Saturday, July 2, 2016


103. FURY
So, when they fell, those towers,
I knew exactly what had happened
without even being told. The tie
shop and the news-stand, both
up the street, were places I'd
passed a hundred times.
Piano-key ties, dollar-bill ties,
cows and lambs ties. The little
dark-skinned guys in there,
behind their strange glass
partition. Hands taking
money. All those sundry
newspapers and magazines.
At the corner was a liquor
store, and nearby  too was
a Pen Hospital. Yes, just
like it sounded, they repaired
pens. You'd never know it
now, but at a certain level
there actually are pens that
become valuable and worth
preserving : old-style fountain
pens, inlaid with mother-of-pearl,
or ivory. All sorts of fancy
things. The kind of stuff rich
people like to keep and care
for. You'd think I would just
say here that regular people
do that stuff do, but I won't.
Not when you can get a
plebian Bic pen for 29 cents
at most any corner store.  Or,
let me put it this way, my kind
of people are more concerned
with the content of what such
a pen produces than of the
filigree'd social value of
said pen. Understand that?
That's the sort of social divide,
in fact, the Twin Towers were
meant to exacerbate. As far as
the haves are concerned, the
have-nots are only good for
what percentage of their
billing the haves can get
back from social agencies
they bill for their services
TO the have-nots, the rabble,
the mass pieces-of-crap who
clog their streets. I know
I've said this before, but
have you ever seen a doctor
in a fifteen year old car?
Or something that's not
German or high-tech
and Lexus-greatest?
Ever seen a securities
analyst or a broker, after
they get up from their own
bowing down to Mammon,
walk away in shit clothing?
No, I didn't think so. That's
the world-consciousness
divide I was amidst and
facing. What I lived was
endless fury, and even
the police cars, back
then, in NYC, oddly
enough, were Plymouth
Furies. Hey!
That's the invisible social
divide that's everywhere. I
had a girl I was hanging out
with, back then, we'd bicycle
the ends of the west side  -
piers, docks, fruit and
vegetable markets, trinket
stalls, those long grasses of
then lonely and lonesome
Battery Park  -  long before
it was taken over, as now,
for idiot-playland stuff,
memorials and roller-bladers
and all those vacationers and
such from the Arlington Heights
of the world, to go see the endless
lies and fabrications arrayed for
them at Ellis island and and the
Statue of Liberty, respectively.
Herman Melville really got
it right about the Battery  - 
"Whenever I find myself
growing grim about the mouth; 
whenever it is a damp, drizzly
November in my soul; whenever
I find myself involuntarily
pausing before coffin warehouses,
and bringing up the rear of every
funeral I meet; and especially
whenever my hypos get such
an upper hand of me, that it
requires a strong moral
principle to prevent me
from deliberately stepping
into the street, and
methodically knocking
people's hats off - then, I
account it high time to
get to sea as soon as I can."
That was, of a sort, the feel
I had, a strange sense of a
 future doom, each time I was
around these nascent towers.
Something was a'borning, 
and I knew it wasn't good  -  
within my soul and inside
my spirit, something was
tolling 'bad.' Just like that
old Mariner's Church in
what was, by now, Chinatown
but which once had been 
wharfside (New York City,
Manhattan Island, three 
hundred years ago used 
to be way skinnier. Inside
streets now, seven or eight
streets deep, used to be 
coastline streets. Thus, 
names like Pearl Street (for
the oysters and piles of shells
'middens' in the old Indian
languages) or Ferry Street 
or Peck's Slip. Each time 
they dug down, they took
the dug-up dirt and stone
and threw it into the harbors,
on either side, and over time
widened the island. In fact,
where the Twin Towers stood
had once been shoreline) the
bell (out front of Mariner's
Church) would toll its signals.
So many rings for a ship
approaching for land, arrival;
so many rings for dead on board;
so many rings for missing men;
it all just reeked of doom and
foreboding. I knew it, and, yes,
thirty-three years later, I'd have
my inner senses proven right.
When the towers did fall, for
a few days afterward, in Battery
Park, they had this vast, makeshift
triage and emergency medical
encampment all set up  -  for the
injured, wounded, or maimed.
It was fully staffed and equipped.
Funny thing, no one ever showed 
up, it remained eerily empty and
unused, no 'rush' ever occurred.
Everyone was dead. A week later,
after that realization took hold,
they closed everything up and
went home. Really, the only thing
that was happening was, each time
another body was found, a 
recognizable one anyway, it was
wrapped and shrouded and 
an ambulance vehicle would drive
it off to St. Vincent's Hospital
morque, for whatever processing
could be done. St. Vincent's (where
in fact, Dylan Thomas had died), 
was once Greenwich Village's
signature hospital, for over a
hundred years. Curiously, in 
2010, it too was gone  -  closed
and shuttered and turned into
brand-new condos, filled by 
people who don't know a 
thing of this matter  -  and
under the interdict and in  
spite of, the vast clamor and
protests of all the locals. Have
I not mentioned before, also,
how real estate rules NYC, 
and the real estate interests 
have the upper hand?
Anyway, Judy and I would haunt 
these parts. Overnight, or late night
in any case, bicycle jaunts. To the
all-night diners, where we knew
the staff, to the drivers and
midnight drovers ready to hit
the road again and getting fortified
for the trip out, across Jersey,
across Pennsylvania. Or, from
the other angle, just in. Truckloads
of squash and tomatoes.
The pretzel and chestnut guys
would be just setting up their carts
for daybreak. Cops on the beat.
Hookers and losers, whores and
middlemen, sailors and bums.
I used to love that guy who told
me 'I'm a stevedore'. He said it with
pride. I loved that word: 'Stevedore'.
It was over all of them that, slowly,
the Twin Towers of Destruction were 
rising. Incrementally, but fast too.
As I said, it just never set right
with me, something seemed amiss,
there was always a dark cloud misting
around them : concept, idea, dread.
Funniest thing, to me, the word 
'prescience' - meaning, sort of, a
recognition of things to occur, before
they happen. A looming, the intuitive
motivation or recognizing an event
beforehand : simply put, broken down, 
it amounts to the repudiation of logic,
of the rational, of science!

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