Articles

 It is garbage. Trash. Litter. Inexpensive single use packaging utensils and containers. A lot of it is. Add to that cigarette butts and packs and cellophane wrappers. 

He asked if I'd care to see his process. “Only take a minute” , he said.

On to the back of a cheap unfinished wooden wine box, he squeezed out some

squiggles of paint from tubes – maybe 4 or 5 colors. Then he proceeded to mush it and smush it with his fingers. As promised, he worked quickly. In something less than two minutes he said “There.”

The place would be half empty and we would make our way down to the good seats where, if we were lucky, a puck or a tooth would land nearby.

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Some folks listened to the ballgame on 'transistor radios' while some bounced from stoop to stoop and back again.

He said we had 3 ghosts. Hmmmm? He could not explain  as much as he could explain.

There is no appearance of rank other than possibly age and or the voice of experience which is real
authority. Their hands are coarse, dry and scarred.

In this 50 year interval, there has become for me an affection for the blank billboards on the train platforms, prepared by scraping with a plastering tool so to remove layers of old ads in readiness for new. Nowadays, video screens no doubt provide way higher revenues for the MTA so if you're hunting for scrapes, the 

 outer borough local stops is where the hunting is best.

Occasionally they support very large trees who's trunks you cannot get your arms around or, they may attain a height of 4 or 5 stories. Along side these solo trees, often now, the pits support fabulous little gardens tended by tenants disposed to gardening and loveliness or, are contracted out to local pro gardeners who propagate these little miracles with panache and horticultural success.

If I then step out of that supermarket and look

  to my left to see a supermarket size discount

   pharmacy two blocks away and then look to my

  right to see a supermarket size discount pharmacy

  two blocks away, is that variety?

  "Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."