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Dec. 5, 2002
volume i, issue vii
that famous poet
It was the last day of December- turn of the millennium-middle of Amsterdam-
and within the confines
of the Hotel Inntel, I sat in the bathtub, drinking warm beer (dead empties sink to the bottom, lifeless- everything else floats, means that they're alive, means that they're fair game-Question:  Why dance on graves when it's the live fuckers that force you to look over your shoulder?) I was preparing myself, squeezing my balls and

"John what the hell are you doing in there?"
"Squeezing my balls."
"Don't give me that shit, you've been in there for over an hour."
"Alright, I'll be out in a minute."
"Did you drink all that beer?"
"What beer?"
"The beer I saw you take in there with you, it's 8 in the morning, too early to deal with your blah blah bitching and nag nag nagging and where the hell are my cigarettes, shit, I need a smoke, John, bang bang banging open this door before I"

getting ready, I dry off, throw on  musty, wrinkled clothes,
ashtray cologne
beer breath, the phone rings: Mr. Brady? Yes? (I travel under different names; this time, I'm Mr. Brady) There's a Mr. Conrad here to see you. Thank you; tell him I'll be down in a minute.

Elevator, three flights, facial hair and double vision, rust stained razors carve gentle figure eights, slice up my thought process into pretty little circles until I'm face to face
with the great
Italian poet. We look at each other:
Ric? Yeah. John? Yup. Something to drink? Of course my good man,
of course

A deranged
meeting of the mindsbar next door2 pints, Belgian beertastes of old cider, apples gone long rotten, fermented and yeasty, high octane.you know, I saw a couple of pistolero types in here, tough looking Mexicans with the low slung holsterscigarette boxes empty themselves, the rolled tobacco jumps between lips, glows cancerous and serenewe're the only ones out there, all these other guys are typing bubblegum and unicornseven some of the greats, weren't all that great, just misunderstoodand you can't take these new guys at face value, shit, these days every one has a plastic surgeon, fixed noses and tucked cheek poetry, yeah, liposuctioned lines, Michael Jackson prose and not a real heart in the crowdyellow fingers drumming against old, stained table topmix the Time element with an alcohol based conversation and you will get one of two things, either an extreme truth, or an undeniable falsehoodlast night at the Grey Area, 2 grams, Stardustblonde hashwe must retrieve her.the hotelI should call first...

Under the low lights of the hotel lobby sits 3 feet
of smoking
hair- the legs
crossed and blue fog waves
roll out from her nose, hang by the cheeks, suspended
for one
second 'Ric, this is the blonde, the great American girlfriend.
Honey, this is the Ric, the great Italian poet.'

And then we we're in a coffee shop, and it might have been the heavy hash, in the middle of Amsterdam, sitting with the blonde
and the great
Italian poet at 10 a.m. with mugs of beer
pressed to our faces
or maybe it was our BIG
literary talk
spinning reckless across the table- cluttered, jumbled, half drunken
words of immortality- but I was feeling good, strong, as if I had just eaten an entire chicken and a pound of exotic fruit or maybe even popped speed, bennies, eye-openers, black beauties and you might not understand this, but I was the atom bomb, the hydrogen bomb- I was a nuclear reactor! I was a goddamned powerhouse! My life force was something radiant, something radiant, blaring, beaming and dazzling. It was if I contained so much energy that it was bleeding from my pores, leaking from my ears and nostrils and there was a picture show glowing bloody bright and bloody breathtakingly beautiful behind my eyes:

Ceiling point of view, looking down on myself,
sitting with the blonde
and the great
Italian poet at 10 a.m. with mugs of beer
pressed to our faces and from this angle I can see a slit
beginning to form at the top of my head and some of that blaring, radiant life force was leaking out of the slit and it was a violent, blue light, so strong that I could barely look at it, so bright that it forced my pupils to contract into the tinniest of tiny black orbs, and the slit began to spread, turning into a crack and the crack went from my forehead all the way down to the bottom of my neck and the light was everywhere, spilling from the crack and slicing through the bar, blasting through all the people and out the door, across a thousand streets and down a thousand alleyways, through all the triple x sex shops and across a thousand red light window cunts all covered in black lace with garters and the dime store perfume, on roller skates and in mini-skirts, sweating and pumping, reeling
in a thousand red light window dreams, and all my violent, blaring and radiant life force just cutting right through them and turning it all, dream and cunt and alleyway and street and people and bar, all of it, all of Amsterdam, all of it,
to dust.

The picture show ends and I'm back in the bar, sitting with the blonde
and the great
Italian poet with mugs of beer
pressed to our faces and they were talking politics. Meanwhile
I was having paranoid thoughts,
thoughts of cunts and cracks, violent light and grand scale destruction. I had to do something before the slit began to form and so I got up and went to the bathroom. I squeezed my nuts, splashed my face with cold water, got out, and made it back to the table. I was feeling along my forehead when the waitress brought over another round.

Ric: "So John, what do you have planned for the night?"
John: "Not sure yet, I figured on the square, maybe watch the fireworks, maybe eat some mushrooms.'
"I can see you enjoying that."
"What about yourself?"
"I'm headed to a party with the wife, a few friends in an apartment. Actually, I should start heading back to the station."
"Alright, let's finish up and we'll walk you over."

We finished up, lit cigarettes, started walking and made the Centraal Station.

Centraal Station
in the middle of Amsterdam, standing with the blonde
and the great
Italian poet, heavy buzz in the early afternoon, light rain and disjointed thoughts,
December 31'st, nineteen 99be careful in the square tonight John, these Dutchmen are crazy with their fireworksheel-toe shuffle to a sickly staccato beatlearn to dance with the syringes and you'll make sunriseit can all be done a man's perception can encompass entire planets, force them to operate in certain ways very easily, just a small shift a man's perception will alter trajectories, will force microcosms to collidejust a small shiftcollision/prepare for impact/and clashlike titans, like bullet trains, like the mad gazelles of Africa drinking from the bounty of the grachtenwe fade out with a handshake and a promise of words

john dempsey ©2002
altered trajectories
john dempsey