Hey everyone I have stopped blogging for a while as I fell and broke my elbow -It’s a big annoyance but I am adjusting, I’ll be back tomorrow happy to blog again-best ana
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TILLIES PUNCTURED ROMANCE
THIS BLOG IS NAMED AFTER A CHARLIE CHAPLIN MOVIE
getting a color change
the barry manilow leather- faced bitch
gives me the once over
the brown creases in her make-up
crack with her verbal assault making
her look more like a camel than a
so you want to consult another stylist?
all i wanted was a color change
from black back to red
and she said she could do it
and it wouldn’t be hard
four bottles of hair color remover
four bottles of red dye
four bouts with the 100* hair drier
$50 and up!
an emergency call to the clairol hotline
to no avail
you gave a red streak right down the
center of my part and the rest still black
broken and brittle
a skunk on drugs
i began to walk out
my hair soaking wet
yelling at the bitch that i am not paying
and that they ruined my hair
i left mad
angry hair dripping over linoleum.
ana christy from beatnik blues
Dave and Ana Christy
This blog consists of reviews, interviews, news, etc…from the world of the Boston area small press/ poetry scene and beyond. Regular contributors are reviewers: Barbara Bialick, Lawrence Kessenich, Lo Galluccio, Zvi Sesling, Irene Koronas, Rene Schwiesow, Dennis Daly, and others. Founder Doug Holder: firstname.lastname@example.org. * B A S P P S is listed in the New Pages Index of Alternative Literary Blogs.
About the Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene
Showing posts with label Dave Christy founder of the Alpha Beat Press Has Passed Away Doug Holder. Show all posts
Monday, February 08, 2010
Dave Christy founder of the Alpha Beat Press Has Passed Away…
I received notice that Dave Christy founder of the Alpha Beat Press has passed away. The press was very prolific and influential in the little magazine and chapbook scene in the 80’s and 90’s. I had my first chap published by Dave Christy: “Poems of Boston and Just Beyond: From the Back Bay to the Back Ward” May he rest in peace.
From the website:
Alpha Beat Press has been publishing Beat Generation, post-Beat Independent and other modern writings since 1986. Alpha Beat Press had its beginnings in a Montreal flat with the idea of keeping the aesthetics and sensibilities of the Beat generation alive. Our first magazine, Alpha Beat Soup was unique, being the only small press magazine publishing original and current Beat writings. In our new magazine Bouillabaisse and in our other poetry publications we have continued in that tradition, publishing a wide variety of writers and styles, from Bukowski to the lesser known poets. Alpha Beat Press is certainly the best of the small press!
Past Contributors include: John Clellan Holmes, Charles Bukowski, Beatrice Wood, Allen Ginsberg, Diane DiPrima, Carolyn Cassady, Gary Snyder, Carl Solomon, Ken Kesey, Simon Vinkenoong, Kaviraj George Dowden, John Montgomery, Jack Kerouac, Ken Babbs, Bruce Fearing, Ray Bremser, Al Aronowitz, Ana Christy, Gerald Nicosia, Diane Wakowski, Bob Kaufman, Steve Richmond, Janine Pommy Vega, Antler, Herbert Huncke, Pradip Choudhuri, Jack Micheline, Gregory Corso, Joan Reid, Allen Cohen, Yusuke Keida, Barbara Moraff, A.D.Winans, Tuli Kupferberg, Richard Morris, George Montrgomery, Frank Moore, Erling Friis-Baastad, t.k.splake, ruth weiss, elliott, Ted Berrigan, Neeli Cherkovski, Clayton Eshleman, Gerald Locklin, Joy Walsh, Anne Waldman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Kurt Nimmo, Ron Androla, Graham Cournoyer, Bill Costley, Jan Kerouac, Jeanne Conn, Stephan Ronan, Christine Zwingman, Chris Challis, Lyn Lifshin, Ulvis Alberts, Lorrie Jackson, Tony Seldin, Judson Crews, Steve Allen, William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady & Ted Joans.
Posted by Douglas Holder at 2:31 AM 4 comments:
Labels: Dave Christy founder of the Alpha Beat Press Has Passed Away Doug Holder
Review: COKEFISH ing IN ALPHA BEAT SOUP
A Beat-Post Beat Independent Poetry Broadsheet
“Cokefish” or “Cokefishing” is a pretty unique publication in that it really is a broadsheet, printed on two sides of a giant piece of paper which arrived at my door (at least) folded in quarters, and set in a variety of types, largely because the type that each poem or letter (it features author letters too) was submitted in seems to have been copied directly onto the broadsheet. And this is a choice the editors Dave and Ana Christy are making: “This broadside is dedicated to the small press and the way it used to be,” reads the legend over the top of the first poems, next, in this issue, to a photocopied picture of the late, much lamented Dave Church, whose passing several poems and letters commemorate.
I like their style here. This is the sort of homemade, no-frills publication which sold me on the romance of the small press in the first place, when Bryn Fortey was doing something similar in Wales, though he folded his sheets in half and stapled them. Bryn introduced me, through his “Outlaw” magazine, to some of the best living poets, including (as he was) Church and t.kilgore splake; and Dave and Ana’s roster includes both of those old greybeard heroes, along with Steve Dalachinsky, whose work I found impossible to format for BEATNIK (sorry Steve) and Gundy, whose name I came across a few years ago and haven’t heard from for a while, during my own weird peregrinations around the literary world and in real unreality. It’s good to know that there are still some places where the way a magazine/ publication looks doesn’t matter and the way it reads does. Lately even Beat-influenced sites have gone for fancy production which has nothing to do with the original spirit of the writing.
You can track “Cokefish (ing)” down via Alpha Beat Press and Dave and Ana Christy at 806 E. Ridge Ave. Sellersville PA 18960 USA. And like I said, it’s a buck an issue, so remunerate the Christys accordingly.
Posted by Bruce Hodder at 2:26 AM
Sell on Amazon
Charles Bukowski and Alpha Beat Press 1988-1994 Paperback – January 1, 1994
by Dave and Ana Christy (Editor)
1 Collectible from $125.00
Can Man Says Goodnight on luver.com an internet weekly radio show
Join Dave & Ana for an hour of good talk, a lot of laughs and a lot of vodka! Reminiscent of the old radio show, THE BICKERSONS – The Christy’s add a special guest poet/musician along with a Country Classic tune and Ana’s “Pick Your Nose” of the week.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Can Man Says Goodnight #81
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Can Man Says Goodnight #80
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Thursday, April 12, 2012
Can Man Says Goodnight #79
Download/listen to the show by clicking on the title.
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Can Man Says Goodnight #78
Download/listen to the show by clicking on the title.
VERY SPECIAL TAIL
Peter got up as soon as the alarm went off, put his slippers on and trudged to the shower. The hot water felt good on his tired skin, he rubbed voraciously lathering up bubbly foam from the last of the soap. He rubbed himself dry and looked in the mirror. He saw a vigorous pressed into the feather pillow, her brown hair spread around her neck. She looked peaceful. She sensed that he was leaving, and mumbled something about going out to dinner. In a louder voice she said as she was waking up, leaning on one elbow.
“Darling we’ve been together for two years. We need to celebrate?”
“Yes, let’s go to the restaurant in the Village,” he said while putting on a crisp blue shirt and cargo pants.
“I’ll get all dressed up in that blue silk dress you like me in and even wear high heels.”
“Will you be home on time? I need to make reservations.”
“For you in that dress of yours I’ll surely be ‘smack bang on time,’ as they say.”
“Who says that, Peter?”
He kissed her night breath and she lay back down in bed.
“I wish we could have breakfast together sometimes, Jane.” It was a light hint. She was as lazy as a sloth.
She ignored him and closed her eyes.
He shook his head and finished dressing. He pulled on his highly polished brown boots and crept out of the room. “That’s right,” he thought, “This is Tuesday and they would have sex tonight around ten o’clock.” After dinner, he began to get excited and pressed his erection down with the palm of his hand. Jane was good in bed and they had a satisfying sex life, but she was a lazy bitch, he thought.
He drove to work, leaving early because the roads were empty. His listened to jazz and classical. It was Tuesday, Pressure day. He needed classical. Schubert’s military marches would do. He drummed on the steering wheel while holding his potent cup of Starbucks coffee. He always performed well under pressure.
Today he had a presentation and he was well prepared. He worked for an advertising agency. He was pushing for a new line of baby food, and his presentation was perfect. He had worked on the project for a week, day and night to the point of exhaustion, making his fiancé unhappy. His boss put all her faith in him. They needed the account. Business had been slow and Ms. Finn was pressuring all the staff, 15 of them. Their jobs were on the line.
They had worked often late into the night pouring over his sketches, without being too obvious she had sat elbow to elbow with him as close as she could. She was a lonely woman, her good looks and out-going ness often were intimating. She liked Peter, his David Bowie look, androgynous; blond tall and lean with pale blue eyes. He was very sexy.
Oh man she thought he’s probably great in bed, I’ll let him know whatever way I can, and if he doesn’t catch on he’s not worth it!
Pete had a feeling that she had a “crush” on him. She did and deliberately hung around his office making lame excuses, that he could see right through. She was sexy, a tall slender woman with freckles green eyes and a long luxurious mane of red hair that tumbled down her pale shoulders. She often wore off-the-shoulder blouses, to show off her lovely skin. She knew she turned him on, although he never showed it, but there was that glint in his blue eyes that he couldn’t hide. She looked at him thinking, He doesn’t know how much I want him and I’ll do everything to get him.
“Our clients are arriving soon Pete, hope you are well prepared?”
“Yes Ms. Finn I think they’ll be impressed.” She patted him on the back, feeling the warmth of skin through his shirt. She wanted to keep her hand there but it would be too obvious. He knew it, he had known all along that she wanted him. She would take him on his desk if he gave her inkling, or a hint. She was not one to beg. She was the boss after all.
She is very sexy but I’d have to plan it, he thought.
The Japanese businessmen sat facing the screen as Pete turned on the projector. Their eyes barely blinked. They watched a bunch of babies feeding each other. Slopping around the delicious purees. Pete used his pointer to show the expressions on the messy babies faces. Their tight mouths loosened. They began to laugh, shaking Ms. Finn’s hand.
Thanking her and Pete for a great job. “We are sold, your idea is marvelous. The head businessman wrote a big check. They bowed and left.
Ms. Finn took Pete out to a deli for lunch to celebrate, and to come on to him. They feasted on corned beef on rye sandwiches, which, being Irish, was Ms. Finn’s favorite sandwich. As they ate kosher dill pickles. With a pop and a squirt, she asked him if he was still single.
“Yes Ms. Finn, I am, but I am engaged to be married.”
“Oh when?” She said, disappointment showing through her freckled face.
“April. I planned the date and the caterers and the band. My fiancé picked her wedding dress.”
“How nice. Congratulations,” she said with mounting disappointment, all the while thinking, I still want him, and I’ll have him.
After lunch they were back in their respective offices. His with a sailing theme, boats in bottles, pictures of old schooners, shipping maps and a buoy. Hers filled with Irish souvenirs, a shamrock coffee mug, a picture of her dad in a kilt playing the bagpipes and the family genealogy framed in a poster frame. It took the edge off their high-pressure jobs, giving them homely comforts. They thought of each other in their respective offices separated by a thin wall.
That evening when Pete returned home at precisely six o’clock Jane greeted him at the door with a hug and kiss.
“Hello darling. How was your day, Pete?”
“I landed that big account I was working on.”
“You were, how come you didn’t tell me?”
“Because you are not interested.”
“Don’t say that, Pete. I’m just preoccupied.”
“With what, Jane dear?”
“I have been working on the invitations.”
“You never ask me about work, you always seem to drift off. It’s hurtful.”
“I am not going to argue. Is this what it’s going to be like when we are married, Jane?”
“Sorry, Pete. I am so discombobulated , I don’t like my wedding dress at all.”
“So get another one. I have to change out of my uncomfortable clothes.”
‘What about the restaurant?”
“Sorry Jane, I just can’t. This week has been so hectic. I am wiped out. Please change the reservation. How about tomorrow?”
She stamped away with indignation.
Pete being an obsessive compulsive, he hurried and changed into his sweats. He went into the basement of their town house, and lifted weights, used his treadmill and finished up by riding five miles on the exercise bike. He felt he had overdone it as his lower back began to hurt. Walking up the stairs was painful, but he grinned and bore it. Jane was ready with one of her easy meals ready at the table. She hasn’t put much effort into this he thought. What does she do all day, while I bust my ass? Now I have really busted my ass, ouch it hurts.
They spoke not a word as he did the few dishes. And threw away the sectioned off cardboard TV dinner containers.
“I need to lie down my ass and back are throbbing.”
“How did that happen? Did you fuck Ms. Finn?”
“Shut your ugly mouth, Jane! I am afraid you.”
He went to the bedroom and changed into his pajamas, lay on the bed and switched on the TV. He couldn’t get comfortable.
“Jane,” he yelled, “are you coming to bed soon? I need you to rub my back.”
“I’ll be up soon dear, I’ll bring the rub.”
She came up a few hours later and found him in the fetal position fast asleep.
The following day Peter woke with severe lower back pain. As he showered he felt a lump on his tailbone.
They can’t fix a tailbone I’ll just have to grin and bear it. Jeez it hurts! He pecked Jane on the top of her head, and drove to work. This time he didn’t want the music on. The ride seemed interminably long, but he got to his office on time, as always. He shut the door to fester in his pain. He was unable to sit at his drawing board to work on an ad for children’s vitamins. This was to be of a cartoon kid and a cartoon mother and a bouncing vitamin. He preferred a drawing board than designing on a computer. He was old school.
As lunchtime came close, he was unable to sit anymore; the pain was dreadful. He paced up and down and angrily swatted a pile of papers off his desk. They fluttered all around. Then he threw a stapler against the wall.
There was a soft knock on his door.
“Are you alright?” Ms Finn said, opening his door. “What’s up? Are you okay?”
“I hurt myself on my exercise bike. My tailbone hurts like a bitch. I couldn’t sleep.”
“Let me look,” she said, approaching his desk.
He pulled out his shirt from his pants. She wants me and I can’t perform I am in pain.
She pulled his pants down a bit, bent him over his desk. She saw a red lump. It was pretty big. She gasped, “That doesn’t look good, Pete. You have a ginormous lump there. You’ve really hurt yourself. I’ll get some ice.”
“Thanks, Ms. Finn.” She looked concerned. So she really doesn’t want me. She looks worried. He waited, L-shaped over his desk feeling foolish. She returned fast carrying a bag of ice, and took him into the lounge and made him lie on his side.
“Keep it on until it melts.” She stroked his fine hair and left the room.
That evening he didn’t talk about his injury to Jane, her lack of concern shut him up. She took two Hungry Man dinners out of the microwave and gave him one.
“No more of these TV dinners, Jane. They are loaded with chemicals and salt. Since you’re home all day, can’t you cook, even if it’s simple?”
“I despise cooking. You know that, Pete.’
“Yup, I know all the things you don’t like. What do you like?”
“I like shopping…what are you getting at?”
“There are so many cards in your wallet, you’ll put us in the poor house even before we’re married.” He shifted around on the kitchen chair. She didn’t notice. She was thinking he was cruel and uncaring. And he didn’t care. It was becoming clear to him that maybe his love for her was fading, like old curtains.
In the shower the next day he cautiously felt, his tailbone was bigger. The lump was pliable and prickly. As soon as he got into work Ms. Finn asked him about his injury.
“It’s getting bigger and I am getting rather concerned,” he whispered. She looked at it again, going through the same routine as the day before.
“Jeez it’s so much bigger! You have to see a doctor.”
“They can’t fix a tailbone.” Pete was terrified about doctors. What if it’s a tumor? He turned pale.
“Pete, let’s go the hospital right now.”
“I don’t want to. What if I die?! What if I have some sort of tumor—cancer?’
She encouraged Peter to go home and rest.
“I can’t Jane doesn’t give a shit anyway.”
“Come home with me. I’ll take care of you.”
He reluctantly agreed. She drove slowly so as not to cause him pain. She owned a big Victorian house that was detailed in hues of green and mauve and touches of yellow.
She made them a steaming pot of tea. They talked for many hours about their lives. She told him she had been born and raised in Boston. She was one of a large group of Irish immigrants. She had many brothers and sisters and often couldn’t remember some of their names. He laughed at her stories, she told them so well.
“And you, tell me everything about yourself.” She sat next to him on the Victorian sofa with its wooden legs, and rubbed his shoulders “Thanks for being so caring, Ms. Finn.”
“Call me Jennifer,” she said. “Now it’s time to share your life with me.”
“Well,” he said, “I was raised in New York City. I am of Italian descent and I have three sisters. My Mom and Dad both love to cook. They make huge dinners—pasta, sausages, risotto, cheesecake. We eat with them every Sunday at the beginning of the month. It’s a lot of fun.”
“Talking about food, I think we must be both hungry. I made a stew yesterday. How about I heat it up, and we’ll eat some of my homemade biscuits?”
His stomach growled at the thought of real food, and nodded heartily. They feasted on the thick stew, buttering her homemade biscuits and drank wine.
“How do you feel now? Did the conversation, meal and wine help ease your pain?” She leaned over him and kissed him gently on his mouth.
“I have to call Jane, my fiancé, and tell her I will be very late, that I am loaded down with work.” He opened his cell phone to call, but Jennifer said,
“Wait a minute, stay the night, Pete. Tell her your car broke down or something.”
It was at that moment he knew something would happen. By God, did he want this beautiful woman! All his boundaries disappeared into a fog laced place in his heart. He put the thought of Jane aside as she led him upstairs to bed. They kissed and held each other for what seemed for hours. He couldn’t wait any more and slid down her pale beautiful skin making her moan as he went down on her. She took him inside her and he thrust hard and strong until they came panting together.
“Jennifer, that was incredible.” He said kissing her lips. He eased himself on his side remembering his painful tailbone.
“That was incredible. Are you alright?” she asked.
“I think so,” he said, touching his back. Something had changed. He felt bristles sprouting from the lump, and suddenly he got terrified. He kept it to himself. He didn’t want to gross her out, and he was sure she would be.
The next morning they showered together. He soaped up her soft skin as they clung together under the steaming hot water. They did it hungrily like teenagers for the first time.
“Stay here today, Pete. The work can wait.”
“Let me check that lump again.”
“No. I’m fine,” he said.
She looked at him with curiosity. “What’s going on?” She felt his back and then withdrew her hand fast. “You’ve got bristles growing! What’s happening to you?”
“I don’t know. I’m scared.” He lay on her couch, nervous as a Jack Rabbit, while she went to the office.
“Call me if you need me.” She kissed him and left.
He called Jane not knowing what to tell her. She complained that she was in the middle of a show.
“Fuck you, Jane! You do nothing all day. Don’t you care where I was last night?”
“You said the car broke down.”
“It did and I had to stay in a motel.’
“I’ll be home later, we have to talk.”
“Is something wrong?
“I’ll tell you later.”
When Jennifer came home Pete had gone. He had left her a note.
Jennifer I have to go home and talk to Jane. Maybe I’ll see you later if that’s okay?
She sat at the table forlorn and read the newspaper. The time was passing slowly. She began to want him. She fell into an erotic trance and couldn’t shake it off.
Pete pulled into the garage nervously. He had to talk to Jane. She was standing before the microwave, her usual place. Her usual stance.
“I have something to tell you.” He spoke first in a whisper and then into a crescendo.
“Get away from that damn microwave and sit down. This is important.”
She walked slowly to the kitchen table, her pleasant face now somber.
He sat down too. His tailbone throbbed. “Jane, I have met someone else. Sorry, but you and I are not compatible, and you are a lazy b…..”
“What about the wedding? What about us?!” A tears slowly trickled down her face and she wiped them off with her sweater sleeve. “I hate you Pete! You’ve strung me along all this time, being engaged and all.” She wriggled off her ruby engagement ring and flung it at him. It made a tinny noise as it fell to the floor. She had doubted it was real gold and a real ruby. The light tinkle gave it away. “You fucking asshole, I hate you!” She yelled between tears.
“You don’t care about me, Jane. Yesterday I asked you to rub my tailbone and you never did it. I needed you, and you were in your own world of Woman’s Day, and Soap Opera Digest. I’m so outta here!” He packed up his clothes in the suitcase that was meant for their honeymoon and stormed out, wincing in pain as he went.
An hour later he was standing outside the Victorian house with its purple painted gables. He knocked on the yellow door.
Jennifer was expecting him. All her men came back around, but Pete was special; he was now her lover. The feelings were raw and untamed. There was also a growing tinge of love.
“I missed you at the office today, you seem to cheer everyone up. How is your tailbone?”
“I haven’t had time to look but it feels really strange. I broke off my engagement today.
Jennifer’s eyes widened. She had him now, all to herself. “Come on in Pete,” she said, not knowing how to process all the information.
She pulled off his gray trench coat, pulled down his pants and underwear, as if he was a little boy, and stared at the spot. “Pete, it’s longer. Reach behind you and feel it.
He was filled with dreaded fear as his hand slowly touched the raw area. “Oh my God!” He stopped for a minute; the words were stuck like bubble gum in his throat.
“It’s about a foot long, stubby, hard and furry. It’s brown,” she said excitedly. Her nipples turned into hard cherries, and there was dampness forming in her underwear. “Come on upstairs, Pete. You turn me on.”
She led him upstairs, and he kissed her hard and furiously, flicking his new tail across her wetness. He guided his splendid tail into her.
“I could get used to this,” she said. “Do you want to move in? We’ll have lots of babies’ smushing and smearing baby food all over the place!” She said at the moment of ecstasy.
“Yes, yes, I do.” He said proudly. “I love you, Ms. Finn.”
“I love you too, Peter.”
They both laughed.
HERBERT HUNCKE AT THE CHELSEA HOTEL NEW VIDEO
In his autobiographical novel ‘Junky,’ William S. Burroughs introduces himself into New York’s heroin underworld by selling a gun and a supply of morphine to two men named Roy and Herman. He describes Herman:
Waves of hostility and suspicion flowed out from his large brown eyes like some sort of television broadcast. The effect was almost like a physical impact. The man was small and very thin, his neck loose in the collar of his shirt. His complexion faded from brown to a mottled yellow, and pancake make-up had been heavily applied in an attempt to conceal a skin eruption. His mouth was drawn down at the corners in a grimace of petulant annoyance.
This was Herbert Huncke, who was born into a middle-class family in Greenfield, Massachusetts on January 9, 1915 and grew up in Chicago. As a teenager he was drawn to the underbelly of city life, and quickly began learning how to support himself as a professional drifter and small-time thief. A small and unthreatening lawbreaker, he embodied a certain honest-criminal ethic so purely that Burroughs and his friends came to love him for it. Jack Kerouac wrote adoringly of him (as Elmer Hassel) in On The Road, and Allen Ginsberg shared his New York City apartment with him, even though he realized Huncke and his junkie friends were storing stolen goods there. This phase ended in a dramatic police bust on Utopia Parkway in Bayside, Queens, during which Ginsberg frantically phoned Huncke and told him to “clean out the place” before the cops got there. Ginsberg arrived at his apartment moments ahead of the cops to find that Huncke had taken him literally. He’d tidied up and swept the floor, but the stolen goods were not moved. Ginsberg might not have been amused at the time, but there’s a certain Zen purity to this kind of thing that makes it clear why Burroughs, Ginsberg and Kerouac all liked Huncke so much.
Huncke was said to have introduced Kerouac to the term ‘beat,’ which Kerouac then used to describe his generation to John Clellon Holmes. Huncke does seem to have a way with words, because he later attempted to become a writer, and a story called ‘Elsie John,’ reprinted in ‘The Beat Reader,’ is surprisingly good. Still, I think it’s pushing it a bit that Huncke taught writing workshops at Ginsberg’s Naropa Institute poetry school. I wouldn’t go to Herbert Huncke to learn how to write anymore than I’d go to Allen Ginsberg to learn how to be a thief.
But his prose can be effective and fascinating, and there has been an increasing interest in Huncke as a writer in recent years. A superb collection of Huncke’s best writings, ‘The Herbert Huncke Reader,’ was published by William Morrow in September 1997, and filmmaker Laki Vazakas’s cinema verite documentary ‘Huncke and Louis‘ records for history the paradoxical life of a celebrated literary drug addict in old age. This film includes some heartbreaking scenes of the breakdown and death of Huncke’s longtime friend and companion Louis Cartwright, who was unable to walk the line of the addict’s life as gracefully as Huncke, and dies a lonely death. Huncke, the survivor, sits on the edge of a bed and sobs — and then goes on surviving.
I was never introduced to Herbert Huncke but I did see him “around town” a bit before he died on August 8, 1996 in a New York City hospital. Whenever I saw him, the first thought that would come to my mind was always “this is Elmer Hassel”.
Herbert Huncke, the Hipster Who Defined ‘Beat,’ Dies at 81
Published: August 9, 1996
Herbert Huncke, the charismatic street hustler, petty thief and perennial drug addict who enthralled and inspired a galaxy of acclaimed writers and gave the Beat Generation its name, died yesterday at Beth Israel Hospital. He was 81.
The cause was congestive heart failure, said Jerry Poynton, his friend and literary executor.
Mr. Huncke had lived long enough to become a writer himself and a hero to a new generation of adoring artists and writers, not to mention a reproach to a right-thinking, clean-living establishment that had long predicted his imminent demise.
In an age when it was hip to be hip, Mr. Huncke (whose name rhymes with junkie) was the prototypical hipster, the man who gave William S. Burroughs his first fix, who introduced Jack Kerouac to the term beat and who guided them, as well as Allen Ginsberg and John Clellon Holmes, through the nether world of Times Square in the 1940’s.
They honored him in turn by making him an icon of his times. He became the title character (Herbert) in Mr. Burroughs’s first book, ”Junkie” (1962). He was Ancke in Mr. Holmes’s 1952 novel, ”Go.” He appears under his own name in innumerable Ginsberg poems, including ”Howl” (1956) with its haunting reference to ”Huncke’s bloody feet.”
And if it was the fast-talking, fast-driving Neal Cassady who became Mr. Kerouac’s chief literary obsession, as the irrepressible Dean Moriarty in Mr. Kerouac’s 1957 breakthrough classic, ”On the Road,” Mr. Huncke (who was Elmo Hassel in ”On the Road”) was there first.
As Junkey, he was the dominant character in the urban half of Mr. Kerouac’s first book, ”The Town and the City,” and made later appearances as Huck in ”Visions of Cody” and ”Books of Dreams.”
All this for a teen-age runaway who said he was using drugs as early as 12, selling sex by the time he was 16, stealing virtually anything he could get his hands on throughout his life and never once apologizing for a moment of it.
”I always followed the road of least resistance,” he said in a 1992 interview. ”I just continued to do what I wanted. I didn’t weigh or balance things. I started out this way and I never really changed.”
Actually, he didn’t quite start out that way. Born into a middle-class family in Greenfield, Mass., on Dec. 9, 1915, he moved with his family to Detroit when he was 4 and two years later to Chicago, where his father ran his own machine-parts distributing company.
By his own accounts he seems to have had an uneventful early childhood, but his parents divorced, and by the time he was in his early teens he was on the street, acquiring a lifelong passion for drugs and discovering the joys — and lucrative possibilities — of sex with men. He was also beginning a life of crime, first as a runner for the Capone gang and later as a burglar and thief.
Hitting the road early, he served for a time with the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps. He traveled around the country until 1939, when he arrived in Manhattan and found a psychic home in Times Square.
Making his base of operations the Angle bar at 42d Street and Eighth Avenue, he sold drugs at times and himself at others, not always with notable success. Mr. Huncke once confided to a friend that he had not been a successful hustler: ”I was always falling in love,” he said.
It was in 1945 that an elegantly dressed man in a Chesterfield coat knocked on the door of an apartment where Mr. Huncke was living. The visitor, who was in search of Mr. Huncke’s roommate in the hope of selling him a sawed-off shotgun, was Mr. Burroughs. Mr. Huncke would recount that he took one look and told his roommate to get rid of him. ”He’s the F.B.I.,” he said.
Mr. Burroughs proved anything but, and within days Mr. Huncke had introduced him to heroin and sealed a lifelong friendship that included a 1947 visit to a marijuana farm Mr. Burroughs had started in Texas.
It was through Mr. Burroughs that Mr. Huncke soon met Mr. Ginsberg, then a Columbia undergraduate, and Mr. Kerouac, a recent Columbia dropout who became so enchanted with Mr. Huncke’s repeated use of the carny term ”beat,” meaning tired and beaten down, that he later used it as his famous label for the Beat Generation. (Mr. Kerouac later clouded things by suggesting it was derived from ”beatific.”)
An aspiring, Columbia-centered literary crowd was soon learning at Mr. Huncke’s feet. Among other things, he introduced them to the sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, who after meeting Mr. Huncke at the Angle had interviewed him about his colorful sex life and hired him to recruit other subjects.
Though it seemed strange to some people that such a wide array of literary figures found Mr. Huncke so enchanting, he was always more than he seemed. For all his disreputable pursuits, he had elegant, refined manners and a searing honesty. He was also uncommonly well read for someone who had never been to high school, and such a natural and affecting storyteller that he could keep a table of admirers enthralled until the wee hours.
He also had a code of honor. Yes, he might steal from his friends if he needed a fix, but did not inform on them, something he proved on a number of occasions when the police sought his help in developing charges against his celebrity friends.
Mr. Huncke, who spent a total of 11 years in prison, including almost all of the 1950’s, was unrepentant, a man whose acceptance of crime as his fate bolstered his friends’ views that he was a victim of a rigid, unfeeling society.
If his friends saw him as fodder for their literary work, Mr. Huncke, as he later claimed, saw them as marks. There is, perhaps, a certain paradox in Mr. Huncke’s use of his literary friends as literary fodder. Mr. Huncke himself began writing in the 1940’s, locking himself in a stall in the men’s room in the subway. He described it as the only place he could work in peace, scribbling away in his notebooks.
Taking the Kerouac idea of writing nearly automatic prose even further than Mr. Kerouac did, Mr. Huncke turned out a series of memoirs that have been praised for their unaffected style. Those who heard him regale listeners say his books read as if he were telling a spontaneous anecdote around a table at the Angle.
”Huncke’s Journal” (1965) was followed by ”Elsie John and Joey Martinez” (1979), ”The Evening Sun Turned Crimson” (1980) and ”Guilty of Everything” (1990, Hanuman Books).
The books and Mr. Huncke’s role in a brash new literary movement made him famous to a younger generation, and he had several successful lecture tours in recent years.
His books did not make much money, but they didn’t need to. Friends contributed willingly to the upkeep of Mr. Huncke, who seemed proud that he had no talent for regular work.
It was a reflection of his continued standing among self-styled counterculturists that one of his most generous benefactors was a man who had never met him: Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, who is said to have helped with his rent at Manhattan’s Chelsea Hotel, where Mr. Huncke lived for the last several years.
Mr. Huncke, whose longtime companion, Louis Cartwright, was killed in 1994, is survived by his half brother, Dr. Brian Huncke of Chicago.
Photo: Herbert Huncke, hustler, drug addict and inspiration for Beat writers. (Brian Graham)
IN 1998 AT A DINER IN NEW HAMPSHIRE MY HUSBAND AND I WERE HAVING BREAKFAST IN A DINER. WE WERE ATTENDING A CELEBRATION OF KEROAUC IN LOWELL, MA. HERBERT HUNCKE WHO WAS SITTING AT ANOTHER TABLE GAVE ME A BLURB FOR MY BOOK OF POETRY “REAL JUNKIES DON’T EAT PIE” HE WROTE “IT IS TRUE REALY JUNKIES DON’T EAT PIE”
Things were going slowly at the Mobil, it was pouring down rain, and there were few customers that day. Greg was grateful for that. He was tall and lanky, with an awkward way about him. His thinning beige hair was cut into a mullet and he had a ring in his left ear. He was wearing dirty green overalls. His name above the pocket was half ripped off, GR—in embroidered yellow thread.
He stood in the garage doorway watching the rain stream down the gutter.
What a boring day this is, and it’s my 21st birthday of all things and here I am at 21 and look at me-I am a gas station attendant, fuck this shit. He thought as he flipped through a “Car and Driver magazine, looking at all the cars he would never drive.
Jim was in the back of the, garage under a black Civic fiddling around.
“Hey Jim take a break and lets have a coffee break.””
“What Greg? I can’t hear you. Turn down the boom box.”
Greg turned off the radio and repeated himself. Jim rolled out from under the car, and stood up. He was a big guy, and creaked when he stood up.
“Still pouring huh?”
“Yes it’s a shitty day alright.”
There was a row of dilapidated row homes and a Korean market next to them. A
delivery truck was unloading goods for the market. A tubby woman with a tiny dog was rushing through the rain with a stripped umbrella, yelling at the pooch
“Go make poo poo Twiddles.”
Greg and Jim looked at each other.
“Stupid little scrawny piece of shit.” Greg yelled, then ran inside and burst out laughing. The woman who by now was squatting down next to Twiddles with a plastic bag about to pick up the steamy shit looked up, and almost lost her balance.
“You young men should leave me and Twiddles alone, do you hear me? I will complain to your boss if you yell anything else to insult my doggie and me.”
She gave an angry scowl to the two men, and hurried away down the empty street -shit in hand.
It was almost 5pm. And both men were looking to get home. They locked the doors, just as Greg was climbing into his car, a blue station wagon pulled up. The windows were pulled down.
“Happy Birthday.” Came from front and back of the car. Greg looked closer, and saw all his friends from the bowling alley.
“What’s up guys-how do you know it’s my birthday?”
“It’s more than that Greg, it’s your 21st-the all-important day of your life, and everything is legal-if you know what we mean. There was a roar of laughter from inside the car.
“Come on in Greg and Jim, wes going to celebrate this joyous occasion.
Greg and Jim stuffed themselves into the already bursting wagon. The smell of pot and beer filled the car.
“Can I have a toke on that fellas.”
“Where are we going?” 2
“To Noddy’s for your first legal drink!”
“Great guys that will be fun.”
Greg was somewhat high.
They parked outside of Noddys and headed inside the bar. Many of the regulars were there, Johnny the Cab, Peter the Pizza Pie, Dave the Dry Cleaner, and others Greg knew from high school. In the corner were a bunch of girls giggling.They ordered beer and hamburgers with cheese fries. Noddy was keeping an eye on them, and the young girls. When young people barely over the age limit came into his bar they usually got rowdy.
The giggling girls were appealing to the young men, and soon their tables were pulled together. They kept ordering beer then added shots. They became raucous as ever, spilling beer all around them. The guys were getting hooked up with the girls, and one particularly pretty girl with short blond hair and the bluest eyes Greg had ever seen cuddled up to him.
“What’s your name?” Asked Greg.
“ Patty, where you from?”
“Randolph, I usually go to another bar, but your friends invited me here for your birthday. It’s your 21st am I right?”
“Yeah it is but I Don’t ark to new people easy.”
“I have it all under control. Let me do the steering okay?”
Greg was puzzled with the pretty girl’s talk and shifted on his barstool.
“I have to go soon Patty maybe another time, I gotta go.”
“Come on now Greg relax, you just got here.”
She rubbed his thigh with her leg. Greg turned red. He didn’t know what the heck to do. He’d always been shy and had a hard time meeting girls. She started to play with his hair. Greg was getting very nervous, but tried to look cool around them, anyway they were all doing their thing and weren’t looking.
“You’re cute.” She said kissing his cheek, trying to reach his mouth.
“Let me just kiss you.”
He tilted his head and she kissed his mouth. She tasted of strawberries. Her big blues looked into his. He felt himself growing under his overalls.
She whispered in his ear. “Let’s go upstairs, Noddy has a spare room he lets us use it if we are too drunk to drive.”
“I can’t.” Greg stuttered. “If I am guessing what you mean?”
“We’ll have fun Greg, I promise” She took his hand and pulled him up.
His body tangled with the expectation of that he knew not what to expect.
“Come on, we have to sneak up, or the bartender will notice us.”
She took his hand and led his around the corner. They passed Mary in the kitchen, and crept up the creaky stairs.
“Here Greg this door on the right.” She opened it and they went in.
There was a big bed, with plaid pillows and comforter. She, despite his nervousness got him undressed and soon they were both under the covers kissing. Much of his nervousness disappeared as the kisses were turning him on. She climbed on top of him pressing his shoulders to the bed.
“What are you doing he moaned.” 3
“Around the world.”
“What’s that?” He said worriedly.
“For you a bit of everything.”
“No fucking way, is that right?”
“Yeah Greg for you everything.”
She road him like a stallion, and he moaned and growled when her titties brushed his mouth. She changed positions, and while keeping him from cuming she performed everything she knew and more. Greg was soaring in ecstasy, he wanted it to last forever, but he could no longer do that than change a tire on a car.
He heaved and she moaned, and their orgasms lit the room.
“Happy Birthday Greg from all your friends!” She got on her elbow and lit two cigarettes handing one to him. Then laughed, tickling the bottom of his feet.
“This was your first time.?”
“Yes said Greg, and my first cigarette!”
An excerpt from “Noddy’s Bar & Grill” Ana Christy.
Crossing Border Festival- Holland
we travelled the high-speed train through Belgium to Holland red-tiled roofs. streets narrow and people riding old black bicycles co-op gardens and small garden-shed houses fields of soft poppies moving in dismal rain white patched cows lolling in jungle green grass crossing tracks in train yards with red trains
in the carriage/2 Belgium men with strange effeminate sandals whisper in a world I don not understand they are wearing matching t-shirts and seem to have a message
that week in holland/sunny afternoon making love on make-shift bed – the children outside making happy. noise
buildings of the hippie complex on Albert Schweitzer boulevard in childlike colored panels of turquoise and green all looked the same
down two flights of stairs in the ghandi room/Merle our companion practicing his new poem our performances critical-posters all over town/in. store windows announcing our readings and blowing around wet streets emphasized the importance of it all
I pick lavender with you along garden paths/walk along the canals of Amsterdam drink espresso in your coffee houses mingle with the best of your poets and musicians in backstage dressing rooms on folding/drinking wine and smoking legal pot
Holland you have bought me here in the rain travel-tired and cold with wet luggage/a fist of unfamiliar guilder in the palm of my hand/ wanting my poems about America to shake you up just a little bit. Ana Christy.
From “REAL JUNKIES DON’T EAT PIE”
HOW TO BOIL A DOG
Frieda and Walt were young honeymooners looking for a place to live and Levittown, Pa. “tract houses” built by the thousands, 1,733 to be exact, were up for grabs. Bill Levitt had a brilliant idea he would build the houses quickly and cramped together. His intention was not to sell to “blacks” so whites would prominently inhabit them. It was the nineteen fifties. Frieda and Walt liked the proximity of the other houses close together; plenty of neighbors to chit chat to and borrow a saw or a lawn mower when the occasion arrived. They fell in love with the “Cape Cod” style house on Division Avenue. They hugged each other in front of the friendly realtor and put down $100 on the 17,440 home, with its two bedrooms, a washer under the stairs, and sunny windows. Walt thought the aluminum siding was the best thing ever; he’d never have to paint the house, and the tiny lawn would need little upkeep. They were thrilled as they stood with the realtor on the short driveway. “When can we move in?” Inquired Walt. His wife was walking around the house, watching the neighbors watch them. On her third time around, panting a little she stopped and asked the realtor for the key. They stepped inside the little foyer, viewed the living room and kitchen, and then climbed the narrow stairs to the two bedrooms. “This is perfect don’t you think Walt?” “What ever you decide “little wifey” as he was prone to call her. It was his way of showing his love for her. “Good luck” said the realtor and shook their hands rapidly. He had eight more houses to show and badly needed a cup of coffee and a Dingdong. That was then, and Frieda and Walt had been married now for forty years and knew all the neighbors. Their two grown sons lived on Oak Tree Lane with their wives and children. It was so very cozy. Frieda had just retired from The Avalon Diner, and was filling her empty hours decorating and doing crafts. She put up her waitress legs and rested them while she watched cable. It felt good to be finally off her feet. Walt, also retired from a foreman’s job at The Uniform Factory spent his days at auctions, and at his watering hole “Randy’s Road House.” Frieda was up early scrambling eggs and bacon and toast. It was Walt’s favorite breakfast Frieda noticed Walt had put more jiggle on his stomach, and had been encouraging him to cut out some of the grease. “I just can’t give up breakfast.” He pleaded. “Give me less dinner, I’ll try my best.” He pecked her on the cheek and pinched her butt. He had learned pinching from the “Travel Channel.” Where he learned those Italians pinched women’s butts on a regular basses. She giggled and pushed him out of the door. “Enjoy the auction Walt.” She watched him drive off in his Gremlin, smoke coming out of his pipe through the window. She saw Mrs. Burstein come out of her house, which was the same as hers. She had a bag of birdseed, and was tilting it into her bird feeder. A squirrel was watching, smiling to it’s little gray self, waiting for her to go in. Then he climbed up the pole and tipped the seeds on the grass and ate them in his tiny hands. Frieda was chilly by the window and gathered her pink chenille robe around her tiny middle. Her breath fogged up the window.
Her sons Barry and Mike lived on a nearby street with their wives. Jill who was Barry’s wife was a secretary to the mayor. She was proud of her position and the mayor was proud of her. Barry sold old used cars, mostly Chryslers and Fords, things were brisk at the car dealership, but he made a meager wage and was jealous of his wife’s status. He worked long hours with people he disliked and wouldn’t in a million years have them over for his famous barbeques. His wife Jill encouraged her husband to go to night school and learn a trade. She was worried about him. They had some savings and Barry intended to take her somewhere special for their twentieth anniversary. He was beside himself with the surprise. Barry had trouble keeping a secret, but he kept his trap shut. He wondered if Jill had heard him talk in his sleep. He had been dreaming about “the trip” romancing her, making love in a big old hotel. He called his brother Mike at the Five and Dime. He was the manager. “Mike it’s Barry I have a secret, a good one, I need to share it with you, it’s about our anniversary.” Mike listened intently while pressing his phone into his ear, making it sore and possibly red. “I have to get off the phone Barry I have a dozen customers in line.” He lied. He was jealous of Barry and Jill, they seemed so together, always holding hands and smooching with wet lips on their old plaid couch. It sometimes made him nauseous, because he didn’t have what they had, romance and seemingly a lot of sex. “I’ll talk to you later okay?” Mike was a together kind of guy. Handsome as Michael Angelo’s “David,” flirted with the women customers He had even had clandestine affairs at the “Hot Stop Motel.” His wife Betty seemed not to notice. But she did know especially when he came home late sweating and red in the face. “Where were you I rang the store and they said you left hours ago?” “I had to stock the inventory and it’s boring and time consuming.” He held her tight and she smelled the newly applied “Old Spice” She backed off with an angry look on her tight lipped face. “I know you’ve been cheating on me, admit it Mike.” “What’s for dinner?” He asked. “Answer me Mike, right now!” “I have never cheated on you.” “Sure you haven’t.” She yelled. “We haven’t had sex in over a month, why is that Mike?” He sat at the kitchen table knowing full well she saw the ruddiness in his cheeks. “Again dearest one, what’s for dinner?” “Glazed ham, red potatoes and tapioca. After dinner he led her up the small staircase to the bedroom. He turned her on, and he had sex for the second time in the same day. Lying back satisfied Betty said, “I believe you Mike, you could never have sex twice in one day. She nuzzled up to him, and they fell asleep. Frieda went into her kitchen to make more coffee, when her scrawny little chiwawa Scrappy rushed yapping into the kitchen. Frieda hated the tiny dog. Walt had bought it for her last birthday, thinking all women liked little dogs. Not Frieda, she despised it, but couldn’t find it in her heart to tell Walt. She couldn’t stand it’s yapping and running around. She took her coffee over to the Formica table when Scrappy the nasty piece of shit wove around her legs. She wobbled, spilling her coffee over the original orange linoleum. She took out the mop and wiped up the spilled coffee. The dog got excited and lapped up the spillage, making Frieda wobble and fall. “God Damn it!” She yelled at Scrappy. “I hate you, you little pest. She tried to get up but kept slipping on the floor she had just waxed to it’s shiniest. She lay splayed unable to move. She hated the little dog.
Walt with Aluminum tied to his car strode over to “Randy’s Road House.” He needed “refreshments” His mouth was dusty and his thinning hair was greasy. The auction was in a muddy field and the pick-up trucks flung the dry dirt around. He had been on his feet all day buying up all the Aluminum he could tie to his car. It would bring a good price from a builder. He entered the dark bar with its flickering “Bud” sign. His buddies were there with a space in the middle waiting for him. He plonked himself down between Arthur and Jack, his buddies from way back. Arthur had served in Vietnam alongside Walt and had a million stories to tell between them, while the other patrons listened fervently. Jack a former Linebacker for The Philadelphia Giants talked “sports” and would often get into heated arguments about the game. They talked guy talk, hauling junk, sports, and women, not their wives. There were a couple of “lookers” as they called them. They were on their forth beer and had downed shots of whiskey. Joking around making fun of their possessive wives, and rightly so, everything was up for grabs in a bar like that. Walt had never cheated on his wife but had had plenty of opportunity. Busty Pam seated her ample butt down next to them. Her boobs swelled over the polished oak bar. “Hi fellas.” She said. “Wanna dance?” “Yes” they all said. So Busty Pam eased herself off the barstool. “Come on guys let’s do it.” They took it as an invite to sex, but no, Busty Pam led all three guys to the center of the bar. Walt was pulled by his sweatshirt, Arthur was led by his tie, he always wore a tie, no matter how ugly. Jack was grabbed by her free hand, and her long pink nails. The Jukebox was playing George Jones. They danced in a wobbly circle, despite the heehaws of the other drinkers. Busty Betty was liking being a tease, and they liked her “amorousness.” “Hey Fellas, want to go round back? I could make you real happy, real happy!” They reluctantly declined, but it was awful nice of her, even though she wanted some dough for her efforts. Her boobs rubbed up and down the horny guys, making them want to rush back home to their innocent wives. Perhaps get a “Porking” in while their wives were waiting home in bed, a good old “in and out.” They said their goodbyes. Jack grabbed Busty Pam’s breast. Then they left anxious to get home to dinner. Walt wondered what culinary plate Frieda would serve him. She would put down two placemats shiny cutlery, and two napkins. His stomach rumbled like an old tractor. Then he would “Pork” her. Frieda lay on the floor unable to get up, it was by then noon and she cursed the nasty little dog, it kept yapping around her barking, it’s high pitch trill antagonized her eardrums. Frieda tried and tried to get up, but she couldn’t. The dog in his yappy state lifted its leg and peed on her face. “I am going to fucking kill you yap dog.” Pain shot through her left leg making her unable to get up, let alone move. “If I had my cell phone I could call for help, I have to pee real bad. Maybe I’ll pee on you!” The agitated dog tore at Frieda’s polyester pants and ripped a hole exposing her thigh. “You are a real fuck, Scrappy. Wait till I get up, Bozo Dog!” “When did Walt say he was coming home? After the bar, of course—what else!” She was getting mad at Walt even though he had no part of her stuck on the floor. The dog circled her and ran across her stomach a few times. “I CAN’T TAKE IT ANY MORE.” She yelled. She looked at the kitchen clock, it was one of those fifties clocks that was metal, looking like a starburst. It
was three o’clock. What was she going to do? She yelled out to Mrs. Bernstein hoping she was still over by the bird feeder identifying the birds with her “All American Birds.” She imagined. The crazy old coot! Someone was knocking at the door. Frieda took a deep breath and screamed at the top of her soft-spoken voice. There was another knock. “Please, please someone hear me.” She pleaded. Her son Barry worried if his mom was all right. She always answered the door. She was supposed to be watching her favorite Soap Opera. He reached above the door and got the spare key. He opened the door and went in. “Mom are you here?” “Barry I am so glad you came, I am in the kitchen. “Mom I have the brochures on Paris, I bought the tickets yesterday. Jill doesn’t know yet. Mom, are you okay? What are you doing in the kitchen? You always come to the door.” “Barry I am stuck on the floor, that damn dog tripped me up.” Barry rushed into the kitchen and saw his mother in such a state, spread out on the floor. Her legs going this way and that. “Mom are you hurt?’ Barry looked at her with great concern. He grabbed her under the arms and pulled her up. ‘What’s that smell, it’s God damn awful?” “The dog peed on my face, Barry. Can you believe that? I am going to put him to sleep come tomorrow, believe me, I will. I hate the bloody thing.” “Calm down Mom,” he said. Are you hurt?” “Just my hip, I think it’s bruised, not broken.” He looked at her with concern in his eyes. “Mom you could have broken something.” Barry stroked her hair, it was all mussed up, and her lipstick was smeared across her face. “Barry go home now, please. I have a meal to prepare before your dad comes home. I am making something experimental tonight, just for Walt. You and Jill should come for dinner tomorrow and tell us all about your trip. Jill will be thrilled. Tell your brother to come over too. We’ll make a celebration out of it. I will make you guys’ favorite roast chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and canned peas. Thanks, Barry for helping me up, I was so scared.” He held her tightly and whispered “sorry” in her ear. “Is tomorrow at seven good for you? Call Mike, don’t forget we’ll give you a proper send-off. Lucky you going to Paris and all. Now go call your brother about tomorrow. I have cooking to do.” Barry left, concerned about his mother.
Frieda took out a big pot and cut up chunks of carrots, turnips, and potatoes. Then she opened cans of beef stock and added a bay leaf. Grabbing Scrappy by his neck she carried him like that to the sink. He was wriggling like a live chicken. With the greatest of pleasure and with a grin on her face, she wrung the dog’s neck till its eyes popped out and rolled into the sink. He tried to bite her as his last nasty stance as his blood squirted out. But she had gotten the better of him: he was dead. She skinned it with her Ginzu knife; the fur and skin peeled away with little effort. It clunked down the garbage disposal, making a sucking noise. She gutted Scrappy. His intestines fell out like sticky tubes. Then she took the shit out of the dog’s rectum, holding her nose. Frieda stuffed him into her largest pan and pushed him down with her wooden spoon. She boiled him for forty-five minutes until he was fork tender, and then added the vegetables. She put the lid on tightly and went to see the last part of her soap opera. Walt would back for dinner soon, smelling of beer. She rubbed her sore hip and smiled wickedly.