Thursday, July 21, 2016


You know all that 'Papa was
a Rolling Stone, wherever he
laid his hat was his home' stuff, 
(some crummy old 1969 or '70 maybe,
maybe, pop song)   -  well that sort
of thing has always had the
cultural significance, in this
country anyway, of setting
the tone for things. And, in
that same same fashion, and
as evidence, in Princeton
there's a Class of '69 or
one of those years, memorial
stone placed in a little sitting
garden near the 'Theater Intime'
(Princeton University's Drama
Team), that has the words of
Joni Mitchell (yes, Joni Mitchell)
inscribed on it  -  that 'we are
stardust, we are golden' tidbit
from 'Woodstock'. Trite but
right, I guess. Or sublime to
the ridiculous maybe too  -
just across the grass some
from it is the super-sacred
memorial ground, with the
Japanese Peace Bell/Gong
too (which before this event
really had no 'specific' event
attached to it. They adapted
it to the dead of the World
Trade Center after the fact).
I guess it was always all about
'fluidity'. Even in New York
City, everything was always
underway with change, and
there was always a certain
duplicity between what was
being said and what actually
was being done. When I was
in Elmira, New York, at
Whitehall Printing on e. 1st
Street, one of the customers
was Corning Glass, for certain
departmental printings and
science spec-sheets and all.
One that we always had printing
was a specialty department,
with their newsletters and
laboratory-results and reports
ad spec-sheets, and such. It
was called 'Fluidics'  - the
department and the science
category too  -  about how
solids would flow as liquids,
the transformational aspects
of glass and molten materials.
It was always very interesting
to me, and I'd await each new
job with great expectation.
At Corning Glass Works
itself you could go into the
arena, of the glass-blowers
and glass molders and all  -
very pretty ornamental
pottery and other items  -
and watch these people
all in action  -  the fire-pits,
the heat-ovens and kilns,
bellows, and the guys blowing
and forming glass from the
ends of the long blow-pipes
they blow into. It was
pretty amazing  -  liquid
glass. Sometimes, and even
now, I'd wonder about the
origins of things  -  the sorts
of things that make you think
about aliens and life-forms
and Gods (by whatever name)
seeding the planet, here, in
person  -  like, the first
person who ate a tomato, not
knowing the result? Or raising
corn  -  that very odd yet
life-sustaining plant. And
liquefying and fluidics,
glass-blowing, fires, heat,
and flames. Who thought
of all this? Seemed always
pretty obvious to me that
some entity must have
come down here, taken a
group of weird land-apes,
and instructed them on
things like food and
cooking, heat and killing,
animal husbandry and the
ideas of harvesting and
conservation too. Whatever;
as it were then I just figured 
I was witnessing some 
massive cosmic interaction 
within time.
It was the same way with the
Peace Bell and the Joni Mitchell 
thing in Princeton  -  all very fluid,
seamlessly moving from one 
frame to the other. I'd imagine,
in linear thought one of those
things has to be considered more 
noble and higher in aspiration than
the other  -  but I wouldn't know.
I don't do linear. If you remember,
about two months back I did write
that I thought Bob Dylan, as a
for-instance, should be executed.
Yeah, said that right here. And my
reasoning, IF you can recall  -  if 
not, go find it in the number 70's
chapters, maybe  -  I said it would
be because I thought that the fathers
should have to pay for the sins of 
their sons  -  meaning that, no 
matter what the validity or value 
or worth, or not, of any of his 
work turns out to be, what came
because of him, what followed, 
what he'd started  -  that whole, 
disgusting and endless series
of snide and rampaging
low-ballers raging and then
producing what they called 
'music', and leaving behind them
nothing but disgusting cultural
ruins  -  he should be made to
pay for that. Paying for, as his
was, the 'Fluidics' which had
started because of him. Pretty
weird concept, yeah, but I stick
with it and I like it. It was like
that  -  is still like that  -  right
there on the Princeton campus.
On hundred some yards away
from each other, one as a 'sublime'
and the other as 'dross.' The 
enduring life-lesson there would be
in 'which one' you chose. Pearls
before swine, or grace before guts.
You can be sure any of those guys
working as glass-blowers in Corning 
wouldn't have a reflection of this nature. 
Or I wouldn't think so anyway. But just 
imagine, for a second, if  -  through some 
strange and endless psychic echoing 
down through the hallways of humanity -
they awoke in the middle of the night
with that strange, thudding sound in
their brain, some voice, some feeling,
telling them how timeless and connected
to all other things, Mankind's entire
narrative, their work was, and
was bringing them, and was
being carried on. Maybe that's
what's meant when people 
say they are 'doing God's work.'
No different than Joni Mitchell's
'we are stardust,' or the peace
and goodness of that
Peace Bell.
I was always conflicted, let's put it
that way  -  I never knew how to be
 settled. I'd get all lost in the new morning
each day, a million ideas about things,
writing stuff down and the rest, and
then before too long, yet again, it would 
get all trashed having to worry about all
the hundred things of a daily grind :
light-bulbs to fashion to logistics to
the garbage going out and the dumpster
getting emptied. The Rolling Stones  -
going back to that again  -  may have
wailed on their 1969 sympathy for the
Devil, but I always ended up with 
empathy for the rebel. I long ago
realized none of this was me. And
that was the rub. Blown glass, in
the wrong shape, filling up with
hot air and overdone energy.
It's no wonder I failed
everyone around me.
My fluids didn't fit
my solids,
no way.

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