10 track album
more than a year later, resonating more than ever.
Photographs from my latest adventure in Hilton Head, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia.
(through with my baby!), rushed up to Adam and Frank’s, woke them up again, wrestled on the floor, made noise, Sam tore my T-shirt off, bashed the lamp in, drank a fifth of bourbon as of old in our tremendous days together, it was just another big downcrashing in the night and all for nothing… waking up, I, in the morning with the final hangover that said to me, “Too late”— and got up and staggered to the door through the debris, and opened it, and went home, Adam saying to me as he heard me fiddle with the groaning faucet, “Leo go home and recuperate well,” sensing how sick I was tho no knowing about Mardou and me—and at home I wandered around, couldn’t stay in the house, couldn’t stop, had to walk, as if someone was going to die soon, as if I could smell the flowers of death in the air, and I went in the South Francisco railyard and cried.
Cried in the railyard sitting on an old piece of iron under the new moon and on the side of the old Southern Pacific tracks, cried because not only I had cast off Mardou whom now I was not so sure I wanted to cast off but the the die’d been thrown, feeling too her empathetic tears across the night and the final horror both of us round-eyed realizing we part—but seeing suddenly not in the face of the moon but somewhere in the sky as I looked up and hoped to figure, the face of my mother—remembering it in fact from a haunted nap just after supper that same restless unable-to-stay-in-a-chair or on-earth day—just as I woke up some Arthur Godfrey program on the TV, I saw bending over me the visage of my mother, with impenetrable eyes and moveless lips and round cheekbones and glasses that glinted and hid major horror that I might shudder at, but it didn’t make me shudder—wondering about it on the walk and suddenly now in the railyards weeping for my lost Mardou and so stupidly because I’d decided to throw her away myself, it had been a vision of my mother’s love for me—that expressionless and expressionless-because-so-profound face bending over me in the vision of my sleep, and with lips not so pressed together as enduring and as if to say, “Pauvre Ti Leo, tu souffri, les hommes souffri tant, y’ainque toi dans le monde j’va’t prendre soin, j’aim’ra beaucoup t’prendre soin tous tes jours mon ange.”—”Poor little Leo, poor Little Leo, you suffer, men suffer so, you’re all alone in the world I’ll take care of you, I would very much like to take care of you all your days my angel.”—My mother an angel too—the tears welled up in my eyes, something broke, I cracked—I had been sitting for an hour, in front of me was Butler Road and the gigantic rose neon tne blocks long BETHLEHEM WEST COAST STEEL with stars above and the smashby Zipper and the fragrance of locomotive coalsmoke as I sit there and let them pass and far down the line in the night around that South San Francisco airport you can see that sonofabitch red light waving Mars signal light swimming in the dark big red markers blowing up and down and sending fires in the keenpure lostpurity lovelyskies of old California in the late sad night of autumn spring comefall winter’s summertime tall, like trees—the only man in South City who ever walked from the neat suburban homes and went and hid by boxcars to think—thought and the Good Lord or whatever’s put me here to suffer and groan and on top of that be guilaty and gives me the flesh and blood that is so painful the—women all mean well—this I knew—women love, bend over you—you’d as soon betray a woman’s love as spit on your own feet, clay—
That sudden short crying the railyard and for a reason I really didn’t fathom, and couldn’t—saying to myself in the bottom, “You see a vision of the face of the woman who is your mother who loves you so much she has supported you and protected you for years, you a bum, a drunkard—never complained a jot—because she knows that in your present state you can’t go out in the world and make a living and take care of yourself and even find and hold the love of another protecting woman—and all because you are poor stupid TI Leo—deep in the dark pit of night under the stars of the world you are lost, poor, no one cares, and now you threw away a little woman’s love because you wanted another drink with a rowdy fiend from the other side of your insanity.”
And as always
Ending with the great sorrow of Price Street when Mardou and I, reunited on Sunday night according to my schedule (I’d made that week thinking in a yard tea-reverie, “This is the cleverest arrangement I ever made, why with this thing I can live a full love-life,” conscious or Mardou’s Reichian worth, and at the same time write those three novels and be a big—
etc.) (schedule all written out, and delivered to Mardou for her perusal, it said, “Go to Mardou at 9 in the evening, sleep return following noon for afternoon of writing and evening supper and aftersupper rest and then return at 9 P.M. again,” with holes in the schedule left open on weekends for “possible going out”) (getting plastered)—with this schedule still in mind and after spending the weekend at home steeped in that awful—I rushed anyway to Mardou’s on Sunday night at 9 P.M., as scheduled, there was no light in her window (“Just as I knew it would happen someday”)—but on the door on a note, and for me, which I read after quick leak in the hall john—
“Dear Leo, I’ll be back at 10:30,” and the door (as always) unlocked and I go in to wait and read Reich—carrying again my big forwardlooking healthybook Reich and ready at least to “throw a good one in her” in case it’s all bound to end this very night and sitting there eyes shifting around and plotting—11:30 and she hasn’t come yet—fearing me—missing—(“Leo,” later, she told me, “I really thought we were through, that you wouldn’t come back at all”)—nevertheless she’d left that Bird of Paradise note for me, always and still hoping and not aiming to hurt me and keep me waiting in the dark—but because she does return at 11:30 I cut out, to Adam’s, leaving message for her to call, with ramifications that I erase after a while—all a host of minor details leading to the great sorrow of Price Street taking place after we spend a night of “successful” sex, when I tell her, “Mardou you’ve become much more precious to me since everything that happened,” and because of that, as we agree, I am able to make her fulfill better, which she does—twice, in fact, and for the first time—spending a whole sweet afternoon as if reunited but at intervals poor Mardou looking up and saying, “But we should really break up,we’ve never done anything together, we were going to Mexico, and then you were going to get a job and we’d live together, then remember the loft idea, all big phantasm that like haven’t worked out because you haven’t pushed them from your mind ut into the open world, haven’t acted on them, and like, me, I don’t—I’ve missed my therapist for weeks.” (She’d written a fine letter that very day to the therapist begging forgiveness and permission to come back in a few weeks and advice for her lostness and I’d approved of it.)—All of this unreal from the moment I walked into Heavenly Lane after my crying-in-the-railyard lonely dark sojourn at home to see her light was out at last (as deeply promised), but the note, saving us awhile, my finding her a little later that night as she did finally call me at Adam’s and told me to come to Rita;s, where I brought beer, then Mike Murphy came and he brough beer too—ending with another silly yelling conversation drunk night.—Mardou saying in the morning, “Do you remember anything you said last night to Mike and Rita?” and me, “Of course not.”—The whole day, borrowed from the sky day, sweet—we make love and try to make promises of little kinds—no go, as in the evening she says “Let’s go to a show” (with her pitiful check money).—”Jesus, we’ll spend your money.”—”Well goddamnit I don’t care, I’m going to spend that money and that’s all there is to it,” with great emphasis—so she puts on her black velvet slacks and some perfume and I go up and smell her neck and God, how sweet can you smell—and I want her more than ever, in my arms she’s gone—in my hand she’s as slippy as dust—something’s wrong.—”Did I cut you when I jumped out of the cab?”—”Leo, it was baby, it was the most maniacal thing I ever saw.”—”I’m sorry.”—”I know you’re sorry but it was the most maniacal thing I ever saw and it keeps happening and getting worse and like, now, oh hell—let’s got to a show.”—So we go out, and she has on this little heartbreaking never-seen-by-me before red raincoat over the black velvet slacks and cuts along, with black short hair making her look so strange, like a—like someone in Paris—I have on just my old ex-brakeman railroad Cant Bust Ems and a workshirt without undershirt and suddenly it’s cold October out there, and with with gusts of rain, so I shiver at her side as we hurry up Price Street—towards Market, shows—I remember that afternoon returning