Martes, Pebrero 28, 2012

Wonderful World

Wonderful World
for Anne Waldman
July 23, 1969

“I,” I mused, “yes, I,” and turned to the fenestrations of the night beyond one of Ada and Alex Katz’s windows. Deep in Prince Street lurked thin sullen fumes of Paris green; some great spotty Danes moved from room to room, their tails went whack whack in a kindly way and their mouths were full of ruses (roses). Flames in red glass pots, unlikely flowers, a spot of light that jumped (“Don’t fret”) back and forth over a strip of moulding, the kind of moulding that spells low class dwelling—I, I mused, take no interest in the distinction between amateur and pro, and despise the latter a little less each year. The spot of light, reflected off a cup of strong blue coffee, wasn’t getting anywhere but it wasn’t standing still. They say a lot of gangsters’ mothers live around here, so the streets are safe. A vast and distant school building made chewing noises in its sleep. Our Lady of someplace stood up in a wood niche with lots and lots of dollar bills pinned around her. The night was hot, everybody went out in the street and sold each other hot sausages and puffy sugared farinaceous products fried in deep fat (“Don’t put your fingers in that, dear”) while the band played and the lady in the silver fox scarf with the beautiful big crack in her voice sang about the young man and how he ran out in front of the stock exchange and drank a bottle of household ammonia: “Ungrateful Heart.” Big rolls of paper were delivered, tall spools of thread spun and spelled Jacquard, Jacquard. Collecting the night in her hand, rolling its filaments in a soft ball, Anne said, “I grew up around here,” where, looking uptown on summer evenings, the Empire State Building rears its pearly height.

by James Schuyler

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