Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Million Dollar Blow Hole

Henry at home in his Queens pad, recovering from surgery. The surgeon had to rebuild his inner nose, he had lost a hefty portion of his nasal septum and vomer bone. Years of snorting cocaine and heroin had eroded much of his inner nose.

He could still blow away though, pressing on one side or the other of his nose, channeling the blow— snorting heroin (for pain), drinking Jack Daniels out of the bottle like a rock star, standing naked, hands and arms raised high on his 14th floor balcony, tossing handfuls of popcorn and peanut shells on the street-level crowd below, blessing the poor fuckers like he was the pope, chanting in Sanskrit, nodding and praying like a Jew at the Western Wall, doing his best to save the world from itself through prayer. 

By 8PM wasted and needing fuel, dressing— Jim Carroll garb, tight black pants, gym shoes, black shirt and vest, wearing a plastic rosary on his neck to keep the spooks away.

In Chaims Deli by 830PM, sitting at his usual spot, a booth with torn upholstery duct taped to keep the springs from poking people's behinds.  

His regular waitress Ruby approaces him and says, “How’s the nose— the million dollar blow hole?” Henry not taking to the sarcasm well, saying to Ruby,“It aint nothin compared to that million dollar pussy you got babe!” Ruby then says,” Henry watch your language this is a kosher place, a family place—mispokhee.” 

Henry laying a line of heroin on the table and snorting it with one finger pressing on the side of his nose— ordering a Budweiser and some fries with mayo. Ruby giving him the evil eye then turning and walking to the kitchen.  

Ruby bugged Henry—eating at Chaim’s was junk—it was just a habit. 

Henry walking through the Bowery quickly on his way to Chinatown, doing his best not to trip over the bums passed out randomly on the sidewalk.

In Chinatown at Lees Laundry, always open. Lee’s had the best dope in town for sale wrapped in small red cellophane baggies stamped with images of Mao. Henry greets Lee, a bald Chinamen dressed traditional style saying,” Always great to see you Mr. Lee, how about a few bags of cocaine, the flakes and some of your Chinese tar opium?”

Nothing to it, going to Lee’s like going to a pharmacy with a hand full of scripts— off to Times Square to see a film.

The Times Square Cinema marquee up ahead, “I Love You, Alice B. Toklas!” playing. As usual the junk cowboy standing under the marquee, saying to Henry “"Where have you been stud? “I Love You, Alice B. Toklas!” A great film, allot of hippies doping it up, Peter Sellers over the edge, I have some Moroccan hash for you tonight!”"   

Henry sitting in the back row, putting his feet up on the seats in front of him, stuffing and padding down hash and opium into a small pipe and lighting it, taking deep drags.

Absolutely out of the universe as “I Love You Alice B. Toklas!” begins screening—Peter Sellers a lawyer sent on a mission by his mother to find his brother ends up at a hippie party in East Hollywood somewhere. The music, “Strawberry Alarm Clock” and "The Monkees," tripped out and loud—  hippies doing the "Bogalou" everywhere on top of everything in tie dies and bell bottoms spinning like whirling dervishes. Henry hypnotized by it all, going into an opium dream. 

A cop looking for bums trying to sleep all night in the theater pushes Henry’s feet to the floor with his baton and says,” The movie is over get the fuck out!” 

Henry in Time’s Square after the film, not remembering much of the film, knowing he had magical dream— soaring through space, spinning with whirling dervishes.

On his way home he stops at Siam Massage for a happy ending massage. Inside Henry sees May behind the counter and asks her if she is busy? She says,“No darling, never too busy for you.” The two walk hand in hand down a corridor lined with purple cloth and softly lit with blue light, you could smell incense burning.

In room number 7 the couple sits cross legged on cloth mattresses filled with buckwheat. Henry lays a few lines of cocaine on a small mirror and they snort them, he then puts some hash and opium in a pipe which they light up.  

May pulls a couple of cans of Budweiser out of an ice chest and lights inscence and candles. 

They begin groping each other and making out, deep throat kisses full of tongue. May says “Henry I’m so high baby, you know I love you so much.” He says, “I love you too doll, but my dick won’t get hard I’m sorry, I have been partying all day and….” May saying, “It’s OK Henry, I’m wasted too.”

Henry leaving Siam Massage at 2AM and walking home, looking up into the sky and seeing a falling star, wondering if it was his dead mother (Ethel Lucowski) saying something to him like—

Henry you know you will never amount to anything, you're just like your Uncle Pido the tailor, a nearer do well, go home and go to bed.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Henry sitting on a broken chair in his stark and empty Queens apartment—writing, listening to a Mets night-game on the radio, he didn’t know the score or who was on base and he didn’t care. Listening to the game like music, the sound grounded him, it was steady and regular, it was soft poetry. 

The world full of pundits, political dopes ready to pounce and pummel the other side, out to set the record straight and save the world from things they fear. 

By 10PM Henry was hungry so he left his apartment to go to Chaim’s Deli. 

Sitting in a booth, his usual waitress Ruby, a thin red head in a skimpy uniform with nice legs comes to his table and says, “Henry where have you been? He says, “Oh— I’ve been in the hospital for a week, I had a jumbo size cancerous wart removed from my ass, pus and blood everywhere, I sunbathe naked allot you know and don’t pray for me Ruby.” Ruby simpatico and saying, “Well you know we love you here.” Henry deadpan, blank.

Ruby was the only one who loved Henry at the deli, "WE"" love you here," a fabrication.

Leaving the Deli to wander the city streets aimlessly around 10PM 

Later walking through the Bowery, tripping over a bum on the sidewalk and falling on him, Henry and the bum both down, side by side, looking eye to eye, the bum's voice weak, he says, “ How about a couple of bucks?” Henry getting up off the pavement, brushing off his chinos with both hands and walking on, knowing a couple of bucks wouldn’t help the woebegone bum.

Feeling muzzy, walking the Queensboro Bridge to Manhattan, needing a drink to stabilize, going to the Holland Bar, a hole for serious drinkers. There were a few dozen barflies there spread out in booths and sitting at the bar. He sits at the front of the bar near the entrance, ordering a mug of beer and a shot of tequila, dropping the shot into the glass of beer, watching it fizz.

He notices a svelte and well dressed women standing near the rear exit of the bar, she is waving madly at Henry like she knows him. She is dressed in designer clothes, Dior or Versace maybe, her hair frosted and bobbed. Henry approaches her, they are close up and she says, “Are you Jim Carroll the poet? Well anyways I’m Margo, I own the Sperone Westwater Gallery here in Manhattan” Henry saying, “My name is Henry Lucowski, I'm on crazy pay, I live Zen style in a unfurnished apartment in Queens and I write”  

Margo asking Henry to go out with her to the alley for a smoke. In the dimly lit alley, standing by a dumpster, she fixes cooking cocaine in a spoon, mixing it with saline, reducing it and then pulling it into a syringe through a cotton ball. 

The two talk some as the fix settles into her system, she pulls a ounce of cocaine in a baggy out of her purse. 

They snort more than a few lines off of Margo's make up case, then going back into the Holland Bar, sitting next to each other in a booth. Henry has cocaine powder on his face, she begins licking it off doggy style, half kissing him, smudging lipstick on his face. No body in the Holland Bar gave a shit, it was that kind of place. 

Margo saying, “Let’s get out of this dump sweets.” 

Henry a clown on crazy pay with a junky Manhattan socialite, it was weird serendipity. 

They leave Holland Bar looking for Margo’s car, she had forgotten where she parked, they are walking and talking about everything in the world, then stopping to snort coke off a police box. Henry tells her to press the red button on her ignition key, a car alarm goes off less than a block up the street.  

Margo had a sky blue Mercedes convertible with a white top. 

Before getting in the car she tells Henry to drive, asking him to drive slow. He follows the GPS on the dash to Trump Towers on Fifth Avenue, parking underground, they get in a gold elevator and go to the forty-ninth floor.  

The gold elevator going up and up into the clouds..

Inside Margo's condo Henry lays down on one of three pink leather sofas placed so they are facing each other in a C shape. She goes to her bedroom and tells him to help himself to a drink, bottles of everything on top of a white marble bar. Henry pours himself a  triple-x rated shot of Black Sombrero tequila in a snifter. 

This condo must be worth millions.

There wasn’t an empty space on the wall— Twenty-First Century American art cluttered the walls, hung very casually; Liza Adams, George Pratt and Tony Pro.

Margo coming back into the living room an hour later, wearing a Naki Kimono robe and black fish net stockings. It was 3AM, she sits on Henry’s lap, pulling him to her, kissing him deeply and saying, “Henry darling I have to open my gallery in the morning, let’s take some valium and go to bed.”

Henry waking at noon the next day, still on the same pink sofa, both of them had passed out around 4AM, he in the living room and she in her bedroom. Margo had left for work, she had taped a note on his leather jacket, written with red lipstick on her personal stationary, saying simply—

See you at the Holland Bar tonight doll, Love you, Margo.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Bukowski claimed the majority of what he wrote happened in his life.

To make himself more picturesque for the reader he did little to elaborate on himself.

Heinrich Karl Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany in August, 1920.

In 1924 the family of three left Germany and moved to LA. Young Charle's father bought a two bedroom bungalow on Jefferson Park Road not far from Hollywood. In 1924 LA was paradise, there was plenty of  work in agriculture and building, but the palm trees and clean orderly ways of America 1924 passed the freaky immigrant family by.


Bukowski’s mother dressed young Charles in velvet trousers, he was a mark from the start, getting shit canned from both ends. His old man, “The Nazi sergeant Hymie” would strap him endlessly if he missed a blade of grass after mowing the lawn. Buk would have to fight for his life at Virginia Road Elementary School as well. 

Bukowski hated the world already as a young man, he would brew his juice while lying in bed looking at light patterns on the ceiling, listening to Brahms or Mahler. Like other outlaw literary geniuses the struggle to get through daily life forced him to go into his inner mind. 

Bukowski began writing as a boy, he sensed life wasn’t going to be a picnic. He was attracted to the solitary nature of writing, it helped him to gain perspective, writing became his foil, but his hammer was booze. 

By the age of 15 he was a full time alcoholic, he cold buy booze anywhere, he looked 33, his face long and drawn like a deathly horse head, full of deeply rooted acme, people found him hard to look at. 

One night he came home to the family house drunk, he broke a lock to get in unnoticed and was greeted by his old man. Hymie immediately began strapping Charles with a leather belt, the metal end. Bukowski puked on a new white carpet in the entryway (Perhaps the most famous puke scene in modern 20th Century American Literature). Somehow 15 year old Charles gathered the strength to get up, punching Hymie in the gut, ending the confrontation.  

During the ruckus his mom packed a small cardboard suitcase, pushing young Charles out the door before Hymie could get up. This cheap cardboard suitcase would become a right of passage metaphor in Bukowski’s stories. He used the suitcase for years, too poor to buy another. At one point it became so worn he painted it with liquid shoe black.

After graduating form LA High (he didn’t bother to pick up his diploma feeling the ceremony was superficial and inane) Buk enrolled in LA City College, now living free from his old man, the sadistic Hymie, free to drink when ever he pleased. He began his barfly life in a small dumpy room over the “Starlight Lounge”while studying  journalism and literature. He liked true grit author’s like Upton Sinclair and Ernest Hemingway, supporting himself by working part time as a janitor at Sears. 

Buk was apolitical throughout his life. His twisted fucked up early life made him anti social and he rooted for the bad guys out of spite. During World War II he wrote a short story in support of Hitler which got him in trouble at LA City College. Of course Henry didn’t give a shit about Hitler, but he discovered the joy of tweaking and outraging the main stream, it was easy for him and would bring him joy throughout his life.

After a year at LA City College in 1942 this butt ugly, outrageous and anti social genius hit the road. He was writing full time now sending stories to the rags of the day, “Popular Mechanics” and “Thriller Detective.” He was in search of the glue of experience that would help sharpen his writing chops. Henry caught a bus from LA to New Orleans, he only had thirteen dollars in his pocket.

While traveling in the forties he would often run out of money and live on candy bars. Later in life at a reading he was  asked what the secret to his success was? Buk saying,” One candy bar a day.” 

When he got to New Orleans he lived in a tar paper shack lit by a single light bulb. Buk couldn’t hold down a job, preferring to booze it up with bums and whores. Eventually taking a job on a rail road gang and leaving New Orleans. On the way to Texas he found a paperback copy of “Notes from the Underground” by Dostoevsky. It related to the struggle of the Russian poor with the Czarist elite, reminding Charles of his days at LA City College. 


The following is a bit from a Bukowski poem illustrating his rage against the machine as well as his frustration from being on the shit end of the capitalist system most of his life. It is from “Factotum,” written in the sixties. 

“….the days of 
the bosses, yellow men
with bad breath and big feet, men
who look like frogs, hyenas, men who 
walk as melody has never been invented,
men who think it is intelligent to hire and
fire and profit, men with expensive wife's
they possess like 60 acres of ground to be 
drilled and shown-off—“

By the early fifties Buk had returned to his beloved LA. He had been writing since the forties, sending manuscripts to editors all over America. None were accepted, his work contained unheard of radicalism sex and realty, rarified stuff in the fifties.

On off hours Buk would  write and listen to Mahler late at night in his room above “Sunlight Inn” He didn’t go to the beach once during all his years in California, he was light years away from “Muscle Beach” mentality. His toxic and mercurial voice was alive in the alley and on the bar stools of the “Sunlight Inn.”

One day Bukowski got a letter from Barbara Frye, editor of the “Harlequin Review” out of Wheeler, Texas. She told him that she thought he was the greatest poet since William Blake.  They corresponded for two days and she asked him to marry her. Barbara was missing two vertebrae from her neck and couldn’t move her neck from side to side, she looked neckless. She came to LA and Charles married her, the next edition of “Harlequin Review" had eight of Henry’s poems in it. 

In seven years the marriage was toast, the years of marriage were like scenes out of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?” Frye would constantly talk shit to him barking,” Why don’t you get off your ass and stop drinking? Go get a job.” Bukowski was published in the “Paris Review” by this time, next to Sartre. 

John Webb spent three years in jail for a dope charge and robbing a bank. Inside jail he developed a love for literature and poetry and became the editor of the prison paper, which was used mostly for ass wipe and rolling joints. 

When Webb was paroled he contacted William Burroughs, Henry Miller and Lorenzo Ferlinghetti as well as other underground writers of the time, urging them to contribute to his new avant garde rag “The Outsider.” His wife who called herself Gypsy Lou worked with John on the rag.

In the early sixties John and Gypsy Lou contacted Bukowski saying, “ We love the realness of your work, it’s not phony at all, you seem honest and down to earth.” In short time the couple published Buk's first book of poetry, “Factotum,” a crafted and artfully bounded edition made with handmade paper.


Bukowski took to the flower power scene of the sixties like a dog takes to a cat.He was hired to write short stories for a rag called the "LA Free Press" published by John Byran. He loved to ass whip the other writers calling them, "Scummy, commy, hippy shit. Buk's thinking was more in line with the Hell's Angels than the hippies. 

Bukowski met Neal Cassidy of Beat fame through John Bryan. Cassidy was on his way to Mexico in a Plymouth V8 wagon . The three of them went for a ride, Cassidy the X parking lot attendant could back a semi truck into a donut hole. Cassidy took the wheel, Buk sat in the back seat and Bryan rode shotgun. Buk offered Cassidy some whiskey from a pint and Neal slugged it like a pro, Buk then saying, “ Have another taste?” Charles felt OK with Cassidy because he drank.

By the early seventies “ Notes of a Dirty Old Man” was published by Ferlinghetti’s “Black Sparrow Press.” This wasn’t Charles best book but it was a big seller and brought him world fame and moderate wealth. He continued to live the barfly life, drinking 24/7. He bought a track house in San Pedro, a mansion compared to the rooming house shit holes of the last thirty years. He also bought his first car, a BMW which he kept till he died.

He would drive the BMW to the Santa Anita Race Track and drink beer covered in a paper sack as he watched the working stiffs driving in the opposite direction to work on the freeway. The crotch of his chinos would often get wet with beer by the time he got to the track. He would walk to the betting window looking like he pissed his pants, he liked the look.


So ran the profile in “People Magazine” on Charles Bukowski when the publicist of the film “Barfly" sent out the media blitz. A film which would have never been canned with out the help of Dennis Hopper’s Venice Beach friend Barbet Shroeder. The stories surrounding the production of the film are legendary, Shroeder was part Mossad hit man and part insane. He pushed the film through, showing up at Golan and Globus’s suite in the Beverly Hill’s Hotel with a chain saw threatening to saw the room up if they didn’t give him the money for the film.

When “Barfly” began screening in theaters around the country it changed Buk, he would strut around his house loaded, feeling the part of the sheik of Sunset Blvd. But his constant inner companion was a sad man that pussy and booze couldn’t kill. The part in “Barfly” where Henry Chinowski (hilariously played by Mickey Rourke) is up late at night musing, listening to Mahler,  feeling his heart and life around him, was spot on Bukowski, there was a sensitive and hurt soul inside the wild man. 

Bukowski respected Hollywood Stars as much as he respected hippies. The only films he liked were,”All Quiet on the Western Front” and “ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?” He once met Arnold Schwarzenegger at a industry party and called him a “Piece of shit” in German.  And there was the time Sean Penn, who was in awe of Bukowski and a regular visitor, brought his wife Madonna to Buk’s Sand Pedro place. His neighbors knew him only as a weird drunk, a little girl who lived next door later asked,” Mr B was that Madonna at your house?”

By 1987 Bukowskis’s health was getting bad, years of boozing was catching up with him. He was writing his last novel “Hollywood” about the making of “Barfly,”  amazed still that he made it in Hollywood.

Writing kept his pain at bay for awhile but his body finally gave in to booze in March of 1994. Considering the voracity of abuse he directed at himself it was amazing he lived as long as he did. 

He wrote to find a way to cope with everyday life, he reveled with losers, he was a 1000 to one  punch drunk champ driving in the opposite direction who beat the odds.    

Saturday, October 21, 2017

It Wasn't in the Cards

Henry going on a road-trip, cashing his welfare check, packing his gym bag, walking to the Greyhound Bus Station in Queens. 

He buys an open ended ticket— good for as many miles as you could log in a month between New York State and California.

Henry didn’t know where he was going and didn’t care. He could stay high, holding a little of everything. 

Snorting heroin on the Newborn Turnpike reaching Pennsylvania, passing out as the bus sped through three states, waking up in the Chicago station. 

A Native Indian women, a true beauty with long raven colored hair—  parted in the middle leading to braids tied with strips of buckskin— sits down in the empty isle seat next to him. Introducing herself to Henry saying, “Howdy white man, I’m Winona the first daughter of Leonard Crow Dog the Lakota medicine man. I’m going to visit my daddy at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.” Henry saying, “Wow that’s a mouth full, I’m Henry, I thought most Indian folks weren’t much for talking but you break the mouth baby.” 

Winona pulls a flask from her beaded dear-skin jacket pocket, sipping some and passing it to Henry.

This is going to be a killer trip, a beautiful Indian women built like a brick shit-house, pure spirited like a young spotted pony. 

Henry taking a long pull from the flask saying, “Jack Daniels, I can tell we are going to get along doll.” He lays a few lines of cocaine on a small mirror placed on his knee, Winona goes down on the lines like a pro, snorting em up saying, “ Henry I love you, I’m so high.” 

At Midnight the bus pulls off the Iowa Turnpike for snacks and a pee stop.  

Henry and Winona go into a truck stop diner called Big Rig Paradise for a meal.They order steak and eggs, pancakes and plenty of coffee, enjoying the meal, not wanting to miss the bus. 

On the Greyhound bus heading west they snort heroin to come down, falling asleep in each others arms.

They wake up at the main bus station in Sioux Falls arriving in the mourning, getting off the bus and going to a Motel 6. 

Sleeping through the day until evening, then going out to eat and have a few drinks.

Downtown on Main Street the pair ducks into a dive called Mama’s Crowbar, sitting in a corner booth— ordering tacos, beans, rice and shots of mescal. 

Arm in arm, unable to resist each others charms, doing shots and getting drunk. 

A group of Native Indian bucks swagger into Mama’s Crowbar, Henry and Winona hidden in a booth in a dark corner. She says,“ Henry those bucks who walked in are from Pine Ridge, they aren’t going to like it if they see me with a white man.” 

One buck walks to their booth and says,”Winona what are you doing here with a white man?”She says, "I love him Otaktay," he then says, “You’re the first daughter of the great Leonard Crow Dog—either we bring the white man with you to Pine Ridge tonight or we take him into the alley, cut him up into pieces and stuff them into a garbage can like rotten buffalo meat.” 

Henry wanting to disappear, crouched under the table. 

Winona saying, “Ok take us to Motel 6 so we can get our things.” 

The bucks in a caravan of old pick-up trucks reach Motel 6 in minutes, getting the couples's bags and speeding off into the night.

Driving the back roads, secret routes that only the Lakota knew through plains and streams, reaching Pine Ridge Indian reservation that morning. The lovers delivered to Leonard Crow Dog’s compound, a group of mobile homes circled like Conestoga covered wagons.

Winona’s mother Enola hugging her and asking,” Who is the white man? He is in danger here, get him inside.” 

Winona saying, "He is Henry mother and I love him." 

Enola takes them to a trailer and they go inside, Henry face to face with the great Leonard Crow Dog, laying with his shirt off on a sofa watching F Troop re-runs on TV saying, “Winona my first daughter I see you brought the white man, Eats Own Words to meet your father.” Looking at Henry saying “Eats Own Words, the blue belly soldiers on TV make me laugh, I think your great great grandfather was a blue belly soldier whose name was Sends Mixed Signals“

Enola says to Henry, “Eats Own Words and Winona will do a sweat lodge to get cleansed before their wedding when the sun breaks.”

Henry wondering what time "When the sun breaks was?"

Enola taking Henry and Winona to a tee-pee that will be their home after the wedding, Henry thinking a hundred miles an hour planning his escape.  

The couple alone in their tee-pee, Henry and Winona snorting heroin, passing out. Henry waking at 3AM, digging a hole in the dirt under the back flap of the tee-pee, crawling through the hole to get out, going to a pick up parked near by, opening the door seeing that the keys were in the ignition. Henry looking up and thanking the Great Spirit.

Off in a flash, driving into the night, driving in the opposite direction of the moon, reaching the highway and following the road signs to Sioux City. 

Leaving the pick up truck at the bus station and using his open ended ticket to get to New York City. 

As much as Henry loved Winona he knew life on Pine Ridge Reservation, living in a tee-pee, eating fried bread and beans... 

Wasn’t in the cards...  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Junkie's Heart

Henry looking at a blank page with nothing in his head— vacantly. 

Maybe the Queens motif he used to write stories over the last three months was musty—

A} Going for a walk at night

B} Going to Chaim’s Deli

C} Walking through the Bowery

D} Going to a movie in Times Square, a poetry reading or to an opium den in Chinatown. 

E}Going home

9AM off to Chaim’s Deli, Ruby his waitress asking, “Henry did you know Chaim is in the hospital? We are praying for him it’s not good, he has a brain tumor.” Henry saying, “Oh Ruby you think that praying business is going to help? It is rubbish you know.” Ruby saying, “ Henry you’re an awful man, I hate you, you are a real fucker.” He saying, “ Ok Mother Teresa— well who’s cooking tonight? Oh well, can I have a large rice pudding with whip cream on top? The loser cook from Kelly Girl can't fuck up rice pudding.”

The prayer crap intolerable for him, send your prays, we are praying for you and so on. Henry the atheist couldn’t imagine G-d(up there or wherever he is) processing it all. Billions of unique prayers a day streaming through the clouds, singed by flames coming out of jet engines, losing steam sometimes and falling limply back to earth. Billions of angels getting orders from the big chief to fly down to earth and change the path of destiny. G-d mislaying prayers from time to time because He was overworked.

Walking through the Bowery, a group of bums  standing around a fire in a garbage can, shaking off the cold,  Henry asking them to pray for Chaim, the bums saying, “You got it Henry sure thing, how bout a couple of bucks for some wine?” 

Henry walking to a coffee shop in the Village, St. Marks to hear Herbert Huncke read. In his early days Huncke a small time junky hustler and dealer in Times Square. 

Allan Ginsberg and William Burroughs meeting him at Times Square in the forties, asking him to bring junk and syringes to their apartment and teach them to shoot up. 

Huncke later becoming a friend of the Beats, hanging out with them, robbing them blind.

Henry sitting at a small table near the podium, openly smoking a joint. He sees Allan Ginsberg and Huncke walk in. Ginsberg sits at Henry's table and says, "Hi," he passes Ginsberg the joint and orders him a drink. Allen opens up saying, “I have known Herbert for a long time, we were lovers for awhile, he only shoots up from time to time these days, I’m  promoting his writing.” Henry says, “ That’s great Allen, did you know William Burroughs snubbed me?” Ginsberg says,” Oh he snubs everybody, he’s afraid of germs, afraid people might hug him.” 

Huncke makes his way to the podium, his facial skin pulled tight, his skin yellow molting to brown, tea color. He introduces  himself meekly,  bowing slightly then reading—

lost to the streets — lost completely to a life I once knew — stealing — junk– all night wandering– thru the streets — lost completely to a life I once knew — stealing — junk all night wandering thru the city — no pads– no friends — no way of life– almost convinced prison is a solution — shriveling within at the mere thought — wishing for death — willing death…

Huncke’s stuff straight from the gut, tight and incorruptible, looking you right in the eye. 

“I have been asked many times as is always asked of users of narcotics what a fix does to me — how it feels etc…it helps me to believe in life again at the same time to accept it calmly and with peace.”

“I think I am going insane. I almost hope so. Thoughts rush at one. I am beginning to lose the thread of my story. This happens frequently. Mad thoughts keep occurring to me… All happening to me is unnecessary. It is not important to any cause beyond my own and I am unimportant. Of course it is happening and it is what it is as things are.

Allen Ginsberg looking at Henry, his eyes full of joy, glimmering, saying,”You see, You see!

Ginsberg inviting Henry to an after reading party in Huncke’s room at the Chelsea Hotel. Henry saying he had to get up early to work at the post office— a lie, he was on welfare.

The reading was enough for Henry, he didn’t need anymore, Herbert Huncke’s from the gut writing a real turn on for him, thinking—

We need allot less bullshit and more from the gut in the world. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Last of Vaudeville

Henry weird, seeing things in slow motion—being pulled haltingly forward into the dark.   

Something pulling him into a void— Native American folk tales telling of roving black holes, dark gaseous clouds on the Montana plains pulling old people, young coyotes and rabbits in, taking them away.      

With allot of effort pulling himself out of the gaseous black hole— then off to nosh at Chaim’s Deli.

Sitting in his booth his waitress (Ruby) getting in his face saying, “For the love of God Henry you look as though you have been to hell and back, what happened? He says, “I spent the afternoon fighting off a gaseous black hole that invaded my living room, the black hole of Indian folklore.” Ruby then says,”Henry you are sicker than I ever imagined, go talk to your shrink at welfare tomorrow, please baby.” 

Ruby a one dimensional thinker, a right-brain thinker,  believing in God while denying the existence of roving black holes in Queens.

Henry munching on some well done fries, dipping them in mayo, drinking a Jack and Coca Cola, dazed, leaving Chaim’s Deli at 10PM. 

Things still weird, walking the dark streets of Queens, it was a strange night, even the bums in the Bowery were laying low.  Henry headed to Times Square looking for signs of life.   

Times Square in front of the New Amsterdam Theater, he sees “Mary Poppins” with Julie Andrews is playing. 

The cowboy junk a fixture under the New Amsterdam Theater marquee ropes Henry in saying, “Henry all the dope in China wouldn’t make this film right, don’t even think of buying a ticket, check out the strippers at the Hi Hat Club.”

Henry paying five bucks at the door of Hi Hat Club, a strip joint that served booze showcasing the creme de la creme of Times Square strippers. He sits down at a small table and orders shots of tequila, feeling at home. 

There was a three piece jazz band in front of the shallow stage, three black dudes from Harlem wearing t-shirts and dress pants— bass, drums and sax, junked up some and nodding, eyes shut allot.    

The strip joint moldy, the red velvet curtains dripping as though they were sweating, the place smelled like cum. 

The first act a classy older gal with dyed red hair, Pussy Wilderness—wearing a bear suit that came apart at the seams, slowly stripping off to the sleaziest jazz riffs ever. Very naked at Henry’s table, close to him with her back against him, gyrating back and forth rubbing her ass on his face, he puts his nose into it spot on, her hole smelling like dime store douche.    

Henry does a few lines of cocaine off a plate and orders more shots. Enter stage left an asian gal calling herself Shanghai Sal, with a Betty page style florescent purple wig on her head. The band doing its best to play Duke Ellington’s “Chinoiserie.” 

Sal had the moves, twisting cobra like, beguiling. Her lose fitting kamikaze embroidered kimono off in a flash revealing a thin white skinned body, wearing a black bra and panties. Going from table to table, at Henry’s table sitting on his lap, he lays a few lines of cocaine on a plate and Shanghai Sal snorts em up, her eyeballs rolling up into her head as it falls back. 

It was over before it began at the Hi Hat Club, time flying, it was 3AM. The strip show bonafide kosher, the mildew and cum smell, the junked up three piece band, the strippers interpreting and reinventing strip as they went along, each gal with her own motif, everybody turned on in their way.  

The Hi Hat Club light years away from the film “Mary Poppins,”on a planet of it's own, it was a circus, the last of Vaudeville.   

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

All the World Hyped on Something

Henry sitting on a broken wicker chair needing re-threading—on the tenth floor patio of his Queens apartment, wanting to write and wondering where it would go.

The cool autumn air whispering wind sounds, tugging and pulling Henry out into the night.  

The usual, evening nosh at Chaim’s Deli, at the same booth giving his order to the same waitress for the last ten years. Ruby as usual with something to say, “You happy to see me doll? There’s an empty dry goods storage space near the kitchen with our name on it.” Henry says, “ Sounds great babe, you got anything to eat with my name on it? How about some bagels and chopped chicken liver, borsht and a Jack and Coke to wash it down?” 

Another over the top nosh at Chaim’s Deli, Henry heading downtown, pounding the bricks with serious intent, in a hurry to make the 9PM show at the New Amsterdam theater in Times Square. 

As usual, the cowboy junk was under the marquee jiving saying to Henry,“ I got some real feel good stuff, cocaine and Thai stick for you tonight  it's a film about love, lost love, lost virginity, love conquered and plastic times in tinsel town.” Cowboy junk, the guy with the best dope in Times Square and the spot-on movie reviews. 

“The Graduate” a film directed by Mike Nichols was playing with Dustin Hoffman and Katherine Ross. Henry sitting in the back row, putting his feet up as he lights some Thai stick, then doing a few lines of cocaine. 

Opening scene Benjamin Brock (Dustin Hoffman) twenty-one years old, driving his red Aston Martin home from Williams College to the sounds of “Scarborough Fair,” Simon and Garfunkel, all of the music in the film by them, utterly great, Henry wasted —grooving on the music.   

Benjamin a victim of his parents summer pool parties and the times, a victim of too many older squares. One corporate guy saying spunky-like,”Ben I just have one word to say —plastic think about it son!”

Benjamin bored shitless goes upstairs to his bedroom—enter Mrs. Robertson, a friend of his parents and a MILF to boot. Benjamin who is a virgin is intimated by her, but in no time at all they are fucking their brains out in a high-end hotel to the sounds of Simon and Garfunkel’s, “Mrs Robertson.” 

The summer affair goes well until Mrs. Robertson beautiful daughter Elaine comes home from Williams College. Benjamin falls for her and the chase is on—The grand ending,  Benjamin racing all over Southern California looking for Elaine, finding her, then kidnapping her in dramatic style, the pair eloping to Tijuana.

It was a grand soap opera and he liked the music, but he preferred hard edged avant-garde films. 

Thoroughly wasted, off to Chinatown. 

Going to Chow’s Noodle House for a bowl of rice soup and a few drinks. He sits at a round table with a wooden spinner in the middle next to his friend John Chow, a chain smoker and gambler. John says, “Dude you look wasted, what is wrong with you?” Henry saying,” You’re bringing me down China-man, how about we do a few lines?” 

The coke winding John up, he goes into a tirade about his gambling debts, telling Henry that his Chinese bookie and the Chinatown Sun On Yee were going to chop him up and throw the pieces into a vat of chicken broth. 

John then saying, “Henry do you have three hundred grand you can lend me? My life is at stake here.”

Henry replies,”Chow that must be the cocaine talking, I’m on welfare.” 

He tries to pay John Chow for the drinks and noodles but John wouldn’t take his money. 

Happy to escape Chow’s Noodle House, John Chow edgy, hyped on cigarettes and gambling.  

Henry hyped on dope and booze, Benjamin Brock hyped on love, Mrs. Robertson hyped on sex.  

All the world hyped on something.