Sunday, July 3, 2016


There's something said about
the perfect 'western'  -  the old
movies I grew up with as a kid,
about cowboys and villains,
prairie heroes and displaced
Civil War fighters at loose in
the west. It goes something
like: The perfect western - 'the
villain has arrived, while the
hero is evolving.' I forget how
it goes, exactly, but it sort of
makes sense, and it's about
a 'moment'  -  that single kind
of moment when things enter
'turnaround.' I kind of lived
that moment  - extended and
stretched out  -  for a long time;
and still do. My life is a pivot
point, instead of entering town
it's about getting out.
Derivations abound. Everything
is a symbol. Even us, to each
other. There are, here and there
along the way, certain people
who just captivate me, slow me
down, make me happy to muse.
Everybody has love in their heart,
they just often refuse to recognize
it. I wear mine. It's a symbol, yes.
The psychological symbols that
go into the make-up of a life, they
rise up like images; things made
of smoke that only hold form
for a moment, or a few. It's like
that moral, or that turnaround,
moment the old westerns were
always fooling with. In fact,
that was a symbol, and they
couldn't even realize it. The
mind of movie-man had not
advanced that far. Symbols
are psychic codes that can be
interpreted in infinite fashion
according to the circumstances
in which consciousness finds
itself. It was like that, let's
consider, with the Twin Towers
as well as with most anything
else. They soon became a
universalized symbol, for
everyone  -  a 'whatever you
will have it be' kind of place.
To the perfect mind, to was a
pleasurable source of business
location, job, plodding data
entry, contractual and
circumstantial possibilities.
To others, it came to symbolize
greed, the negative world of
all Mammon and finance and
bad things. To others it was a
perfect, square architecture of
place  -  soaring heights, corridors,
an idea which grew to supplant
the previous ideas of things like
the Empire State Building, which
then became an older, outsider
now, symbol for a huge cycle of
existence and thought which was
now over. Had the dynamisms
been  different, perhaps it too
would have fallen. Mankind had
not yet, however, been brought
to that form of thinking. I was,
as I said, equipped with
'forevision', seeming able to
sense things. Here, I sensed
nothing but dread, dread and
the tragic to come. It all seemed
to be everywhere, and confusing.
Up at Judson Memorial, they'd
post names and numbers of Vietnam
dead each day  -  the American,
soldier guys, not the Vietnamese.
Actually, apparently, NO one
cared about them at all, as if
they didn't exist. As long as
the 'show' could go on. At one
extreme, we had US soldiers
walking the Asian forests with
flamethrowers and napalm
spreaders, killing everything
within sight and reach. Those
same kids who, on any other
time-map, might very well have
been right here with me,
experiencing and renovating
their own stupid life-lines. When
I say 'killing everything within
sight', that's incorrect  -  because
here again the secret world intrudes.
They were, more than that, killing
all things sight unseen : the vibrant
and vague mysteries that make up
the spirit and the soul. The countless
unseen Vietcong, and ARVN soldiers
that the trees and jungle hid; the
monkeys, the wildcats, and
land-slitherers. It was just the
poor-man's mistake of hubris,
over and over. Destroying the
unseen world and living within
the ruins, and then demanding that
everyone else accept that and live
within those same mental ruins.
Naming things, Programmatizing
things. Sorry buddy, that's all
your own problem, not mine.
Walking the world today, 50
years on, here anyway, I often see
people of a certain age  -  colored
skin, black or vaguely black, or
white or vaguely white, indeterminate,
with Asian eyes, the soft, pressed tilt
of an Asian face, all mixed in with
some form of American-race,
Caucasoid features, and I think
to myself, 'I know, yes, what your
Daddy did in Vietnam.' In spite
of killing it, we've also brought it
all together, somehow having
globalized this world of sex too.
And that's only the babies who
were eventually brought here.
How many more still walk the
streets of Vietnam, you'd have
to see for yourself. The Judson
Memorial does NOT list those.
It's funny, too, all these years later,
how the world has simply developed;
'words' for this  -  'they use 'Blasian'
for one side, and HAPA for the other,
somehow an Hawaiian word for
islanders of mixed mainland blood.
I guess it works, but it's still all so
strange. Was that rape-slavery? Was
that captive, forced sex? Is that also
what we unleashed on the world?
Besides war and death and killing,
the New York and Newark soldier
boys (the clutches of which I'd barely
and after some struggle, escaped)
were to be broadcasting 'Life' as
well? It's funny too, when you
get to all this Art stuff, how so
much is symbolic as well. 'Green'
symbolizes, for the viewer (and
for the artist) something completely
other than what 'yellow' or 'red'
symbolizes A square form
symbolizes quite differently
than does a rounded or soft edge.
It's all like dreaming, sort of a
dream-like character to a made-up
'reality' produced as art. In the
dream state, the mind tries on
possibilities, circumstances, and
juggles, as it were, probabilities
too. Everything is in flux, reviewed
in a sense-deprived cosmic time, by
the courageous spirit soul about to
experience an end of their 'desiring'.
Illness. Happiness. Riches. Death.
Glory. Infamy. All these things are
on the nightly table. It's all out of
time, it's all a long and continuous
world that we just do not see,
being so determined to awake
into our small, closed and
confining cubbyholes of time,
expectations, belief, dictate,
and structure. It's amazing how
anything gets done : NO, actually
rather it's amazing that
EVERYTHING doesn't get
done, and all at once. AND
IT DOES! We simply do not
see it or understand it, forced
and closed and scrunched as we
are, like children, on the toilet
in a hurry to get back outside.
There was some place I remember,
down in the financial district, where
the sidewalk was clear, some form
of impact resistant something or other,
and where the idea was that the area
was so historic that beneath one's very
feet there existed an entire other world
of remnant and historical past. This
allowed you to peer down and see it.
I wish I remembered more  -  layered
stuff, some sort of clockpiece too or
timeline, so you knew what you were
seeing. Old Dutch stuff, pottery shards,
someone's yard. It was pretty amazing.
(85 Broad Street, at Stone Street, the
old site of Lovelace Tavern and the old
Dutch, original, Stadt Huys, ('State House,
City Hall') from about 1670. THERE! I
found it). I can't remember the year,
maybe mid-70's  -  just about the time
of the beginnings of that new and
prideful American self-awareness
around the Bi-Centennial stuff, a
thousand silly boats in NY harbor,
fireworks, cheers and swells  -  all
to underscore the usual lies, and
advertising marvels. 'But ain't
that America....blah,blah...'
Time is so fluid it's stunning.
People would say, 'I can't stand
it here, how can you live here,
it's horrible.' I was truly able to
reply to them that I didn't live
there at all. And it was true.
Time had become nothing to
me but the entrances and exits
for events of past and present
to exchange places : little
regard for the now, anywhere,
I was not living present day.
It was difficult to explain that
to others. I was not there. One
day I could make my way
down to old India House,
once the Cotton Exchange,
in the financial district, and
simply get lost out front,
thinking of all the sail
merchants and spice
importers and all who
used to pace the waterfront
with their lists and check-forms
of their incoming cargoes, etc.,
all their carts and wagons waiting
their lunches and meetings at the
merchants' club in India House,
so named. Or the old red-brick
German Medical Clinic at
Tompkins Park  -  still there
today, as a library. In these and
a hundred other places time
stood still, I was there and not
there, or  - even moreso  -  here
and not here. One thing I'd
noticed, after arriving, and it was
very disconcerting, was that I'd 
stopped, it seemed, any dreaming.
 I was going to sleep blank  
and waking up blank. Perhaps
my energies had become so
absorbed by integrating and
absorbing this new reality that
the dream section of my daily
mind had been overtaken. Or,
I thought, perhaps it was the
new and uncomfortable ways
of sleeping  -  the ground,
rocks, dirt and grass. Did I
really miss such comforts?
The comforts of home? Had
the villain arrived, while
I was still evolving?

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