Friday, September 22, 2017

A Higher Calling

Henry in his Queens apartment at 9AM ready to go out for a walk in the city.

It was fall night at the end of October, Indian Summer before the cool arctic wind descended on the East Coast. 

Henry dressed to go, wearing a black suit with a white t-shirt and Converse low tops. 

And so on and so forth—total horse-shit, Henry writing mindless on automatic-pilot allot, writing dumb shit, thinking of Michael McClure for a second— a guy dressed up in a t-shirt and suit wearing an inverted wooden cross, looking priestly, selling Catholic angst about masturbating alter boys to Hollywood.   

He was in his Queens apartment, unable to get out of bed, broken-hearted, drunk and junked up plenty— dumped by May(a non therapeutic sex working Asian chic and junky sucking every cock that came down the pike at Lee's Massage in Queens) regardless— still the best cock sucker in the universe. 

Henry wanting to be anywhere but in realty, drinking and snorting eight-balls, fighting it (realty) off, unable to look reality in the eye, he didn’t belong there.   

Henry the junk king in a dream, a million fingers massaging his cock and his soul lomi lomi style all at once, decidedly carnal and out of this world. Stuff that would scare the 9 to 5 stiffs.   

At 2AM May shows up at Henry’s apartment, screaming as she pounds oh his door, he lets her in. May looking shaggy, crying and begging him to take her back. He says, “You know I love you May but I sit at home in the day thinking about you sucking cock at Lee's Massage.”  May then says, “Yes I’m a cock sucker baby, but it’s a kind of higher calling for me, I feel that I make people happy, that I bring joy and happiness into their lives.”  

Henry dumb-fucked, sorry he let May in, getting a sick felling inside, wanting to escape somehow, unable to get a handle on cock sucking as a higher calling. Saying to May,” Baby thats wonderful, I’m happy that you have found G-d in your own way, well, my parakeet collapsed in his cage and I’m heart broken, baby I’m going to lay down, you better get back to work sweety, I’ll call you later.”

Henry feeling over powered, knocked out by May’s heart felt shtick, what could he say? May doing G-d’s work, it was something bigger than him, who was he to call her out? 

Henry a junk on crazy pay,  he was nobody to judge.     

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Opium Den

Henry in his Queens apartment, ready.

Summer nights in the city, tranquil, yet rough around the edges, there was a feeling that some shit could come down in a New York minute, anywhere. 

Chaim’s Deli, 10PM, Henry in his usual booth chating up his usual waitress, Ruby. He was hungry and ordered a large bowl of borsht with sour cream and allot of pepper, as well as some chopped chicken liver to spread on bagels. 

Henry hits the bricks around 11PM, blowing Ruby a kiss as he walks out, headed to the Village for some coffee, running and covering his face with a newspaper through the Bowery, wanting to by-pass the stank and bullshit of the bums.

Going to an all-night coffee shop, simply called “Joe,” ordering espresso with Irish Whiskey, eye-balling the joint. After a few Irish Coffees Henry heads to Chinatown, bored out of his gourd at Joe.   

The Village too conventional for him, the 9 to 5 working stiffs had taken it over, dressing like beatniks and hippies, weekend cool, still stiff in the day. He knew of a wonderful little opium den in Chinatown, above a Chinese Laundry.

By 1PM Henry was in Chinatown in front of Lee’s Chinese Laundry, he knew it well. 

The double doors to the entry were unlocked, marked by two red lanterns.  He makes his way up a dimly lit stairway to a long hallway.  At the end of the hallway there was a glowing yellow door, he could smell burnt tar opium. 

He knocks on the yellow door and an old Chinese lady, dressed traditionally, asks him to take off his street shoes and to put on a pair of cloth slippers. 

The room was dark, there were a dozen Chinamen laying parallel on straw mates in the opium den, either smoking opium or passed out in a dream. 

Henry loved the place, the old Chinese gal sets him up with a loaded pipe and a mat to lay on, sitting on a small wood stool next to him, lighting his pipe and saying, “ Oh we don’t see many foreign man here, only no good lazy Chinaman.”

Henry sucks in the smoke of burning opium, going into a dream. He sees himself hovering on the ceiling looking down at the others in the room, dreaming beautiful multicolored dreams, feeling warm inside, his body free from pain, outside of waking consciousness. 

At 9AM still in a dream, he feels a small hand tugging on and pushing his shoulder—  the opium maid says, “Pay and get out, go home.” 

On the street in Chinatown, he covers his eyes to avoid the glare of the red morning sun, just wanting to make it home, close his curtains and escape the daylight. 

He remembered little of the night in the opium den or the dreams he had, but he felt it was a pleasant, he felt wonderful inside. 

At home in bed feeling he could sleep a hundred years.  

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Brewing Yuk Factor

Henry in bed, listening to Freddie King on colored radio, somewhere in Georgia—just some slow moving Texas blues, sweet and blue as the rain fall.  

Writing — busted up form, a splash of color and a crap shoot.

Henry a lazy writer, he had to drag himself to the keyboard.  It wasn’t a passion for him, more a dull itch.

Henry didn’t like people. In the old days the pikers new their place at the gaming table, today anybody with a blog is a super star— way too much self, self and more self, everywhere, as far as the eye can see. 

Andy Warhol new what was coming. 

“Everybody will have fifteen minutes of fame.” 

The yuks want theirs' too—the yuk-yuks tripping all over each other like spawning Salmon in heat to get their fifteen minutes.  

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Rat's Wheel

Henry sitting uncomfortably bent on his futon, the frame staked up sofa-like, writing on a lap-top. 

It was a spring afternoon, mild, warm and lazy. A sweet scented air-tide flowing all the way from Central Park through the window of his Queen’s apartment— sent by the gods of spring, special delivery.   

Adjusting the futon frame in a more comfortable position, rolling a joint— wanting to stay in this moment forever. It was a beaming, rapturous moment, a light-bulb moment, Henry smiling inside, peeking. 

His cell phone ringing the sound of Honky Tonk Women, it was Mai from Siam Massage wanting to know if he was coming tonight? 

At the end of the month Henry’s crazy pay was below empty. He would have to be creative, only cheap thrills tonight.

Luckily Chaim let Henry run a tab at the deli.  Ruby his regular waitress happy to see him says, ”Jesus Christ Henry you’re radiating health, you were on deaths door just a few days ago.” He says, “ I spent four hours a day in the sauna at the YMCA for a week, black tar-like poison oozing out of my body and I did some inner work, tantric yoga stuff.”

He ordered a double pastrami and chicken liver sandwich on pumpernickel, as well as a glass of Fritz’s Cream soda, mixing it with Mescal. 

Henry dancing out of Chaim’s Deli, broke and on fire, walking to and into the Bowery. The Bums who fucked with him night after night couldn’t touch him tonight, they could see he was protected by armor blocking the Bum’s wino X-ray beams.

Stopping in Cheap Shots Tavern, a dive outside of the Bowery, a shit-hole for barflies. Barflies a cut above Bums, on their way to the Bowery, it was just a matter of time. For Henry Cheap Shots Tavern, just a place he went to drink at the end of the month, cheap thrills. 

He orders a shot of Mescal and a beer chaser. Sitting on a bar stool eyeing his image in a mirror line from age, behind the bar. He was thin, with a Mediterranean nose (broken more than once) a wrinkled half moon face protruding from a roundish hallo of unkept curly white hair. 

In a bar trance, feeling invisible, not wanting to be visible in the shit hole, Cheap Shots Tavern. 

Around midnight a hooker sits next to Henry, he had seen her before on 42 Street. She was black women, slender, wearing a jump suit with a large orange and blue afro wig on her head, something you would wear to a Denver Broncos game. 

She says to Henry, “ I haven't always been a hooker, I have a degree in Dental Hygienics, but when the sub-prime mortgage crisis hit,” and so on and so forth, he had heard the same story so many times.  He says, “Save it, I have heard it before, how about we slip out back to the alley and smoke a joint.” Henry lights a joint and passes it to Miss no name, knowing she had a alias, street name, like Cherry, Ripple, or Sweety. She puts her arms around him pulling him closer, dry humping him, pressing into him. He says, “Spare me baby, you might do some serious damage, let’s go back inside and have a drink.” After a few more drinks Miss no name says, “ I gotta go to work, thanks doll.”

2 AM Henry leaving Cheap Shot Lounge, waking up the following mourning on his futon fully dressed, wondering how he got home? His life a rollercoaster ride, stuck on a rat’s wheel.

A writer needs to look eyes wide open at the freak show, running a hundred miles a hour into it. He needs all of it— the good, the bad, the sublime, the vile, the just and the unjust. The wheel keeps on spinning, it doesn't stop for anybody. 

My Work is Awful

Henry,feeling beastly, burning up inside, cravin dope & junk. 

Did u see the film, “Night of the Iguana?"

The Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon fragile and breaking down in exile, pursued by a Lolita, down and out in Mexico, outside of Mexico City on the bay somewhere. 

Henry didn't care for Lolita's he preferred beautiful middle aged women.  

He, Henry, the writer, writing graphically, paint on the page. 

Henry dancing in the shadow of the Little Walters, Dylan Thomas's, Jack Kerouacs, William S. Burroughs, and the Hunter S. Thompsons of the world. 

There were more than a few on his list, the super heroes; including, Charles Bukowski, James Carver, Francis Bacon and Ernie Banks.

True champions of the the poetic, paintin, blues and sports world.  

They were from  a Century where g-ds roamed the desert plains, loaded and carrying little, outcast in their own way, outside of the world, breaking down allot. 

Henry surreal with a touch of fragrance, dried flowers and incense, great ganja,  vagina everywhere,  Henry loved it all.  

A lot of folks loved Henry’s stuff, an elite few, the high rollers and king pins. 


—odd and way out there, rarely craving human touch and connection —

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cosmic Ray

Henry the schmendrik, still the golem— In Cham’s Deli sitting at his regular booth, his body stiff like he was in a cement suit. 

Ruby his regular waitress says “Henry you look awful, you are fifty shades of pale, its scary baby!”

Henry says” It’s OK  why——— I got a speed-ball and I’m  going into the head and shoot the moon kiddy-cat.” Ruby concerned, saying “You need help check into rehab.”  

He says to Ruby—

“On whose dime Mary Magadelena?”  

Henry the ghost, using day in and day out, breathing heavy, shivering, hunched over, looking a hundred years old, merely a shadow— walking out of Chaim’s Deli, forgetting to pay his tab. 

Chaim and Ruby liked ornery Henry and knew he would be back tomorrow evening. 

Walking eight blocks past Chaim’s Deli into the Bowery.  A bum comes out of a doorway and confronts him face to face, the bums breath smelling like butane and wine. Henry turns away, the bum says “I have seen you walking here before— you’re nothin, you’re a bum.” 

Henry hated the bums, in their moments of lucidity they all thought they were prophets, the Bowery full of Gandhis, Jesuses and Kahlil Gibrans. The bums thought everybody was a bum waiting to happen. 

Walking away from the Bowery, ignoring the hookers on 42nd Street, hobbling and breathing heavy, finally at the New Amsterdam Theater in Times Square. 

The same cowboy junky under the marquee of the New Amsterdam, night after night in the same weirdo position, bumping his pelvis in and out, cock-less Henry thought, with a corny cowboy hat on, in the same place pimping whatever he had, selling dope, cornering Henry saying “Cosmic Ray an awesome film, you like Ray Charles?  I got some nice a eight-balls?” The junk was the Roger Ebert of Times Square. 

The Bruce Conner art film “Cosmic Ray" was showing. Henry would get thoroughly wasted to better see the visuals — Sitting in the back row, drinking vodka and snorting cocaine. 

“Cosmic Ray”AKA Cosmic Ray Charles, a black & white film, a montage, images of atomic bombs, Mickey Mouse cartoons mixed with shorts of nude women fan dancing and connecting with the universe, luminous orbs flashing in dark rooms, multi-colored-light projecting outwards around the black thearter space.  

This is a trip, Henry thought, sprawled out in the back row with his feet on the seats in front of him. 

(There were two more weirdos in the front row, the only other people in the theater.) 

The film a cosmic-light-show, electric rays shooting out of the screen encircling the theater. A mix of A-bomb violence, sexy Negro music, Disneyland and very white powdered women with small tits and lovely nipples.  

The cowboy under the marquee says to Henry as he leaves the theater after the film “Tripped-out hey?” 

Wanting to go home, Henry gets a taxi at Times Square. 

Getting in the taxi, the driver a white guy with a mohawk haircut ranting on about Richard Nixon, calling Nixon a crook and a hustler, saying Pat Nixon was a paste-up doll. 

Henry close to passing out, trying to stay awake, vomiting, car sick, covering his mouth with his hand not wanting to dirty the taxi. The taxi in Queens in front of his apartment. 

The taxi driver shaking his head back and forth, saying Agnew was a do nothing VP, not knowing that Henry puked in the back of his taxi. 

Henry gets out of the cab and hands the driver his fare through the front window, dodging a bullet, making tracks to his apartment, escaping the wrath of the taxi driver.

Wondering, as he walked the stairs to his apartment

How the NYPD would respond to a "Vomit call" from a taxi driver with a mohawk who hated Nixon? 



Friday, September 8, 2017

The Last Act

A cold and rainy night in Queens, Henry could feel it in his bones. 

He wanted to get out of Queens to dry his bones and get in touch with his anima. Onwards and outwards to the desert, any desert. 

Henry would take the bus—Queens to Taos, New Mexico. 

He would put together the usual traveling goodies—Mexican heroin, vodka, ganja,  cocaine and valium, then putting a few pairs of chinos, a few sweat shirts and pair of low-top Converse in a gym bag. He would ware his LL Bean hiking boots with two pairs of socks on the bus, he never wore underwear.   

It rained all the way to the bus station, Henry wrapped in a Native Indian blanket, hunched over, he couldn’t get warm. He was Ratso Rizzo and Joe Buck in the film Midnight Cowboy, wanting to get out of the New York winter and get to Florida, ASAP.  

On the bus and out of New York State, already in West Virginia, making a stop in Bluefield. A punk rocker with a guitar on his back, wearing a dirty leather jacket with SS Death Heads on the lapel and a broken mustache on his face, like the Mexican actor Cantanflas's mustache, sits down next to Henry. 

His name was GG Allin and he was on his way to Topeka to meet his brother for a club date. He then goes on to say he was junk sick, Henry handed him a small packet of heroin, Allin off to the head for a poke. 

GG Allin was shy and talked very little to Henry, nodding out mostly. Henry had read about the band The Murder Junkies, Allin’s band, the band infamous, shows busted up and raided by the cops. Allin would get naked on stage, throw up, take dumps in his silver Nazi Helmet, attack the audience, do the unimaginable with sweet potatoes and carrots—beyond idiosyncratic. 

The bus passing at a high rate of speed through cornfields on the left and right, parting the ocean of swirling green stalk and leaf.  Allin wakes up and ask Henry if they are in Kansas yet?  He invites Henry to the show in Topeka, Henry didn’t want to offend GG— whose show wasn’t his cup of tea, Henry was no punk as well and could live without penis theatrics and poo-flinging.

Wishing GG Allin all the best Henry declined the offer saying the desert was calling him as he handed GG a few small bags of heroin, for the good of the cause. 

Pulling into Santa Fe, New Mexico at 2AM, Henry gets off the bus and goes to the men’s room. He downs a half a pint of vodka, then does a speed-ball, a snort of cocaine mixed with heroin. 

At 5PM the bus pulls into Taos, Henry grabbing his gym bag off the luggage rack and making a b-line to the Taos Motel & RV Camp, passing out in bed fully dressed with boots on, sleeping 12 hours. 

That evening he cleans up, does a speed ball and heads to Roses’s, a cantina in Old Taos. He orders a Mexican breakfast and a Margarita. Out of no-where he hears gunshots, from a pistol he thinks.  Henry and the rest of the folks in Roses running out in panic-mode to she what was happening? 

Dennis Hopper was in the middle of Old Taos Square—AWOL from a cowboy movie set, still in outlaw costume. His six guns pointed in the air still smoking, falling to his knees, ranting incoherently, then passing out, collapsing.

Dennis Hopper’s now famous nervous breakdown in Taos, in front of the whole world or at least the whole town of Taos.  

The paramedics on the scene in minutes, Henry figured the show was over and that Hopper’s breakdown would be the last act.  

Henry making his way to the Pecos Valley,  hiking by day and taking the bus back to Taos in the night. Hiking more and more—way out there, meeting some Navajos and doing a sweat lodge with them. Cleansed, feeling at one, taking the bus back to Queens, feeling whole again. 

Henry found what he was looking for, for once —and it felt good!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Wasted Night-watchmen

Henry in bed all day with a sore throat, needing a hot drink, finally getting out of bed and dressing, on his way to Chaim’s Deli.

Sitting in a booth at Chaim's, Ruby his regular waitress approaches looking concerned and saying “You look ill Henry,” he says to Ruby “ I need some of that Jewish cure-all Ruby baby, a bowl of chicken soup with matzot.” Henry drinking Robetussin mixed with hot tea as well. 

Still in Chaim's, high from the cough syrup, he begins to day dream,  recollecting the time he spent working in the Sinai.

Henry lived the Sinai in the mid seventies.  It was geographically like Mars, treeless, surrounded by red mud and rusty iron ore colored hills. Most people living near or on the beach in straw huts, module housing units and caves. Henry sleeping on the beach, working as the night watchman for the Nama Bay Inn. 

Nama Bay was on the Red Sea side of the Sinai Peninsula, the Red Sea famous for beautiful coral.  The Bay attracted a mix of cultures, IDF Soldiers, UN soldiers, Bedouins, hippy travelers and divers from Europe. It was a big party, the UN people would arrive in their white deuce and a half trucks loaded up with Heineken beer in coolers and cases of Irish Bristol Creme. Everyone had hashish, the only people who had nothing to share were the hippies. They would perform for dope and booze, put on poetry readings and play music as the hippy girls did spirit-dancing shaking and showing their tits.

There were huts on the beach that served as bars and restaurants, The Last Oasis and The Parrot Fish to name a few.  

Henry’s job as night watchman was to make the rounds and keep an eye on the beach area, the bars, restaurants, the diving center, and the module motel.

One night Henry was in the lobby of the Nama Bay Inn talking to the night clerk, a Druze named Boaz came running in, looking whitish with a paper cup in hand, saying he was bit by a scorpion. Henry looks in the cup and sees the scorpion is dead, He looks at Boaz and says “You got it backwards Boaz, the scorpion is supposed to live and you're supposed to die!”

In the day when he was free Henry would go to the beach and smoke hashish. He had stepped on a broken bottle of Heineken while on his night time rounds. The coral in the Red Sea gave off a large amount of bacteria, so he had to stay out of the water or risk infection. 

High, lounging in a hammock at the beach he noticed a Israeli soldier girl walking on the beach, she was all tits and ass in her thong bikini. They began to talk, her father was a famous Israeli artist in Tel Aviv, Henry invited her to an abandoned module housing unit a couple hundred meters from the sea. The two sitting on the floor in a blanket, he rolls a joint mixing hashish with tobacco. Her name was Freida, she was a a real free-spirit, a beatnik. They began making out with out much formality, and then got it on, sweating in the desert heat. Freida later invited Henry to stay with her and her family in Tel Aviv. 

Henry was only in Nama Bay a few months but it seemed like years. He got into the habit of sleeping outside while there. For a long time after he left Nama Bay he slept on the floor or outside when he could. 

Henry’s time in Israel was a test of limits he thought, partying as much as he could. After a few years there he left for Greece via Haifa on a ship. 

Henry gazing outward at the Mediterranean Sea on a ship headed to Greece, in reflexion, wondering if his stay in Israel was enlightening?  Some modern day hedonist wisdom came to mind—

He who can party and screw the longest and hardest before he drops, WINS!