Friday, August 26, 2011

Tiny Lightnings

J.M. Ratliff can still be found more often than not outside Adobe Books on 16h Street in the Mission. Every week or so he has a new stack of photocopied broadsheets covered densely with his latest message to the world. I will generally stop and buy one (as I did tonight -- a habit first reported here back in 2009). Lately it seems like the reduced-scale typing is getting more compressed and smaller with each successive issue. So instead of scanning the sheet and attempting to reproduce it here and then having it look like a big blur, I will transcribe a sample below.

Two Lord Maji ants in gold & silver robes stand in the air. YOU saved an ant in St. Louis--YOU shall be with us forever! He lives inside a while. He sits up out of his body & looks at it on the bed. Now he is on this dirt road. Down at the end he can see his old cafe, the Trieste. But there is no dirt road there. Cld he be dreaming? If my hand goes thru my body, I am a ghost he thinks. Bip, bip, but no it doesn't. A lady is there in dark shawl. He grabs her shoulders, she too is solid. He walks on up the road, turns into some sparks, goes down thru the road, & wakes up here in bed--that real. He is hanging in the air up over this forest submerged in clearest water--no it is moisture. Tiny lightnings zip between the trees.

The reference to "his old cafe, the Trieste" merely confirms what was already plain -- that the writer used to live a North Beach hippie life, back when that life was available to be lived.