Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I think I bought this online. I am not sure.
Gillian McCain also wrote another book about punk rock, with Legs McNeil. I've never met McCain, but I did meet McNeil once.
It was in the mid-nineties in New York, when I had just sort of discovered the poetry scene. I used to go to readings at the Ear Inn on Saturday afternoons. I didn't really know anyone, so I often stood off by myself in the bar, smoking and listening.
There was often this tall, lanky guy sitting near me at the bar, chain smoking. He seemed like he was there for the poetry reading, but also kind of not there, like he had come at the behest of someone else. I once asked him for a light and we got to talking. Eventually he told me his name and that he was a music writer who'd written a book on punk rock. He seemed a little surprised that I didn't recognize his name, but not offended.
The next time I went to St. Mark's Books I went directly to the music section to confirm what he'd said. I found the book and smiled to myself, but did not buy it (too broke). At the next reading I hoped to tell him I'd seen his book, but he wasn't there. I think I left NYC not long after that and never got the chance.
I have been chosen to take this message back to the world, and I don't work with just any city. I'm fixated on the placement of objects, and whiplash helps to focus my attention: swoosh, hand sliced over head. I fall in love with them when they're teenagers and date them once they're middle-aged. Immediately they prop the ladder up against the column, which I discovered is the raised eye entry into their often haphazard techniques. Hairball. I'll feel better once I throw it up. I'm regaining the ability to maintain my dignity under adverse conditions, lost in the twirling thread of enamel. There is no garden path. In my own graceful way I'm merely continuing my search for the perfect room, preferably one with a windowseat, looking out to sea.