Sunday, July 17, 2016


As soon as that tree lady
made mention of that
ancient design detail based
on sex, all I could think of
was a wedding toast I was
once told by my Uncle Ray.
It never made much sense to
me, wedding-wise, but I
instantly realized it as,
creation-wise and in the
context of this rather odd
conversation, perfect. It
went: 'When God made
girls, He made them out
of lace. He ran a little short,
He left a little space. When
God made boys, He made
them out of string. He had
a little extra, He left a
little thing.' No, I didn't
mention it, but it would
have been good. I figured
why be a fool if I didn't
have to be, or, anyway,
why be more of a fool
than I was already.
The other end of that Ginko
Tree spot was the old Woodrow
Wilson mansion, back from when
he was President of the University.
He had also been Governor of New
Jersey, and then became President
of the USA, walking off from
Princeton university to that. It's
still a quite beautiful  -  to my taste  -
stone mansion, used now by the 
university for receptions, faculty 
dining, etc. My ID card use to
get me in there, and they always 
had some pretty perfect lunches 
going on  -  all these grains and 
rices and sliced fruits and exotic 
cooked dishes, bakery bread, 
coffee. Mostly just what you'd 
want, ever. Everybody had these
university bank accounts and
expense things it all went on, or 
you could pay too, or charge
your ID card. It was all pretty 
cool  -  what was even neater 
was the 'chance' factor. You
might find yourself seated next 
to some determined and crazy
looking Dr. Ignatz Peritovski,
from Hungary or somewhere,
here working on a physical-space
determinant theory of drifting
isometrics, or cosmic commodes
sensitivity theory and the 
relativist atavism of shinola 
refractions. Yeah, it was that 
crazy. They'd mumble, or 
talk some strange half-English 
at you from a mouth loaded 
with quinoa jello or something 
equally bizarre. I loved it. I was
usually, not always, but usually, 
there in the company of someone 
else  -  that Scottish drinking guy 
from the Physics Department, 
or a lunch-friend Jon, or a 
coffee-shop person, or whatever. 
Or I'd get next to a table of big, 
midde-aged clerical administration 
ladies talking about Cape May 
or antiques or electronic scrabble 
or how to dice monkey brains
for cooking. I used to get the
feeling from those lady-types
that it wouldn't have mattered
where they were or what their
jobs were  -  accountants for 
some church Bingo-hall or 
secretaries at Verizon somewhere; 
it was all the same to them. 
They were completely
oblivious to their place 
and the surroundings. All 
they ever really cared to do
was eat and yap. The building
was grand and beautiful too -
-  you could walk around
in it, all colonial era and
multi-level, an Edwardian 
feel somehow, to the whole 
place. Old paintings and 
moldings, portraits and
profiles and statues. Old
Mrs. Wilson, when they 
lived there, took the entire 
rear yard and this crazy-beautiful
garden out of it  -  perfectly
laid out, designed for floral
color and changing display, 
tended to  daily by gardeners.
Those big older-ladies I made
mention of, I always felt people
like that miss out on so much.
You reach a certain point of 
complacent dullness in your
life where you simply allow it
to take over. You might then 
just as well be dead, or rollover
to die anyway. You mind shuts 
down, you take nothing in, 
there's no creativity, and you
wind up, dull and complacent 
as I said, living by ancient rules
and creeds, all that old gunk
slowing up your brain and 
your innards too. It just all 
slows you down, and you 
tank. Once you tank, it's all
over : you get rancid and
flaccid, start believing all 
these bad assumptions, 
convince yourself of the 
right and perfect sense 
of things, act all linear and
rational, two and two always
equaling four, straight space,
stretched out ahead of you, 
nothing special, nothing new.
Then you accept yourself, and
time, and you get sick, and you
die. That's life. That's what all
the people say. riding high in
April, shot down in May.
Oh well.
Princeton at the last always used
to get me out of that kind of rut.
I'd walk there and feel fresh, and
feel a power too. There was a real
force, some sort of atavistic energy
still hanging around there. The old
smallpox field, the old waterways
and swamp. The ghosts of dead
battle-soldiers and the lingering
spirits of Native-Americans and
renegade types. It was all these;
this whole 'university' thing was
just getting a free ride on the 
backs of all that living past. 
That was why, for instance, I'd 
rather have any twenty minutes 
of my life taken up with talking 
with that tree lady about dicks
and balls and ancient design,
and the cosmos, than any hour 
PLUS a hundred bucks thrown 
in, to spend time with any of 
that twerpy old dead-lady
eating types' stuff. To them, 
excitement was if the 
window-glass was clean
and had no smudges.
I read just recently some 
English writer lady's 
description of something;
it really caught me. About 
nothing much, but she put 
it just right, the way a writer 
would like to see things. The
campus had the sort of feel 
to me. Her writing, here, it 
went  -  in her anger over a 
favorite wren of hers, outdoors,
 in the garden being killed 
by a cat, her cat, in fact :
'My favorite wren killed by 
a cat! I wanted to take that 
cat to a hot pan and scar its 
foul backside in an explosion 
of oil.' I love stuff like that. 
All it takes is - you have to be
alive, alive enough so your 
antennae are ready, picking 
up on everything, appreciating 
all things. Just for what they are;
vividness, vitality. Not because
it's in a book, and you can sell
that book, easy, because the 
writing's good. That's a 
merchandising viewpoint : 
from the same dead level 
of dull people. You shouldn't 
want to 'sell' anything. First off, 
it ain't yours and you've really 
got no business getting a 

penny out of it. No matter 
what you do. That's ruling class
stuff, and the way I see it you
become a parasite, no different
than the university itself getting
a free ride on all that historical 
past stuff while mucking up
the present  -  with things 
like paving and building, 
tree-cutting and trimming, 
buildings, rules, regulations,
limits, signs, no-no's and all
that. That's the same way cheesy
'sellers' mooch of the backs of
the 'maker' and authentic doers.
You just wind up killing Indians,
and saying it's OK because they
were in your way anyhow. 
Route 27 cuts right through the
middle of Princeton. In fact it 
ends there too and becomes 206,
right out across the state, Trenton
and points west, wherever. It's
funny because everything in
Princeton is oriented east/west,
while up here, where I live now,
the same roads labeled east/ west
there  -  Rts. 27, and 1  -  are up
here referred to as north/south.
When I fist got there, I was really
confused by that and had to ask
about it, and even be corrected 
once or twice. There's just no
north/south ideas there (except
maybe Civil War stuff, when
everyone was for the South), and
all the prientations are, as I said,
east/west. Even the buses and trains.
8 miles west to Trenton, the 
Delaware River, and Pennsylvania,
or 45 miles or so east, to New 
York City. That simple. In
regards to Indians, by the way,
Route 27, and 206, were major
footpaths and travel lanes, by feet,
for them. All the other work was 
by water. Life was so totally
different that we simply have 
no clue of their activity and
water-craft, walking, running
and messaging was so common
to them that these lands and
places were all second nature, 
simple, and sacred too. There
were always runners and 
messengers pacing by places,
with this or that, message, news,
or goods, to another lodge or
tribal area. Swift and steady and
efficient, all this clean commerce.
Perfectly at one with Nature.
We come along, cut it all apart,
pave it and go stir-crazy ruining
and building on it, and befouling 
it all, and then have the audacity
to call it ours. Those Indians?
We killed them all, or as many
as we could anyway. This land
is your land. This land is my land.

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