the stone age
i’m lost – they’ve knocked me back to the stone age – this sick skin in a dream populated by science fiction literates – this terribly lonely dream populated by people into their own heads – gin drinkers & young girls sitting around 4 legged bathtubs like fountain ornaments – stigmata the size of ½ dollars in their outstretched palms shooting sperm-like elixir out of them like hot ice pops – these are an old man’s fantasies – mother & daughter sitting on the living room couch legs crossed one over the other – sick mom sick daughter sick skin – i got my marriage license today – & it made my head wound hurt all the more – i watch them reading a book in the mirror – i am more tired than my parents – it is partly cloudy & i feel shallow panicky watery & itchy – as shallow as the book i’m writing – knocked back to the stone age – i wait for her by the window after 7 days of rain – this after i accuse the Korean girl of trying to short change me – he spoke of the autonomy of a work of art & other intellectual bullshit that went right under my head – he’s her brother i thought – they think alike – the window was getting cold – the music watered down like the drinks my eyes the girls by the fountain the mother the daughter the day & my sick skin – i told him that crap was crap – that it was all crap – that art shouldn’t be criticized dissected or watered down – i told him that people should not have to explain art but instead should listen to SATIE – i thought of my love for his sister as a strange dependent love & she – i – but i knew that we would definitely be married soon – i am always aware of my own stupidity – tomorrow i will work for an add agency reviewing commercials – they will pay me $25 – i wonder where they got my name – i must remember that i am writing this 31 years later & that it is taken for the most part from information i wrote 31 years prior – if i did this same job now – today – tomorrow – i might earn $50 maybe more – it is very hard to assess myself though i feel that some of what i do has merit – it is even more difficult to access myself – perhaps i have never actually left the stone age & only think that i have returned there – i am still confused as to whether politics influence the human condition or vice versa – i am untrained but can now say that i have friends with names like Charles & Howard rather than Chuck & Howie – maybe i should go to Paris or Italy – i feel pretty heavy – fathers have the habit of buying their kids hot dogs with the works or spaghetti-os – i got busted for shoplifting – AGAIN – the kids don’t mind they end up eating the stuff with their fingers – i touch the money in my pocket as if i were lost in the woods – one thing follows the next – i estimate i have $60 – you can’t buy anything for $60 in the woods – children look toward their parents for protection – all kids do – all kids melt into their parents’ thighs – a school bus passes – the driver is a woman – the body of a 22 year old male was found strangled by a cable tv cord in his doctor’s office – later when the police knocked on the doctor’s door he answered it naked – what is more improbable? a psychiatrist/murderer? or a lawyer/poet? i want to recount a long dream but since it is so long & detailed i will at another time go back to the entry from 31 years ago & read it quietly to myself – i am distorting the facts making them into cat dog & fish stories – there are cats in this story but i will not include them just yet – i am in a foul mood – i will have the stiches removed today – my head still hurts – whatever happened to that weird handsome chatty young man i exchanged music with? when i said the dog had a vaginal infection because she never had sex the couple’s eyes met then looked away – to be a kid & have a parent who drives a school bus might make you proud but when you grow up you might feel embarrassed or vice versa – the laundry basket is full of damp clothes – you know that feeling – i fondle my money – various bills folded one atop the other – crinkled & bulging like dead leaves – sunset begins to cover the road like dust – dust everywhere – if your dad’s the bus driver & tom’s dad’s the banker – look at the mountain she says – my fingers tighten around my wad as i ascend the stairs – it’s no good to leave the house when the last chapter you’ve read was about death – i am lost – there is no mountain – sometimes the telephone is the only exit – she says i talk because i have a mouth – don’t mind him she says he talks because he has a mouth – the shopping mall is now the mountain – we cuddle up inside the dust of sunset – the road comes into view – wherever i go people always turn on radios – i blacked out & hit my head against the radiator – it split open & the past gushed out like blood from a stone – my fear was instantaneous – i screamed in a voice that can only be described as a high pitched mousey falsetto – in other words like a little girl – enough of this nonsense – the doctor definitely strangled his patient – the sun lays on my cheek like a deep wound – i have a headache as i enter the bus – i suddenly realize that this is the same bus i took to school when i was a kid back in the stone age – i am drowning at the bottom of the table around the spot where raindrops fell – the light passes thru the trees – am i just another one of their dying friends? is it all over for me? the dog pushes its nose into my hand – grilled face sandwiches – the reality of blankness – the reality of getting up – & now i am gone.
Dalchinsky Note: taken & rearranged from various writings from 1985 with added material from 2016 – written 3/21/22/16 nyc
About the poet:
Steve Dalachinsky is a New York downtown poet. He is active in the poetry, music, art, and free jazz scenes. Dalachinsky was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1946. He has been writing poetry for many years and has worked with such musicians as William Parker, Susie Ibarra, Matthew Shipp, Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen, Mat Maneri, Federico Ughi, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Rob Brown, Tim Barnes, Kommissar Hjuler, and Jim O’Rourke. He has appeared at most editions of the Vision Festivals, an Avant-jazz festival involving many of these musicians. At one time he also appeared frequently at Michael Dorf’s club , the Knitting Factory. He currently lives in Manhattan with his wife, painter and poet Yuko Otomo.