Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Joe Brainard

He was always standing somewhere in the back and to one side. Not moviing. Yet there was a sense as if he'd just stopped doing so. Nanoseconds before Joe had been swaying back and forth. Ever so slightly. To a music no one but he could hear. The disposition of the body was always the same. Like a crumpled piece of paper someone had tried to uncrumple just a bit. But the crumples remained. The head bent. The eyes sleepily downcast. The nearly finished half-a-cigarette propped in one hand -- a half-finished drink in the other.

Oh how I longed to talk to him. But I didn't dare. I didn't want to disturb his half-waking repose. And besides what could I say other than gush? Ask him to join me in a chorus of one of Kenward's songs? That might have been nice. Stroking him would have been nicer.

Funny but that day at the Factory I didn't feel anywhere near so intimidated. But that was all about Andy. Joe was an "extra." But now, years later in a West Side bar he was a "star." To me at least. "Nobody leaves a star," Norma says.

Nobdy does.

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