Saturday, March 24, 2007
25 Years of LIFE Cafe at 10th St. and Ave. B
Thursday, March 22, 2007
22 March ,2007 : 0212 hr.s ,On Avenue A
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
21 March , 2007 : First Day of Spring on Avenue A
Peter Missing in NYC
Peter Missing of the former East Village group Missing Foundation is back in the USA for a few days . Peter whose "the Party is Over" up-side-down wine glass image can still be found on the walls and sidewalks of the East village, is now living in Hamburg.
I ran into Peter today in Tompkins Square Park where he was sitting in the low sun of the afternoon before spring begins .The last time I saw Peter things were not good for him : he had no money, no job and no place to live and it was very cold living on the street .He was painting paintings and trying to sell them on avenue A . He left New York last winter or early spring with the help of friends and went back to Germany where he had been living since leaving NYC a few years earlier .
Today unlike when I saw him last Peter had some money and a place to live :he has work as a set designer in Hamburg and a place to live along the banks of the Elbe that he can actually afford .
Peter is a New Yorker by birth having been born in the Bronx and still has family there . Like so many others Peter was forced out of this town because there was no place for him that he could afford . He could not earn enough here to pay the typical confiscatory rent but in Germany as a foriegner he has found a place to live that does not require that he work three jobs to pay the rent .The job that he has as a set designer pays well enough that he has time and money to live his life .Peter is also respected as an artist with some stature in the world ,something that he could not find in his home town . Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned here for Mr. Bloomberg , Mr. Doctoroff and Ms. Burden.
www.petermissing.com for more on Peter Missing
Monday, March 19, 2007
John "Swami" Lesko : Poet ,Then and Now
Then was more tha ten years ago in another century on avenue A. John had just returned from a short stay in the hospital and was showing us his "zipper". The "zipper" was where the surgeon had reached into him to clean the interior of his abdomen and the other two holes were :on his right where the knife went in and on his left a drain hole created by the surgeon .Standing there wounded and revealed on avenue A John recited a new poem for us.
A few nights earlier there had been a dispute over money and drugs and dope-sick"Sloth" and Bobby were in desparate need of a fix. Angry and sick , Sloth encouraged ...and Bobby stuck the knife into John's belly. Bobby went to jail for a year or so ,John went to the emergency room and Sloth walked free. At least thats how I remember the story in the short form .
Now was today on avenue A at St. Marks Place in the presence of a number of old-time friends including Jim Power and Jesse Jane.John does not come to the East Village much these days so there was much to talk about .We talked about the old days on A ,the current war , Vietnam, the 1st Marine and its upside-down insignia on his beret,friends not seen for a long time and poetry and publishing .John also recited a couple of new poems .
John has always been a poet , a real poet and not the kind that you find at the so-undercontrol poetry slams that are so popular in downtown NYC today. His life is poetry . He has lived poetry ,blending the constructive and destructive into a life and a collection of poems .
Recently along with creating new poems John has been collecting and copyrighting the poems that he has written over the years ,old and new, inorder to publish a book of his collected poems .
I have somewhere under a pile of papers and pictures , an earlier printed collection of his poems that I can not find . They are worth reading . I'm sorry that I do not have them available to present here for reading .
As writing this again reminds how much has changed here on avenue A... I also recall that just a few weeks ago another person that I know from the neighborhood walked up to me and revealed his "zipper" and its two accompanying holes
An Intimate Encounter in Tompkins Square Park a Few Springs Ago
Woman with a Gun
When I pressed the shutter release it looked like the real thing and the thought occured to me that it might be my last photo ...a cop also thought it was real and started to draw a bead on Hot Dog but luckily someone shouted out that it was only a toy gun as they took the gun from Hot Dog and raised it high for all to see .She was drunk and screaming while brandishing nothing but a toy gun ....and now that I think of it ,why was old man John wearing a dress that night?
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Meteorological Phenomena Associated with Church Towers
Lucy's on Avenue A- No 2
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