SUMM IM # M rtist Carl Chaplin just returned from a Cairo showing of his ART f WNUKO paintings of nuclear explosions over the world s major cities. There he unveiled Spending Eternity in Cairo and scenes of firestorms over Moscow, Washington D.C., Tokyo and even his own home. Vancouver B.C. He also took along his most controversial canvas to date, on loan from the R.B. Torrie collection, Wishing on a Star in Fantasyland. Continued on Page 5 ■ ■ - -
STYL ING FRANCESCA LACAGNNA P^OTO: TOM COLLICOTT On Septem ber 15 , 1988 The cu rtain r ises on Th e Gr ou p Th ea tr e Co m pa ny ’s 1988-8 Se n 9 as o Subscr ipto s i n on sa le now r s ow A l a $ 8 s 3 54 -3 43 27 S t " ee h s i o e cla s f cs or tom r ow t da y" ta TheGr o pTh u eatreC m an o p y S UT D IO V IE W IN G S BY A P P O NI T M E N T Th e Em pt y Sp ac e hT ea tr e Pr es en ts M sY W oF RI M AY EP 44 769 67 61 9 W E S TE R N A V E . FI FT H F LO O R 9 8 1 0 4 SE TA TL E H EL D O VE R ! A eP nn y D re da uf l b y hC ar le s uL dl am I T i ck et s — C al l 4 76 -6 00 0 । A sk a ob ut o ur l as t-m ni tu e d i sc uo tn s ep ci a l .s ! 59 S uo th J ac sk on S t at F rs i t A ve un e in P oi ne re S qu ar .e H ig -h vo lta ge c om ed y! — T i m e M ga az ni e 2 -C lni to n tS . Q au tr er ly — uS m m er , 1 89 8
Denise Levertov Larry Heinemann Michael Ondaatje Ai ORMANCE Celebrates its third year with an exciting new format, featuring works of participating writers and new release book reviews. Available at bookstores! Ask for it! The Seattle Arts Festival™ Ergo! The Bumbersboot Literary Magazine! WORD WORKS MIKE FORUM ! o Steamin’ years on Eastlake thanks to the best customers anywhere! MEDIA BUMBERSHOOT LITERARY ARTS SEPTEMBER 2-5, 1988 - Seattle Center do-it-yourself framing custom framing gallery 1822 BROADWAY 322-4455 1'4 BLK. S. OF DENNY) open seven days a week FRAME-IT ON BROADWAY free parking 2305 Eastlake E. 324-1442 S i n in a l T h a n M o re 0 r i & 607 o 35 th N. M F R E M 0 N T Why Would a Mutual Fund Exclude Nuclear Power? Because it can be an unsafe and unattractive investment AND there are many other investment opportunities available to the environmentally concerned investor.... Recycling Conservation Geothermal Energy Management Solar Resource Recovery NEW ALTERNATIVES FUND A mutual fund concentrating in alternate energy, solar, and conservation investments Available through Lowry Financial Services Corp., Registered Broker/Dealer, Member NASD & SIPC. Distributor: New Alternatives Fund, New York. For more complete information, including charges and expenses, send for a prospectus. • See our five year track record • Examine our list of investments • Minimum investment is $2,650 • Call (206) 285-2625 or send coupon | Eric A. Smith, Lowry Financial Services Corporation, 200 West Mercer Street, Ste. 102, Seattle, WA 98119 I □ Please send me a New Alternatives Fund prospectus. IName __________________________________ |Phone__________________________________ । Address______________ __________________ । City State Zip Clinton St. Quarterly—Summer, 1988 3
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t d i t o r David Milholland Editor at Large Lenny Dee Associate Editors Jim Blashfield, Paul Loeb Editorial Assistant Lee Emmett Washington State Coordinator Judy Hines Bevis Art Director i David Milholland Designer Candace Bieneman Guest Designer A Reed Darmon Contributing Artists Peter Bagge, Carl Chaplin, C. T Chew, Craig Bartlett, Michael Dougan, Barbara Sekerka, Vicki Shuck, Marly Stone, Steve Willis Contributing Photographers Carl Chaplin, C. T. Chew, Peter Rowlands, Marly Stone, Account Representatives—Oregon Rhonda Kennedy, Lisa Miller, Ellen Harmon Account Representative— Washington Philip Minehan Ad Production Rhonda Kennedy, Robert Williamson Typesetting Harrison Typesetting, Inc., Lee Emmett, Marmilmar, Arrow Typesetting, Qualitype Camerawork Craftsman Lithoplate, Inc. Cover Separations Portland Prep Center, Inc. Printing Tualatin-Yamhill Press Thanks Adelsheim Vineyards, Judy & Stew Albert, Robert Anderson, Linda Ballantine, Walt Curtis, Dru Duniway, Margaret Dunne, Dennis Eichhorn, Molly Hershey, Hood River Brewing, Anne Hughes Coffee Room, Bob Jeniker, Craig Karp, John Laursen, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Deborah Levin, Peggy Lindquist, Zak Margolis, Theresa Marquez, Melissa Marsland, Doug Milholland, Kevin Mulligan, Larry Needham, Norman Solomon, Northwest Film & Video Center, Missy Stewart, Sandy Wallsmith, John Wanberg, The Clinton 500 De-Euphemizing the Sixties— \ John Bennett A journey through the “Summer of Love” in 5 decades of our century— from Guam to Eugene, from Franl?Sinatra to the Grateful Dead. $ Dear Ms. Lonelihearts— Jonathan Lowe / . / A satire from surplus parts. Keeping up with Floyd Cramer, figuring out the wife and getting to Cuba. Art Nuko and The Bunker— Arthur DabneyM (Not quite) enough firewood for a nuclear winter. Will we reach critical mass before the hour comes Fish From Your Window- ‘round? Jane Carlsen I'm hooked. Her line ’s in the water. Where do we sink the memories? Organ Trail—Craig Bartlett Organ sets out on the heels of his dp- gooder brother Mark, who is spreading the word for Don Hodel and the Reagan Revolution. Bagge, Michael and Steve Willis A half-cure for those summertime blues. Praise the Lord and duck for cover. A featurette from Seattle Star. Rituals of Curry and others Exotic Concoctions— ■ Marilyn Stablein Life in the slow lane—learning the essence of simmer, mango lassis, ganja balls, dung fires and teeth- rattling sweets. Trifling with the Juggernaut—Joe Sackett Our author deciphers his past and responds to his present—’’Nukes have been in my face since the day I was born.” _ ' ..._ . . Spending Eternity in Egypt—Carl Chaplin On th e ro ad w ith Dr. A r t N u k o . . .w h e r e was the U.S. Ambassador? Cover image: Wishing on a Star in Faritasyland Carl Chaplin Art Nuko >. ^ •1 The Clinton St. Quarterly is published in Oregon, Washington and National editions by CSQ—A Project of Out of the Ashes Press. Oregon address: P.O. Box 3588 , Po rtland , OR 97208 —(503) 222-6039. Washington address: 1520 Western Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101— i (206) 682-2404 . Unless otherw ise i noted, all contents copyright 1988 i Clinton St. Quarterly. J O K W T X t l C M i M M V . 1 **=c*La r r i —n H . — J Artist Carl Chaplin just returned from a Cairo showing of his ART NUKO paintings of nuclear explosions over the world’s major cities. There he unveiled Spending Eternity in Cairo and scenes of firestorms over Moscow, Washington D.C., Tokyo and even his own home, Vancouver B.C. He also took along his most controversial canvas to date, on loan from the R.B. i Torrie collection, Wishing on a Star in Fantasyland. Not long ago, the Disney folk complained, and asked Carl to destroy the remainder of the 14,000 postcards he’d been selling of the image. The “ Mickey Megamouse” painting was reproduced and Chaplin’s work was written up in such Canadian mass circulation papers as The Province and The Globe and Mail. It’s rare that this issue, the literal potential for destruction of our planet, is so provocatively brought forth. Both news and mail travel very slowly between our neighbor nations. We learned of the ART NUKO series and controversy only late this spring. Our own fantasyland, Fortress America, could all too easily go up in a puff of smoke, right before our eyes. Watching the world on TV, i t ’s seductive to feel good because, in one of the great whitewashes in history, our Megaton president, succumbing to Nancy’s machinations and decades of world pressure for peace, is suddenly portrayed as a peacemaker for his summit treaty proposals. Only four years ago Reagan used the L.A. Summer Olympics to decry the “ Evil Empire” and buttress his fee l-good— "America’s Back” — election victory. We’ re now facing Round Three: a plebiscite pitting his designated successor, ex-CIA head Geo. Bush. vs. Gov. Dukakis and his Lone Star running mate Sen. Bentsen. Candidates such as Dr. Leonora Fulani, running a brave bu t l ig h t ly funded campa ign , should also be considered. Dukakis has much to recommend him. His clear, consistent position on Central America has included involvement in a suit to prevent Mass- achussetts Nat. Guard troops from being sent to “ train” in Honduras. His stand on South Africa is consistent with that of Jesse Jackson. Successful employment programs in his home state linked up the private sector with government to end a long-term recession there. He is what he's being labeled: a liberal from a liberal state. Unfortunately, the Mass, recovery cannot be realistically separated from the state’s huge number of computer and software firms— Defense contractors that grew dramatically during the early Reagan military buildup. What’s still missing from the Dukakis campaign is a program for building past our nuclear arsenal to create a strong, economically viable nation which is not the world’s chief arms supplier and dreadnought. Unleashing the innovative energy of this nation for peace, with liberty and justice for all, has surely got to be the challenge of the end of the century. We should not imagine that a strictly liberal/radical slate can beat a Republican candidate bankrolled by big business. Neither should we endorse or elect busi- ness-as-usual candidates at this critical juncture for our nation. We need to share our hopes and concerns with these candidates, with our children and with one another. Artist Chaplin provides a fitting ending: “ . . . Free us this day from our daily apathy, but forgive not our dread. . . . Sharpen our satire with rage, for art is the power to tell the story that saves the world, forever and ever. Am en , a w om en , apeople.” DM Clinton St. Quarterly—Summer, 1988 5
the Aunm Section K of the Seattle Times, July 19, 1987, the day of the Dead-Dylan concert in Eugene: a two-page retrospective on By John Bennett Photos courtesy John Bennett - C -- li -n -- to -- n- St. Quarterly American turns on the TV for an evening of relaxation, index finger tapping out electronic impulses on the magic box—remote control, our specialty. The images flicker by. Ice hockey in Montreal. Raw sex on the Playboy channel. Regan, Schultz and Poindexter on CNN, saying this about that and less about each other. A laser-colored western on channel four. Bill Cosby saying “ It’s my money” for I.E Hutton. News flashes on uprisings in South Korea, Panama and some place called Oceania. The mind grows bored and the finger does the walking. POWER OFF makes the world go away. The Summer of Love, its twenty-year resurrection vying with the Iran-Contra hearings for prime time. Colonel North pulling rank on Sergeant Pepper. Sergeant Pepper’s band dubbed over with oom-pa-pa. the Summer of Love—a shotgun blast of graphics and letters responding to the T im e s ’ re q u e s t fo r Penny Lane memories. In the graphics department, a collage of paraphernalia: a photo of a Vietnam private juxtaposed with a photo of the Fillmore marquee promoting a soon-to- self-destruct Jimi Hendrix; a repro of the Zigzag Man; a Grateful Dead calling card; the Haight-Ashbury street sign. Implied meaning and significance, slicked over an abyss of incomprehension. And the letters. Star billing is given to an anonymous letter that sets the tone for the entire coverage: that was then and this is now; then was an aberration, a time that bred a profusion of prodigal sons and daughters, and now is a time when these prodigals have been absorbed back into the mainstream of America’s high-tech, corporate democracy, feeling a little foolish about their wayward caper, but willing, at last, to do their part. This anonymous woman left hat kind of force is capable of drawing 50,000 people from northern California and the entire Northwest to a single foot- ■ ball stadium in western Oregon? What kind of force can bring Bob Dylan and The g ^^^B Grateful Dead together on the same g stage? The answer is simple: The Sumf mer of Love. The media has it implanted in ^B our collective ticky-tack brain that the ▼ Summer of Love was a phenomenon, a force, and the media should know, the media created the Summer of Love. Let me rephrase the question: What were the dynamics involved in the Haight-Ashbury-hippy-counter-culture phenomenon of twenty years ago? What was the force the media cannibalized when it conjured its phenomenon?
her husband at the age of twenty-five, lived in a Berkeley crash pad with a bunch of kids, slept around and took drugs. Now she’s back. There’s another letter from a man who got caught up in a street riot and was appalled by the lack of respect for the “ sacredness of private property” that he saw all around him. “ . .the most frightening exhibit of human behavior I have ever experienced,” his letter said. His sense of propriety was restored by the arrival of the riot police. There were letters from people who were five years old in 1967 and “ proud of it,” people who painted murals of Jim Morrison on their bedroom walls, people who lived in convents by day and prowled the Haight by night, people who remembered their “ groovy love beads,” and people whose dream was to drink Tang and get in on the Apollo space program. Seattle cracks her Sunday paper over hot cakes and coffee, shakes her head and chuckles. Ah, we’ve come a long way, baby. The drugs turned bad in the Haight in the summer of 1967 before the leaves began to change. The initial wave of love children was quickly followed by a tidal wave of hustlers and hipsters. There was sickness and disillusionment and a lot of victims. The Grateful Dead and other seasoned counter-culture people began moving out. To Morning Star Ranch, to the country, to places untouched by the media. They took with them the ember that smolders at the heart of a way of life. Not a movement, not a fad; a way of life. What is significant about the Summer of Love, about the entire period referred to as The Sixties, is that this ember, which is still passed from generation to generation, burst into flame. Back in the Fifties we used to race around through the night in ‘40 Ford coupes. Whitewalls and teardrop skirts. We were ignorant as zoo monkeys. We were teenage barbarians. I remember the night I was scanning the air waves and hit upon the new music for the first time. It was Chuck Berry. Talk about your quantum leaps. From Frank Sinatra to Chuck Berry in one fell swoop. It was the most liberating thing that had ever happened to me, better than an unhooked bra in the back seat on a dark country road. That was a tough era in which to keep the fire burning. McCarthyism was a bad taste in every liberal’s mouth. I knew from nothin’ about McCarthyism. The skull and crossbones flew from my car antenna. I was a high school dropout in a New England mill town, a factory worker for minimum wage. A sensitive boy, but deeply troubled, is the way the principal put it when he handed my father my walking papers. My father told me, “Get a job—you’ re through eating for free.” I worked in the factory by day and set pins in a bowling alley by night, just before technology replaced pin setters with machines. My friend Mert and I got into a discussion one night with the alley owner, a tough old Pole. “Two years,” he told us, “ two years, you punks, and your rock ‘n’ roll will be in ashes. Responsible people won’t tolerate that kind of noise for long.” ture of The Grateful Dead gathered around Bob Dylan like a pack of grinning m on ke ys . “ O n ly N o r th w e s t Apthe b r in e d Pw t ' pearance,” the caption reads. A month later Brenda and I are crossing the Columbia River at Biggs Junction in a ‘63 Ford van, sleeping bags in the back, We loved him like a father, but he had no headed for Eugene. idea what the future held in store. We laughed, drained our cokes and walked out the door into the summer night. Fired up our Harleys and rode off in the direction of Woodstock. Summer of Love, 1957. By the time the Seventies rolled around I’d tried my hand at just about everything and was marking time for $3 an hour as a dishwasher in what would now be called a Yuppie joint on San Francisco’s Union Street. My first day I reported for work at 8 a.m. after being up all night on acid. I made it though the noon rush on Watney’s ale. It was a mystery to me why they treated me so well. I took extended lunch breaks and ate what I pleased and no one said boo. They just kept shoving the Watney’s through the bus-boy window. One day Joan Baez walked in and paid for a bowl of borscht with plastic. She’d just been to the hairdresser. If you didn’t know she was Joan Baez, you’d have sworn by her coiffure and the way she was dressed she was Miss Virginia Slim herself. I was a dishwashing force there on Union Street. It took about a month before I found out what was going on. Where lunch hour had been a nightmare of bus trays stacked all over the kitchen floor, now there was order. I was doing the work of three men. The other two dishwashers had failed to show up on my first day, and seeing what I could do, the rhan- agement te rm ina ted them w ithou t notice. The management was getting better results at a third the cost. Realizing my worth, I asked for $5 an hour and got fired myself. It was a matter of principle, they said, not to pay any dishwasher more than $3 an hour. Diamonds and rust, my friends. The dynamics of a capitalist world. The dissonant note that gives our music its distinctive edge. The grit in the oyster that makes the pearl. Times are hard for the hardcore. False prophets have taken up residence in the Hotel California. As Jim Bakker put it so succinctly when he moved in: “Well, it’s great to have a place where Tammy can shop, shop, shop.” # # # So I open the Seattle Times one Sunday morning in June, and there’s a picBrenda was eleven during the Summer of Love, living right here in this Washington desert valley where I now wash glass for a living. I was twenty-nine and working the bars in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Brenda was tuned in to gospel music, and I worked just around the corner from Preservation Hall. And now twenty years down the road, we’re on the road heading for the same destination. We travel down the Columbia Gorge toward Portland under a stormy sky. Lightning flashes, howling winds, angels humming over Hanford irradiated waters. I glance over at Brenda. She’s got the earphones on and is smiling with her eyes closed, tapping out rhythm on the dash. A sign reads BRIDGE OF THE GODS. I glance to my left and see that I’m being passed by an old VW van covered with Dead insignia. The driver gives me thumbs up, and his lady smiles and waves. I grin and jam an Oreo cookie into my mouth. “ I’m here for the duration!” I yell. They give me the “ can’t hear you” head shake and f in ish the ir pass. CAREER WITH A CONSCIENCE Full-time entry-level, training, and management positions available doing grassroots organizing and fundraising with the Central America Peace Campaign. Build a national activist network. Learn organizing, fundraising and electoral skills. Sal. 13,000 -18,000 + benes. to start. Call (206) 547-0845. 'W ID E I WORLD 4 0 1 N . 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Thunder claps and roiling clouds. Summer of Love, 1987. South of Portland, in Albany, we pull in for gas. The attendant, young and bearded, fills the tank. “ Enjoy the concert!” he says. “ I’ ll bet I’ve filled ten rigs like yours since noon. I must be the only person in the world not going to Eugene. ” Truth be known, there were only a tenth as many people heading for Eugene as were at Woodstock when Arlo Guthrie climbed on stage and grinning his son-of- Woody grin proclaimed: “We’ve brought traffic to a standstill on the New York Throughway!” A heady moment. A flash of bright light before the big shutdown. Now, as we drive south some twenty years later, most of America is out three- wheeling it or sitting in front of the tube catching the latest Ollie North re-run. Life had pictures of him barbecuing in his back yard. I was sort of hoping they’d have pictures of him the time he sustained a back injury and spent an afternoon jumping off his roof—reinforcing his discipline by handling pain. Up the ladder and off the roof. Over and over again. Your average ranch-home daddy, passing on the values to his awestruck kids. Further down the road, traffic ties up and then comes to a standstill. Could it be happening again? Another Wood- stock? Are we ready for that? People begin rolling down their windows, the music spilling out into the falling rain, some Jimi Hendrix gaining the upper hand, Hendrix more listened to and better understood now than then. Hendrix, closing down Woodstock like a prophet with that bloodcurdling version of The Star Spangled Banner—Jesus! The man knew. You can’t go on knowing that intensely into the future and continue living in the present—Scotty beams you up. Next to us, a car with Montana plates and an Iron Maiden bumper sticker; young bloods, the driver beating a staccato rhythm on the steering wheel with a set of drumsticks. Clusters of people stand around in conversation. Then the traffic up front begins moving, and we’re on the road again, riding a Woodstock momentum into a hair-trigger future. I t ’s after dark when we cross the Willamette and drop down into Eugene. We finally pull over to ask assistance from two college students, dyed-in-the- wool 1987 mainstream—i t ’s in their speech patterns and the places they’ re recommending. The Holiday Inn. Disco joints. “ No, man,” Brenda says, leaning across me to squint into the dark at their faces. “We want something funkier than thatt” They smile vagueness at us across a gap wider than all the generations since Moses. “Guess we can’t help you then,” they say, and walk away. We wind up eating pizza in a walk-in place of 13th Street. Long-haired pizza wizards spinning dough discs over their heads, Sonny Boy Williamson blasting out of a cassette recorder propped cockeyed in the corner over the s ink. . .I flash on the first pizza I ever ate, East-Coast Italian, a carload of us racing over the back roads to Middletown, a rawboned Little Richard screeching through a static storm over the AM radio, Wolfman Jack urging us to be cooool, the skull and crossbones flapping in the seventy-mile- an-hour wind, the trees ablaze with the colors of autumn under a New England harvest moon. . . . It was nearly midnight by the time we got to the place the pizza wizards sent us. There was standing room only, a wall- to-wall and partially up-the-wall situation, the musicians pressed back into a far corner at crowd level. Curtis Salgado and the Stilettoes, pay-dirt blues. The musicians blew stereotypes to smithereens. Salgado himself looked like he jus t stepped out of a skid-row flophouse at high noon at the end of a three-day drunk. His bass player looked like he’d left his ROTC uniform hanging in the dressing room. His lead guitar was a doe-eyed Rastafarian, and his keyboard man wore the unchanging smile of a bookworm psychotic. What they played was tapped into something deeper, something that negated appearances and eluded interpretation. The music penetrated the crowd and the crowd responded with body language and this is as good an explanation as any of the “ Summer of Love,” this unspoken togetherness, this green inner world thriving under the grey overcast of 1980s American, this cosmic, rhythmic, undulating force. We worked our way up front and found ourselves eyeball-to-eyeball with a reincarnated Lenny Bruce. The first time I heard jazz was long before I heard Chuck Berry. One night on Guam in a car loaded down with kids being chauffeured home from a movie, we heard Dixieland coming out of the car radio against a backdrop of dying snails. When the Japanese landed on Guam at the start of the Second World War, they turned loose a few million jumbo-sized snails—their answer to K-rations. The snails commenced multiplying and migrating back and forth across the island. The Japanese did not fare as well as their snails, and by the time I got to Guam as a military dependent in 1952, they’d all but disappeared, although one morning two tired Samurai slipped out of the jungle and sat down in front of our school bus with their hands on their heads. They’d been eating snails and papayas for seven years, and were sick of the routine. Our bus driver freaked and locked us in the bus. We sat there in silence, our lunch buckets in our laps. The military police finally showed up with vast firepower and took the enemy into custody. We went on our way. Sat down at our desks. Opened our history books. Though the Japanese were pretty much gone, the snails were thriving. They migrated by night, and we were rolling along pulverizing them, red-hot Dixieland blasting out of the radio. It was din to my young ears. I didn’t know jazz when I heard it. I’d been programmed not to hear it, raised in an atmosphere that made sure such things didn’t get through 6 2 1 V6 Q ueen Anne A v e n u e N o r th • T e l e p h o n e 2 8 3 *8 6 5 8 Clinton St. Quarterly— ISummer, 1988 9
to me. But somewhere along the line something got through and that something was Chuck Berry. I had to hear Chuck Berry before I could hear Dixieland. Before I could move on to Miles Davis. Before I could take my “ Down in the Valley” harp and begin wailing blues. At two a.m. we’re out in the rain again, walking into a 7-11 to buy some provisions for the next day. It's as busy as a high-noon Safeway caught in a time warp, filled with ‘60s freaks stocking up on cheese, oranges and Twinkies. Outside again we’re greeted by three longhairs. “ Headed for Autzen Stadium?” one of them drawls. We wind up on a large parcel of hard- packed ground that sweeps away from the back of the concert stadium to the edge of a wooded area. A woman in a yellow slicker takes our five dollars and directs us to where someone is waving a flashlight. I pull alongside and find myself looking into a face with an ear-to-ear grin, three days growth of beard, glasses about half an inch thick, and wild knotted hair. “Where have you been?" this apparition wants to know. “We’ve been waiting for you!” He laughs at the confusion he sees in his flash ligh t beam. I think “Whoa, where have I been?” He dances off, motioning us to follow him down a long row of cars, campers, brightly-colored out-to-pasture bread trucks and live- in school buses. He waves us into a spot between a Datsun pick-up and a small red Honda. We sit quietly in the dark. As our eyes adjust, we notice that the Datsun has a camper insert on its bed, and the Honda has a diminutive black man behind the wheel. That’s right where he is, both hands on the wheel, staring straight ahead. He’s still on I-5. Maybe he’s too far gone to get off the freeway. Next to him on the seat, a full-sized cardboard poster advertising a harlequin romance, a picture of a Jean Harlow look- alike holding the book nestled against her bountiful bosom. The two men in the Datsun radiate good-old-boy vibes—a dog on a leash that lunges and barks; a case of Schlitz in a cooler; that certain macho swagger. We’ve been placed between two psychotic pieces of wonder bread like sacrificial lunch meat. But it’s okay, there’s heavy magic out here in this mud-puddle haven behind the stadium, magic that has no trouble neutralizing a little mainstream psychosis. # # # We wake up with the sun in our eyes, the camp coming slowly alive around us. Already at 7 a.m. lines are beginning to shape up behind people who’ve slept overnight in front of the entrance gates. There’s the aroma of coffee brewing on a Coleman stove, a group playing flute, guitar and bongos, a woman nursing her baby. Jugglers and clowns and a gaunt boy in wizard robes walking with his arm around the shoulder of the black man from the night before, whispering, “ Don’t you know it ain’t no good, you can’t let other people get your. . . kicks for you?” We fill a pot from the water truck and turn down some acid. Brew some tea, eat some fruit, brush our teeth, and we’re ready for the day. Around eleven o’clock e we put some carry-in items in a day-pack and approach the stadium. Words like “ mellow” and “vibes” have been beaten to a pulp over the years, but they apply here. The scene is mellow, the vibes are good, and the crowd is seasoned and diverse. There are people down from the hills, leather-skinned men with iron-grey beards and clear-eyed women in long gingham dresses whose very comportment tells you they churn their own butter, plow their own fields and birth their own children; they stand out among the camouflaged people, the ones trying to live alternative lifestyles within the lifestyle they’ re proposing an alternative to, people caught in a complicated web of finesse and nuance, appearing bohemian in the straight world and just a little straight in the asteroid belt that is beginning to spin an orbit around the stadium. Members of the Rainbow Family are here and scores of Dead Head camp followers, people who have tapes of every concert since Day One, the Dead Hotline in magic marker on their van visor, compu te r read-ou ts on changes in Dead status-quo. And then there’s the Youth. They have more to deal with than the youth of twenty years ago, you won’t see any of these kids going to San Francisco with flowers in their hair. They’ve got a ‘50s edge I can identify with, that Blade Runner look in their eyes. We had that look back then, Mert and I and the crew, riding our Harleys into Hartford to our first concert. Maybe 1,000 raging kids in a movie theater, a stage full of sweat-soaked cross-over race-music blacks in polyester suits, toning their act down in their play for fame and fortune and blowing the lid right off ours. The whole thing was unadorned and drugless, the lighting white and bright. We tore the seat bolts right out of the concrete floor and stormed the stage. . . . You know what good vibes are? Good vibes are having Lana slip into line be- • side you after not having seen her for half a year. Lana was seven during the Summer of Love. Since then she’s been around. A year on the Dead Circuit, a year backpacking in Central America, freight trains from Miami to Montana. A wanderer to her marrow. She left to sail on the Golden Hinde, and the Hinde is anchored at Newport, e ighty miles across the mountains. “ There’s not a day goes by I don’t think about the world blowing up in my face,” she told me one day in the snow along the banks of the & % e ^ in s t - ' Th Yakima. I knew what she meant. I ’d watched the nightmare be born. Six years old in a dark movie house with my mother squeezing my hand, my feet not even reaching the floor, a newsreel of the been ” placed between bread But its ore’s tuag K o u t h m t n m u d . hM c n as no trouble n e u tralizi n g Psychosis JOBS FOR JUSTICE Washington Fair Share Citizen Action affiliate Issues that affect Washington's working families: A living income; drug-free neighborhoods; access to quality education and health care. Full-time, entry-level, training, and management positions doing grassroots organizing and fundraising. Sal. $13,000 - 18,000 + benes. to start. Call (206) 329-9764 in Seattle / (206) 272-1127 in Tacoma. ^CENTRAL AMERICA PEACE CAMPAIGN/ 10 Clinton St. Quarterly—Summer, 1988
bomb detonating over Hiroshima. . . How do you tell these sorrows to a punch- drunk principal who believes in a war to end all wars? The gates finally open, and the frisk people take one look at us and wave us through. We settle on a blanket close to the stage which is set up between two walls of speakers at the far end of the stadium. The playing field fills up immediately, and then the bleachers begin to fill, until by two p.m. we’ re at the bottom of a great bowl of humanity. Then Jerry Garcia peeks out from stage right, and 50,000 people come to their feet with a roar. IMPEACH REAGAN!, the sky pilot wrote against the blue sky, and the thunderous approval drowned out the music. People were a little rummy from the sun by the time Dylan came on stage. Sans harmonica, he launched into a series of new renditions of old songs, once bringing the entire stadium to its feet to It was a long day. The Dead played for three and a half hours under a hot sun with heavy competition from a sky writer, a tiny dot of a plane that made peace signs and did fortune-telling feats which read the collective mind of the stadium: sing along on “ Everybody Must Get Stoned.” But what struck me as the afternoon wore on was that something bigger than the music was happening, as if the music were merely a touchstone. We w e ren ’ t there fo r mus ic, we were turned bad tn the Haight in the summer o f 1967 before the gathered for ritual. # # # Ah, the meat ax of semantics. Are you proud to be part of the counter-culture? The counter-culture isn’t the counterculture, if you stop and think about it, it’s the culture, and what’s called the culture has cancer of the blood. Do you believe in going with the flow? Both shit and water flow downhill if the grade is steep enough. Do you believe in gravity? Now we’ re getting someplace. Do you believe in a mixed bag? Albert Einstein was a mixed bag. He said he wanted to know the thoughts of God, and then he took a boat to America and gave Roosevelt the atom bomb. After the little incident at Hiroshima, he began writing long letters of explanation to Japanese school children. It’s rumored that Marilyn Monroe had a picture of Einstein on her vanity. It’s rumored that John Fitzgerald Kennedy unhooked Marilyn Monroe’s bra. Do you see how it all hangs together? Not like they tell you it does. It’s a fact that Einstein refused open-heart surgery. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go, Einstein said, showing that much understanding of the thoughts of God. After giving us the bomb, Einstein said: “ Eve ry th ing ’s changed now but the way we think.” “ Forward Ever, Backward Never," the signs all over my high school read. “A sensitive but troubled boy,” the principal said. “ No more free lunch,” my father said. The squeeze was on. I liked that principal. He’d been a boxer in college and his nose was all over his face. “Why are you doing this?” he asked me just before calling in my father to deliver the coup de gr7ace. What could I say? I was seventeen and following my heart. Now I’d say, “ The signs are all wrong! They should read ‘Back and forth, back and forth, like a mine sweeper, forever and ever!” ’ My friend Mert and I walked out of that high school, got on our Harleys and tore up the soccer field. We were on the streets. AM barbarians riding the backroads of Connecticut before the days of stereophonic sound, looking for the thoughts of God on the air waves. The concert ended as nonchalantly as it began. The stage crew began breaking things down, and the stadium emptied without incident. Some scuttlebutt had it that Ken Kesey was having a bash for Dylan and the Dead on his Springfield farm, and I’d half a mind to drive my van right up Kesey’s rural route driveway with no more credentials than my heart beating in my chest. But we let that one slide. Kesey’s thing would be for patriarchs and matriarchs and we were hard-core rank- and-file. Lana, Brenda and I walked back to the campground arm-in-arm, a forged unit beyond media definition, strands of the DNA of human potential, part of the seamless continuity that smooths out Time itself. The Summer of Love is a hard place to do time in, but we sing our song and carry on, and when all is said and done, we opt to love. Writer John Bennett is a godfather of smallpress publishing—the founder of Vagabond Press. He lives in Ellensburg, Washington. His last story in CSQ was “The Family House.” hipsters. There sickness and change. The initial wave o f love children was quickly followed hy a tidal wave o f THEBIGBANG 6 1 6 S W P A R K A V E . P O R T L A N D Clinton St. Quarterly—Summer, 1988 11
FISH FROM YOFR By Jane C. Carlsen Lo asked. Regaining her composure, she thought herself in a position to confer favors. The woman shrugged and her nylon shoulders wrinkled audibly. “ I couldn’t get any wetter. How far are you going?” Lo reached to the dashboard for a cigarette. “ I’m not sure.” She really didn’t have a clue. She had left the Golden Gate behind her as a suicide would, leaving everything, including her future. She imagined her life flapping on the steel railing like a bright bundle of rags. Lo was view mirror. “ I’m telling true stories,” the woman scoffed, and Lo looked across in surprise. “ My sister was mad at me for getting married first. She figured she’d leave before me because she was oldest. But I was prettyihen.” The woman patted her ribs and her short, bony fingers continued to caress the blue nylon absently as she spoke. “ My husband had a little house of his own a couple miles away. I got my clothes and I told my sister she could keep her “ I know you,” he explained laughing. He spread his fingers and placed his hands, thumb to thumb, over the top of her head. All the magical concord they had shared fell suspect. She had shaken off that warm grip through sheer momentum. Now she itched to rid herself of the chattering stranger. “ My name's Gini,” the woman said quickly, as though sending a flare to the grey sky. “What’s yours?” “ Lo,” she sighed, irritated at having to give it away. w r o thought she was a U ch ild hitchhiking, J U and so she slowed way down. Lo certainly d id n ’t want a whole woman, not one whose life would leave her on this deserted coast road, abandoned to the beating rain. By the time Lo realized her mistake, it was too late to speed past, pretending she hadn ’t seen. So, irritated at herself, she slipped the station wagon into park and reached across to open the passenger door. “ I was praying you’d stop,” the woman exclaimed, throwing a day-pack onto the car floor. “ I’m not much of a believer, but times like these. . . ’’ she chuckled as she slammed the door . .praying can’t hurt.” Lo felt as though she’d let the whole storm into her insulated car. She brushed drops of water from where they’d spattered on the back of her hand and curled her fingers more tightly around the steering wheel. “ Had you been there long?” now caught in the current of her own momentum. She found a strange and lofty power in this self abandonment. “You mind if I take off these wet shoes and socks?” Lo shook her head, too hastily, her mind having been on the bridge, dizzy with movement. “ Some people mind,” the woman said. “They got some things marked off just for themselves and you can’t go spreading yourself around those places. She peeled the wet cotton from her foot. “ My sister was like that. We shared a room and since she was the oldest she got all the drawers.” Lo caught a glimpse of a bare foot, bony and pale, and was seized with embarrassment. She turned away and watched the road. She wished the woman wouldn’t talk. “She wouldn’t let me touch them. I had to keep all my clothes on pegs on the wall.” “Well,” Lo said. She wasn’t sure she understood; she didn’t want to try. “ You could have used crates? Or cardboard boxes?” “Years ago,” the woman laughed, as though Lo were simple. “ I figured she’d grow out of it.” The woman shook her head emphatically. “ The b itch ,” she added. “ It’s frightening to change.” When Lo’s car had merged with the traffic on the Golden Gate, she had thought she would faint from the impossibility of leaving. A strange pressure in her chest grew until she could not breathe and despite the rain she frantically unrolled the windows and gulped the cold air,'feeling sick. “ People do what they can to avoid change.” And yet, just as she crossed the Marin line, still beneath the orange fog lights, she was stunned by a feeling of weightlessness. She had crowed to the storm and thumbed her nose at her rearpegs. She just stood in the middle of the room and didn't say a word.” Lo, who had been startled by the woman’s claim of truth and had been listening carefully, was left standing in the little room with the older sister, watching hope and power evaporate. Where do you go when there’s nothing left to leave? led andhad a family he wouldn ’t hhvet&gO to had the family He still went to war. After that, idn't have any more use for me and the kids. ” “ She did get married eventually?” “ For all the good marriage did either one of us. My husband never loved me,” the woman challenged. “ He thought if he got married and had a family he wouldn’t have to go to war. I was dumb,” she confessed. “ He wasn’t any smarter. Sure. I had the family. He still went to war. After that, he didn’t have any more use for me and the kids. You have a boyfriend?” “ No.” Carl, standing at the foot of the driveway was quickly lost in the fog as Lo had driven away. “You’re looking for him, I’d bet,” the woman nodded slyly. “Or another one.” Lo shook her head. “ He’s out of the picture.” For years Carl had held her when she cried, amused her when she was bored. When Carl gave her presents, they were always just exactly what she wanted, even though she would not have been able to name them beforehand. For years she had thought this was sweet and uncanny. Then she realized he was surprised at her surprise. The rain had eased to a light shower. Gini chuckled as she unrolled her window. The air was cold and smelled of damp soil and rotting leaves. “ I haven’t seen my husband for years,” she announced suddenly. “ He’s probably dead. But it’s because of him that I’m here with you.” Lo didn’t comment. She lit a cigarette and stared ahead, feeling comfortably removed from everything. “After he left me, I didn’t hear from him for a couple of years. I stayed in Minneapolis taking care of the kids, but I thought about him. I didn’t miss him,” she added hastily. “ I just wondered where he was. He was in Korea during the war. That’s very far away,” she told Lo solemnly. “ I figured if I were a man and didn’t have the kids and had been to Korea, I’d be curious about all the other places in the world. I thought he’d joined the merchant marines. “Then one night there was a big rainstorm like yesterday,” Gini said dreamily. “ The kids were in bed and I was doing the dishes. I heard a noise and turned around and there he was. I asked him where he’d been and do you know what he said?” Lo shook her head, but Gini wasn’t watching. “ St. Paul! After all that he was only in St. Paul!” Gini collapsed against the 12 Clinton St. Quarterly—Summer, 1988
WINDOW seat, still devastated by the news. “ It was more than I could take,” she added. “ I just started to cry.” Lo imagined a tiny house in a summer storm. A ragged screen door was all that separated the house from the noise outside. Insects rattled the porch .light in random collisions. The familiar stranger stood in the doorway between the dark livingroom and the brightly lit kitchen. Lo felt, suddenly, as though she knew that moment more intimately than any in her own life. sion, she entered a curve too fast and, frightened, braked too suddenly. The car skidded on the wet road and spun dizzily into the forest. They stopped with a jolt against an immense tree. “You okay?” Gini asked. Lo nodded and switched the car off. She leaned her head against the steering wheel, thinking of nothing at all. Gini got out and walked around the car. “ I think it’s okay,” she called. “ I think we’ ll be able to back right out.” Lo didn’t respond. She didn’t even “ I know that.” Gini shoved again, getting Lo halfway across the seat. She came around to the passenger’s door and dragged Lo the rest of the way. “ I’m just going to chauffeur. That’s it,” she laughed, snapping the seatbelt around Lo. “You’re the little princess. I’m your chauffeur.” Gini sat very straight, her chin strained above the steering wheel. Lo watched her quietly. “You were tired out,” Gini said. “ Driving gets tiring but you’ ll feel better. You I f you jumped o f f the Golden Gate, Lo wondered, your old c h with ? Ifso , re do you leave the keys? Or do you bus transfer s t ill in your pocket, r et another hour and a half? Lo imagined an old grey building, and felt a great nostalgia. Out of the dark, old- fashioned windows she saw people leaning quietly—men in t-shirts, women in summer dresses, men in business suits with their sleeves pushed up. From each window, a pair of hands. And from each pair of hands, a thin, almost invisible line fell straight down to the dark grey waters of Puget Sound. The Sound reached out to the edge of the world. A light northwest rain fell gently on the water which lapped at the bases of the building where orange Illustration by Vicki Shuck “ He’d never been anywhere. St. Paul,” Gini muttered with disgust. “ He came back because he wanted a divorce so he could marry someone else. And live in St. Paul! “ I decided if I ever got the chance, I’d go some place far away. Last spring it was raining real hard and I thought of that night my husband came back. The kids were all grown and gone and I decided— why not? Now,” she added laughing, “ here I am on my way to Seattle and if he’s not dead, you can bet he’s in St. Paul.” Lo thought of her own life, fluttering abandoned so far behind. When she crossed that bridge she had felt so resolute. So absolute. Now she could hear Carl’s voice, calling goodbye. But that wasn’t right. He hadn’t said anything as he stood at the foot of the driveway, not this last time. She could remember so little. She tried to picture his face. Did he stay on the driveway until she was out of sight? Hadn’t she even noticed? And instead of one kernel of true memory, she heard all of his goodbyes over the years, flattened out to the simple rhythm of the word. As she listened, it fell into sync with the rhythm of the engine, growing louder and more ambiguous beneath the growl of the car. Lo opened her mouth to say something, to have one solid thing to hold on to, but no word came. In her confu- Loheard a ll o f his goodbyes over theyears, flattened odup t h e s i j n p le ^ ^ A s jh e listened, i t fe ll into sync with the rhythm q f fde e n g in e growing louder and more am b iguo f js t^peq lh (he/ growl o f the car. move. She simply noticed that she was breathing very slowly. The air spilled out of her, leaving her at the bottom, empty and relaxed. New air spilled back in as naturally as the waves pile onto the beach. “Come on,” Gini nodded. “ Start her up and back slowly.” But where was she to go? Lo told Carl she was leaving. And that led here, to the aloof forest, the injured car. She began to feel a certain familiarity with the situation; the hard steering wheel against her forehead, her hands loose in her lap, the bits of dirt and scraps of paper on the floor. This was life. Okay, Lo thought. It’s okay. “You’ re not hurt, are you,” Gini insisted, opening Lo's door. “We weren’t going very fast.” Gini patted her en the shoulder and Lo vaguely resented the intrusion. “ Okay,” Gini said brightly. “ Let’s start her up and see how she sounds.” But Lo thought only of the deep silence of the forest. The sound of her own breath floated above her like oil on a pond; beyond that she was faintly aware of the drone of Gini’s voice. “ It’s not doing you any^ood to sit here,” Gini complained. “ It’s not doing me any good either.” Gini leaned down and gave Lo a shove. “ It’s my car,” Lo murmured and was herself surprised at the claim. don't mind if I have one?” Gini took a cigarette and offered the pack to Lo, but Lo didn’t make the effort. “ I talk too much.” Gini nodded happily. “ I been traveling now for awhile,” she explained. “When I’m waiting for rides, I talk to myself. Then someone picks me up. I ride with them for awhile. Then I’m back on the side of the road, talking to myself again. Pretty soon, I never quit talking to myself. Like a crazy lady,” she. announced. “ So I’m staying in Seattle. I'm going to stay there and listen. “ My real name’s Virginia.” Gini looked away from the road and smiled at Lo. “After a place my mother never visited. All my life I knew I was destined to go there. And here I am on my way to Seatt le .” Gini turned to Lo and grinned happily. If you jumped off the Golden Gate, Lo wondered, did your old car wait at the top for some friend to drive it home? If so, where dp you leave the keys? Or do you jump with the green bus transfer still in your pocket, valid for yet another hour and a half? It never ended, she thought. Nothing ends. “Wait,” Gini said eagerly. “ I’ ll show you where I’m going.” She fumbled in the pack and finally pulled out a matchbook. She handed it carefully to Lo. It was from a hotel in Seattle, and in white script on a red background it said Fish From Your Window. “ See?” Gini chuckled. “ Fish from your window. It’s a hotel. Right on the water. I can be a waitress,” she sighed wistfully. “ I’ ll live right on the water.” Lo held the matchbook gingerly. Most of the matches were gone. The book was still damp from the storm and the paper split and curled at the corners. When Lo ran her thumb over the top, she left ragged streaks of exposed grey. lichen, like rust, rose unevenly along the wall. Paper cups and bits of debris rose and fell with the waves. Lo brushed the crumbs of paper onto the floor and handed the book back to Gini. She thought it was a good place, good to fish, to hold that trembling line, and she smiled at Gini. Eventually they came to 1-5. Gini pulled over near the on-ramp. “ I don’t want to drive,” Lo said lazily. “ You do what you have to.” Gini parked the car and switched the engine off. It was suddenly cold when Gini opened the door. “Where are you going?” “ Sea ttle? ” Gini shook her head. “ You’ ll be okay,” she added. She slammed the door and walked toward the freeway. At one point she turned and waved, just wiggling her fingers. Lo watched until a car pulled over and Gini disappeared inside. She felt, suddenly, burdened and very tired. She locked the doors and lay down to rest, listening to the incessant hum of the traffic passing. Writer Jane Carlsen lives in San Francisco. This is her first story in CSQ. Artist Vicki Shuck lives in Corvallis, Oregon. Her work has appeared in several West Coast publications. Clinton St. Quarterly—Summer, 1988 13