Yesterday I couldn’t wait for the bathroom at 6 am anymore.
I knew what was still yet to happen:
Pee turns to shower, which then turns to tap, tap sounds on the sink.
Finally, the door opens to emit wraiths of steam.
Couldn’t wait for all that.
Put on tall clogs and took my pj’ed self out to the vacant lot next door.
No one around.
Is someone really sleeping on cardboard in the weeds and brush behind the house?
Quiet breath in the morning-dark.
Nude black branches reach.
Hurried run to warm house.
Next door, rolling thunder sounds. Not thunder, movie.
Wrapped under the comforter. Comforted, I guess.
Thinking about punk rock. (I originally typed “Thanking:”
Texas accent or word from the unconscious?)
Thank you, punk rock.
You saved me.
ANTI-KLAN (PART ONE)
I see that you’re a policeman
I know you’re in the Ku Klux Klan
You got a gun hung on your hip
It’s underneath your silky slip
I know you’d kill me if you could
You hide your head beneath a hood
I know that you’re a closet case
Afraid to show your fuckin’ face
We’ll fight you
Yes, we’ll fight
You’re blue by day, but white by night
A photograph from the 80’s has followed me through moves and life phases - always in a place of honor. Taken by Bill Daniel, it captures a true and amazing band: the Dicks. Singer Gary Floyd is wearing a serape and moving so fast his head is blurry. Bassist Buxf Parrot is dispassionately gazing at the neck of his instrument. And around them are young men and women in a frenzy of joy and aggression and helpfulness (smiling youngsters are pulling a guy in a Flipper shirt off the floor). What is cool for me about this picture is that two of my great friends (Mike and Pat) are in the audience, and intensely involved in the insanity. What is cool for everybody is that this Band transmogrified enormous fury at injustice into art that we could feel and hear. There is nothing like a very large man in a dress singing about the ugliness of the Klan to inspire and move you.
Yesterday I was telling J about a time when my sister had a brief exchange with Buxf, who was working the door at Raul’s (bar on Guadalupe). I had taken my sister to Raul’s but she couldn’t get in, of course, she was 15! I told J that Buxf offered her a Butterfinger. J was nonplused. It took a while before I realized that he thought a butter finger was something Else.
I have always loved the Brontes, Lewis Carroll, and the Partridge Family. I don’t think I ever will cease wanting to be nearer to them all. When I was a bookish teenager, I read a lot of biographies about the Brontes. And now that I’m a forty-something teenager, I have picked up a new Bronte book (well new for me), Emily Bronte: Heretic by Davies. It’s helped me make more sense of what the hell Emily was saying in Wuthering Heights and in her poetry.
She was pointing out the cruelty that often lies behind the politeness of social interactions and the cruelty implicit but not acknowledged in Christianity. She was saying that life itself is hostile. But she is also calling attention to the mystical presence in everyday life.
Fifteen years ago, or so, I visited Haworth, where the Brontes lived. I actually went twice to their home which was small and overlooked the parsonage cemetery. I went on a long walk in cold rain, hoping to reach the ruined farmhouse (Top Withens) that folks think inspired Emily. It was too far for me to make it to the farmhouse in the time I had allotted, but the walk was delightful and desolate.