Saturday 26 January 2008

Time lags

Sometimes it's hard when you're living five or six hours behind most people you know. Especially when it's nine o'clock at night and you feel like a chat. And then you remember Freddy's. But you don't always remember to go.


I heard the word whorlywort recently.
Interesting word.
Anyone know what it means?

Thursday 24 January 2008

Green on Orange

He's got a red plastic badge on his lapel. It reads, "Drug Free". He's about 75, black, wearing a faded suit. He walks through the subway car with some bright green sheets of A4 paper, placing one carefully beside each seated passenger, like a schoolteacher dispersing handouts through a classroom. No one moves, responds, or says a word.

As he reaches the other end of the car, he turns and returns down the car, picking the sheets up again. He passes me without collecting the sheet beside me, he notices that I'm reading, and so leaves me be until the very end, and mine is the last sheet to be collected. I'm probably the only one who has shown any interest in even glancing at his tale of woe, his interface with the world. There's a handful of sentences written in black biro, badly photocopied. He had probably sat down at his kitchen table with someone who could write and spell good, to work out what he could possibly say to explain himself in words.

In the short letter, he describes how he was "pushed from a high porch" sometime in his childhood, and some years later began to get epileptic fits and blackouts. "From 1952 - 62 I was strong and healthy", it said. "I am also a James Brown imitator. I consider myself to be a good artist. Please help as much as you can. Yours sincerely, --- ----". Underneath, a black thumb-sized smudge that has the silhouette of a passport photo, and a photocopy of some rubberstamped, slightly official looking text that said "James Brown" in heavy typeset, probably some fan club membership letter that he was sent back in the sixties, maybe during that golden period of his life.

Finally, he comes to me. "Are you finished?", he asks me. "Yes", I answer, "thanks very much". "You're welcome", he replies. And he picks up the lime green sheet, replaces it to the pile in his hand, and falls back into the orange bucket seat, with a sigh.

And the train goes across the bridge, and Manhattan's twinkling nightlights get closer, and soon our D train is sucked in, sucked in... The doors open at Grand street. He heaves himself up out of his seat, out of the train, and across the platform.

Wednesday 23 January 2008

Heart of Chocolate

I've just been chocolated out of my MIND. I've been having chilli and cinnamon spicey chocolate soup with a dessert of flourless bittersweet chocolate cake with raspberry coulis, in the chocolate room on 5th ave and it's kind of a messiah moment.

The heart of chocolate beats in my belly. It makes a gloopy drum.

Liquidation in Blue, Williamsburg

Trash city

Soldiers strut along Columbus Circle

Tuesday 22 January 2008

The long wait

Hazy bunker man

Too early for the circus

Under Union Square

The rain falls down on last year's man
That's a jew's harp on the table
that's a crayon in his hand
and the corners of the blueprint are ruined since they rode
far past the stems of thumbtacks that still throw shadows on the wood

And the skylight is like skin
for a drum I'll never mend
And all the rain falls down amen
on the works
of last year's man

I met a lady she was playing with her soldiers in the dark
oh one by one she had to tell them
that her name was Joan of Arc
I was in that army, yes I stayed a little while
I wanna thank you, Joan of Arc, for treating me so well
And though I wear a uniform
I was not born to fight
all these wounded boys you lie beside
Goodnight my friends, goodnight

I came upon a wedding that old families had contrived
Bethlehem the bridegroom
Babylon the bride
Great Babylon was naked, oh she stood there trembling for me
And bethlehem inflamed us both
like the shy one at some orgy
And when we fell together
All our flesh was like a veil
That I had to draw aside to see the serpent eat its tail

Some women wait for Jesus and some women wait for Cain
So I hang upon my altar and I hoist my axe again
And I take the one who finds me back to where it all began
when Jesus was the honeymoon and Cain was just the man
And we read from pleasant bibles that are bound in blood and skin
but the wildnerness is gathering all its children back again

The rain falls down on last year's man
An hour has gone by and he has not moved his hand
But everything will happen if he only gives the word
the lovers will rise up and the mountains touch the ground
but the skylight is like skin for a drum I'll never mend
And all the rain falls down amen
on the works of last year's man

(leonard cohen, last year's man)