Friday, August 04, 2006

zowie, that's some typo fest in the travel notes below. let's just say it being my 1st post since my birthday that I decided to celebrate in the style of my co-birthdayist Lt William Clark, the world record holder in spelling eccentricity.
Mark Young, in the 2nd issue of Otoliths, has kindly published a series of alien poems from the typing fingers of yours truly. here is the contents, but read my piece 1st.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

back from a walkabout sort of week plus. Beth and I headed south to New Jersey on wednesday. rather than 84 to 95, we opted for the various parkways (Merritt and Huitchinson) into the city. it's a lovely ride and skips some of the crappy parts of both 84 and 95. the bridges you pass under must be the gifts of CCC. each one uniquely decorated with whatsis and crenellations. and holding up a wee bit better than the Big Effing Dig. tho on a positive note, I don't think anyone died due to Big Dig Malfeasance today!!! shady tree lined parkways right to the foot of the George Washington Bridge, highly recommended. we went to NJ to paint Beth's mother's home but the job shrunk so we didn't need to slave at it. I managed to read and write some. I also had a birthday, it couldn't be helped. one day Beth's mother and I went on an errand. in the offing were some wonderful clouds building. I could almost believe a tornado was brewing. the wind had jumped to say 30 mph judging by the snapping horizontal flag I saw. I was wishing Beth could see it, she and I share a love for clouds and weather. she did glom a view out the window of some whipping up, which, finally, threw a quick stunning bucketful onto the ground then moved on. whoosh. in a parkng lot I heard the clicking of someone's car lock, then I noticed an elder man waving his electronic key thingie around like a wand. he muttered generally, where's my car? I pointed and he plodded on, found his car and said, thanks buddy. the world grows more difficult. we left NJ's cramped shores on tuesday, my birthday. we aimed for the Catskills. we stopped at the Vince Lombardi plaza, just before the GW Bridge. I went back to the car to lock it, and witnessed a bust. a cop had a drawn gun aimed at someone in a car. the car was pinned in by a police car. fascinating. keep your hands in sight, said the cop with the gun. all the while folks are passing by. I admit I wanted to get close and watch but Beth kinda thought good sense ought to prevail. after a couple wrong turns we got onto the Palisades Parkway. gosh it's lovely. wicked hazy and hot. pictures from the overlook are fuzzier than I would like but ne'ertheless. we moved onto Rt 9W, essentially parallel to the PP. and wandered hither and yon. stopped for lunch in Piermont, then drove along the river past fascinating houses and such. I realize I'm writing slackly here, tired, but it was fun to absorb. the Hudson's lovely, even in its rather wrecked state. by which I mean, the commercial crush that has occurred since Thomas Cole packed up his paints. Cole and the Hudson Rive school were the first painters that attracted me, back in high school. nature at its most stunning and overwhelming. we wound our way into the mountains, which were impressive, but even there it was hot. we stopped on some ridge overlooking a hazy view of potentially everywhere. some buzzards flew about, and Melville's Catskill eagle did, and legitimately, occur to me. just a few feet above our heads but seveal hundred feet above the ground. we took a motel in Ellenville. the area lacks options, it's pretty distressed there, but what a crappy motel. looked okay from the outside, but the room smelled and and and. a wholly unnecessary meanness, an economic stupidity. things like no srinking cups, to save money. we proceeded to Phonecia, where we ate breakfast. we stopped at a Tibetan store there run by a rug weaver who regaled us about everything. it's a manner of sales that is engaging. he certainly did his best to interest us in his rugs, which indeed were wonderful tho outside the presumption of our paying power. I think he kindly sets aside sizing up his customers, which is wise, because you never know who's got the moolah and the inclination. Beth and I stopped in a rug shop in Waltham once, just curious, specifically about some thangka in the window. the proprietor talked with us, showed all his wares, explaining intricacies, made us cups of saffron tea. we did buy a bit from the Tibetan, and the transaction felt genuine. we meant to toddle over the mountain there but were advised that floods had taken the road away so we aimed for... wait for it... Woodstock, NY. we stopped at the information place, where we were helped in our search for a place to stay. I asked the woman about Big Pink. she said the place is privately owned and in fact has a fence around it so you can't see it. not that it is a Mecca for me, I was just curious. but it's a historical fact of the town. we never saw the site of the other historical fact of the place. we stayed in ascrupulously clean place near a brook. the town seems well filled with burnt out hippies, and future bums of America. the latter being kids just dully, tho with attitude, hanging out. I'm probably overly sensitive, it just seemed slackly hip in a way difficult to maintain. the place has a cash cow because its name. it is overloaded with art galleries. quain tho. I got old last tuesday, officiall so my opinion is probably besmirched. Beth and I had this cool idea of having dinner but jinkies, but surprised to find that several of the restaurants in town don't open on wednesday. well don't that beat all! we survived on burritos and whatever Beth had. while we ate a fellow came in with a backpack and frame on his back, with a wool blanket over that. time warp, he looked exactly like someone at the famed concert. he 1st Phish concert I went to, I seemed to be about 20 years older than anyone else there. and I saw so many kids who looked like kids I knew back then, even saw myself. and I wasn't even stoned!!! we stopped at a bookstore that proved better than I expected. the poetry section was small but it offered a number of books I would not mind owning or reading. there were at least 5 titles by Ed Sanders. I asked the woman there if he lived in town, I couldn't quite recall what I'd heard. she wasn't sure but he comes in regularly. a blurb on one book said he indeed lives in Woodstock. I bought volume 3 of a lengthy history of America series he's writing. 1961-1970. an intersting era and furthermore, I'm currently reading Beat and the Brightest by David Halberstam, about the long journey into and into Vietnam. Sanders' book is a neat companion piece. Sandeers is a lot like Ginsberg in being so connected to and aware of so much that was going on. I remember seeing Ginsberg on the Merv Griffin show in the late 60s talking about global warming and the ozone layer, definitely ahead of he curve. I really like Sanders' project. of course it is opinionated: that's its virtue. why not take the idea of 'istorin seriously? Sanders shows some interesting paths. I'm really psyched by the book, which being also of an era that fascinates me. we left on thursday, taking a poky route that included the Rip van Winkle Bridge. earlier we'd gone over the FDR bridge. I love bridges. now household back to almost normal (Erin's still away). a girl comes in daily to take care of our quadripeds. neither dog or cat likes being left. the dog gets walked and played with but our cat doesn't like strangers. the girl has never seen him. both animals know that we're going to leave, and when bags come out, that's critical mass, especially for the cat. he takes to our bedroom closet and looks as sad as can be. the dog of course has a nutty when we return, but the cat usally goes sulk-mode for a while before deigning to join us. and then remains inches away from us.