Saturday, February 25, 2017


I thought maybe once of getting a tattoo to read 'Beyond Everything Lies Everything Else' but thought better of it because I found they charged by the letter and then I thought maybe BELEE would do but that made little sense and back in those days only sailors or Coney Island freaks had real tattoos and anyone else who maybe did was just somebody's wartime father who got one in Ceylon or something when he was out there in WWII and then came home with it whether it was a star a slogan an anchor or some shining babe in the moonlight and no one ever talked about them because it was all still raw  -  even on Inman Avenue where dads sat around in the Summer evenings spraying the lawns with the water hose from the porch-star seat and if they had on one of those sleeveless tee-shirt things you'd see it but knew better to ask and I always figured every tattoo  -  like a scar really  -  has a story behind it.
One that I found stays with me now but it's a story not a tattoo – it’s a crazy man I know who loses everything he touches can’t find anything nor recall what it was he was just about to do but together it’s all sort of the opposite of that which you’d think – the crazy man so bent and intent on getting his twisted shape done that only his single-mindedness keeps him to it going forward with intent and missing nothing never dropping a beat on his way to getting that done upon which he’s become so crazed – but it’s not like that ACTUALLY it’s the opposite in so many ways SO I lose my way I falter and forget I stumble in madness and walk into things and bruise broken doorways over and over with my head (well well if you know what I mean EVERY SCAR HAS A STORY) : “LOVE TRUTH and expect to be found out – LOVE just stay benighted and give everything you know for what I know about you YOU’VE GOT TO HIDE” and it’s all a recipe for disaster anyway and everything dies but won’t go away and we crowd our poor selves with memory and hurt and we walk sideways to every stupid holiday or celebration we dream up and – like someone just recently said to me – ‘I didn’t want to fall asleep last night I fought it every inch because I was afraid I would die and then when I woke up this morning I wouldn’t get out of bed because I wanted to die’ and maybe I suggested something (for really I’ve forgotten) someone else brought up therapy (which I thought was really rotten) and then later that same day I saw the bedraggled man walking with his strange head down through the rows of the flea market as if looking for something he’d forgotten but knew not to exist (and yes yes even I shared those sentiments with him or at least imagined I did) and the big-girl flower matrons were selling plugs and bulbs and the swarthy Arab carpet-crooks were pushing rolls of rugs and carpets lined with lions or ancient floral patterns of two virgins entwined in lust while lambs watched from innocent sides and the seedy guys from Bellport sold filthy lighters and cigarette cases crusted with nudes and the high-priestess of doom was reading her Tarot cards to anyone who’d listen and incense boomed from loudspeakers spent and over there were old shoes SOLD BY A GENT just released from prison (he’d said) for killing his sister and burying her head - but whatever I knew it all to be crap I watched this poor man as he walked and what was once meant to be a ‘statement’ on his arm - a tattoo of a dripping dagger held in the fist of a shuddering heart - was now just a tired old bruise on his bony old shoulder some place where vanity had punched him hard and the ache lingered on and yeah yeah MAYBE he looked like someone you once had to ‘reckon’ with – strong as a stallion fast and ornery – yet now he looked bedraggled fitful and worn walking lost with his tight black tee-shirt rolled up to show who he was but he’s ONLY another tired old man picking up broken tools and putting them back – HIS HEART GONE SOFT AND BLUE WITH STORIES.

No comments: