Wednesday, February 1, 2017


I have plenty of
memories, and
dreams too. Still do
-  even though all
that's running out.
There comes a time,
I guess, when the
memories far outweigh
the dreams, and the
sand  keeps running
down in the glass tube.
No sense ruing that
day, because at least
it's still a day. It'll
get here, in its time.
Some of them, these
memories that is, stay
with me. Others don't,
as much, but they easily
can be drawn up. I don't
know what it's like for
others, but it does appear
different for me. I put little
importance to the sorts
of things, apparently,
others value highly  -
childbirth, wedding,
career attainments,
money, station. Beats
me, all that. It's just
stuff that's around.
Things that stay with
me as 'vital' are much
different, and not
always good. I remain,
often, wounded and
still bitter, in my way,
about variants of things
which should have
occurred, differently,
but were hijacked and
twisted by systems,
and others  -  the fools
who play these systems.
I think many of these
people simply do NOT
think about what they're
doing, nor how they're
affecting, tormenting,
or disorienting, others'
lives by simply following
the rules and orders
they're given. It's
pretty hideous, and
no different in its way,
than any of the past -
those Nazi guys turning
up the gas sprays on
those nozzles and
saying they were
just doing their job.
I know, I can hear it
now, that big buzz  -
'no comparison, none
at all, you're way
out of line.' Yeah,
well I got news for
you, fella'.
The day the Draft
Board nabbed me
on 11th Street, that
was some beginning,
for me, of a systematic
hatred of the system.
That's sounds pretty
redundant, no? Well,
it is. I was supposed
to have signed up,
registered, whatever
it was. I laughed
it off for about a
year. Screw them
and anyway we
were, in that
apartment, running
a resistance. Constantly.
Moving people along,
like a mission hall
-  AWOL, renegades,
military criminals;
all on the run north.
(Some ten years later,
or more, I get to St.
George Press, and
who do I get stuck
working with? An
ex-MP who did his
'Vietnam' time stateside
as a base cop, rounding
up just the sorts of
people I'd been moving
along. Funny world,
and I never mentioned
a thing). It was like
an Underground
Railway stop for
Vietnam resistance,
at 509 e11th, and
here these draftboard
idiots thought I'd happily
step up to the plate and
start swinging my bat
for their shit? I wasn't
even religious and
they made me religious
-  I was fighting God's
cause of peace and
comity. There were
pacifist Quaker churches
all around there, plus
St. George's Church
over at Stuyvesant Square,
St. Mark's in the Bouwerie,
which was becoming like
a bomb-thrower's paradise,
and of course, never
forgotten, ever, Judson
Memorial Church, which
was the very best at
resistance I'd ever seen.
To these Draft Board
people, regular freaking
agents of the Selective
Service, like FBI
creeps even, a day's
work apparently was
to go around and
track people down
and nab them. I
wished I could have
shot them both, right
in the face. To their
way of thinking
'processing' was a
mere formality  -  
like disrobing, before
those gas showers.
When I was done,
I walked back up
Broadway. The
next time I was
'due' there, I took
my bicycle, down
Broadway  -  which
I remember then as
deep, dark, way
overbuilt and
crowded with
vehicles and trucks
and the like, as I
barely managed
squeezing between
things. (No one
rode 'bicycles' for
real purposes back
then; now there's
a weird bicycle
delivery or bike
messenger ever
fifteen seconds, and
they all look like
seconds from the
circus.)  -  I got
there and just slung
the bike down  -
no locks or anything
back then. I propped
it in the little alcove
in the big granite-stone
from of that miserable
building. (It too is
still there, undergoing
 perhaps its third major
renovation that I
can recall, in these
50 years anyway).
It sure needed one
then  -  it was a
interior of warrens and
small dens, with automatons
for people, in attendance.
No one was even
alive in the place.
The females looked
like they hadn't even
 thought about sex
in fifteen years  -  not
that I'd give it to them.
My Studio School friend, 
Jim Tomberg, (I've 
(written here of him a
lot too, in some earlier 
chapters), he used to
call these sorts of females,
 'plaster-pussies', saying, 
'You can't crack 'em open, 
they break.' (Aw, c'mon,
you know what old Jim
was like).  A real shame.
I couldn't understand
how any one of those
females could allow
all this processing
and churning up
of young men, right
before their eyes,
to go on. Anyone
of us bastards
could have been
a wonderful husband
to any one of them;
teach 'em a thing or
two too, and maybe get
them out of that hell-hole
-  along with our own
selves, of course. But,
whatever. Maybe they
were all porking their
office manager guys to
keep their jobs, and
had been sworn to
secrecy and told
to say not a peep
and act morose.
Yeah, that's it.
What's a guy supposed
to do? Go willingly
to his death for 
some pip-squeak, 
bullshit cause 
about saving 
some yellow men, 
from, what, other 
yellow men often 
just like them? 
Excuse me, what 
was that again? It 
was nothing more 
than factory-death, 
and sign-ups were 
so needed they were 
made mandatory, and
called a Draft. Oh, sure. 
The draft place was 
miserable; so few windows
 you could gag. So high up 
you could get dizzy. So 
dark and dreary with 
bad air you could 
get sick. These 
guys were insistent 
that they wanted me, 
and that I'd been 
way out of line by 
not showing up 
there when I 
did (not). But 
they were wrong. 
And then, they 
realized anyway, 
I was still 'NJ' -
(I'd never changed 
any documents or 
references. My 
mother had given 
them my current 
location), and I then
should instead be in 
Newark, NJ, for that
Draft Board, not the
New York one. That's a
good example of how  
stupid these Nazi-clerk
types are. Yeah, OK  -  so 
those arrangements 
were made, and 
they took me there. 
It was like unloading 
a bomb that was 
ticking and that 
they no longer 
wanted around. 
Hello, Newark, here 
I come. I had about 
2 hours to think about 
it  -  I could flee, 
like the others, 
but I didn't wish to. 
I finally did get to 
Newark, and passed 
all the stupid tests  -  
which weren't tests 
at all, rather just 
to make sure I 
was breathing, 
could see, had 
a steady hand, 
walked OK, and 
had an anus and 
a pair. (I guess that 
was what that was all 
about). 'You're in.' 
At which point I 
insisted I wasn't,
asked for a shrink,
and was taken upstairs 
to an office with two
or three psych-doctors 
(I forget the number, 
to be truthful and just 
barely remember the 
scene). I talked nicely, 
and acted nuts and 
crazy too, and intense. 
Somehow it all worked, 
and they decided to 
just unload me, not 
fit, good-bye, see ya.' 
I went right back to 
e11th, and took up 
where I left off, 
never really saying 
a word about what 
had occurred. And 
then I was done. 
They could take 
their War, and 
their Resistance 
too, and shove it
 all where the sun 
didn't shine. I turned 
in my chips, checked
 over my wounds, and 
left  -  for the basement 
of the Studio School, 
which was actually 
a much-finer place. 
I had no war story, 
and I didn't 
want one.

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