Blog Title Photo

Blog Title Photo

Sunday, October 21, 2012

School of Hard Knocks

January 1, 1984

The New Year ushered in with a restless sleep - bombs and firecrackers exploding all night.

Dreams of white rats loose in my apartment, pursued by furry white weasels which eventually caught and killed them. In my dream, the pursuit happened slowly, a time-lapse chase up the side of my bedroom door. I noticed the weasel's fur was tattered and falling out, as if they had been stuffed, then I came to the conclusion that they were stuffed, from Uncle Freddie's collection at Trophy Lodge. Somehow during my sleep they had come off their mounts and begun to run around the house.

Yesterday I worked five hours alone in the cutting room, then took the subway to Soho and bought a Japanese print for P____ and M____ as their wedding present, in the process seeing a lot of other prints which I've decided that I want for myself. The gallery I visited is called Azuma. Mr. Azuma himself is an intelligent little Japanese man who speaks hardly any English but somehow understands perfectly just what you mean. He makes very good prices, and has, besides many floating world prints, fine swords, and ceramics.

Web Keene came over for a brief chat, and gave me a list of some good books to read. We talked about the traveller's life. Soon he'll be leaving the University of Chicago to do field work in Indonesia. After that he wants to teach and write. "Isn't it awfully hot down there?" I asked him. "Yes," he said. "Thats why I'm trying to pick an island with high mountains."

"That sounds like the same kind of decision as finding an apartment," I quipped. "Not too hot, language easy to master, natives friendly, not too spoilt by the white man." We laughed about this.

"It really doesn't matter where I do my field work," he said. "Everywhere there are people living, and that is good material for a study. But I have to make use of the people at Chicago, and Indonesia is their specialty. It would be foolish to ignore that!"

Choices. What are the reasons we think we obey when we make choices? They may not be the real cause, or even lead to the desired effect. Reason's a bridge to somewhere uncertain from a place that's already abandoned. The bridge therefor is one of style, and thus, a vanity.

Chris told me of a dream he had, seeing a deer under water, in the surf by an ocean beach. Even its antlers were submerged. It was running along just as if it were on dry land. This made me think of what it would be like to see a humpbacked whale in the woods. You would come upon it, resting, in a grove of pines, then it would swim slowly away, giant flukes brushing away the limbs, belly gliding over the ferns.

New Year's Poetry reading at St. Marks. Allan Ginsberg was there, presiding. The School of Hard Knocks did a marvelous dance. A few good poets read, though it was generally impossible to concentrate. R_____ was there looking very pretty.

Search This Blog