Monday, October 18, 2010


The first thing I did when I made it to where Don was, TwoThousandThen, was to go and get lots of magazines… and I started looking for things that resonated with the times. I was trying to be open, I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I thought that the best way to learn about a culture was from it’s pictures, and in TwoThousandThen there were way more pictures than I ever saw in 1933. I saw immediately that pictures were their own language now, spoken by everyone.

Don had given me something called a “laptop” and he showed me how to play small videos on it.

One night — late as I was cutting out pictures of spraycan nozzles, I saw how I was in my own heaven finally, a heaven I had created with my own choices… my own attempts at premonition… and weird timely luck. There were two songs that I saw group of people sing on the laptop… people who called themselves “Talking Heads” — one was called “This Must Be the Place.” I was numb, and it was exciting to be in another place — and time, — but I felt so much pressure to get going and do what I felt I had to do. The other song was called “Heaven.” Those two songs and the pictures I was looking at and cutting and arranging — they did something to my head. I saw visions and drew things… I saw pictures of the familiar and the alien, but now they were all of the same world to me.

Because of what Don had done for me for years, now I knew the people Don now knew. That would make it alittle easier, maybe make something go faster… I had The Cleavage Pets™ idea and thought about going further with that, I made collages to help me process everything around me. I wrote things I didn’t understand yet.

I desperately and ruthlessly tried to feel the NOW times when I’d just left my own behind. No matter what I’d learned from Don, no matter what I’d imagined… when I finally was in the actual future I’d been seeing in his pictures… well, I mean you’ve seen pictures of 1933, you get the idea.

this is a painting I did of my father in the 80s
A couple of times, I thought painting my dad would make me feel better. Painting hadn’t changed much in TwoThousandThen… but I could see why Don was a photographer and not a painter…

After I’d painted my dad, and thought alittle… I painted over what I had and painted my dad like he would have been now, where I was. I thought that was the right thing to do. Even though I felt that a lot of suits looked horrible now… well, that was my dad. If my dad was in NOW. He would have laughed at now and what was happening, with me, with everyone.

I just kept thinking of how to get where I wanted to be, where I was now. Where I was now was obviously not in my “comfort zone” as Don said people were into saying now. The world was an explosion of imagery. It was jarring, collages were exactly what I felt like.

I could tell Don hadn’t told me everything… like this jockey he kept shooting at the tracks, yes he was a great jockey… John Velazquez, but those looks he gave Don… they weren’t sports looks… I couldn’t put my finger on it. I made a mental note to ask Don at some point what was in Johnny V’s looks…

Laughing Johnny V
Don kept on shooting while I was trying to distill what I should be doing from my own writing and collages. I didn’t have enough money to keep buying notebooks all the time, they were now really expensive… so I started just working over some of the writing ones with pictures. Noone was gonna want to read the writing so much anyway I thought… I felt like I was caught between words and pictures, that’s what I was doing looked like anyway.

None of my plans had changed that much really. Even though I wasn’t in 1933 anymore, I was still looking for the same things I wanted from Don in the first place. I was glad he’d been so aggressive about getting me into the future. Sometimes a close friend can do that for you — and the realization that you can’t change the past. That’s what happened in my case anyway.

Pandora at Players Club!
I finally got to meet Pandora, and she was just as beautiful in real life as she was in Don’s pictures. I sat in the same chair at the Players Club in New York City that I had the week before I left for TwoThousandThen! And it smelled the same! How did that happen? Shit! It was surreal, I am not sure that people were made to feel what I was feeling…

I looked at this picture Don had taken of Lydia… the electronic file, on a laptop. It was like looking at a young Theda Bara, after Theda was long gone. Electronic imagery on a monitor was like nothing I could imagine. It was like fire. I had to drink sometimes… the conflicting lifestyles between the eras was sortof hard to jump emotionally. I felt like crying a lot, because I didn’t think I was going back, to my dad… 1933, that old Depression I’d left — hey at least this was a new and exciting different Depression! They even had Prohibition, but it wasn’t alcohol this time, this time it was more about marijuana. I read it was the biggest cash crop in America at the time… hahah Louis Armstrong would have thought that was funny. He loved that shit.

I dreamed of a “rock band” one night I was doing the collages. They were called Graft Zeppelina. I think seeing all the videos made that happen in my head. They were all characters that were familiar but also unreal, neoclassic I guess you would say. I tried to draw them and define them… one of them was a minotaur character called Buffalo Jennifre (I know that it’s spelled wrong, but that’s the way it was in my dream. She was known for doing a burlesque performance with a see-through flag. I think the neoburlesque scene was doing things to my head. I felt so alone, I guess I needed to make up some friends who were just MINE. Like gods maybe, gods of my own.

This is a drawing of Buffalo Jennifre, she was the bass guitarist
It was definitely all the videos. Seeing the actual world that was full of such things… crazy images and crazy music… somehow made me want to run away… and with more than two feet.

I dreamt of Christene Jone’s — she was singing a song called “So Long Marianne,” by a man called Leonard Cohen. I wanted blinders, I wanted a guitar, I wanted boots on my hooves. I’d wake up exhausted and draw… I’d date them all 2000, because to me that was the date that mattered at this point. The truth and fiction took on a different meaning to me, in a really profound way. The truth and fiction didn’t seem that different to too many people, why not just start believing they were the same and just see what happens?

Christene Jone's
If you could look like that, wouldn’t you too?
I dreamt a drummer that had snakes, like a Medusa. I suppose that was just about percussion and stuff, the rattles. I was drinking coffee too, and it would make me shake more than I already did now. I felt rattled myself! I knew this stuff was now called “intellectual property” now, and that I had to protect it… I was learning all the time, there was no time when I wasn’t anymore! Dreams were the true intellectual property.

a drawing I did of "Snakeylove," the drummer of Graft Zeppelina
Go figure. I wanted to be the Donald Trump of intellectual property, before I even knew of him himself.
I wanted to get people to see things too.

I had skyscraper dreams of intellectual property, like it was a crazy landscape, and Graft Zeppelina sang the soundtrack. For me, the future was where I belonged now… it was funny how I’d wanted to stay where I as so badly, but then when I actually left 1933 and stepped out into TwoThousandThen… well, why wouldn’t someone have tons of weird visions doing that shit!

Doing something doesn’t mean that you understand what it will do to you. At all!

The collages were sentimental to me. I was thinking about things — like what would the opposite of nostalgia be? Because now I knew for sure that nostalgia was no place to go, but what about a strange nostalgia for things that could happen? Or would happen? I could see the beautiful edges of things… but filling them in was not what I could do yet, I couldn’t see the inside of my future yet. There was no way to recognize THAT, no matter what the edges were like.

I started going to things with Don. It was like the past, when we’d go places… speakeasies… events… I dreamt of silver bomb blasts made out of antique silver, like my mother had had so much of.
A STERLING BLAST… a sterling blast… a sterling blast — I guess I felt like that was what I was in for. I saw myself in a see-through dressy thing, with a straw hat, walking away… or maybe leading… there was graffiti everywhere. Things were getting hairy in the world. My pictures were how I divined things for myself — a lot! The outer world of the new world of New York City in TwoThousandThen was definitely something I was going to have to come to terms with before I could safely do anything.

Every night in my dreams I saw microphones, makeup… like smoke. I heard jazz… I saw explosions and fashionable clothing and our flag…

the color pink, the clothing of TwoThousandThen was gorgeous and I wanted to buy it so badly… magazines were full of dreams. This era was a lot to take in after where I’d been, I cannot say that enough, I had to keep repeating this to myself even to calm me down… I walked for miles in the new world I was in., and my scissors cut miles around the images of the day. I was making my own Bible, like no other Bible ever.

I love Duke Ellington
There it is, the cover of my own private Bible. Punk Jazz Duke was my god, I could thank my dreams for him, not the other way around.

I walked around Coney Island a lot. I had always gone there, back in 1933. Of course, like everything else, it had changed… but to me it was still home. There was a thing called “SHOOT THE FREAK” — and I thought of how me and my friends would have died laughing if that had been around in 1933. I climbed down a crappy ladder and walked around where the Freak himself probably walked — or jumped around trying not to get shot. Junk, weeds, paint like a bloody massacre, the silence of a rainy slow day.

Then I turned around, and in a time millions of miles from the time I’d been born in, I saw who I was, for the first time ever.

freak pov



here are the other episodes sofar:

episode 1) —

episode 2) —

episode 3) —

episode 4) —

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Cleavage Pets™ — A NYC REALITY NOIR — episode 4

The Cleavage Pets™ cover 4 —

louis sullivan art
It was scary to see the difference between then and now. Looking up at the buildings sometimes, I wondered how people could find such beauty so easy to discard in favor of the flat glassy structures that had taken over the city like a virus over the past decades. I don’t think HVV would have liked it on a day to day diet.

“Burlesque is the new skyline,” wrote HVV one day, and I think she was right! Burlesque had the wings and the beautiful details that the buildings no longer had. It was like the women were building a new skyline using themselves. There were men involved too... that was called boylesque, but it was definitely a feminine architecture of humor and sex and beauty! It was something to look up to and admire, like the buildings used to be.

neoburlesque is blowing UP!
The neoburlesque stars were exploding everywhere I looked.


Funny how an artform that you’d think would be finally eclipsed and dead could just blow upwards like some form of human fireworks to become an exciting rush of entertainment loved by so many! I’d been here in the future for years now, and it was just starting to break into the mass consciousness of the city.

The night now belonged to them, like it used to belong to our skyscrapers. They’d sparkle and awe me with their growing — each performer growing at their own stature, in their own place! Ever since I pushed Lydia into it, more or less as a joke, I saw more and more evidence that the men and women who made up the burlesque neighborhoods were constructing a new city of art and fun and culture, to replace the flat glassy personalities glorified and promoted by the masses of the now. And they were all built on a foundation of passion and humor! These people were not acting!

I saw it as revolutionary, in such a backwards way!

Once again the suits were crying! In contrast to the explosiveness of the so-called feminine arts like burlesque, the male worlds of politics and finance were crumbling and self-destructing before our eyes! When I’d send these pictures to HVV, she’d now write back how amazed she was at the uncanny way the future had become the past — effortlessly, or so it seemed.

“I saw a man crying just like this today!” she’d write me from 1933. It was no joke, but the sheerly uncanny nature of the world’s chaotic and unbelievable fall into the depths of depression and recession (just like what I'd left behind!) led me to look at everything in a new way.

Had this ever happened before I wondered… had decades ever before separated two such different eras that were so frighteningly similar?

runnin' away
For the first time, I felt like running away… 1933 was bad, but we owned that time, and we had hope that things would change for the better, not go back to our problems decades later! That in itself would shock the past! I was alone with Lydia in a future the past would be as shocked by as we were. This was freakish.

“Don, that picture made me cry,” wrote HVV… “to me that picture is about driving towards the future… the future of really bad looking automobiles and uncertainty — to you, where you are now, it must say something completely different.”

Only the women of the future kept me where I was. In them and their growing neoburlesque worlds of sex and tease and color and fun I found hope.

Veronica Varlow and her fans.
The differences between the burlesque of then and TwoThousandThen was the difference between “the first life” and a triumphant comeback. These women and men, of burlesque and boylesque, were saying that truly, progress is an illusion. How else could it be that they were so entertaining?

“I wish I could print these pictures in color Don, wow can you imagine?”

I could imagine. But I thought that even in black and white, that the past would feel very strange knowing what I was finding out. Things had come and gone in the future. Things it seemed that would just continue to lead to a future that would always move forward… but we were finding that that just was not the case.


I wrote HVV that I was not sure it ever really went away… but it certainly was roaring with its befeathered head — In the world of HVV’s “Deck” where did neoburlesque fit in?

All of a sudden, I really didn’t care what HVV did about trying to shock the past with the future. My head was spinning. I had to say that if the past was not smart enough to figure stuff out when it had the power… I found it hard to believe it would recognize it’s follies as reflected in the future that hadn’t changed that much.

I’d believed that HVV was on to something for years! I had come into the unknown present believing that she had a point and a vision. Now, just when we were starting to try it all out, I just felt like chucking the whole idea. This whole thing was changing me in ways I couldn’t imagine beforehand. I saw the buildings I saw the people…

“Fuck the past Holly, you belong in the future, that past had it’s chance!” I blurted out one day in my writing.

That’s what I felt, this is the account. I wanted her to bail, she was missing too much in her mission to change things the way she’d thought she could. All the past had was a drive for progress that now had been shown to be just a big fucking illusion.

Meschiya Lake's kaleidoscope eyes
I wanted Holly to see the future I was seeing now. I saw people, like Meschiya Lake, from New Orleans, I saw Kayvon Zand.

klimty, totally. schiele as well.
I saw things the past would never understand.

”I’m not saying it was a bad idea, Holly, really, I’m not saying anything like that… but maybe it would be much simpler to just come here and be here now and use yourself now! Too much has happened, even if some of it looks the same! The world now could use someone like you.”

I really felt that now. We could just start the fuck over, maybe it was a mistake to try to change the future with the past. All of a sudden I just wanted us to cut our losses and just play the damn “Deck” here and now. The way I saw it now, we could spend our time trying to convince or scare the past, or we could just take what was happening now, which was a world that was like an egg about to break. After about 8 years, I was doing an about-face.

The Red Book
I kept thinking about this picture I’d taken… a couple of years ago… at a fancy club in New York City, of a friend I’d made named Pandora. She’d been a burlesque dancer herself. She was in a library surrounded by books, (books themselves were in danger now! real danger!) history… and she had a cute hat with an egg on it. For the first time, I started looking at the book titles behind Irene. And the first one I read was titled SALVATION. One of the books — to Irene’s left, was called THE RELUCTANT KING. The picture itself had been taken on Easter. I thought about all of these things.

I thought about a “link” I’d been directed to by Jo Weldon.

Jo Weldon, a neoburlesque dancer… had shown me something I had never dreamed of. I don’t expect any women would have thought a guy would say the things I heard this man Mick Foley say with my own ears, and as a guy I know I never have — nor have I ever said such things myself. What was happening?

I thought about how it seemed like religion had lost it’s grip on everyone within the past 8 years while I’d been here. RELIGION itself I saw now was not seen by everyone as the WAY! In fact, what was happening was that many many people saw religion itself as something the GOT IN THE WAY! Very quickly, like in the time it took to write this, I was seeing that the stuff HVV wanted to be a part of was happening. Maybe we didn’t need the past to change the future anymore — it looked like things were changing right now!

It’s funny how you can wake up with one belief and go to bed with a different belief. I really didn’t feel like doing the same thing anymore. Not after what I’d seen today. But it was such a change it really jarred me.

Irene — and Michael Arenella's 1925 Studebaker
That night, I had a dream… a green absinthe flavored dream… it seemed to last forever. As if echoing the actually remixing of the present that HVV wanted to do with the pictures I took, the dream was a remix of HVV’s music video for “A Killer’s Killer.”
Pandora — who’d starred in that video, was telling me — after puffing on her cigarette like any femme fatale, that, “the past is only an illusion.” Even in the dream, I kept thinking to myself, “…no, no — progress is the illusion.”

You know how dreams are.

I kept hearing a musical piece called “Gassenhauer” — by a man named Carl Orff. I saw two friends, Roddy Caravella and Gretchen Fenston, and they were telling me that “Gassenhauer” means “popular melody.” I didn’t know that myself… and I wondered if they were right.

1897 spyin'
popular melody… popular melody… popular melody…

They were all like green ghosts...

till Dirty Martini showed up. A golden Dirty Martini. Dirty Martini was one of the great neoburlesque performers now… in a green dream I don’t know why she was gold. But she shimmered and sang Gassenhauer as if it was a song in a performance in the dream. She and the dream were spellbindingly beautiful.

“Green and Gold? What could they possibly mean?” Dirty Martini sang in her song, like a silken stripping songbird…

Lucas Lanthier
Next was Lucas Lanthier, an ex-boyfriend of Shien Lee… since I knew that recently he’d joked about becoming a meteorologist
I wasn’t surprised that he kept talking about stars in my dream. But he had HVV’s voice when he was saying what he was saying, and he kept saying something that I’ve only heard HVV talk about, which was “stars with or without you.” HVV and I used to talk a lot about how certain people were stars even if they didn’t have fans, that fans were not what made “stars.”

Shien Lee at BANZAI!
When I then thought about stars in my dream, I ended up seeing Shien. It was totally quiet, and all I saw were her eyes flickering for a couple of minutes. It’s like she had eyes like those mirrored balls you see in nightclubs… her irises and pupils seemed to rotate, like little planets… it was very pleasant but also spooky, a lot spookier than “A Killer’s Killer” had been, somehow… I wasn’t feeling that great, very stressed because of what I’d seen over the course of the day, but watching her eyes made me feel so good. Like fire, or the ocean.

Then her eyes turned into car headlights and I was in Michael Arenella’s garage, where we’d shot some of the video…

sci-noir portrait
In the background I heard car horns playing Gassenhauer! And then sirens playing Gassenhauer! The sounds were spinning around together like the lights in Shiens eyes had done.

And then I saw PJ Linden laughing.

The gun fan spy photo
She was laughing Gassenhauer.

I am thinking alot about Old Hollywood
And she was singing in a green laughing voice, which I know doesn’t make sense… we were in El Quijote, which was my second favorite place next to my own place — Spiro’s — and then I was standing out side El Quijote on the sidewalk next to the Hotel Chelsea, where El Quijote was. It was raining green rain, rain that I couldn’t see that made the Gassenahuer melody as it rained down, the drops being notes of the music.

Chelsea Noir
And that was when I woke up, all groggy and tired, and unsure, but somehow… the Gassenahuer melody itself was still in my mind as it rained outside, just like it had in my dream.




here are the other episodes sofar:

episode 1) —

episode 2) —

episode 3) —

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Cleavage Pets™ — A NYC REALITY NOIR — episode 3

The Cleavage Pets™ — A NYC Noir Reality — episode 3!

HVV sent me this... the text only, I put the right pictures in for you — of course, the pictures the past would see would be in black and white, but I think you'll get the picture. It was the second of her pieces in LENSJOCKEY™'s published view of the future. Imagine this in 1933!

the neo depression
Straight from the future!

The country that blew the world’s mind — that’s us. And that’s a long story. But in TwoThousandThen — or T3 — there are still some people riding around in 1929 De Sotos — check this out! The same fucking cars! Oh, I’m not saying that some things haven’t changed. Nope. There have definitely been some new developments!
I suppose the sharper of my readers might have already figured out what has happened to our dear world in the exciting decades beyond now. If you can’t see what is happening when horseraces are held in graveyards, the news might not help you, but for those of you who can run in dirt that is alittle deeper — well —

Boardwalk Empire Bloomingdales
My friends, we the past of the future are being sold! We are the substitute for real creativity in the future! People watch pictures of us on TV and look at dummies of us in the stores dressed like us. The have nothing better to invent than us then! Decades later! With all their fucking self-impressing inventions… they can’t make up a damn thing to entertain themselves but us. Isn’t that fucking crazy? They want to come back to us! We must be pretty damn hot commodites. We were before their time! Hahah. Let LENSJOCKEY™ be the first to congratulate the future for it’s complete lack of imagination and real style, but super marketing savvy!
If the big important new future had something better to offer itself, they would have made it. You’d see it here! In the windows of Bloomingdales! And keeping up with the oh-so-timelyness of time and trend, they have introduced bedbugs to their attraction, in the hopes of seeming more authentic to the times! Classic I say! Bedbugs and the 30s go together like Busby Berkely, everyone knows that. It was a genius take-home advertising campaign!
But that’s The Re-publicans. And, there is hope!

Bergdorf Goodman window
Hang onto your tomatoes — A store mannequin has given birth to our saviors! I know, I know, it’s hard to believe dear readers, and it happened a little before the time I am showing you, but it is the very reason that there is no more separation of church and state. You need church to do that, and in T3, they realized that church is so last millennium, because of a miracle.
The mannequin was the miracle. Her name is Gretchen Bergdorf, she is one of the Fifth Avenue Bergdorfs — not to be mistaken for the 58th Street Bergdorfs or (especially) the 57th Street Bergdorfs. Born into a life of “being in the window,” exotic settings, outrageous costumes, makeup., a cool inhuman demeanor… not really what one would imagine for the mother of the future of true spirituality. Or is it? Most other “gods” and their relatives, they always looked pretty Hollywood-ready to me.
I am not kidding people, readers, you. Have faith! Please please continue on with me!

OMG — TiggerJames Ferguson is what every homophobe HATES.
Well, there he is. I know I know I know I know he is not what you want one of your saviors to be, this Tigger Ferguson, the way you have been brought up, but I promise you… in the City Of New York, of the mother Gretchen Bergdorf, of the Fifth Avenue Bergdorfs, there was born unto us some saviors. Some fucking saviors!

The reality then is that... that the center of fashion is the center of spirituality, I know, it must take great faith to believe, really I do… but that is where people look to. Acceptance is the new faith! Accept that and you are saved!

Bunny Love dreams
Another miracle — the mother Gretchen had a daughter, and her name was Bunny Love. I am so serious. No boyfriend, nothing! Look, if you can believe the costumery and superficial denials of reality that engage the religious mind of today, in 1933, a miracle only decades in the future with details of only slightly more believeable characters should not be that hard to grasp. You all already worship, I mean shop at the House of Bergdorf anyway. There is a god in Bergdorf if you really look hard enough, that is the reality. Where is the god in church? Only faith tells you it is there. Acceptance will tell you that there is a god in Bergdorf Goodman. Not once but twice! AND in Bloomingdales, although a bit harder to see! This is why everyone follows NYC fashion, and they don’t even know it. EVERYBODY follows, the true religion, without even knowing.
I know it’s hard to swallow this information now, with the depression, but you should feel more comfortable knowing that the future understands you and your depression! They are only just starting to see this stuff even in TwoThousandThen… and they have their own depression to deal with! I am trying to do us all a favor by just trying to gain acceptance for what is to come. Those crazy kids! You think Jesus was accepting? Your fucking god didn’t want a daughter! Who’s did? I mean, we’ve all bought this for centuries… that is, you did. I just couldn’t believe it. That’s why I saw this. This is the latebreaking NEWSFLASH before it’s time!
Fashion can tell that religion looks old. Fashion changes. Fashion and shopping give comfort. To the future, religions are just old fashions. That is the reality that is the new heaven. Reality is where everyone wants to go! And reality is actually here, like bagels, swimming pools, electronic media (I can explain that later friends —)

This is a portrait of God. The true god. This is the god that cannot be fooled, this is the god who has heard it all. This was the god found on a sidestreet near Times Square. This was not the second coming, this was the first coming, of the fucking truth. Straight from the future! People could feel the power. God was found. Now if it surprises you that she looks like a grandmother… well, if you look closely, there is god in grandmother. I don’t see it in Father anywhere do you? Grandfather, sorry, no god there! This is just the truth I am telling you! Isn’t grandmother the one who ALWAYS cares? “God” as we all know him, has been taking the credit for Grandmother all this time. All this time. On faith, not evidence. Grandmother is the new God.
As you can see, in the future we don’t have stained glass for the grandmother god, we have photography, a truly magical and mysterious artform. Because photography is so closely linked with reality. And the truth is in black and white.
To make this clearer, dear readers, I include here one of the worshipful songs of the time, TwoThousandThen — sung by The Criminal Religion themselves.

Shien Lee
“The New Religion — is fucking reality!
Oh when I was young,
I’d wished for something like this — when I saw praying as the begging it is!
something to see me through
something that would REALLY fucking HELP me —

Why oh why didn’t you?

Religions were made up by men (evidence has seen — and we of the future are having our say!)...
to explain (sortof) some mysteries the best that he can (it seems)
but guess what?
a lot of men’s stories and a lot of men’s schemes well, A-men
we can’t see that they work so well, so obviously, okay?

You can’t build an asshole in your mouth and blame it for shitting

You can’t put priests into power without some icky pedofeelings

And I have always wondered at the statements, like these — that God created man in his own image, when the UNDENIABLE truth is, the evidence PROVES — WE are the ones who made God in OUR (man’s) image…
And we all, got it wrong, for CENTURIES!

Is that really so fucking hard to see?

Well, OUR religion says, get this, A-men, our religion says A-men —
That men are not O-kay!”

Some song huh? That’s the song of TwoThousandThen! I swear. That’s as close to a heavenly choir as you are going to get on this earth. I hope you my readers will agree.

“Don, I am gonna call all these people you’ve shot “The Deck” — because they have to be played. I just wanted you to see alittle of what I am doing… I can’t send you everything.”

“I am so thankful that you have been shooting the 24/7 people of the time you are in now, without people like this I could not do what I do… any guy with a camera can go and get a couple of magazines and see who to shoot to make money. But what you did for years is consistently incredible to me. I need the 24/7 people, people who live their lives 24/7, write their own worlds, people who create their own lives, these are the people to trust! And these are the only people I could use! I don’t even have to ask how you found such people, I am glad that I put my faith in you. I cannot wait to drop these people on the past!”

Shien Lee, she's something big!
Shien Lee, it seemed to me, would be Queen of “The Deck.” I knew what HVV meant when she was talking about decks… it’s not the way I’d thought when I was shooting Shien, and saw her effect on men, and what she was doing with her life… but I saw her genuine qualities… immediately, and powerfully. As they say now — “Duh!”

She was young and sexy and exotic and smart, and she had the NYC scene in her hands at night. I was tired myself of all the bogus overrated “personalities” chosen by ignorant lifeless boredsters — “personalities” chosen from fantasy “sets” — TV and movies… that had such control over people that people actually applied writer’s qualities to actors who simply acted. I saw most personalities of the time like the popular breast implants… celluloid was just silicone to these people where I was.

“The Deck,” The Deck indeed was a good way to put it. We were playing another deck entirely. A deck based on the 24/7 people who ALWAYS know themselves. Me and HVV, our fantasy for the past was based on the present realities… using reality as a fantasy… seemed so revolutionary and subversive in the climate of the days, of both times!

the art of surveillance
Matthew, not your Saint Matthew — I called him DJ 78!

Cornelius Loy Jr.
Cornelius Loy, Jr. — plays an instrument called the Theremin — I could only imagine what HVV would say he was doing — to our friends in the past, he’d look like a man from space! What would she make of that glowing singing rod… I had shot him in dingy club rooms… far away from the past.

Michael T — black glam elegance
Michael T ... was a “promoter” like Shien Lee. As I saw it, promoters were the preachers of the day. I knew that HVV would make something up about him that could not help but blow the past’s collective religion-warped minds. The Deck The Deck The Deck… what a beautiful way to put it. To me, The Deck became my unorganized religion of the truth and reality. In the Holy land of New York City, the city EVERYONE worshipped… and I loved Los Angeles. The Sixteen Chapel is the new Sistine, if you know what I mean.

Muffinhead of Ceremonies
This is Muffinhead. Hahaha, unleashed on the past, I could see the confusion and chaos he could cause. Can’t you? They were all the wildest of wildcards to me, and the game HVV was gonna play with them made me want to be there with her, but I had to be here.

A Deck full of wildcards. A city full of stories to me made.

Michael Bloomberg speaking at the Bronx campaign office opening.
The face of New York City’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg — perhaps the people of the past would understand a less flashy character… but I doubt the way HVV would present him would make the past comfortable… as I think she planned to marry him off to Heather Holliday…

A firebreather from Coney Island! Haha. The mayor’s own girlfriend would just not cut it as far as we could see. Diana Taylor seemed like a surprisingly intelligent partner for a mayor… truthfully shocking in it’s own way — but HVV probably was not gonna see her as useful for our plans.

Donny Vomit
“You know the drill,” she’d probably have Donny Vomit say. Donny was a deck definite. He even looked like someone you’d see in a deck… if Jacks had big nails and drills in their hands instead of swords. Hahaha. Couldn’t wait to see how HVV played the Donny card. Couldn’t fucking wait.

Me and HVV were like two halves of a brain. I didn’t know which halves we’d both be, but that’s what it was like.

Jennifer Miller? Hahaha, who would she become for the past? She’d drop machetes as fast as she’d juggle them. A bearded wildcard of a woman. Funny, silly, and realistic…all of these people exist and are real! Is Heather telling our Jennifer a state secret? What’s the story?

Selene Luna in Bergdorf Goodman's windows
“Selene Luna is fantastic!,” HVV would write me later.

“She is like a Velazquez painting in your shot Don! She could be anyone! Thank you thank you thank you! You may make my dreams come true!”

We’ll see. The Deck would deliver I bet.

— to be continued —



here are the other episodes sofar:

episode 1) —

episode 2) —

episode 4) —