Friday, August 15, 2008

meet me at the totes

Our lady of the green staircase surprised me Sunday by inviting me to go to see Dylan with her. The best part was talking pretty much through the whole thing because I couldn't hear his words, only the music, which all sounds pretty much the same to my unseasoned ear. I heard amazing stories from her, though, one about a boy snatched from his mother in Rome by fascists, one about ghosts she saw at the coliseum, one about Pete Hamill, a writer from these parts, and a very sad one about Darin Strauss, someone who I'd always noticed seemed so charmingly pleased with everything while walking down the street, but I found out I might be wrong. Who knows, maybe he's come to terms with the manner in which, when he was so young and tender hearted, provenance called upon him to play the angel of death. It hurt him, it freed her. When he faced off with beauty's terrible ferocity it must have exploded his heart to every corner of the earth. How astonishing that the man held up and now feeds us angles of experience that can wear down our hardest shells.

Green staircase opened a lot of windows for me that day. The view of Rome expanded when I found a book by Michael Sheridan on 17th St yesterday, Romans, Their Lives and Times, a small volume I might actually find the time to read a few random pages of. Our city is filled with innumerable windows and doors that open and close like the panels on an advent calender, and I never know what beauty will emerge. Maybe a partridge in a pear tree, 5 golden rings...

Do you like the photo of White's column, which Pete Hamill and his friends called the totes, short for totem poles? That's not a Grecian Urn on the top, it's a bronze model of a cauldron used long ago by the Pythias of Delphi to contain stones thought to hold the essence of Dionysis' bones. But Tuesday evening, the oracle was looking very Ashcan to me.

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