Saturday, February 18, 2017


Just wielding a pen or
a pencil, back in the day,
(I hate that phrase, but
just ended up using it),
with a piece of paper
or a small-sized
scrawl-notebook, it
was easy to really feel
like something : being
a writer, the idea as it
was encapsulated in the
mobility and ease of
getting thoughts down.
There were typewriters
too, yes, and I had four
of them over time, but
no one really lugged
around a typewriter
while they were out
on jaunts. I remember
in 1964, when Bob Dylan
(you know, that Nobel
Prize for Literature guy,
the writer) and two of his
geeky friend-folk-singer
types drove across country
on '64 in their new 1964
Ford station wagon and
Esquire Magazine made
a big fuss over the fact
of him traveling, in the
back, with a typewriter,
and typing away much
of the time. If any of that
typing stiff was true, the
mobility of a typewriter
I guess can be said to
also have been proven
by him. End result?
'Tarantula,' his really
stupid Aretha book of
dashing beat poetry.
Yes, I can hear it all
now  -  these days
anyone can type on
anything and 'damn
the torpedoes, full
speed ahead.' (Don't
hear that much
 'Going glib,' I guess
was the world's answer
to lots of things back
then. At least in this
country. You could
still probably find
a lot of the 'old'
stuff in Paris and
France and Britain,
if you looked. But,
mostly, by the
mid-60's, America
had taken over the
real push and prod
of the world's 'culture'
and the way it was
headed. No one really
cared nor even raised
much of a warning
finger. Not even
T. S. Eliot; and I
think he was still
alive. End result?
Bob Dylan gets
a Nobel Prize.
The world is different
now, and the 'words' are
different too. 'Tradition
 and individual talent,'
as Eliot again put it are as
forgotten as big bloomers
on young girls. I don't
much care, remaining
somehow fortunate
enough to be still writing
off of, and trading on, the
basic, personal premises
of writing and contact
that I'd laid out for myself
back about 1966, to be
factual. So none of this
modern styling stuff really
gets to me and I don't
care much about it :
purple-hair nose-pierced
flop-faced chubby arms
tattooed kids-stuff young
adult fixation trans-gender
bullshit street crap slam
hip street lingo who-am-I
stuff. You can take it all
to the well and then
piss on it too.
'Under the magic forest
mute with shadow, I will
utterly greet the blown star
of her face.' Yep, that was
e. e. cummings, as a college
guy, in November, 1914.
Man, can you believe that.
That's all part of what I was
talking about the the other
day  -  taking poetry and
trying to give it equivalency
in prose. What's it take?
How's it go? All-around,
knock-out crazy. Nonetheless,
that's the sort of stuff I was
walking through the streets
of New York City on my
own in 1967. Where my
head was at. What was all
bouncing around in it. I
n 1967, November 1914
 was 53 years back. 1967
to now, amazingly, is
51 years. Talk about
equivalency, isn't that
am amazing fact, a
startling and closed-up
distance of time between
two places? So, I
guess maybe you
can see where I was
at. You can't end up
being a regular boring
everyday guy and
still be doing this
stuff. It doesn't work.
That's why I never
made it to anywhere
 special. I was in a
 half-world of between
 two places, and I
willingly kept it
that way  -  so that
I'd be able to
continue creative
work only, and stuff
your jobs and dollars
where the old,
bombastic, sun
doesn't shine. It
was almost impossible
for me to talk with
others or communicate
sensibly anyway  -
because I was
inhabiting a place
where I was closer
in time and being than
I was to the actual place
I was in. I mean, what
the heck? Who wanted
to be in 1967 anyway?
There was a place, also
not too far from me,
called the Hotel Albert.
At University Place and
11th Street. The place was
great  -  actually it was a
fleabag stinkhole, all run-
down and the rest, (I used
it, along with the Marlton
Hotel, another one on 
Eighth Street, across the
street from me at the Studio
School, as a composite 
in the 'Miasma Arms
Hotel' in a long piece I 
wrote)  -  but it took my
heart away. Hart Crane
(no pun on that one)
wrote a good portion of
'The Bridge' there; the 
NY artist Albert Pinkham
Ryder (whose brother
managed the restaurant there
and pretty much fed him
for free), and a hundred
other pre-rock n' roll
grandees, stayed there,
hung there, lived there, 
whatever. 1920's, 1930's,
the big heydey. By my 
time there it was every 
rock-act's crash pad  -  
every bunch of twerps 
from Moby Grape to the
Lovin' Spoonful and
more ended up staying 
there while they played 
places like the Fillmore 
East or the Electric
Circus or the Cat Club 
or the Mud Club, any 
of that. Man oh man,
how rock music has 
killed a good world. 
I liked it there  -  any
one of those rock 
babes would show
you whatever body 
part you requested, 
they were so blind 
and stupid. It didn't 
matter; it's all just 
living history, and 
now it's condos and
and apartments 
anyway. The creeps 
now, they never leave.
One of Albert Pinkham 
Ryder's best (most famed 
anyway) paintings, called 
'Death On a Pale Horse' 
originated there when 
one of the waiters in 
that restaurant was 
given a 'sure tip' on 
a horse for an 
upcoming race, 
and bet everything 
he had and more
on it. The horse 
fizzled out, and lost
big-time. The guy
committed suicide. 
Ryder painted. I 
love stuff like that. 
And there's your 
story, Mr. White.
I wondered about 
that waiter, in the 
restaurant : if he
got that tip, as a 
tip, he certainly
could have called
it a 'killer tip.'

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