Wednesday, July 20, 2016


How high-minded you ever
want to be is, I suppose, up
to oneself  -  whether it's by
birth, or by choice. I walked
around, and probably still do,
as if in sackcloth and ashes,
mourning over this and that.
constantly. I couldn't watch
the fall a bird or the death of
a tree without blanching. All
I ever wanted to be, really, was
alone. Just totally absorbed in
my own work, with none of
the trans-pipeline connections
to the issues, talk, ideas, and
things of others. It takes
total dedication to be as
dumb as I am about my own
work  -  steadily absorbed,
and thinking of it as counting
for something. The drumbeats
and the hoof-beats of time
pound always in my head.
Sometimes I hear voices; and
other times I see things  - I see
anther world, made of of those
sorts of drawings I do. I can't
shake or avoid it, it all just
comes up  -  angles of things,
a different kind of form,
something I can't explain.
I've been told that I write
like an abstract painting.
Now I've been told that I
draw like another dimension.
It's maybe all true  -  if that
dimension isn't to be called
senselessness, I'll accept it.
Because I know it's where I
live my daily time and space.
Quite clearly, one foot in
another world.
I knew a guy in Princeton,
Oliver Morris. He talked way
too much, bordered on annoying,
and wove tales about himself.
I think, but I just don't know.
Robert Capra he wasn't, but he
called himself a famed combat
photographer. His father was
some famous photographer,
yes. And Oliver himself had
pages of website stuff that
looked like photos. I just
could never tell what he
was doing. He haunted,
and he talked  -  you
couldn't talk back or reply,
because he was still talking.
In a somewhat mumbly voice.
I really do hate people who
monopolize. At that point  -
don't they ever realize  -  it's
NOT a conversation by any
means, just a prolonged
infatuation, on their part,
about self. Which pretty
much does sum up Princeton,
so I guess it works. But with
him it just got boring. He'd
go on and on about Paris and
the cafes, and New York and
whatever 'cafes' it had that
were always a poor second
to Paris or Berlin or, for that
matter, Budapest. What are
you supposed say back to that?
'Yes, you're right.'  -  a stupid
and feigned knowledge of
something you know nothing
about. He was always so
damn worldly. I'd be sitting
there, captive, sweating the
fact that I'd just dropped four
bucks for a cup of coffee,
for pity's sake, and he'd still
be running on about 'the
comparative value of the
Parisian pastry he last had
as compared to the
trans-national value of the
old dinar or Turkish money
he used to much prefer when
traveling. Damn, me too.
He'd roll these horrible
cigarettes of his own,
really poorly, and they'd be
flaming out the side while
still stuck in his talking mouth
with an ash eleven feet long.
You're thinking, 'ah...should
I say something about this,
or is that French way for
famous combat photographers
to smoke there, perhaps, final
cigarette before the generals
get them?' He'd pretend to
not even notice, like until
his nose hairs got singed
anyway. He was Boring
to me  -  that's a capital B,
yet always unavoidable too.
Henri Cartier Bresson this,
Robert Frank that, and he
probably final tea with Diane
Arbus too. And then he'd 
just disappear again, for 
another 4 months. Quintessence,
and a sporty pretense too. 
To tell you the God's honest
truth,  I go by women. And
he never had one with him.
Over time, I basically just
had had it up to here with
bookstores. It's nice now to
be able to just punch in a book,
have it come up cheap, not have
to squirm and deal with any of
that salesmanship and leading
you on to a next purchase, and
join this or that, hocus-pocus.
Five days later, it's in your mailbox.
Bookstores all like to play it high
and mighty, but they're not. The
Barnes & Noble store #2946,
with its unenviable streetside
approach to sales, acted no
different, believe you me, than
did the groveling and twirling
put on by the retail wing of a
'University' class bookstore.
They all try to act quaint and
severe, quiet and busy, all
that gibberish at the same
time. All they really are are
cash-register dragons with
mouths agape. Waiting.
Incredibly now, the Princeton
store is actually stooping  -
boy, that must have hurt. They
probably finally realized that
the only 'growth' area left to
them is the ridiculous dead-end
of 'teen' books. What they peddle
now as 'Young Adult.' What a
bunch of crap that is  -  beyond
all bounds, and a desperate ploy
for money and a betrayal of any
proclaimed ethos. Can you say
'Harry Potter'  -  yes, again. 
Zombie Dress Up Lit Night?
There's a certain strain of drivel
that suddenly starts getting a
capital 'D', and it makes it right.
Jeepers, lock the front door and
go home. I'm afraid the Harry
Potter blight will be with us a
while yet, and get better and
better explained, as time goes
on, about its 'importance', 'value'
and groaning symbolism. Yet
another 'academic' sideshow and
scholarly industry to beat us
with. That's what passes for
learning today.
Princeton is indivisible, in its
attitudes. The toy store, 'Shazaams'
or something  -  since it too peddles
books  -  will be sharing the new
secular saint day for the latest
Harry Potter rollout with both
the library AND (alas!) Labyrinth
Books. You do be there!
I guess there's a line where 'worth'
crosses 'self'importance' and the
resultant angle or hypotenuse, or
whatever dribble that is, is called 
'image.' Which is funny because
that's the root of 'imagination' also,
so it all ties in. It's a good word, but
it also just disproves the reality of
any basis for the 'real' of reality, 
with is another mirror word. I
used to think a lot about all this
stuff  -  just bizarre and crazy
thoughts. There's really neither
a value nor a non-value in such
musings, because they all just
wind up expanding the mind.
Think of that John Lennon song,
Imagine'  -  what was that, 1973,
maybe '74. I was way tucked in 
that Summer for a while up 
in Vermont  - Hubbardton, 
Rutland, Lake Bomoseen, 
Proctor. All those weird and 
hilly places. Still hiding out.
The Watergate hearings were 
on everywhere, John Dean, 
Chuck Colson, all those 
marvelous, useless
rectal-pinprick creeps.
In fact, the name they'd 
given their filthy little illegal 
committee itself was 'CREEP',
back in '72, with the break ins
and the lies and the enemies
list and all that: 'Committee To
Re-Elect the President.' Yeah,
that's where they got CREEP 
from. I thought that was all
pretty snazzy. Anyway, 'Imagine'
was out about then too  -  calling
for a re-imagined world beyond 
all possibility of the one(s) we 
knew. You had to 'image' it, and
bring it forth. Image-ination.
Just like Princeton turned out 
later to be. Same deal. A thought
bubble, a particular fantasy and 
a made-up persona all my very 
own. No one ever knew me, 
and I knew, really no one back.
Just the way I liked it.

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