Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fixing her Little Red Wagon

Perhaps the problem was that early one evening, soon after we encountered, which is to say soon after our romance was set into motion, I happened to remark that she’d better watch out looking all that irresistible, or I’d certainly have to fix her little red wagon. “Are you really serious?” she asked, taking me by the hand and leading me beside the bedside.
And sure enough, the very next morning, as soon as I opened my eyes -- in fact, even before I opened my eyes -- what did I see standing over in one corner of her room but a little red wagon. It was the deluxe model with big bright red wheels and polished chrome sides plus a long steel handle with a sort of stirrup on top -- a Classic of its Kind! “Guess what?” she said. “It’s broken. But fix it, and we’ll go for a little ride.” I didn’t even stop to wonder how anything could be both brand new and broken, but without another word pulled out my bag of tools from underneath the eiderdown. It took me a couple of hours to fix her little red wagon that time, but by the time I was finished it was too late in the day to go for a ride; and besides, I was somewhat tired. So I said goodbye, jumped into my car -- a little green Volkswagon -- and sped across town to my own apartment. I dropped right off to sleep ad probably would be dozing off yet except that my sleep was interrupted by the telephone. “How are you?” I asked in my best totally exhausted voice. “I’m fine of course,” she said. “You seem to forget that it’s my little red wagon that’s broken.” “Oh,” I said, “in that case I’ll be right over;” and, to make some time in the dense crosstown traffic I leapt onto my little green racing bicycle. En route, I had just enough time to notice a beautiful green park right beside her home; and it was full of hills (I couldn’t help noticing), just the right kind for riding up and down on in little red wagons. I pulled up before her door with a screech of brakes, and knocked with enthusiasm, still anxious to fix her little red wagon! This time the job was considerably more complicated, and so I decided to stay the next night; but the next morning, I was still so exhausted from fixing things that it was all I could do to climb back on the bicycle seat and pedal back to my apartment. I was just about to fall into bed back home, when I heard the telephone. “Hello,” she said; “hello; is this the repair service?” “Yes it is,” I answered, somewhat mechanically. “Well hurry up then,” she said, “It's that time again -- and this time it’s worse than ever!” So this time in order to save time in the traffic I hopped onto my little green pogo stick, and went bouncing off in her direction. But about half-way to her house the traffic grew even thicker than before, so to save some more time this time, I got off my pogo stick and took off on foot. Once more I passed the park, and finally arrived at her door, panting for air and crawling on all fours. “Water, water!” I cried, falling over the threshold. She gave me a glass; then bent down again and handed me a hammer and screwdriver. “I’ll do it, I’ll do it,” I shrieked, “And afterwards we’ll be able to go for a delightful little ride.” But this time the repair work was so serious that it took up the entire night and part of the next morning. And around noon, just as I was about to begin the long trip across the room to the bed on my hands and knees, I heard her voice in back of me: “Where are you going so soon?” she said. “It’s broken already -- and this time it is in even worse shape than ever before!” As I lay there, collapsed flat on the rug, buried beneath my handyman’s tools, I heard her beginning to sob, gasp, and pound on the floor with her fists and head. “It’s broken, it’s broken,” she began to cry out as if she never intended to stop, “You still haven’t fixed it, why don’t you ever fix it, why is it always broken?

--Michael Benedikt (1935-2007) Unmuzzled OX 1973

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The New Great Depression

Bush/Cheney is as sinister as Nixon and as bumbling as Carter. Bush "prays" while America burns. Does the end grow nearer? People die because they can't pay for medicine. As the price of gas rises and more homes are foreclosed, many Americans already live in a New Great Depression.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


A piece of paper can get very messy. Revisions, as second thoughts, don’t disappear unless you recopy. So here I am looking into a word processor and there I am looking back at me from the word processor.

Yes, yes, let me look at Michael Andre. There he is at 3:00am. He’s never looked older because, of course, this mirror only tells the truth. He’s felt healthier.

My mistakes make me angry. Mistake-prone--what’s to be done? Mistake-supine--repent, lazy bastard!

My plans present themselves as a series of problems requiring solutions.

There is someone else in the mirror right now, Sandie. I am in her house. She’s sleeping. We’re in New Lebanon. Later today we’re driving to Brandon. 2 June 2007


It is tomorrow, 3:00am again, except I’m back in New Lebanon having been in Brandon. And today Sandie and I drive separately to Manhattan. I wish Sandie and I had made out but we didn’t; maybe I’m contagious, although whatever bug I’ve had seems to be fading. If we went to bed and she caught something from me, she’d hate me forever for sure probably. Who knows? Mirror, Mirror on the screen, who knows? Because Sandie’s an uptown girl, she makes me feel downtown.

How best to number my problems, those that can be solved? Alpha and Beta and Gamma and Delta? Gamma or Plan C? 3 June 2007


And today I rise at 3:00am on Staten Island, remembering this mirror, the 3:00ams. Should I email this to Sandie thanking her for hospitality?

I do.

I’m so far downtown I’m on Staten Island. I’m 60; I’ve spent 40 years lost in thought. 4 June 2007


Yesterday at 3:00am I stayed abed. Today I have a doctor’s appointment at 11:00am. “Time keeps on slipping, slipping into the future.” Forty years ago today the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper was released. 6 June 2007


I need a day to regroup. There’s nothing wrong with me, but my son had major back surgery a week ago yesterday. I’m back in Brandon, at Fran Bull’s. Tomorrow I read at her Gallery-in-the-Field. 29 June 2007


This piece was leading to this day, when I will read at Gallery in the Field with Jeff Wright, introduced by Patt Cavanaugh, hosted by Fran Bull.

I’m staying with Jeff at Fran’s, two charming and intelligent companions. 30 June 2007


Vermont farms favor red. Fran lives in the Hillbarn Farm. We ate Thursday night in Provence in Brandon, Friday in Tillie and Marie’s in Middlebury, and last night after the reading in the Waybury Inn in East Middlebury.

Jeff acted up after the reading, ecole de Creeley & Dickey & Corso. There was a wedding in progress at the Inn and Jeff decided to crash it. I was embarrassed, but it woke me up. Jeff positioned himself in our view, our post-reading party of seven, then danced flamboyantly, madly. He was asked to leave. A little girl, mesmerized, pursued him. He ducked into the Inn, pickt up a teddy bear which he previously inappropriately fondled when we entered the Inn. The manager had had to request that Jeff -- Put the bear down. The manager talks like a Law Enforcement Officer. She nows tells the waitress Jeff is -- Cut off. Jeff meanwhile returns to the wedding with the teddy bear, attempting to woo the little girl. The father, a huge bouncer, then marches out of the wedding pursuing Jeff. Jeff retreats nervously to our table. The bouncer marches in, enraged. He is threatening. The restaurant manager reappears and intervenes. Somehow blows are not exchanged. “The nuance was weird,” the father informs Jeff. Jeff is a little chastened.

And so the first half of the year, as Pepys might say, ended. 1 July 2007


Today I will read again with Jeff. This time it will be in his neighborhood, at Mo Pritkin's House of Satisfaction on Avenue A. I haven’t seen him since I dropped him off near a Ben & Jerry’s Bookstore in Rutland. It’s 3:00am. By the time the reading ends at 6:00pm tonight, I’ll probably be so tired I’ll go home to bed. I’ll miss the post-reading shenanigans. Darn. 22 July 2007.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Bring your poems, chapbooks, zines and fliers
yearning to breath free and get some attention dammit!

Sunday, July 22, from 4 to 6 in the afternoon
at Mo Pitkin's House of Satisfaction
34 Avenue A (just north of Houston) Manhattan

Host Jeffrey Cyphers Wright invites you
to participate in a fun-filled, action
packed publication party/talk show/poetry reading with
Michael Andre, editor of Unmuzzled Ox
Kenya Mitchell of Tribes Gallery/Magazine
and Murat Nemet-Nejat, poet, editor and translator.

Bring poems, books, rants and stories. Swap, sell or
give away magazines and chapbooks and be "published"
in LiVE MaG! #3! Have your book or chapbook instantly
reviewed. Receive a free publication. Be a part
of the hottest new concept in small press publishing!
Free. Snacks and drinks available.