Sunday, November 27, 2016


I have found that, at any
one time, there are so many
things going on around any
one person that it's really
quite impossible to keep
up, or know them, or
make sense of them. There
are strange overlaps, and
things that only make
sense much later, if
looked at, as it were,
backwards in time.
I know it's like that for
me, and I can assuredly
bet it is so for all others.
Life is a cosmic and
strange pattern, and
Time writes its own
orders  -  with that order
pad always at the ready.
In my own life, I know,
the bizarre overlaps
were pretty crazy, and
I totally lost out. The
years I'm writing of  -
1967, through the 70's,
mostly were simply
churning with the most
cunning aspects of
gravy-trains coming,
for many people, yet
in a certain form of
obstinacy, I never
jumped aboard
anything. I always
have to ask myself
why that was, and
what it was that I
missed. Names and
people which came
and went, and then
came back, with fame
and fortune attached,
always amazed me. It
all started somewhere,
and along the way,
somewhere too, it all
got lost. Sam Wagstaff
to Mapplethorpe and
Patti Smith to Warhol
and to you name the
rest. That was all
noise, of a sort,
while quiet was my
quest. You miss what
you miss and God takes
the rest. The way I
always see it at the
least Jim Tomberg
and I muddied up
the waters good for
somebody. I hope
that somebody turned
out to be anybody.
I could be rich and
famous too.
When I arrived in New
York  I'd have to say I felt
free. There's a very unique,
(yes, only happens once)
quality to the very idea of,
at 17, disembarking from
a bus, already disoriented,
with a strange head full of
notions and ideas and
meanings, and falling
right into the crazy,
embroiled frenzy of
Port Authority Bus
Terminal, W42nd St.
and all the people and
events underway there.
Immediately, it was
jungle-time. Bums,
beggars, thugs and
hippies, almost
immediately. Wastrel
girls hanging out along
that row after row section
of rentable lockers. For
something like 25 cents,
back then, you'd get a
locker, priced per size
actually, and some weird,
fat-headed, plastic topped
key with your locker number
on it, I forget how long it
was yours. Any number of
people just lived out of
them  -  slept in the terminal,
wandered around, begged
coins, refilled their money
locker-site, and acted like
it all was their own
three-room apartment.
Bathrooms provided by
the terminal too. It was
soft-living, in a way, with
little care. Being a bum,
without anything, homeless,
whatever you wish to call
it, is quite something.  For
girls, it's way worse  -
things you never see any
more somehow. Like girls
with bloodied pants,
leak-through. Always
unspoken stuff like that,
but there you go. That
sort of thing always
made me feel bad; really
sorry for the loss of that
singular daintiness, a sort
of 'being-pretty' already
gone. All that stuff was
new to me and I was just
getting used to it. The
stupid wall of lockers
was a real education.
Now, there's an infantile
statue out front of, believe
it or not, Ralph Kramden;
Jackie Gleason as that guy
from the Honeymooners he
played so long and so well.
Bus-driver jacket, lunch-pail,
etc. Today's homeless and
today's version of indigents
actually congregate, drape
around it. No one questions.
I don't know what I would
have done, back then, if that
had been there. But I'm
fairly sure for certain it
would not have been that.
I abhor stuff like that  - 
to me it's the equivalent
of allowing the 'State' in
the Orwellian, nightmarish,
1984-ish sense (the book,
not the year) to take over
your life, present only the
light and funny things they
approve, completely
de-clawed and de-natured,
and then allowing you 
to partake. Each time I
ever was there, just 
across, at the opposite
corner, were the always
ongoing efforts of the
Nation of Islam, 
Muhammed X, Elijah 
Muhammed, whatever
it went by. They were 
always loudly hawking
their newspaper, Elijah
Speaks, or something. I
never witnessed any
fights or violence, but
it somehow always 
seemed to be really hot
and on the verge. Never
could I figure out, either, 
why these guys always
sought to be stylish, in the
Sammy Davis, Jr., way of
dapper. They were, after all,
proclaiming Revolution and
Separation and Trouble. Why
look like a rapt black banker
while doing it?
On the whole, if a person
comes unprepared into all 
this stuff, it can really screw
them up. I was unprepared,
most certainly, but I hung
on. Everyone in NYC, or 
at least I thought, was way 
ahead of me in their breaking
out of molds, rejecting things,
revolting. Turns out they
weren't. Everybody was in 
the same, fat, questionable, 
sinking boat, but I didn't 
know that. I'd eat it all up  
-  train or bus, either way 
in, I'd start my downtown 
trudge in whatever
way I felt that day.
There was always plenty
of distraction, but I knew
I had simply to find my 
card (those cards I told 
about some time ago, 
each with entry into other
places). Stay concentrated,
place my 'put' on the
square I chose  - Art and
Creativity, the two horsemen
of my apocalypse.

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