Thursday, March 25, 2010

Aimless Reading: The G's, Part 10 (C.S. Giscombe)

Giscome Road
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Giscombe, C.S.
Giscome Road

I think I bought this online. I don't know that I own any other poetry books that put the blurb on the front cover instead of the back.

I thought I'd continue the story of D this morning. The tale of his Ginsberg obsession pales in comparison to the Lou Reed saga.

Our tale begins in 1993, near the corner of Seventh and A in the East Village. Tompkins square has just re-opened and the neighborhood is slowly beginning to change. Next to the corner restaurant, 7A, there stands a small jazz club called Deanna's. Deanna is a slinky chanteuse in her late twenties-early thirties who runs the club more as a means to showcase her talent and that of her mother than to make money.

Several nights a week she brings in jazz musicians and vamps it up with standards like, "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." Sundays, there is brunch, during which Deanna's mother plays the piano and sings arias from German operas. In the audience, you'll find everyone from out of town brunchers to 15 year old squatters living on the edges of their former home, the park.

One Sunday, I am eating brunch on the sidewalk with D, who gets up to go to the bathroom. A moment after he goes inside, Lou Reed and woman walk by and disappear into a record store called Stooz. I feel excited and wait to tell D when he returns. When I tell him the news he says, O man, I have been meaning to ask him something. Where did he go?

Into Stooz, I say. I'll go pay the check.

I walk inside and pay the check. When I return to the table I ask D if Lou has left the store yet.

No, he says. I am going to give him this when he does. He hands me a book of matches with his telephone number written on it.

You're going to give him your phone number? Why?

What if he calls?

Just then Lou and his companion step out of the record store and begin walking down 7th toward 1st Avenue. D stands up and follows, while I remain seated, watching in horror as the scene unfolds. D follows them for half a block. They realize they are being followed. They cross the street. D pauses and watches them cross. He steps to the curb, looks both ways, puts the hood of his sweatshirt over his head, and follows them down the other side of the street. He begins walking faster. I can still just see them near the end of the block. D tries to catch up to them.

Lou, without turning or stopping holds out his left hand as if stopping traffic. David stops. He hangs his head. He looks dejected. He turns and heads back to our table at Deanna's.

I'll never listen to the Velvet Underground again.

What'd he say?

D, in an exaggerated imitation of Lou, shoves his hand in my face and yells, PLEASE!

This begins an obsession with Lou that lasted well into the late nineties.

To be continued...

from Giscome Road

The songs a commotion rising in the current, almost an apparition: or the shape

rises–obvious, river-like–in the blood (in the house that the blood made)

& goes on, is the fact of the "oldest ancestor," in whose

name etc description itself persists on out, not like some story, into the uplands, on into the stony breakdown, no line

between the old river god & the old man's name coming up along the river & the road:

an endless invisible present going on, a noise

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