Friday, March 10, 2017



Up top the rocks were massive and etched with what appeared to be lines made eons ago in some weird extra-terrestrial way and they were piled as they grew from the earth just where they stayed and paths and trails went right over them whenever they were in the way - I imagined the Native Americans of old walking these very rocks as they passed along the high palisades and checked out the river beneath them and the far-distant other shore - lush and dense and rich and green - teeming with silence in the riches of things unseen and overgrown NOT a word to be heard not a noise out of place just the usual warble of birds in the Spring and ice floes in the dead of Winter the hush of snow the hiss of hot air and I could see the huge markings on the faces of the rocks and wondered about them in silence (for apparently Americans took no heed of this at all and they cared less about any of it either) for nowadays nothing comes from the sky - no riches no money no special things from on high - so that there's really little to be gained (it is thought) by the caring either for or of it and if you understand the thinking which produces something like that you'd probably understand a million other things which I myself noticed by being here : on the northern bottom of Newark along what is now Route 21 and by something called Mt. Pleasant Avenue is a massive cemetery dating from the old original founding days of earliest Newark and in this location are to be found to be precise most of the people whose last names have now become or were already the names of streets in old Newark (there's a distinction to be made here because there have been essentially two Newarks with one on either side of the societal divide which strangely divides America in these parts - that is the original OLD inhabitants and their being replaced (once they essentially gave up on the cities in question) by the newer and much-lesser mentally fit secondary groups which came after and still are coming and breeding and adding great numbers and hordes to these already miraculously decayed and forgotten places which have in essence become mighty new engines of social engineering AND socialism of a sort which never was supposed to happen in the USA at least by history's standards and which today's Americans conveniently forget all about) - but so be it - and a friend of mine just yesterday commented upon seeing this cemetery - 'so this is where all the WASP's ended up' - and he wasn't that far from the truth and all one sees here are the collected remains and remnants and memorials for all of that which has passed - an entirely 'other' way of American life and one composed of names reeking of old England and old Europe and the many places from which these early settlers of Newark and environs came and the whole place (once proudly athwart the bountiful river) is now busted and truncated and made noisy by the howling thread of highway traffic which rudely trounces at its end at the exact spot where the most forgotten and most luxuriant remnants of the old are - concreted mausoleums closed forever now by poured sealings to thwart vagrants and the old and crumbling red brick tombs with monumental tops and grandiose architectural renderings now crumbling in a powdery mass of old red brick and broken stone covers and ancient iron rusted away to a mottled mesh with broken windows which here and there may still reflect the fleeing sun and inside of each of these tombs - redolent of the past and the past again - are perhaps still the bones and shards of the original tenants the ever-owners the long-lost-last resident of each : formally named crypts broken now by time and exquisitely carved memorials forgotten now by every weather and air and awareness of any nearby human anywhere and I visit these places myself as a spectral figure and I find myself there seeking my own bones and my own reasons but the place is awesomely inspiring and the entire idea of the present and the modern makes my heart ache and hurt and seek ceasing to pound as a solace for I know that this has fallen and fallen again BETWEEN places between times and presences and no one is aware of the loss and no one cares but HERE are the original causes and names and people and dates the truly ORIGINAL marks of everything AMERICAN which here once was and here now is despoiled lost gone and forgotten amidst the noise and wail of stupidity amidst the noise and wail of crazed local populations of indigents voting and screaming while they vote and falling and swooning to their God meager great God Mammon and succor though it may be and alongside that everything else pales and should for truly THIS this is the city of the dead the sepulchral presence of death and ALL its varied minions with the noise and smell of the modern about them (whilst I walk alone and silently among them - in some evasive semi-dark of time and theme and air) - and I like to think I am better for that.
To the pestilence of testing men I add the prevalence of death and its elusive meanings as a way of furthering the test : we build the monuments to the ideas which undergird all of what we do as a vest of immortality or something we wish to wear over our clothing as some major outer garment of rank and status TO WIT 'look at me for I shall live forever' yet alas it is not to be ('I am Ozymandias...look upon my works oh Mankind and despair...') and it is to that very boneyard we are then retired (quite passively that is and NOT at all actively) and that very boneyard it is now which I walk in and view the remnants of faded powerless dear and dire glory all gone to seed and rot all broken and tarnished forgotten and dis-respected (ringed with rude roadway 'round loud scavenging noise and fury) and I conclude ALIKE that it is likely that there is NOTHING more to go around - we all are silent at once and despair together and lonesome at once and elated with fear the fear of time closing in on us and then over us and LOOK LOOK just look yourselves and tell me what you see for even the brick and the granite here disprove the complacency of time and show its active element instead - rot and withering and decay and fault.
So 'what's to navigate' one says ? navigating without water remains impossible and most of my story is all lies (or all of my story is mostly lies) and none of it can be sourced : my father being from Albania ? sure as Tirana and my mother being Trinidadian ? sure or from some other Pavian part of Italy - let's say - sure and they both ended up in some prefecture provincial of Merry Olde England with Robert Ford his'self as guide (take from the poor and give to the rich - it's called today and when Robert Ford became Robin Hood I can't recall - 'I may LOOK like Robert Ford but I feel just like Jesse James!') and I met with Little John just this morning at that same old bridge and I HAVE visited Czechoslovakia and I have passed through Peking but for whichever reason BETTER OR WORSE it hardly mattered and this scribe's from Bolgna anyway so each and every story you hear is a PASTICHE of desuetude (and how do you like that title!!) made-up whole cloth patched together ring of stories and tales no greater than the least of them and no less than the best - "fill my marrow with new monkey bones and let me drink of the chemist of ale" the guy saying that was sure to be lonely and he was in actuality ABSENT from his lodgings yet I stayed there alone for a few days and then went down to Pete's Tavern and tippled a few more lagers AND NO WATER could be seen there either (just MaryBeth and Doug and us walking along looking at the bloodied posters of the missing in action and the people who never turned up turned up dead for sure for so many it was thought had died in the inferno as the crumbling towers wilted pancake flat and crushed and killed them all and some of these I'm told even had to jump to race their way to sudden death - the PAYOFF of every mind and every man (sinister constabulary tophat barnacle covered soldier-sotted windfarer sailor-boy humdinger) but by then it had to be AT LEAST October first of two-thousand and one.

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