Monday, March 25, 2013

The Book of Blown Gaskets

Journal #31
Sunday, July 1, 2007

Wet spoors invade the pre-dawn hours...
Awakened by squabbling birds that have nested underneath the air-conditioner—not altogether unpleasant... rotting fabric of a dream hangs in the chemical mist above my bed... missed chances in a receding night... cacophony of missed connections and blown chances...

The Great Book of Blown Gaskets
At my desk and getting sick* from the fumes already—even on a Sunday, when all the auto-body shops should be closed, right? Who knows where it’s coming from?

Applying online for jobs and posting resumes... but it’s hard to concentrate...

9:53—On a Q heading to Manhattan—
My skin is itching terribly and I’m groggy from toxins!
Walking up University Place last night: I feel the world crashing in on me, but then I see some poor soul with an artificial leg and I start to break down in tears... Empathy? Kundalini manifestation? Sheer horror? Who knows?

11:04—In some kind of weird cafe on the corner of 1st Ave and Houston.

Contaminated thoughts on a mindless page.
Oblivion neatly inscribed between parallel blue lines.

Book of Foregone Conclusions.

12:06—In an obscure and desperate corner of WSQ—

On the everlasting park bench... as phantoms disguised as tourists push through the heavy air...

*MCS: Acute, multiple chemical-sensitivity brought on by exposure to Methyline Chloride and 911 toxins!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Great Book of Indigestion

Still-frame from "WSQ", 2011

March 8, 2010—

Debt collectors calling, calling, calling...Vultures circling everywhere in the Poison City. Down to a single bar of “charge” on my cell-phone battery.

Trying to conjure the Springtime into existence:

Still-frame from "The Conjure Stone", 2009

Eating compulsively—out of pure neurosis.

Park cooling off as the sun goes down one more time...

Still-frame from "Orb Descending in Park/Sepulchre", 2011

Phantoms pass by, sit for a while, and then move on into the oblivion of the late afternoon.

I suppose I’ll be heading up to Barnes & Noble pretty soon—it’s too cold and windy out here now. Fear is ascendent! I am afraid all of the time. Maybe I do need some kind of medication—nah, that stuff never worked for me.
Heading to B&N...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010—

8:28—In the C-Muffin—

Connecticut Muffin, Cortelyou Rd., Brooklyn, NY

Fear, fear, and paranoia—too many things conspire against me—I almost choked when I read that article yesterday about how American Grid conspired with Con Ed and Morgan Stanley to rip off customers in an elaborate scheme that netted them millions! I guess I shouldn’t be shocked or surprised, but I was—the lawlessness and corruption are out of control—it filled me with fear and disgust. This country is absolutely doomed—the depravity is beyond belief! I knew that that American Grid was f*cked up when that psychopath started yelling at me over the phone last year—I felt like I was talking to the mafia or something!

Book #52: Tales of Fear and Disgust!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010—

11:25—On a Q heading to 14 St.—oh, no—wait a minute! I’m on a B! Christ—where should I get off?


Still-frame from "Lost Fountain Observances", 2011

Trying to decide if I should call that debt-collector scumbag back. I probably shouldn’t, but maybe I should at least call them once—I don’t know what to do. I’m really in too fragile a state of mind to be bullied and interrogated by some thuggish debt collector. The back is hurting a little bit but not too bad—where is my PT? I ought to hear from them this week—gotta get that ultra-sound going...

... and I’m sitting in WSQ on a chilly day—not really that comfortable. It’s too fucking cold! I gotta duck inside somewhere... I’m tempted to seek refuge in The Temple... or perhaps... the Albatross...

The Albatross Cafe off Union Square West

4:13—Clocks stopped at inconvenient hours.
Endlessly repeating fragments of myself in a spectral Union Square

 4:50—B&N on the 4th floor—I’m sitting in the 3rd row all the way on the right side with a view of Union Square West out of the front windows. It’s cloudy— a gray, swirling sky—overcast, spooky, funereal...

 I have a terribly creepy, paranoid sense of doom swirling around me. It must be the debilitating effects of the last poisoning*** coursing through my system.

Still-frame from "The Periodic Table Contaminated in a Dream", 2010

I wanted to take a walk down to Mosco Street*, but it was too cold.
Sinking into junk-food narcosis.
Everything is rapidly coming to a head: the looming implosion of America and the descent into chaos/police-state/breadline anarchy! Lord!

6:02—In the Faux Viêt Huang Trang Restaurant on Baxter Street.

I order #194** from the menu—I always order #194. But that waiter has begun to anticipate my order every time I come in here—"194?" he asks. And do I detect a slight smirk when he says that? I may have to stop ordering #194... that's the only way to break this vicious circle...

The Temple has closed! Another one of my old haunts is gone forever!

Dusk down in Chinatown—always a melancholy undertaking. A thousand memories down here—perhaps I should walk over to Mosco Street just to take a look. 

This part of town reminds me of my stay at Fulton Street, since I often used to amble down here since it was fairly close by.

6:18—Just finished eating my #194—it was half rancid! Bastards! I have calculated that I run a 50-50 risk of getting food poisoning every time I order food in here (or anywhere)—but that those odds are favorable enough for me to keep on ordering.  

Just like old times, yes. The decor in here makes no sense to me whatsoever—Liberace on foodstamps...
Now I have the mother of all indigestions! Christ! What a mistake! Horrid filth! This could take all night to die down...

6:32—I am totally pissed off at this f#cking place—I’m ill!

I am really in an angry pissed off mode these days—all I do is walk through the streets cursing to myself like some old beggar-idiot! Lord! The drooling baby family across the aisle is in for the f#cking long haul—they’re making a whole night of it! Of course! 

My stomach is totally rebelling at the filth I just shoveled down it!
The problem with indigestion is that it overpowers everything else!

6:45—Should I jump on the Q train and head back to Ditmas Park?

Ancient insults torment me—why did I put up with them? 

The unnatural lifespan of an insult...

* Mosco Street: the last remnant of the old Cross Street which ran through the Five Points.

**  Chicken with Ginger and Scallions w/White Rice
*** Numberless poisons commingle in our innermost dreams. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Numeral 5 at Beekman

From Journal #55
Friday, June 25, 2010

12:54—On a Q headed to... where?

Paranoid and wobbly.
Going over the Manhattan Bridge—creditors calling me! F*ckers!

I wonder if I should get off at Canal and then take an R down to my old haunts in the Financial District for some more observational note-taking?

1:30—In the Plaza outside of City Hall.
The approach to the bottom of the city: a few of the old monoliths are still standing;

On Park Row by the Optimo Cigars store; turn left on Beekman Street; past the old barber shop on 8 Beekman; then Nassau...

Theatre Alley tucked away under black scaffolding in the deep gloom and skeletal structures of fire-escapes.

Nassau torn up between Beekman & Ann.
The thresh and clatter of heavy machinery all around me.
My God: the immense red and white facade of the old Temple Court—all closed down along the streets and covered with scaffolding. They couldn’t be tearing it down; could they?

5 Beekman Street! I peer through the small round hole where the lock used to be—and look into an immense, cavernous and ruined interior illuminated by natural light from above... crumbling plaster and chunks of concrete—the remains of an ornamental balustrade with gold buttresses—stripped, raw iron columns stand in the gloom—wires and torn cables sprout from holes in the ceiling and walls.

A piano sits madly in the center of the chamber!

As I pull myself away from this otherworldly sight, a young man stops me and asks if I am working for the Census—"No" I reply, "I am a writer taking notes—notes pertaining to the Great Desecration—which rages all around us and through us!" I start to relate my sad and incredible tale to him—but he's having none of it—he nods his head and smiles and turns to continue on his way—I ask him what he does. “I work in the area.” He makes his way through the throngs, heading west on Beekman towards B’way and melts into the hopeless afternoon.

Turning back for another look, I see that all of the modern facades have been ripped off of the doorways and entrances—exposing ancient brick & mortar and long-covered ornamental masonry.

I notice the brass numeral 5: a piece of metal which has been removed from above the main doorway and placed on the ledge above it. Strange... I pick it up, thinking to abscond with it, but something stays my hand.

Standing across the street and I reconsider my plan to abscond with the numeral 5! Should I loot the ruined temple? Would I be contributing to the destruction of the Old City that I purport to cherish?

Stasis at the Perimeter

I settle for a mere tracing of the numeral—and carefully put it back in its resting place where I found it.

2:57—In the courtyard in back of Zeytuna’s. I've been here before... in that strange dream...

There is a permanent hiss in the air; a rushing sound; a combination of heavy machinery, the gnashing of gears, hydraulics, and perhaps also the wind rushing through desecrated metal canyons down here in this torn & demented city!

I suppose that I should head up to WSQ; but should I? The new benches are exceedingly unpleasant and the Old Park is now gone without a trace anyway! There is nothing left to cling to or ruminate upon...

The Quandary of the Numeral 5...