Saturday, August 6, 2016


Malicious intent, across the
board. That's what many of
the people in NYCity had. I
met a bunch. You had to keep
away from them because
anything could happen. It
was guilt by association
because this association
was guilty: blowing things
up, stealing  -  just the little
robberies that keep a few
people going  - knocking
people around, knowing
where the cops were. An
almost 'intelligence-community'
kind of ranking of many things.
The comings and goings of
people was the least of it, I'd
bet 600 people passed by me
in any month  -  complete,
and totally screwed up,
strangers. On the way to
somewhere else. Draft-
dodgers, people AWOL,
having run off, abandoning
things everywhere on the
way to Toronto. Toronto
was a big destination town
for a lot of these people  -
an enlightened place,
supposedly a refuge and
filled with wise and gentle
people. Canadians. Like a
Seattle of its day. A few
years later, the Toronto
Art Museum opened up,
a big pizazz about that,
John and Yoko going on
and on about it, talking
of moving there themselves,
blah, blah. They ended up
on Bank Street, NYC, at
Number 105. This was
while they were getting
chased by the Feds, on
Nixon's enemies list and
all that, fighting the
deportation stuff. All they
ever did about it was end 
up on the Mike Douglas Show
or Joey Bishop, day after day,
(the famed 'ex-Beatle' and the
girl who wrecked the band');
one of those dumb daytime
talk shows, It was to the point 
where even they ended up 
looking stupid. It was all
a disaster and all it ever
did to me was reinforce
my own justified hatred
of the System. All that
forced-draft stuff, learning
to kill, getting killed. And
then, just for speaking up
and speaking out  -  from
the public platform and
voice, in Lennon's case,
he'd been given, or earned  -
being both hounded and
harassed by the Government,
from insidious creeps who
were supposed to be doing
you good, not harm. I realized
I'd lost all faith in that, and
really had none left. That
still holds too I guess.
Bank Street was over by
Westbeth, which was the old
Bell Labs, where a lot of
interesting things were
developed right up through
the 50's and then they
moved, after getting much
larger, to a massive,
campus-like place out by
Morristown. It's still there,
I think  -  satellite and space
stuff. Last I knew. No matter.
Westbeth, near to Bank Street,
became artist-housing, lofts
and quirky apartments, a
fairly amazing layout, totally
different building, in both
feel and form. It was really
hard to be a square-thinker
around there. You could get
hip and arty just by breathing.
Like the Chelsea Hotel, but
different too  -  same church,
different stained glass widows.
Nearly a 10-year waiting list.
I think  -  can't remember
exactly  -  Dianne Arbus
committed her suicide there.
Not sure. It wasn't Sylvia
Plath, but it was like
that. Intense art stuff  -
all weird and strung-out
people, art everywhere,
all that difficult and
interconnected stuff of
people in coats and boots,
tophats, umbrellas. A
regular DADA fest
always. Mapplethorpe
lived, I think, too, right
next to to Lennon and
Ono, maybe Patti Smith,
along Bank Street. A crowd.
All those years are now
smoky-gray me, passing
clouds, everything
unfocused. I was there
but I was on fire too, and
in a hundred other places,
though often wish I had
it back. It was like running
through town with a blowtorch
turned fully to on. The entire
world was getting singed.
In retrospect, looking back
now, as an old man but not,
just the weird gap of age
makes it so, I can't decide
if what gets a person the
most is the accumulation
of all the details, or the
details themselves, each
in isolation. That's a tough
one. A lot of my time in
New York was a laboratory
experiment for me  -  in
consciousness I guess. You
may recall when I wrote 
about that old corner water
trough at Grace Church, and
the Charlie Chaplin scene 
I mentioned. That was a
really peculiar thing to me,
it represented a 'state of grace',
even more than the Grace 
Church itself. Transformative.
It's difficult to put across 
sensibly here, because I 
really was onto other things. 
I suddenly started to 'know' a
lot of things I'd not known
before. Innately now, intuitively,
as if they'd always been there
but had just opened up to me,
began flowing into my own
conscious life-stream. Some
'blockage' had successfully
opened, or been opened. By
me? Or for me? I never knew
-  I'd spend a lot of time near 
there, around that corner, those
ancient bookstores and all 
their passageways and cubbies
alone. Unlike people today who 
go to group things for their
Yoga or Meditation classes.
I frankly don't know what 
any of that's about or why 
people now are so hung 
up on other people, and have
to do everything together, 
en masse and with others. 
Transformative moments are 
quite singular, and they need 
no one else.  Only after do they 
 they take on others  -  a pure, 
out-flowing power and heat. 
Love for  others, like the sun has, 
hitting everything. It was a state of
of grace I lived in by Grace
Church. Figure that riddle : 
when you're in that state,
everything is effortless, a
goodness and a transparency
takes over. The world opens
itself up to you. I was there.
Each time. Once you're there,
you're there. Born in a state
of grace, impossible to leave 
it, you should, as well, die
in it. If only people could 
see that, sense it or feel it, 
or let the voice of themselves
and their body just TELL 
them. It's all there. Life is 
Gold, and you needn't
dig at all. You are unique. 
You have integrity. You 
can  walk right into
those spaces and they
open, and are open for 
you. Limitless. Beyond
all possibilities. It's a
very loud silence.

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