Saturday, June 4, 2011

Shadows of a Man

A whole man
is replaced by memories
the memories
are replaced by the records
and they scatter 
and scrunch 
beneath this and behind that
like shadows

You can put them in a zip-log bag
wrap them in bubbly plastic
and put them in a safe
but you can't stop them sneaking away from you

A photograph of the man
becomes just a photograph
and only sand-like remains 
remain like sand

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Walking Chopsticks

This was probably done in around 97 - 98.

The writing at the top reads:
      I should have been a pair of chopsticks
      Sitting across the floor of Chinese restaurants.
       (paragraph repeated)

I've been doing a paint project of the south half of the apartment, finally.
It should be finished tomorrow.
All the dirt and marks we produced together over the decade will be gone, and I'm a bit reluctant to let go the colorful stains of oil paint on the studio wall.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Again found in the old Mac.  This piece was titled "Cancer" by him.
I don't know the date written but sounds like much later than the time cancer was found in 2004.

I had cancer. The doctors found it growing in my left lung. I called my doctor one day, finally, after running a fever for more than six days, and asked what I should do about it, as it wasn’t going away, and also I had a constant, hacking, cough, and so does one just ride out a fever like that or what? Doctor urbina told me to check myself into the hospital.  K and I took the train into the city to st vincent’s hospital in the west village. 

I was admitted immediately at the emergency room. I didn’t know when I went in that it would be a week before I came out again. I lay on a gurney in the emergency room for most of the afternoon. I had a fever so I remember it as being very dreamy with images drifting in and out; the old white guy across from me looking over the top of his sheet, the insane black man next to him, about my own age, who kept ranting, the various doctors, nurses, nurse’s aides, interns and hospital administrators who showed up and looked down at me, poking around and asking questions. I lay there listening to the never ending series of sounds which the patient monitoring machines make. The hums, the trills, the rhythmic pulses. I would soon get to know these sounds individually. I was constantly distracted and bothered by the sound of the iv drip, the sounds of the monitors of my vital signs which became insistent when something became unattached or I breathed too slowly, the morphine drip when I pressed the attached presser, not to mention the sounds of other patients and their machines. 

Waiting in a wheelchair to get an x-ray one day I saw a young black man stretched out on a gurney unconscious or pretending to be, and his iv drip was beating a loud three-note sequence, and it went on and on and no one did anything about it. I wheelchaired up to the high desk where the middle-aged looking black women who arrange the x-ray procedures and said that guy’s iv isn’t working. It keeps beeping a malfunction. One of them went over to look at the guy, but then I was sent into the x-ray room and when I came out the guy was gone (the x-ray guy was the same guy who did the first x-ray in the emergency room, and he asked if I remember him which of course I did on account of his pronounced limp).

Finally, after lying there in the emergency room a guy came up to me and wheeled me away down a hallway and around a corner and parked me against a wall and said to wait to be x-rayed. At my feet, across the hall on the other side of the door to the x-ray room two white cops were non-chalantly interviewing a black man wearing cuffs who just as non-chalantly answered their questions and commented pithily on the ironic turns of fortune which befall us all. Gimpy ed, if that was his name, finally came out and wheeled me into the x-ray room where we did together a kind of formal dance called putting the patient in position and taking the patient’s picture. Merce Cunningham would have loved it, the soundless barefoot and white-sneakered movements, the smart clicks, bangs and sweeps made by ed’s manipulation of the slide. Back in the amergency room I was approached by interns who seemed so young, and I’m not even that old. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Application Form for Millionaire

I've found a blank application form for the TV show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" that D must have downloaded -- the saved date was July 2007.  

I remember that he actually went to the audition for that show.  When he told me that he was going to it, I asked why, and he said he wanted to be on TV.   He? Wants to be on TV?   It was so unlike him I thought, but I didn't really care - sometimes a man wants to be on TV, fine, whatever. 

Flashing thoughts just came -- is it possible that he did it because he was worried about me after he's gone?  Did he feel so sorry for me that he wanted to leave some money?   ... Nah! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

More Found

A couple more of D's writing was found in our old Mac.  This one was written in December 2006. (He didn't put the date but Mac did)  The last letter "P" indicates it was unfinished, but I kind of like the way it is - "P" serves as a period.   (I don't know if the story makes sense or not, but this surely does sound like his voice.  

There’s this geezer named Paulo who wrote about giving education back to the people, having the learners be responsible for their own learning and leaving the teacher as a sort of facilitator between students and any information or access to information they might require. I have a lingering guilt about what I impose upon students. My values have an effect on the language I use. But I sometimes imagine Paulo arguing with his students (or flock. He was also a priest).

P: what do you want me for today?
S: we wanchu to teach us how buy guns
P: well I don't know um when you say we, don’t you mean I
S: no I mean we. I’m the leader.
P: well in this class technically I’m the leader, and I think all the members of the group should create the tasks for the group.
S: I’m the president of the group
P: who decided?
S: we decided.
P: when?
S: before the class, while you were inna cloister
P: why do you want to learn about guns?
S: so we can kill te bosses.
P: but thatll kill your means of production, if therz no bosses therz no work
S: we want to kill you 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dear My Mother-in-Law

I can't find any journal after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2004.  Only there are little fragments he scribbled here and there, on a little piece of paper or back of a cardboard box, things like that, and most of them, especially the recent ones, are too painful for me to even glance at.  So I don't have much more of his stuff to put on this blog.

However, the other day, I accidentally found a video he took of me with an old hand-me-down Sony camera. I had no memory of it at all, but in this short video I was knitting and D called my name many times to get me look at the camera.  Finally I looked up and said "Sorry, I was counting."   That is all in it, but his voice was disturbingly alive.  If you are interested I'll show you on your next visit.  

Here is his little drawing he did while waiting at Saint Vincent's.  I'm still upset that the hospital's gone - the building at 12th Street and 7th Avenue will turn into luxury condos I've heard.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Windy Day in Harlem

On a very windy day in April 
At the busy corner of 125th Street and Eighth Avenue,
A middle-aged black man with a white hat sang,
"Wind, blow, wind,"
and he looked around, 
then laughed like a full moon.