July the ninth, 2006
(transcription of letter written 7/7/06)
On Tommy Makem and Danny Quinn
you hav eno idea how much you caught me at the right time. I'm surrounded by old people, rich middle-aged ("you go sailing this year?" "oh, we only made it twice..."), and well groomed kids who have such an obvious lack of knowledge of life that I want to mug the fear of God into them so that they might pull their pullshit saggy coifs out of their eyes and see the world for something thatit really is. I'm 100 miles from anywhere that it makes sense for me to be. I'm in Dover, New Hampshire to see Tommy Makem. Guthrie, Dylan, Seeger, he's up there with those guys. I'mve seen him once before. When he sings, Dani, sometimes there's just nothing else-- just this glorious baritone that hits you like Ts. Michael flying out of the sunset and kicking you in the heat, there's notevening news, no alram clocks or cellphones, no no one anymore, no someone and it hits you and you get it-- History, the World, God, the mystery of Ireland.
I'm a pilgirm, Dani, a lone pilgrim at that and it's all i can do to save my soul to take myself to wherever there's a scene, a real scene, a holy man, or Holyrelics,. I've been fighting the lone aspect ofit, but it seems this is just how it's got to be, everyone i know just ends up busy, out getting arrested in the adirondacks for trespassing. pilgrimming-- i spent 4 horus in the Edson cemetery in Lowell looking for Kerouac's grave, and I stood at the exact point where I'd seen it in pictures, I'd seen bob dylan standing right where i was standinglookingdown at his grave, and i couldn't find it to save my life-- that's just the way of things sometimes, it doesn't matter how far you drive or how hard you try or how much you want something to happen, all you can do is do what you can, what you have to do. I had a dream where i soughtout the advice of the swampthing, and he told me to do what i had to do. it was apretty sweet dream considering i got advice from the earth elemental. i had a dream where i sought out madonna to ask her a question, but she didn't know the answer so we just had oral sex instead. that dream was pretty sweet, too. i remember it was like 1987ish madonna.
but right now, tommy makem, dammit, dani, it's so amazing, he does that old folky thing where he sings the line twice and then you sing it and it's thishokey singalong thing, but it's hundreds of people just weakly singing and he's up there and he's dying, he's gotta be 70, and what can i do, but with y sorethroated haorseness and snot rolling out my nose (mike gave me a cold) to sing with my no sense of pitch and goddammit i'll die being the guy who drives a hundred solitary miles to sit alone in a crowd of hundreds to sing with my miserable voice, just to get looked at funny, and checked out by a fat chick. i started a clap which caught on, just clapping the the beat, it was a weak one, but after an hour he's got p=people, a handfulatleast, throwing their hands in the air shouting "oh the whisky, nancy, oh!" and he knows it and he goes right ainton "inch by inch and row by row/ someone bless these seeds i sow/ all it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground" He knows what he's doing and he sees me and knows it's working, magic, real mgaic. magic is real, Dani, do you know what it is?
He ends with this and is your land, and day after my friends get mountains (one guy asked if a turkey would eat his dog_ Dani, what to say at this point but it's so obvious that everything's starting to come together again, that something's right again and i feelfine. He's taking pictures now with some family, and i wounder if their immigrant weaver grandparents would be proud of their family for being comfortable at the expense of not getting anything this man just said to them...
If i can keep this up and if the stars cast thier favor...i don't even if i can say what would happen. the bullshit optimism of the 1960's was a sham, it was nothing-- a whole lot of talk around a nucleus of 5 people that relaly got it, and there was all this talk of a revolution that was going to happen and everything would change, but so many people with no idea of what that is, what that means started it, Dani, except maybe in quiet to you. words are like money, you print words the happy say are paltry melody/ but those the silent feel are beautiful. if things are going to change, if this magic's going to work, it's all going to come down to a handful of us, and if i need to be alone pilgrim for that to happen then by god and All i'll be that man, if I and the stars allow.
i wrote that a feww nights ago, the first letter i've written in a long while that might have any kind of merit to it. i'm enclosing a few bites of aborted letters just to show you the dark age i'm renaissanicing out of righ tnow. write me early and oftenk i can't wait to hear what you have to say