Thursday, July 10, 2008
Our house on Mill Road was haunted by strange ghosts, strange ghosts and echoes. I awoke once covered in spiders and they were dancing and I couldn't get them off. Also a big round white light came into my second floor window, it shone there and dazzled me and screamed and my father told me it was a police searchlight and I believed him but he was wrong. I can see the light today and what it was doing was charging me and I was being prepared to serve in a kind of army and I am serving in a kind of army now; the light knew. I screamed out of deep recognition when I saw it and that was a spirit which haunted the house. Other echoes shone off the surface of Tookany Creek, which soothed but was of another world that was faraway and deep and that I couldn't reach even when I waded in it.
I was in the bathtub and I said my name over and over again until I forgot myself. The lights in the bathroom were on but I went deeper and deeper into darkness, and an empty void, and I heard my name as something foreign. I heard my name, and I truly was not, I was a null and a void, and I had no self to be. Then, slowly, I regained myself, but I did not forget the essential emptiness, the uncompromising NO that I found behind the quotidian YES of selfhood. This happened also riding in a car to Aunt Libby's, and listening to the radio I thought NOTHING ANYWHERE until NOTHING got so big I shut my mind down in fright, and my consciousness streamed mellower.
O, for American summers of ice cream, basketballs, hot dogs, softball fields. Down all the fields I ran, shirt tucked into shorts, playing capture the flag. Or, there I sat at the campfire, being told scary stories, feeling the magic of a small clan huddled, marshmallow soft in that realm: camp. Eventually I discovered sex, my sex, through the knowledge of a little girl who saw a big man in me. She held my hand and kissed me, and it was a deep wave of knowledge that left forever aftershocks rattling my walls with fire and thrill, frisson. Those lips were tender, were fevered, were forever cleaved to me in my imagination after that one night outside the Rec Hall, which was suddenly far away as Neptune. There was a brooding and a bittersweet and a knowledge of what can be achieved when two poles of being meet in the middle to kindle sparks. I held on to it.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Three years ago, a poetry event was held at The Khyber, a big indie-rock venue in Philly. The event had a name: Poetry Incarnation '05, and it was presented by a multi-media artists co-op that I was running at the time, Philly Free School. We charged $5 that night at the door. There were precisely 70 paying customers. Thus, our net profit was $350. The Khyber, as is customary with big music venues, took more than half the money: $200, straight off the top. That left us with $150. There were thirty readers, which means that if everyone were paid equally, everyone would receive a righteous $5. Me and my fellow promoter thought that this was a little ridiculous and, considering that we each put a great amount of time and effort into the event, we split the $150 and each took home $75.
Though I have never been directly confronted (not once in three years), it has come to my attention that several people believe I have "stolen" money from them. I have, indeed: a righteous $5. If any of you would like to have this $5 returned to you, I would be happy to write you a check. You can send your mailing info to firstname.lastname@example.org. That is, of course, unless you have already forced me to use the "block" function on Yahoo, in which case, get your friends to send me the address.