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tearing the rag off the bush again

This is a composite of tales, of forty days and forty nights
in that pretty-pretty gray-white city. Tales of glowing platters of
transcendental chow yuk, of cadged mild euphorics, of wanton quests
with the unslakable Andrei, full-throttle power dives into the quagmire
of imagination, and the unsurpassed sensation of sedentary free flight.
We wondered what would happen if you held a compass too close to your
third eye. To us, these were still pioneering days, and navigation
was for ninnies. We speculated on how far you could take the given
scam, what would happen if you just turned yourself in, where we would
hide our friends if our worst fears came true. We were all totally out
of control, and had been for what seemed like forever, but in reality
were still babies. This was all in the West and the West was where
it was and so were we! Virtue was a happening thing. Full moons
always shone over the warehouses of lost souls. Writing made the world
a twenty-four hour open house. These were times rich with tender
atrocities. “Don’t ever speak to me in that tone again... I live
for these images!” Of, Maria, you unlimitless vamp! Our love was
sweeter that honey-butter of revolution on thundercloud muffins!
And Gloria, I adored you so terrifically on those wino-misted broken-
bottle shard collage sad concrete North Beach stairs where we laid so
beatifically entangled too sodden with joy and juice to climb to your
boyfriend-the-banker-who’s-out-of-town condo/castle! And you could’ve
vomited on me but instead so angel-like spewed your precious guts into
my City Lights book bag! My copy of THE LIFE AND TIMES OF
CHICKEN BOY would never be the same. These were great days,
days when we knew we would soon own the world even if we regarded
it as nothing more than a glitzy trinket. And there we were, the last of the
enchanted deadbeats, the romantic trashniks making with the munificent
words and grandiose gestures while each of us looked to cut a private deal.

Jim Gustafson (1949-1966) , from MANIAC MEMORIES

read more of Jim Gustafson's Maniac Memories
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