Thursday, July 29, 2010

72 Hours in New York: Welcome to The L.E.S.

Suspender-hinged hipster madness. On every block, the unconventional is the conventional. Forty's curl-cut poof men's hair, swirl of soft-serve ice cream. Slender body in mustard yellow over-sized wide-leg pants and matching suspenders over a white undershirt, leavs out toward us from the bar, a cigarette in one hand, a hand on the doorpost of the one-hundred year-old building. He gazes at us in invitation, his eyes, wide, brown relaxed. New york is fast. It's midnight and hundreds of people are walking to their party, bar, and dance destinations. Girls in groups and pretty summer dresses, short and flirty, one-piece sheer jumpsuits, sheer lace over underwear and theater make-up seduces scurtive glance from girls and guys alike. One-thousand chili-pepper lights hang from an Indian restaurant, lighting it up like an shrine or the palace of the gods, such that looking in feels warm, inviting. To enter is to lie in a red tent on a hot sunny afternoon, the red light a slew of platic coated chemical primary colors, filtering in to create a warm, surreal, unearthly existence shielded from the outside world. Here, in New York, businesses must out-compete their competitors. Being one of seven Indian restaurants on the block does not help business, on the a-typical American block where more businesses spring up in the fertile soil of New York's newly gentrified lower-east side, presenting more business and services than there are diners and shoppers. Bars come and go within months, independent restaurants and businesses stay afloat awhile, then die out quickly. The ones that survive do it best, producing some of the most unique and delightful products and services in the country. Butter Lane specializes in rich, buttery cupcakes, frostings in a a variety of lemon, hazelnut, mocha, caramel walnut, vanilla and chocolate on your choice of chocolate, vanilla, or banana nut cake. I got the lemon-frosted vanilla cupcake. It was so rich and sweet. Its homemade perfection is undeniable. Across the street, the used bookstore sells thousands of titles a basement store no bigger than my bedroom, in a rectangular shape, the Lower East side has transformed the blank, even ugly forms of tenement houses and transformed them into million-dollar suites and some of the catchiest, most culturally ingenious restaurants, shops, businesses, bars, and nightlife hot-spots in America, so recently gentrified that gentrification is at once the appropriate word, and not. Garbarge litters the street the night before trash pickup day, sending visitors and residents the welcoming stench of raw garbage, girls in nightlife mini-dresses, arm in arm with ladies and men, step carefully over the soggy white bags in their silver stilettoes, the thin city trees giddy with colored lights and the anticipation of the evening, hot and broiling, oil left too long on the pan, and leaping at the taste of water. Ready, willing, able. The city reaches out, bites, looking for and creating energy: the men are light, sultry humid, and alarmingly awake. I outline my torso in nylon spandex of rubber-glove tightness and he in a shirt of tooth-bleach white linen to join a tipping point on the cusp of cultural greatness: the young, educated hipster subculture newly erupting from the vestiges of deep-seated immigrant culture and (literally) overnight forming a newly marbled cultural, entreprenurial, and creative upheaval of old immigrant and new immigrant, gaudily frosted with academic wealth within New York's Lower East Side. Welcome to Katz's diner.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Midsummer's Night Dream

Stage fright fascination impulse-roused into hand-grasp whipped on stange, some strawberry and whip-creamed nose-licking, whip you into shape spontonaeity, and above the lights in disco-ball palette of pink and green, and blue and silver throwing light and and giddiness into corners and revealing young Titanya in her butterflies and shiny purple hot shorts, and the fairies in their grease-chested face-painted dnacing exuberance. From the stage we dance, legs flying, shoulders and hips and hands shimmying, his hand motions forcing me into multiple vertical arabesques of compounded electric energy. The short glove-fitted dress hand-steps to the beat in furious energy, a blender of eyes and excitment, our eyes repeatedly engaging, we ramp up the speed, mere seconds in, the attendees wide-eyed and alert to the peacock pair violently, dynamically dominating the closing moment of the show, the music still playing as loudly and guadily as at the finale. Cracked sidewalks, flour-less chocolate cakes and karaoke binges, we twist and turn to 70's tuns and oldies hits, the fondness throwing us into flashback singing, each echoing the other in a chaotic harmonium: an aesthetic energy of the heart in which he initiates my top-spinning paripatitic tornado across the length of the stage, a stage performance of unparalleled tango-turn exuberance, when he leaps to the other end of the Midsummer night and from standing position, dives into the fifth dimension of my heart. Disco-ball darting about, his hands a-flame and hotter eyes, from position on his dance-floor stained knees, his dream-held eyes elicit my attention, and I am nothing but slightly stunned and obsequiously delighted. My arms find the space of time continuous, unerring and profoundly vast. His flagrant flattering nods to arms encircling my head in horchata, Mexican tortilla warmth and snapshot of shyness, the tea half-spilled in a return to Tityanya-shaped lust, toes respond to the beat of his hand pressure-points, endlessly revolving from his fingertips as I am improvisationally dipped backwards by him into the fish-eye lense of glitzy spectator-coated performance.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mid-Summer Morning: Ninety Degrees

Woke morning bath. Awash in wet water I wake in morning waterfall with wisteria dew. Sweet crystalline dawn drives bugs and bees to bed and leaves the morning to readers and parapatetic sleepers. Thick pages moist with steamy humidity, a basin of gelatin resin, just rising into rain, creepers slide gracefully beneath paving stones and second story 19th century palm-wide white-washed window frames. The silence broken by voices, clear and animated from somewhere among the multitudinous abodes outside the nearly floor-to-ceiling wire window screen, my back resting against the sticker-covered, soft, oak-varnished hardwood bedframe from someone's childhood era, the furniture passed down and shared, furnishing countless bedrooms before mine. Furniture I collected, was given from friends and the kind castoffs of departing students and other transient Brighton tenants. The dark brown vanished bureau carefully decorated with a metallic dinosaur sticker from 1989. The white light turns a soft, buttery yellow through the Venetian blinds, and I am aware of my body upon waking, that it is still wet, soaking, actually, just as much or more than the night before when I went to bed in my underwear with the subconscious expectation that it would be cool but not cold by morning, my damp skin dry and relieved from the moist cheesecloth of sunlit air moisture- at least 100 percent humidity. The sheets crinkle and past to my damp curls, white thights, arms shiny with perspiration. I revel in the embrace, the realization that this morning, this experience is mine and no one elses, a moment to be savored as one that does not happen often. Subconsciously, it is a moment for celebration. I reach over and open a new book, the story crisp, tantalizing, and utterly, profoundly unattainable in the capriciousness of its language and brings and unutterable pleasure to the perspiring peach flesh, whose each hair captures the moisture as shiny dewpoints on a hyperbolic curve. The torpid pastel-colored atmosphere is a body-temperature bath for the lungs. An iced lemonade flips a cat on its back, lands paws up in my head: a brain freeze of slinky-stepping awareness. The below-freezing temperatures of the liquid respond as pain within my mouth. I am consciously, pleasurably, aware. My bicycle-body glides cleanly through the outside air, the coolness of her body like just stepping into a seventy-two degree swimming pool in soft, medical gauzed morning. The crisp air rubs sleep from her eyes. She reminds me that I possess l'experience, and I know that I live just for these moments.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Lewis told her very young sister that he had planted a bomb inside her stomach at breakfast and if she talked it would explode. This was after a lengthy summer day where she would not keep shut. Lisa stayed quiet the whole day but nobody talked to her. Mom and dad went on about the neighbor’s yelling across the grass and letting the dog bark at their dog and their children running about naked once, and then the stuff about engineering and electricity and her mother’s students. Nothing about what she was doing at school or what rocks she found in the grass (she imagined that if all the rocks on earth were collected and then put together, they’d form one massive jigsaw puzzle. The final picture would be monstrous, and depict something divine, or even terrifying). After dinner mom and dad lounged in the living room watching TV: a football game. She felt so angry, her stomach was like a brewing volcano, her head nearly steaming. Intent on getting back at them, she creeped downstairs, and hid behind the couch. At the commercial break (for Budweiser beer), she crawled over the couch, jumped onto the cushions and bellowed “boom!” Mother was on top of faher mashing her hips into him. For the moment before her surprised they had been on top of one another, his legs embracing her torso, one pajama leg lay folded upon itself, revealing the curly hairs up to his large foot, while his right hand hugged her breast. They were quickly apart, her mother cried “what is it?” and faher just sttared, sweat on his forehead, waiting for an answer. “I scared you two?” Lisa could only think to ask. “Yes, of course you did; my heart’s beating like a crazy person.” Mother clutched at her chest, almost where his hand was earlier. Lisa ran back upstairs. She jumped on her bed, laughing. What a victory! She’d frightened the bosses, the two tyrants, very well terrorized them! She was a bomb. A human bomb, an h-bomb, and it made her so happy she could dance on the ceiling.


Tall boots, glittery chest, long black curly locks, coy mask, and most prominately of all, two glittering butterflies erect on her nipples, large pink, purple and gold gems, superbly placed over her white, larger than palm-sized breasts, two soft, full, pert-doves, alert, and ready for flight. The shadows of her breasts enhanced by the colored lights and overall dimness of the dance hall, casting a softer, cleaner, more mysterious hue over her turtle doves. She screams as her white-netted thighs are captured by two male-fairies, naked except for flash boots and glittery shorts or loin-cloths. In triangle-lift her thigh-high boots point and shine in violent anger- a fairy girl teassed and stolen by her love-potioned captors. Upon the matter black platform, among a shower of colorful metallic pieces, she teases, pounces, attracts a hummingbird to the violently Italian red fluted crocosmia with her delicate butterflies, so sweetly aligned on porcelain-white skin and long, dark chocolate curls all a-flutter and bouncing about wildly as she gaspls, opens her red-lipped mouth and yells out in surprise within their strong grip. Glitter pours down her thrust-chest, her arms wide, taught, grasping in their palms. Glossy boot toes forward, they throw her into the proffered arms of the Vinnies, spinning her into a disco-dancing toss-up between their afros and flared brown polyester suits. Fairies scoop up potions, solaciously delivering them to their precious flutter-busted female chanteuse, poetess of song and dance. Roses bitten in between pearly teeth, flung out to stage, to audience: at last fully in the dreamy embrace of their lusty love charms, the glitter fairy vixen demands her lovers.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A character: Cynthia

In the middle school the story went around amongst the boys and girls in the cafeteria, its brick walls thick with several layers of egg-yellow paint, that if you brush Cynthia’s long red hair, it’ll come out in lumps in your palm. This wasn’t true. Her hair was naturally pumpkin colored. They liked to say these things because they hated how huge it was. It shaped her head like a lion’s mane. It puffed up behind her, and she let it grow past her shoulders. When she was in her twenties her boyfriends enjoyed petting it. She liked saying she turned them into hairdressers. And she also prefered thickly built men, (she had a crush on Gene Hackmen from the time she was seven years old. ), who worked out chronically and could pick her up off the ground. Which could be difficult since she was six feet tall, even without the heeled boots she spent the mornings shining like dress shoes. They had to be impeccable.
Her freckles were another resource for teases in middle school. The girls named her ‘volcano,’ ‘pizza,’ or ‘pork’ (because she liked to roll around in the mud, or so they accused). The splattering of spots spread from the roots of her hairs down across her arms and under her shirt. Her face was layered in red-brown pencil marks. They lent the hue of her skin a fine pencil shading where the spots grew denser. They crowded thinkly on her shoulders, and around her flat bust. But much of her neck was clear. Like a sun spot centering her profile. She grew tough when it came to her freckles. As a kid she loved them. She would raise hell in the backyard woods, laughing as she spread dirt and clumps of soil on herself. A natural camoflauge, she called her frekles. Sticking out her toungue, sufficiently muddied, she’d sneak behind the other kids and jump out at them screaming “sasquash!!” These antics might have inspired the pork references later in her adolescence. By then she was growing insecure. The boys choined in the fun. Ten years from then she’d appreciate the freckle fetishers. They’d email her dating profiles and exlaim their worship.