As a child, and still, was always—said—always weary of sleep.

Into head go stagnant pictures…thoughts…tones…tones of place. And fear makes ghoulish due with whichever flesh it’s given to delight on.

My father was a Spiritualist, his line one of otherworldly intermediaries.


As I recall:

(1) One-seater pyramid—downstairs—Whhoooo!—the basement, a do-it-yourself, nearly a tent, a sorta—something tucked between Ping-Pong and pool chairs—a kinda multidimensional reconnaissance unit—just beside the chlorine.

(2) Photo-optics, and a darkroom—again, Whhoooo!—so sensitive as to delineate auras—via Vistavision, or Panavision…a broad, mood-type spectrum—and make greasy fingerprints appear radioisotope enriched.

(3) Séances—where occasioned liberal, anxious to be taken over, visited upon, competes over who, that day, would, with voice full of Paul Robeson, reenact and reinterpret spirituals, field hollers—till all eyes were—and everybody felt better. Was equivalent to having a…and not being racist? How could you be racist…if Robeson just did yuh? How could you be hateful…if you actually felt another fella’s pain?

(4) Shelves containing black arts, white arts, and I remember very little on actual art, though each book represented a personality rich as pan gravy.

(5) Healings (the laying on of hands)? Without benefit of instant replay, these Charismatics just seem to jostle engagements…and some entirely in play of one-upmanship…and, nearly to the point of apoplectic seizure, it was the Who’s Who? had packed a wallop by way of God’s good—Were her hands really moving?

(6) Of course, then that strange feeling one attaches to such places where mystery resides, the air a nocturne whip of specters, spooks, and demons—all of which the Bible’d cast out!—There was this place called Bloody Brook?…All I know is there are haunted houses.


How it does sound in one’s ear…this beating…How it echoes in the auditory…the canal…when all is quiet and nothing seems rushed? Marching—the heart. Closer.

Yes, one might press one’s hands to one’s eyes, might press and press and—Was fearful of all that at once seemed, remotely, foreboding.—Thump…thump…(Have you heard it?)