McCarren Park Festival

Shorty JacksonA festival takes place today in honor of a giant pool. Old men sit on benches uninvolved. There is a memory room with pictures. A parade goes by the window. Ghosts set foot down somewhere. All memories are crafted by chances ghosts make. Ghosts make us remember moments.

BD and I walked around the park earlier with a fake rubber spider on a hemp rope. The “spider trick” as it is known, proved to be most effective to the people in the park. The small slighted children believed it was real “P-P-P-P-P-P Arana es grande ”“ Arana es in me CASA!!” The spider trick gets them every time.

I spoke to an old Orthodox priest before it rained. He was dressed in a purple uniform which rose wildly in the air. He had been extradited from the old church by the park in the 1960s. I told him the bells would wrestle me from sleep in the morning. He asked me if I ever attended a service there. I asked him when the services were. He said when the bells rang. He also said that the church was one of the last ever built partly by the czar Nicholas of Russia before the Russian Revolution. He was was kicked out of the church for letting the Spanish in (The priest, not the czar).

The festival was rained out just before the mighty Shorty Jackson Band were to take the platform. Shorty is a Jazz piano player from Harlem who was also an undertaker. I believe he is almost ninety years old. The band drives around in an old Dodge. It is amazing to watch Shorty play the piano. He’s been playing so long his skill is automatic. I’ve seen him at Teddy’s very late at night, having complete conversations while playing old ragtime.

There was a dead cat on Bayard St. the same night the locks didn’t work.

X.F. Pine

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