Ray Garman - Written & Spoken Words

"4-6 am"

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Written in 1990, "4-6 am" is an adaptation of a performance art piece and a poem performed at La Mama Theater and The St. Mark's Poetry Project.  Additionally, the poetry form was part of spoken word and poetry slam events at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

4 - 6 am 
  by RF Garman

  Copyright  1990 RF Garman 



It's always in those hot flash g-force crashes that dreams and reality collide.  A part of what used to be me, cringes on the sidewalk.  Trying to postpone the inevitable, I peer in the shop window and pretend I'm John Jacob Astor or some other faultless, flaunter.

When I do crash, I'll look around, probably grab the nearest tension torture, system searching phone fix, a temporary simpatico high.  More often than not, one phone call stretches to a zillion and when it's all over and there is no one else to call, brother's ray-gun aids me when I'm done.
I remember a Franklin laugh.  We first arrived in New York, he had that shit-eating grin and his world is an oyster attitude.
He'd yell into a void, at Avenue C.
"I live in a city of sin and I am the biggest sinner of them all.  Manhattan skyline, you are mine." 
At night the wild bunch would hit the clubs, a chic party or whatever happened to be the "in-thing" because we were young and didn't really listen to the treason, reason.
Model-types gave bent kneed prayers to our organs -- opting diaphragms, rain-hat-for-cats.  Posing for the latest open door walk through, king clubby shook our hand and extolled his pleasure. 
Fast and free, I got a bonus, bought a Rolex and a white powder dinner.  Fortified with drink and drug, we rolled from one party, one bed, to the next. 
Disposable incomes for a disposable age.  Like the wine we drank, nothing seemed to matter and then when it did, it was just too late.
Franklin met this woman.  He seemed to shed his skin like some lizard leaving his past behind, but then, that past just couldn't be left so easily.
Political, typical.  She touched the recess of the abyss our lives had become.  A distant voice, long suppressed, calling soul-mate, cell-mate, a spawning salmon losing life in giving life."
In the days of the Bachae, no-one ever questioned the hermaphrodites or lustful loving heteros, we just did it.  And as a sufferer of more than occasional bouts of uncontrollable living hard-ons, my head got lost, shall we say, buried in the mounds of forget-me-nots that we always did.
Blurred together, a collection predilection of flesh and breasts and pelvic arches, marches played then paid.
Franklin did a round with the old horse long before he became this successful banker thing.  We were in college and as wild as two hormone filled adventurers could be with Reagan's ray-gun, lacking, reason.
He used to do it before philosophy.  The professor, a socratic type who talked about boy love in Plato's cave and Sapphos in the land down yonder, never realized Franklin was riding bareback though he certainly knew we were into the herb because we always smelled so much like it.  Everyone knew that though.
Funny, what Franklin and I became, after all.
I used to look at Franklin in his custom cut suits and his fancy ties and then look at myself in my own, and laugh and wonder if this all wasn't yet another hallucination hibernation, a hidden back track.
When we were doing it, Izods were back in fashion and the khakis were ablaze in the pressed cotton boat basin look.  Those of us who left them behind and played contrarian with the style did so as much for the rebellion as the similarity of the weave.  We still sailed our little boats, sporting kakhis docks, the jolly roger barefoot.  Same old same old, except the same old AIDs.
When Franklin died the Times called it cancer of the liver though everybody knew cancer had nothing to do with it.  The minister who placed the obituary didn't know Franklin, had never met Franklin. He said it's easier that way, everybody knows he had a wife and wasn't gay.


I am, and continue to be, though I don't always understand why.