Friday, January 27, 2017


I hate to always 
be rattled but, boy, 
so many things 
always keep me 
going. When I got 
to NY City, my 
main impetus was 
to unshirk myself 
from much of the 
material that had 
been drummed into
me, or supposedly 
had been. It's important 
to remember that 
(perhaps) someone 
like myself, coming 
out of a young-boy 
mess of seminary 
and constrict, pretty 
nearly spends the 
remainder of a 
lifetime either 
negating or trying 
to negate more than 
half, I'm sure, of 
the accumulated 
and tribal junk 
which was fed to 
him. I had a lot to 
struggle out of. 
My mission-to-self 
was to impel my 
way out of the 
tunnel I had been 
headed into. It 
was a big struggle. 
It was an existential
willing-to-act; to find
that defining force.
I wanted to be invisible, 
which was easy, and 
at the same time I 
wanted to dig and 
find and learn, to be 
able to come up 
with my own history 
of New York. In a 
sort of manner that 
would keep me 
moving forward. 
I spent a lot of time 
in the NY Public 
Library, and some
bookstores too, doing 
that. But often it just 
maddened me. The 
dead-weight of the 
past would always 
meet the present. Crazy 
things I'd see would 
never make sense 
and would just anger 
me. Often, what I 
found people 
believing in just 
made me shudder. 
The same old twisted 
material always 
being brought to
the fore. Example:  
-  an archbishop or 
somebody, in Chicago, 
talking about the 
wave of crime and 
the chilling murders 
there, somehow has 
the nerve to tie it 
together, in the 
stupidest fashion, 
with the Chicago Fire. 
The two things have 
nothing at all in 
common, and 
bringing the 
connection out 
is just bad church 
homily, the usual 
soft-talk of nothing. 
One is a result of 
simple, physical 
FIRE, and the
other is the 
accumulated and 
current result black
on black, mostly, 
violence, and cops  
-  in whatever capacity,
good or bad, you wish 
to see it. This following
'religious' quote is pure
bunko. I was infuriated 
upon reading :"The Archbishop, 
who was being honored 
by the council that 
evening, spoke of 
the violence and 
urged its members 
to take on the epidemic 
of violence, as a 
mission and a cause, 
and he compared it 
to the great Chicago 
Fire of 1871  -  'Today, 
another fire is ravaging 
our city, our neighborhoods; 
when violence has become 
a terrible way of life, 
families and neighborhoods 
need to know by what 
we say and what we 
do that they are not 
on their own.'" I 
couldn't tell what 
any of that meant 
but I sensed some 
soft-hearted gibberish 
getting pushed along 
as 'policy.' And then, 
even more to the point  
-  Henry Ward Beecher, 
a famed but dubious 
NY preacher of the 
1880 era, a man 
with a grand reputation 
and a large following, 
responds to that old
 despair of his era, 
and to the impoverishment 
of New York's great 
working hordes, during 
the rail strikes of those 
years, with the most 
astounding statement 
I'd come across. 
Using God, actually, 
using RELIGION for 
pity's sake, against 
the very people he and 
it were supposed to be 
serving. Scenting 
money, he took the 
side of the rich, 
elitist, railroad tycoons  
-  all those same names 
as before, and more  -  
who were stealing, 
inflating stock, buying 
falsely depressed stock, 
decimating geography 
and landscape, and 
running people scared 
out of their homes. 
He said, I read, denouncing 
the railroad strikers, 
(and this reallly made 
me ill)  -  "[Their] effort 
is immoral because 
it contests the 
workings of the 
'natural law,' which 
was on the side of the 
largest, always, whether 
man would have it so 
or not; and no meddling 
on their part can interrupt 
it. God has meant that 
great shall be great 
and the little shall 
be little, and the 
poor must reap 
the misfortunes 
of inferiority." If 
that wasn't a sorry 
heap of crap I didn't 
know what was. I'd 
get a headache just 
thinking that a 
scant number of 
months before I 
had been working 
to be in the employ 
of this 'God' and 
proclaiming Him 
to others. Man, I 
wanted to jump. 
Everywhere I looked 
within the histories 
of New York  -  
everywhere   -  I 
found greed, 
corruption, bribery, 
crime, murder, 
mischief, violence, 
collusion, improper 
procedures, false 
justice, insider 
deals, payoffs, 
and the like. Really, 
it just went on and 
on ad nauseum. 
These people 
were nothing but 
dog-faced criminals, 
even the preachers 
and saints. New 
York City, patron 
saint of shit.  It 
didn't take me 
long to realize w
here I really was  
-  in the belly of 
a beast. A Sodom. 
A Gomorrah. 
Everything like 
that all plugged 
Despair and 
can lead men 
to do lots of 
dreary things. 
I knew. I learned 
quickly. Everywhere 
I turned, no matter 
how un-affected 
and invisible I 
tried to remain, 
I was always 
getting mixed 
up in something, 
buffeted by some 
or another outside 
force. Even Huck 
and Jim, floating 
down that river 
in what you'd 
think was maybe 
a free and clear 
passage, they 
kept getting 
mixed around 
with like thirty 
different adventures. 
I wasn't Huck, and 
I wasn't Jim, and I 
didn't have no raft.
Nonetheless, I just 
kept bumping into
things left and right,
all along the way. 
But  -  and this is 
the true mark of 
sanity  -  a man 
makes peace. A kid 
makes peace. No 
sense in endless 
emotional fighting; 
you just end up like 
them. I never wanted 
any Sodom, or Gomorrah 
either, but all my 
connections just kept 
bringing me there. I 
was in the 'demi monde'  
-  or at least what it 
used to be called of 
that. A dark, 
'half-world' of the 
unsettled underground;
the invisible people.
Nowadays the entire 
world's in it anyway 
and no one seems to 
care.  Talk about a 
'basket of deplorables.'
I could bring it to you.
I met a hundred dirty
people and each with
a story, and a command 
to follow too, should 
I have wanted. Some 
I did, most I never 
did. I could be 
dead by now, 
for sure.

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