Saturday, July 30, 2016


I have always been faithful,
physically; never much caring
to be bothered with the aspects
of the surreptitious, the lying or
the stealth of screwing around.
Anyway, it's not me, and I just
as well could never pin that
on another. All those poundings
and fluids, squirts and howls.
All that primitive pumping and
the jump to withdraw. Life just
isn't about all that. It's spiritual,
more 'virtual', a running context
of wishes and dreams and
aspirations. Everyone's got
what's needed for a fuck; but
so what and what good is that?
(Speaking of which  -  and I'm
sorry to use that word, but it's 
a descriptive  -  I was always
amazed, struck, right off, and
never able to get used to, how 
often here that went on and
how switchable were all the 
changing allegiances, like a
NYC musical chairs variant).
In some ways it's like being a
bra fitter  -  could be fun to do,
but who wants to and what's
that anyway?
Things and events, thoughts
and ideas have always sort of
meant more to me anyway
then have all those sappy
or sentimental blasts of the
heart and spirit. Those are
just 'used' to sell things, all fake.
It's nothing authentic, it's all
forced. Bring me right inside
of someone, get me that internal
connection, show me the things
and objects of a person's life,
their reverence for the world
around them, and then I connect.
Even now, I can look back
on the little 'vest-pocket park'
I wrote about yesterday and feel
the pulses of love for the captured
time and place it represents. It's
all true. Here's a quote : 'Michel
lived a purely intellectual
existence. The world of
human emotions was not his
field; he knows little about
it. Nowadays life can be
organized with minute
precision; supermarket
cashiers respond to an
imperceptible nod.' Isn't
that a great quote? I loved
it when I read it  -  it says
so many things, so lightly.
'Supermarket cashiers
respond to an imperceptible
nod.' Wow.
You still need to remember
where it was I 'came of age'.
I landed on those NYStreets
as a real rube, a know-nothing
caricature of a two-headed
sloth, dizzy and wandering.
I knew there were stars in the
sky at night. I knew water ran
in trickles. But that was about
it, the remainder of the world
was still foreign to me, and
still forming. Sexual enticement,
though all around me, was not
to be it either  -  the way in,
the new way. All those girls
at the Diggers Free Store at
264 e10th, and that apartment
kept down by 3rd street, they
were enough to drive me crazy.
I've told this before  -  they all
lived together, naked. I'd be
sent there with this or that
little package to deliver, and
these girls, regardless of who
it was at the door, would open
it and let the visitor in, and
they'd be sitting around,
walking, whatever, stark
naked. For a fresh boy just
in from Avenel, still shaking
the railroad dust off my head,
this called for some real
concentration. And then,
along the west side waterfront,
when that still existed  -  God,
so much of everything is gone
now  -  I got to know a few of
the working girls  -  the thinned
out, pathetic germs that ran as
whores over there. If you got
them on a day they could talk,
it sometimes wasn't so bad.
They had heart and stories and
feelings. But mostly they were
just blitzed  - straggly-eyed, as
if lost in space, dark rings around
their eyes, endlessly with cigarettes.
Saw a million of that sort  too,
funny to say, in my later Biker
years boozing and riding around.
Those kinds of girls were always
around -  half drunk but wanting
more, bleary-eyed, trying to light
a cigarette with hands that shook.
The distance between the two
wasn't far, actually. In time it
was as if the two overlapped.
1967 bleeding into the late 80's,
the culture of the motorcycle
bum taking it all over. Neither
of them would I have ever
seen, nor expected to see,
for instance, in that bookstore
or in that vest-pocket park.
Just worlds apart, too far, too
wrong. What was I thinking?
And for how long?
Yeah, what was I thinking, and
for how long? As it turned out,
I was actually thinking pretty
clearly, and for as long as I
chose. I'd quickly begun making
friends with a sort of hierarchy -
the newly-forming hippie
kingships and all that crap
around St. Marks Place.
Just like the bookstores,
just like the vest-pocket
parks, there was quite a big
difference between things :
people and space and time.
The world was so weird and
broken up about everything.
This was the time when you'd
actually hear two versions of
songs  -  I mean movement
music, rock stuff. There was
the usual, insipid three-minute
version that you'd hear from
all the AM music bobble-heads
spouting on between songs
about this or that ridiculous
thing, advertisers, voices
talking over the endings
of songs  - and then you'd
hear the 'extended' version,
somehow with all the solos
and drums, and no talking,
playing on FM band radio.
And you'd know you had
hit the big time  -  pay dirt,
the motherlode, the hot-seat,
where all the action was.
The counter-culture! It
was a weird and satisfying
feeling, almost like an entire,
stoner culture riding its on
crest. Noisy and profuse. The
opposite of everything else.
That hierarchy I made mention
of? It never got me anything 
but it was fun; better than 
beating around the streets 
with no laces and spitting 
up all the time. All the crazies
were always out in abundance.
And for so many of them too,
fame did follow. It was weird.
Like it's in the stars or something.
Pattie Smith got there about 
the same week I did, Debbie
Harry was working at some
pharmacy counter-fountain
somewhere nearby, Lenny 
Kaye, Sam Shepherd, those 
are just loose and random
 names; there were lots more.
My starfield, obviously, never
made the right conjunction,
but I'm still here anyway. 
And I don't know what I 
would have done with it 
if it did. It's probably
better this way, the 
way it all turned out.

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