Instead of sleep there's the sound of bottles crashing in the street where the vagabond public scales glass and tin peaks for canned deliverance and five cent redemption value per piece at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
I'm reminded of the time long ago on a New Year's Eve when someone's girlfriend got Gettysburg brutal and, screaming heated-bitch scripture, threw an empty handle of Crown Royal like a bipolar snowball pitch at the kitchen wall that shattered ice on the floor cutting several fleeing guests' feet and ultimately resulted in the second of three Warning of Eviction notices I received from B.J. the landlord whose Sioux-faced granddaughter with a penchant for numb rub fellatio delivered each time the first year I lived in Nashville in an apartment that more resembled a crowded Clint Eastwood dude ranch somewhere in the Texas tumbleweed hedge where all my friends lived like Christmas vultures – young and unstudied and tired-looking but still full of crazy hoarse desires for flesh and intoxication with only knowledge of the cattle-branded fact that any quantity of either was never enough to inebriate our fleeting collegiate Alamo sovereignty.
The bottles crash again in the street and a city bus sweeps up the avenue, plucking the Cablevision antennas strung like willow-branched harps, and it stops outside my window, suspending its railroad oil hydraulics to the curb and cursing some cruel metallic rendition of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis which serenades me awake as I lay on my side, like an Aesop Fables punch-line, sourly counting debarking elderly graveyard-shafted passengers instead of sheep and it's impossible to sleep here in the beggar's Camelot at three o'clock in the morning.
It feels strange later in a dream when I imagine myself sitting in a Robert DeNiro taxicab being driven one-hundred miles an hour by the Long Island ghost of Breukelen past the infinite wrecked avenues of the dead-end borough population sleeping inside their petrified forests of plaster cake and albino fog – and in the almost-dawn light the wheels zip through puddles and red lights, skiing and tubing, suddenly turning and screeching swiftly up a ramp full blast onto the scud missile BQE like a uranium-tipped Pentagon heat-seeker and now I'm nearly above the whole city, soaring in a seat-buckled glide above dilapidated buildings with rooftop water towers decapitated where the elevated tri-borough thoroughfare screams Trans-Siberian orchestrations like an archangelic piano key toothed seagull fired straight from the backend of the underworld's Port Authority wharf and smoking from the hind feathers with the sprinkles of Hades ash.
I go sailing down off the expressway where there's a green lit intersection I pass through bouncing in the brunt throes of a bucking cement bronco where the street dips down a gravity-burdened Alpine escarpment to the Walt Whitman waterfront, and before I can gulp the briny air of Fulton Ferry the tires go screeching to a halt at the leaves-of-grass-less barbwired shores of the malarial East River bog.
It's a familiar scene from an old Ellis Island snapshot but Photoshop retouched to eye-catch the inoculated textbook gaze of America's autistic junior high schoolers – and I'm present, vaccinated, living inside this Kodak image typhoid where I can only see the captured tubercular bruising of airbrushed Hungarian faces from a hundred years ago
– and, in fact, there are other shadows now, enfolding the pages of my brain in apparition – the Utrecht shadows of New Amsterdam, whooping, coughing, crawling out crab-like from the bay harbor in the bodies of soggy White Whale sea phantoms in identical Xerox water-births to shoot pool and throw darts inside the smoky colonial township taverns burrowed deep in the subterranean Harvard Club lairs of Manhattan Island like wormy John Wilkes Booth insect larva wearing Ishmael hats and long tweed George Washington coats emblazoned with Ivy Leagued Coat of Arms and Olympic Gold, Silver, and Bronze and can see them moving, murmuring Moby Dick hubbubs and tugboat roars across the cold Bunker Hill sound with enormous Kremlin cannonball heads, rainbowing with clumsy leprechaun mobility, and mysterious Bald eagle noses set long between inscrutable, “I've been watching you through the sands of time” eyes that record our everyday mouse-like comings and goings in these endless feline Mafioso streets like grainy Zapruder films.
So I'm there as it starts to become light, standing with one hand behind my head in bed picturing how the whole process of existence works, where delirium sets in with its map-less Christopher Columbus sleeplessness, and sweat tremblings, and toad-in-captivity groanings, and feelings of wide-spread slow loris weakness, where my arms are deadened and useless, and my nightmares inhabit prairie rabbit-form sitting cross-legged on the edge of my mattress chirping carroty gestures and words and nursery rhyme expressions and remind me of some tiny forest creature phallus with arms and hands and tail moving around with rugby vigor inside a springtime-nester's vagina in rotary woodland movements and the lowering-down of a make-believe female fox's hips so that the vixen's vulva recedes as the phallus is introduced with fast quick movements like the stinging tail of a limber Saharan scorpion – and I leap-up from the baptismal comatose hospital bed doze surprised beneath a tragic lesbian halo of half-hidden guilt in a baleful South Pole chill dawn where these rickety dreams open and shut like crooked leanings of Dutch Pennsylvania barn doors, concealing the dehydrating cash crop stocks for the marijuana–shish kabob reserved for the Abyssinian gods to smoke through the horns of Viking helmets before the asthmatic sunrise rush-hour, segueing, as if waiting for organ transplants, for fruit to bloom – for any thing to be born.