Freddie Herko

Am completely exhausted following last night—the final hours of the early morning spent alone—Freddie Herko’s pad—now almost entirely denuded not even a candle stub for light—only the glow from the lights outside—all in shadowy darkness—haunted with Freddie’s spirit—benevolent and kind—but restless—faint rustlings in the other room—strange dark shapes—huge one instant—smaller the next—some smooth and silky to the touch—others furry and slightly coarse.

Mirror shards and scraps of cloth—old pieces of wood—a lovely knee–high table—black lacquered—an old couch spring—bits of writing on the walls—one in particular—referring to the brightness of the sun—can’t recall the full quote—names—strange designs—symbols triangular and circular—wooden boxes—pots and pans and weather sticks—an old chair and a full–length door frame—strange kitchen utensils.

Gone the bits of gold mesh and jewelled trinkets—the box of photographs of male body builders—partially finished collages—the lengths of draped black net—white lace—and the drapes of blue and wine red—the pots of growing plants—the strange bells and bright–colored squares of oddly patterned cloth—the cinder blocks—brass pots and pitchers and the magic and beautiful profusion of feathers and stones and sticks and jewels—beads and chains.

No touch of Freddie or Debbie left—only their restless spirits.  And the floor is white and—if one closes one’s eyes—Freddie bounds across the full length of the room—waves his bejewelled sceptre and in stately grace—her hair falling free around her shoulders—swath of black crepe wrapped about her lovely form—falling to the floor in gathered folds—a goddess to kneel before in loveworship—Debbie steps forward—her arms flung wide—and for the instant the palest blue flame illuminates the room—and one’s being receives unencumbered the power and love—known alone in purity and life—not as we know it but in the fullness of the infinite—enters our very souls and the flame flickers out—as we absorb the infinitesimal change—our spirits—never again to be the same—closer the great surging burning force of joy—beauty and reality—and we have known magic—only alas—to have our tongues trip over the word—our eyes look downward—and all but a few of those we tell remain skeptical.

November 1964