A little over a year ago, I was involved in a rigorous form of Buddhist practice. I often sat at a meditation center in Cambridge. Passers through — spiritual tourists — came through that center all the time to stay for a while, some of them actually using the book A Pilgrim’s Guide to Spiritual Communities in America, to hop from ashram to retreat center to meditation halls all over the country. I remember a particular fellow who squirmed every fifteen minutes during an all-day mediation. He was dark-tanned, glowing, large, handsome. At every break he went into the kitchen to get himself a super nutrition shake: double dose of brewer’s yeast, tiger’s milk, yogurt, acidopholous, soya powder, etcetera. Then he would stand in perfect posture in the doorway of the kitchen and go “AHHH”, and go sit back down in the meditaion hall and recommence squirming. He was wearing pants with a flap over front that tied on the sides (nothing so unnatural as buttons or zippers) which gave a loin-cloth effect. His shoes were the Birkenstock flat-molded sandals, that never disturb so much as a cell of the vital skin between the toes. He had something going for every pore. On discussion nights, he always wanted to know how to get high. I wanted to take him and shake him finally, to find out why he was so desperate to feel good.
During our nation’s bicentennial it seems only fitting that we pause for a moment and reflect upon the collective genius of our founding fathers. Hundreds of volumes have already been written on their abilities and accomplishments and at least an equal number would come out this year alone if their mistresses were still alive. Alas they are not, leading us to the conclusion that consorting with such vigorous gentlemen is a debilitating proposition.
The Bicentennial is not deceptive. It is quite simple. Two hundred years of freedom from Great Britain. Like an anniversary, it is a notation of time.
While most diagnoses conclude an ailing bi-centenarian suffering from blunted thrust to blemished future, few prescribe remedies for this ailing body politic. Although two hundred years ago, a large portion of the conservative establishment of the Colonies was willing to plan and then cause a radical change in their governance, the sense of adventure that Americans are so abundantly endowed with in myth has so atrophied in this super materialistic society that none appear even able to conceive, let alone execute, the radical change in governance now needed to save this, our citadel of mongrelism. For, unless a counterforce can soon be generated to restrain the centripetals of the unreasoning democracy exercising presumed political rights with increasing inarticularity, soon the very atoms of our society may be split.
This is Carrboro — the little settlement around the depot and the cotton mill that keeps growing.
I live now like a deposed king, which is to say, with a slight air of once-proud nobility I cling to as I cling to the rags and tatters of my existence because it’s all I’ve got left. All except for one thing I was famous for as a king, and that is that I can still sing. If not as often, just as well. There is not much to sing about anymore, but when the calling arises, the gift is there.
Certainly it’s difficult to survive as a writer in America, but it may be more difficult to sustain oneself once having been published than it was in one’s first, frustrated, unpublished silence.
zone-chief No. 1, a human potentate related to the present author, a duck-shirted Uranian Rememberer, PULVERO, Overseer of Earth’s eastern seaboard.
Power is acting, doing, performing, producing. Power is directed energy. Power = desired, directed behavior → goal accomplished. Power is the hammer striking the nail, the axe cutting the tree, concentrated force changing the environment. Power-full people change (manipulate) the environment to meet their needs. Power is neither good nor bad. Power is focused ego producing or preventing change. We are children of America: power is our creed.
It might be a sin against space or reality to try to concretize things into words. Then again there is this urge to describe the moment. What is this urge? Why is it so?
Sometimes I think the only way to live is to rush. I know that makes for a very flighty vibration, none-too-steady, but I can achieve an over-all cohesivenness, and amazing lilies of creation will yawn for brief seconds bringing tears to my eyes, and all I can do is sit and cry, feeling that heavy, dripping presence.
July is the month when our bi-centennial fever may just do us in, when the epidemic of ashtrays, napkin rings, underwear, shower curtains, pendants and key chains — all emblazoned with Old Glory — will reach a tacky peak, and those who profess to be our leaders will succumb to the flatulence symptomatic of celebrations of the Fourth.
My thumb was out and Interstate 86 out of Providence, Rhode Island was getting hot. Me and my St. Bernard, Roger, were thumbing across America. It had been a messy morning. Roger goes nuts when he catches the scent of women having periods. We just had a lift from such a woman, in a Volkswagen. By the time I was able to pull Roger off her (he was going crazy), there was tattered Kotex all over the car, and it had piled into a divider, its front end crumpled. I kicked Roger many times in the ass and told him “Roger, No. Roger, No.” This is what I was told to tell him in obedience school. And we were out on the road again. A brown Plymouth pulled up. I first thought it looked a little like a cop’s car a detective’s car. But there was a man and a woman in it. Roger and I squeezed into the back seat.