terrain of the
world below me from the window
of the plane I was piloting. Every
dip and crack and gouge meant
some differing geographic point
and blemish to navigate. It was
pretty glorious, and I'd get done
feeling as if I'd just traversed the
entire USA. What a feeling! I
wonder how many other kids
were influenced in that manner
by their J. C. Higgins or Huffy
or Schwinn bicycles? I ran
through the years of my
budding youth in a lot of
that same fashion  -  the quite
grandiose adventures of saving
an entire town single-handedly,
by fighting it off from strong-armed
evildoers and malingerers by
taking on the sole and heroic
challenge of besting their 'violence'
with my own courage and return
violence. Beating the crap out
of the gunslingers, in front of
the entire 5th grade no less!
Undertaking some grand and
glorious quest, in full view of
a hundred others, and succeeding,
to the cheers and accolades of
all others. How all very weird?
Do all kids go through this?
Just boys? Just psychotic boys?
Simply nut-maniacs? Or, on
the other hand, is that how
Mt. Everest and the South and
North Poles were conquered
and attained? Which is which,
and what really is 'heroics'
anyway? Can it not be done
alone and in solitary, a solo
self-quest of bettering demons?
I certainly felt it could, and all
the parts of this new environment
were to where it brought me.
To me, it all was the home of
that rebellious street-music, the
psyche and the embodiment of
turmoil and quest. All the deep
writing and thoughtful reflection
that had gone into erecting the
vast, intellectual world of 'self'.
I'd here and there talk to people,
a couple of guys on Bleecker
Street I'd see  -  they were
getting by cutting leathers
and making sandals in their
little workshop and storefront
right there on Bleecker, and
though you'd never know it
were all hip and savvy with
the stuff of business and profit
and loss  -  all that annoying
stuff I could never get right
with. He'd tell me, the one
guy  -  a big Italian-faced
born and bred local  -  not
to worry about that stuff if
it wasn't me. 'A dollar's a
dollar,' he'd say, 'and if you
can't get it one way you can
get it another.' I never knew
what that meant, but just let
it in  -  words of comfort? Or
just advice? Or maybe nothing
at all. I could never tell. I knew
within that those words were
not really advice for anything,
more like a translatable
small-talk for 'what else is
new.' So I never let it bother
me. Greenwich Village used
to have, also, these outdoor
art-exhibits, like roving
collections of not-quite
'Sunday' painters but real
artists, except they painted
to sell  -  mostly schlocky
stuff, junk, what I used to
call 'tree on a bridge' art.
Nice, comfy wall scenes
of country stuff, horse's heads,
boats and harbor, vague and
colorful harmless abstractions.
I meant, by 'tree on a bridge'
art, of course, the complete
opposite of any art I've ever
approached, or done. It's
art without concept, just a
representation of the world
around us for means of
'reporting' it back and happy,
which it never is. Which is
why I always considered it 
dishonest, and which is why 
I was at least glad it was 
relegated to sidewalk sales
by hobbyists. However, these
people, like those sandal guys,
felt at least that they were
really in business  -  their 
little cash-boxes handy, 
accounting sheets, replacement 
paintings for whatever they'd
maybe sell off their little
wall-stands and displays.
The guys wore berets, and
they all tried throwing off some
blase Parisian 'we're so 50's cool'
art vibe - the ladies with colorful
scarves and hats and glasses,
smoking from cigarette holders,
men in tight Euro pants, 
everything just so. It was, 
really, all fairly ridiculous and
so very magazine-oriented it 
was never any wonder that 
things like Look Magazine 
and Life Magazine would do 
photo spreads  -  'weird art 
confabs, crazy beatnik girls 
and women, loose and free,
who didn't even shave under
their arms!' That was easy, but
when it got difficult was when
all this did get reported back to
hinterlands, through such publicity
as this, and those people believed
it all  -  lock, stock, and barrel. (I
wonder, is that a gun reference 
that we soon shall be considering 
indecorous?). And then, believing
it, those very same people began
streaming to New York City to
'BE' that, to become that weird
imagining they envisioned. Wow!
What a world is that, and where
does 'authenticity' start or stop?
I never really knew, but I was always
on stage for the lookout towards
'authenticity'. That was always
important to me, from the heart 
and made with love. Even then, like 
today, that was all that ever counted.


Grapefruit bathwater, pomme-frites
broth? The landing on the right takes
any size boat, at least long as as this
restaurant stays afloat. Here's the 
checklist of things you might like. 
Or, 'drown sorrow in the Turnpike
Inn.' For some reason that's the
motto at the bottom of this chart.


There's this Anglo-Saxon guy, 
bending way low. A scowler 
from way back. Says he
remembers Jethro Tull, the 
plow guy, not the band. I 
can't make all the connections
any more. It's a blurry mist, 
and I am lost in some 
Avalon time. Oh, 
Dominic, from
where have
I come?

Monday, June 27, 2016


Yeah, so I went. She looks
at the cards thrown down on 
the table, her freaking kid 
shrieking behind us, with his
whole hand in his mouth. I
asked her what she saw. The 
message.  She said, 'Not much.
But are you in love? It says to
me, for your personal message, 
'My saltshaker was made for your 
shoes.' I said, 'Hmm, ain't that odd to
to you?' She said it would take another
forty bucks for me to find out; the bitch.' 


There are always to be variations, there
is no one precise way. You can turn the
screw, but know her eyes are always
watching. And isn't that what a distant
love is anyway? Something you can't
do a damn thing about. My heart,
and my mind, like some Hatfield 
and McCoy at the end of time.


Another thing I noticed was
how people kept going back
to the well, time after time,
even after they knew the pail
had no bottom and wouldn't
hold water. It wouldn't matter,
and there was never that level
of introspection in them to be
considering any of all this. Even
with their apparent strict belief
in logic and sequence, it all
passed them by   -  the fact that
their packaged beliefs were all
untrue. I had to make sense of
that, on my own, in order to
continue. Over on St. Mark's
Place, around Eastertime one
year, I witnessed two different
events when the cap was
figuratively blown from
the top of my head. There
were two separate Sundays,
at this little Polish parish,
across the street right there
from the Polish National Home,
a sort of apartment building,
and next a few doors over from
what later became The Electric
Circus, of hippie, Andy Warhol,
and Velvet Underground fame,
where they had, in the 'spirit'
of season, two events which
startled me. People flocked
to them. You know how T. S.
Eliot wrote that he 'did not
know that death had undone
so many' about all those people
walking the bridge over the
Thames -  well, that's how
I felt. I was simply not aware
there were so many old-world,
naively honest people around
who held to such tenets. There
was nothing modern about this.
One Sunday it was 'The Blessing
of the Animals'. I wasn't sure
what it meant, but it appeared
to mean pets. There was a
streetload of people, standing
steady, babbling away in
whatever Slavic tongue they 
spoke, each with something:
dogs, cats, birds, hamsters,
snakes, lizards, even globes
of fish. In their own religious
way, the idea was for procession
with the animals through and
in the innards of the church,
for an eventual blessing by a
priest. The very next Sunday,
the same thing occurred, but
with baskets of food  -  to be
representing bounty, not just
that particular basket. I guess
for people used to hardship,
it held a real meaning. I was
just baffled. There was such
a pervasive, back-time, old
feel to all of this. From it, I
sensed the reality of all these
people - suffering, hunched,
laden down with a million
things. The same strenuous,
rigors, dictates and strictures
which ruled their beliefs,
ruled, as well, their lives. To
be honest, to me they just all
looked as equal to dead. Why
bother to go back again and
again just to repeat the same
It began becoming apparent to
me that many aspects of New
York City were just as barren,
or worse, than what I'd left in
Avenel. At least in Avenel, all
besides my fighting against it,
they were letting 'modernity'
take them in, and move them
along. The incidentals were
new, and things were changing
as much of that 'old' was pushed
aside and left with Mom and Dad
in other places, like Bayonne and
Newark, and Irvington. All the
places they'd left. Not here however;
these people were ancient in their
ways, medieval in their beliefs,
and fixed and certain of it. Small,
squat old women still in their
babushkas and hats. Stern men
yet saddled within by something
still horrid. Faith in God the Supreme
and Fiery, who would, perhaps,
if asked right, deign to stoop down
and bless this pitiful food and
these horrid creatures, lest we
forget his power and his glory
and He smite us anew, in some
other way. Boy, was I stuck, and
seeing it. I could walk over to
McSorley's  -  where the average
age of the men sitting around
was about 114, give or take  -
and imbibe their sorrowful blues
along with them; mug after mug
of a fastidious, home-brewed
McSorley's Ale, which you
had to buy two at a time - until
some knock-out power came
along to strike you, and then
knocked you down - and try
to learn their ways by hearing
their stories  -  pretty much just
like the bums and hobos I'd sit
with at the piers, with their
barrel fires. But these guys here,
at least they had ten bucks or
so with them. Bills as folded
and wrinkled as they themselves
sometimes were. Anything 'new'
about New York City did NOT
happen down here; this was
ancient throwback land. All
those hotmouths always going
on about New York and the
wonder of the city, the glamour,
excitement, the adventure,
the new, well they meant
about 50 blocks uptown. That
was all where magazine and TV
New York was, the Batman Gotham
high-society bullshit, which the
average Joe couldn't touch with
a 500 mile pole. Truman Capote
and Norman Mailer and all those
bravado-faggot-creepfest types.
You'd never get near it, and any
Holly Golighty Audrey Hepburn
cockamamie horseshit would
never cut it here. Like I said,
these people were dead.
Thing was, I mingled with
everyone; which was kind of
cool. I could ride the subway
uptown, looking like a slouch,
some out of touch artist bum,
and get up to the Fuller Building,
at 57th and Lex., wherever it was
- 5 solid floors, back then, of
class A art galleries, get off the
elevator, and mingle like the rich
among all the art schmoozers. Or,
a few blocks away, at another
corner, some building above
Bergdorf Goodman's, as I recall,
right by the Plaza Hotel, and
do the same thing there. Layers
of rich people, day-wives with
jewels and binoculars, swishing
around looking at an Arp for the
living room, or a Picasso for the
dining chamber, all that crap. No
one here was hurting about
anything, 'cept maybe a leak
in the yacht. And they weren't
even the really, really rich. Those
people would have agents out,
buying for them, or scanning the
art-auction houses and placing
enter bids and threshold bids
from the catalogues or in-person
viewings. Yeah, like some
bizarre funeral home. I always
fantasized about some filthy-rich
person ambling about, looking
for a schmuck artist to subsidize,
take on as a patron, send 7 grand
a month to just to make and produce
art. Never happened, and not even
one of those rich babes out for the
day ever asked me to go home with
them for an 'afternoon tea', like
the sleazy storybooks had it,
happening all the day, everyday,
every afternoon at 2pm. 'Horny
rich housewife boffs new and
upcoming artist on speculation
of future merit as an artist.'
Talk about misplaced faith.
Too bad.
Years later, what astounded me
was how motorcycle guys, Bikers,
when I got involved with them, a
lot of them fell for the very bizarre
practice of a yearly 'Bike Blessing.'
Like those people with their kittens 
and ducks on old Polish St. Marks.
Pretty much the me thing as those
old food and pets people; a remnant
of some medieval, quaint custom 
from the Vatican hierarchy in Rome. 
Selling indulgences, anyone? I
wonder, did the Teutonic Knights
have Father Jimeny Althazar bless
yearly their horses? Strange world.
I was free, or free enough, yes, and
determined to stay that way. Plus,
sort of, you can't step backwards
too easily when you cut loose the 
rope bridge over which you've just
crossed the hellish chasm.