Where writers, musicians, visual artists, and art supporters come together in South Boston.
I USED TO BE A YUPPIE
Frost heaves, upcountry buckling asphalt, no
braking, only the kawhoosh ba-thump of these natural speed bumps and the flash
of blossoms in the gold-green foliage. Bug Season’s behind us; no ambulances, no
diesels squealing, no deafening bass rumbling, chest-shaking, shit for brains at
the stop sign below our bed.
Feels too, like we’re submariners coming up in a
lake, finding herons at dawn and morning glories on perfume fringed
boulders. It's good to get away.
Yesterday, we rambled by our beach-kitsch Sergeant
Pepper, by the formal gulls, keeling and flustered, by the big KONA cranes,
rasping at the water and groaning at the steel skeletons of downtown
Boston. Our space age quadrupeds, heads at the trough, scraping, screeching and
boinging replaced the shouts and songs of the old days. We need lots more
When I was a little kid we left Southie for a duplex
beyond Lower Mills where the first mill in the Americas was built and
later, Baker’s Chocolate crossed the Neponset River. The ocean breezes made
spring smell chocolaty upriver. It was wild then, a brand new neighborhood, no
fences. We had snapping turtles and those birches we swung on, bending us
before we ever knew of Frost.
Southie drew us back though. Every Easter, every
Thanksgiving, every Christmas, and again in summer. The big kids in the
backety-back, cigar smoke making us sick, off to see our cousins and
grandparents, and go to Castle Island.
So here I am, born
here, fifth generation South Bostonian on one side, third generation on the
other, I’ve lived on L Street, in my grandparents first home, for the majority of my 67 years, with
my wife, whose family
also goes back generations…
But I was schooled in Mattapan, and Roslindale,
Fenway and West Roxbury from age six to sixteen so I’m never really gonna be
“from here.” You can ask anyone.
MUSINGS OF AN ADULT LEARNER
Sounds, to old ears, and those of us with oceans in
our ears, are only sensed in the low middle drone,
the frequencies best known; the people pitched
mid-tone hums, the bass thumps, the talking tom-toms.
The rest is a noise dump of underwater gurgles.
Those high register aires, the “S’s” and “T’s” and snares
and kids and girls and squeals and rustles and
shushes, all slipping by undeciphered.
What’s still left is the song, the brain treat of
it, the coming of age focusing on rhythm, timbre and pitch,
full flowing at adolescence, streaming for life.
Pockets of evocative words stirred in, bringing a welter of
personal dimensions. Descriptions are entirely