Sunday, October 22, 2017


Certain things just do delight, and
I have studied this, carefully, and 
with a full regard for the retelling.
It has to sound like truth  -  like
a ruby setting, in a pile of grass;
hard to say how nice. When nihilists
build bridges  -  I have found  -  there
is nothing in between that's bridged,
and neither do the two sides ever rightly 
meet. Something is always off a few feet.
The joining is missing, the 'junction don't
junct,' as it were. I've noticed this is not
(always) because of bad intention, just
more sometimes bad design or engineering.
Their real feat is to be never talking of it.
'Problem? No, we have none.' They say.
While people are still rolling off the edge.
I've come to this from varied angles: For
some sum of years I believed in nothing
myself, and threw that attitude around,
wherever it was I went. Like marrying a
ghost and looking under the covers (finally)
on the wedding night and finding nothing's 
there  I took my lesson book and just walked
home. Those birds and butterflies were still
ringing around, and I heard their sound.
Funny it is, in a nihilisitc manner, how one
of them is noisy (the birds, of course), and
the other never makes a sound to be heard 
at all. The butterflies, that is, even when
six or seven strong. I tried to listen, but
knew I was wrong. In a nihilistic sense,
that too is nothing; yet, even the silence
is 'something'  - or I guess it can be made
to be, or so construed. On the other side,
if I could just get across that bridge.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

10,077. RUDIMENTS, pt. 111

RUDIMENTS, pt. 111
Making Cars
There's a photograph that has
always stayed with me -  nothing
special, just one I could never shake.
It has something to do with the sort
of person I am, which has usually
never been a good thing. Dead end.
Ineffectual. A tad too sensitive for
my own good, or at least too sensitive
for the sort of rip-your-heart-out
piss-in-your-face tactics that people
who get ahead put to use. This
photograph did everything (below)
necessary to both make me sad,
and anger me at the same time.
I know, you're going to start saying,
'why'd you look at it then?' That's
a typical power-guy's response. I
looked at it BECAUSE it hurt, and
if you can't understand that, well then,
you're one of them. You're one of all
those other people in that photo. Just
like, in Vietnam days, those two iconic
photos which were well-publicized
and which closed the book on that
ridiculous and pathetic war (the guy
in the street a Vietcong prisoner, getting
the side of his head blown off by the
captor-guard who is about two feet
away from him, and the other one of
that girl, those little naked kids, fleeing
and screaming as napalm burns their skin).
I know I could never live like that, and  -
soldiers or not  -  if I ever saw any one of
the guys that did that stuff, I'd be sure to
stab them to death, and maybe then (only
then), say 'thanks for your service.'
All of this stuff hits me hard and hits
home. It's just what my character's about.
Any of otherwise gung-ho crap about
'my country' and 'defending Freedom'
and all that crap is pure, boilerplate,
rip-off BS. Nothing of that exists at all,
in any way. All those podunk guys
bending elbows in Legion and Elk Halls
and all that, blubbering over their past -
they're all hunks. Salami. Baloney. Capicola
too. Seasoned and processed, and not
good for you at all. My time in New York,
a good portion of the beginning time anyway,
was taken up with, and squandered, with
US draft and Vietnam stuff. Those people
were absolute evildoers. The induction
center on lower Broadway then, called
'Whitehall' but not on Whitehall Street,
was a pale-green-walled mental camp
for retards. People in suits and uniforms,
demanding fealty to Death. And everyone
just accepted all that. It was pretty hideous,
and I'm at least glad that those photos came
out and were publicized and printed so as,
in their own way, to pull the panties down
on these military pieces of shit.
So, you want to say I'm not wounded and
maimed from Vietnam service, go ahead.
You want to say I don't have a good grip
on myself and am not giving credit where
credit's due, go ahead. And then meet me
in the alley, OK. When I look at this photo
the one I first referenced, I still fume. I
fume at all the duplicitous garbage that
this country has always, always, been
underway with. If you ever thought I'd
fight for that, you're crazy. Here's the 
background story, as I'll put it for you. 
The last thing I wanted to do today was 
get on a rant here about all the sorrowful 
moments that have rattled my past life 
and how they now affect my present. 
But this just came up. I just completed, 
based on some old California musings, 
a book entitled 'Cadillac Desert'  -  all
essentially about the 'California,' later
20th century water situation. Of which 
there is none, really, and how it's all
dammed and taken from others  -  all
this Eel River and Feather River and,
down south, the Mulholland stuff, the
Colorado and Snake Rivers, Arizona,
Idaho, etc. It's all an artificial fantasy
of water  -  trouble abounds. AND it's
built upon the broken backs of any 
number of Indian tribes  -  whose 
people have been coerced, stolen 
from, transplanted, and then transplanted 
again, and then again too. Endless lands
taken from them. Areas of their tribal
and sacred lands submerged; they been
treated and betrayed in the most dastardly,
evil (again, that word) ways by every level
of the US Government, top to bottom
because of water need, using only ONE 
example. Mostly so that shit-ass Americans
can move there, have their sub-divisions,
lawns, pools, sprinklers, strip malls, movies
stores, clubs and cabanas, highways, interstates,
bridges, dams and water-supply, and
indigenous people be damned. The gifted 
endeavors of  a civilization in search of 
the well-sprinklered lawn. So take your 
guns and bombs and go fight for that.
'One of the last-known consequences 
of water development in America is its
impact on the Indians who hadn't already
succumbed to the U.S. Cavalry, smallpox, 
and social rot. Although many of the tribes
had been sequestered on reservations that
were far from the river-bottoms where they
used to live, some tribes had been granted
good reservation land...Colonel Pick, for
the Interior Dept., got his way when the
Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs
tore up Interior's version of the bill and
wrote its own version as dictated by a
still-smoldering Pick...the tribes would not
even be allowed to fish in the new reservoir
being created. Their cattle would not be
permitted to drink from it or graze by it.
They had no right to purchase electrcity
generated from it (the dam). They were
disallowed to use government monies 
granted the tribes, to hire attorneys. They
were not even allowed to cut the trees
which were to be drowned by the reservoir
anyway, nor were they allowed to haul
them away...The bill was signed in May, 
1948. At the signing, stood George Gillette,
leader of the tribal business council. 'The 
members of the tribal business council
sign this with a heavy heart. The future
does not look good.' Then he cradled
his face, and began to cry.'


If you confiscate my hi-hat, I'll
have to take your platter  - these
drum guys can't just last forever.
Here's the jazzy music you desire,
now shut up, sit down, and listen. I
used to know them all by name  -
the songs, the players, all the
numbers. Now, nothing.
And I have shoveled your dirt 
and absorbed your conclusions; 
osmosis-by-the-sea is my resort. 
Now, nothing. For if I have to hear
this line of thought again I'll simply 
go. The line-marshal guy says he 
is coming back to check on things
again, so be alert.
There are crystal floaters in the sky;
each one an angel with a message.
Or at least there used to be.
Now, nothing.

Friday, October 20, 2017


I don't even know what they are, 
but the canasta players are saying 
all is good. I think I can remember 
my own parents going on about that 
word, long time back, in the 1950's, 
late. I never knew what it was and it 
just seemed like a high-class card game
to me. I hated cards. And board games
too; Jeez they were a waste. I had two
friends, about 10, a brother and a sister,
and all they ever wished to do was play 
some crummy board game named Mille
Bournes. It had cards too, as I recall,
which probably made it doubly evil to 
me. I think it meant 'a million miles.'
Or it felt like it for sure  -  something 
about car-trip stuff. They had a stupid 
little dog too, they called it 'Cherie.' 
I should have known something was 
up. I'd go over there, and right next
door to them, two older kids lived in
that house, two brothers. They were 
always playing The Everly Brothers,
and whovever it was sang 'Peggy Sue.'
I don't know, I forget his name. 
Lily-white, white-bread crap.
Oh, yeah, Buddy Holly. And
the Crickets, no less.


I'm very busy on the alternet
right now, where nothing I say
is what I meant; where gold
is lead, and lead is gold. In
such a way are problems
faced  -  we mis-represent the
meanings we traced. In this
way the world is flat and reason
rules a fading day. Yet, everyone
here agrees on one thing : There
are no second chances given.

10,073. RUDIMENTS, pt. 110

RUDIMENTS, pt. 110
Making Cars
I used to often think about certainty,
the idea of getting things right and
completely secure, before attempting
them, and then I realized what a dead
end that would be. If that had been in
effect universally, not much would ever
have gotten done : certainly no Wright
Brothers, for sure. Using a most simple
example. Back when I lived up that way,
years after NY City, there was a very
cool place, to which I often went. it was,
back then, a quite ruggedly simple 'Glenn
Curtiss Museum' -  as I recall, a simple,
converted old red-brick schoolhouse that
had been turned over to story-line, photos,
info-boards, artifacts, and a few aircraft
and racing motorcycles and cars, on the
open floor and/or suspended. Very low-key,
utilitarian, and not glamorous in any way,
which was its draw for me. This would have
been in the later 1970's. As I look at this
same place now, it's all fancied up, has its
own huge, metal-shed type building, all
sorts of Curtiss things, planes, boats, etc.
Probably also all sorts of high-tech apps
and such for self-guided tours and learning
information. I don't know. What I do know  -
which is all I really can know  -  since it's
about myself in all  -  is that, the way it is
shown now, all these history-pushers and
guides have done is transform all of this
work into the work of 'certainty'. And
thereby completely killed it. Their
hindsight allows them, smugly, to make
their perfect claim now of knowing
everything he did or undertook, AND
the results of all of it too  - which is
nothing of the sort of what actually
occurred. Glenn Curtiss was actually
an early speed-demon madman, a pioneer
in the sciences (before they were sciences)
of speed, flight, travel, racing, speed-boating,
building, crashing, getting blown up, and
getting back up too. Hammondsport, New
York had never seen anything like him  -
nor had anyone else actually. He tinkered
and spun; he defied both danger and death.
There was never a second of certainty in
his work, or in anything he did. If you
see the current museum, you'd never
get that. The old museum, as a said, just
a make-shift unused space, was chock full
of chancy possibility and risk. First off, it
still generally looked like a workshop, a
place where someone intense and crazy 
would have put in some work hours and
gotten some results. The skies around
there -  the Finger Lakes  -  have good
updraft, pleasant flying conditions, and
not so much 'resistant to flight' weathers.
These were, remember, gentler crafts back
ten  -  lots of wood and spindles, canvas wing
covers, stuff like that. Believe me there was
no certainty  -  one was, basically, flying
in a pool of gasolines and oils and the always
possible fire or explosion, besides everything
else, including open cockpit. Funny thing
was, in order to break the nerve barrier
for speeding on high, Glenn Curtiss would
first tinker with the barriers of ground-speed.
Motorcycle daredevil, high-speed stunts and
flat-out straight speeds. And watercraft too.
Surely was a different  -  and better  - world.
A man was a man in all departments then,
and if you didn't like that, tough beans.
Now everyone wants complete insurance, 
and assurance too  -  they want heir fanny
patted first, as they're gently told there's
no danger, all the equations work, and the
computer enhancement and simulation
shows no practical obstacle. Until their
stupid ego blows up first.
I don't know who runs the Curtiss Museum 
now, and I'm sure it's no longer Curtiss family
people, but I'm sure it's staffed by its own
daily parody of wise-acre know-it-alls with
big mouths to match. As for myself, all these
years and experiences later, I still wish for 
those days of old, when I could walk like a 
slosh-headed drunk through puddles of
oils and fuels, and slabs of dropped grease
on old floorways of bad concrete. I have
places in my head and heart yet reserved for
those old experiences  -  the kind of guys who
used to huddle around the Washington Street
fire-barrels in December, 1967 and try to stay
warm, or warm enough not to die anyway.
Drinking from their bottles and lighting 
cigarettes with their dirtied and bundled
hands. The tortured old guys who would
talk to me like their own dumb kid, just
awakened by whatever and start spouting 
to me of all the things that had brought them
down, or at least to there  - which was pretty
much the same thing. If I knew five then I
knew twenty of those old guys. That's where 
I still live; in some figment of 'other' that
scientists still haven't figured out.
I never did, but some of my friends used to
sell their blood for whatever they got for it,
and I forget exactly how it went  -  so many
dollars for a pint or something, and you could 
only sell so much over a certain period of time.
There were stipulations too  -  no drugs, the 
alcohol stuff, etc., but at this level it was
all almost contraband and no one cared or
checked anything -  let alone AIDS and all
that crap, which this pre-dated by at least 
10 years. There wasn't a glimmer of that 
yet, then. Some guys, a lot of the old maritime
sorts, had tattoos but they were all old, the
tattoos. Not like now, when every third kid's 
got forty feet of ink wrapping around their 
body and they're insistent to always have 
it showing  -  weird shirts then, with 
cut-off holes and peek-a-boo spots, so 
as to see some stupid color-patch or flower 
of female Goth symbol or whatever. And 
it gets worse when they're unclothed, but 
never-mind. And that goes for guys too.
I always used to say, at the bars, that I
had a nice tattoo on a 'certain' part of
myself that 'first it says 'Tiny', and then, 
in a bit it says 'Ticonderoga New York.' 
Always good for a har-har. Back to
selling blood, I don't remember what 
they got for it but it was enough for 
As I started out saying, if I'd boxed myself
into a corner tightly enough to be worried
about the expectations and the outcome
of everything I did, I would probably have
ended up doing nothing. You just can't worry
like that, and I never did. You couldn't
much tell that about me until later, when 
I actually, near to like age 19, get a license
and a car. Before that I'd just never cared; 
city stuff made it all unnecessary mostly 
anyway. Most kids weren't like that; they'd
start dreaming of and going to sleep with 
a car when they were 15 or so. All it ever 
ended up was for something they could 
drive to the mall with or parade around 
town with to show off and or pick any 
Mable or Matilda who'd jump in. I 
never went through any of that stuff.
It was all too much like a kiddie movie
or something for me to deal with. I 
remember one time, bring back at 
home for something, and a friend 
coming by with his car, wanting for 
me to drive with him. I figured, sure, 
cool. What a bust, he ended up (big 
afternoon for him) taking me to 
Two Guys ( a chain store with an  
Automotive Dept.), to buy new 
floor mats for that very car, and 
then over to a friend's house in 
Hopelawn, to install them. It 
dawned on me that this whole
'car' idea had just engulfed the 
entire daytime life of three people. 
Huh? heck with that; I could'a 
been walking somewhere cool.
Could anyone ever imagine Glenn
Curtiss going out for floor mats and
coming home with hamburgers too.
I'm pretty CERTAIN not.


Those things that go to the victors, 
what are they again? Spoils? We
spilled that cantankerous pudding
some time ago. Now there's nothing
nothing known  -  but how can you
turn back time and unlearn? For
all that we've amassed has taught
us better things, yet now they tell
us to forget. Ah! This sun that goes
around the Earth -  oh, yes, I recall.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

10,071. RUDIMENTS, pt. 109

RUDIMENTS, pt. 109
Making Cars
Most of those old, early motorcycle
club guys had been WWII flyers :
attack planes and Spitfires and stuff,
running fast and low in the skies.
Their plane-fuselages were often
coyly decorated in some version
of a babe or girlfriend of some sort,
maybe with a name or a slogan
thrown in. It would be cool to learn
how many of them went down, with
their girlfriends or dream-girls on
the fuselage. Dreams die hard, so
maybe it was only a few. Anyway,
once they all were mustered out,
back into the civilian population,
after the war, they were mostly
aimless, and filled with dark
thoughts. Some of the things they'd
seen had been the stuff of nightmares.
Lots of guys were able to handle it
all OK, get jobs, lots of them in the
then-new airline industry, wrenching,
a plane mechanics or tuners, or fleet
guys. Others just drifted off; some
into that dread and bleakness of drift,
beats, wanderers, dark souls. Some,
finding a skill in writing, took their
thoughts and ideas to paper and lived
that way. Greenwich Village cats, New
York dudes. A real and early version
of the 1950's free-minded hero, to me
anyway  -  finger-snaps, black boots,
Devil-my-care stuff. Poetry and coffee.
As on their plane-paintings of those
girls, you couldn't really 'show' much,
but you could suggest a lot.
Some of those guys took up motorcycling.
Saying the hell with the rest of life and
its concerns, they chopped and hopped
up their rides, cutting things down to the
barest minimum of true and functional
black-diamond hot-riding. No limits. And
then thy formed clubs, riding clubs, brazen
groups in a shack or a shed, taking sides
and pushing their names. It became a public
bit-form, as well, of 'show' and terrorism.
Beer-brawling, running at stop-lights.
On the old planes, if you didn't keep the
revs up, along the ground, at no speed,
the plane's engine would die. It really
kept no idle. Motorcycles did, but these
guys still revved their bikes at lights, and
at shifting too. We've all heard some terror
rider revving a crack just before the shift,
catch the bumped-up revs with a smooth
gear-change. It's unnecessary, but it's cool.
If you're going to 'profile,' you've got to
be cool. That's how old things live on.
Right next to 509 e11th, where I was
living, was this 'legendary' place called
'Paradise Alley.' It had been a Beatnik
haunt, hang-out, club, and set of apartments
for any number of post-war slackers and
cultural bottom-feeders. That was, of
course. all over and done by the time,
in Aug. '67, I got there. When I arrived
it already was a motorcycle patch  -  early
NYC Hell's Angels and others got their
club start there. I'd see their bikes parked
in the courtyard, st curbside, and on the
sidewalk, there would be people hanging
about, club guys watching the parked
motorcycles and that street corner  - 
11th street and Ave. A. There'd be
really neat girls, in rolled up flannel
shirts, jeans, (quite distinctive at that
time and, certainly, not a 'fashion item'
or staple, as now). Guys and girls leaning
on the old brick buildings within the
courtyard  -  which had a brick arch
at the entryway  -  would be snuggling
or kissing, in that leftover, almost
world-weary, and weird, 1950's way.
It was pretty dreamy, and a real 
site to behold.
I'll admit, readily, to not much knowing
what anything meant, or was supposed
to mean. I'll never know what I missed;
how many serendipitous meetings or
encounters that may have occurred passed
right by me because of my own insipid
vacuity. What did I know? My life at that
time was nothing at all  -  brought up with
a scream, aware of not much beyond maybe
Howdy Doodie, Buffalo Bob, and Milton
Berle thrown in for good measure. My
yardstick had always been a small-town
one, not even a town, just a place. Having
it all of a sudden at play in the largest city
of is day was certainly a shocker. I used to 
walk around, thinking. (Yes, imagine that).
I used to think about living without money,
how society could be arranged to have that
done away with  -  it was a sort of advanced-
consciousness thing I toyed with. I had a
friend or two with whom I'd banter over
the idea of barter (to 'banter' over 'barter' 
sure looks like some sort of crackpot joke 
here now), how it could work, how goods
and services could be exchanged, in place
of money  -  but that idea never worked.
How many pairs of shoes could a person 
need, and paying for groceries by making
the farmer yet more shoes certainly seemed
like a dead end. However, amidst my NY
musings, I came up with this other idea;
also not implementable, but mine. If we
could meet our needs without the exchange
of money, I had it this way: first off, everything
would have to slow down; there are way too 
many people, so as attrition took care of
natural death, others, yes, would need to
be selectively eliminated (that part wasn't
so pretty), and voluntary 'enlightened'
viewpoints would need to come to the fore
to limit and decrease the population. Beauty
and nature would be allowed to flourish, 
instead of being squashed. That too would 
take 'enlightened,' advanced people. I
figured there would always be a large
segment of technical-heads, those people
who insist on things   -  rules, means,
procedures and processes. They could be
left alone, to build all their automated
things  - clothing, transportation, foodstuffs,
all that. Once everything had slowed down, 
the 'right' people could be left to remain ever
watchful and vigilant for meaningful
encounters, to advance Humankind, and
the force of enlightening and evolving the 
race. Without needs, yes, but also without
wants, kind of a high Marxist idea of 'to each
according to need, to each according to ability.'
Bridgemakers-in-mind could build their
bridges, etc. Once a sort of critical mass was
met, Humankind would become meditative,
and quiet. Introspection would take over;
a vast religious 'present' or 'now.' People
would began getting intuitions of being in
the wrong jobs, or wrong places, and simply
make the changes needed for harmony, AND  - 
this is where it got so important  -  people
would give us money for the insights we 
provide. People's 'gifts'  -  a new form of
tithing, would go to people who have given
them spiritual truth. As people (and this,
through psychic harmony, would begin 
happening) began coming into the lives
of others at 'just the right time' to give
spiritual truths, they'd be paid for that.
Thus, slowly, a 'spiritual' economy could
push us over, into the next realm, into a
form of enlightened living. 
Oh well; so often, walking the streets, 
I felt really good about stuff like that.