Coincidentally, over the two lovely, balmy summer months
before the planes hit the Twins, I had given in to a
RealAudio aircheck binge diet of New York's Top 40 powerhouse,
WABC, steeping myself in a soothingly rapturous cocoon
of Dan Ingram and Ron Lundy and Cousin Brucie time capsules
from exactly the Nelson RockeLindsay period those Yamasakipaloozas
were inching up and up and up. The net effect of those
WABC airchecks --especially when full length, music,
commercials, and all-- epitomized Top 40 at its airtight
peak, when everything that fell into the mix formed
a joyous omni-urbanism of the air. And the tragic passage
of time only enhanced the rapture --as immediate as
yesterday, yet like young love, forever impossible to recapture.
Or maybe it was like very young love, a literally
pre-sexual albeit subliminally erotic love; the rapture
of a transistor between the sheets foreboding physicality
and hopes thereof in the years to come. No accident
that this was the approximate time I was having
my youthful Top 40 revelations --not via WABC, unfortunately,
but had I known about it, it would have been the Holy Grail.
By extension, the USA itself was a Holy Grail, a glittery
place that beckoned through Buffalo's ABC/CBS/NBC-TV,
and was first truly physically breached on a Greyhound
trip to Florida with grandparents in the spring of '72.
It was the shimmer of stars for the eyes, even if the
stars were tall pylons advertising the brands that were
soon to be part of Exxon; and it was the place where
I had my first Doritos. America, deepest America, would
always beckon, woo me like a profane lover--and preferrably
on our own terms, reasonably independent of the constrictive
quirks of elders.
And adding to the wideness of young eyes, I was also
transfixed by high buildings, maybe because Toronto
was having its own skyscraper-and-otherwise races for
the stars at this time. Too far removed from New York
to follow the World Trade Center's progress on a daily
basis, it still caught my Guinness-reader's fascination,
even if Sears in Chicago very soon nipped its stature
in stature. But there remained a "Guinness distance"
--otherwise, the WTC didn't seem to figure in the weaving
of myth at the time, almost as if New York was cringing
in embarrassment. As a result, it was as much a strangely
distant enigma as today's Asian superskyscrapers are
It was but a little boy's skyscraper fantasy, the World
Trade Center --and as childish; a queasily glossy birthday-present
Sim City whatchamacallit come to life. Little boys grow
to realize the vanity of childish ways --and that includes
little boys transfixed by big buildings. (Unless The
Fountainhead comes along to lock them into a little
boy groove forever.)
The dazzling little boy dreams of c1970 dissipate through
adolescence, with all that entails. Especially after
Watergate, America's glasses lost their rosy colour.
A long-distance Greyhound journey that still maintained
harmless Kerouac Jr. magic (with Doritos as the drug
of choice) in '72 would become an unthinkably third-rate,
seamy, dicey, or else Interstate-culture-sterilized
affair before long. The WABC Top 40 zeitgeist, hit by
audience fragmentation and FM sound, was in a tailspin
by the end of the decade. Of course, the tailspin could
have been prefigured in those ancient airchecks, with
their now-unfamiliar "single edits" of classics by Led
Zeppelin, the Who, et al. And it could have been prefigured
in the editorial attacks on the World Trade Center as,
well, the biggest urban disaster ever to hit Lower Manhattan
--its construction, that is, not its destruction.
As it turned out, the original WTC complex was finished
at the doorstep of its own nadir --but a very apropos
moment of nadir, as it also turned out. It came to be
more than an archi-urban disaster; it became That 70s
Complex, an immortal icon of the most mythically gauche
decade in history. And this was, ironically, in spite
of its being out of archi-urban step with its own time
--for instance, Chicago's Sears and John Hancock (and
their New York brethern such as 1 Liberty Plaza) more
accurately characterized the 70s-megascraper state of
the art. Brutal, uncompromising, anathema to incipient
Postmodernists these examples were --but tacky they
weren't; and the popular consensus is: the 70s were
tacky. Majorly tacky. "What were they thinking?"
tacky. By offering itself to sky-high tightrope walks
or emptily overblown remakes of King Kong, the Twin
Towers, attacked by all highbrow fronts, instead openly
proclaimed themselves participants in populist High
Tack --what else were they to do? Rejected by New York,
they could only justify themselves through High
Tack. They weren't even totally-out-of-time Buck Rogers
surreal like the Albany Mall --they were just dumb.
Of course, the WTC could have gone even further and
more convincingly along the That 70s Road (at least,
visually speaking) had John Portman been the architect
rather than Minoru Yamasaki, unless --judging from Portman's
Renaissance Center in Detroit, the most comparable North
American urbanistic contemporary WTC has--that'd be
too much for us to bear. (Though admittedly, Detroit's
tragic urban and demographic reality has always given
Ren Cen a macabre cast that defies easy embrace.) Instead,
it felt satisfied as two towers, big and dumb--as dumb
as the most mawkish 70s singer-songwriter verse. An
architectural Happy Face. The Chrysler Building is romance;
the WTC: Retro Hell. A ridiculous complex for a ridiculous
decade, it arguably launched the Age Of Irony as decisively
as its destruction marked its end.
And yet, and yet. Consider the bundle of paradoxes about
the mythic 70s, a decade that's come to be revered at
the same time that it's reviled for its ridiculousness.
And the healthy everyday ironizing that's led to that
cannot be dismissed lightly --in fact, its acceptance
can serve an Omni-manifesto quite well. Thus my "Moog
Gothic" label can act as a term of derision and
a term of endearment --and in a manner that's more expansively
suited to today's unpredictable breadth of sensibility
than the blunter biases inherent within most architectural
criticism. (Keep in mind the once borderline-derisive
term for Art Deco, "Jazz Gothic".) For criticism is
seldom "just"; in fact, so-called negative judgment,
and the effort that goes behind it, can flatter as well.
And damning with faint praise has its equally effective
obverse --praising with faint damnation. (Stealth affection
for the apparent target of ridicule; much great satire
is founded upon that principle.)
Above all, "Moog Gothic" enshrines the Twin Towers'
70sness, by identifying itself with the synthesizer
sound that's come to personify the decade --a sound
that once seemed guilelessly, optimistically futuristic,
but now all too often embodies dated cheesiness. Yet
even Moogness isn't "just". At best there's an endearingly
earnest, even poignant quality to that cheesiness, especially
as it sinks into its time capsule; and reinvigorated
Moogness continues to have an impact on contemporary
pop electronics and the club circuit. Just as a lot
of "arts people" whom obtuse urbanaholics could argue
"should have known better" developed, almost in spite
of themselves, a sympathetic yen for the two huge tuning-fork
prongs of the now-familiarized WTC. It's there; do something
with it. And it may not be so gawd-awful, after all.
And now it's no longer there. And now the Moogaholic
70s seem really really poignant, indeed.
If the 70s were absurd, no wonder there's a surreal
absurdity to the WTC disappearance. It isn't just that
Elton John should sing "Candle In The Wind" to New York's
Twins; it's almost as if Sir Elton himself was assassinated.
Someone did not save his life tonight...
...and the collapse footage had all the dingbat melodrama
that once made Peter Frampton's live "Do You Feel Like
We Do" once sound so grand and monumentally profound,
the (oddly un-Moog) pinnacle of everything 70s. So grand
that it shocked me when it (the single edit, natch)
conked out at #12 on the CHUM Chart in the fall of '76...
I'm writing this in the wake of the quarter-century
anniversary of my first adolescent-style birthday party
(booze, drugs, etc present) in that very fall DYFLWD
conked out at #12. And for whatever reason (at least,
the fact that I remained alone and forlorn once it was
all over), that was the likely moment when I discovered
that the matter-of-course 70s-style virginity-loss-or-gettin'-it-on
thang with whatever lucky Becky Sue or Laura Prepon
type existed out there might be a little harder
to come by than I had hoped. Painted against such a
rather common tableau, emptily eventful Framptonian
lusciousness --a puppy-lovish sound for an era in which
puppy love had exploded-- can be better understood, even appreciated.
It really gets on the nerves of 70s-decrying conservative
commentators that this period was when adolescent sexuality
went from the covert to the overt, even the dizzyingly
grandiloquent --something which could justify even the
most Framptonian froth as if it answered to a vertiginously
higher purpose. A centuries-old legacy of aesthetic,
religious, kitsch transcendentalism and sublimation
had been winnowed down to a smooshy bubblegum core that
even prog-rock puffery could only swoon before. Its
door blown open by a popcultural galeforce (and not
yet debased by 80s teensploitation smirk), young nubile
eros bowled over even the most obnoxiously stubborn
smegmatics of Jesus or Allah or Goethe or, gawdhelpus,
But wonderful as it was, it was still, in the end, kid
stuff, a joyously immature play at hazy-lensed maturity--the
apogee of cold-war teencult holydom. No wonder there's
no pathos more touching than 70s pathos.
And that's why two months later, my preferred metaphor
for the destruction of that pathetically ur-70s icon,
the World Trade Center, and its inhabitants, remains
that of virginity loss. Not even bereavement; virginity
loss. It's simply too beautiful in its horrible destructive
energy. Maybe Karlheinz Stockhausen was correct in his
controversially refuted remark about 9-11 being the
greatest work of art ever. If this is Lucifer's rapture,
then maybe we really ought to gladly sell our soul to
Satan (though in omnisociety, of course, God and Satan nicely coexist).
Of course, being so childishly of the 70s, the Twin
Towers were archetypally suited for transcendental adolescent
virginity-loss ritual. Frank Gehry designed a graceful
"Fred & Ginger" for Prague; so by natural extension,
at the risk of insulting Shakespeare, there's a touch
of callow, awkward, pubescently overgrown, heel-trippingly
clunky, earnestly narcissistic Romeo & Juliet to the
Twins. And their mutual immolation has left mere human
and architectural mortals as bewildered as the Capulets
I was born 22 years after the collapse of "Galloping
Gertie", the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the subject of the
most erotic disaster footage prior to 9-11--or maybe
it still is. All the footage of the WTC disaster is
well, well, well beyond the normal parameters of erotica,
even if it transfixes us in much the same way. 70s adolescent
erotica may be Framptonian, but this is more akin to
one of my last radio shows in 1989, taking Side 4 of
Frampton Comes Alive (the "Lines On My Face" + "Do You
Feel Like We Do" side) and applying it to Side 1 of
SXL's "Into The Outlands", a searing, stately, edge-of-the-apocalypse
piece of live-recording Bill Laswell/Ronald Shannon
Jackson/etc post-Miles post-harmolodic jazz-funk. The
result: an eerily magic, symphonically higher-order
wrenching of the residue of an adolescent past into
the absolute 1989-style present, which (in spite of
electronic and stylistic advances) still has currency
in the 2001-style present. Through that juxtaposition,
the thwarted tragic dreams of adolescent erotic rapture
landed smack on the dizzyingly perverted and twisted
doorstep of Monika's Karma. And there was no simple turning back.
The result, and who could have imagined it 25 years
ago: Ground Zero is my lover, albeit a lover of ridiculous
parentage where the clean-up squad's been doing a thorough
Brazilian wax job for two months going on three months
straight. And all thanks to a buncha terrorists who
decided to send themselves into Electric Ladyland.
Except that they aimed for mere powerful symbols of
Western decadence--and being as distendedly 70s as they
were, the Twins were the very apotheosis of Western
decadence, so the terrorists chose well. It would all
have passed onto a different high-concept high-style
level had they (with impressive sleight-of-hand, at
that) aimed at, say, Mies's Seagram Building. In fact,
if the terrorists were gunning for the T-D Centre, I'd
gladly hot-foot it into the scenario and sacrifice
myself to the fireballs and falling I-beams and claim
all those Electric Ladyland babes for myself...
Those long-ago personal dreams of North American-style
adolescent erotic la-la land were strangely thwarted--but
on behalf of something more cosmic: a mega-awakening
in Poland in the summer of '84. Alas, it was fated to
be a type specimen of true "young love", albeit one
of such extraordinarily high intensity, it was perhaps
just as well --and it cemented a long-latent personal
association of pre-perestroika Poland with some abstract
idea of the highest erotic rapture, maybe because the
place was so steeped in the blood yet such an aggravating
yet fascinating opposite of America. I guess we may
now say that the enervated atmosphere of tension and
tragedy and toxic gloom and rich brutal history in Communist
Poland prefigured post-September 11 NYC; even the sexily
pervasive diesel aroma was a sort of anticipation of
Ground Zero's atmospheric spew. But that isn't all...
As a matter of fact, WTC's closest kindred-spirit parallel,
in its net urban effect and vehement reception, might
just be something stylistically and politically quite
the polar opposite: Joe Stalin's ecstatically despised
gift to Warsaw, the mammoth Palace of Culture and Science
--another case where irony was really the only way to
psychologically handle a misguidedly overweening, megasited,
discredited-upon-completion gargantua that sticks surreally
into the skyline and dominates it for miles and miles
and miles around. But then, the Modernist superblock-point-block'n'podium
replanning of Warsaw's sprawling scorched earth (with
the archetypally 60s-cosmopolitan Euro-Scandi-Modern
Marszalkowska East Side development acting as a Battery
Park Cityesque foil to PCS's hyperthyroid Socialist
Realism) brought PCS a little more "in scale" with its
surroundings by default, and a breathtaking default
it was --think of Ville Radieuse with a wedding cake
in the middle. I don't know how much the tableau's been
modified (de-Radieused?) since Perestroika, but it really
needed a mangy Communist system to enhance the total
dreamscape effect; if you can appreciate cold war Polish
art cinema, you can understand the rapture.
Maybe Poland under Communism, a difficult place, yet
the land of my truest awakening --and more than a mere
awakening, it was the centrum for a multidimensional
trope of place-- prepared me for handling Ground Zero.
With bravura, and without flinching. Like there's a
mysterious cosmic force I understand...
I'm still taken aback by how many people continue to
shrink and shudder at Ground Zero --they'd rather not
talk about it, as if they wimp out at the challenge.
They wilt at the reality of our times, oh dear, what
a pity, can't deal with the horror. Or if they deal
with it, it's in an insipidly "constructive" manner.
Or else it risks becoming a distracting discussion about
politics --and you know what they say about discussions
about politics. There's a sad head-in-the-sand reluctance
to use it as a filter for our world and local vision,
even when it might be enlightening to do so. All too
many people comprehend the of the rupture, without "getting"
the rapture. Or maybe it's just decorum --but somebody
has to break the pattern. Especially under these abject
circumstances, decorum, as an excessive end in itself,
is a wet blanket upon soul. Instead, there's been too
much of a trite quest for harmony in the face of an
overwhelming dissonance. We've gone soft.
It even appears to have silenced, or rendered impotently
mundane, a lot of what was regarded as fashionably extreme
or out-there in pre-9-11 NYC. Take one recent New York
"character" who, loosey-goosiley more than most, prefigured
a bit of a Omnitectural Forum spirit, avant-gardish
tour guide Timothy "Speed" Levitch --despite his prominent
role in Richard Linklater's "Waking Life", I've yet
to get his spin on Ground Zero; maybe it is somewhere
out there and I haven't looked hard enough, but I wouldn't
be surprised if it defeats him as well...
Even the nutcases, not least the latent teen-angst Harris
& Klebolds who prefigured the disaster, seem (so far)
to have clammed up --or else they look silly and picayune.
Even the most notorious and insufferable all-American
dystopia melts before the staggering scale of 9-11.
The excesses of the recent past have been mortally compromised
--we're not even hearing of suicide epidemics, let alone
the "counter-snuff" mania I'd earlier mooted. We're
not falling sublimely apart as we should. Is it only
Stockhausen who understands the scale of epiphany behind
the Ultimate Splatter?
Art is dead. Long live... nothing.
But then there's architecture. And the beholding thereof.
For make no mistake; this was a deeply, intensely, dizzyingly
architectural event. In fact, it is the architectural
event of our time. It decimates, by far, even recent
cause celebres such as the Bilbao Guggenheim. I'm willing
to go further and call it the aesthetic event of our
time --but at its explosive core, it is best, most healthily
understood under the great apron-like rubric of architecture.
And a neutral term such as "event" is how best to describe
it --polar metaphors such as "tragedy" or "masterpiece"
mundanely fail to do justice to the mind-bogglingly
destructive-and-beyond scale. No truly expressive
metaphor works --unless, of course, one wants to
retrieve "Potrzebie" from the early issues of MAD.
Nor it wasn't just anywhere --it was in the crucible
for at least a century of great, influential and inspirational
architectural criticism and urban observation, New York City.
Shall the aftermath become a reflexive advertisement
and enhancement for such a great legacy?
The Allseeing Eye now faces its ultimate test --an unsurpassed
challenge. We must not wilt. We must rise to the occasion,
hit the ground running and tackle our experience of
the Ultimate Splatter by the horns. We know that it
destroyed loved ones and so much else; maybe the loved
ones were our own, or if they aren't, we feel as if
they could be. And that is part of its aestheticism
--a primal, visceral aestheticism, beyond the sub-Wildean
shallowness the term's denoted in recent decades.
So far, I've seen minimal evidence of a rising to the
occasion --the scale of the trauma is too immediate,
too unfamiliar. There's no real test model, nothing
to lead the way.
Unfortunately, most of those latently qualified to do
so --architects, planners, those who answer to them,
et al-- are understandably compromised by being stakeholders
within the process. They've been concerned, above all,
with the future rebuilding effort, what form the city
shall take, what form architecture and urbanity shall
take. And rightly so --but the tenor is flat. The gravity
eludes them. Their arguments are overinfused with same-old-same-old.
Against that, take how Herbert Muschamp in the New York
Times has, in his own grasp beyond same-old-same-old,
gone on a bender with his mantra on New York's uninspiring
last quarter century of architecture, and how New York
needs greatness, desperately, especially at this critical
moment. Yes, I know. Toronto's been on that mediocrity-complex
trip over and over again. But what is there isn't
so un-great as to be worthless. Taken to an extreme,
it's like revisiting the old over-selective Modernist
arguments about how name-your-American-burg had no architecture
worth your time in, say, the first half of the c20.
We need the inspiring ...for the fringe benefit offered
in highlighting the rest. Think of Guggenheim's effect on Bilbao.
This isn't the time for battles of styles and forms
of architecture and urbanity --it all collapses under
the weight of what we're faced with. And the many-patterned,
defective-yet-not-defective richness of what remains.
It's a time for reflection --active, not merely contemplative,
reflection. And not merely on the dead-- although the
fact of the dead enriches the rest.
But I don't know. It's as if the we-never-knew-it rhetorical
superfluity of all recent stylish theories and babble
on architecture and style--including Koolhaasian delirium
as well as New Urbanist retrogression--have suddenly
been whacked by a Looney Tunes boxing-glove-on-a-spring
accompanied by an AAAAAHHH, SHADDAP!!!
That's where the beholder, our inner Baudelaire, must
step in with our worm's eye. Now we, the beholders,
aren't so self-consciously preoccupied with "building
the future" as the architects and planners are. Nor
are we so preoccupied with the war aspect, with injustices,
with Islam vs the West; let others hash it out.
I don't want to jump the gun about (re)building--I'll
settle for (maybe not so) restrained beholding, for now.
Not that I lack ideas, however open-ended or generalized.
First things first, re whatever may come up on or around
Ground Zero, the ballpark name from my first WTC piece
which I'll re-offer is: Libeskind. As in Daniel Libeskind,
architect of Berlin's Jewish Museum. Nothing to do with
height, scale, form, function, or even necessarily who's
going to be involved. Just a name I'm offering for the
sake of future visions, no further explanation necessary.
And why did I think of it almost immediately, within
hours of the disaster? I guess it helped that the Jewish
Museum had, eerily enough, officially opened on September 9, 2001...
And then, there are the environs, whose threat is not
just from WTC damage but from the consequent potential
for Detroit-style disinvestment --but hey, if the WWII-battered
urban fabric in Europe could be salvaged, why can't
New York's? Just grit the teeth and do it, and make
the most of it; it's more heroic to confront the proximity
of Ground Zero and its victims than to shy away. Why
get scared? Wimps.
Look at 1 Liberty Plaza --completely vindicating my
blood'n'guts Led Zep assessment not only by pulverizing
early rumours of partial collapse but by, almost alone
within the Red Zone, refusing to say "uncle" (or "Kashmir");
within a month and a half, it was cleaned up and reopened.
No wimp, it --leading by example?
But also look at Cass Gilbert's 90 West Street, the
scale of the damage which I underestimated --evidently
it was not just "cosmetic", but talk is that it was
gutted and burnt-out like nothing since the Hotel Margaret
in Brooklyn Heights a generation ago. Perhaps --although
it seems to have proven stable enough for tenants' recovery
purposes. And while it may be superficially structurally
stable, with insurance costs et al factored in 90 West
may still be the most "threatened" of the remaining
Red Zone survivors. Or is it all simple post-traumatic
idle talk? I was also pleasantly (or unpleasantly, given
the losses they suffered) surprised to find that Gruzen
Samton, the proud workhorse of New York's professional
architectural community, had recently (and clearly conscious
of the building's prestige) moved its head office into
90 West --thus, the disaster really struck at
the very heart and soul and spirit of New York architectural
spirit. And firm head Jordan Gruzen's not giving up
on 90 West just yet --none of us with a love for New
York's built fabric should. Look, the Triangle Shirtwaist
factory still stands-- why shouldn't 90 West? In fact,
as a signifier of New York's post-disaster renewal,
it is absolutely imperative that 90 West must
be restored to its old and recent splendour --more imperative,
perhaps, than any pipe dreams for the actual WTC site.
Maybe it could house some Texas School Book Depository-style
interpretive displays --or maybe it could just function
as it always has, as a luxurious workhorse of a general
office building. But I feel that here, too, people are
scared to make decisions --so scared (or distracted
by Ground Zero proper) that it's been devilishly difficult
to casually find any photo that truly conveys,
at close range and anywhere more than offhandedly, the
scale of damage to 90 West. I mean, what's the story
here? What's the status? Which reports are we to trust?
What's the future? Why should there not be a
future? Or does it "hurt too much"? Let's see it this
way: restoration here would not only be affirmative
in its own right, but would vindicate the retention
of other properties, and not just in New York (and I
know of at least one that's threatened around my parts),
that've been deemed "unsound". This is a belwether
of all belwethers --don't blindly sacrifice it.
But a further nut remains to be cracked--or maybe, it
was cracked on September 11, only nobody's noticed.
It's a nut related to my philosophical position that
beholding is as much (and as complimentary) an "architectural"
art, as the art of architecture is in and of itself.
Where we use the detritus of what's around us to form,
to shape, to perceptually compose and recompose our
surroundings...wherein the confused art and ideologies
of architectural creation flips to the other side, and
we, the beholders, become the creators. Devilishly
simple, even subversive --puncturing the myth of the
"giver" by empowering the "receiver".
Except that the beholders, the "receivers", to date
have been hamstrung by being either too "architectural"
(i.e. professionals doing the beholding for us), or
too "anti-architectural" (or at least, anti-contemporary-architectural).
Vested interests, all. Where there should be middle
ground --and perhaps a less constrained middle ground--there
is, instead, a middle void.
And now that our perceptual tableau's changed--the middle
void looks like a black hole. Past "extreme" urban/aesthetic
theories now unnecessarily appear as posturing frauds--because
the perpetrators wilt before or dart around this fatally
affirmative tableau before them. It's the same conundrum
that turned fans of Bruckheimerian blowemuprealgood
cinematic horror into jelly once faced with this one
heck of a real-life version.
On the other hand, the mere raw necessity for more radical
means of dealing with the unprecedentedly abject could
also potentially be a new, explosively constructive
beginning...and this is where we come in.
Could it be --the WTC disaster as a "Blackboard Jungle"
for architectural criticism and urban observation?
And what follows, but a sloppy, clankety, raucously
in-your-face racket, a brash cacaphony seemingly born
of depraved hillbilly and jungle parentage, capturing
the throbbing, uncouth spirit of youthful rebellion
while offending or bemusing lily-livered elders and
the elite ...a whole new sound, for a whole new world.
Rock'n'roll and virginity loss go so well together...
Except that being "Omni", we ain't tellin' no Beethoven
to roll over. Rather, like what rock'n'roll became in
the 1960s, we're subsuming Beethoven, as well as Stockhausen,
and who knows who and what else --even the ethereal pop
of Alive & Kicking.
And now "Alive" and "Kicking" are no more --and Citicorp
has assumed their place as New York's premier 70s skyscraper
icon. Maybe in the most insensitively obtuse architectural-judgement
terms, we aren't the worse off after all...
...I finish this piece shortly after the attending the
November 22 opening of the Eric Ross Arthur Gallery
at the University of Toronto School of Architecture
and Landscape Architecture.
It was precisely 38 years after JFK was shot--and also
precisely 15 years after the last legitimate civilian
one-night stand I endured in my chronically unrequited
post-Poland quest for young love's closure. And that
15-years-ago moment was in itself infused with implicit
tragedy and doom --while wishing for further closure
forevermore, I truly knew something ended at that moment.
Further underscoring the tangle was the ERA Gallery
presence of old university classmates whom I hadn't
run into for several years --the last residue of any
vain wishes and hopes for a milieu of young love's consummation.
(Single-studentdom does that.)
And my undisclosed secret of symbolic importance was
that the first time I saw the ERA Gallery's big glass display
window under construction was moments after the plane
went into the second tower.
An uncanny full circle --a date and place infused with
past lovers and hopes thereof, and it's all rent by
the knife blade of my current lover, the Ultimate Splatter.
I always foresaw an ultimate-loveish rapture that'd
be stunningly cataclysmic --anything less would simply
be unworthy -- but little did I know how cataclysmic
it would be.
Maybe it's fortunate that I did not disclose anything
that evening; I would've frightened the bejeebers out
of my erstwhile peers ...or maybe that's the point...
...finished November 24 2001