Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Mary Jane Deranged

Years ago I wrote yards of copy for ART News and smoked marijuana every day. I’d rise every morning with my wife, Erika Rothenberg. We’d eat. Erika would head off to midtown and her job as an art director at McCann-Erikson. Then I’d have an anxiety attack. Sometimes I’d curl up back in bed. Generally, however, I’d light a joint. Then I’d phone another poet, usually Ray di Palma. We’d yak about, for instance, the grandeur of literature and the pettiness of other poets. His wife also worked 9-5 in advertising. Finally one of us would ask, Are you stoned?

Yes. Reassured, I’d start my day. Caffeine helped with the ART News copy. And this went on for years.

Then one summer weekend Erika and I and Susanne Ostro and her boyfriend decided to rent a car and drive up to Mohonk. I smoked my j at dawn, then took the subway to Avis. The three of them seemed sober, so I wandered off, and let them negotiate. I was hungry. I had a slice of pepperoni pizza.

Then we started our drive, and I promptly got car sick. I had fallen victim to the munchies! Disgusted with my behavior, I threw the pouch of marijuana out the window. Suzanne’s boyfriend braked the car and retrieved the dope. It was, Suzanne reported, strong stuff.

The last toke I ever took was with Gregory Corso and Herbert Huncke at Roger Richard’s bookstore. I had a headache for three days.

4 Comments:

Blogger ellen kahaner said...

Hi Michael,
Ah, so you were stoned all the time. Didn't realize that. You have a son... wow. I have a daughter named Sylvia. She's 5. My husband is reading her Prince Caspian right now. Great to read your words after such a long long time. - Ellen Kahaner

5:40 PM  
Blogger ellen kahaner said...

Hi Michael,
You have a son... wow. I have a daughter named Sylvia. She's 5. My husband is reading her Prince Caspian right now. Great to read your words after such a long long time. - Ellen Kahaner

5:42 PM  
Blogger Billy said...

Now that's what I call a story.

7:07 PM  
Blogger howardmarks1980 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:45 PM  

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