Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001
Subject: Re: Truth Has Been Suspended. Indefinitely.
TO: Ms. Amber Dorko Stopper
Founder, Tarot Special Interest Group of American Mensa
I have urgent concerns about the suppression of truth
in New York City.
On Sunday, September 16th, I was coming back from a
visit to Jersey (for the twins' 40th birthday party),
and, time on my hands, curious to be in Times Square
(near Port Authority Bus Station, whence I was
returning) with the crowds so thinned by the tourist
exodus, I moseyed about.
There, at curbside, was a Tarot reader set up at one
of those small, foldable metal tables suburbanites use
for setting up small household parties in converted
"rec room" basements,--- and her client. I stood to
watch. The cards talready spread out on the table
seemed odd: The World, the four of Wands (or whichever
shows that chuppah wedding canopy), The Lovers, etc.
. . . There was something about so many pastelle hues
that seemed an unfamiliar chromatics, Rider deck.
HER TECHNIQUE FOR TURNING OVER THE CARDS:
She had a curious way of drawing her cards. The table
(and now it begins, dream-like, to seem not a 'burbs
party foldable at all) had two little compartments,
and she kept half a deck in each, switching from one
to the other. She would turn over a single card and
hold it in her hand, and she and the client would lean
over the card while the reader interpreted it. She
sort of cupped her hand around the card, though, as if
concealingit, and was either whispering or straining
to be heard above the din of diminished traffic.
And then she turned to me:
"I'm sorry," the psychic said. "But she" (the
"would like us to be left alone."
By now I'd figured it out the omission.
"Where are the Swords!?" I asked, forcefully, in
what the composer Ralph Buxton (publisher of Notre
Dame Choir Editions, known for his reconstruction of
an incomplete six-part Robert Parsons polyphony) has
described as my "ominous tone."
"What have you done with the Swords?!" And I said to
the client: "She's hidden a quarter of the deck!"
She should pay only 75% of the fee. (Or 75%, less the
fraction for the ratio of Major Arcana.)
The signifiers for all sorrows, care, misfortune,
friction, challenges, unpleasantness, had been taken
out of that deck, Amb'! Certainly no Tower, either,
nor Death, to be sure.
I walked on. There was sightseeing to be enjoyed.
The hustler in the classical disco ball tinsel
proscenium male strip tease burlesque a few blocks
uptown perplexed with his own curious politicality.
An "Osama - Public Enemy # 1" shirt had already hit
the Times Square street vendors' wares. This
particular "boy" appeared, pro forma, for the opening,
strip tease portion of his performance, still dressed
in the trousseau of "straight-acting" street clothes
they somehow select for themselves: Timberland boots,
jeans, belt, gradually revealed CKs, whatever, . . .
But, here's the shocker: he had on one of the "Osama -
Public . . ." t-shirts! Anaphrodisiacal. The mainly
silver-haired clientele all but gasped. They (we,
salt-'n'-pepper myself) must have at least undergone a
simultaneous, collective inhalation that could
unanimously be sensed, heard at some low decibel
frequency not drowned out by the piped-in dance music,
each dancer choosing his own recorded accompaniment
(Am I correct that I've heard a House Music-ized
version of Pachelbel's Canon?). Perhaps, of course,
some panache of his good looks caused coincidental
inhalation. --- Fortunately, the strictures of his
terpsichore genre quickly shed the "# 1" shirt, and
the second half of the expressionistic choreography,
whew, is always reserved for the "boy's" reappearance,
I thought this especially important to report about
the missing Swords, Dork', because of something I'd
Rick, "Aries Marine Bull-Pussy," in Zeeland, Steven,
Military Trade (NY: Harrington Park Press/The
Haworth Press, Inc., 1999), p. 170, generously blurbed
by queer theorist (and writer on Proust, Carravagio)
"Soldiers prefer rough, dirty stuff like . . . canvas
wrestling. Sailors like slick things such as
body-hugging nylon/lycra clothes . . . Airmen want
everything suburban middle-class clean and bland . . .
Marines are drawn to stretchy, sweaty, tightly
enfolding things like leather and rubber. . . .
Another odd note: In the symbology of the tarot deck,
Swords (Air) are Air Force, Wands (Fire) are Marine
Corps, Cups (Water) are Navy, and Pentacles (Earth)
are Army, and each of the major Arcana has a military
But, God in God's infinite plenitude, even while
information (truth) may be withheld on one front, it
springs up elsewhere, like wildflowers. Recently
received a mailed, postcard-type announcement from
Teachers & Writers about their Adventures in Poetry
unveiling, just past (I can't find the announcement at
the moment, a pretty electric green color, a
scarab-like cockroach silhouette perhaps a logo from
that mimeograph era, early New York School AIP's
design, . . . so I can't quote it verbatim). But at
the bottom, the card read: "Epoisses cheese will be
served." Usually, gourmands, most poetry
announcements do not specify their grade of cheeses.(Epoisses:
4 - 5 inches in dimeter, reddish orange
skin, gooey, from an affinement in Marc de Bourgogne,
invented by 16th century Cistercian monks.)
P.S. While I was buying the twins their presents, I
bought myself: Allen, Robert and Josephine Fulton,
Mensa Presents MIGHTY BRAIN TEASERS (NY: Barnes &
Noble Books, 1999), filled with "Brain Twisters,"
"Headscratchers" ("Which is the odd one out?"),
Sleuth," "Matchpoints," "Quick Wit," etc. And
here's the thing, Stop': --- I'm not doin' all that
great! Maybe you'd be available sometime to bus down
not that The City's so enjoyable spacious and gimme
Genius lessons sometimes, to bring me up to