Posts Tagged ‘North Adams’

Friends At The Negotiation Table

24 Mar


"Them" by Gabriel Thy


Avie—did you check your MySpace blog comments this afternoon? Well, let me say this to you because when I read anything written, in a book, in a magazine, in a comic, in a blog, in a stone tablet, I ask myself. Hmmm, do I do that? Am I guilty of that? Is she, or he talking about me? Does it matter? If not, why not? Et cetera, ad nauseam...

Of course, like any hot-blooded Dylanista worth his own sense of wayward mystery tramp, we all think Bob Dylan has written directly to us as individuals for the past forty years, and you have even picked up on the phenomenon—with your praises of many of the notes I have sent you the past couple of months. But let me be clear. I DO NOT think you have come on too fast, nor am I afraid of boldness and directness, or anything we have or have not shared, but I will tell you that those early heady days of Facebook jollies were just that, a newness, a folly, a guilty pleasure, a time-killer when I was home sick for weeks on end, a journey sure to end on an anti-climatic note, an odd take on reality, a complete waste of time except for the enjoyment we created.

I can kick ass with the best of the headbangers, but I'm more comfortable with a book or a philosophical treatise. You should have noticed by now that I have abandoned most of those Facebook apps that are nothing more than will-o-wisps I can blow away with the might of a well-sculpted paragraph, and prefer reciprocity in that arena to the pokes and superpokes with their respective one word iconographies in play.

Cracked-Facebook-LogoBelieve me. I'm not trying to strike a pose as a superior being or some nonsense like that. I had fun when I was having fun. But the bubble has burst for me. You and a couple of other friends welcomed me to Facebook with a bang. I thank you for that bit of personal ego stroking.

The long and short is I spend hours every day in study and in writing, keeping my blogs at operational speed. My radio station has been running on autopilot since September. My need to paint, and show, and sell them suckers doesn't get enough properly structured and vested time as it is, what with the symptoms of this broken down thyroid I carry in my throat, my bulging waistline, and creeping age all toss me—mostly sinus and skin allergies to the cotton clothing I wear, fatigue, tremendous aches, pains and head smog, all leading to a generalized exasperation in struggling to do all that I want to do without attaining anything of value much more than the rare passersby making a two-minute web visit for any of it.

I press on because the alternative is absolute stone cold unassailable darkness and its ugly cousin, loathsome failure.

We almost never entertain in our home, and rarely go out once we make it home after returning from our daily grind. I am simply more jealous of my energy now that my own death seems closer to me than when I first launched The Scenewash Project in 1996, as an early pioneer. Point is I'm a haunted individual, not all joy and vigor as many see me I've learned. There's the public Gabriel that the underground music scene loves or loathes depending on one's sense of punk, and then there's the private Gabriel, lost in this world, unfruitful, weary and disappointed, thwarted by the dualing zodiac signs of the Libran sheep, if one is of a mind to believe THAT yack.

And since you never take up any of my offers, two issued to visit studio, which drew silence, two to gallery shows, both of which you wanted to attend, but didn't—I don't hold any of that against you—I just don't know how to accommodate you at this point.

But I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last week during our snowy trip to North Adams, MA. Pictures on their way.

Cheers, beers, and steers, and maybe you weren't talking about me at all, but...

Thanks for the Revolting Cocks,


North Adams In February

25 Feb

I. February

The season and the song are gone,
a witness in the window despairs,
rocks in her shoes, quotations, the blues...
counting by odd numbers, the wild hairs.

Missing the exuberance of biting Massachusetts chill,
boots in bright snow, mortgage at the nape of the hill.

Ours was a quick visit. Driving into icy nights,
and ink-stained maps, stowing away in New York,
embracing the inn, next morning's sun.

Back into wintry gears of the renegade,
we made our way into the lands of former textile glory,
past Great Barrington, a picture perfect town
no Hollywood set could capture, past
myths and old rumors of Alice's Restaurant
pitched a few miles in low county Stockbridge.

Snowline and map legends urged us forward,
up beyond the old brittle city of Pittsfield,
rusty industrial center of an old patriotic land
still wiping the nostrils of a certain strain
of American brave named the Berkshires.

Money had been here, and money was still
a welcomed citizen, born of mountains and streams,
horns of plenty, the rugged spirit, the artful eye.

It was obvious as we pulled into South Adams,
and a few miles further into Adams proper
that south county had given way to its poor
relations, and the songs of old mills now silent.

But bold Yankee country to this bleak southerner
was more than a romantic notion and a geographic
marvel bejeweled in the frosty hands of nature...

That those two words, Yankee and Southerner,
could still make themselves viscerally known,
not as antiquated charms in the haze of memory,
but as real challenges in the cost of living debates
patent services soon revealed one wink at a time.

II. North Adams

(to be continued)


"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""