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OBSERVATIONS: When I enjoyed New York, I took notes. Most of these are from the early 1960s, when I didn’t even date my notes. Toward the end, they start to be dated and run through 1974, with a last item from 1979 that probably doesn’t belong here.

DIARY 7418
November 18, 1966


In a way it's more terrible now, when the mind goes racing, racing, racing over the futile, fruitless courses open to it and closed to it. As an abreaction to the glaring presence of what is great in the soul, the body and the mind flee to darker corners, corners less trodden when the body was free to roam, aimlessly in search of that which would quench the fire of the soul. Before there were the movies and the plays and the books and the TV, but now the mind, freed of the crap which the years had laid upon it, realizes the futility of the movies and the plays and the books and the TV, and the body is left, desperate, turning back and forth in yearning to escape---what?---myself. Again and again I indulge in the senseless-deadening acts of masturbation which seem the height of fruitlessness, as the sperm splashes out on the hand, clenched in desire around the root of desire, striving for the roots of the desire which cannot be clenched in the hand, so that the grasping of this monkey-paw pales and grows old under the yellowing spurts of fruitless uselessness. The body yearns, and yet is the body ready to satisfy it, but the reach of the body is not toward orgasm, but toward God and love, and the words seem so hypocritical nestled closely to the dirt of the body and the spewing filth.

Yet the mind turns and turns and turns to be free. What to do this evening? Here the whole of the city is waiting for the bodies' pleasures, yet I deny myself the pleasure of the body in seeing or going or looking at, yet I'm left with a void which I fill with the transient pleasure of the body, fruitless and exhausting. That is the utter sadness of it: the pleasure is exhausting. Far from rising from its celebration, like rising from the bed in the morning after the night's celebration of sleep, with wings of release and rest, the body rises from the solitary hollow celebration with the urgency of a dry cloth, the shivering of legs tensed from the passion, the stomach-sag of the engorged through depletion. Like after the meal, when the body should be strongest, the brain-blood deserts the seat of wisdom and courses to the pit of animal digestion, draining the mind of all thought of word and accomplishment, leaving the body limp for reception, tuning the body to leap with joy at the sound of the liberating telephone bell: at least for the next few minutes I won't be compelled to think of what to do with the next few minutes. How much better these minutes could be spent: writing letters, writing strong, gripping scenes of passion between protagonists aggrandized by their emotions, speaking thoughts fraught with meaning, burdened with beauty, dazzling with brilliance. Yet I have no ear for the cadences of speech, and can write only in a limping simulacrum of a literary style. And what is life without style? But a stupid question, only to lead me astray. Astray from what? And the stupidity of my writing makes me want to dash down the pen, though even the romance of that poetic gesture is impossible, I sit at an electric typewriter, lulled by the buzz of the mechanisms of the machine, and lulled even deeper by the melancholy of my mind, I continue to type, hoping to exhaust myself in digital dexterity, until I feel tired enough to fall asleep and wake for what I hope is a better tomorrow. But what have I to hope for from tomorrow? Our tomorrows we create today, and I sit in my lethargy, unable to do anything. True, I have a cold, yet is this an excuse? Yes, the body cries: I am weakened and crave sleep (then why don't you sleep when you lay down, like yesterday, at 10 pm? No, you toss and actually groan in your quest for sleep, which eludes you the more you seek it.) As a release for my body, I go to the telephone to call a friend (madness on Friday night), and get no answer. As I wait out the unanswered rings, my eyes rove over the books, the pleasures of the past, the fantasies of the future, the forgetfulness of no-time: ah, to lose myself again in books. But to lose myself in books is to avoid living. Reading is fruitless. Loving is all. Yet how can even the force of love, when there is as yet NO love, fight against the knowledge that it's been two months now from Canada, and still there is no great difference? So, fine, and in my compulsion, I actually count the occurrences, I have seen only four movies---and those two double features---in the space of the 50 days since I left the hospital. There has been only one play, but four operas, numerous dinners at fancy restaurants, with Herman and Madge, Lisa and Doug, weekends away and weekends shopping. Out of the 50 evenings about 30 of them were spent with people, a fantastically high number. This was what I felt I needed in Canada, the contact with people, yet that only means that I feel terrible when I am alone. Is that the lesson of Canada, that I should never again with joy spend an evening alone? And maybe this is completely the case. For, if I am alone, who am I serving? Only myself. True, I may be writing letters to other people, or talking on a telephone to other people, but cut off the outlets of seeing things, reading things, looking at things, an evening alone, save for writing letters to friends, or writing at some indefinable "epic" of literature, and what have I left?? Absolutely nothing. That's precisely where I'm at, except when I'm cleaning the apartment, or washing the dishes, or sweeping the floors, and since the most frequent of those tasks I perform no more often than once a week, there's very little to keep me away from people or from writing. Except myself and my masturbation. How terribly the mind comes back to the solitary act of self-love. How all-encompassing the evil of that act seems to be: it drains the physiological basis of love from the body, taking with it the energy and ambition to seek a firmer love elsewhere. This is the pity: the act of self-love is so completely draining that the self has no energy to rouse itself from its emptiness except through a fantastically difficult act of sheer nerve. One must simply grasp oneself (no, the phrase is too graphic) and force oneself to quit. But I can attempt to break the habit of looking at beautiful men on the streets by avoiding Central Park West, the Ramble, Third Avenue, and the Times Square area---heaven knows the temptations are strong enough on Madison, Fifth and Sixth Avenues; but now can one avoid oneself? The answer seems to lie in self-discipline, which is the antithesis of self-love. Self-discipline, saying "No" to the self when the self, tingling, feels like saying "Yes," and saying "Yes" to the self when it, lethargic, yawns "No, not NOW." Self-discipline, the enemy of self-love, in its very nature difficult, and all the more subtle since "The Prophet" and LSD and all the tracts seem to shut their eyes to the gravest sin of all: self-love. What a fine line to be drawn when love is all, and a love of oneself is requisite to love of others, yet when self-love is the antithesis of love of self. How horrible this is! I know that, literarily, I should break up the solid block of paragraph with an indentation.

But it seems so useless. The thoughts drone on in the same grooved track.

I could indent.

And indent,

Without ceasing, taking care to throw in a somewhat more lengthy thought before taking the trouble to indent again, just to add a bit of variety to the page, but

It seems so silly. It's just an escape from the tedium of self, and even the fingers tend to mistype, trying desperately to convince the body that the body is tired, the nose is running from the cold, the back is slumped in weariness over the typewriter, and the type jumbles up in the right margin as the mind refuses to sense the clang of the line-end, and the fingers, calloused, type on as if there were no stopping. Again, the lack of discipline. But now to get out of the circle. ACT. Get those letters typed---but I'm tired, and even, I excuse, this late at night the typing bothers the neighbors, and isn't it late enough that I can go to bed NOW? Yes, I suppose it is.

DIARY 7422


What a wealth of little niggling details attend the preliminary visits to a psychiatrist! Get to WAWI at 4 pm Thursday, May 19, having an appointment, and I finally get to see Dr. Wassel at 4:30. We talk a long while and she in effect asks me "Why do you want assistance?" And the only reason I can see to give is the fact that I felt so STRONGLY during the LSD experience that I wanted to SAY something, and that I wished I could be less nervous. We discussed a number of things at length during the hour and a half, during which she covered about three or four pages of yellow tablet with copious notes. She came out with one gem: "It DOES seem somewhat strange that you can get very emotional about someone wearing jangling bracelets or talking behind you at the theater, yet you say you are not able to express love emotions." A gross misplacement of emotional STRESS. A very good point. So she said she'd recommend a doctor to me sometime next week.

Arno and Miriam and Bill very happy to hear that I'm going. I wait for a call from WAWI, which doesn't come the next week, nor does it come the week after that. Tell Miriam about it and she recommends that I call THEM, which I do on Monday, June 6. Someone says she was just looking at my brochure, and that she'll call me tomorrow. She does, and refers me to Dr. Hammer. I say that I'll call him right then, and she says OK. I call him and a fogged voice tells me that he's resting because of a cold, and that he TOLD WAWI not to have me call him just then. Fine. I call him back on Wednesday, and make an appointment for 4:30 pm Friday, June 10, Go to him and talk for 40 minutes assuming he has the background of my file from WAWI. He doesn't. He says they usually send it. Arno says they usually send it, but that WAWI many times messes things up. I call Thursday, June 16, to check if Hammer's gotten it, but he's out of town. I call WAWI, and she casually mentions that I have to sign a release. About time SOMEONE told me that. I can't sign it and pick up my "chart," it must be sent to Hammer so it can't be in time for my NEXT appointment Friday, June 17. So I tell WAWI to send me the release papers. I probably won't go to Hammer beyond this Friday.

DIARY 7423


1. When anyone says, "I love you" at this point, I simply accept it as a compliment.

2. The turning point between idealism and realism is the Christmas you receive more cards than you send.

3. One trace of optimism remains: under no matter how dramatic and etching a theatrical light, regardless how stretched the skin over bone, I still cannot picture the skull within the head; but the day in which the flesh becomes transparent, revealing stretched tendons, flayed muscle, gaping holes about the dull hard bone of skull, on that day the horror of death will come upon me in force, and the optimism of youth and life will have been transcribed into the pessimism of age and death.

4. How little remains: reminder of myself manipulating artificial hands in Cleveland science exhibit. The ONLY thing I remember there---thought that struck me as I toured the IRE exhibition at the Coliseum. Two weeks from now, I would have forgotten everything.

5. There was an odor of wine, reminding me of the reception of the sacrament when I was young, when my hot wet breath would volatilize the wine-laden fingers of the priest.

6. Possible point: my early family life was so centered around non-thinking emotions---my father hollering, my mother crying and coming into my room with a knife saying "Push it in," my unreasoning quarrels with my mother about money and school and going out and working. "Damn it, I love you, stop these arguments." Being the only expression of love I can recall (except for the perfunctory "love" at the end of letters), and my mother scoffing at any show of affection between Rita and me, I got my fill of unsatisfactory emotionalism and now run from it ALL. I'm sociable, but not WARM as Arno is. I keep a strict monitor on thoughts so that they don't get emotional, yet my affability leads me to be lovable and produces troubles like Sheila and JJ, with whom I was disgusted when he revealed his desire to be Dependent, which opposed my desire for independence, a facet, though not the only one, of my avoidance of even the emotion, let along the discussion, let alone the experience of it, either myself, or by anyone loving me.

DIARY 7424


1. One man's perversity is normal everyday routine to another.

2. You give her the answers to questions she doesn't even know how to ask.

3. Idea: Day is light, but night is DARK, yet STARS are farthest man SEES.

4. The light, shot from prisms, splashed rainbows on my lenses.

5. It was bright, but not SUNglasses bright.

6. The memory of a dozen proposals is nothing compared with the reality of a single "Yes."

7. May you treasure each passing moment as if it were our last on earth, with people you love, and yet may your last moment delay until you sincerely desire it.

8. Aldous Huxley in (June, 1962) "Visionary Experiences" told of visions people could have when immersed in water, completely removed from external stimuli. Things happen which the doctor wouldn't repeat. The hermits of the Thebaid, St. Anthony and his hermits, had the same. Jean Shepherd stayed up for 12 days and saw frightening things. What makes precious stones precious? Luminosity. A brilliance that we recollect from some other world, a world that comes back in hallucination. Everything is covered with gems and glowing. Three types of people have these: children (why can't we protect this dream world of children?), certain artists, writers and composers who retained it, the third class, he said, were those who induce it artificially (not the mad, as I thought), by drugs and plants and lysergic acids; then people at the point of death.

Satanic visions. Animated geometry (I recall the Fritz Peters' red and yellow and blue crosses). And Dante and his three circles. Geometry developed into architecture, with shadows of gigantic creatures paying no attention to us. Lack of breathing causes it too, witness the yogi. Then my mymphs. People's love of spectacle, parades, ceremonies, and FIREWORKS stems from this. Then Bill and I having "possibilities." Visions of buying a portable pool and trying it. Convicts in solitary confinement get them, too. Gives one the creepy shivers. Joan of Arc, and St. Peter, and Mohammed all had visions. Vivekananda, also. Maybe write to EB about all this.

DIARY 7425


1. That's a crummy solution." "It's a crummy PROBLEM. To get out of worrying, either stop worrying, or go into depression through worry, so BOTH ways the problem is gone." Depression is a perfect place to be. You feel nothing bad, so what's BAD? They give some sort of "achphenomenon" then to feel HAPPY. "You see things very well, but not too clearly." "If you're gonna fantasize, why don't you fantasize GOOD, and then you got nothing to worry about." (May, 1965)

2. What's the matter? Jean, is there anything wrong? Say something. Sometimes you look so sad, so very sad. And sometimes I think I know why you look so sad. I promise not to be so selfish the next time. I wish you didn't worry so much. I think too much, that's my trouble---it's too bad you couldn't do less worrying and more thinking. There was no wrinkled forehead, no tear glistening in the corner of the eye, and somehow, that made it worse. Tears conjure sympathy in the hardest of hearts, and the one who cries feels a relief in begging for sympathy so directly. His eyes but one word from tears, and some black sadistic ounce of me yearned to say that word, asked to see those salt drops. His lips are full, and the corners of his mouth are the corners of the mouth of a little boy who's discovered, a bit too early in life, that there is no Santa Claus. The wordless caress, the mindless, questionless caress that would exclude family and creed and nation and God. Crushed under depths of love he holds me, and the fiend lures him onward.

DIARY 7426


1. His sorrows weighted the corners of his eyes, pulling them down and making them mournful.

2. Parents and children don't communicate; they're engaged in a contest to see who's best---have the last word and rack up points---they're in competition.

3. Why is man, today, unhappy? Because he cannot identify; there is no life around him to identify with. Malonowich paints white on white, other paints black on black, Pollack is painted amoebas/ random walks, Alber's squares, Renoir's fires. There is nothing HUMAN. In sculpture Giacometti elongates and humans scream under strains. Science finds molecular shadows under microscopes and cosmic clouds through telescopes and cosmic shrieks through radio telescopes. Movies are faceless spectacles and the TV screen is a pallid gray representation of the worst that has been thought and said. Plays now are "The Brig" of mindless torture of marines, or "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," the mindless squabble and struggle for love. Movies are blasts of sound against colored film. Buildings are huge, people laid on people, and we can't see anyone LIVING there. Boats are huge, cities are teeming, and you can't hope to know humanity. Radio and hi-fi are depersonalizing, and novels even cause people to stare at people. Where is the human being GONE?
4. Where will it end? When will it cease? Always the cycles recurring, the excuses, the nervousness, the hunger, the seeking, the elation, the despair. Recurrent, cyclic, from high to low repeating. Reading till nauseous. moviegoing until headache sets in, playgoing to satiation, trick-making to boredom, coming to exhaustion, all follow their throat-stuffing courses to fullness, and are replaced by others. Cycles of lesser quality: ballet, opera, orchestras, art galleries, museums, and about once a year an orgy of travel. Then try for the beach, then the parks and the rivers, then back to books or TV or movies. Off-Broadway, on Broadway, attempts at cocktail parties and gregariousness, spates of overtime at work. "Always at the mercy of one mad passion or another?" I SEE things, but what do I GET??

DIARY 7427


1. From Marino Institute: Why are you all here, at this meeting and this Institute? Because the old institutions have weakened in modern times---family, friendships, church (thus people have nothing to do and LOOK for something to occupy their time and out of leisure and boredom they LEAVE family and friends and come to the Institute). Lying on a couch does nothing; psychodrama develops methods of living, methods for marriage, methods for society. We transform the couch into a stage, on which life itself is lived through sound and words and actions. We want to develop methods for the future. Theater of Psychodrama symbolizes, performs actions, encounters, meetings, doing, methods. With a father named Al, a mother named Sylvia, the kids Enid and Maxine, the psychodrama mother suggests the name David Benjamin for the child and the FATHER suggests: Christian. The psychodrama came "too much too soon," but THAT'S HOW LIFE COMES," too much too soon.

2. Quote from Cue play review: "Will the new playwrights, more or less in the fashionable Absurd tradition, ever stop informing us, the captive audience, that the world is a sad and funny and wonderful and mysterious place, that communication is very difficult, that life is a strange adventure with the final destination unknown, that we are all waiting for we-know-not-what? We all know this; we agree. Let's proceed from these elementary and by now tiresome points and produce plays that help illuminate our various journeys on this small planet. One wearies of the weeping and the wailing."

3. Again, in "From the Terrace" and "Desire Under the Elms": 1) Everyone in today's world acts phony because they think the movie camera's on them and it's so romantic. 2) Anyone can fall in love with anyone if their touch is gentle enough. 3) Why do people always find the RIGHT people only AFTER they're married to the WRONG people? 4) Greed for success (Elm's farm; Terrace's career) drives one to ODD doings.

4. It's fine to feel things between people, but when you cover up the real feelings with a judicial attitude, the feelings are gone. The only thing that's pure is SHIT. You're nitpicking on shit. If you WANT to do it, DO it; if you don't KNOW if you want to do it, DON'T DO IT. From Dr. Bradford. Worrying is "playing around" in the mind.

DIARY 5007


1. Milky liquid from the cassava is quite poisonous, but heat renders it harmless.

2. The oat plant has never been found in its native wild state, but probably came from Abyssinia, the Mediterranean, and China.

3. Right-handedness and left-handedness must be learned, and integration is so habitual that the nerve ENDS in an amputated arm may send impulses which, when integrated by HABIT, will indicate pain in the amputated member.

4. From Time Magazine letter: Without consulting your watch, draw a circle, indicate the numerals 1 to 12 as on a clock face, and suspend a pendulum (such as a pencil suspended from a needle in the eraser end of a pencil, the needle dangling from a short thread) over the center of the "dial." Then ask the pendulum what time it is. Within a few seconds, your hand will stray, and the pendulum will arc back and forth at the proper time (for instance, arcing about one-third of the way between the 7 and the 8 would be 20 minutes past 7.) This is because the mind has a built-in clock that always knows precisely what hour, minute and second it is, day and night. (May, 1965)

5. Body fluids: bile, blood plasma, blood serum, cerebrospinal fluid, gastric juice, hemolymph, intestinal secretions, lymph, milk, mucus, pancreatic juice, saliva, semen, sweat, synovial fluid, tears, urine.

6. Amazing the number of smells I have:

1. Rotten meat smell of infected toe-blood.
2. Acid-sweet smell of underarms.
3. Dry dusty smell of farts.
4. Acid-sour smell of dried urine on underwear.
5. Wet soft smell of perspiration around testicles.
6. Sour milk smell of tongue coating.
7. Powerful rotten smell of long-laid tooth morsels.
8. Warm yellow smell of ear wax.
9. Smell of unwashed hair.
10. Sun smell of burnt flesh.
11. Shoe and sock smell of unclean feet.
12. Honey rancid smell of shit.
13. Airy egg smell of semen.
14. Sharp sick smell of vomit.
15. Delicate smell of clean asshole.
16. Menstrual smell of ass-wiped washcloth.

DIARY 5008


1. All the songs with the word LOVE in the title!!! No other love, a secret love, if you love me, oh, my love, be my love, so in love, once in love with Amy, I'm in love, falling in love with love, comza longa love, falling in love again, if I loved you---love is a many splendored thing, love makes the world go round, love is sweeping the country, love me or leave me, love for sale, love walked right in, love letters straight from the heart, love is strange, love is just around the corner---I love you truly, I love a parade, I love Paris, I love the looks of you, it's love, April love, etc.

2. A Paean to EB: EB is: Basis for ALL possible objective intellectual communication leading to ALL objectively produced subjective intellectual communication. EB leads to all reading material, including comic books, foreign language books, Army manuals, paperbacks, textbooks, yearbooks, handbooks, guides, photography books, commemorative books, occult tomes, AND newspapers, magazines, telephone directories, catalogs, stamp albums, scrapbooks, advertising booklets, advertisements, lists of contents on food packages, signs (STOP, Kleenex, OFF, 40 Watt, YALE, Made in Japan, 8, 75, H, 4, C-574-E, PR 3-2174, CD, 12, EXIT, Pepsi-Cola, THINK, MEN, This Side UP, RBI, 973.866, cc, Fin, sfz, SALT, PUSH, A.H.+B.C., Kilroy was here, IN, FOR SALE, DOWN, XL, Censored.)

DIARY 5009


1. Dante's Paradiso also includes the cosmic DANCE.

2. Note how photos of solar prominences look like lithe nudes writhing to be free?

3. John Martin did those IMMENSE illustrations for the Akron U "Paradise Lost."

4. Niege Parfum and Kordes Perfecta are lovely and smelly roses (Oct. 1964)

5. DOGBITCH school.

6. Hindemith and von Weber is GOOD music, by Furtwangler.

7. Tristram Hillier (1905 - ) Crucifixion is good.

8. Rockingham vases (1830) Greek Nouveau---good.

9. Buchner's "Danton's Death" supposed to be a perfect play (Chuck)

10. Just looking at Daumier's "Nymphs Pursued by Satyrs" (1848-50) and you can see Cezanne and Van Gogh coming.

11. Maurya Dynasty (Pre-Maurya (322-185 BC) Griffins, leagryphs, winged monkeys. 11th Century AD sculptor of "Woman waiting with Slytars Attended by Yakshas" partakes of Picasso's penchant for showing people from back AND side. [DIAGRAM MISSING]

12. Did you know that the name of the fellow who writes the anagram puzzle for the Sunday Times, Mel Taub, is MUTABLE? Or, in French, TU BLAME? Or, Mabel, Tu? But lame, male tub, or meal tub, it's a bum tale from that late bum, where blum ate.

DIARY 5010


1. Fortunetelling can be: Chromancy, Cartomancy, Oneiromancy, Cephaleonomancy, Tyromancy, Pegomancy, Omphalomancy, Onchyomancy, Astrajalcomancy, Oinomancy, Sycomancy, Koskinomancy, Alectromancy, Serying, and Clairvoyance.

2. Current autographs: Bette Davis, from 1962 on PM East; Birgit Nilsson on program from Cincinnati in 1963; Arthur Miller from ELT in November, 1964. Next? I DO envy Bill Hyde HIS two: Albert Einstein and Artur Rubinstein.

3. Just a few celebrities: Frankie Avalon and Sal Mineo at Sardi's; Kurt Kasner at Concerto Grosso at Philharmonic Hall; Martha Graham at Asia House, must have been Deborah Kerr with the magnificent red hair at 58th and Park; Patricia Wilde and Claudia McNeil and Lena Horne at Bambochee; Joan Fontaine at Metropolitan Opera; many more.

4. Book club savings:

Books Cost I Paid I Saved

1. Reader's Subscription $61.20 $27.15 55.6%
2. The Book of the Month $68.45 $28.31 58.6%
3. Mystic Arts Book Society $49.95 $22.10 55.8%
4. Hudson Book Club $45.30 $22.28 50.8%

Totals $224.90 $99.84 55.6%

5. Gaynelle Courts, from 25 Fifth Avenue, said "We've met, done this before."

6. La Boheme stupid at the Metropolitan Opera House: 8:05-8:40; 9:00-9:20; 9:40-10:00; 10:20-10:50, Only 105 minutes taking 165 minutes to perform.

DIARY 5011


1. Kirov movie's winter "Troika" is done to Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring."

2. Gilles Segal is the acrobat in "Topkapi."

3. Tucker Smith was "Ice" of Jets in movie version of "West Side Story."

4. Strange how the music of "Barabbas" sound like the Kyrie.

5. "Lovers of Teruel": Milenko Banovich is co-star, music by Mikis Theodorakis, photography by Claude Renoir, sets and costumes by John Dupont, screenplay and director is Raymond Rouleau.

6. Tony Perkins, ugh, but with Jeanne Moreau of France, Melina Mercouri of Greece, and Sophia Loren of Italy?

7. Orson Welles' films: 1) Citizen Kane (1941). 2) Magnificent Ambersons (1942). 3) Journey into Fear (1945). 4) The Stranger (1946). 5) Lady from Shanghai (1948). 6) Macbeth (1947). 7) Othello (1953). 8) Touch of Evil ( ). 9) Mr. Arkadin ( ). 10) The Trial (1963). 11) Chimes at Midnight (1965). And also It's all True, never released by RKO, in 1940's.

8. "Duet for Two Hands," by Mary Hayley Bell, Dr. Edward Sarclet, Herta, Abigail, Stephan Cass, Guy Klisbee; Vendetta rose; Whipcord (wipcah): Viking's drink that Brunnhilde gave to Siegfried, on Orkneys (Skayle, Skerra Brae, Hurrain, Longhope, Stadista). Norwegian song. Directed by Karl Genus on THE PLAY OF THE WEEK.

DIARY 5034


1. Who can say how much more beautiful and "acceptable" Rembrandt would be with his faces washed, or early Chinese scrolls with their original brilliant forest and field colors restored? And what, oh WHAT is in the part of the scrolls which are not unrolled?

2. Why are all feminists serious, grimly tabulating male and female geniuses, and all anti-feminists humorous, poking fun at women as presidents and deans of colleges? Before we say "should women be allowed to be great?" we should ask the real question, "What is greatness in women?" We KNOW what it is in men. In women it is more difficult to come by. She must either be ultimately rape-able (movie queens) or motherly (political queens). Beauty is tied up with greatness with women, but not with men. Cleopatra DEMANDS to be thought of as beautiful. Nefertiti must have been great, since her bust is so beautiful. This demand isn't made of men (except, again, in the case of movie queens).

DIARY 5051


1. Not quite as quiet, as it was last night.

2. At least he had some smallish solace.

3. And for dinner, fresh cherries and cheese.

4. It was bitter---bitterer---bitterest cold, and the ice hung down around us.

5. The gaunt black crow stalked awkwardly through the rustling grasses.

6. The name tottered and balanced on the tongue, on the tongue; the name tottered and balanced on the tongue.

7.Deep dank dark dire drear dim dismal distant dreadful desperate desolate decay

8. Letting Luxury's leanings waft us where they will.

9. Love was a well, into which she fell.

10. If you like names, try Hal Allan Wallach, or Dolly Ellen Wallach.

11. It was blacker than pitch, and blacker than tar, and blacker than that which is blacker. And blacker by far is the soul of the man who doesn't know WHICH is the blacker.

12. The barbarous barber of Barbe, antiquing his antique black ants, costuming his costume at cost, Los Angeles lozenges lost, the citified city just sits.

13. Ashen silk and marbled rocks, stretching out to the sea
Sun-hot sand, blond sand, like hair, carpeting all beneath.
Blue, not-blue, but gray, or green (like seawater caked with salt
Which points a sugary frosting of bitter, bitter taste)
Coats the sky, and screens the stars, and glowworms glow with glee.
Delighting in mating and skimming and skating and washing
Back with the tide---never tiring of sport until death
When they wash, and they weave in the cloud of a dream
Of that clean ashen silk, stretching far out to sea.
Of silk stretching far to the sea.

DIARY 5052


1. Such a lovely one-syllable word kids in Central Park make out of balloon: bloon!

2. "Imagiantive" from Alwin Nikolais program from October, 1964.

3. My inside is very Deli gut.

4. That remark is slam derous.

5. Mr. Orchard-Hayes.

6. Perpignon.

7. Fast as a pet de lapin; eat a bon pet de nonne.

8. Driftwood --> Riftwood, lovely.

9. Strasbourgeoise.

10. Mayday - D'aidez.

11. P I S E L E G A N T

12. C. O'S's waiting.

13. All he has are his "was's."

14. Phrase on 8th Street: enormously intimate.

15. "Mose" in Egyptian is "child." Thutmose is Tut's child?

16. Belch/squelch;mulch/gulch;emulsion/revulsion; orange/door hinge/door flange.


DIARY 5053


1. He had a right to know! He may have had a right to know, but did YOU have a right to TELL him?

2. "So what you're trying to say is---" "No, I'm SAYING it, and you're trying to UNDERSTAND it."

3. A book jacket the color of a Tootsie Roll wrapper.

4. His face turned the color of dilute mint mouthwash.



7.Names: A-ga-men-nen, Me-nal-us, A-quill-us, for Agamemnon, Menalaus, Achilles.

8. Mary, Mary, quite binary, how does your adder go?
Biquinary circuits or capacitor buckets, in a vector or column or row?
He put all his batches in 650 latches. Aviatrix/matrix.
Illegal transactions / truncated fractions.
Non-algebraical, alphanumerical, quasi-Hebraical, psycho-hysterical.
9. Phases of beauty: uncertainty, feigned innocence, snobbishness, naiveté, agitated awareness, tense concern, relaxed unconcern.

10. Titles for a New York Octet: Now I lay me, Down to sleep, I pray the Lord, My soul to keep, And if I die, Before I wake, I pray the Lord, My soul to take.

11. "Congratulations" in jest, leading to marriage in seriousness, unwittingly.

12. "You are a s _ _ t,
You are a b _ _ _ _ _ d,
You are a G _ d d _ _ _ _ d
Son of a b _ _ _ h." She chanted, over and over.

13. After Kennedy funeral (November, 1963): Kaptain Kangaroo looking jowley
and sad at 9 am Tuesday.
Sheila and Eddie over and the sofa rocking with Eddie's sobs at
the "Deposition" in Sheila's word.
Jose Glasserman coming, smiling sadly, saying the weekend was a
perfect example of the absurdity of the human race that we had
been talking about before.

DIARY 5055


1. Thoughts on getting a date with a real girl: We find that both are gay and decide to marry (she's rich, parents from Newport) and join clubs and sell each other (you can be respectable, take my wife, but go to bed with ME), and remark how awful N.Y. is and we say---if you ONLY KNEW what all goes on. On dating her: she laughs when the Russians laugh---when Carabosse goes through the floor and applauds when the corps de ballet "pitter patters" on stage to form a phalanx. She continues to talk though she's in the revolving door.

2. Milly weighed 235. She knew it, and she didn't particularly care. The weight guesser at the amusement park guessed 233, which was pretty close. Everyone else would have guessed lower because she dressed sensibly. But Georgie, her only sister's only son, would tell his friends with a laugh, "My Aunt Milly weighs over 500 pounds!" And his friends would believe him. One day Milly decided to take a vacation. (Inspired by fat woman in green dress, black socks, white shoes and sweater in honky-tonk steak house in Montreal, faced by a dish of French pastry, "My, what's in this? I'm lost, but I'm going back to the states tomorrow." And, why not, an absurd fantasy at which people could only gasp and say it must be true. We strike up a conversation (I smile when she makes some remark to the waitress, and she shouts across aisle. We talk and I take her to a gay bar, where her innocence is the hit of the evening.) She insists I come to her hotel, the best, and out of pity I go with her, and we go to bed (sex on the sofa), and it's my first woman.

DIARY 5061


1. Stewardess wandering absently through plane cabin, having forgotten how many "through" passengers had gotten off, doesn't know how many standbys to let on. What a place for a meeting, with one on, having to get off, and the other gets off too.

2. VERY odd, two people call Felt (me for Peindl, he for Whitehead), and both ask operator for person; she says line is busy, to wait, and she clicks off and I can talk to and hear HIM. Operator comes back on and I alone go to Peindl, but get cut off. Call back and operator says, "Line's not working right, and I finish the call. (Both call "Male Prostitute" and told to wait and get each other).

3. Idyllic encounter: talk on phone to customer, laugh and joke, yet both feel the other is intelligent. VERY businesslike, in the most pleasant possible way over the phone. Then the chance comes for me to go down to meet customer. He's a doll. We're taken with each other over the phone, which predisposes us to liking, and the personal meeting, with the firm handclasp, the warm smiles, the pleasant aspects in all, leads to much eye-catching conversation, and ends up in a barge in the middle of the Delaware River in a tender embrace. WOW.

4. (November, 1964): Incredible beginning for an episode: I'm sitting in the john in Philharmonic Hall, and someone in well-heeled shoes clicks in beside me and locks the door. The hem of a black coat, lined in red satin, sweeps down for a second as he hangs his coat up. Mirror-black shoes reflect the lights from below slim black hose, and the black cuffless trouser leg is visible for one second. There is an added flurry inside and all vanishes for a second, except for shadows on the floor, and then there's a very light tap on the floor. A royal blue ticket stub lies there on the floor, orchestra, F120, a good seat. A tanned hand, blond hairs disappearing into a starched cuff, disappearing into a solitary-buttoned jacket cuff, reaches down. A trimmed fingernail taps the stub once, then the forefinger clasps it against the ball of the thumb and the ticket is drawn up out of sight. He's one row in front and five to the right of me. Do I drop MY ticket? Do I smile at him? Does the floor cave in?

DIARY 5069


He blinked blindly up from his newspaper over at the Negro two empty seats from him. His great brown lips sagging open, the Negro slept, a curled-up paper in his hand, as opposed to the sleeping Negro two empty seats from HIM, who looked as if he had made a valiant effort to read his paper, open to the comic page on the seat beside him, but his dirty hatted head had slumped to about three inches from the paper, as if he were nearsightedly trying to read something written on the bottom margin of the paper. His not-too-long-since polished shoes pointed directly toward me, peeping out from under too-long, cuffless khaki trousers, spotted extravagantly with grayed grease strains. The erstwhile peruser suffered his mouth to expand in a large yawn, and I peered over at him, he jerked his head upward, but through his eyes raised, his lids appeared to remain stationary. His eyes closed again. Succumbing to the desire to sleep, he slouched over on his side, throwing his crumpled paper under his armpit as he thrust his elbow from him, and, head in hand, his eyes closed and the rocking of the subway caused his shoulders to assume a "Don't ask me" up-and-down shiver, while his head nodded yes repeatedly. And old Negress, hands folded over a rainbow-colored shopping bag, folded in her lap, bent her blue shawled head so low in her dirty gray coat that it appeared as on a headless dressmaker's dummy, or on a decapitated unfortunate who had a blue handkerchief mercifully thrown over her crimson wound. A slap of a book against the rubberized floor jolted another sleeper into wakefulness only long enough to bend over and hold the book to his chest, head bending over so low that his long, disarranged forelock could easily be acting as a random bookmark in the upper part of the book's pages. A car full of sleepers, of the semi-dead, while those who sat erect and moved suffered from the redness of eye and slope of lid which betrayed their real desires. If only there were some sort of electronic marvel, into which a coin, labeling the station desired, could be dropped, causing an intricate mechanism to wake the rider in a specific seat just before the train slowed for his stop. A pair of ubiquitous Columbia College students entered at 76th, a bit of life in the electrified morgue. The sleeper now stretched completely out in his seat, his left, upper arm stretched in a backhand, awkward fashion, as if begging for alms behind his back. Dead. 116th!

DIARY 5070


Magical moments tinctured on a glass of canvas, granitized emotions stained on slates of damask, the pictures were crucified upon the wall, while the molten emotion, moving moments writhed before them. The Village Art Show, emblazoned on the face of the city, glittering in the nine o'clock moon of a Saturday night. Aping nature, miming nature, denatured nature rampant before them, the foodstuff of thought---the people---the crude love of love and hate latent, heating, boiling, incandescent, dead---the people: mirrors and lenses, telescopes and microscopes, sieves and sponges, slicers, cutters, grinders, tapers, splicers, choppers---the people: sippers and guzzlers, tappers and smashers, glancers and starers, creepers and runners, whisperers and shouters---the people: floating before the frozen photos of fantasy. Goldfish gaping at goldfish, and slave gloating over slave. The people, intelligent, with misunderstanding; knowing, in ignorance: laughing at torture and marriage, the Pope and Lucifer, the world, the soul, beauty, other laughers, laughing at themselves laughing, and laughing at themselves laughing at themselves laughing at laughing. Crying at cops and cats and crosses and crotches and crashes and classes. Singing in showers, stepping on flowers, sipping wines, valentines, Christmas cards, get well cards, get sick cards. Looking, just looking---not laughing crying sighing---in representations and in particulars (and here the rather remarkable chronology ends).

DIARY 5071


1. In cafeteria: fellow with glass eye, realistic, yet it doesn't DILATE with the other.

2. She stepped out of her apartment and covered the sidewalk with dogs.

3. His face was framed with the classic black skull cap of crewcut, he was clean shaven, yet every curve of beard line showed clear on a flawless complexion.

4. The pink child's face of the hulking football player shone through the crowd.

5. The negress was tall, and had unnaturally blond hair. To make her taller and more ungainly she wore a high conical blond straw hat which fitted unpleasantly onto her curls, and the whole gave the tall gaunt impression Lincoln must have given in stovepipe legs and hat.

DIARY 5072


1. Robert Lowell says "Poetry" with a smile, and the word sounds: "Paaoutreee."

2. The tall fellow in the orange shirt and the strange haircut and the box marked "Electric Haircutting Kit" under his arm lifted up a little girl to see the boat.

3. He struggled, turned, struggled with the wheel. Finally, six times later, parked. Doorman walked over, said parking was restricted. Turned back to trash basket to show sign. "Why didn't you tell me before; let me kill myself?"

4. People grandly scaling the library stairs, basking in spotlights.

5. VERY well-dressed man jerking the lever and receiver in a pay phone booth located on Third Avenue.

6. Two priests boarded the bus, brothers in lanky faces and glasses. They sported unstylishly broad-brimmed hats. The bus to the airport was a bus of lonely people---no one to drive them, no one to see them off.

7. Off to see a dancer in Polynesian pavilion (from Samoa) crouched in position for a Tahitian dance, cracking his knuckles in a variation of the US style that involves snapping each of the three joints on each finger to the side.

8. He smacked and slapped his lips and tore his crinkly paper eating his taffy candy during the overture to "Faust" at Radio City Music Hall.

9. As if in further proof of the fact that anything can happen in the New York subways, a fellow boarded wearing an overcoat on June 19, when the temperature in the subway system was 89Ε.

10. The stubby stewardess clicked the plastic digits into place: 621. I stand on line for flight 621, but in her shortness she could only reach the TIME slot, and so a nonexistent flight leaves at 21 minutes past six.

11. Two girls and a boy walk into deli. Girl and boy each hold a violet plastic flower. Girl's barefoot (it's 25Ε out) and she plunks flowers in front of woman's coat, then pleads to her escort for money. They give the flowers back. They hang around the counter, the boy's frayed cuffs slopping in water. They weigh themselves and leave, are stared after by a hard-faced black woman who looks down at shoeless feet (on 57th and 6th, Oct. 1964).

DIARY 5073


1. His skin was stretched so tightly over his skull, it appeared it would take a great effort for him to close his eyes.

2. He had a tight smile, so that at most six teeth showed, not because his teeth were wide, but because his smile was narrow.

3. His hair was as unruly as he was.

4. He was fat, walking down the street with two chest shirt buttons open, and I wondered how it would be to know him, and develop a code for signaling him to button up, and what happened when a button popped completely off.

5. Don sat quietly, unmoving, his eyes hidden by his frames, turning his pencil in his hands. His ordinarily wrinkled brow was wrinkled still, but now with a puzzled, left-out anguish. He sat quietly when the younger ones giggled in embarrassment.

6. His head was triangular, from the narrow chin to wide forehead, but when he lowered his head, the triangular was there too, from hair to nose, so that his normally wide glasses had fully an inch of space to spare before they met his face.

7. The fellow had shaved merely the thickest of the beard, but then left a fringe of light blond down on his cheekbones, like grossly misplaced mustaches.

8. He laughed shortly, his face contorted, then bounced up out of his chair, turned around once, and bounced back down, laughing merrily.

9. Fellow walking down street, coat soaked, with arms outstretched as if he were about to fly away.

10. His stride was like a camel's, a stride what was indefinably different until I had decided it was due to an extra joint in the leg.

11. He walked passably oddly, moving only the upper part of his leg forward, until his knee was in its position farthest forward, and the leg took on a stork-like crook. Then the lower leg pendulumed forward, pivoting at the knee, and his other knee started moving itself forward again.

12. Legs swinging free, walking down the hill like a walking doll with hinges at the hips.

DIARY 5074


1. Old woman with snaggle teeth with horridly red lips, as if she had a mortal wound with shards of bone poking through bloody flesh.

2. The woman with the sausage legs, who looked like she was wearing two dozen pair of winter stockings.

3. She burped up an orange pool that smelled the way yellow looks.

4. Her mouth turned down in exact replica of upturned lines under her eyes.

5. The woman, frantic, clinging to her earrings in the back of a cab.

6. Overheard at Fort Meade: befurred woman in Chevrolet Impala to white and black spotted, panting dog: "Why didn't you bark when the car was rolling. You're a dumb dog."

7. Woman extracting something from rear tooth, looking very much like gaping fish with upper jaw far overshadowing lower.

8. Her sorrow was her beauty; her beauty was her sorrow. Take away the dull black hollows under her eyes, she would no longer be lovely. Put a smile on those lips, and produce mediocrity.

9. Play reading: Reading while a stranger pops the tops of beer bottles. Authoress sits, raptured, and mouths the words of the major speeches---gesticulating and emphasizing with thrusts of her clenched fists.

10. She had a mustache, and to make her upper lip look smaller she only rouged half of it, which made her look prissy. Her flesh was old and wrinkled where the tops of her breasts were attached to her chest.

11. Poor old woman whispering through clenched teeth, passing: "If I could have INSISTED---"

12. Signs of conceit on old old women: face as pale as mashed potatoes with feet in chic red shoes, nose of church steeple in black-blue stockings primping in dirty subway-pillar mirror.

13. She had the face of the prematurely artificially young.

14. She looked as if capricious time, looking for new ways to imprint age on a once pleasant face, had chewed away at her cheekbones, until the flesh sank into chafed hollows.

DIARY 5075


1. Woman off curb, man on curb, kissing.

2. Will the woman who, between 7:30 and 7:31, by the MONY clock, from 875 Fifth Avenue, wearing a mink stole, black gloves, and a lavish blue formal, stooped on her way to her husband and the doorman holding a cab door, and stand erect, saying, honest to God, "I found a penny." I'll give her two cents to allow me to film a reenacted episode.

3. A broadly hat-brimmed woman got stuck in the intersection in a Volkswagen and almost backed into a short male pedestrian, who had to stoop to see the driver, then scurried out of the way when he digested the size of her hat.

4. An ineffectual blond in a white Ford honked as she crossed the sidewalk and prepared to drive into the hotel garage. She continued to honk as I passed in back and looked down the chute and saw a black Cadillac, black chauffeured, soundless, coming up the drive. She continued to honk, but when I glanced back she was nervously backing out of the driveway---the silent black had won the war of nerves. (July, 1962---used "black")

5. She fumbled in the trash basket, pulled out a copy of the Times which she folded and gave to her escort. She then selected a copy of the News for herself and they walked on.

6. Fellow and gal necking in front of a small sports car; fellow curled up alone in back reading a newspaper.

7. Girl and boy in open apartment window, grilling hamburgers on the sill.

8. They stood kissing on the corner, his head making little thrusts into hers. They broke, she offered her hand which he solemnly shook, and they parted.

9. They sat next to each other and dipped their heads together. Though no words passed, they were communicating.

10. He wore loafers, white socks, jeans so short they didn't need turning up at the bottom, yet, mysteriously, baggy, and a suede mackintosh-type coat, and a bunch of black hair. She wore sandals over sockless feet, shapeless slacks and a square-shouldered, battered-looking, long-haired tan/yellow/brown fur coat, half hidden in back by a weird patch of scattered black hair---from her head. They were walking up Fifth Avenue, between 56th and 57th Streets.

DIARY 5076


1. No one glides and flows down stairs like the Martha Graham audience.

2. Man silhouetted in stage lighting, only head, becomes cherub when hands flutter before face with applause.

3. One usherette to another: "Ya know---she (Graham) don't really dance."

4. Ah, the rich at play at the Quebec City Festival: Buying wads of 254 tickets for carnival games. And one grande dame proudly led around by her husband as an ambulatory ticket dispenser: a loop protruding from the cleft plumb in the center of her décolleté.

5. Visible below the faded gilded parapet was a bony hand and a slender wrist on a slim forearm. The delicate fingers grasped the stained gold rail and lunged forward, clapping the heel of the hand off the rail in impatience and repressed sexuality.

6. Anyone who had once been touched by the stage seem to carry a bit of it around with them for the rest of their lives. They trundle it out and hop onto it at the least provocation: a lost friend, a new friend, a forgotten friend. A splayed hand goes to a wrinkling breast, eyes, bloodshot, revolve under shaded eyelids, the voice warbles on a wishful wobble that hides words with swoops of sweeping emotion.

7. At "The Visit": "Oh, I wanted to see The Visit. My DEAR, they opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater, and they served CHAMPAGNE between the acts," and his hands fluttered skyward in bubbly joy. "I missed it; I flew out of New York that day. It rained that day." "Yes, it certainly DID rain that day, HARD." And the eyes rolled around. "Then I flew to Johannesburg the day after it closed THERE. And I missed them in San Francisco, too."

8. Dolphins in Metropolitan Opera House: Doctor's wife talking of ill dolphins, who would swim a bit then roll over on side. Doctor feared danger of lungs filling with water. They also heard a low whistle when it went onto its side. This let OTHER dolphins know, and when "Speedy" sounded the whistle, they came in close, and turned him aright and stayed near him until his "stabilizer" was working again.

DIARY 5077


1. Frug in Peppermint Lounge and a heavyset girl stands stolidly, and male jumps around, giving the perfect analog of his sweating over a passive her in bed.

2. Little old maids with telephoto lenses standing on the steps of St. Patricks taking photos of Atlas holding the world in front of the RCA Building.

3. Fellow on 42nd, halfway between 6th and Broadway, asking in a gravel voice, "Where the hell's Time Square?"

4. "Christ," he said, making The Name two syllables, "look at the tail wagging THAT dog."

5. Waiter brings over HUGE phallic pepper grinder (3 feet long) and girl at the table asks "Was he shaking it or screwing it?" as she tried to get pepper.

6. "When are you going to find out, you ASS?" Fragment of men's conversation.

7. Man fumbling before a parking meter: "Hey, Mister, where the hell you put the dime in the God Damn Fool?"

8. "This goddam snake came through the grass and this fuckin bastard cut a fuckin dee-stick and caught him behind the fuckin head. The snake kept his fuckin mouth open and the son of a bitch lit a goddam firecracker and put it into his fuckin mouth. Blew his goddam head off, and the motherfucker said, "Look at the fuckin snake without a goddam head."

9. Man grasping for car door handle, ass against door, bent over as if trying to look under car. He bobs up and down, his head bent down, and suddenly I know what he's doing and turn away before I hear the splash-splat of vomit on the sidewalk.

10. A knot of people had tied itself on the sidewalk in front of the 404 shot bar, watching a little waistless lady shouting at a queen inside. I stopped, but grew tired as the insults included no words more formidable than bastard. "How many fathers did you have, you bastard?" "I'll bet you had ten fathers. I'll bet that's how many screwed the ass off your mother." The knot unraveled, and thus a few missed the moment of truth: "You're not a bastard, you're a BITCH," and the fop inside the window shrugged his shoulders, crossed his legs, and camped with the boy next to him.

DIARY 5078


1. Girl in elevator reading book with another under her arm. Companion: "You're reading TWO books?" Girl: "No, they're the same book." And they were.

2. Two young models, with pointed shoes and lesbian overtones, tapping toes in the post office with their model-splayed stances.

3. She wandered through the party looking like a shortwave portable with raised antenna with her twelve-inch cigarette holder.

4. The daughter hurts the mother: WHO TAUGHT HER HOW TO HURT?

5. Beady-eyed probe-nosed girl cornering back-leaning fellow into glass corner of hall as she drills a point home with leering lip and stare-eyed eyebrows.

6. A girl in a cab grimacing at herself in her mirror.

7. Girl walking down street in 40Ε weather remarking (in Bermudas), "Oh, it's too cold for serenading tonight in the park."

8. The girl ran up the apron of the stage, pushed away the matronly coquette, and hoisted herself alongside her idol, snuggled her head to his chest, and a moment later, the song was muffled by a kiss.

9. The girl in the painting looked very much like she'd just come from church on Ash Wednesday.

10. Short ugly girl bobs down street in sneakers, gesticulating at Mercedes at curb with fists in raincoat pockets, making flourishes, while ugly boy walking with her grins at me in forgive-asking embarrassment.

11. The girls in their party dresses, with their same-color shoes and purses, sat in the movie theater.

12. "I lost my lens." The pretty little girl stared at the ceiling of the elevator. "Either that or I've got a thumbprint." She blinked wildly, "I've lost it." She lowered her head into her cupped palm. A tiny disk fell out. "No, I didn't."

13. The small girl with the wave of long yellow hair and the light green dress walked gracefully to her first row seat at the Metropolitan Opera House, and every other occupant of that first row, without exception, turned towards her in loving admiration.

DIARY 5079


1. "Hey, mister, if I told you what I want, would you buy me a sandwich?" "No." Man following me into deli on Madison Avenue.

2. When I talk to hyper-sweet, super-smooth, extra-fast Eastern Airlines hostess for reservations on three flights, I'm as agonizedly exhausted as being in the SUN all day.

3. Sitting in the airlines seat, reading, I knocked the catch of my tray, which flopped obediently into service position behind my magazine. I pulled aside the book and stared uncomprehendingly at the strange appurtenance staring up at me. Then, recognizing, I grunted and flipped it back up.

4. I was so tired that the fractional G of the rising elevator almost prostrated me.

5. I was so exhausted from the previous night that when the alarm rang the next morning, I picked up the trembling alarm clock and stared at it for a moment, wondering what it was and what I was to do with it.

6. At the Bleecker Tavern I was the eye of health in the tornado of decay.

7. I looked and looked and looked at people, as if I studied them long enough, I would come to know them personally.

8. I saw the typical man backing into the wind, trying to lower a wind-inverted umbrella.

9. I slumped nude on the sofa, eating cake. When I finished, I idly picked the crumbs off the top of my stomach. Some had rolled down into my pubic hair, where it was more difficult to pick out, like lice. "What a good reason for sitting directly on the side of the spine," I thought, "Since then I wouldn't have to fish it out of that long hair at the end of the torso." I picked crosswise, crossing lower and lower, and when I dropped them onto the crumpled aluminum foil in which the cake had been wrapped, I thought they SOUNDED like lice dropping onto a piece of paper, after I had picked them off. When I had finished, a small scattering of crumbs and hair stuck to bits of the icing which had come off on the foil. This stayed on the sofa for two days, gradually being pushed more and more to the side, as I ate more and more while I read.

DIARY 5080


1. Kids talking: "The password is blood."

2. Two little girls: One: "Let's play 'Mommy'." Other (shouting): "Not it!"

3. CANOEING (October, 1962) Group of fellows changing places with the paddlers, shouting of their prowess.

4. Every so often as canoes close, "Hey, Louis, watch your hand," to the fellows in the enemy canoes.

5. Shouts of "Hey, let's ram them broadside" in fun, followed by silent seconds of furious, fruitless paddling.

6. Fellows in two canoes having a marvelous time splashing each other with their paddles, standing in their boats.

7. A boat of five screaming girls, trying to get attention.

8. Lone silent fellows butterflying efficiently past.

9. Lines of photographers and envious watchers on the shores of CP Lake.

10. The children came into the room with "boo" written all over their faces.

11. Manhattan Halloween: A little boy crouched in a doorway, triumphantly counting his loot. A tiny stack of penny candy on a corner, with not an owner in sight. A three-year-old negress, suspended between father and mother, in an ultra-soigné green taffeta dress and lavender hat, complete with veil. Bands of brigands with lipstick and charcoal on their faces, begging coin on the street. The more children you see, the more elaborate the costume, the more futile seems the pathetic effort to enjoy children's joys in an essentially adult city filled with children.

12. "Her ain't talkin' to we, cause us's doesn't belong to she."

13. Little boy in red Glouster coat struggling with heavy door blocked by books against his foot. His breathed "thank you" as I hold the door open.

14. The lost, loving, desperate look of a pallid, baggy-eyed boy walking down the street with a little dog in his arms.

15. Colored boys hop on back of bus, driver gets out and shouts, "Get off there."

16. Boys clenching jukebox like a pinball machine, almost as if he were expecting action and bells.

DIARY 5081


1. She had the hard, muscled legs of one who walked much on streets.

2. "Larry loves Alice" in a heart, with "loves" crossed out and "is dependent on" written in---found in a subway station at 116th St. at Columbia University.

3. The subway rider played piano scales on his crossed ankles on his knees.

4. Little girl sipping soda from a paper cup, periling two nuns sitting next to her, who gave the undulating red liquid sidelong glances below their black cotton above their white starched bibs.

5. Old lady in subway seriously debating items of interest to herself.

6. Man in subway greedily pulls foil from a chocolate bar and hungrily chews it down.

7. Fellow on subway, getting up, exclaiming: "Oh SHIT," grabbing fragments of his trousers up around him, showing pink backs of legs and white shorts where ENTIRE seat has been cut away. Also, many seats in that subway car had been slit. Coincidence only?

8. Sounds heard around the prone body of a man in a subway passageway: "His respiratory glands just aren't working." Sound of saliva between tongue and roof of mouth. During artificial respiration: "He's breathing now and he wasn't before." Shirt disarrayed, greenish tinge to newly barbered head, orangish cast to blood. Redhead, fat in high heels, gave out a soft "Oh."

9. She wore basic black, and her skirt was quite short. Her makeup was basic too, which is to indicate that it didn't exist. Her pimply sleazy black dress caught under her breasts and they lunged forward and downward like ponderous bags under eyes. Her legs, showing from an inch above her knees down to her also basically black pumps, were too thin to support the illusion begun by the breasts. Her hair was blond straw, each strand meticulously misplaced upon her head. Her lashless face and lipstickless lips gave the impression of a painted woman taken into the exclusive club on the East Side, who had been requested to scrub before sex, and whose only emblem of trade was the half-dozen jangly bracelets on her right wrist. I wonder if she'd used turpentine on the face?

DIARY 5082


1. "If you had a brain you'd take it out and play with it."

2. Conversation: a: "nnnnnnnn." B: (Silence). A: "You listening?"
B: (Silence). A: "Are you listening to me?" B: (Silence, pause) "Yes."

3. "This luxury, round-the-world flight is only $1800!" "One-way?"

4. "Ugh, I'm a horrible monster. I'm going to eat you alive." "Fix your hair, dear."

5. "Ohh, hoo, hoo." "Are you lost?" The little girl sounded desperately sad and clutched her crotch. "Wait a minute." And the passersby looked equally and desperately around. "Patty, Patty." "Mommy!"

6. "Bought new socks and they got holes in 'em already." "Why did you wear you spiked shoes inside out?"

7. Same waiter, in Quebec, in five seconds; "Un autre cafe pour madam?" and "Waddaya gonnahav fadinna?"

8. "Oh, such darling baby blue eyes," referring to a baby.

9. "Does that candy store on the corner sell candy?" "No, I don't think so."

10. "Remember that the last lobster I had cost $175." Heard on street.

11. Woman passing silk shoes: "Gee, how do you polish shoes like those?"

12. "She IS? Secure?? Oh, in her JOB, you mean."

13. I trip over crack in sidewalk and two elderly men in front of me spin around: "Just we was talking. It happened to me last week," said one.

14. "Your argument isn't new, your argument is the argument everyone uses who's opposed to that."

15. Graffiti on 16th Street and Second Avenue: "I like you all to God."

16. "Ah, ha ha," to woman stepping in front of me at the cab-curb. "Do you WANT it?" she asked rudely. "No," I said, as I saw another one coming.

17. Sign in snow on house steps; "We love you."

18. Mike Mao: "You should sit quietly on a boat and listen to the call of nature."

19. Bob Maldonado comes up with "You better don't" and "Crockpot."

20. "Thirteen years! Why this dog lived in that house before that landlady even came to America."

DIARY 5083


1. He scooped the small bag off the floor, and, on impulse, blew it up and popped it with an eardrum-spinning blash. He smiled and stirred his chili.

2. He reached for the pepper, then knocked it over, then shook it onto the napkin, then onto the back of his hand, then he turned his hand over and shook it into his palm. Only them had he the courage to sprinkle his soup.

3. The fellow who orders a toasted roll and strips off the top, meticulously removes the soft core, down to the outer crust, scraping away with his fingernails.

4. The fellow who looks at his tray of food as if he didn't quite know what to do with it. Bewildered he fiddled with his napkin, his spoon, his fork. He stirred his coffee, and poured salt on his potatoes before tasting them.

5. The son looked abstractedly away, chewing by habit, manipulating the food with his tongue, drawing it in from the space between the teeth and the cheeks, chewing the steak to a brown cud. The father meanwhile stared, fixedly, at the son. The son glanced momentarily at the father, then quickly down at the plate. They avoided exchanges of looks whenever possible, and spoke softly without bothering to look at the person to whom they were speaking.

6. Waitress tries to make sundae, but frosted cream dispenser seems empty, so she turns away in despair, her thick glasses glinting. A few moments later she passes it and discovers a pyramid of custard, which one more blob will overflow. One more glob and the pinnacle topples onto the tray. Lady with protognatious jaw says, "Look, it's overflowing." But girl is gone and proto looks helplessly about as tray gets littered. Cheery bustle about as egg-sized drops lurch from pinnacle to tray to floor. Proto snags myopic, and indicates broken dike. She turns, plumps handle down, switches switch off, and looks about her in presbyopic exasperation. (Happening in a California Kitchen across from the Manger Annapolis in D.C.)