Tripping the Light (Go There)

To get somewhere, you have to go there. So we flew out to Baltimore, rented a car. My daughter reading the directions we’d printed off the internet. Through the darkness and the many long winding streets and highways we finally arrive at Don Eminizer’s house. Well, our flight was delayed three hours at a Detroit stop-over, so all in all we got there pretty late.

Doesn’t matter, Don’s the nicest guy you’d ever wanna meet. Invites us into his home, fills us with great food and drink. And we talk and drink long into the night. He and his band, 99 Burning, got a big gig coming up tomorrow in Baltimore, but Don’s focus is all on his guests. Making us comfortable, happy, sharing the visions of music, writing, and a better world that’s possible through those mediums. Touching people and spreading the dream. It’s a great time, a great night, to meet this man in person, hear his words, his ideas. Gives me a copy of his book, Midnight in America, and his latest cd. Also a book by Bukowski. Wants to give me more, but it’s like his generosity knows no limits.

Somehow I wake up in the morning, and we drive to New York. It’s calm, peaceful and we don’t have to hurry. Somehow we find our hotel in Newark, through the maze and madness that is east coast traffic and concrete highways going every direction at once. Change clothes, take a shower, try to find a bus to the city. The hotel shuttle driver drops us off at the terminal. He’s supposed to go to the airport, but we’re the only ones on the shuttle, and he’s nice enough to skip that. People are friendly, kind, that’s a good thing.

Some guy at the bus stop asks us where we’re headed. Tells us to get on this bus, directly to the New York port authority terminal. It’s ridiculous, but he’s interesting, somebody to talk to. We get off at 42nd Street and it’s great, the exciting, electric New York feeling is all around us. Early evening, people from everywhere scurrying to and fro in the cold wind.

My daughter wants a falafel, good idea, but we settle for gyro’s and like they’re saving on portions for some unknown future. I don’t get it, but the lamb is tasty anyway. Then tee shirts and souvenirs at the shop next door. No, I don’t wanna buy a camera at half-price; and yes, I speak Spanish. We’re looking for a tee shirt for my daughter’s little girl – mas pequeno, por favor.

Thing is, we gotta get down to the Village, find the KGB Bar. Don’t know where the fuck that is, so just get on the subway heading downtown. At Washington Square, a guy says “that’s east side – nice little fifteen minute walk.” Sounds like a New York mile to me. Nice area though, the beat atmosphere still surrounds this place, at least to an outsider.  Every few blocks we ask somebody where we’re going, most of ‘em don’t know, but we’re going there anyway. Continue reading

Kathy Polenberg - Cardboard Balcony

The Golden Age of Literature by Kathy Polenberg

(reprinted from Outsider Writers with permission)

It’s true I think, the day is come that golden is now. The delivery system that brings the bounty of golden electronically also carries out the unripe with equal efficiency and speed. I see people become anxious and jealous that the “good” is at risk of being diluted or contaminated by the “bad” which flows with equal vitality.

However- my feeling is the flow matters more. Honestly, is the torrent going to drown literature really. Like water: a single drop has the very same properties- behaves exactly the same as a lake of water. Can we only drink from the lake? Can’t we rinse and spit sometimes without forgetting the lake is there?

Every drop of water, for example, that’s ever been on this planet is still here- having been drunk by dinosaurs, having been peed by Hitler, having watered Victorian roses, having made Kool Aid and poison, been shed from tear ducts, sweat from slaves. We are writing with the mass consciousness amassed from all time. We recycle like water, and we behave singularly and like the whole of humanity at once. There is no emergency – no drought. Just a bad taste sometimes.