Small Demon
Jun 282010
 

I’m about 90% certain I shared a house with this guy in Seattle in 1971. The guy I knew was calling himself Blake (not Dwight) Armstrong & was a good guitar player. He introduced me to some of the old Seattle Wobblies & seemed to know a lot about the Weather Underground, too. (I remember him talking briefly, once, about “self-criticism sessions.” Clearly, he was too much an anarchist to go in for that sort of Maoist groupthink. Liked red wine & marijuana, but then we all did. The photo looks a lot like the person I knew, but I could be wrong. The juice cart / deli detail in the story also makes a connection — my roommate was into health foods long before they became a counter-culture staple. We got along pretty well: played some tennis at the park near the house, hung out a bit, but it was pretty clear he considered me hopelessly bourgeois — loaned me a copy of Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man, still an important book in my view. And I wonder what ever happened to Bruce Altman, a mad musician who also shared that house and later, after I was married, slept on my couch for three weeks before I helped him commit himself to an inpatient psychiatric facility. He’d been picking up secret messages from the radio late at night informing him about the impending revolution. Madness picks up the spirit of the times, I guess. My own madnesses were aesthetic & sexual; in other words, I was hopelessly bourgeois. They were friends of my youth & I miss them.

 Posted by at 12:46 pm

  3 Responses to “Fugitive”

  1. time and place: the year was ….
    the place was ….

    now by chance i wrote my drifting orbits
    DRIFTING ORBITS

    In our town
    heartbreaks
    are drifting.
    We are each
    in our own little orbits.
    Ordeals pass us
    drifting through.
    “Hello” we say
    again “Hello
    sudden oak death.
    Hello oak disease.
    Hello” passing.

    Smart sets
    unattentive
    on our town’s
    other side.

    Muddle’s middle.

    Birth’s starting
    our book
    in the middle.
    We go back
    while passing
    forward aging
    learning how
    we frame
    an exit window.

    Dreams, feet,
    future passing
    circumstance,
    pomp, rude runt
    rough dances
    and behind them
    Londonderry airs
    that go way
    back then
    forward as Dad
    sings Danny Boy.

    Ase’s death,
    morning-mood,
    Anitras dance,
    mountain kings.

    Fears and hopes

    Edward Mycue 28 June 2010

  2. in this place and in this time this may be a right to recall ann stanford’s OUR TOWN poem that was in a maybe may or june 1970 new republic magazine that pulled me up straight on my return to the usa (on my way as i thought then to canada/ vancouver to get landed). ann had studied under yvor winters at stanford while her friend josephine miles was ejected from his class. but it was ann (who in college had once dated young law student richard nixon)who became the most overtly political (her story is truely amazing).
    OUR TOWN
    This is the village where we grew
    Our fathers and their sires in line
    The trees they planted shade the view

  3. in this place and in this time this may be a right to recall ann stanford’s “Our Town” poem that was in a maybe may or june 1970 new republic magazine that pulled me up straight on my return to the usa (on my way as i thought then to canada/ vancouver to get landed). it may bring that time back to you joseph. ann had studied under yvor winters at stanford while her friend josephine miles was ejected from his class. but it was ann (who in college had once dated young law student richard nixon)who became the most overtly political (her story is truely amazing). edward

    OUR TOWN

    This is the village where we grew
    Our fathers and their sires in line
    The trees they planted shade the view
    And the white houses shine.

    The families here had come to stay
    The preacher was the parson’s son
    And if one brother moved away
    We kept the solid one.

    We tended order in the town
    Our lawns were trim, our hedges green
    And in the countryside around
    The furrows straight and clean.

    We went to church, obeyed the laws
    And voted on election day.
    The peaceful farms surrounded us
    The battles always far away.

    And when the soldiers come to town
    With drums and our flag overhead,
    We watched them from the commons lawn
    Until they shot us dead.

    (this poem of Ann Stanford’s appeared on page 13 in her collection IN MEDITERRANEAN AIR published by viking in 1977.)

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