x-x-x-x-x. duke ellington's money jungle by way of black nasty and pink nasty and rivka of mad happy with an abstract system

Twenty Eight/February/Five

Woke up early today, by our standards, and Rivka headed up to NYC for a week to see hair clients.

Get caught up networking in these “online communities”. Spend hours not breathing. Connecting with this and that one and another. Making “friends”, most of whom you’ll never even have a decent conversation with; listen to my shit.

Finished reading a movie script incorporating comedy, drama, art film and porn, during which Rivka’s phone called twice from JFK airport. Could hear her having a conversation with someone about how long it’s take to get to midtown by A train.

A CD called Mule School by Pink Nasty, which we got from her brother Black Nasty was playing in the background.

Got up and thought wow; spent hours in bed, reading and chilling. Parents didn’t teach me that. They taught me how to work, and stay broke. Then thought about how our relationships, communication and interconnectivity are what life is all about. We came here to meet ourself through each other. About how we get so bummed on humanity and one another ‘cause we see the perfection in everyone we love, and can you be such a fuck-up? A fool.

I’m a fool ‘cause the flashes of brilliance are lost. There’s no system or method developed from it. Jack of all trades, tripping from beginner’s luck to beginner’s luck, patting itself on the back (“my precious”). Longing for a system that goes beyond musical “notes” and technique. Can there be an abstract system? A system beyond words? The Mad haPPy system of writing and performing and writing is developing, based on love, trust, commitment, humility and passion, and reveals itself through the music. Our work with Zef Noi$e getting into yet another level of abstract system.

Then pondering the sound of Rivka’s voice, talking to a stranger over the cell phone; “45 minutes, to midtown? really?”. Deep in tone, direct in presence, respectful in approach. And here came the tears. Tears of love and appreciation.

That’s what she said praying is the other night; either request or gratitude. Even if it’s apologetic, isn’t that really a form of saying, “thank you for still dealing with me even though I’m so fucked up”?

But those tears felt real good. Tears of love and tears of gratitude and tears of joy.

Walking to Radio Shack had that slow, humbly born-again feel. And on the way from there to the ghetto super-market where all the meat’s brown and vegetables half-soft (walk down the poorest streets ‘cause maybe there’ll be some shack we could find a way to buy instead of pouring money into the black hole of rent for ever), there was a guilty-slacker feeling. Usually the pace would be more quick.

This big german shepherd, tied to a post in an ugly yard in which all the grass is gone in the circumference of his leash, who always barks at me for a block, barked twice before I got there and then just stopped. See? I knew it was me.

And this old black lady called after me, “You goin’ to the store?”

“Huh? Did you ask…? Yea. Do you need anything?”

“Yea. Few days ago was my birthday and you din’ bring me nothin’. I turned seventy-five.”

“Wow. How long you lived here for?”

“Mah Whohl lahf. Seven’-five yeahs. Took care ‘mah parents, my husband, one mah sons. An’ noone but the devil gon’ ge’ me out.”

Then her son, B came by, missing two front teeth and I’m burnin’ him a copy of Duke Ellington’s, “Money Jungle” with Max Roach and Charles Mingus which he’s familiar with. Think he sells herb too, which may come in handy. Hard to be friends between classes though. Real fuckin’ hard.

Many of the hipsters I get so jealous of with the slick record labels and hi-fi tours and chic music would never even be talking to the poor. No wonder we’re broke. My man took out a pocketful of pennies, nickels and dimes. Not many either.

This CD is amazing. Benny Raw said Max Roach said he’d never work w/ Mingus again after this record.

Money Jungle. Man, Pervis said once a long time ago, “How come every time one of ‘em walks in front of you when you’re drivin’, they slow down?” Finally figured it out. To teach us to chill the fuck out.

Love. Mike iLL