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DIARY 5225


1. They kinda shoulda supposed to do what they hadda.

2. She might be marvelously adjusted, but how much FUN is she?

3. What did he do, spit on his shoe? Or did somebody spit on it for him?

4. The shipping procedure is the worst procedure in the plant, or, if it WAS a procedure, it would be.

5. Marvelous picture: revolving door "Open" but man, unseeing, wanders in, pushes the door around, and walks in. He moved the open space around.

6. You'd have sex---male and female, that is.

7. What about tramp steamers? Well, her friends, the tramps, are coming back in a week.

8. She was so poor, she was wearing someone else's space shoes.

9. We're going down the path to production!

10. She was built like a very SMALL brick shithouse.

11. She was a pleasant, slightly balding girl.

12. How scarce ARE hens' teeth?

13. A woman in a girdle isn't always isothermal.

14. No matter how you look at it, the world revolves around a wet hairy hole.

15. Two-Bin system of ordering. When one bin empties, fill it from the other bin and order enough to fill the first bin. Tube in, tube out.

16. I was most impressed, to say the least.

17. If you hold on a second, he'll be here in a minute.

18. We laughed in their faces, tactfully.

19. The dog was so muffled in an oversized sweater that he could hardly walk without falling on his watery-eyed face.

20. Now THAT'S a PURE hybrid.

21. The SPIRIT is willing; but, damn it, the FLESH is willing, too.

22. I don't know what it's all about, how could I say I was enjoying it?

23. Every two weeks they got a 12-month forecast!

24. EVERYTHING he said was verbal.

25. When he flashes back, he gets repetitive. Not only does he get repetitive, he says the same thing.

26. Hashish is illegal, smoke tea and see.

27. Mistype in display book for McGraw-Hill: That's an example of impulse boying.

DIARY 5226


1. Sunny Simon on telephone: "Did you beat the meat?" Pause. "Did you beat the meat?" Pause. "I told the grocer you'd be home before he brought the groceries and meat over."

2. Miriam Kaplan on PDQ-5: I want to go down on the machine and try every combination and get further into the data.

3. Bill: I had a bowl of something for lunch, but I won't go into details NOW.

4. Sheila: I gotta check up and see the lay of the land.

5. Me: Do you want that reasonably soon?" Murray (winking): "No, unreasonably soon."

6. Cathy: And we sat there for two hours, watching the baby.

7. Me: I can summarize Singapore in one sentence: I've never SEEN Singapore.

8. Mozelle: You said that with a "but" all over your face.

9. Kathy Sullivan: "Is Phil Schafer there?" "No, he isn't." Pause. Muffled: "Is that Phil Schafer over there?" Distant: "No." "No, he isn't." Giggle.

10. Kathy Sullivan: What ass has been using my typewriter---and who's been playing with my expand?

11. Marty, Walt and Art reading, and Art shouts: "Goddam it, I've got sand in my cherry." In his Manhattan cocktail cherry, that is.

12. Marty Sokol: I'm going to miss you, like a leper.

13. Joan: She's a very pretty nice girl.

14. Joan: I keep taking pills for vitamins, but vitamins aren't what I need, but what I need they don't have pills for.

15. Joan: "Came back with Gus and Becky Pappas. She was in my class." "What was her maiden name?" "Pappas---Gus is her brother."

16. Joan: They live in a very circumcised world.

17. Me: "I'm going to a partly." Joan: "An almost?" "Take the 'l' out." "A most?" "Get the 'l' OUT."

18. Me: "To be blunt, do you have algae in your toilet?" Joan: "Tell me who he is, and I'll be GLAD to tell you if I have him in my toilet."

19. Bergensfjord---you know, that ship sponsored by the Fjord Foundation.

20. "How's the weather?" "Calm, cool, and dry." "Oh (simper), just like my underarms."

21. "Shan't I?" "Yes, you certainly shan!"

DIARY 5227


1. Mayflower Coffee Shop: "Could we share a donut?" "Sure, call over a third person and you can split it three ways, I don't care."

2. "Waddya want? I gave you as many answers (to the same question) as I COULD."

3. Parting of Su Wu and Li Ling inspired: "And this is a famous---" "Didn't the MOUNTAINS symbolize---" "Not at all!"

4. On broadcast announcement for Joan Sutherland's final aria of Traviata: "She's just been told he's coming as fast as he can from a broad to her bedside."

5. Omter,ossopm diromg Wagmer's [Well, that's SUPPOSED to be:] Intermission during Wagner's "Rienzi:" "That's being sung in Italian, isn't it?" "No, German." "Oh, I THOUGHT it was either Italian or German."

6. Woman next to me: "Would you know it, we get long hair and SHE has short hair (about some movie star). (Movie star, hell, about Mary McCarthy.)

7. The girl and boy fluttered hands together high above their heads, taken from "Judith," and she squealed shrilly, "OH, that was FUN, let's do it again."

9. "Yeah, that's a good suit to wear on a rainy day. WEAR it on a rainy day, a DARK rainy day."

10. "I like this bitter lemon." "Wassa matta, you're not regular?"

11. "This is an intermittent model mobile: it clunks every 45 minutes."

12. Comment about an opera; "It's not performed very often---it's on a Russian theme---and the music is not too familiar."

13. "No brown betty?" he asked of the colored waiter. "I'll have the raspberry tart."

14. "Focus, focus," and a querelous voice, "Both of us?"

15. "Gare d'Est? What's E-S-T?" "Is."

16. Woman tasting Cherry Heering: "Oh, it has gin in it."

17. "Does anyone have a light gray---?" "They one they just dropped?" "Yes, that's ours."

18. "If her dress was any lower, it would fall off on her." Comment at opening of Bolshoi Ballet at Madison Square Garden.

19. "Good girls are best in bed."

20. "No one's insulting you, stupid."

DIARY 5228


1. It was one of THOSE mornings. The IBM electric clock showed it was [MISSING DIAGRAM] o'clock. I must be AWFULLY late for work.

2. At the end of the Harry Smith movie (color patterns to Beatle music) and bad one (pre-Vanderbeek animations), the bald tied man walked out, talked with someone (bald? tied? you must have been looking in the mirror), and came back with "The latest Warhol, it's been on fifteen minutes."

3. At Carnegie Hall, in IMPRESSIVE silence in Bruckner's Third Symphony, the ears, empty and receptive, are promptly filled with a sneeze or a cough. AND the music that concludes, boisterously, DUM, dadumpty dumpty dun, da dum dum dum, da DA da DAAAAA! Ah-choo!!!

4. Someone should write a "Symphony for Audience and Orchestra."

5. Two men in hall, one elevator button up, one down. Elevator stops, both get on. Door closes, and as it goes up, hear a silent "Oh."

6. "A church with two colored windows." "There were no bloodstains on her anywhere." Lines recited by the colored narrator which sounded awfully silly during the "Ballad of Sad Cafe" by Carson McCullers, adapted by Edward Albee for the stage.

7. Met Opera: Guards held flaming torches, which unfortunately looked like immense tulips.

8. Lunching at Chock Full o Nuts, and there's a strange scraping squeaking that appears to be coming from the revolving door, revolving now, but nothing appears to be off center, or a fox tail not caught in the side. Out pops a plumpish lady in brown, looking like a refugee on short vacation from a nun's habit. More sacrosanct lips and eyes have never been seen outside a wimple, and the chin had the distinctive irritated marks which could only have one possible impossible source, a mad necking session with a long-ago shaved man. She smiled redly, hands clasped against her chest as she bowed into the room. "I came through the door backward." She sat across from me, smiling, and I couldn't help grinning back at her. If I were a 19-year-old boy, it wouldn't be so bad. I laughed outright. "I pushed the wrong way and I was too far in to get back out, so I came through." Thankfully, waiter interposed his bulk and hid my now embarrassed laugh. It was just TOO funny.

DIARY 5229


1. Line from Ruddigore: "Saved by the Union Jock." "Next to myself I like my union BVD's best."

2. Isaac Asimov on the Four Ages of Man: speech and fire; writing and civilization, printing and science; forget it.

3. NY Times headline: June 18, 1965: "Peace Offensive."

4. H.L. Mencken on Warren Harding's inaugural address: "It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh."

5. Life Magazine: As Alice Dalgliesh, author, editor and critic of children's books puts it: "Last year, everyone ate ALL his dinner and went to bed with no argument. Children went to bed, Bunnies and bears and pussycats went to bed. Everyone went to bed. It was stupefying."

6. 1960 was the year that the Passion Play at Oberammergau got bad reviews.

7. Oliver Jensen's version of the Gettysburg address as it might have been delivered at an Eisenhower press conference: "We have to make up our minds right here and now as I see it, that they didn't put out all that blood, perspiration and---well---that they didn't just make a dry run here, and that all of us here, under God, that is, the God of our choice, shall beef up this idea about freedom and liberty and those kind of arrangements, and that government of all individuals, by all individuals, and for the individuals, shall not pass out of the world-picture."

8. Menu at IBM for Halloween: Witches Cauldron Celery Soup 10; Haunted House Flounder Fillet 45; Baked Halloween Macaroni and Cheese 35; Hob Goblin's Turkey Sandwich with Dressing 45; Sleepy Hollow Potatoes 10; Spooky Spinach 10; Black Magic Tomatoes 10.

9. Label on a Wine Bottle: In France the Beaujolais wine-amateur prefers to drink same young. Many renowned restaurants serves it in "Cruchon" whence the brand "Le Cruchon" under which we are offering a very fruitfully wine, which can be consummated during the meal with pleasure and satisfaction. Park-Benziger and Company, New York.


DIARY 5230


1. Motion picture, copyright by Eternal Films, Limited.

2. Sign on a subway wall: "Excuse me ladies, this means you, fatso. Do you with your dual understanding, and with all cincerity beleive in Einsteins theroy of relativity? If you do, smoke LUCKYS and pull down your dress."

3. The Dig Design and Talent Shop on McDougal Street.

4. There's an "Assistant to Miss Partridge" on the program, but there's no Miss Partridge.

5. Hombre wine: only 484 a pint, 974 for a full quart.

6. The Stairway to Stardom Belly Dancing Studio on West 53rd between 7th and 8th.

7. Soiled for event of ease only [DIAGRAMS MISSING](on Latex Prophylactic dispenser).

8. Graffiti on subway poster: "A drum, a drum; Macbeth doth come."

9. Graffiti in Germantown: "Hans is a nut." In subway; "Brooklyn is foul."

10. INDECENT also [DIAGRAM MISSING] misleading sign on Tivoli marquee.
"Art of Burlesque"

11. "Wanted WAITREES / English and Spanish / Not mush experience." A sign in a restaurant on 8th Avenue in the 50's.

12. 23 New Street: "Eat em and cheat em" Seeburg's buffet.

13. Sign in cab with Y covered up: "Take your property."

14. Institute of Gravitational Strain Pathology, on Third Avenue in 70s.

15. Chronology of the Splendid Centure: 1667: Completion of St. Peters; 1688: Completion of Versailles; 1651: Hobbes Leviathan; 1678: Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress; 1667: Milton's Paradise Lost; 1670: Racine's Phedre; 1682: Halley's Comet.

16. White neon sign on the streets of Baltimore: GODISLOVE.

17. Sign on Metallurgy Hot Cell in Brookhaven "Please do not feed the alphas."

18. Sign seen: "September 30, God Loves You." No other day?

19. Graffiti near Jim's in Babylon: "Stan is immensely cool" "Mockeries of Geelaland."

20. "I'm sorry, all saddle dot---later, please," Hilarious message when trying (third time) to get a Centrex number of Poughkeepsie. First it rattled, clicked, paused, and gave dial tone. Second time it rattled, gave a vocal gasp, then died.

DIARY 5231


1. Cartoon: Pygmy wizard looking at sky through pipe held by workman.

2. Cartoon: Woman with long scarf used as a head wrapping, tied under her neck and falling down in front of her, her hands wrapped up in the material like a matching muff.

3. Cartoon: A blind man with a cane tapping, riding a bicycle.

4. Cartoon: Fellow elegantly walking, using umbrella like a cane, and tip gets caught in grating, pulling him up unceremoniously.

5. Cartoon: Watermelons and Antelopes, on a sign with a door open in front of the C.

6. Cartoon: Cop, on a scooter, buzzing along a path at 11:15 pm in Central Park, SINGING, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," over and over. HA.

7. Cartoon: The window decorator---emaciated dummies being dressed in the latest styles by a dowdy window dresser of incredibly round proportions, frowsy hair, dirty fingers, the absolute feminine antithesis of the models.

8. "Father O'Malley, my husband is going to bed with my son, my daughter's on the street, I'm pregnant by another man, my mother has killed my father and eaten him, and my aunt masturbates all day. What should I do??" "Fine, fine, Mrs. Finnegan, sure and I'll see you in church on Sunday."

9. "He was going to be 25, but then he gave it up."

10. "Hello, mother dear---in a laundry" (?)

11. It was 1977, the year of the great breakthrough in the moviemaking industry, they found an effective cosmetic to make vaccination scars disappear for Biblical epics.

12. A red head is the toilet in a Russian ship.

13. The woman 77-22-55; god, what dance does SHE do? She doesn't dance, she just crawls out on stage and tries to stand up!

14. What's the meaning of THIS (Bouquet of roses from cunt): "Read the card, read the card."

15. Two classic joke fluffs, told at the SAME lunch at the Boulevard: Mozelle: Mary and Joseph were on this donkey riding toward Bethlehem and Joseph tripped and fell and said "Jesus Christ" and Mary said "That's what we'll call the donkey." Immense laughter. Cathy: "What do they do with old bowling balls? Make rosaries for Catholics---no, for Catholic ELEPHANTS."

DIARY 5232


1. Above and beyond into Beove and Abond.

2. Put aside your life (knife).Everyone was sent running to the seats (streets).

3. Surge and forge ahead becomes furge and sorge ahead

4. Bunk-Boolean functions (Bunk came from B of Boolean+unc of functions)---lovely slip.

5. Not on your (l)wife.

6. Which came (f)wirst.

7. He wore an old priest's hassock (cassock).

8. Conversation in an elevator about EASTREN airlines.

9. Quote from Barbara Sugarman: His thinking was felonious.

10. Whore-shit.

11. A-bomb-nable.

12. Un soupcon de shit.

13. Thundermug = Bedpan, in Montana.

14. ILLINOIS, stand in FRONT in CENTER. (What does THIS mean???)

15. He was an all-around phony---sort of a stereophony.

16. Air raid backward is diarrhea.

17. Has anyone ever/Called Sacheveral Sitwell Satch?/Lit a fire/with the Paris "Match"?//Has no one never/Proven a case of ants in pants??//Thought of the "ran" that lies in France??//Hasn't anyone?

18. We saw Canada's biggest "semen" factory. 8 million barrels. "How do you pronounce it?" he asked. Not much difference, but enough, with CEMENT.

19. She shall have Muzak wherever she goes.

20. Two Chermans talking on Phone, and zaying R or L, und dey zay L, ass in Ludvig.

21. He felt phraseworthy that particular evening.

22. Joan's marvel: Just watch Finney's MOVEMENTS (in "Luther", constipated).

23. He was held captive by the hideous Wallocks.

24. His right-hand red-head (red bed?)

25. I go to the bank for a $10 foreign money order: "How much is that?" "Ten dollars and firty cents." "HOW much?" I peer in at him. He peers out at me. "Ten dollars and FIRty cents." I pause, and get out a quarter and a nickel, and I sigh with relief and leave when he accepts it.

DIARY 5233


1. They had bad taste and a faultless sense for showing it.

2. A bore is someone who doesn't talk about me constantly.

3. I wanted a magnet to pull all the artifacts into a heap in the corner of the case.

4. I have an automatic toaster that pops up even when it's NOT plugged in (ALL do it).

5. You're old the day you DON'T count how many stories a new building has gone up.

6. I'm a perfect bachelor. I can reach every part of my back to scratch it.

7. I drank my coffee, thought "Agh, that tastes awful," then looked down to wonder why my wooden spoon was still wrapped. Of course, I hadn't stirred it. and THEN I saw the two unused sugar packets.

8. "Come live with me, and be my slut, and we will all the senses glut," etc.

9. From Mensa: Why NOT have octal base number system. Time into octal, alphabetic symbols in octal. And thus rationalize the typewriter. If we don't watch out, the nuclear explosion will BEAT the population explosion AND the information explosion.

10. And underneath her curlers, she has wimples in her hair.

11. Absurd coincidence: Bill and I meet C. Ray Smith at 168th Street station, bound for Howards, and C Ray is missing his middle overcoat button, I'm missing MINE, and Bill's duffle coat's middle peg loop has BROKEN, so he can't button the middle.

12. "Ah, but I've got an ace up my ... " and I stopped, embarrassed, because the only word I could think of was "hole."

13. For first luncheon at ToBo's have French Onion Soup, English London Broil, Italian Spumoni. What? No egg roll??

14. I'm sure, if they'd been counting, they'd wondered about my laundry bag: 1 handkerchief, five towels, two washcloths, three pair of pajamas, three undershirts, one pair of undershorts (February, 1964).

15. Would an optimist or a pessimist be more likely to duck his head in going through a low doorway?

16. How complex: Laird, a New Zealander, calls from Pittsburgh and says Frank Eckerman, Londoner, is in Hong Kong. I'd met Frank in New York, when he was living in Montreal, through Laird, when he was living in Philadelphia, who'd met him in Los Angeles, way back when I was living in Akron.

DIARY 5254


The audience snickered at attempts at seriousness. The attempt brought up the chaos of contemporary life, and fiction becoming grotesque as it tried to put contemporary life on paper. But since the audience obviously attempted to SEARCH for the ludicrous in order to laugh at it, the author, in an attempt to please the vastest audience (since each person in the audience snickered at DIFFERENT things) tried to portray the greatest grotesquerie. It might even seem that the chief characteristic of the American is HUMOR. Texan and Jew and Negro make their claim to acceptance through humor. Molly Goldberg and Dick Gregory would hardly succeed as other than humorists. Thus an author tries to win readers through humor. Tennessee Williams through SICK humor. We steer clear of accuracy and distort the grotesque. Nichols and May are examples. Once
everu tjree uears sp,etjomg omterestomg ja++e
every three years something interesting happens to someone; now should art describe THAT in writing or should it describe what happens once a day, such as cleaning teeth, dressing, eating, getting into bed? Nothing seems exempt from a sheath of grotesque humor, witness the list of operas invented for Leontyne Price: Samson and Jemima, Ring of the Nigger Woman, Mammy Butterfly, Good Solder's Schvatza, Simon Bucknigger, La Schvatza del Destino, Lucia de Blackamoor, and Tan Hauser, and Ah eat a, and Tales of Harlem.

DIARY 5255
February, 1964


I sat in Mayflower Coffee Shop, desperately looking through menu that had nothing I liked. Two old ladies, gray and well dressed, ordered coffee and donuts. The coffee came, colored so that the white of the cup could be seen to the extent of an eighth of an inch before vanishing. "The coffee's not very strong here?" And she tapped the rim, possibly thinking that magically she could darken the color from black brown to black black brown. Then she bounced her fork off the donut, saying they weren't very fresh. She drank the coffee and said "Oh, that's ersatz," pause, "That's awfully ersatz." And talking about food and good cooking (both were excellent cooks, self-proclaiming) and I ordered a salad and a bacon and egg sandwich. The salad came trimmed with black, like a children's coloring book exercise, and they resumed "Can't do anything to a salad or an egg." "Not, not a boiled egg." "No, nor a fried one, either." And the egg was greasy and the bacon over-fried. The dressing in an cellulose cup came in for comment. She talked toward me and I laughed inside. "What was the name of the water that you drink in France? You can't drink the water, so you have to spend a dime to get a bottle of that whenever you want a drink. You can't drink wine all the time. Oh, what was the name of that bottled water?" The other woman suggested names, and as she was talking over at me, trying to get on my good side by praising the choice I had made of food, I longer to shout across to her "Pschitt" which I think was the name of the water, but what if that was a brand of milk?

DIARY 5256


THE STATION WAS DARK, that was the first thing that struck you. The ordinary illumination of the IRT had been replaced by a foggier yellowish bulb on the IND at 116th St. The pillars, contrasting from the crisp black and white, or the newly minted copper color, was the color of curdled cream and old wounds, a leprous, blotchy run that looked like worm-eaten wood. The between-track supports had partitions strung intermittently between them, and it was impossible to tell whether the white paint was peeling off, or the dark paint was becoming moldy in the damp. It was subtly cold, too, but you could smell the cold, rather than feel it. It smelled like a room which had been recently been used for a sweaty, urine-scented orgy, and then opened to the cold air, yet the smell residue remained, cold, yet innately hot and fetid. The "clientele" was noticeably different, being completely Negro---the only white faces I saw were those in an express which whisked past on the opposite track, as if not deigning to stop in the cold-smelly station. The attendant, like the unknowns strolling about on the platform, all were Negro. I had reverted to my original status as a hopeless minority on a planet predominately colored, whether yellow, or black, or brown. However, I didn't feel uncomfortable, I doubt if I would have felt uneasy even if I had been a woman, but then---I couldn't be sure. A brown woman in a brown coat crept up behind a brown man in a gray coat and murmured a few words. The gray coat whirled and an immense grin lighted his features, and a mirthful "He, he, he" bubbled down the platform. They were old friends. And now, talking in their quick gabble, three Puerto Ricans entered the station---looking faintly similar in color, yet their voices proclaimed their not-so-slight differences. And now, to make my feeling of minority complete, a Chinese woman, black hair flawlessly in place, neatly dressed in a navy coat and black pumps, leaned gracefully against a pillar. And the curiosity was the same, a nattily dressed teenager, or perhaps older, looking spiffy in his new black fedora and glossy cordovans, stood in a brace; against a wall close by me, turning his head in my direction every so often. Any move he made, any shift in his feet, and he edged closer to my writing desk, a weighing machine that told me I weighed 22 pounds in my penniless state---and the "Over 500 Questions and Answers" and "Questions changed frequently," sign on the top had a blankness that spoke not of pennilessness but a complete absence. How often must you change a state of nothingness? Three expresses passed in all, and the wrong local. Then, again, in a stop and a start, another local, again the wrong one, passed and I began to wonder whether my local was running. If the next local was wrong, I'd take it to the next express station and try to transfer then to the Concourse line. Off the second local stepped an uneasy looking white face, topped by a flaming red hat---he looked at me several times before he clicked through the exit turnstile. With the passing of another express I discovered that the smell wasn't actually IN the station, but was carried into the station by the passing trains. Possibly it was the breeze caused by their passing which stirred up the smell, causing it to rush out of the minute crevices and crannies into which it had settled, and was whisked into the nose again by the tumult of the passing whirlwind. Another wrong local and a trip to 135th St., strangely enough holding predominantly white faces---the majority of the colored races were Puerto Rican. This time even the scale was new, though the lights retained their insufficient yellow cast, although there were about five times MORE of them. Assured of the passing of a proper local, I stepped on the scale and began again. This had, wonder of deceit, a multi-slotted façade into which you dropped the penny according to your month of birth, each slot being conducted into the same cavernous maw. The weight scale was decoratively blocked off, so, penniless, I had no idea now much I weighed. The fortune section was covered and whether the cover concealed another black pit, or actual "dated" fortunes, I had no way of knowing. The waiting time lengthened---the "every ten minutes" for the Concourse local seemed long indeed. I determined to take another shuttle ride---this time on the Concourse express, one of which I let go by, to the preceding express station. But the next preceding one was 161st, and I saw no advantage. So an express Concourse swept past untaken. I would probably have to be bludgeoned by the passage of half a dozen A locals before I realized that something was wrong on the local Sunday scheduling that they hadn't bothered to tell the lone door-closer about.

It was 12:30 am on Monday night on the uptown BMT platform at Times Square; it was the time of the sweepers who had wet even the wooden signs, which dripped on me as I passed, the first, beneath them. The angry dry coarse voice of a woman was raised behind me and I noticed people on the downtown platform looking behind me. "C'mon, Martha, let's go, can't stay here," and the cop shoved a black woman, dressed in black, only the bottoms of her feet pale as they slapped in and out of her sockless shoes as she walked. She mumbled loudly, rolling along before the blue storm, something violent about, "Put me in jail, throw me in jail." An old man, one step between respectability and bumdom, remarked, "Every God-damned night."

I remembered the woman in the red orange skirt and chartreuse sweater who walked on varicose-veined legs into the stopped car, shoving mottled hands clasping a Playbill face down against her bag. Utterly alone, utterly plain and quiet looking, utterly dejected and discouraged. I thought of the violinist and guitarist playing the song from "Never on Sunday" in the 70th Street area on Saturday. And then the Negro woman wandered back, mumbling incoherently, and behind me the metal lip of the trash box flipped back and forth as I refrained looking at her. In a couple of minutes her voice faded away and then the policeman again, two voices raised, then the two faded into the eternal electric glow of the subway platforms that NEVER see the light of day, inhabited by people whose pallidity proclaim they were born and will die there, worm-like, in the tunnels under the great city.

DIARY 5262



Vignette: Crash of glass, another, another, and a black Ford stops, two doors open and two fellows run, wildly, down one-way street. Red Corvair follows them, down wrong direction, and doorman points "There he goes." People dash down street, Mercedes about to come out looks around. Ford sits in street, dripping vital fluids below car, onto street, it flows downhill toward 75th Street. Left light out. Other cars stop, wonder at empty Ford. Crowd gathers. Chinese go to see, come back expressing, "Found out nothing." Up to 73rd, see, in entrance to Third Avenue, the shape of a car in dust---had obviously been hit. Dust tracks out, turning right onto Third, broken glass at entrance---thus Ford WAS hit, hit another car, possibly another as there was more glass down Third a bit, then leaking started and empty Ford still stood, radio blaring from open windows. Fellow comes over and kicks door shut. People still cruising, looking alternately out into the street, and alternately at the cute people passing. Figure the kids stole a car and were trying to get away, and in their haste to leave the scene of the stealing (or maybe they were being chased in the car that hit them behind the first time---like the Corvair?) and in terror hit someone else, then the car broke down, and they ran. A building lot was the aim of one, and people chasing after gave the impression that the two runners, running scared, managed to get away. Home.

DIARY 5292


1. Odd sight to see people in clumps along train platforms in AM, the early AM, so that the commuters are old women or jacketed workers who moan and sleep on trip upstate. Later comes the suits? (Train to Poughkeepsie).

2. Woman's room without words, only fan and handkerchief and fussy items. Gent's room, only a cane. Man peeks in cautiously before entering.

3. 174th-175th Street station: Pillars stretching away to infinity, a column in an army of mottled orange soldiers, each proudly showing 174/175 for his face. The glint of light on the far rails, curving off to the right, and a mysterious upswing in glint, rails and light, looking like the dimly seen approaches of the first hill of a roller coaster, viewed from the first seat of a squeaky rocking train of cars in a tunnel of darkness leading to the endless chain---drawing up the hill. Then a rumble, and a quiver, a muffled crash, and the sound of iron rotating on iron rotating on iron, filling the air with steel dust, grinding hardnesses harder, crunching grains and pushing atoms as the leviathan thunders downward. The jar of the cars on the uneven rails, tossing the seated riders about like chalk in a box. The roar growing, and, with a strange clacking vibration directly above your head, the two insect-snake eyes come burning out of the blackness, and the green sparks from her electric claws scratch it up its sides.

DIARY 5293


1. The revolving door in Chase Manhattan bank went faster and faster as people went in and out, and the last woman through ran through, giggling, high heels clicking on hard floor. What if it KEPT on increasing, sucking in people from bank and off the street, turning into a huge human centrifuge. Funny it would be at first, then horrid with pain and screams and splintering bone.

2. Nancy's parties were inclined to be strange. Faces, masks drawn on milk, floated on blue-white smoke. Eyes became movie lenses, through which you beheld faces soft and luminous, with fuzzy outlines. Everyone floats and dissolves.

3. Ticket taker for Gray Line with two pockets, one Canadian, one American.

4. Well-played piano notes are lumps of purest crystal dropping into quiet water of the utmost limpidity.

5. The cry of the power saw resembled the implacable screams of a prehistoric baby.

6. The statue was burning under its hard, gem-like crust. The flames ate from within until the glaze on the surface was as thin as a coat of powder. With a hiss, the covering fell inward, and a small heap of debris marked the site of the statue. And soon the wind had dispersed even that tiny trace.

7. A horrible howl came from the orchestra.

8. He moved about behind the counter in a manner which convinced me he did his own choreography.

9. A lady in freefalling cape, who had obviously practiced running in front of a mirror, running with the tips of her cape turning tiny flip-flops as she jogged along.

10. Each came into the room with a conversational ball balanced on their noses. When they saw someone whose ball resembled theirs, they barked with glee and tossed their balls back and forth. The room was filled with barking applauding people, and the air was full of conversational balls, which, unfortunately, were too nearly the same to be of interest---like the smells of dog urine against a tree.

DIARY 5294


1. Drinks: Scotch on the stones, gin on the gravel, Drambuie dirt, rye rocks, bourbon boulders, port pebbles, seven-up schist, absinthe makes the heart grow fonder, daiquiri debris, pschitt on the pschale, water on the wocks, grenadine on the granite, alcohol on the anthracite, beer on the bituminous, crème de menthe coral, vodka on the zircon, tea on the tourmaline, miltown on the malachite.

2. Tumultitudinous crowds at the New Year's festivals.

3. Spring filled trees with green smoke.

4. The boating pool had goose pimples under the wind.

5. The night was a cloak, covering her to her chin in soft velvet.

6. Revival services being conducted by shysters throwing sex at old women.

7. Carrots as long as bull's pizzles, and twice as thick.

8. Yellow stanchion blinking feeble like a crushed beetle in the street.

9. Newspapers chasing in the wind like puppies---or

10. Puppies chasing like windblown newspapers.

11. The dog walked awkwardly, like a man dressed as a dog.

12. A lascivious liver like Loam//Fakes a frivolous flivver from foam.

13. Unfortunate how similar to pastor, bastard is.

14. The fart echo bounced around the tile bathroom like a mad thing fighting to get out.

15. Pawn tickets bought, selling the right to the birthright?

16. The bumblebee was a bathysphere in a pool of sunlight, skimming the floor of the ocean of air.

17. Parts of paths long placid under pools.

18. As he walked, spiders laid web tiaras on his brow.

19. The stillness was felt not as absence of movement but as the positive presence of non-movement, as if everything were making an effort to remain still, in place.

20. From Boothill: Margarita: stabbed by a gold dollar.

21. John Blair: Died of smallpox///Cowboy threw a rope over his feet and dragged him to his grave. Two suicides, Verone and Delia. Two cowboys, drowned, 1896.

DIARY 5295


1. High above, showing the thinness of the fog, stars twinkled, and even low on the horizon, where apartment lights were clouded, Venus shone.

2. Light through the leaves made all things seem the same distance, and the entrances and exits were lost, and vague fears crept in under the fog cover.

3. My long long shadow crossed a sleeping duck, and with a great splash it flew to the other side of the pond.

4. Picture of a car, wet leaves plastered about the outside, and INSIDE, in the back window, a withered branch of the SAME sort of leaf.

5. Activated sine waves of squirrels ran under the trees.

6. The crickets, formerly harsh and dry and arid, now possessed all the characteristics of moisture. Differences in resonance between dry and wet?

7. The fish pecked away at the morsels of bread in the pond. Because of their fear of the people at the edge of the pond, they struck only from the center of the pond. The number of bites, slowly, surely pecked it toward the shore. When it got too near, they all fled, and the smallest one, fearless or ignorant, continued pecking alone. There's a parallel somewhere.

8. Oil, from trees, from bodies of insects, from hotdog wrappers, skinned the surface of the pool. A microscopic breeze shook not the surface, but the colors on the surface, and a misty veil wavered over the water.

9. As in one night, all the tree buds burst their pods, which lay in a smashed moist mess on the sidewalks. The sun shot through the trees as if delighted to find green, and lit up the branches, then hit the green on the sidewalk and bounced back in joy, until the tunnel between tree and walk reverberated with a joyously green intensity of happy light.

10. The trees that display the most violently colored autumn robes are the younger ones, as if the old had not the passionate energy to turn a brilliant color, but settled for a graying orange.

11. Strange color juxtapositions: the off-orange-pink of leaves in a fallen skirt around the feet of white-limbed trees is precisely the color of the region between the legs of a tiny white toy poodle I'd seen the other morning, rearing up on its hind legs to get a better look and smell at a huge white hound coming toward her.

DIARY 5296


1. Ford Pavilion: into building and past cars in model settings (very good) of parts of the country that make cars. Then cars in fountain and up ramp through PSDQ or something of sketchy dioramas to old news clippings and past good sketches of 20's to 60's and tractor and then auto parts bank into runway line into cars, through outside port, and for all Disney dioramas (surprisingly good) the FAR entrance is the better because the cars are on the lower, nearer track. City of tomorrow is disappointing, being mainly colored plastics. Out of car and down ramp to color dioramas of steel and radar and energy and design, past sleek dreams of "atmospherics" styling (this RIGHT after car) and garbled sounds and down ramp to showroom for Aurora, Cougar II, and other cars. Past good watercolors to areas where you can select car colors and upholstery and out. I was in one hour and twenty minutes.

2. Must be some way of photographing a symphony orchestra: by blurs or filters or out of focus lenses---to make only the overall motions of violins or cellos appear---remove all random motions of the individuals, and get the SWEEPING actions of rhythms as ALL violins go up and down, as all brasses flash as they lower, as ALL basses sweep as they zum.

3. Incisive song in "Fantasticks" about the mask through which the rich view the world of the common and the poor. "Look at them beating a man dressed as a monkey, isn't that fun?" While the man bleeds and, despairing, calls for help. We toss pennies in the water and ignore the TB germs swarming after the kids who retrieve them.

4. Bach Brandenburg Concerto Number 5 playing during intermission of a horror movie series at the New Yorker.

5. Great stage gimmick: lights flashing rapidly on and off vertically casting shadow of dancers on scrim. He jumps and dances to a very strange effect. [DIAGRAM MISSING]

6. Cliff dwellers looked OK until the fellow put the green and white striped paper boater on the counter. That killed it as a possible place for meeting people.

DIARY 5297


1. Never noticed how the Germans capitalize TWO first letters of the names Christ or Jesus or God (at least in aria parts). As much of a surprise as learning one STOOD for the "Hallelujah Chorus" in the Messiah, or neglected to applaud at the conclusion of "Parsifal," or DID applaud the crucifix in the Radio City Music Hall Easter Extravaganza.

2. Too bad the Syrians and Egyptians didn't think to bury their glass objects. They're much more beautiful iridescent.

3. Museum: Pre-Christian mosaic glass. Made of canes of molten colored glass elements for the desired design. Several of these were fused and then sliced so that cross sections formed the surface. Mosaic glass was very fine and was used to line glass rooms. Millefiore, similar, lacks often the delicacy of execution.

4. Clavichord better than harpsichord, because not plucked, but struck, like piano, and can be kept vibrating, unlike harpsichord.

5. What an amusing spectacle it would be if the walls of every building with the furniture and everyone nonhuman suddenly disappeared. Secretaries above secretaries typing, filing, kissing bosses. People in apartment houses shaving, sleeping, shitting, singing. Cats curled on nothing.

6. Why it is that anything touted as sensitive (an old movie, a book, a child) is rarely, if ever, sensible?

7. The light from the candle would be worth the candle, regardless if there was a cake or not.

8. In nothing else are there so many degrees of perfection as there are in complexion. Some are so perfect that there can be no recourse to similes with rock or alabaster, or clouds or peaches or silk or cream. The complexion has the quality of skin, neither diaphanous nor stony, but infinitely tactile, not so much for its particular texture, but simply for the reality of its marvelous existence.

9. Why is it smokers drinking beer have lovely bodies and complexions, while nonsmokers drinking milk are scrawny and sallow?

DIARY 5298


1. There were THINGS in the lettuce, things which had crept or flown in and gotten caught when the head was picked. Perhaps they scurried about in green labyrinths scrambling to find the lost exit, or maybe they were crushed immediately by a hard muddied thumb, between green book-leaves of fiber. But there they were, sodden and clinging, as I ate raw leaves plucked from the head: little black motes with wings and crooked legs. When I rubbed a brownish rust spot, much of it came off in a coherent piece of broken insect carcass, limp legs clinging to my finger like in life, and I brushed it against the table thrice before it scraped off. I crunched sand left from the washing and grimaced at the thought of small heads and thoraxes splitting between my molars.

2. Undoubtedly the worst "Over $1" breakfast at the Ho-Jo's outside PoKeepsie Motor Inn. OJ was warm and tasteless. Coffee was coffee, but the plate of scrambled eggs and bacon and toast was cold and unattractive. Eggs hard and cold and seemingly artificially yellow and odorless and tasteless and (at least) greaseless; the bacon was meatless and all the fat was charred a brownish black that crumbled under the fork; the toast was symmetrically cut and placed, but that was all---it was underdone, dry, too lightly buttered, and COLD. And this for $1.20. I was later told by John to try the Diner, probably ten times as good for half the price.

3. Small restaurant (greasy spoon) surrounded by Schrafft's trucks on 22nd this side of Coronet, surprises by furnishing a two-inch mouse running down the blind pull and stumbling about in the coffee cups and plastic covers.

4. After the party at Shanghai East, fellow pours remains of tea into ashtrays to clean them, and pours the nauseating remnant into a glass. Ugh.

5. At the Tenement we went to the second floor restrooms because the third floor was drafty, and then there was a SPOON in the urinal.

6. How easy to eat fast and leave, listening to the skipping music at Tad's Steaks at 42nd Street.

DIARY 5299


1. Nude dressmaker's dummy sitting primly cross-legged with the torso above the waist not there at all.

2. Sign of the Dove---advertising itself by simply getting built.

3. Puerto Rican kids at Macy's fireworks: "Mira, mira, mira."

4. The tide of green lights swept up the avenue, carrying busses, taxis, and trucks in its thrall.

5. The white changing to green lights against the windows of Park West Village.

6. November 30, 1963: 4:10 to 4:20: two police "fix" bystanders in front of Malachy's.

7. Same: Cheery station wagon motor gurgling to itself in a sleeping neighborhood.

8. You'd think there might be one pair of Venetian blinds in certain Bronx apartment buildings? NONE.

9. New York might be nice with FREE tickets to concerts, TAILORED suits and CHEAP clothes, $2.25 for 2400 ft tapes, 884 for Polaroid film, SILENT films and FREE midnight shows, Wednesday amateurs night, discovers of Italian night club, FREE meals with Escoffiers, books 10% off, pocketbooks 20% off, cheap trips to Europe, free chess and coffee shops, cheap restaurants, neighborhoods, art galleries, sex for the asking, if you're not particular.

10. It was a night I felt alive. I got off the 101 bus at 125th Street and Old Broadway. I walked for a breathless bit in front of a Puerto Rican of great massy hair and a triangular sweet face like the head of a preying mantis. The Park began at 125th and I marveled at the stone sweep of the stairs, then had to marvel at the idea of stairs at all, and as I climbed I grasped at shadows and watched the lights of Palisades Amusement Park swing below me. The Hudson was a random collection of colored neon rods from the lights of the Park and the Spry sign flashing yellow and red. My shadow swooped along the ground on the other side of the parapet, scooping over dollops of ground at one bound. Grant's Tomb, unlighted, eclipsed the lit tower of Riverside Church which looked like, not a buttressed monolith of Styrofoam, not a wax-furrowed candle, but simply, sternly, precisely like Riverside Church, but then the cruising began and the spell ended.

DIARY 5300


1. The light on the chorus grew dim and dimmer, until the books were pulled closer to the face, or turned out toward the audience to catch reflected orchestra light. The men in the last row faded with obscurity as they turned profile and held their books above their head on the RIGHT to catch the light coming from the LEFT. Some sopranos in the dim second row gave up completely, and the chorus became ragged and fuzz-edged. Then, on the program, under Stage Director, was the Lighting Director, who was undoubtedly being hurled to blackest Hades.

2. Unique arrangement of Stokowski orchestra. The group was either amazingly young---many still must go to high school, and a scattering of beaked virtuosos. The audience was 70% silent, except for damn Bill, who insisted on Breathing exercises through the strings. What an odd assortment in orchestra: three oriental violinists and an oriental bassoonist---the only negra a female, and a timpanist. The fourth violinist had to restring a string in "Serenade for Strings" and the elaborate kitchen for Shostakovich's Tenth had to sit through both that and Kamarinskaya---in neither of which did the violins go above middle C. The layout of the orchestra produces a singularly deep and striking sound due to its arrangement. Pleasant to the eye and very to the ear---all those boxes shooting into the balcony---the picture was a bit wrecked by bassists peering from their side positions to see their music---two drummers followed the string score and the gongist (?) snoozed.

3. Not only does the second terrace of the Philharmonic Hall have better sound than the floor, the floor (with only row Z level with row A, all between in a depression) ALSO has the airy noise of the air conditioners, completely missing from higher up.

4. Acoustics of revised Philharmonic Hall are disquietingly good---sitting over at the left, it's downright unnerving to hear the left ear as full of sound as the right.

5. The beams of snow swirled the four stories from the beams to the balcony, and they draped and swirled except under the pillars, when I guess lights on the walls melted the snow from the stone at Philharmonic Hall.

DIARY 5301


1. The Lunt-Fontanne has circles in much the same way that Hell would have, and some of these bear wonderful resemblance to them. The lowest was the basement lounge---lit theatrically and dimly with spots and left in deep shadows. Lean gentlemen with haloed heads and holes for eyes glare cadaverously about, like some elegant preying hideaway denizens. The marquee lights lightly over crowds spilling into the street, and a humid breeze dissipates the smoke, but the third circle, the lobby, was cool and open and the promenade was open and casual. Up the stair to the mezzanine lobby and the wood floors and mirrors and murals caught sounds and threw them about, the noise level rose and the loudness seemed louder for being light yet smoky. The theater itself was warm, and I did not visit the top circle, highest at the top of the balcony, a padded plush passageway admitting the dear ones to their cheap seats.

2. The rolling blending melody swelled from golden lips, and the flowing curtains billowed like notes blown by wind into hollows, tone by tone, of an immense arpeggio. The microphone swayed as oscillations reinforced, then broke into jerky half-swings as a node halved the frequency of vibration. Only infrequently the wind was of the proper direction to produce a hum. A solitary man in anchored straw boater sat chin in hand, at a table reflecting light yellowly. Off-duty bassists bent back and grinned fatly at the rolling draperies that lightened and darkened themselves and the stage as they blew in and out of the lights. The wind altered the strings most, but the inferior brass had their built-in dissonance. The wind was merciless with the soprano, tossing her white voice unrulily as it tossed her white tulle. During the quiet second movement of Dvorak's "New World" the wind repented and held pent for half the term of the movement, then it regained vigor, and the flapping of papers, bending over their supports like limp ballerinas, flew modulated with the music. The string section was half-strength as bows were used to supplant the Brobdingnagian clothespins that held the music to the metal, thankfully, stands.

DIARY 5302


1. My eyeballs, behind closed lids, turned to churning smoke in my skull.

2. I rummaged among the dirty dishes for a knife not so dirty as the rest.

3. Days you never thought would come, happily have a habit of coming. So it is with days of leaving and departure on vacations.

4. I gulped the cold water until I felt my eyes start from my sockets. Were they connected, I wondered.

5. The local anesthetic was so effective I felt that I could clip a dollop of lip and not even feel it.

6. In an office building when I hear a siren, I needn't get to a window to see the STREET, simply observe the people in the OFFICE across the street and I watch them to see the progress; if it stops, or looks interesting, I take action.

7. Busy days: Pass FBI building with black Buick with bullet holes neatly through both front and back windows, with glass (but no blood) on the seats. Washing dishes, before a movie and there's a "whunk" and someone's lying in the street in front of 315 E. 70th. They struggle to reclining position, and just after ambulance leaves, a light truck comes to repair the burnt-out light just above the accident scene.

8. What an odd morning (May, 1962). Enjoy the luxury of waking to the light of the sun at 6 am and lounging, amid fantastic dreams, until 7:45. Then Dr. Moorman's office is vacant, with a sign on the mirror "Do not remove, Dr. Moorman," and he doesn't come. Then see turbine car in front of 58th Street TV station, then see Bobbie on the street, carrying one ski. Get to office to find three jobs bombed, all because of rotten tape on the card-to-tape machine.

9. The amount of sheer galling boredom generated during a scientific conference is truly phenomenal. A dull, long-winded paper, presented by a stumbling illiterate oaf, is replied to by an equally illiterate oaf, drawing on his own experience until the audience numbly fears that a second paper of the tedious length of the paper replied to is being given. The moderators clench their fists and rest their heads, conversations proliferate, and a stomach-tightening ennui clutches everyone.

DIARY 5303


1. Contoured orchards look like bits of chenille bedspreads scattered below.

2. The sun was a frozen exploding hydrogen bomb just above the horizon.

3. The skin of the plane wing vibrated back and forth, as if a tiny, frightened heart were beating within. The sight of street lights as diamonds set into the velvet of the night-flight countryside immediately reminded me of Violetta's lush black velvet gown for the third act of the City Center's Traviata. How many times could I look out the window and FEEL "Black Velvet, Black Velvet, Black Velvet."

4. Barren as the vastness of the moon, the cloud layer formed the bottom of the well of the range of vision. Lightly crumpled, speckled with the blue of underlying water, it was broken by odd spherical tufts higher than the rest, like the frozen image of a boiling surface of porridge.

5. The earth was a burnt red Mars under the setting sun, and the mountain tops were islands floating in seas of their own shadows. A prop plane droned past so far below it looked treetop high.

6. The landscape was swirled with washes of fuzzy paint. Swatches of green and rock-yellow, flashes of violet and patches of orange and yellow, and tiny individual dots of bright red. Montreal was a city of metal edges---all flat roofs had them. Peaked roofs were cobalt blue or fire red.

7. The inbound roadway swarmed with suburbanites coming to their urban work. The outbound roadway carried urbanites going to the airports to fly to work in other urban areas. The roads passed between rows and rows and rows of people going nowhere, doing no work: the cemeteries.

8. The dandelion leaves patted the mud smooth as the prop wash flattened them. Bits of stone flew away at the first blast, but others stood their ground, only to reluctantly roll uphill when the engines revved. The dandelion heads, long ago denuded of their pillowy scarves, whipped tail-like back and forth, and the weeds looked not so much like trees holding tenaciously with their roots, as lice greedily clamping their heads into the skin, even though the finger tries to scratch them off. Then the plane circled a bit and they were lost to view, to recuperate until the next whirlwind.

DIARY 5304


1. The dead quiet Second Avenue station at First Avenue and 1st Street, presumably, but not, the lower right-hand corner of Manhattan Island. Not a footfall to echo except my own---except a sound. A faraway, yet coming loud sound---a repetitious hacksaw, pebble-rolling sound. Somewhere in the column-lined caverns, someone was snoring. Red lights twinkling in the far right distance and white lights blazing on the near left. Slow footsteps down leaden steps, and pats across the concrete floor as a late-goer returns to the caverns to wait for a subway. What business had they being out at 3:15 on a Wednesday morning? I had a class to make at 116th and 7th at 9 that same morning, so I was determined to squeeze in a few hours sleep between now and then. But what business had these usually old workers in the subways at this hour? Only they, and from the fatigued look in their eyes, maybe not EVEN they, knew. Station-shaking rumbles from a great distance, and a hum growling, then quickly louder. A repercussion on the ears growing to a roar and a click and a blast of light and wind and the train thundered into the station, tossing up green lightning-sparks in its wake. Passing, it coasts up the platform and stops as I dash up to make the momentarily-closing doors; a swish, and I am inside and the door slides closed behind me. A pause, jerk, and the trip uptown has begun.

2. The train is empty, completely empty, yet its full complement of lights flash bravely in the loneliness, proclaiming that it is ready for anything that might come: from a marauding boy scout troop with impedimenta, bound under concrete walks to a tent-pitching area far, far out, to a covey of wealthy hens, home from the theater, clucking cheerfully from their black plumage. The row of yellow seats, woven synthetically into dirt-accumulating patterns. One high seat, one lumpy seat, one seat with a piece of gum, used, perched out of seating range on the edge, one seat in shadow from the lights above, one seat slanted, as if it had been sat on for years on one side and never on the other.

DIARY 5305


1. For the third Cinemateque the crowd was even more so. The poor were more ragged, they smell. The rich better, and one woman in a feather cap the IMAGE of Marienbad, and lovely blonde in long varnished straight hair surrounding impeccable makeup, and the cliques are more beautiful and talk louder and know more people and socialize more loudly. A couple were drinking and a fellow had spyglasses. The two fellows bent to talk in front of me, and the hair of the one mingled with the hair of the other, and formed a small Japanese character in the spotlight.

2. Latin Quarter: First the dancers and singers come on and introduce the show---then the cowboy mood, and the girls sit on huge horses and have feathered chaps and the two trolleys on the ceiling roll out a pistol and a hobby horse, surmounted by girls in imagination. The juggler comes out, tumbles, juggles seven balls and seven hoops and tosses seven cups and seven saucers, plus a lump of sugar and a spoon, onto the top of his head as he careens over the audience on a tall unicycle. Then come the Spanish dancers and the whining, shrill pitch of the flamenco singer, and the hand-clap and castanets of the Spanish. Another production number and the six-footers have skirts that slip over their heads and form halos of feathers. Then the gypsies, the pantomimes come on in red-checked jumpers and imitate the Andrews Sisters, John and Martha, the King and I, You're Just in Love, and take their final bows in white dinner jackets, cream scarves, black socks, and red and white checked skirts. Suddenly the corner of the room echoes with drums, and the scene lights up with surf riders and the Hawaiian dancers come on, beating themselves with their hands, juggling glinting machetes. Then the dancers come out and do a fluorescent dance, and it starts raining on the stage. The dancers juggle torches and the black light comes on and the costumes glow. They sing and dance and parade and the show at New York's Latin Quarter is over.

DIARY 5306


Watching people walking with the sun low behind them is a "new" sight. The smoothest of walkers, when covered and forcibly disconnected from their shadows, produce shadows that jerk and stop, jerk forward and stop, pulled along by a jolting string ahead of them. Probably connected with the way people bob up and down, the changes of the arms were even more striking. From above it's obvious that they're swung back and forth briskly, but translated into linear shadow-motion along the sidewalk, the arms can only be on springs, jumping up and back, and up and back, fingers always visible, as if on limber free-running springs. Shoulder-sway, alternating up and alternating down, not at all visible from above, is perfectly visible when shadow-transmitted. Even people walking, not into, but along with, their shadows are strange. They walk evenly (from above), but their shadow lengthens and shortens grotesquely as they bob as they walk. (From October, 1963)

DIARY 5322
November, 1964


PLEASANT BIT AT RUDLEYS: 10/20/64: Sit for a bacon and egg sandwich and vanilla malted before an evening at the New York City Ballet, and a violin carrier walks in and sits down two from me. I ask "Are you playing tonight?" and she says yes, and it turns out she's a sub, from knowing people in the viola section, is going on the three day tour to North Carolina after this season, and has never played "Piege de Lumiere" before. We chat and eat and she leaves, but I stay on to see the tall elegant shaved-head negro talking to the gang of toughs lolling against the counter. He's fey and inventive, and carries among other things, dead worms, an infallible conversation continuer. They take and laugh and he leaves and the fellows sit down. The enormously round, petaled short waitress rolls around the counter to wait on them. Orders taken, she bustles back to file them. She looks perplexed, then calls out to one of the boys. "What do you want on your sundae, fruits or nuts?" There's a rising "Awp" of laughter from the boys, and an amused "duh" from the questioned. What could he possibly ask for. "Ah, I'll take the nuts," and the waitress grins. I BET she knew what she was doing. She flubbed in stacking the cherry atop the whipped cream mound; the round thing rolled off the top and onto the dirty counter. She batted it, quick as a cat, then watched it intently as if to make sure she'd killed it, picked it up, wiped it off, and plunked it on top. Grinning, I left for the ballet, jotting the jotting on the way.

DIARY 5357


HE TOOK THE CAN OF FROZEN ORANGE JUICE out of the refrigerator, took the can opener down off its hook beside the sink, and opened the can. He had turned the cold water tap full on, and the cold water from the depths had come rushing through the labyrinths into the sink. He emptied the gelid orange mass into the narrow top of the yellow plastic quart bottle, then rinsed the can carefully, lid first, under the cold deluge, pouring the brownish-yellow liquid into the plastic yellow container on top of the frozen mash. He repeated the process a second time, when the water from the cleansed can poured forth slightly muddily orange. After the third time, the water flowed from the shining tin lip clearly. He dropped the dripping can into the garbage bag at his feet, then screwed the black top onto the yellow container. He shook it vigorously three or four times, then, without setting it down, unscrewed the cap. Two drops flowed down the smooth surface from opposite sides, leaving a quantity of liquid still clinging on the ledges formed by the screw. When he fitted the top of the bottle neatly onto his curved lower lip, both sides smack up against the cracks of his mouth, and tilted it up to level the water into his mouth, the drops on the screw-ledges flowed downward to meet the corners of his mouth, and too much and too heavy to cling there by surface tension, they flowed down each side of his chin, as his throat opened and closed redly around the flowing orange stream. They flowed down the same tracts, where, in fifty years time, the chin-furrowed frown lines of old age would sit in toothless splendor.