BRIGHTON BEACH, BROOKLYN.
The cure for anything is salt water—sweat, tears, or the sea.” Isak Dinesen
EXPLORING MY INSIDE
IN HER YOUNGER DAYS: FROM MY JOURNALS, 27 JANUARY, THURSDAY 1983
A day “out of” the city—An hour’s ride on the subway takes me to the seaside—Brighton beach might just as well be Odessa—the guttural cling clang of these removed Russians—bundled rowdily into furs & scarves and blankets across wide laps. How refreshing it is, if only for a couple of hours, to have different smells under my nose—the hollow gray thud of the boardwalk along the ocean has always been a stolid reassurance for me—it gives me as much as i expect from it—winter light on the ocean streaks with a clarity not found in smoldering summer skies. I walked along a stretch of beach—determined safe after a quick scan of the horizon—no desire to explore the outside—so, in my predetermined space of beach I spent a little time exploring my inside—a few rough sketches—my “notes”—reminded of Baudelaire’s own comments on nature.
Nature, for me, begs to be used—turned into something grander & more sensual than the seemingly ordinary placement of rocks & sand & water. My own eyes saw grand female sensuality—stretched across open spaces—once the ocean slapped against the thighs of rocks—Once a wave planted a quick wet kiss between those rocks.
D may bring his Dutch artists by the studio—They’re out trying to find him a gallery. I’d like to get at the canvas but will take the evening as it comes—M seemed anxious to meet them—rather liked the work he saw at D’s.
Now the last of Brighton is about to disappear, like Proust’s Madeleine, into my mouth—no longer the strudel from Mrs. Stahl’s—now become the memory of it—and ultimately, infinitely more pleasurable.
Hours later. Almost drunk. I’m not one of those artists who can gild their shit—I can hardly shit!
No duty with the aunt tomorrow. She’s got to have her hair ‘done.’ Another weekend with X. So little of it with so much power. Jesus, the stranger is desired more than ever—the stranger will come through the canvas as he’s never come through the door—i walk on the beach, on the beach, on the beach, on the beach, on the beach, on the beach.
I called M and the little orange cat was just being delivered. Karma say i—the little orange hellion returns. I really need, want a feline in the studio—unfair to the breed to live w/out a person days at a time—but comes a time when i can paint all the time there will be cat hair on the canvas again.
I ain’t going hunting anymore—learning to curl my tail about my secrets & wait w/a nose held in search of mystery. I give out & get nothing—if the secret is to be found—it will have to find me. I’m bound by my symbols—tonight working that out in a drawing—the colors fly & bind me. Thought of Marilyn [Monroe] again tonight. The idea isn’t dead—how could it be?
A charge of black kids on the D train this afternoon—screaming with a repressed power—calling each other the “nigger”—blacks on opposite platforms—“Look at those dumb niggers on the other side!”—Angry moves—even w/the boy-girl. “What you doin’ nigger (as black boy leans over w/lascivious grin to black girl)—what he doin’ indeed!—Stop with the black and white—only answer—but it will go on and life will suffocate in the separation. What fucking stupidity—what a holy fucking mess up of life.
The thing is, now, to get drugs—even heroin [never happened]—though there’s time for that yet & i want hallucinogens now. Locked into the studio for a week-end—a marathon—to SWEAT IT OUT—me as the teacher, me a student—Me as guru, ME as abject follower—‘back & forth—assuming and unassuming Roles—Greet and be greeted. I’ll bet Miriam could help w/this—Mario taken aback a little when i first talked openly with him about wanting the drug—Acid preferably. I picked up a very sexy fragment on the beach today—If i were to die before Mario I would (DO) will these notebooks to him—if her were to die before me i still dedicate this meager life to him—
—and these meager fingers I should say—drunk: a self p with antagonists. “Cocaine” on the radio—Bound—best way, only way to be—Bio of Cocteau almost too much—Proust as an extra—could it be? Cocteau, it seems, was the Great Extra! Blown and bullied by my own symbols—drunk i can still write—TF suggests I change my living & write—you can, she says but i demure & say—no, only occasionally do i have a spell of wit. I’m only bound w/my art. St. Sebastian had nothing over me.
D and the Dutch no show—tomorrow (or whenever I speak to him next) an excuse—belabored and more extracting of the “truths” than even i care to know—So i’ll know more than that.
If I can get up tomorrow i’ll call Mario—so pathetic these bloody rips at Life—Steadily w/out mercy the inhalations serve no purpose but to serve no purpose—i’m torn, i tear—nowhere & then i disappear—the ground speaks with ignorance after each step. Nothing & Nothing is what lives without nothing recognizing it and making it Something.The bourbon in the little plastic cup shimmers as if it were the greater ocean & so reflects greatness. Just think, the trip to Brighton scores with equal brilliance w/the whiskey in my cup. Tomorrow i’ve a shit load of birthday cards to create.