american angel notes from the old new world (cambridge) – 32

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tuesday, november 28, 2006 1:14AM

a beautiful day off. now bob dylan winds me down to sleep. the death of this day.

“each day dies with sleep”.

i did jose’s play of this title. good title.

greta and betty were at the wings of desire screening. simply amazing women. greta, 85, and more alive than so many i know. still works at the ymca. she’s also teaching acting. afterwards at dinner with andy and hadewych and loesje and chris and gideon and ola and her two amazing friends, naomi an damon. they drove me home. first gave me a little tour of their street. i saw where robert frost lived. unbelievable. i saw a crack of light from a window through which frank bidart lives. the book of the body. this is in damon and naomi’s building. bidart’s up there each night watching war movies. also creeley lived on this street. passed longfellow’s house. too much for one man.

then went to some music venue with them. too much for one man.

had to walk away through the pillars of jfk’s words, down to the river for a good cry of gratitude. i am so happy to be in cambridge, doing this play.

wim’s movie makes one really love life. i hope our play does the same.

bob dylan sings and sings. oh sun don’t go down.

8:45AM

the daily banging has begun in the brattle arms. we live in a construction zone. like amsterdam, along the ij between silodam and central station. they were building those tall and thick buildings where once ships sailed. i wish i could watch a film of the dutch landfill process. or actually be there watching. i wish i could witness the making or taking away of a canal. our world still being made.

“built up? wiped out is more like it.”

living very differently right now. my apartment has been a mess since i arived. haven’t made my bed once. out of order. i’m spending money like crazy. eating out. eating out. eating out.

“a man needs a maid.”

found out last night that t.s. eliot lived around here. all these poets. creely, eliot, frost, bidart, longfellow. the inspiring and nearly overwhelming potential for me to educate myself in my next 3 weeks here in cambridge. i know little to nothing of the american revolution. not even sure of the teams. where was i when i was a kid?

when the child was a child
he hid under his sister’s bed
at the invitation to carry a crown
in the parade.

when the child was a child
he sat in the back of the class
because his name ended in a w.

when the child was a child
he was always the smallest one
in the house,
and almost always the smallest one
in the class.

when the child was a child
he forgot things as quickly
as he memorized them,
never remembered eye color,
looked like a girl,
and once squeezed
his father’s yellow canary
with his tiny bare hands to death.

when the child was a child,
he moved with his family
to an all white detroit neighborhood,
when the child was still a child,
within 6 months the neighborhood
became all black.

when the child was a child,
this made little difference.

and it is more so now.

when the child was a child,
his father was adamant
that they were white.

when the child was a child,
his sisters loved black boys,
were beauty queens,
became communist
and left home one by one
before they finished high school.

when the child was a child,
he worried about his bike getting stolen,
would obsessively check every window and door
before he went to sleep,
and was woken like a prince
with a cold glass of chocolate milk
held in the soft hands
of his mother, every morning.

when the child was still a child,
he began to awaken
to the sound of the spoon
circling under the liquid inside the glass,
at the smell of his mother next to his bed.

when the child was a child,
he thought he saw walter cronkite
reporting live at a local warehouse fire,
then watched the cbs evening news to verify.

when the child was a child,
he was surprised more
than he was disappointed,
and so it is now.

when the child was a child,
he wanted meat and potatoes
instead of rice and curry.

he listened and watched,
he listened and watched,
being born into a house
filled with beautiful brown girls.

when the child was a child,
he was frightened by
dressed flying monkeys
in the wizard of oz

and is less frightened today.

and so. . . it is now.

9:30, tuesday, november 28, 2006.

this is the day that guy named andris died in the 16th century. his grave stone on the floor of the church in the beginhof in amsterdam. mam, andris and i sitting on top of it that sunday morning in october. back in the good old days in the new old world.

9:31.

now back to bed to pray and read. rehearsal begins at 3. the body protests. the body can be a bitch ass punk at times.

and the spirit seems to just go along,
as silent as a beautiful fat mom,
next to her son’s bed,
holding a glass of chocolate milk
each morning.

11:28

almost late for rehearsal. but this;

falling down to live.
the way of the cross.
Christ’s 3 falls.
to live.
so we all may live.
with love,

bernie

wednesday, november 29, 2006 10:10AM

the try out tonight called a premiere.
dear God, may love prevail over fear.

the glass is half empty. perfect. nothing wrong with a glass being half empty. something has already been enjoyed. still more to come. the light shines nice on the empty part and the light shines nice on the part with liquid. also it allows room to fill up and not overflow. this is where we are.

a bad bad feeling in last night’s try out. like going through mud. perhaps we were feeling the energy of toneelgroep’s orestia. sand to mud.

i spoke a stupid ad lib about the fake money but it’s even stupider that we are using money that looks so fake.

in a play about becoming real. about beauty and the senses. i hate when these little details are not taken care of. then there was some absurd mention of some absurd law about not being allowed to use money on stage. God, help us.

oh that men were as free as fleas on the body of men” – galway kinnell

so much seemed fake last night. so much in my performance. so much in others. so much in the audience. nothing is fake. it was what is was. real. real bad.

and yet cassiel’s warning “but none of it will be real”. except love.

so maybe it’s okay that everything else is fake. perhaps this is an unconscious stroke of design genius. fake money. no, it’s not. because the fact is real money is fake. it’s all just pretense. to show the absurdity of money we must show the real fake money. this is baudrillard’s simulacra and simulacrum. this is the world of the matrix.

i just have to give over. focus and give over. have courage. surrender. jesse still seems sick. the joy from his days in amsterdam is missing. mam is exhausted. my body feels like it is the body of an 80 year old. (not walter) a tired 80 year old. what mam does daily, i can’t imagine, the level of pain that she overcomes to do what she does. i pray she is getting the rest she needs. and the support.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. .

david logger, our suicide, from amsterdam has written me the best emails. got one today that lifted my spirits. helped me to appreciate what i have and turn away from what i lack. if the glass is half empty and he is at the bottom of the glass i could not be happier. such kindness. such support. a real angel. made me realize the level of technical support we had in amsterdam.

the folk here, i imagine aren’t payed as well. there seems also a bigger separation between the technical staff and the other side. it seemed more an equal respected family in amsterdam. more unity. perhaps this will develop with time here. the technical end has been a struggle. i pray we can all come together.

i don’t know that i am serving this role of damiel. i am doing what i am able. by the Grace of God, some things of beauty sometime surface. when i get out of the way. other times the hack that i am shines through like a failing flash light. but the fact is;

i am here.
i wish you were here.
i wish i could tell you how good it is to be here.
i wish i were content with where you are.
i wish i were content with where i am.
i wish i were content with my discontent.
i wish we were together.
i wish i realized that we are.

onwards. . . into the constant sea of change. of birth and death.

let us pray. . . we die tonight. we go beyond half empty to full empty. that we decrease, so that God may increase. come on, let’s just do it.

with all my failing love,

bernie

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