harold brodkey, “his son, in his arms, in light, aloft”

“in most social talk, most politeness, most literature, most religion, it is as if violence didn’t exist–except as sin, something far away. this is flattering to women. it is also conducive to grace–because the heaviness of fear, the shadowy henchmen selves that fear attaches to us, that fear sees in others, is banished.
where am i in the web of jealousy that trembles at every human movement?
what detectives we have to be.

some memories huddle in a grainy light. what it is is a number of similar events bunching themselves, superimposing themselves, to make a false memory, a collage, a mental artifact. within the boundaries of one such memory one plunges from year to year, is small and helpless, is a little older: one remembers it all but it is nothing that happened, that clutch of happenings, of associations, those gifts and ghosts of a meaning.
i can, if i concentrate, whiten the light–or yellow-whiten it, actually–and when the graininess goes, it is suddenly one afternoon.”


“oh sweetness….”, take off that dress for me, micah p hinson and the pioneer saboteurs


finally getting to see micah p hinson here in brooklyn

(i’ll be smushed at the front with a bag o’ loot and pearls for eyes….”and the world spins round and i don’t care anymore…”)


“Nolite te bastardes carborundorum”–margaret atwood, the handmaid’s tale

from jenny holzer’s living series


escape to new york

thirty years ago on a cold january night my grandfather went out to start the snowblower, most likely a cigarette dangling from his lips, and suffered a fatal heart attack.  i remember when my mother got the call and went pale and still.  we were in atlanta, then, i think.  back to new jersey we went for the funeral.  i was 5 going on 6.  at the viewing, i wore a dress she had sewn for me, long sleeves, blue floral, a matching fabric pouch made from the leftover fabric, a blue ribbon tied in the hair that is forever falling in my face.  i remember trying to find places to hide, familiar faces, there were so many in attendance…the ambulance corps he headed, the local police come to pay their respects, so many uniforms amidst the friends and family spread among the floors of the home.  we wore the customary torn black ribbons pinned to us, keriah, symbolic of the loss of the loved one and the mourners’ anger with god for taking him.  my mother didn’t let me go with them to the gravesite to say goodbye.  she thought i was too young.

i didn’t see much of my grandparents when i was little; we were always moving somewhere, farther and farther away.  but when my parents separated my mother and i moved back in with them and i spent the most time with him i ever would.  intuitively, i was drawn to him, the quiet, intelligent, wry man, who found excuses for excursions and got us both out of the house.  his home, my mother’s childhood home.  they still had the antique stores in those years, my grandfather and his brothers, and we two early risers would make our getaway to the diner, stopping first for pink hostess sno-balls and candy cigarettes for me, the paper for him. at the diner counter he would smoke and drink coffee and i would spin back and forth quietly next to him on my stool.  then i would go to the store with him, watch him open and go about his tasks, sit with a book and read, walk around and look at the antiques, ask about things.  i think the ride in the car was always my favorite part.  at night after my bath he would spread a towel over his legs, untangle and smooth out my hair as he dried it.  someone doing this today will still, unfailingly, calm and put me to sleep.

thirty years he has been dead and thirty years it took me to finish circling back to my first hideaway.  thirty years of stolen rides and long hair in my face and torn ribbons and sneaking sweets and life on the lam. thirty years it took for me to move to new york city, to come home to the place of my first adventure.  for my grandfather, sanford kahn, the first to hold my hand and lead me here, to teach me to take the time and space to learn who i am, to bring me to the place i love more than anywhere else in the world and have made my home. for my grandfather.

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my new fix: this recording, “Escape to New York (in which we do whatever we can get away with)”

“In comparison to his photographs of Central Park, the images in East 100th Street are airless and cramped. The exteriors feel like interiors. Rarely do you see the sky, or the spine of the Triborough Bridge, that big animal, lying across the East River. The city resembles a room, a closed space, a closet. The effect is counterintuitive; in Davidson’s work, narrow alleys and low ceilings serve as reminders of the city’s size, of how much it contains, and conceals.

If you believe people do whatever they can get away with, you might imagine his portraits of people peering out windows or sprawled on beds to be portraits of lust and false-heartedness. Manhattan’s geography generates infidelity: ours is a capacious city, a vast island whose size permits isolation and therefore betrayal.

Davidson’s photographs remind us that people’s personal lives are mostly tedious. Everybody has dirty plates and families. Privacy protects us. Behind closed doors we shine our shoes and our personalities; we rest and then resume playing the roles of interesting people. We hide our worst selves, and our dullest: we would rather have people see us as bad than boring.”  Elizabeth Gumport, writing for this recording

 


the weeknd, echoes of silence

these free album downloads are ridiculously addictive.  i listened to house of balloons on repeat for god knows how long.  and now, was walking to the tune of d.d. all damn day.  made me grin. so trashy and silly and awesome. love montreal and xo and this one:

i ain’t scared of the fall…i’ve felt the ground before

hell yes