By Tom H. Brooks 3
MUSIC FROM A DISTANT ROOM………………………………………………………………………….
I LOVE PARAPHRASING
“I speak of the City
built by the dead,
inhabited by their stern ghosts,
ruled by their despotic memory,
the abstract State and its
I speak of towers, bridges,
tunnels, hangars, wonders and disasters,
the shops that have everything,
where we spend everything,
and it all turns to smoke–
I speak of the paralytic slum,
the cracked wall, the dry fountain,
the graffitied statue,
I speak of garbage heaps
the size of mountains, and of
melancholy sunlight filtered by smog.
I speak of dawns like a flight
of herons on the lake,
and the sun of transparent wings
that lands on the rock foliage
of churches, and the twittering
of light on the glass stalks
of the palaces,
I speak of certain afternoons
in the early fall,
waterfalls of immaterial gold,
the transformation of this world,
when everything loses its body,
everything is held in suspense.
I speak of the summer,
of the slow night that grows
on the horizon like a mountain of
smoke, and bit by bit it crumbles,
falling over us like a wave,
the elements are reconciled,
night has stretched out,
and its body is the powerful
river of sudden sleep,
we rock in the waves of
its breathing, the hour is
tangible, we touch it like fruit,
I speak of nomadic
clouds, and of a thin music
that lights a room on
the fifth floor,
and a murmur of laughter
in the middle of the night
like water that flows far-off
through roots and grasses.
Is that music coming closer
or receding, are those pale lights
just lit or going out?
space is singing, time has vanished;
it is the gasp, it is the glance
that slips through the blank wall,
it is the wall that stays silent,
I speak of our public history, and
of our secret history, yours and mine.
I speak of the forest of stone,
the desert of the prophets, the
ant-heap of souls, the congregation
of tribes, the house of mirrors, the
labyrinth of echoes–
I speak of the great murmur that
comes from the depths of time, the
incoherent whisper of nations uniting or
splitting apart, the wheeling of multitudes,
the dull sound of bones falling into the pit of history.
I speak of the City,
shepherd of the centuries,
mother that gives birth to us
and devours us,
that creates us and forgets…”
You may be able to take me out of California,
but you can`t take the California out of me…
LOVE….what a beautiful illusion…….
“All these inexplicable events that have occurred in my life so far–the way I became swept up in this strange work I do–it`s as though
they were all ingeniously programmed from the start for the very purpose of bringing me here, where I am today. It`s a thought I can`t
seem to shake off. I feel as though my every move is being controlled by some incredibly long arm that`s reaching out from somewhere
far away, and that my life has been nothing more than a convenient passageway for all these things moving through it…”
“Coming down the mountain!
One of many children…
Everybody has their own opinion…
holding it back, hurts so bad!
Cash in now….cash in now, baby…”
“People don`t always send messages in order to communicate the truth, just as people don`t always
meet others in order to reveal their true selves. Do you grasp my meaning, Mr. Okada?”
A bar………THE DIRTY SANCHEZ
Quincy St. and Downing in Bedford-Stuyvesant……….what the FUCK am I doing here?
Bix Beiderbecke (sounds like SPIDERBACK)
legendary and amazing 1920s jazz “Louisiana” and so many more great tunes…..
3/10/06…….24 hours worth…..I had it on all fucking day and night…..
“I feel as though many others just like me have passed here before…
and many will be walking forever after, in different times, different ages,
like time travelers caught in one frozen universal second.”
“The Three Golden Keys”
A Parable of a Sort………
“Sometimes I read papers from years ago, and I feel that the past has come back to haunt me. I`m lonelier now.
Little by little, we all get lonelier. All the women I`ve loved, I`ve left behind. The places I was happy. Children
move on. All my friends. Everything I once had and is now lost. Things I wanted to preserve but tossed overboard
instead. And I catch myself writing as if the end is near. And god won`t help me cleanse my soul and accept
everything as it is.”
Pedro Juan Gutierrez
“The Dirty Havana Trilogy”
I said it before and I say it again…..LISTEN to Neil Diamond`s song, Hell Yeah……
It is a profound song with great lyrics and you can tell it was written by an older man who has LIVED his life….
Everybody on the subway seems REALLY lost today…and not even bright enough to ask ME for directions….
It is beautiful when the top of the Empire State building up 5th Avenue is shrouded in mist….lost in the clouds, so to speak…
“The more thrilling, wonderful, divine objects I behold in a day,
the more expanded and immortal I become.”
Henry David Thoreau
LET`S DO THE “LA THING” AND EXCHANGE
CELL NUMBERS AND NEVER CALL EACH OTHER…
MORE FUN THAN A BARREL OF MONKEYS
in lazy circles
in the blood-red
of the alley
outside my window
on a devil wind
of the fight
“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret,
their rules are absurd, their perceptions deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”
3/16/06 Chiharu and I at West 155th St. ….amazing…..
Broadway and Canal Bulgarian Bar…spectacular….
St. Patrick`s Day NYC 3/17/06
It was supposed to snow but instead it is sunny and beautiful….luck of the Irish, indeed….
NYC street sticker at Lafayette and Grand…..
“YOU STUPID FUCKUP,
YOU HAVE NO IDEA”
U.S. Warplane on the front….
Ludlow St….. Iggy`s……. St. Paddy`s Day….
GETS YOU LAID”
Here`s me being the ultimate hypocrite, after all my anti-cellphone talk of years ago….
People who use pay phones nowadays seem kind of spooky and shady….
THE WORLD HAS BECOME
A PARODY OF ITSELF
terrorists, West Nile Virus, AIDS, Mad Cow Disease, Cancer, random bullet, speeding beer truck,
Avian flu, falling rock, earthquake, tsunami, wildfire, bear attack, CHUD, drug deal gone bad, O.D.,
motorboat accident, drowning, falling off a mountain, white flash of light……
I don`t know about you people, but I`m not gonna spend my time worrying about HOW I`m gonna die….
IT`S OPEN SEASON FOR FIRES! Marianne V`s restaurant (Five Points) is on fire—3/24/06. Lure burned
first, now this……this shit reminds me of a city version of brushfire season in LA…..
I brake for hallucinations
“Why do men so often die before their wives?
Because they want to…”
“How many men does it take to open a beer?
None. It should be open when she brings it.”
“The wife is knocking at the front door, the dog is barking at the back door. Who do you let in first?
The dog. He`ll shut up when you let him in.”
“Don`t hate the player, hate the game.”
Shut the fuck up, I hate you and the game!
“If you have a goal, you might not reach it. But….if you have NO goal, you are NEVER disappointed.
And I gotta tell ya, it feels phenomenal…”
“Hi, I`m Gene Simmons and I wear higher heels and more make-up than your mommy…”
Wednesday 3/29/06 11:13am
End of yet another era…No more Grand Street and Crosby. I am moving from SOHO to Staten Island, which is probably
the funniest move in recent history (although my San Diego to New Jersey move was pretty funny back in the 90s…).
Yet, I am really excited about it. I am moving in with Chiharu, so hopefully it will be a nice domestic situation. And….
Staten Island is a strange and forgotten wasteland ripe for exploration that only one such as myself is capable of. Strange
journeys lie ahead…
I sit on the roof with a Budweiser and look at the water towers and buildings of SOHO…always an enchanting and seductive
skyline. The sky has an apocalyptic yellowish tint to it, almost like LA smog, the air is 62 degrees….springtime indeed….
I listen to the endless flow of traffic on Broadway, the rumble of the streets, the energy crackling, the rattle and hum, the barking
of car horns, the sirens wailing, the voices of humanity, the cries of birds and cats and children, a thousand, nay a million voices
raised up into one great song, this….this vast metropolis seething with vibrant life, the greatest stories, the most beautiful songs,
this giant vortex, this juxtaposition of all things, of all people and places stuffed together on a few scattered rocks on an ocean
of sadness and a fierce rising tide…..yes, the winds will blow but the songs will go on and the music of the city will echo her songs
across the vastness of humanity, the emptiness between the multitudes of madness, the music sprouts like a lone weed in the
cracks of the asphalt, reaching for the sun, for something, one song, we will all understand….
Chiharu, my little pineapple head; she brings a light to my darkness…
Wouldn`t be able to move in to the new building without the help of Patrick and Ron……
Live on the set of “Barbershop” in Jamaica, Queens…..WTF?
Testing the limits of my NYC pedestrian skills….walking FULL SPEED down lower Broadway on a sunny Sunday afternoon, navigating
the endless sea of people with the ease of OJ “the Juice” Simpson, #32, circa 1971 Buffalo Bills…..
LOOK AT THEM CHOPPERS!
I`m talking about your TEETH, scumbag.
JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH!
HARK, THE HERALD ANGELS SING!
HAIL MARY, FULL OF GRACE!
GREAT CAESAR`S GHOST!
4/2/06 a nice morning with Chiharu….
“She walks right in,
she walks right out…”
Professor Longhair (New Orleans style jazz)
It`s funny when listen to music sometimes, how goddamned TRUE it is….
Andrew J. Barberi and Samuel J. Newhouse are my favorite Staten Island Ferries
The energy and vitality of places in NYC like Union Square can be incredible, but at times, I long for the
stoned, inactive lethargy of LA public places like Pershing Square or MacArthur Park….why is that?
“TELL YOUR MOM TO
STOP TEXTING ME”
“I Love You But I`ve Chosen Darkness……
`Honestly?! I think that their record might be just ok, but there`s never been a better band name…` “
“A cart is truly more than the sum of its parts.”
Danny O`s on Staten Island….empty….just me and Jack Daniels and the bartendress (Marcella). I played
solo pool (I still suck) and enjoyed the excellent jukebox selection and the classic desolation. I think I needed some quiet…
FUCKING IKEA!! I had to get WASTED and STONED before I could figure out how to put this shit together!
16oz Bud on morning Staten Island Ferry…not a bad commute at all, yes, I am CRAZY and I`m actually enjoying this….better than a stinky subway…
I know so many of these faces on the ferry. I am thinking of all the times I`ve ridden the S.I. Ferry before I HAD to, just for fun, to rip around the
island on my skateboard. It`s like I`m a little psychic, like I KNEW I was gonna live here…..creepy….
….regarding “training”, artistic matters, schools of thought or anything “official”….
The rules DON`T interest me. Only what I want to do and how I want to do it is of consequence. Training is for the clones.
Only YOU can create yourself; a living hunk of mortal flesh caught in this endless spiral, creating new worlds from a grain of
sand, a shout into the void……..this could be called ORIGINALITY.
Edvard Munch exhibit at MOMA until May 8th….I`m going….
“Tyranny of the majority….”
“The earth turned
to bring us closer,
it turned on itself
and inside of us,
It turned to bring us together
inside of this dream…”
“Aren`t both road and language, after all, siblings in humanity?
Isn`t it when both roads AND languages are invented that commerce,
mediation, and civilization begin?”
Regarding Staten Island`s wasteland architectural masterpieces…
people just drive by this everyday and ignore it….
routine kills your sense of wonder…..
North shore of Staten Island; an artistic homeless man has built bridges to nowhere out of driftwood
from the Kill van Kull river over the abandoned train tracks. Maybe nobody will ever notice this, but I have….
R.H. Tugs Bar………..Joel is the guido bartender….cool dude….
THAT`S ALL IT IS……
The Anti-city; Los Angeles has no center……
“Los Angeles has no border. Or if there is one–if there is, necessarily, a space that is city proper and another
that is not yet or no longer the city–the property of this border is that it is undetectable, impossible to determine
or situate. I looked out for it yesterday when I arrived from the north. I will look for it tomorrow when I leave again
for the south. But it`s like the border that separates day from night, about which I swore to myself when I was a
child, `I`m going to trap it. I`m going to keep my eyes wide open, and this time I won`t miss it.` But no, I failed,
every time, I mysteriously failed. Night fell, day broke, and once again I missed the instant of transformation–just
as here I missed the borderline of Los Angeles, this burgeoning city that goes on indefinitely, interminably stammering,
a huge slow animal, lazy but silently out of control.”
“Pizza Box”at Bleecker and MacDougal….with a garden …..very nice….
“All`s fair in love and war…”
Staten Island: The Riviera of New York City………HA!!
However…..you have NO IDEA of the EXCELLENT view I have of Manhattan and Brooklyn and really, ALL of New York Bay from my rooftop….
And I have a pool. When the dog days of August come, I`ll be living well and you`ll be sweating by a garbage heap with the rats….
Staten Island railroad….last stop ….Tottenville…..where the hell am I?
This island never lets me down with that ghostly feeling of desolation which is probably why I like it…
“The Tides” at Charleston……Clone housing is everywhere and it has even reached Staten Island….
This is the type of forgotten wasteland that could have hidden treasures from days past, PIRATE BOOTY!!
I`m looking for some gold!!
I`m so sorry, were you talking? I was busy congratulating myself on my absolutely singular and unique urban and suburban wasteland adventures…
Nobody does it like I do, it`s that simple….
I don`t know how far it is and I have NO IDEA how I`ll find my way, but I`m gonna skateboard all the way home….
Some kind of filthy gray-brown ex-dump moonscape…what is this? clay? petrified trash? mulch? I have no fucking idea….
The west shore of Staten Island smells funny….really, the word is BAD….
S-74 from Tottenville almost to Veterans road west, amazing photo ops of old ruined tugboats, rusting and aesthetically beautiful and forgotten…
S-59 to Port Richmond
I just realized the whole mid west shore of Staten is the legendary GIANT garbage dump….no wonder it stinks….
Just saw a motherfucking crazy black dude doing a wheelie on a dirt bike all the way down Richmond Terrace…
Next time I`m gonna take a ride over the Bayonne Bridge into New Jersey…
Thunder rumbling, just saw lightning in a sunny sky!
Still sunshine in Port Richmond
A bunch of Latinos playing soccer in a dirt lot in West Brighton with 2 nice new goal nets…
5:45pm….serious storm blowing in now….almost home…
Mission Accomplished! exhaustion….I`m gonna sleep 12 hours…..
Howland Hook, Port Ivory, Mariner`s Harbor, Port Richmond, Snug Harbor, West New Brighton, New Brighton, St. George (where we live)
NOW GIT! Go on GIT!
FLASH FUTURE TO 2011 in Ueda, Japan:
Me and my boss, Akira Matsuo and my coworkers, drunk in a karaoke box…..
Akira and myself, singing Sinatra`s song, “My Way”…
you had to be there….CLASSIC…..
BACK TO 2006:
A family of ducks spends a lot of quality time together in our swampy pool
until Memorial Day when the water is changed and the pool is cleaned and
I imagine the pool will be full of people. I`ll probably be at an empty beach.
My life is pretty much wall to wall fun…
Staten Island St. George Ferry Terminal 12 noon….
dialogue between maybe…23-year-old black dude with cornrows and his 4-year old son, also with cornrows;
The boy is REALLY into a handheld video game…
Dad: “So you want a bike, huh?”
Kid: “Yeah, I want a bike.” (never looks up from game)
D “What`s that you ridin right there?”
K “A motorbike…”
D “Same thing, I`m glad to see you`re enjoyin it…”
This type of conversation is happening all over the world in all cultures as virtual reality takes over….
Scary bar in Hell`s Kitchen…….CIRCUS 615 9th Ave between 43rd and 44th Streets; pictures of murderous-looking, sex offender CLOWNS all over the walls….
44th Street bar……Saloon Babylon
TIMES SQUARE is the definition of chaos and crowds. It`s just too much.
Flashback to ME taking headshot photos of a sexy girl in LA back around 2002 ( I used to actually get paid for it occasionally ):
“Yeah….yeah! Be sassy, be a BITCH….good, just like that….
Who loves ya? Yeah, the CAMERA loves ya….alright, enough. Good job, stinky,
thanks for playing, please drive thru…”
Sounds like a bad porno dialogue, but she was laughing the whole time….
Riding the Staten Island Ferry late at night on the weekend is a whole different story from the routine workaday crowd. It`s a bunch
of black folks and homies going to the city to party…..
This was written during my NYC mustache phase:
Mustaches are like Journey. You start off liking them as a joke but then you`re like, “Hey, these are really good songs.” Then people go,
“Are you being ironic?” and you`re all, “I have no idea.” So, in short, they are always good and it doesn`t matter why.
See above attachment….
NYC Street Scene #247
An old lady YELLING at a girl from the band outside a bar at Attorney and Stanton Streets;
“It may be the Lower East Side but it ain`t ANYTHING GOES!!”
THE DELANCEY at Clinton………DEATH DISCO WEDNESDAY
MY LES drinking stoop…..99 Orchard at Delancey; a good spot….
Queen Mary 2 docked in Red Hook, Brooklyn
“…among the rich and beautiful, who, as always in America, when you catch them in real life, form a masquerade of the living dead,
each one a little more face-lifted and mummified than the next, fierce, a little mutant-looking, inhuman, ultimately disappointing–and
this was scarcely the ideal situation for having a REAL discussion…”
Subway ministers, sidewalk preachers, that black guy at the ferry terminals that says, “God loves you, Jesus loves you,” to everyone
who walks by; these Jesus freaks are everywhere. The ones ON the subway are the worst `cause you can`t walk away from them…
If they talk to me directly, I try to be nice but dismissive. If they are irritating and relentlessly persistent, I change my tune; “OHHH,
PLEASE DON`T TORTURE ME WITH YOUR INCESSANT BIBLE THUMPING. SAVE YOUR OWN SOUL, JACK! I ALREADY HAD
A TALK WITH GOD TODAY AND HE TOLD ME YOU WERE REPETITIVE AND BORING WITH A ONE-TRACK MIND.” Then, I move
to the next subway car….
Union Square….REALLY tall guy wearing a posterboard……
“6` 7” Jew will
I`m not kidding. What a fucking character….
On one of my skateboard rides, I found an old safe, rusting and blasted open with moneybags strewn about, but NO MONEY. This was
in the wastelands alongside the Kill van Kull on the northwest side of the island. I think somebody had a BIG SCORE a while back….
Da Projects….Richmond Terrace; A Staten Island Easter…..LOUD rap blaring from the Projects….
There`s a guy blow-drying his afro in the men`s room at St. George Ferry terminal, yes, Happy Easter, the strange parade goes ever onward…
Woody Allen plays clarinet with his New Orleans Funeral and Ragtime Orchestra every Monday night at 76th and Madison at the Hotel Carlyle Bar/Cafe
The 4 families that really built NYC with their $$$$$$$$$$$$$$
East Village graffiti
Easter Sunday Midnight…….The REAL playa haters ball at the Ferry Terminal………..7 black dudes that were absolute pimpin hip-hop CLASSICS…..you have NO FUCKIN IDEA!!
“America, with the impulse to depict itself as a threefold Rome where the empire of images and culture (Los Angeles) thrives to reinforce the military empire (Washington D.C.) that
is itself at the service of the capitalist and financial empire (New York).”
“History has exhausted its figures and ideals and there is no room in this world for political questioning. Nothing can challenge the capitalist, liberal order that is in the process
of imposing itself today. Humankind will continue to be restless, and various events will keep occurring. But they will be events without surprise and without future. They will
be sham events, ersatz events, illusions. They will be the last pirouettes of a History that, unlike the Devil, whose final trick was to have us believe that he didn`t exist, will go
to considerable efforts to convince us that it DOES exist. And terrorism, in this case, will be one of those efforts. It will be one of those groundless illusions, one of those events
without consequence. It will be the symptom of that restless persistence human history demonstrates when it makes us think it continues, whereas it has actually subsided into
the fleeting insubstantiality of shadow plays. An epiphenomenon. A bloody but unimportant sign. A final showdown. A convulsion. A momentary lapse. A paper tiger. No
reason to make a fuss over it.”
on Francis Fukuyama`s philosophies on the end of history…
Theory of the True Rumor; if you say it enough, it becomes true…..it IS true……
“WE DESTROY OURSELVES BY
EXPECTING MORE THAN THERE IS…”
SO WHAT IF I`M INSANE?
IT`S MORE FUN THAN TELEVISION…
“Learn to handle hot things,
always keep your knives sharp,
and above all….HAVE FUN.”
truer words have never been spoken…
4/20/06 Chiharu and I in Tottenville on an empty beach in perfect weather….
relaxing under the bridge………ALWAYS REMEMBER………….
S 54 on Brielle…..the HAUNTED old abandoned mental hospital in the Great Swamp…..it is photogenic GOLD….!
6 falcons just flew over the mystical forest ……MIRKWOOD…..
S 54 West Brighton Markham Gardens abandoned projects…..also photogenic GOLD….
Sat 4/22/06 at the Ferry terminal;
“Due to harbor traffic, we are experiencing delays…”
1st time I`ve heard that.
“To want to change the condition of affairs seemed futile to me; nothing would be altered, I was convinced,
except by a change of heart, and who could change the hearts of men?”
“THE FUTURE BELONGS TO CROWDS”
“THE FUTURE BELONGS TO CROWS”
“Rainy Day, dream away…..let the sun take a holiday…”
There is a giant cloud sitting on top of the hill on Staten Island today and a cool marine breeze blows gently
through it that smells of the ocean. Skyscrapers in the city are lost in the mist….strange, refreshing weather….
foghorns all night long………a mournful, haunting sound……
OMFG!! That HORRIBLE sound the R train makes between Rector Street and City Hall somewhere around Cortland….AAARRRGGGHHH!!
It`s like the screams of the damned from the 9/11 WTC tragedy….
Great transportation idea; Pneumatic vacuum tube for humans; perfect for Staten Island commuters……..
(Can you picture all those black folks getting shot under New York Bay in a VACUUM TUBE….whooooooooosssshhhhh>>>>>>>>
“ahhh, my ears, nigga!!!”>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>) You have to admit, it would be a lot faster. I`d do it. Although, I like the boat ride and the beer….
NYC——-A GREAT TOWN FOR ALCOHOLISM………….
Ahhh, ah, ha……PEA RATTLES LOUDLY IN EMPTY HEAD.
MAN WHO DO NOT WATCH STEP GET SHIT ON SHOES…..
MAN WHO BELIEVE FORTUNE COOKIE IS TRUE, WELL, HE VERY STUPID MAN…..
Staten Island Church board quotes:
“There`s something about the Virgin Mary….”
“If you were a pastor, you`d be home by now…”
C`MON!! You know these are from Simpsons!!
“One cannot accomplish the flight of the hawk
with the wings of the sparrow….”
“Oh sure…..THAT`S gonna happen….and then I`m gonna get you
a magical ride on my pet unicorn all the way to Candyland…..”
“I want that head so clean, that the Virgin Mary herself would be proud to go in there and take a dump!!”
“You`re so ugly, you could be a modern art masterpiece!!”
“Full Metal Jacket”
My next t-shirt;
THE LIVER IS EVIL AND MUST BE PUNISHED
“Where`s insert name here ?”
“He broke his leg so we had to shoot him….”
just remembering Blake St. John`s favorite saying….
Call the White House and try to order some pizza or Democracy…..TO GO……
“George Bush is like a lost driver who won`t pull over to ask for directions.”
I`ll put the kibosh on ya!!
Riddle me this….
Oh, Christ on Rollerskates!!
WHERE YOU STOP,
I dreamed that I had insomnia all night…..
I`m gonna buy a CATTLE PROD so I can get down Broadway faster…
Just cut someone off, right when they start a story….
HOLD ON!! WAIT!! Is this story longer than ONE minute? ADD`s got ahold of me….
One of those RARE things; a private W train car from the Ferry all the way to 14th Street…
“Good morning, Miss Moneypenny….now get the FUCK out of my house. And make me some
breakfast before you leave….”
Oh, you never saw that one….? It`s called You Only Live Thrice
“I am large,
I contain multitudes…”
GOD CALLED THIS MORNING;
HE TOLD ME YOU`RE WRONG.
PLEASE DON`T INTERRUPT ME
WHILE I`M IGNORING YOU…….
Take it away, Jojo……………….
Went back to the old ruins in the Great Swamp for photos. Incredible. Has to be seen to be believed…..
like a broken-down, post-modern Narnia…..
Mary-Anne, JB and I…..having a funny conversation………….
To sum it up, we agreed on this;
Listen you idiots, you want to end these endless stupid wars with these fucking terrorists?!
Empty every Maximum Security prison in USA and ship `em overseas….just let-em-loose on our enemies………
These psychopaths we have locked up will scare the LIVING SHIT out of these A-rab fundamentalists…..
those motherfuckers will run back into the caves and sand dunes where they belong and bury their heads in the sand….
Tiny lemon twist moon and chartreuse sky on a dusk ferry ride…..
Union Square; The Potato Peeler Man…..they just don`t make `em like this guy anymore; old-school sales panache……
LIFE JUST KEEPS ON GIVING THE GIFTS;
listen mofos, don`t pressure me;
If I`m in the mood to make you laugh, I will.
Otherwise, go fuck yourselves….
(must`ve been having a bad day here….eh? This really is an exercise in contrasts….)
What I said to the subway preacher this morning;
“You know, BROTHER; it`s not very nice of you to wake us
up like this–telling us we`re all damned and going to hell–lake
of fire and all that shit….what`s wrong with you, man?!?”
Chiharu and I …..OUR song…..Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington…….”Azalea”
Note: The extremes of my everyday now, are very inspiring; from the silence and ghosts of Staten Island gardens
and wastelands to the vital, mad energy of Manhattan…and then back again to the quiet. It is astounding in its complexity…..
“This is Major Tom to ground control,
I`m stepping through the door,
and I`m floating in the most peculiar way,
and the stars look very different today…”
Staten Island Bumpersticker;
a U.S. Marine Corps Logo
“WHEN IT ABSOLUTELY,
POSITIVELY HAS TO BE
5/5/06 A Staten Island Cinco de Mayo
me ripping around alone on my board……At Richmond Terrace and Bard Avenue, this little area could be any seaport at the end of the world,
somewhere in Southeastern Texas or Southwestern Louisiana….has the same look. As I am gaping slack jawed at the ruined tugs and shipwrecks,
the local folks are sitting with beers in front of the gas station watching me take photos….
“The paradox of U.S.–Mexico integration is that a barricaded border and a borderless economy are being constructed simultaneously…”
Peter Andreas as quoted by Mike Davis in “Magical Urbanism”
5/9/06, Tuesday, 4:32pm…..(Of course, I`m on the ferry when the moment hits)
I am 37 fucking years old….amazing……I don`t feel any different…..
although, I am ONE YEAR CRAZIER…..
“the ceiling is crying,
listen to the sound of the gutters running,
wash that dirty town,
all fronts and no backs,
give me MY TIME,
let me be….OUTSIDE…..”
M-15 is a great bus to take north from the Ferry…
Imminent summer project; skateboard journey with camera, of course, to explore burned Greenpoint, Brooklyn warehouses….
BECOME YOUR DREAM
mother of us all
that dreams us all
that we dream
that sustains us
and kills us slowly
like creeping moss
in a stagnant swamp
like a fresh spring blossom
reaching for the sun
she grows, she thrives,
HUNDREDS of black and yellow caterpillars on Victory Blvd sidewalk at Travis…..strange….like a migration….maybe they`re trying to leave the ghetto….HA!!!
Later, the same day….taking photos of rusting tugboats and dilapidated piers in Rossville, Staten Island…..of course, I am TRESPASSING…..AGAIN…..
Staten Island; just like everywhere else, up in the hills, a confusing rabbit-warren of winding streets where the rich white folks hide from the poor colored folks down in the valley below…..TYPICAL.
Seen at sunset from under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Jersey City, Brooklyn and Manhattan skyscrapers are eerily lit up like an enormous skyline of a twilight city at the end of time…
I`m sitting looking at New York Bay, drinking a 24oz Bud, when 3 mustached dudes come out on the deck of the construction shack next door in blue shirts that say Department of Homeland Security.
They ignore me but they are throwing rocks at a fluorescent buoy and one of them mimes shooting it. Truly surreal, and damn, these mofos must be bored! I hope they are remembering to keep things `secure.`
Yes, everything is secure.
An orange and white truck company in Staten, and I kid you not……………A. DUIE PYLE……………… I know, I can`t believe it either……
It`s crazy, but parts of Staten remind me of LA (Palos Verdes)….that would be the rich area in the hills…..Then, in contrast, there are areas in New Dorp, by the beach off Mill Road, where thin
lanes wind through reeds and coastal marshes that totally remind me of the bayous of southern Louisiana. Great Kills could remind one of Punta Gorda, Florida with the senior citizens arguing over a
softball game. And other sections of the island remind me of Sanibel Island, Florida. Strange, the contrasts of this Ghost Island. (I was to find out later, that before the movie industry moved out
to Hollywood, this island was the IN-SPOT for filming because of the variety of its landscapes…)
Well, here it is, 37 YEARS OLD. I feel the same as I always have; insane, spontaneous, erratic, and chock full of vitality–a virtual maelstrom of life energy–yes, it`s true. I remember
27 years old, 10 years gone now, I thought I`d be dead back at that age. What an idiot I was! I like to think I am a better man now than I ever was then, filled with the wisdom of a life
lived fully, always learning more. There is something to be said for Jim Morrison`s fascination with LA, a faraway place from his Florida origins. When one goes far from their place of
origin, it gives life a renewed sense of surprise and wonder. Everything is different and new from what you know and what you THINK you know. It gives everything better sounds, brighter
colors, more vibrant textures. The world is full of wonders if we only open our eyes. My LA to Staten Island exile is an insane and incredible example of this theory. A new world indeed…
and no one knows it but me….(Little did I know at this time, that in a few short years I would be in Japan. Talk about exile!)
YES, IT IS A NEW WORLD…………..