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happily growing breasts in NYC until you exploded midway through Macy’s red and blue and golden like the 4th of July cheap jewellery assistants flying customers ducking themselves down into small customer piles like unwanted news sheets the contents of my head involved in aerial moves of an unpredictable nature my injuries minor all wounds fortunately psychological sooner chewing off my leg than wait around for the lacklustre matinee performance uncannily matching luggage scooped up one-handed by Snoop Dogg asked by the black janitor what do you look for in a ham? not recognising the full significance of the question but wording my reply with extreme caution because in Manhattan people take their hams very seriously I have observed in the short time I have been legally handsome here in the studious gloom copiously numbed the caustic Jewish double act at reception commenting meaningfully on my self-conscious footwear meaning to be helpful with their caustic Jewish double act demeanour but I always follow modern hotel etiquette anyway - to avoid small fines and short uptown prison terms – learning to live through my Jacob’s Creek addiction with a piece in the New Yorker I happen upon during a three-course Chinese breakfast banquet…all disease finally outlawed says new Mayor brain tumours now illegal in Manhattan… a talking point among the Saatchi sociopaths I know and love at The Ear over on Spring Street discussing discussing important topics of the day Tony Award opinions swamping and overflowing will it ever happen? why won’t it happen? what if it never happens? other unwanted media intrusions assaulting my senses indiscriminately another evening alone with myself dying like bad fruit left stranded on the vine feeling wan and languorous and not phoning not speaking not disclosing anything through a glistening high-stemmed glass just one night without myself is all I ask reclined again? pre-Tony under a mid-morning Campari and soda with Henry Kissenger in his prime time TV talk show You Say I’m A Bad Lover But I Have Another Who’ll Tell You Other interrupted by Mother Love at the door with her small team of cleaning dwarves who want to install the latest air conditioning system unit because it is their paid occupation and this is what they do this is what they do this is what they do really? everything bigger outside except the Statue of Liberty - which is smaller - the streets sexually charged with ambiguity the air non-breathable though intercourse is free between consenting men and women during the hours of daylight there may be a small surcharge for homosexuals amidst the uncertainties and distractions of city life little Koreans in tall size shoes chattering friendly and approachable Picasso busking Loser on a slide guitar his pet goat not for sale down in the subway Blondie’s original line-up performing Hangin’ on the Telephone for the 18,438,259th time all this time everywhere passing slowly a New York minute more involved and seemingly complex than a minute anywhere else with all this time still passing at a similarly leisurely pace the persistence of memory tending to get in the way of things as I notice cab drivers wearing abstract expressions not violent but requiring precise neo-geographical co-ordinates because they actually hail from Wapping and speak only Estuary English their tendency to convey weary world travellers to exactly the place they want to be proving more than useful locating the Whitney Houston Museum the Lloyd Cole Collection a private viewing of softball moms in Central Park hot pants cheering on a thousand little juniors beneath the lengthening shadow of the Dakota a late May pang of regret internalised ouch! the tortuous circularity of life moving slowly through the Village passing e.e cummings and his enormous room at 4 Patchin Place with Eugene O’Neil just across the street although they say John Masefield moved out angrily in the middle of the night later citing musical differences which is one way of looking at it taking in the smells and sounds all around all the smells and sounds around not real but piped direct from the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookstore lending the environment you exist in a more realistic edge in denial of true perspective how I long to hear the waitresses speak the language of love watching the Knicks in St Mark’s personal ale house Ruby shooting Oswald on the wall next to a pair of Siamese twins joined at the head and a squad of Irish telephonists wearing a tone of broken glass and lime green sandals the future is in Manhattan they say you could try commuting from Houston but we wouldn’t recommend it supporting Kent Brockman’s Campaign Against Racial Profiling during their day off donating my shades to the campaign but another evening alone with myself? how I long to hear the waitresses speak the language of love is it really as easy as it looks? and if it is can I do it too? but… your life is totally empty… a song reminds me as I’m rollerskating back up Broadway rain sheeting horizontally against the dirty tenements of another evening alone with myself and the 32nd annual televised Noam Chomsky Arm-Wrestling Championship his third round tie with Harry Belafonte a big draw with the smiling housewife fraternity Noam charasmatic stripped to the waste and flexing despite all my numerous educational experiences something I have never seen before a golden tumbler before me evoking intense memories of my father dancing at weddings - spurious: and if I am this way? what about other people? how do they manage? are they this way too? these and other ethical dilemmas debated at my own private night school gymnasium the morning ashtray suddenly broken: reality cracking through the glass tossing loose coins down for Mother Love to pick up on (enough for a birthday bouquet) wondering whether she will understand the meaning of these coins or not white lions waiting outside to snare the unsuspecting blind tigers prowling up and down Bleecker Street in search of Middle Eastern cuisine distracted (temporarily) by the MOR charm of Brendan the Brewski’s barman resembling Greg Rusedski after facial reconstruction surgery (his testimony put his kid brother in jail or so they say over at Chumley’s the Speakeasy on Bedford Street: Faulkner Salinger Kerouac drinking wheat beer with real men who look like sailors (sailors?) not liking wheat beer but drinking it because they do and even if you were a zillionaire Faulkner says you couldn’t enjoy this wheat beer any more…) feet hitting the perfect street in sluggish unison with one another sinking down into pavement looking out for the famous NY anthropologist I met first ten years ago on Fifth Avenue longing to say hello longing to say thank you longing to say goodbye and thanks for all the pepperoni seeing instead Dawn Vigil the New York Times food columnist from Little Rock AR shoplifting in the world’s unfriendliest book store (previously we had only corresponded) counting her stolen change classy and kooky lipsticked flats and bra straps in her hair duly snappled in the cunning linguistics section care to buy a thirsty girl a drink? choirs of indecision riding bare-backed to the Temple of Beer Worship your real name is unimportant silent Brewist monks encouraging bad drinking habits in the men’s restroom hidden behind the commemorative Marcel Duchamp revolving bookcase can I survive all these new feelings inside? resolve them too? the lure of legalised Indian prostitution beckoning hypnotically: swapping the smiling teeth of the tabla player for Quentin Crisp’s Pasta & Piano bar hey! how ya doin’ a former Scotsman now based in Harlem croons ordering the garlic bread that is never lacking on the tables of our existence the first course delayed by the random drive-by shooting of important kitchen staff: enjoy! drawing strength from the act of breaking the garlic bread that is never lacking on the tables of our existence eventually earning four and a half apples out of five plus the eternal gratitude of being alone with Christopher Street and in the dark: do you believe in Jasper Johns? or Eduardo Paolozzi? and what about Kierkegaard? does irony deprive an object of its subjective reality? is an original event devalued by such distortion? should the facts get in the way of a story? shall we discuss the matter further? my place? 11:30? can you make it? instantly plunged into difficult social waters and screaming (inwardly) NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO then politely inquiring (of one’s inner self) but why not?: 1) people who know me well tell me I deserve better 2) and although this is always the way it has been doesn’t mean it’s always the way it should be 3) and these days I don’t get along with myself terribly well 4) and I never really meant all the things I used to say anyway 5) and I think I deserve it 6) and people who know me well tell me I’m much improved than I used to be 7) and how would things feel if this never actually happened? 8) and everything even you and I has to wither and fade into the dust eventually 9) and this means the means always justifies the end in my book 10) and so much empty time has elapsed since before 11) and there is still so much time on my hands that by now surely I deserve it 12) and that makes everything okay: okay! box cars turning how the streets flew! into west 35th street a room full of the blandest women’s books falling falling falling onto soft white linen the wallpaper on the walls singing: stay for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent! the wallpaper vintage and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for commercial reasons a shadow reaching across the wallpaper shaped like a hand eager to strum upon an acoustic guitar Frank Lloyd Wright looking down beatifically on your golden legs (your legs?: are your legs golden unlike the legs of others? or is a thigh just a thigh? are your legs as meaningless as everybody else’s?) an impressionistic blur of rapid thigh movement like a recent auto-erotic art exhibition before the same room moments later: the moment settling down nicely thank you everything even ourselves quietly enveloped by the velvet fog of several new thoughts entangling themselves into the well-oiled narrative of life gradually returning to earth (moving on moving on moving on moving on) ebbing along Grand Central Parkway pressing on through partially delighted solid reams of traffic slowing me down like frozen treacle tyres creeping little by little toward JFK impossibly complicated new cadences of the vernacular taking a left turn via the language of hazardous emotion molecular structures lifting from the tarmac hostesses bulging at their pretty patterned seams while through the glass golden-bosomed Siamese idols dwindle into the distance and all those once longed for horizons diminish intangible and already half-forgotten like a beautiful shining intermezzo

H P Tinker © 2006.

HP Tinker is an accidental byproduct of Simon Prosser’s controversial attempt to genetically engineer a brand new radically hip Brit Lit author by cloning the narrative technique of William Burroughs with the social largesse of Kingsley Amis. Somewhere the experiment went horribly wrong. Now released into the wider literary community, HP Tinker has been published here, here, and even here. More recently he was published here and can be purchased here. Should you, for whatever reason, wish to find out more you can do so. Here.


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