for Lloyd Craig Blankfein
A nose for a witch in a fairy tale . . . and I would like to say something about fairy tales, also about folk tales, are they the same, what do we use to explain them, articulate them, understand them, categorize them, the botany of it, no? Zo-ology? What else or more do I have in my arsenal of critical apparatus . . . is it singular? Apparatuses?
She did, though, have a nose straight out of a fairly tale told by peasants from the Carpathian Mountains . . . Oh, yes! Witches and vampires and succubi . . . she was selling boots, yes, she was, in a store that many people come to on Broadway, around the corner from Union Square, the B&N we go to most often . . . at the top of the park. What any of this has to do with telling you something of worth about what I see, what I feel, what I know, have done—I am done. To do or not to do has been another question for me in my time, once ago . . . I used to like girls with big noses.
To be done–another question? Are all infinitive constructions questions: to be or not to . . . wherefore art though being? I have nothing more of me from me, yesterday and tomorrow and yet today. Cinderella’s sisters cut pieces of their feet off trying to fit their feet in the glass slipper–the Brothers’s Grimm are what their name says they are. The glass slipper. Another birthday has passed. In relativity physics, the fixed constant everyone forgets. All things cannot be relative . . . who does not do the same as little ash girl’s sister do to fit in here or there pieces of the self cut off or lopped off, mutilation of the selves in the Self I see hear know about have understood for some time now, husbands and wives requiring, parents and teachers and States.
Now, telling tales, tales told, all toll, the narratives exhausted? Nothing more of me from me? Tall tales I tell myself about myself, I could have expressed differently. Am I an idiot? I do not wonder out loud, or even in-loud, asking this rhetorically. I have a specially endowed penchant for asking rhetorical questions. I used to think when I was boy that ‘penchant’ and ‘pension’ were the same, an auditory confusion I perpetuated and currently like to play with; puns turn on homo-phones. . . homophobes turn on . . .
How many trees have fallen in a forest I cannot see? If no one is present to hear an ear fall, does it make a sound? No, is the answer. The same is true for a falling beaver. Sound is made in the ear. Compression waves are made in the air. (Pause.) If all things were relevant . . . you know what. You do know that of there is no one there to hear it, it does notmake a sound. Sound made in the ear; no ears? Oh well!
My ears have fallen. What is left for me to discern? All this falling down, falling down. Children’s rhymes I remember. Children I have forgotten saying what I know I used to say, singing what I used to sing. All of us falling down as the dish runs away with the spoon. Hey, you . . . diddle diddle, and all that fool’s stuff on hills or heaths and during thunder storms that rage and blow and knock me down. I remember one afternoon the skies turning nearly charcoal as the wind kicked up and jagged bolts of lightning split the sky in the distance as I stood under the awning of the Shanghai restaurant on the corner of Bath and 19th coming home from work, counting in Mississippi(s) to see how far away the storm was and will be, coming or going.
I think I remember an illustrated nursery rhyme book from when I was a boy, obliquely the living room with the full length ceiling-to-floor, corner-to-corner mirror in out ground floor East Flatbush apartment . . . the dish did run away with the spoon, the dish ran away with the spoon, obliquely, the illustration, I recollect, all about the rosy rings rising on the flesh of the plague victims. You know what we used to sing? She asked me. I shook my head no. More and more memory becoming like a jigsaw puzzle to piece or sometimes, confetti. Imagine having to piece together a jigsaw puzzle of confetti pieces.
Ring around the rosy
A pocket full of posies
All fall down
Again and again, over and over, how many times this and others, we would sing as children, five hundred years or more later, still singing the folk/children’s rhyme, Ring around the rosy. Yes, I remember from childhood; what do I recall from childhood; what can I accurately recollect? I think I can see childhood in the images I catch, assuming they are from my childhood, that they feel like my childhood, I say sometimes . . . a pocket full of posies, yes, flower petals kept in the pocket to ward off the plague . . . one in three died–one in three . . .
Yes, ashes, ashes, I recall having sung, singing as I did as would others as we would together, not knowing what would spawn such melodic outbursts . . . the flea, the flea sucking on the infected blood of the black rat, my friends, all of them falling down, one in three having died, how could feudalism continue—bubonic plague broke the back of feudalism, toppled the feudal hierarchy, created a sparsity in labor, less workers to do the work required pay to work, free at last, free at last, thank the blood sucking flea for freeing the serfs. The true beginning of capitalism. Yes, the lowly flea. Bloodsuckers that they are. Fleas, lice, bed bugs . . .
Irony, you would like to see, to seize, to say; but is it irony or just an inescapable logic that Capitalism began with the blood sucking flea? But please do not mistakenly think that I am calling anyone on Wall Street (who has survived to continue to do the same things they have been doing except in variations revised) a flea because that would make each of them small. Wall Street Investment House CEOs are not small; they are big. They are not fleas or parasites because these are small.Wall Street CEOs are vampires, big, strong, blood sucking vampires, very, very old and very,very savvy wary . . . intelligent, except for the short-sighted semi-litrate under-educated motherfuckers around them whose stupidity fuels the greed that the vampires use to suck more blood out of our social and political life. Freedom does suffer a horrible anemia.
I love hyperbole. I love juxtapositions. I love satire. Irony and satire are not always co-joined.
Yes, my brothers and sisters; a New Undead are among us . . . a Nouveau Nosferatu.