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2 Adam Fieled
#2021 America has its own pathetic fallacy— not that the moon loves the clouds, but that someone who knows us really loves us, is watching from above, tying together loose ends, reducing boundaries, corralling the populace into a virtual arena where we watch ourselves defeat all foes eternally. Just as mountains kiss the sky, all things happen for a reason, things right themselves in the end. Now, we’re pale for weariness, wandering companionless, and if we’re climbing heaven, we feel hellish.
#2027 On a snowy morning, she’s primed to drink before noon, and while the buzz lasts the snow and the gin dissolve her into graceful oblivion. But the afternoon drags, and by two she’s ready to nap, degraded as usual by her own abiding uselessness and a past which not only makes no sense, is a tattoo needle which keeps tinting her flesh the freakiest way, so that she feels repulsive in her own skin. I watch, and shrug— my skin, not freaked, covers me against the cold. I won’t drink ‘til the sun sets orange-red at five.
#2018 The frost Neko carries, as she strides into snow, pins her eyes open, as points of balance disappear, between us and for the tiny light she carries, soulorphan given brief shelter to kindle sparks when she opens her mouth, raises her head-voice and sings; no needle touches down where I can feel it, as too much of her decamps, no mortgage on her insides (whoever moves in, moves in) through blank whiteness—
#2027 Myths which constitute history hang like grey vapor over America, as words lose efficacy, and there is no still point amidst turning where the dance is— what we have are smudges rather than points, millions of smudged minds drooling after, as though it were beer, an elusive coherence— a pile of the day’s New York Times gathers dust on a rack in 7-11, I place a face-down penny on it, how I feel about myths, convenience—
#2030 For those with roots in a cesspool, for whom family history is bathing in muck, there can be no question that symbolic language solves any problems— behind a square glass façade, there are only acknowledgments of prevailing currents, with/against us, always a sense of arbitrary, rootless movement, continual transgression, moments fathered into existence in hopes of some seminal thrust, as we’re borne ceaselessly up from blue waves, green lights bathing scenes in clear weed—
#2031 My dream of Palatine— a little city placed on the moon. I walk the quiet streets, thinking of Chicago, connecting dots. It all happened in a flat— ghosts into ghosts multiplied, for all time & darkly. It was all a form of sleep. I am now in Chicago, Palatine forever, being copied, love/rancor. Chicago is my ghost palace. When I see it again, so as to take on flesh, “moon” will be an inside word for it.
#2040 Idolatry of words, signs— idolatry, also, of anti-cognition— an American century subaltern, already (strangely) lost, forgotten in daily squabbles for survival, as money is either there or not, freefall becomes shorthand for normalcy. I walk through the ambient museum of human angst, buttons pressed, resources tapped but not drained, I stop before an idol cast in bronze, face besmeared with grease, and realize the guards are murdered— I can take what I want, but want nothing—
#2042 If you attempt to create something solid from language, all the million harrows of your inadequacy must pursue you, what’s solid is harrowing— past your control. As for I, you had better sacrifice the whole construct, complexities & all, as it is all evanescent, and circuits back to language show you all the magic prophecies of nonexistence you not only fulfill, but harrow—
#2047 Among those who care about art, and the arts— in recession times, they recede, grow inarticulate, theses proved incorrect, & mostly die quietly to themselves, as I have, and my corpse lies rotting somewhere on 23rd Street in Center City Philly, even as I’ve also stayed alive, refuse to recede, out of sheer force of correct pretence, honest bullshit, prophetic blarney—
#2054 Twenty years ago I stood in the West Pattee stacks, as she wove a weird pattern around the center aisle tables to see me (for once, finally) face-toface, elongated eyes stretched torturously across her severely boned, mask-hard visage— as I say to the kid, it matters to me; if I stumble, it’s because his eyes are equally torturous, blood has its own tsunami I’m dumb before—
#2057 If you’re lucky, you look for the dread of facing morning, can’t find it— you find what ever solidity you have, move on. But its there, & in snowpiles in parking lots, trees lining the little Conshy peak, stores yet to open on Fayette Street, it hides, waiting to envelope, dissolve, bury anyone who falters for even a minute, in its bloody maw— harvest for a hundred-year high.
#2060 For you to move through the kinds of spaces you value, you have to be crass, against human nature’s brighter aspects— your kids will be dealers, you deal, your life is a prolonged deal, with which you deal by being high off your ass— when you occupy space, there’s no “you” left to occupy anything— your skin, smooth like porcelain, aims its smoking gun at me— no cracks, I end in passing—
#2062 As to those pushing shopping carts around Whitemarsh Shopping Center, one wonders— what can they afford? Are they putting everything on charge cards? Are they seeing what I’m seeing? But one doesn’t talk to everyone, & I watch the carts go by from Starbucks, where I lay down two bucks a day for a grande coffee, keep this part of the life I still have. Over expanses of time, many of these people must turn to ash— a human life really is what you cash.
#2064 To be the last Cheltenham stud from my era left standing— a strange kind of homage I collect, as a human relic, still strapping, ready for action, a reminder that points in time do connect, re-connect. As to what’s put on display— I never know quite what to make of the shows: mothers, daughters preening, replaying scenes from their youth or scenes self-created, of goddess-like gracefulness. It would be nice to have some company in this— but I stand alone, behind what myths may come, decoying rebellion—
#2065 One thing a huge recession will do— suburbs grow more provincial, selfcontained— no fluidity between us and the city, with its concrete, grey degeneracies. Conshohocken has its own rhythms now: furtive, tentative, towards an individual, non-subordinate identity. As I notice we’re all becoming “regulars” in some places; possibilities arise of huddling together for warmth, against martyred goombas, soulless media. Painfully, slow roots will spring.
#2066 What’s written into faces— she’s waited, perhaps, her entire life to find out who her parents are (she’s older, mid-forties), I know instantly, but there’s no bridge, ostensible reason to talk, she walks out into the snow with her decaf, I’m left gazing, as usual, these days, at the inscrutable face of a harsh landscape, wondering what the barrista knows instantly about me—
#2070 To lunge from a pile of shit into pure ecstasy— I wonder how its done, even as I occasionally do it. If you hit the right frequency, maybe sun light hitting icicles on branches, an intersection arranged into a decent pictorial composition, or even the extreme modesty of a free cookie, you get it, that there is a positive eternity to balance the infernal ones, try to hold onto that frequency, & I have—
#2072 A lesson in the world is a lesson in how cheap human life can be— I walk through the amusement parks of the “great ones of the world,” realize that the only permanent attractions are intoxicating smoke & flattering mirrors. If I go out of my way to eschew the roller coasters, its because the upper air is cyanide. The tilt-a-whirls I can deal with.
#2073 The punk waving his knife around in a lot off of C Street, Feltonville— another kind, a European import, watches in admiration. Fifty years later, they’re both dead, & in songs of the one, memories of the other, I see how the human race passes things on, in favor of life or death, “shooting up pie in the sky” either way— the lot itself is flatter, realer— turned on by a lack of conclusions.
#2079 The bloke on cocaine in the Feltonville walk-up in the mid-Seventies shoots down the stairs, looks out the living room windows at so much steel/concrete— in the mandala of his thoughts (as they race), its all blessed, covered, held into existence by a benevolent deity. Voices tell him this. He writes out the visions he’s having as the setting red sun recedes. Who am I, writing now, to say he’s just high?
#2077 Craig’s a Feltonville character who used to go door to door begging money— I later knew him as a Center City poet. They killed him off about five years ago. Whatever he tasted of hope in his life was so crass, abased, & bloodsodden that its humiliating even to have known him. He was always a beggar— his character never changed. High windows, right?
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