20th CENTURY WOMAN part 3, East Village Beatniks to Sedona

image1979 – Sedona, Arizona

I was sitting out back of the trailer park by the stream, called Oak Creek, so gentle under the tree dappled summer shade. The creek turns into a raging torrent during winter rains, tearing out bridges, but in the sweet summer it was a pretty stream, gurgling and crystal clear, you could see the mosses and speckled stones on the bottom. I was sitting on a large flat stone where the stream curves, where a deep emerald pool had formed, and a wild turtle climbed up out of the water onto the graveled shore. The turtle and I sat appreciating the rustling and chirping of birds in the trees and the peaceful bubbling stream, in this brief break before the next adventure began.

1964 East Village New York

Huncke and I were asleep on the floor in sleeping bags in an empty apartment th at he said was a friends, and I was dreaming that I was by a second floor window and a scary fIreman in a hat was climbing up a ladder toward me and he grabbed me by the arm – I screamed and looked up and there was poor Huncke gripping my arm saying “it’s ok, it’s ok, it’s only a dream.”


Herbert Huncke was a writer of the Beat Generation, a controversial and complex character, known more for his questionable behavior than his literature.

No doubt about it – “The Magician” in Huncke’s book is Bill Heine, though from that particular story I almost didn’t recognize him – it was a really dark picture. The ending where Huncke murders the magician with a poison hypodermic is complete fantasy – I knew Heine in ’65 and he was fIne …


“Saint Francis …. Lifted brother Marseo into the air with his very breath and propelled him the distance one could hurl a spear ….. St. Francis began to preach to the birds on the ground …. St. Francis, naked, went up to the pulpit and spoke marvelously … St. Francis began to pray … there appeared fierce demons, molesting him, one pulled him up, one down …. then the demons with great force began to drag him through the church.” -From “Little Flowers of Saint Francis”.


“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, naked .. ” Angel headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamics in the machinery of night … ” Alan Ginsburg

1964. The scratch on my foot had become a red, inflamed hole. I went to the emergency ward at Bellevue Hospital and the doctor gave me a bottle of antibiotic pills. I ran into Bill Heine in the hall as I was leaving. “What are you doing here,” he snapped. I pointed to my foot, “The doctor gave me these pills,” I told Heine. He said “Give them to me.” I looked at him, hesitating. “You don’t need those,” he said very emphatically. “Give them to me.” So I handed them over. “Now you can leave,” he said. So I started walking down the long, long corridor to the front exit. Halfway down the hall I glanced worried at the wound, and did a startled double take. Did it look smaller? I looked at it again at the front door. It was half as big and healing, a few hundred yards down the sidewalk I looked again, it had closed up and a pink scar was forming over it.


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