$1.19 Steak At Tad’s

I ate my first steak at Tad’s.

1964.

Someplace near Penn Station

$1.19

I made five times that as a newspaper boy.

We were not wage slaves in the age of Tad’s Steakhouse.

Stranger Stranger

Family.

Sigh.

Maybe I remember the better moments of life.

I don’t think so.

Then again I am far from a perfect person.

As anyone can judge from this missive from my cousin.

“I think of you all every day, unfavorably and with sorrow. It is, I suppose, kind of you to contact me but, sadly, too late, too little, too meaningless. I remember how I was there for you for Michael and for Angie. But you were not there for me following David’s suicide. A wonderful, joyful childhood, rich in cousinly play and adventure, evaporated into nothingness. Memories betrayed and made distant. Of the lot, only Gina retains any claim to ethical conduct.

Nevertheless, I wish you happiness and prosperity, as I would any stranger.”

I was her brother’s friend.

The Bishop and I played B-Ball together.

I spoke to him a week before his deciding to end it all.

I think about Davie all the time.

I am not a stranger.

Not to the Bishop.

My Loved Nana

My Nana came off the boat from Ireland at the age of 14.

She broke her heel coming down the gangway.

Somehow everything turned out all right for a while.

Nana loved us more than the moon and the stars.

All of the thirteen cousins.

We were her family

All The Leaves Are Brown

Sunday morning I took this photo from the top floor of the Fort Greene Observatory. The sky was gray and the Mamas and Papas’ CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ rang in my ears. I was 2900 miles from the West Coast and rain sloshed on the sidewalk. I went to work in wet gear. The streets of Manhattan swelled ankle-deep with the overflow of every deluge. Thankfully I was wearing a good boots and returned home at dark only a little wet.

My landlord and I smoked some reefer after which I fell into bed with the windows open to the cool autumn night.

Sirens sang on Fulton.

Ambulances, not fire or police.

Brooklyn was dangerous in the rain.

I watched WALKING DEAD and read PORIUS by John Cowper Powys. The Celtic fairy tale was a tough walk through the weeds of words obscuring the Arthurian legend. My eyes shut after two chapters, dreaming of my Pictish blood. I lasted two seconds as a near-sighted thane with a dull sword against the Roman shield and I wandered through the sleeplands until a whoosh of wind withered a shiver through the trees outside my window.

Golden leaves fluttered to the floor.

My breath floated on the darkness.

The temperature dropped every second.

Autumn was gone.

Winter was here.

I shut the windows and watched the wind rip away the leaves.

Mercy was out of the question for the new season’s invaders.

Three layers of blankets shunned the cold, but this was only the beginning.

I was winter and winter was bound to get colder.

Earth was in Space and the temperature in Space was Absolute Zero.

To hear CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’, please go to this URL

Le Livre de Philippe Waty

The Steamin’ Musselmen or les Muselmans Fumant were an artistic troupe de force in Paris through the 1980s and 1990s. Philippe Waty co-founded the group and his vibrant iconography adorned the walls of the abandoned city quarters. Philippe painted with the spirit of Chester Hines’s Black America matched by his collaborators; Fabrice Langlade, Tristam de Quatremere, Franky Boy, César Maure and Dominique Gangloph.

Sadly Philippe passed into the Here-Before in September of 2012.

He was a friend.

Tristam has organized a book of Waty’s work.

On December 3rd at le Favel de Chic, 18 Rue du Faubourg du Temple there will be a soiree to celebrate his life and art.

If I can get there, I will be there.

Le Etoile De Waty.