Friday, 11 July 2008

11 July 2008

Grant street in an old redbrick roominghouse near a church. You went down an alley, down some stone steps, opened a old raw door and went through a kind of cellar till you came to his board door. It was like the room of a Russian saint. One bed, a candle burning, stone walls that oozed moisture, and a crazy makeshift ikon of some kind that he made for the occasion. He read me his poetry. It was called “Denver Doldrums.” Allen woke up in the morning and heard the “vulgar pigeons” yakking in the streets outside his cell; he saw the “sad nightingales” which reminded him of his mother nodding on the branches. A grey shroud fell over the city. The mountains---the magnificent Rockies that you could see to the west from any part of town---were “papier mache.” The whole universe was crazy and cockeyed and extremely strange. He wrote of Neal as a “child of the rainbow” who bore his torment in his agonized cock. He referred to him as “Oedipus Eddie” who had to “scrape bubblegum off windowpanes.” He referred to Brierly as “dancingmaster death.” He brooded in his basement over a huge journal in which he was keeping track of everything that happened everyday---everything Neal did and said. Allen told me of his trip in a bus. “Coming through Missouri there occurred a miraculous lightning storm that transformed the firmaments into a great electrical frenzy. Everybody in the bus was frightened. I said ‘Don’t be frightened, it’s only a Sign.’ Imagine Missouri---where Burroughs and Lucien are from.” “That’s also where some of Neal’s folks come from.” “I don’t know,” said Allen growing sad, “What shall I do?” “Why don’t you go down to Texas and see Burroughs and Joan?” “I want Neal to come with me.” “How can he do that with all his women?” “Oh, I don’t know.” Neal came in at three in the morning. “Everything’s straight,” he announced. “I’m going to divorce Louanne and marry Carolyn and go live with her in San Fransisco. But this is only after you and I, dear Allen, go to Texas, dig Bill, that gone cat I’ve never met and both of you’ve told me so much about, and then I’ll go to San Fran.” Then they got down to business. They sat on the bed crosslegged and looked straight at each other. I slouched in a nearby chair and saw all of it. They began with

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