Mega Thoughts

A thought occurred to me today while browsing through DVDs at the Virgin Megastore (and the branding of anything as "Virgin Mega" is a whole discussion unto itself).

Let me preface it by saying, of course it's no secret that we live in an age of decadence and vulgarity. I have been arguing back and forth with myself for years as to whether or not this is inherently bad. In terms of art, those who, early on, are ridiculed or dismissed for being offensive or obscene, but ultimately are recognized as visionaries (Walt Whitman comes to mind, as does Picasso with Les Demoiselles d'Avignon), help create what those in academe would call a new way of seeing. In strictly personal terms, anything that at first seems too vulgar or embarrassing to do or say almost always quickly becomes to me the only thing worth doing. It is more raw and almost always more true.

But I'm not really talking about either kind of decadence here. Nor am I talking about pornography, although I guess it would qualify. Nestled deep within the womb of the Mega Virgin, i.e. browsing the lower level at Union Square, I was struck by how you could just pick anything . . . and then have it. I want to buy "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Done. Then I will go to the bakery and buy 35 croissants and eat them slowly one by one while watching the movie 35 times. Can do. I can go back and buy any other movie and then own it.

Can a movie really be owned? If you watch it hundred times and memorize it, do you own it then?

Being able to get whatever, whenever is a big big problem. I always knew it was but now I can feel why: Because when you can own whatever whenever, you remove the elemental emotion of longing, which is essential to art.

That said, every time I wach "Tiffany's" I feel deep longing . . . for a croissant, preferably chocolate. But I don't eat it.

Score one for art and my winter wool pants.


When I left work a small crowd was gathering on the corner. 2 guys were having some kind of scuffle.

I got closer. One guy was on the ground wearing yellow roller blades. The other guy was standing above him. The guy on the ground took a long, slow lunge at the standing guy, tried to get up, and slipped and slid. The standing guy shoved him and made him slide more.

A car was parked just a few feet away with its driver's door opened.

The standing guy didn't get taken down. The rollerblade guy couldn't stand up. He loped around on his knees throwing an occasional punch to the gut.

A woman waiting for the bus finally busted in. "STOP IT!"

The standing guy yelled at her to shut the fuck up, and pushed the other guy again.

I was rooting for the rollerblade guy to swipe the other guy's knees and bring him on the level.

A police car was parked on the opposite corner with its lights flashing, but no officer could be found.

I imagine them still there at midnight, deadlocked among the gravel and rain puddles.

Raining and reading

On a rainy, cool Sunday afternoon, when the house is clean and I'm buzzed from a long lavender bath, I curl up with some Bukowski. After reading for a few minutes I start to feel hopeful and light. Then I feel ashamed.

Hope comes because Bukowski reminds me that everything is strange and beautiful and even the most heartbroken soul can find grace.

Shame comes because it has been way too long since I have wandered in this field.

Next stop: Karamazov.


Wagging the Dog

It has come to my attention that the previous post may have been unclear, or heaven forbid, unseemly.

I guess I just meant woof.

Apologies to Scott and everyone if this seems disappointing.


Other topics of the summer:

1. Faith.
Why have it. What is it. Where can I get some.

2. Firemen.
If it weren't for the macabre sense of comfort provided by this show, I'd have completely given up on item #1.

3. 'Fiddich.
I do not drink this often, but take comfort knowing it's out there if I need it.

4. Frank.
Finally, yes . . . I believe every fucking word he sings.


"I Want the Fairytail."

Quoth the boy in his online dating profile.

That makes 2 of us.



Not Dead Yet; Just Resting

Hi. Are you having a good summer, I hope?

I'm feeling renewed after a few days of rest. Also, I bought a new computer. It occurred to me that my old computer couldn't actually open any applications except Safari, and even that was getting pretty slow and sticky. It started making a horrible grinding sound to boot. So here we go: I'm all souped up and typing like lightning on a wireless keyboard.

This new computer comes with a built-in video camera and you can use it to take snapshots. I inaugurated it by, what else:

Dottie, the shy one.

Oh Saro, perhaps we shall run away to Paris and become chorus girls!



I trust the voice inside my head. In general, I trust other people.

However, at one point in life I was very disconnected, depressed, and panicky. I started to lose my trust in others. I sometimes thought people were trying to poison my food. I knew this was nuts but I couldn't stop being nervous. I'd eat a few bites, freak, spit the last bite out into a napkin, and try to hide the napkin. This got to be very embarrassing.

I went to my doctor for an EKG to see if my always-racing heart had a physical cause or was just anxiety. The office was closing early because a snowstorm had begun. Dr. Sharkey sat me down in his office after the test.

"How are you doing?"

I started falling, falling, falling down a hole in my soul. Sob, sob, sob.

"What's wrong?'

"I don't know . . . " Doctor, there's a hole in my soul . . . .

"It says here you're having panic attacks? Like, you're sitting there, and suddenly feel like you're going to lose it?"

"Uh huh."

"I get those. It happened to me at the Board of Directors meeting at NYU Hospital."

"Uh huh." The snow was splatting against the 15th-floor window.

"I'm going to prescribe an antianxiety pill for you. If there's something you have to do, and you need to calm down, just take half a pill and you'll be fine." He pulled out a prescription pad, wrote something on it, tore off a sheet and handed it to me.

"Okay." I took the paper.

"I'll tell you what." He wrote something else down. "This is my buddy. He's a great shrink. He'll fix what's bothering you. Just fix it. He doesn't want to hear about your problems, doesn't want to hear about your family. He'll patch you right up."

I took the second paper. I was still snorting and choking on sobs. However, I still knew this was bullshit. I walked out of his office, rode the elevator down, and stepped out into snowy midtown.


Spring: Day One

From my window -- the Verizon building nestled among other tall buildings with row upon row of perfect glowing windows. The buildings are crisply silhouetted against a solid black-blue sky. The wind is screeching. Occasionally a blink of light from a plane far away.


I'll Take Dare

I have to come clean. In light of the recent attention shed on a certain book that has been ripped into a million tiny shreds, I have come to reconsider the writings I have written over a lifetime. Not only have I passed off certain versifications as true, but sometimes in earnest nocturnal conversation -- or even on public broadcasts -- I have confided that these ragtag couplets truly are emissions from my soul.

But no more. The truth is that I have tampered with certain events and situations to render them more conveniently squished into song. I have taken the truth, bent it like a wire hanger, and used it to whack my tiny tribe of fans square on the ass.

Thus it is with great shame that I must confess a horrible confession.

It didn't really happen on 31st Avenue.

It was Broadway, one block over.

'31st Avenue' just sounded better.