New York Parades

I have more than I can write, to write, to transcribe from notes, to reconstruct. To meditate on the relation of the road to writing, and to vehicles for writing, and how the vehicular mode of writing keeps the narratives of the next next next chugging along.

But right now – in New York. I am stuck here at JFK. Our plane was hit by lightning and sustained some sort of damage that makes it unroadworthy or whatever the aeronautical equivalent of a flat tire might be. So, by the facility of airport wi fi provision…

Working backwards. Today I watched the Pride parade. Big bikes hurtling down 5th avenue. Men and women in leathers. Leather men. New York parades are very parade like – the dykes on bikes have band-leader like co-ordinators – a cross between the person who waves the flag at the end of the grand prix and the one with the little paddles that waves in planes at the airport (only rainbow-striped).

The day before Christina took me to the ‘last ever’ Coney Island Mermaid Parade. If anything, this was more colourful and more raunchy than the Pride parade. Apparently they are selling off all the rides at Coney Island so as to develop the site for condominiums. Christina wanted me to bid for the Cyclone (wooden roller coaster – would be great to have that in Kennington Park). The picture above is from that parade.

Friday evening I spoke at Revolution Books. They say its provided a model for future discussions of the type, so I am happy with how it went. How did it go? – they sat me in one of those big comfy drawing room chairs with 19th Century style wings, surrounded by audience on a further curiously diverse array of seating, and the bookshelves providing suggestive diversions for what was an unstructured talk (that I will write up soon) but which generated a further two hours of discussion even after I’d finished my 1.5 hr ramble through my issues. I signed books afterwards, which usually makes me feel very strange, but which was handled really well by the organisers at Rev Books, and Ray Lotta who masterminded it all. The write up will extend from the Plassey and the Black Hole, via the ‘mutiny’ also known as the first all India war against the British East India Company, through to issues of organisation and theory debates today, and all that stuff about chapattis I mention in Bad Marxism. Seemed to go well. I’ll posta link when its written up.

The days before were spent in High Falls, upstate New York (Camp Taussig). A meeting of about 14 keen people started with a discussion of road travels (from Daniella) that suggested the opening for this post above, but now that I come to try to write it up I realise there is far too much that went on for me to append it all here while sitting so angular in an airport lounge chair. Mick’s talk was great – slight ref here – and debates with Al Lingus, Todd Ochoa (there will be cowboy boots for all after the revolution, and is ‘journalist’ an insult for you as it is for me?), Lenyo, Daniella (the road to lyrical erudition really started us off well), Kostas (the bread story on friday morning was great), Bina, Christina (shout out to Quigley), Dora and more. There is much much much to say on this, but… the sterility of the airport lounge and waning batTery power means my current predicament is not all that conducive to talking about riverside feasts and late night campfire philosophizing… and video activism amidst the fireflies….

And being here has meant missing Imogen very much, and Roh too. Both are fondley remembered at 113 and Broadway.

Lal Salaam, NYC 24 June 2007.