Too Much World

Oh, our depleted and romantic history. And concerning the irony of a physical spiritual icon—or the ability to transcend the evolution of the thinking man: a back porch, an attic. Literal and never metaphoric. Oh this was painful bliss, an invested commencement, a well intentioned arrival, occurrence, emergence. As in, one turn after another, into a spiral of creation. And my skin was in needles, inflamed. There is nothing so painful and removed and lonely as the first full commitment to art. There is no initial solidarity. There is no greeting hall or handshake. It is an isolated entrance, under an extorted, stolen image of the very soul of man. There, it is the unbecoming of the cultural and social self and the becoming of the vast and expendable and expanding single observer. Perhaps, athletically, the baptism is like trying to hold your breath under water with the intent of never returning to the surface. My lungs do not burn. But my skin is inflamed and I am on fire. I am on fire and I am under water. There are always beginnings, simple beginnings. I am not always on fire. But the bleeding events of this weekend, years later, left an acute memory of paralysis: too much world. I was stranded in the turnstile, at first. There have been few moments as embarrassing as the immediate, yes even hasty, return to a social environment after peacefully inhabiting the personal refuge of self-reflection. Next, I stood on the A train for most of the evening, re-adjusting my outfit, patting my hair and asking for, even looking for: Bleeker Street—no, the headquarters for the modern revolution. I have been away for a minute, I explained, only to be ignored, shunned, mocked. Where is the cultural capital of New York City, I asked, by now no longer ashamed but very frightened. I had begun to sweat, as was my custom. It was an absurd question, I gathered, from the responses, the stares—but really? Why? Absurd because the Capital was most assuredly at Bleeker Street or absurd because it most certainly did not exist. No, the latter could not possibly be true. No collective consensus? No hub of intellectual pursuit—the very hunt. Oh, we loved the hunt. Oh, I loved the hunt. The snap into a cultural world after undigging the social phenomena, after seeing principle. Ah, I finally deduced, I was alone. I was always alone. I left the A train in upper Manhattan walked into a Deli in early morning and read the Post. Ah, carnal and incestuous starvation: cannibal starvation. It had started, years earlier, with Nicole. The unethical and inappropriate union, underlining spiritual sex: there are only guidelines in the social order, really. Pretense, coy verbal petting, an engagement of subtle touches. Yes, an infatuation. There is no spiritual survival without extension and I am convinced, still locked in infantile obsession, to achieve extension, expansion. No, it was an amusement, a distraction. I was locked, trained, in meditated attacks: made a pass at me! I have returned to the A train, standing again, no longer hungry—yes, no! I am voracious, I laugh. There is a return in me, finally, a return. I can think, for a moment and see. It did not start with Nicole. The mirrors in the changing room on the fifth floor of Filenes basement—I am this person. It is early morning now, on the train, commuters, readers, activists, some of them, mules, others. Where is the cultural capital, I ask again, a different crowd, not as stranded or strangulated by their own self images, comforted by releases, by the construction and the formulation of idea, principle, evolution. Maybe. It is here, a woman says, mid-thirties, lean, provocative, eager, clever. She points at her breasts or at herself and laughs and exits the train and turns around, looks again, over her shoulder, skirt knee length, coy. Oh, we loved the hunt. I follow her off the train, but not really. I stop on the platform, below ground and wait for another train to run through the city following the endless starvation of a cannibal crowd, an incestuous mantra, a depleted and saturated and uncompromising history.

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