Wednesday, March 29, 2017



So that we have heard all that can be heard we have left our broad ears open and wide like at the very beginning of life when all sounds are new and you cannot yet distinguish what you are hearing from the normal background noise of an everyday existence so that the whoosh of cars on pavement the roar of bus exhaust the treble hum of drillers and diggers the basso profundo of trains and the deep hoots of boat whistles all can pass you by without notice without comment and the only sound you hear to notice is the tearing of a soda pop top the metallic rip that strange enervating sound of the aluminum can or the bottle of sugar-water you have been given in one or another guises as it comes to you whether CokePepsi7Up whatever that's the stuff you first catch on to and hold not even the sweet soft source of mother's milk any longer no sustenance there no margin of indifference just nothing as a flesh-life a reality once known a tribal hold has disappeared from all our lives and we have moved onto post-modern efforts at will and growth to be as philosophically sound and up-standing as we can and proud to walk the hovel or the train-tracks where whistles yet blow and teen-age boys with sticks patrol and the young kid with the baseball-bat-blasted head lies near death with an eye out of his socket and the blasted debris of people everything Sri Lanka once Ceylon Chechnya Bratislava Serbia New York Houston New South Wales everywhere there are pieces of life and people walking either to it or from it without regard for lateness or consequences and like the baton runner in the strange lead of some garbled Olympic Parade the torch has gone out the flame is unlit so we watch movies of Jack and Jackie from nineteen hundred and fifty three and nineteen hundred and fifty six and sixty and sixty three and try to forget and realize how all so much the trip to Dallas changed the world or at least the feeling of it which they still insist on pandering and everyone in those photos looks so bad anyway all the inauguration men in silk tophats and that poetry guy Sandburg or Frost or whomever they blew in from New Hampshire meaningless overlapping gestures will talk about how the land was there before we were and yeah I guess so all right no problem we were the lands before it was ours so what and why not now the mills and factories all along the rivers from Webster New Hampshire to Kennebunkport Maine are all gone the free floating log roll of time is ended we all look like ancients now but no one can recognize anything "They tramped on and on singing 'May his memory be eternal' and when they stopped it seemed that their legs the horses the wind went on singing it out of force of habit" all that at about the same time as those opening lines to Doctor Zhivago started pounding into people's heads and then even the rancid Hollywood cabal took it over and the next you knew there were hundreds of thousands of people over and over going to see moving pictures of a story without meaning unless they called it love love not ideology for the people stupid people wouldn't know it by that name and like pearls before swine they galloped through train cars and glugged the stuff down the words undiluted and directed by coin only memories of this or that memories of death 'I keep thinking of times that are long past of a house in the Petersburg Quarter you had come in from the steppeland Kursk Province of a none-too-rich mother to daughter...tightly closing eyelids heights and cloudy spheres rivers waters boulders centuries and years...the murmurs ebb, onto the stage I enter I am trying standing in the door to discover in the distant echoes...' as quickly and as simply as all that we think back to see and hear anew and again the other time and place of birth and from genesis where we have all come from the Kill Van Kull that lonely working river space filled with barge and boat and tug and tanker slowly gliding by with the errant water hum of work while the thin girl sunbathes along the new shore in only the summer sun or while in the deep winter the piled up debris and snow rots and discolors as it melts all things food banana peels cookies crumbs bookbindings tires everything along the working place where men nod before they speak if they ever speak at all and the time is clock-ticked for money only every contract written with limits and wages intact and sure to please someone as much as it displeases someone else and the low buildings house soldiers lost in time themselves still fighting on seas of ire and the nearby factories make things which people use and each small room above has space for family and growth and television and perhaps here and there a car before everybody later had to have two just think a trickle-up theory of economy the likes of which was never before ever seen and the rodents ran free and the rats and mice chased by cats with lice ran loudly screeching under bulkhead and wharf and the night watchman with his chain-key and flashlight walked the docks and watched out for contraband leaving not coming the internal theft was amazing there were all sorts of goods for the taking monkeys from China lights from Yugoslavia and hammers and tools made in Poland and France wonderful implements for nuts and wine bottles and cork-stoppers and pens and glass balls and globes of snow and rabbit ear TV antennas and poor beleaguered Japan back then even made cars but cheap metal model ones worth a dime for a hundred no more and all there was left standing by itself alone was a Russian Faberge Egg one Russian Faberge Egg and those boxes which went one inside another inside another inside another until small and smaller they simply disappeared.

No comments: