Saturday, October 06, 2012

From #Un-Occupied Boston (#Un-Tomemonos Boston)-What Happens When We Do Not Learn The Lessons Of History- The Pre-1848 Socialist Movement-From The Pens Of Karl Marx And Friedrich Engels-The Struggle For The Communist League-Letters of Marx and Engels, 1846-Marx To Pierre-Joseph Proudhon In Paris- And Proudhon's Reply

Click on the headline to link to the Occupy Boston General Assembly Minutes website. Occupy Boston started at 6:00 PM, September 30, 2011.

Markin comment:

I will post any updates from that Occupy Boston site if there are any serious discussions of the way forward for the Occupy movement or, more importantly, any analysis of the now atrophied and dysfunctional General Assembly concept. In the meantime I will continue with the “Lessons From History ’’series started in the fall of 2011 with Karl Marx’s The Civil War In France-1871 (The defense of the Paris Commune). Right now this series is focused on the European socialist movement before the Revolutions of 1848.

An Injury To One Is An Injury To All!-Defend The Occupy Movement And All Occupiers! Drop All Charges Against All Occupy Protesters Everywhere!

Fight-Don’t Starve-We Created The Wealth, Let's Take It Back! Labor And The Oppressed Must Rule!
A Five-Point Program As Talking Points

*Jobs For All Now!-“30 For 40”- A historic demand of the labor movement. Thirty hours work for forty hours pay to spread the available work around. Organize the unorganized- Organize the South- Organize Wal-Mart- Defend the right for public and private workers to unionize.

* Defend the working classes! No union dues for Democratic (or the stray Republican) candidates. Spent the dough instead on organizing the unorganized and on other labor-specific causes (good example, the November, 2011 anti-union recall referendum in Ohio, bad example the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall race in June 2012).

*End the endless wars!- Immediate, Unconditional Withdrawal Of All U.S./Allied Troops (And Mercenaries) From Afghanistan! Hands Off Pakistan! Hands Off Iran! U.S. Hands Off The World!

*Fight for a social agenda for working people!. Quality Healthcare For All! Nationalize the colleges and universities under student-teacher-campus worker control! Forgive student debt! Stop housing foreclosures!

*We created the wealth, let’s take it back. Take the struggle for our daily bread off the historic agenda. Build a workers party that fights for a workers government to unite all the oppressed.

Emblazon on our red banner-Labor and the oppressed must rule!


From The Pen Of Joshua Lawrence Breslin-From The "Ancient Dreams, Dreamed" Sketches-Last Chance To Glance

Main street walked, a brand new just off the assembly line wild dream 1964 Mustang just passed by (dark green, complete with sally, sassy blonde-haired sally from down the street, with big breasts and no brains, according to shawlie grapevine lore, but still with that green devil of a mustang paid for by some smitten man out for her midnight romp of local manhood, or men-hood according to Frankie Larkin school boy corner boy lore, and he should know). Cursed no car night shade walked, no dough for car walked, no dough for nothing walked, his poor Pa out of work again. Out of work as the ships that keep North Adamsville afloat are now being built in more exotic locales, foreign places like Taiwan and Malta, wherever that is, and so he, unskilled, last hired, first fired, and built for hills and hollows coal mine childhoods and no waterlogged ocean belts, has no dough to spare. Nada.

So he walked, and only dreamed of cars, not some big deal car like Sally’s Mustang or the “boss” ’57 Chevy of his dreams (nothing but a girl magnet car, and choices too, take a number, girls), and the stuff of hard corner boy chieftain Billy Bradley’s reality but just something to get around in, something to make the girls raise their heads when he passed by, and not keep them pavement-bound while his flannel-shirted in all climes, black chinos un-cuffed in all climes, Chuck Taylor sneakers in all weathers, and midnight faux- beatnik sunglasses at all hours passed them walking by (all by his lonesome, except when Frankie decides he has had enough of main squeeze Joann, or corners).

And not something, some car not girl, too complicated, mechanically complicated, either so that he would have to spent his time and his no dough down the street at Stewball Stu’s homegrown garage waiting on his lordship to fix some silly thing in about one second like tightening something loose with the flick of a wrench, endlessly talk about his latest conquests (plural is correct, girl conquests, of course, what else could Stu talk about, and for real, he know because they, the girls, and not dogs either, talk about it at school, and giggle, giggle that giggle that meant more than tender smooches, jesus), smell his stinking whiskey breathe (rotgut Johnny Walker something but not top shelf but more like Adams River streaked water, and his oil stained, oil-stained everything (clothes, tee-shirt, kitchen table, Christ, how can a guy live like that). Some girl magnet, who knows how or why but they take numbers to ride the curve with Stu, but that was just him being jealous because a couple of times he got Stu’s “left-overs.” So thanks, Stu, for the favors.

But see his Pa out of work meant no telephone, and no dough to put in a telephone or keep it at the ready that is how close to the vest the family had to play it when Pa got his slip, not even a cheapjack two-party line that they, AT&T, practically give away. So this night he was not just walking, Main Street walking for the hell of it, but to rub a few dimes together and find the nearest public telephone to do his talking into. What it’s was about, the talking, he would get to in a minute he said but he wanted to tell me that this nearest phone was located right next to the Minute Motel. Come on, don’t you get it, that was not the real name of the place but do I have to draw you a picture? This is strictly for the “high society” crowd that does their business by the hour, or less. Day and night it seemed, there were always cars pulling in and out. Not ‘57 Chevies, those and their Billy Bradley corner boy owners are down at Adamsville Beach or at Squaw Rock down across from the far end of the beach watching the “submarine races” at midnight for free but more old guy cars. Buicks and Pontiacs. And seeing the traffic going and out of that joint, and why, what goes on, only made his “job” for this evening that much harder.

See he had been walking this night for a while, a couple of hours, trying to get up enough courage to call this Diana, a girl classmate for a date. Diana, a greek goddess wholesale (although he didn’t think she was greek or wholesale but he had her headed that way, that pedestal way), on this atlantic ocean strictly from hunger working class town means streets is who has him walking (and truth to tell kind of muttering to himself, she was that kind of girl). Naturally, Diana was not her real name just like that hotel, motel, no tell was not really called the Minute Motel, I don’t want any trouble okay, and I will tell you why as I get along with what he wanted to talk to her about. Don’t worry it won’t be long.

This Diana and he have been talking, hard and kind of deep talking in school about world issues, music, poets, crazed poets like mad monk Allen Ginsburg and not so crazed T.S. Eliot (they had read Wasteland together in class, wow). Hard talking about the big break-out they knew was coming, about how things are going to be totally different for them when their time came with no Pa out of work and always no dough, or not enough, and they wanted to be part of it. (See, she told him in confidence, her Pa was on the chopping block down at the shipyards too so she knew about no dough, and sniffed dreams too.) So he took her seriously, and she, he thought, took him seriously although she never had had anything good to say about Frankie, Frankie Larkin, his corner boy, but that was because he tried to give her a tumble, he thought, and she knew he was always ball and chain to Joann, or corners. That part isn’t important anyway. What is important is that he dreamed of her, no, I’d better say she disturbed his sleep the way he described it and be closer to the truth.

And here is why. Diana, blonde, naturally blonde, Diana, filled out a cashmere-sweater nicely thank you, white tennis –shoed like every other girl in town but showing off some very nice, well-turned legs, thank you. So you can see where she might disturb his sleep because usually he went for girls (and this I know from first-hand experience) who wanted to be part of the great breakout, just like him, but who well, since I am trying kind and he was trying to keep his emotions in check before he made this call were only “cute,” at best. Although they too wear those white tennis shoes while reading their James Joyce or Albert Camus (yah, it was that kind of crowd he ran with over in Harvard Square when he had his fill of North Adamsville squares, excepting Diana). See he was making this call, this midnight big time call to ask Diana to go on over to the Square with him, just as friends, see.

Right now as you can sense I bet he was only talking to stall, stall having to do this call, cold call really, because he didn’t know that much about her personally and his intelligence network (Sunday night corner boy guys hanging around the boys’ lav on Monday morning speaking of conquests, and other lies) has run cold to the ground. All he really knew about her was that she wanted to break-out and that was good enough for him, and good enough to disturb his sleep lately until he played his hand out.

So he was seeking this public telephone, or rather courage-seeking, nickel and dime courage as it turned out; nickel and dime courage when due to no fault of his own (or his Pa’s really when he thought about it) home provided no sanctuary for snuggle-eared delights. Maybe a date, maybe just a swirl at midnight drift, maybe a view of local lore submarine races, ah, to dream, no more than to dream, walking down friendly aisles, arm and arm along with myriad other arm and arm walkers on high school senior errands. Diana

He dropped the dime in ring, ring, ring. Hi, Diana, hi spiel, and then, and then nothingness. No way, no way, damn intelligence no way, see she had a boyfriend, a college guy, probably all done up in plaid shirts, slacks, be serious, slacks, and pennied loafers, and that is where her dream break-out was running. And then dead of night red-face right away, sorry, he didn’t know, alas, red-faced the next day, red faced until parted june freedom fly-out.

And in the telling red-faced even forty years later. Wow.

From The Pen Of Joshua Lawrence Breslin-From The "Ancient Dreams, Dreamed" Sketches-“Hayes-Bickford Breakout 1962”

Peter Paul Markin in his own words:

Here I am again sitting, 3 o’clock in the morning sitting, bleary-eyed, slightly distracted after mulling over the back and forth of the twelve hundredth run-in (nice way to put it, right?) with Ma that has driven me out into this chilly October 1962 early morning. And where do I find myself sitting at this time of morning? Tired, but excitedly expectant, on an uncomfortable, unpadded bench seat on this rolling old clickity-clack monster of a Red Line subway car as it now waggles its way out past Kendall Station on its way to Central Square and then to the end of the line, Harvard Square. My hangout, my muse home, my night home, at least my weekend night home, my place to make sense of the world in a world that doesn’t make much sense, at least not enough much sense. Sanctuary, Harvard Square Hayes-Bickford sanctuary, misbegotten teenage boy sanctuary, recognized by international law, recognized by canon law, or not.

That beef with Ma, that really unnumbered beef, forget about the 1200 I said before, that was just a guess, has driven me to take an “all-nighter” trip away from the travails of the old home town across Boston to the never-closed Hayes-Bickford cafeteria that beckons just as you get up the stairs from the Harvard subway tunnel. Damn, let me just get this off my chest and then I can tell the rest of the story. Ma said X, I pleaded for Y (hell this homestead civil war lent itself righteously to a nice algebraic formulation. You can use it too, no charge). Unbeknownst to me Y did not exist in Ma’s universe. Ever. Sound familiar? Sure, but I had to get it off my chest.

After putting on my uniform, my Harvard Square “cool” uniform: over-sized flannel brownish plaid shirt, belt-less black cuff-less chino pants, black Chuck Taylor logo-ed Converse sneakers, a now ratty old windbreaker won in a Fourth of July distance race a few years back when I really was nothing but a wet-behind-the ears kid to ward off the chill, and, and the absolutely required midnight sunglasses to hide those bleary eyes from a peeking world I was ready to go. To face the unlighted night, and fight against the dawn’s rising for another day. Oh yah, I forgot, I had to sneak out of the house stealthily, run like some crazed broken field football player down the back of the property, and, after catching my breathe, walk a couple of miles over bridge and nasty, hostile (hostile if anyone was out, and anyone was sniping for a misbegotten teenage boy, for any purpose good or evil) Dorchester streets to get to the Fields Corner subway stop. The local Eastern Mass. bus had stopped its always erratic service hours ago, and, anyway, I usually would rather walk, in any case, than wait, wait my youth away for those buses to amble along our way with their byzantine schedules.

Right now though I am thinking, as those subway car wheels rattle beneath my feet, who knows, really, how or why it starts, that wanderlust start, that strange feeling in the pit of your stomach that you have to move on, or out, or up or you will explode, except you also know, or you damn well come to know that it eats away at a man, or a woman for matter, in different ways. Maybe way back, way back in the cradle it was that first sense that there was more to the world that the four corners of that baby world existence and that if you could just, could just get over that little, little side board there might be something better, much better over the horizon. But, frankly that just seems like too much of a literary stretch even for me, moody teenage boy that I am, to swallow so let’s just say that it started once I knew that the ocean was a way to get away, if you needed to get away. But see I didn’t figure than one out for myself even, old Kenny from the old neighborhood in third grade is the one who got me hip to that, and then Johnny James and his brother filled in the rest of the blanks and so then I was sea-worthy, dream sea-worthy anyway.

But, honestly, that sea dream stuff can only be music for the future because right now I am stuck, although I do not always feel stuck about it, trying to figure my way out of high school world, or at least figure out the raging things that I want to do after high school that fill up my daydream time (study hall time, if you really want to know). Of course, as well, that part about the ocean just mentioned, well there was a literal part to the proposition since ocean-at-my-back (sometimes right at my back) New England homestead meant unless I wanted to take an ill-advised turn at piracy or high-seas hijacking or some such thing east that meant I had to head west. Right now west though is Harvard Square, its doings and not doings, it trumpet call to words, and sounds, and actions in the October Friday night all-night storm brewing.

The train now rounds the squeaky-sounding bend out of Central Square and stops at the station. So now I leave my pensive seat and stand waiting, waiting for the driver to release the pressure to let the sliding train door open, getting ready to jump off the old subway, two-step-at-a-time my way up the two flights of stairs and head for mecca to see if things jump for me tonight. The doors open at last. Up the two-stepped stairs I go, get to the surface and confront the old double-glassed Hayes door entrance and survey the vast table-filled room that at this hour has a few night owl stranglers spotted throughout the place.

You know the old Hayes-Bickford, or one of them if you live in Boston, or New York City, or a few other places on the East Coast, don’t you? Put your tray on the metal slider (hey, I don’t know what you call that slider thing, okay) and cruise down the line from item to item behind the glass-enclosed bins of, mostly, steamy food, if you are looking for fast service, for a quick between doing things, pressing things, meal. Steamed and breaded everything from breakfast to lunch to dinner anytime topped off by dishwater quality coffee (refills on demand, if you feel lucky). But this is not the place to bring your date, certainly not your first date, except maybe for a quick cup of that coffee before going to some event, or home. What this is, really, is a place where you can hang out, and hang out with comfort, because nobody, nobody at all, is going to ask you to leave, at least if you act half-way human. And that is what this place is really about, the humans in all their human conditions doing human things, alien to you or not, that you see floating by you, as you take a seat at one of the one-size-fits all wooden tables with those red vinyl seat covered chairs replete with paper place settings, a few off-hand eating utensils and the usual obligatory array of condiments to help get down the food and drink offered here.

Let me describe who is here at this hour on an early Saturday morning in October 1962. I will not vouch for other times, or other days, but I know Friday and Saturday nights a little so I can say something about them. Of course there is the last drink at the last open barroom crowd, said bar already well-closed in blue law Massachusetts, trying to get sober enough by eating a little food to traverse the road home. Good luck. Needless to say eating food in an all-night cafeteria, any all-night cafeteria, means only one thing-the person is so caught up in a booze frenzy that he (mainly) or she (very occasionally) is desperate for anything to hang the name food on to. Frankly, except for the obligatory hard-dollar coffee-steamed to its essence, then through some mystical alchemic process re-beaned, and served in heavy ceramic mugs that keep in the warmth to keep the eyes open the food here is strictly for the, well, the desperate, drunk or sober.

I might mention a little more about the food as I go along but it is strictly to add color to this little story. Maybe, maybe it will add color to the story but this is mainly about the“literary” life at the old Hayes and the quest for the blue-pink night not the cuisine so don’t hold me to it. Here is the kicker though; there are a few, mercifully few this night, old winos, habitual drunks, and street vagabonds (I am being polite here) who are nuzzling their food, for real. This is the way that you can tell the "last drink" boys, the hail fellows well met, who are just out on the town and who probably go to one of the ten zillion colleges in the area and are drawn like moths (and like wayward high schools kids, including this writer) to the magic name, Harvard Square. They just pick at their food. Those other guys (again, mainly, guys) those habituals and professional waywards work at it like it is their last chance for salvation.

Harvard Square, bright lights, dead of nights, see the sights. That vision is nothing but a commercial, a commercial magnet for every young (and old) hustler within fifty miles of the place to come and display their “acumen”. Their hustle. Three card Monte, quick-change artistry, bait and hook, a little jack-rolling, fake dope-plying, lifting an off-hand wallet, the whole gamut of hustler con lore. On any given Harvard Square weekend night there have got to be more young, naïve, starry-eyed kids hanging out trying to be cool, but really, like me, just learning the ropes of life than you could shake a stick at to set a hustler’s heart, if he (mainly) or she (sometimes) had a heart.

I’ll tell you about a quick con that got me easy in a second but right now let me tell you that at this hour I can see a few con artists just now resting up after a hard night’s work around a couple of tables, comparing notes (or, more likely, trying to con each other, there is no honor among thieves in this little night world. Go to it boys). As to the con that got me, hey it was simple, a guy, an older guy, a twenty-five year old or something like that guy, came up to me while I was talking to a friend and said did I (we) want to get some booze. Sober, sixteen years old, and thrill-seeking I said sure (drinking booze is the coin of the realm for thrills these days, among high school kids that I know, maybe the older set, those college guys, are, I hear, experimenting with drugs but if so it is very on the QT).

He said name your poison, I did, and then he “suggested” a little something for himself. Sure, whatever is right. I gave him the money and he returned a few minutes later with a small bag with the top of a liquor bottle hanging out. He split. We went off to a private area around Harvard Yard (Phillips Brook House, I think) and got ready to have our first serious taste of booze, and maybe get rum brave enough to pick up some girls. Naturally, the bottle is a booze bottle alright but it had been opened (how long before is anyone’s guess) and filled with water. Sucker, right. Now the only reason that I am mentioning this story right now is that the guy who pulled this con is sitting, sitting like the King of Siam, just a few tables away from where I am sitting. The lesson learned for the road, for the future road that beckons: don’t accept packages from strangers without inspecting them and watch out for cons, right? No, hell no. The lesson is this: sure don’t fall for wise guy tricks but the big thing is to shake it off, forget about it if you see the con artist again. You are way to cool to let him (or occasionally her) think that they have conned you. Out loud, anyway.

But wait, I am not here at almost four o’clock in the Hayes-Bickford morning, the Harvard Square Hayes-Bickford morning, to talk about the decor, the food if that is what it is, about the clientele, humble, slick, or otherwise. I am here looking for“talent”, literary talent that is. See, I have been here enough, and have heard enough about the ”beats” (or rather pseudo-beats, or “late phase” beats at this time) and the “folkies” (music people breaking out of the Pop 40 music scene and going back to the roots of America music, way back) to know that a bunch of them, about six in all, right this minute are sitting in a far corner with a light drum tapping the beat listening to a guy in black pants(always de rigueur black), sneakers and a flannel shirt just like me reciting his latest poem. That possibility is what drove me here this night, and other nights as well. See the Hayes is known as the place where someone like Norman Mailer has his buttered toast after one of his “last drink” bouts. Or that Bob Dylan sat at that table, that table right over there, writing something on a napkin. Or some parallel poet to the one now wrapping up his seventy-seven verse imitation Allen Ginsberg's Howl master work went out to San Francisco and blew the lid off the town, the City Lights town, the literary town.

But I better, now that the six-ish dawn light is hovering, trying to break through the night wars, get my droopy body down those subway stairs pretty soon and back across town before anyone at home notices that I am missing. Still I will take the hard-bitten coffee, re-beaned and all, I will take the sleepy eyes that are starting to weigh down my face, I will even take the con artists and feisty drunks just so that I can be here when somebody’s search for the blue-pink great American West night, farther west than Harvard Square night, gets launched.




In the summer of 2006 I originally wrote the following commentary (used in subsequent election cycles and updated a little for today’s purpose) urging the recruitment of independent labor militants as write-in candidates for the mid-term 2006 congressional elections based on a workers party program. With the hoopla already in full gear for the 2012 election cycle I repost that commentary below with that same intention of getting thoughtful leftists to use the 2012 campaign to further our propagandistic fight for a workers’ party that fights for a workers government.

A Modest Proposal-Recruit, Run Independent Labor Militants In The 2012 Elections

All “anti-parliamentarian”, “anti-state”, “non-political” anarchist or anarcho-syndicalist brothers and sisters need read no further. This writer does not want to sully the purity of your politics with the taint of parliamentary electoral politics. Although I might remind you, as we remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Barcelona Uprising, that your political ancestors in Spain were more than willing to support the state and enter the government when they got the chance- the bourgeois government of a bourgeois state. But, we can fight that issue out later. We will, hopefully, see you on the barricades with us when the time comes.

As for other militants- here is my modest proposal. Either recruit fellow labor militants or present yourselves as candidates to run for public office, especially for Congress, during the 2012 election cycle. Why? Even a quick glance at the news of the day is calculated to send the most hardened politico screaming into the night. The quagmire in Afghanistan (and unfinished business in Iraq and threats to Iran), immigration walls, flag-burning amendments, anti -same-sex marriage amendments, the threat to separation of church state raised by those who would impose a fundamentalist Christian theocracy on the rest of us, and the attacks on the hard fought gains of the Enlightenment posed by bogus theories such as ‘intelligent design.’ And that is just an average day. Therefore, this election cycle provides militants, at a time when the dwindling electorate is focused on politics, a forum to raise our program and our ideas. We use this as a tool, like leaflets, petitions, meetings, demonstrations, etc. to get our message across. Why should the Donkeys, Elephants, and the other smaller bourgeois parties have a monopoly on the public square?

I mentioned in the last paragraph the idea of program. Let us face it if we do not have a program to run on then it makes no sense for militants to run for public office. Given the political climate our task at this time is to fight an exemplary propaganda campaign. Our program is our banner in that fight. The Democrats and Republicans DO NOT RUN on a program. The sum of their campaigns is to promise not to steal from the public treasury (or at least not too much), beat their husbands or wives, or grossly compromise themselves in any manner. On second thought, given today’s political climate, they may not promise not to beat their husbands or wives or not compromise themselves in any untoward manner. You, in any case, get the point. Damn, even the weakest neophyte labor militant can make a better presentation before working people that this crowd. This writer presents a five point program (you knew that was coming, right?) that labor militants can run on. As point five makes clear this is not a ‘minimum’ program but a program based on our need to fight for power.


The quagmire in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East (Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Iran) is the fault line of American politics today. Every bourgeois politician has to have his or her feet put to the fire on this one. Not on some flimsy ‘sense of the Congress’ softball motion for withdrawal next, year, in two years, or (my favorite) when the situation is stable. Moreover, on the parliamentary level the only real vote that matters is the vote on the war budget. All the rest is fluff. Militants should make a point of trying to enter Congressional contests where there are so-called anti-war Democrats or Republicans (an oxymoron, I believe) running to make that programmatic contrast vivid.

But, one might argue, that would split the ‘progressive’ forces. Grow up, please! That argument has grown stale since it was first put forth in the “popular front” days of the 1930’s. If you want to end the wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere fight for this position on the war budget. Otherwise the same people (yes, those 'progressive Democrats') who almost unanimously voted for the last war budget get a free ride on the cheap. War President Barack Obama desperately needs to be opposed by labor militants. By rights this is our issue. Let us take it back.


It is a ‘no-brainer’ that no individual, much less a family can live on the minimum wage (now $7/hr. or so). What planet do these politicians live on? We need an immediate fight for a living wage, full employment and decent working conditions. We need universal free health care for all. End of story. The organized labor movement must get off its knees and fight to organize Wal-Mart and the South. A boycott of Wal-Mart is not enough. A successful organizing drive will, like in the 1930’s; go a long way to turning the conditions of labor around.


Down with the Death Penalty! Full Citizenship Rights for All Immigrants who make it here! Stop the Deportations! For the Separation of Church and State! Defend abortion rights! Down with anti-same sex marriage legislation! Full public funding of education! Stop the ‘war on drugs’, basically a war on blacks and minority youth-decriminalize drugs! Defend political prisoners! This list of demands hardly exhausts the “culture war” issues we defend. It is hard to believe that in the year 2012 over 200 years after the American Revolution and the French Revolution we are fighting desperately to preserve many of the same principles that militants fought for in those revolutions. But so be it.


The Donkeys, Elephants and other smaller bourgeois parties have had their chance. Now is the time to fight for our own party and for the interests of our own class, the working class. Any campaigns by independent labor militants must highlight this point. And any campaigns can also become the nucleus of a workers’ party network until we get strong enough to form at least a small party. None of these other parties, and I mean none, are working in the interests of working people and their allies. The following great lesson of politic today must be hammered home. Break with the Democrats, Republicans!


We need our own form of government. In the old days the bourgeois republic was a progressive form of government. Not so any more. That form of government ran out of steam about one hundred years ago. We need a Workers Republic. We need a government based on workers councils with a ministry (I do not dare say commissariat in case any stray anarchists are still reading this) responsible to it. Let us face it if we really want to get any of the good and necessary things listed above accomplished we are not going to get it with the current form of government.

Why the XYZ part? What does that mean? No, it is not part of an algebra lesson. What it reflects is that while society is made up mainly of workers (of one sort or another) there are other classes (and parts of classes) in society that we seek as allies and could benefit from a workers government. Examples- small independent contractors, intellectuals, the dwindling number of small farmers, and some professionals like dentists. Yes, with my tongue in my cheek after all my dental bills, I like the idea of a workers and dentists government. The point is however you formulate it you have got to fight for it.

Obviously any campaign based on this program will be an exemplary propaganda campaign for the foreseeable future. But we have to start now. Continuing to support or not challenging the bourgeois parties does us no good. That is for sure. While bourgeois electoral laws do not favor independent candidacies write-in campaigns are possible. ROLL UP YOUR SHEEVES! GET THOSE PETITIONS SIGNED! PRINT OUT THE LEAFLETS! PAINT THOSE BANNERS! GET READY TO SHAKE HANDS AND KISS BABIES.


Eleven years ago on October 7, the U.S. unleashed a never-ending war on Afghanistan.
Join us in a march and rally to protest the dangerous escalation in threats of military action
against Pakistan, Syria and Iran and increased racist violence and repression at home.
United National Antiwar Coalition, United for Justice with Peace, International Action Center
Women’s Int’l League for Peace and Freedom, Boston, New England United, Committee for Peace & Human Rights, Boston
Rhode Island Mobilization Committee, Veterans For Peace, Smedley D. Butler Brigade, Code Pink, Greater Boston
Occupy Boston Action for Peace Working Group, American Iranian Friendship Committee, A.N.S.W.E.R. Boston
Women's Fightback Network, RI Peoples Assembly, Polo Democratico Alternativo of Colombia, Boston
BU Antiwar Coalition, Muslim Peace Coalition, Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Burma Task Force-USA
Chelsea Uniting Against the Wars, Green-Rainbow Party of Mass.-Greater Boston,
International Socialist Organization, Occupy Boston, Military Families Speak Out

Friday, October 05, 2012


Eleven years ago on October 7, the U.S. unleashed a never-ending war on Afghanistan.
Join us in a march and rally to protest the dangerous escalation in threats of military action
against Pakistan, Syria and Iran and increased racist violence and repression at home.
United National Antiwar Coalition, United for Justice with Peace, International Action Center
Women’s Int’l League for Peace and Freedom, Boston, New England United, Committee for Peace & Human Rights, Boston
Rhode Island Mobilization Committee, Veterans For Peace, Smedley D. Butler Brigade, Code Pink, Greater Boston
Occupy Boston Action for Peace Working Group, American Iranian Friendship Committee, A.N.S.W.E.R. Boston
Women's Fightback Network, RI Peoples Assembly, Polo Democratico Alternativo of Colombia, Boston
BU Antiwar Coalition, Muslim Peace Coalition, Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Burma Task Force-USA
Chelsea Uniting Against the Wars, Green-Rainbow Party of Mass.-Greater Boston,
International Socialist Organization, Occupy Boston, Military Families Speak Out

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86 B

March Against The Wars In Boston Saturday October 6th

Boston, Oct. 6, 1:30 PM Posted on September 15, 2012 by Joe Lombardo Boston, Oct. 6, 1:30 PM OCTOBER 6 ACTION AGAINST WARS ABROAD AND POLICE STATE ATTACKS ON CIVIL LIBERTIES AT HOME Join us in a march and rally to protest the dangerous escalation in threats of military action against Syria and Iran and increased racist violence and repression at home. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1:30 PM PARK ST. Eleven years ago on October 7, the U.S. unleashed a war on Afghanistan, followed by the war on Iraq based on lies. While thousands of troops remain in these countries, U.S. drone missiles rain down on Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Now the government imposes sanctions and threatens to attack Syria and Iran. The U.S. sends troops and threatens to retaliate against anti-US protesters in the Middle East. These actions will escalate the nightmare of war in the Middle East, not end it. To wage war abroad, they must wage war at home. The last decade has seen escalating repression and poverty at home. Islamophobia and scapegoating of Muslims leads to manufactured frame-ups and violence against the Muslim community. Civil liberties and the right to dissent are under siege with indefinite detention and extra-judicial assassinations now the law of the land. Racism is a weapon of war. They use it against Muslims and immigrants. They’ve stepped up the war on Black and Latino youth, with racial profiling, stop and frisk, and harsh sentencing — resulting in police brutality, mass incarceration, military weapons in the hands of police, and a hugely profitable prison industry. To pay for wars and to maximize the profits of the haves, they take more and more from the have-nots. We see cuts to the social safety nets, attacks on labor, huge unemployment, privatization of public services, neglect of infrastructure, and poisoning of the environment. LET’S STAND TOGETHER IN UNITY AND SOLIDARITY. TOGETHER WE ARE POWERFUL! HANDS OFF SYRIA AND IRAN! NO TO RACISM, RAIDS, AND REPRESSION! NO TO ISLAMOPHOBIA! * United National Antiwar Coalition * United for Justice with Peace * International Action Center * * Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Boston * * Committee for Peace & Human Rights, Boston * New England United * Rhode Island Mobilization Committee * **Please add your organizations to list of endorsers by emailing **If you or your organization would like to speak at the rally, contact Marilyn Levin,

From The Pen Of Joshua Lawrence Breslin-From The "Ancient Dreams, Dreamed" Sketches-“The Slows Don’t Knows”

-For Allan

Sweated dust bowl nights, maybe dog day July or August, as his memory’s eye kept returning to sweated scenes those months inevitably play their assigned sullen-producing role. After all who would, metabolism whacked out or not, temperature climes hard-wired genetically fixed or not, sweat (really perspire but we will not hang the writer on that distinction, okay) in say January or early February in cold northern hemisphere artic winds drift. But let’s just call it sweated, hand the guy a towel or handkerchief, and let him run himself silly this moonless dank night. Although something more was needed, something more than a handkerchief, more than that old railroad man’s rusted red one found in some abandoned track siding on another sweated night, that time working his furrowed eyebrow to freedom roads, freedom roads before his time, before his generation’s on the road time, and certainly before magical mystery tour yellow brick road search for the great multi-hued American West nights time, and finding them, the nights, for a while too).

The night part is easy, a little cooler time for our sweated boy, but the dust bowl part stands in need of explanation. Simple explanation really, for those who have been around a track. No, not tout track, bet your life on the next sure thing and happiness track, a running Olympic track and field track. A boyhood North Adamsville Hollis Field track which doubled as kickass practice football tract come fall. But year round a running track. Oh, I forgot, and this will tell you sometime about the damn place, five laps to a mile. Aficionados will laugh, so laugh knowing that in all the English –speaking world, at least in that 1961 English-speaking world, there are four laps to a mile. But there is more, more afterthought description. Said track was deeply rutted, summerfallwinterspring, from the lowest contract bidder surface materials scattered, generations scattered, on the pathway. And in all seasons, except the mucks, dry and dusty at the human step, and hence dust bowl. But enough of sweats, mop-moist red handkerchiefs, heavy breathe exhaustions, and dust. This was fun.

Fun, not the fun of innocent watching (and hoping) shaded windows for visions of irish maidens, ready with prepared notes (a spiel, okay) , frequently revised, and waiting for just that one moment that would bring forth the sweated exotic atlantic cheerleader glance nights but something else fun.

Something not endless walked about, something done, or with the promise of done, for something inside, and for the free spirit rant hammering his brain inside. At least at first after winning a couple of local races against slow (as it turned out) sullen corner boys full of mother’s corn beef, cold misbegotten cheapjack knickerbocker beer, cigarette smoke, unfiltered Camels naturally, and larcenies, great and small. Strictly amateur stuff you see, done, done under coercion, truth, to keep a place in corner boy society, or else. Or else endless running, running the gauntlet, every time that corner came into view and some punk (inside he said punk, not for public disclosure even now, just in case, okay), some beef-fed, beer- bloated, cancerous- smoked felon in the making decided to impress some off-hand girl hanging off his off-hand arm (or better, sitting all dolled-up, cashmere sweater-wearing and worthy in his felon’s goods car, a ’57 Chevy maybe).

He had to laugh, laugh out loud (and it was okay since the closest houses surrounding the field, ah, the dust bowl, were not within earshot and he could have disclaimed the Gettysburg Address in high octave and no one would have heard) that his corner boy fears, and desires, had driven him to this fun. This sweated, dank, summer night fun. And to gather in a sense of personal worth out of the effort. It was laughable, really laughable. Especially (and here the night proved an ally too) the absurd notion that there would be some sense of worth in the moldy white tee- shirt, mildewy white shorts, who knows what diseased sneakers, Chuck Taylor sneakers, he was wearing. All kind of, well, as Billy Brady, king hell king of the North Adamsville hard corner boy night and nobody, I mean nobody, disputed that title, used to say, kind of faggoty-looking, or girlish.

But there he was night after night once the weather got too hot to face the blistering hot and foot-burying sands down at daytime Adamsville Beach, daytime girls noticing his appearance too and probably thinking kind of, just like Billy king hell king thinking, yes, kind of faggoty, and knowing, marrow bone knowing, not girlish.

There he was pushing the night away and the red-faced Irish winds, harder, harder around the oval, watch tick in hand, looking, looking he guessed for immortality, immortality even then.

Later, in bobby darin times or percy faith times, who knows, call it jack kennedy time if you like, but sometime before the third British invasion and before jack death, sitting, sitting high against the lion-guarded pyramid statute front door dream, common dreams, common hero dreams, all gone asunder, all gone asunder, on this curious fact, no wind, Irish or otherwise propelled him forward. No champion dusted field sweeper of all before him, maybe genetically hard-wired that way too although he always favored being poorly coached as excuse better. And hence he, dream champion on sweated July (or maybe August like I said before) dust bowl nights lived with the slows, the anaerobic slows, and was left with only desire, wet clothes and one minute good feels when he hit his practice strides. And many years later he felt that same good feeling whenever he logged more than one jogged mile. Who would have figured that one?

From The Pen Of Joshua Lawrence Breslin- From The "Ancient Dreams, Dreamed" Sketches-“The Women Question –Redux”

-For Neal

Lindo, lindos. Spanish is the loving tongue and has been for a while now against the harsh light of English faux- forked loving tongues but that is not what he meant, he a man now well-versed in pocas palabras, okay. And English forked tongues too. But then, the time he, Peter Paul one besotted night, was talking about then, 1960 then, holy hell’s fool, muttering a mile a minute as if to stop would break the spell, and break any chance for, well, happiness, kiddish happiness. Muttering that mile a minute for Irish girls don’t go nears (same parish even, Sacred Heart, Christ, no double christ), don’t even think about nears (same parish or not), or half-irish nears either (heathens like him, as his very, very Irish grandfather would say, giving his sonny boy, him, a dispensation for some mother‘s fault, but of that more later).

What he meant was this girl that was sitting next to him, this 1960 eighth- grade girl, Irish or half-Irish sitting next to him in art class. (Irish by surname but mix is the name of the game in golden age America, in Jack’s America being born and to call Irish is the beginning of wisdom and eight hundred year tyrannies by bloody English forebears don’t hurt either the big question though, the dispensating grandfather high on high mass incense question is-is she “one of us?”) She had to be Irish or half Irish, no question, because in the Little Dublin section of old North Adamsville then everybody was one or the other, or else. But that question out of the way (and he, devilish he had thought of several scenarios, several genealogical scenarios to entice her to talk) she disturbed his sleep although to her he did not exist, had not existed, would not exist, ever.

And whatever glory she would go on to, or him, for that matter, that would always be the case because he had come the wrong year, 1959, and, in case anyone had forgotten, from over in the Adamsville projects. Or he had not lived in North Adamsville all that long and had not started out with her at North Adamsville Junior High School (like that was a reason, but it was, such are the ways of junior high social pecking disorder learned if at no other place then at the weekly “no dance” school dance, and it smarted). Or she didn’t like guys who were smugly smart-assed (learned from Frankie Larkin, corner boy leader Billy’s brother, who, as it turned out he found out later that she loathed because he would not give her a “tumble.”) Or he was too catholic church damn blasphemous laughing at splashed holy water, getting high on high mass incense, and muttered, exhaustively muttered Stations of the Cross.

Memory, refreshed memory continuing, she preferred (as it turned out later) football guys and not half-artists, half-bookish nerds, half- mad poets, although he also didn’t know it, the half-mad poet blood curse part. She was most definitely not interested in some bay rum-trumped cowlick- haired be-bop stumble bum flannel-shirted (even in summer), wearing black chinos (handed down from ancient brotherhood brothers in hard family progressions because, because my friends, they were still wearable even in 1950s change your style with your mood America, daily if possible, good aged America touted golden age, America wanted to beat beatnik, faux beatnik, if the real story be told.)

Beautiful, beautifuls, beatitude, beat, beat up, beat around (around the bush I guess) beautiful streets walked eternally walked searching beauty, she was not beautiful, not spanish exotic beautiful or at least not from later class picture for remembrance looked beautiful but she was, she was, well, siting right there next to him in art class, and she was, well, spunky, and alive and distantly noblesse if anyone, male or female, in that crowded little one-size-fits-all two by four town, Adamsville to name signify it, later working class to social signify it, would name the damn thing but then just project boys and proper across the tracks (right side of tracks) girls fond of football players, class leader-ness, and cheerleader jumps would not do.

Disturbed sleep, yes, walked streets, yes, worn-out sneakers (or shoes, forgotten buster brown Thom McAn shoes), yes, fussed dreams yes, endlessly walked streets with head prepared notes just in case the winds passed by and they (he and lindo she) were caught on the same sidewalk. Things like that happen you know, and did happen once, but he averted his eyes, crossed the street, and revised his prepared notes, just in future case. And she passed, passed like the wind, and sweet schoolgirl fragrance, or some scented soap, and no sorrow and no remembrance, and no talk at school about how they just kind of missed each other and what were you doing just then, and such of revised notes.

And without a murmur, without as much as a by your leave (quaint expression), she graduated from eighth grade (see the system was different then and eighth grade junior high led to ninth grade high school crushed invisibleness and misspoken dreams). And he with her. And she to football player-reflected glory and he to nerdish road running, mad poet existence, stealing out in the North Adamsville night to hide, hide his flannel face, his black chinos, his eternal be-bop midnight sunglasses in early morning subway trains headed toward Harvard Square and a new day borning, and he (as he explained to me later), crazy to be there but still longing, although no longer lonely streets wandering (or revising notes either) to see if she was made of anything more than stuffed straw, and spunk.

He, too slip-shot, too, well, just too lonely, too lonesome, too long-toothed before his time to do more than endless walks along endless atlantic streets to summon up the courage to glance, glance right at windows, non-exotic atlantic cheerleader windows. Those lonely glance streets beckoned, he swore they beckoned, even in passé corridors anonymously passed even though in a right world any god child should have been able to call on ancient school memories to nod that simple nod that men nod to each other without qualm or qualification, even in lonely Harvard Square Hayes-Bickford four- in- the- morning beyond desire, or distracted dream night.

Later Spanish-style exotics would line up, line up if you can believe that, with no averted eyes and maybe, hopefully maybe, some exotic-tinged dreams in need of sharing but that was later and so some fluff Irish no nonsense closed streets femme, hankering for her gridiron goliath (nice, right) filled his anguished night. And he too silly to tumble, to tumble to dancing Spanish-eyed senoritas with lust in their hearts and a couple of James Joyce something books on their laps. Jesus, were you crazy.

Such was the new decade a-borning, a-borning but not for him, no jack swagger or reflected glory of jack swagger kick ass cuba, or trying to, kick ass vietnam, kick ass boom-boom soviet union, or bobby goof, sending missiles or dreams to jim crow Mississippi, as they tried to run the table on old tricky dick or some tired imitation of him. Him, he would take exotics, or lindos, and grab each and every one as if his life depended on it, and it did, if they ever cross his path, his lonely only path. He would sort out the other stuff, the remembrance stuff (jesus, would he), the right and wrong way stuff, and that faint, ever faint fragrance, every woman, including halfback-addled irish (all irish, he checked, or rather grandpa“is she one of us” shamrock proud checked) demons girls sitting next to him in eighth grade art class emitted on passing means streets. That last one had passed just then on sun-filled forsaken early morning streets and would disturb his sleep that night.

From The Pen Of Joshua Lawrence Breslin- From The "Ancient Dreams, Dreamed" Sketches- "The Long Road Home-Redux"

–For Jack

A bridge too far, an un-arched, un-steeled (or is it un-ironed), unsparing (no question on that one), unnerved bridge too far. A divided heart metaphor, perhaps, an overused metaphor, maybe, but sometimes that dividing line, dividing lines really, represented by a childhood bridge’s span is the only way to describe what is what. And more importantly is the only way to describe physically, hero of this saga, although hero is maybe just too large a word evoking greek gods, hubris and serious testing of fates, the bicycle boy’s dilemma.

One speed bicycle boy, handed-down Schwinn diamond blue red bicycle boy with pedal foot-slammed brakes to guide against crashes, stray dogs, swerving autos making diagonal rather than right hand- cornered turns and absent-minded pedestrians carelessly crossing in designated crosswalks just when he gathered speed, one speed, pushed on toward that divided bridge and the latest version of his the point of no return test.

Wearing a Fruit of The Loom tee-shirt, white, with a trace outline of wetness showing for all the world, all the looking world, to see up under arms. Hell it was summer and humid already, maybe a dog day July or probably August, they, the days and months, all rolling together and he had made this trip before in such weathers, in fact all weathers except hard northern winter gale snow squalls. And dungarees, faded from hundred times washed hand-me-down whirlpool washing machine use of older brothers in hardscrabble no work for father, or not much work, and mother wish working her stale life away in some franchise donut shop, serving coffee and off the arm to working class customers going to and fro working spots and leaving, leaving working class-sized tips, meaning not much, not much at all. Except wish dreams, and work damns.

Dungarees, faded or not, rolled up against dog bites, no question anymore since last summer, he Schwinn bicycle boy, had actually been bitten once by a stray alert dog who came out of some foggy mist seaside house without warning and without provocation, and rolled up guarded against meshed gears of cloth and metal, but you knew that, or you knew that your mother warned you against such a fate if you left the world unrolled, oh well, yah ma dismissal, at least one hundred times.

Yah, now bicycle boy, we no longer need to identify him as Schwinn, or wearing white tee-shirts or faded dungarees bicycle boy, is up to speed, safely past dog house and moving along friendlier shore roads this time riding across seaside town day to get that eternally thankful breeze blowing off Adamsville Bay. Now churning through endless tar pit heated, sweated, beads of sweat coming off the manhole cover to match, did I say match, no to trump, his own heat and underarm circle wetness, no handkerchief, damn of all days to forget a handkerchief, streets. No railroad man’s soiled sweated, stink handkerchief, red, solid red, found in some forgotten railroad track siding when he made another leap to break out of the hard-edged 1950s be-bop night and day dream of freedom, and train smoke.

Street names passing, all the parts of ships, taffrails, captains walks, quarterdecks, sextant-blasted wheelhouses, galleys, even the planks, a special place where treasure , and betrayal, fight it out for tribal loyalties or some stick, stick signifying simply youth, not stick-in-the-mudness, not yet anyway, maiden’s blushed kiss, stolen treasure worthy of more than railroad handkerchief, red, solid red, wipe. Bicycle boy laughed to himself as he rode, thinking of backlogged thoughts in sunnier (and less humid) times. And some stray blushed kiss that would not let him be, would disturb his sleep on more than one night.

Street names, all the seven seas, atlantic, pacific, indian, artic, coral, china, ah he forgot the order, not a good sign, must be the humid-numbing weather, for a boy who could make a joke, and make stick (remember stick signifying youth only) maidens unashamed of blushed kisses laugh at the thought, of knowing enough geography and knowing exactly where to find the place on the map to call himself the Prince of Lvov once. And know too that he wished to “discover” all those seas, and their names not just from maps, if only, if only he could get out of the stinking projects. The stinking born in projects from which he at one time, although not now of course did believe could ever be escaped from (and he later realized that maybe, just maybe he couldn’t). And funny he had gotten out or better had moved out, or his family had with him in tow, and still he was wishing about those seas even if he had forgotten the order of the names, and half-forgotten prince lvov kisses that had turned to ashes. And he still wished about getting out of that stinking project, yah, getting the stink blown off his back from that low-rent scene.

Street names, all the fishes of the seas, tetra, halibut, cod, of course, grown and harvested just some miles, not bicycle miles but automobile miles, a few miles down the road, mackerel, holy or not, he laughed to himself at that, scrod, pickled herring, jesus, who could eat that, oil-soaked sardines, ditto, red scrupper, macko some shark, infinite sea oceans names to go with seven seas and adventures, hardly wait to get out of town adventures but just now needing, desperately needing to get back to back born places, to get some familiar ground under his feet, to take the curse off that stink that has clouded his mind, the one to match the low-tide mephitic stinks down by the shore that he was then passing. And fetid swollen river swamps and reedy mud-caked straw wind marshes breezing that life-saving sea breeze too.

Street names, all the fauna of the sea, seaweed, algae, sea salad, sea cucumbers, see sea, all mixed up, all washed rumble tumble to shore in rushing torrid, churned-up waves crashing aimlessly but relentlessly to shore. But not today, today no crashing waves to help along the slight lip sweat-forming wheels churning boy, a displaced boy(no need to speak of bicycles anymore either) except for that tepid splashed flat pancake of a wave that also heads aimlessly to the waiting shore million year stones waiting to turn to sand , to wash them clean a while. He laughed at that too, washed clean alright. Not him, never him.


Twelve-years old, almost thirteen, hard-churned boy numberless miles to go before sleep, after the bridge battle, which way home or the sea. Which way, find the hidden quest route to Chinese splendor or buried treasure beneath those stones, at least in his mind, and go back to old time haunts, and small age memories of, okay, stick maidens, blushed kisses (this time his) and “going to the plank.” Ah, memory, memory-etched memory be good (and do not disturb goodnight sleeps, for once).

Searching, ever searching for the wombic home, is there such a word, and should he say it, should he write it, or should he even think it in his sin-heavy world. Searching for the certainties (silly childhood certainties he knew, but could do nothing about except search), for the old haunts (secret mirror caves, seaside rest graveyards before those sea breeze marsh grasses, and dank cellars filled with stolen kisses, and small wave booty trinkets, but don’t tell), for the plank, for the seaside graveyards with the dusted, rotting bones of ancient mariners, tars all, who filled the seven seas with their desires, their venom, and their hubris. He knew there was such a word as that, that hubris, because he had looked it up, and had actually, personally seen it in action more than once, although the acts seen had nothing, nothing in this wicked old world, to do with greek godly things. With titanic struggles to roll rocks up hills, to right wrongs against the powerful misbegotten night, to challenge god things, and fates. He didn’t laugh at that word though, but turned red first with anger, anger that he would duck things rather churn up waves, and offend no gods. No sir.

Searching, once again for other Schwinn travel friends (de riguer Schwinn, logo-conscious), for the old friends, the old drifter, grifter, midnight shifter petty larceny friends, the heist boys, the “clip” artist boys snatching penny candy, valentine, may day boxes of candy, onyx rings with diamonds in the center, five and dime trinkets, anything that fit into speak of love (not lvov), faded dungaree pockets, and didn’t bulge too much , that’s all it was, petty and maybe larceny, but it had cemented them together for “eternity,”boyhood projects eternity broken when he wrong-crossed that bridge span, and didn’t turn back.

Yah, bicycle boy this day is searching, searching hard against the named ships, hard against the named seas, hard against the named fishes, hard against the named fauna, searching see.

And searching hard too against the unnamed angst, hard against those unnamed, maybe unnamable, changes that kind of hit one sideways all at once like some mack the knife smack devilish thing and no bridge can stop that, not on this hot humid day, and maybe not ever but he would have to see about that, see about that it as it came along.

From The Pen Of Joshua Lawrence Breslin- From The "Ancient Dreams, Dreamed" Sketches-"Those Old Homesick Blues"

“Good luck, and don’t forget us, Peter Paul,” yelled John “Swifty” Sweeney as the last of the Markin household goods were placed in the moving van for the trip across town to their new digs in North Adamsville. “Don’t worry Swifty I’ll be back in a couple of days. No way as I going to leave my friends here in the projects. I didn’t want to move so I’ll be back just like nothing happened,” yelled Peter Paul right back. And that simple statement, kind of, for the moment at least, put Peter Paul’s, and his best friend Swifty’s world back in order.

Peter spoke the truth when he said that he didn’t want to move, move even from the projects that he had been moaning and groaning to get out of for years, once he realized that there was no cache, no respect and no percentage in being from that far down on the totem pole once he escaped to North Adamsville. The taste, taint, touch of the projects followed like some low-tide mud flat fetid clam swamp.

His parents had, in that hard-scramble both working crumb bum jobs 1950s “golden age” gathered enough dough together to get a midget house in North Adamsville where his mother, Delores, had grown up and where his grandparents had always lived. But when push came to shove and moving day arrived he went “on strike.” Tears streaming down his face he had refused, utterly refused, to help load things up in boxes and crates and it was all that he could do to compose in his bravado “farewell” to his friend.

And so a few days later, boxes and crates settled in the house, unpacked mainly, although as always with moves it takes time to get everything new set up, Peter Paul got out his old Schwinn one-speed bicycle with the patented foot brake petal and started out across town to the projects like some stray lemming back to the sea, and back to the only life that he had known in his long twelve, almost thirteen years of life. He rode like the wind through the town hardly containing himself, his thoughts, and his energies to be back with the old tribe, the guys (mainly) who made project life at least bearable. And number one, numero uno, in that universe was Swifty (and had been for a while now that Billie Bradley, king hell king of the Adamsville projects night, junior division, had “stepped-up”to robbing gas stations with older guys and Peter Paul had backed off, backed way off from that scene) .

Sure enough as Peter Paul headed up Captain’s Walk the central hang-out place there was Swifty. He was hanging out with Bennie Bopper, a guy from school, a goof in a lot of ways but a guy to keep company with until something better turned up, AND Theresa Green, Peter Paul’s old crush flame goddess save-the-last-dance-for-me sitting very close, very, very close to Swifty. Peter Paul flushed and then yelled out, “She’s your girl now, I guess, Swifty.” And already feminine female Theresa soft-whispered back, “No sir, Peter Paul I am just keeping Swifty company, Benny’s my honey now, now that you’re gone.” Peter Paul flushed again, flushed that Theresa, who did not say word one when he told her his family was moving across town and flushed that Benny Bopper took his place. Although now that he had“new” eyes he could see where a girl like Theresa might go for Benny on the rebound. Good old Swifty, no way.

So that day, a week later, and a couple of weeks and a couple more times after that Peter Paul would show up and he and Swifty and Benny’s Theresa (with or without Benny) would cut up old torches. And on those days Peter Paul was happy, happy for the smells, sounds and sights of the old neighborhood, the old blessed projects.

Then one day a couple of months later Peter Paul mounted his trusty bike for another trip “home.” Damn that it would have to be a windy day, a windy day when he decided, not exactly knowing the best route, that if he travelled along the shoreline he would probably make good enough time and maybe cut across some of that wind. Now for those who must know the exact route this effort required going over the high-span Squaw River Bridge, the bridge that separated North Adamsville from Adamsville proper. Not a big bridge not a Brooklyn Bridge, Golden Gate concoction, far from it. But almost as if there was some mystery pull (or push, for that matter) to it that bridge seemed a bridge too far, an un-arched, un-steeled, un-spanned, un-nerved bridge too far.

See Peter knew that the die was cast that day, or at least he did when he had time to reflect on it later. Knew one- speed bicycle boy, dungarees rolled up against dog bites and meshed gears, churning through endless heated, sweated, no handkerchief streets, names, all the parts of ships, names, all the seven seas, names, all the fishes of the seas, names, all the fauna of the sea, names that the old home was past. That once twelve-years old, now thirteen, bicycle boy had hard churned miles to go before sleep, searching for the womblike home, for the old friends, the old drifter, grifter, midnight shifter petty larceny friends, that’s all it was, petty and maybe larceny, hard against the named ships, hard against the named seas, hard against the named fishes, hard against the named fauna, hard against the unnamed angst, hard against those changes that kind of hit one sideways all at once like some mack the knife smack devilish thing had to move on. End of story.

From The Pen Of Joshua Lawrence Breslin- From The "Ancient Dreams, Dreamed" Sketches- "For The "Projects" Boys... And Girls"

For The "Projects" Boys... And Girls

Tom Waits Jersey Girl Lyrics

Got no time for the corner boys,

Down in the street makin' all that noise,

Don't want no whores on eighth avenue,

Cause tonight i'm gonna be with you.

'cause tonight i'm gonna take that ride,

Across the river to the jersey side,

Take my baby to the carnival,

And i'll take you all on the rides.

Down the shore everything's alright,

You're with your baby on a saturday night,

Don't you know that all my dreams come true,

When i'm walkin' down the street with you,

Sing sha la la la la la sha la la la.

You know she thrills me with all her charms,

When i'm wrapped up in my baby's arms,

My little angel gives me everything,

I know someday that she'll wear my ring.

So don't bother me cause i got no time,

I'm on my way to see that girl of mine,

Nothin' else matters in this whole wide world,

When you're in love with a jersey girl,

Sing sha la la la la la la.

And i call your name, i can't sleep at night,

Sha la la la la la la.

Peter Paul Markin comment:

Funny how some stories get their start. A few years back one of my old Adamsville South Elementary corner boys, Denny Romano, he of the squeaky burgeoning tenor in our impromptu 1950s back end of the school-yard summer nights doo wop group (and I of the squeaky bass, low, very low bass) “connected” with me again. He did so through one of those looking for old high school graduates-based Internet sites that relentlessly track you down just as, in your dotage; you think you have finally gotten out from under that last remnant speck of fighting off the last forty years of your teen alienation and teen angst.

Denny asked me to speak of the old “corner boy” days down at “the projects,” the Adamsville Housing Authority low-rent housing where the desperately poor, temporarily so or not, were warehoused in our town in the post-World War II good night when some returning veteran fathers needed a helping hand to get them going back into civilian life. Corner boys, in case you were clueless (or too young to know of anything but mall rat-dom), were guys, mainly, who “hung out” together. Poor boys getting a long way from home, or trying to, no money, no other place to go, or with no transportation to get some place, hung out in front of a million mom and pop variety corner variety stores, corner pizza parlors, corner bowling alleys, corner fast food joints, hell, even corner gas stations in some real small towns from what some guys have told me when I asked them.

Here is the odd part though. Yah, we were corner boys even that young, although we had no corner, no official corner like a corner mom and pop variety store, or a pizza parlor like I did later at Doc’s Drugstore in middle school and then later as the king hell king’s scribe to Frankie Riley in front of Salducci’s Pizza Parlor but just the back end of the elementary school, as long as we were quiet and nobody cried murder and mayhem to the cops. The following, in any case, a little revised, represents my“homage” to Denny and the gang from those by-gone days and even the girls that ninety-three point four percent of the time I was scared to death of/ fascinated by. Well, some things haven’t changed anyway.
Taffrail Road, Yardarm Lane, Captain's Walk, Quarterdeck Road, Sextant Circle, the Old Sailor’s Home, the Shipyard (abandoned now) and Sea Street. Yes, those streets and places from the old public housing project down in the Irishtown section of Adamsville surely evoke imagines of the near-by sea that touched its edges, of long ago sailing ships, and of battles fought off some mist-driven coast by those hearty enough to seek fame and fortune. And with the wherewithal to hold on to their booty (no, not that booty, dough, prizes, stuff like that) But, of course, we know that anyone with even a passing attachment to Adamsville had to have an instinctual love of the sea, and fear of its furies when old Mother Nature turned her back on us. Yes, the endless sea, our homeland the sea, the mother we never knew, the sea... But, enough of those imaginings.

Today I look to the landward side of that troubled housing project peninsula, that isolated expanse of land jutting out of the water and filled with wreckage of another kind, the human kind . No, this will not be a sociological survey of working class pathologies made inevitable by the relentless struggle to scramble for life's necessities, the culture of poverty, or the like. Nor will it be a political screed about rising against the monsters that held us down, or the need for such a rising. Nor even about the poetic license necessary to cobble pretty words together to speak of the death of dreams, dreamless dreams or, maybe, just accepting small dreams to fit a small life. Rather, I am driven by the jumble of images that passed through the thoughts of a ragamuffin of a project boy as he tried to make sense out of a world that he did not create, and that he had no say in.

Ah, the scenes. Warm, sticky, humid summer nights, the air filled with the pungent, overpowering soapy fragrance from the Proctor & Gamble factory across the channel that never quite left one's nostrils. Waking up each morning to face the now vanished Fore River Shipyard superstructure; hearing the distant clang of metals being worked to shape; and, the sight of flickering welding torches binding metals together. The endless rust-encrusted, low-riding oil tankers coming through the channel guided to port by high whistle-blowing tugs.

The interminable wait for the lifeline, seemingly never on time, Eastern Mass bus that took one and all in and out through that single Palmer Street escape route to greater Adamsville. Or that then imposing central housing authority building where I was sent by my mother, too proud to go herself, with the monthly rent, usually short. Oh, did I mention Carter's Variety Store, the sole store for us all the way to Sea Street but police take notice off limits to corners boys young or old, another lifeline. Many a time I reached into Ma's pocketbook to steal money, or committed other small hoodlum wanna-be larcenies, in order to hike down that long road and get my sugar-drenched stash (candy bars, soda, a.k.a. tonic but that word is long gone, Twinkles, Moon Pies, and so on, sugar-drenched all)

And the kids. Well, the idea in those “golden” post-war days was that the projects were a way-station to better things, or at least that was the hope. So there was plenty of turn-over of friends but there was a core of kids, kids like me and my brothers, who stayed long enough to learn the ropes. Or get beaten down by guys just a little hungrier, a little stronger, or with just a little bigger chip on their shoulder. Every guy had to prove himself, tough or not, by hanging with guys that were "really" tough. That was the ethos, and "thems were the rules." Rules that seemed to come out of eternity’s time, and like eternity never challenged.

I took my fair share of nicks but also, for a moment, well for more than a moment as it turned out, I was swayed by the gangster lifestyle. Hell, it looked easy. With old elementary school classmate Rickie B., Denny knows who I am talking about, who, later, served twenty years, maybe more for all I know, for a series of armed robberies, I worked my first ‘clip’ in some downtown Adamsville Square jewelry store, Sid’s I think, the one with all the onyx rings on display in the front and the twelve signs about how you could have anything in the place on very easy terms, only a million installments (with interest piling up, of course). No, thanks.

The clip, again for the clueless, is nothing but kids’ stuff, strictly for amateurs because no professional thief would risk his or her good name for such a low-rent payoff. The deal was one guy went in and got the salesperson’s attention while the other guy ripped off whatever was “hanging low on the tree.” In that arrangement I was usually the “tree” guy not because I had quick hands, although come to think of it I did (and big eyes, big greedy eyes for all the booty, and you know what booty means here now since I told you before, dough), but because I didn’t have the knack of talking gibberish to adults. Hell, you probably did the clip yourself, maybe for kicks. And then forgot about it for some other less screwy kick. Not me.

Okay, so at that point maybe every kid, every curious kid ready in whatever manner to challenge authority and I (and most of my then corner boys, although not Denny if I recall correctly) are even. Here is the tie-breaker though. Moving on, I was the "holder" for more expansive enterprises with George H. (who, later, got killed when a drug deal he was promoting, a lonely gringo deal down in Mexico, went south on him). See George was a true artist, a true sneak thief who was able to get into any house by stealth and sheer determination. Mainly houses up in Adams Shore where people actually had stuff worth stealing unlike in the projects where the stuff was so much Bargain Center specials (the local Wal-Mart-like operation of its day).

George needed me for two, no three, things. First, I was the “look-out” and even the clueless know what that means. Secondly, I actually held and carried some of the loot that he passed to me out of the window or door, and one time out a backyard bulkhead (the good stuff, televisions, silverware, a stamp collection, a coin collection, and some other stuff that I have forgotten about, was in the basement family room). Lastly, as George started to draw school and police attention I actually “held”the stuff in a safe location (which I will not disclose here just in case the various statutes of limitations have not run out). That went on for a while but George got busted for something else, some unruly child baloney rap thing, and that was that.

That was just a kid’s gangster moment, right? It was not all larcenies and kid dreams of some “big score” to get himself, and his family, out from under though. It couldn’t be for a kid, or the whole world, poor as it was, would have just collapsed over my head, and I would not be here to honor Denny’s request.

Oh, the different things that came up. Oddball things like Christmas tree bonfires on New Year’s Eve where we scurried like rats just as soon as neighbors put their trees out to be taken away in order to assemble them on the beach ready to be fired up and welcome in the new year. Or annual Halloween hooliganism where we, in a sugar frenzy, worked the neighborhood trick or treat racket hitting every house like the 82nd Airborne Division, or some such elite unit running amok in Baghdad or some Iraqi town ...

Hey, wait a minute, all this is so much eyewash because what, at least in my memory's eye, is the driving "projects" image is the "great awakening." Girls. Girls turning from sticks to shapes just around the time that I started to notice the difference, and being interested in that different if not always sure about what it meant. You don’t need a book to figure that out, although maybe it would have helped. And being fascinated and ill at ease at the same time around them, and being a moonstruck kid on every girl that gave me a passing glance, or what I thought was a passing glance, and the shoe leather-wearing out marathon walking, thinking about what to do about them, especially when the intelligence-gatherers told you about a girl who liked you.

And the innocent, mostly dreaded, little petting parties, in dank little basements that served as 'family rooms' for each apartment, trying to be picked by the one you want to pick you and, well, you get the drift. Remind me to tell you some time, and here is where Denny comes in, how we put together, a bunch of corner-less corner boys, a ragtag doo wop group one summer for the express, the sole, the only purpose of, well, luring girls to the back of the school where we hung out. And it worked.

Now a lot of this is stuff any kid goes through, except just not in "the projects." And some of it is truly "projects" stuff - which way will he go, good or bad? But this next thing kind of ties it together. Just about the time when I was seriously committed to a petty criminal lifestyle, that “holding” stuff with my corner boy comrade George, I found the Thomas Crane Library branch that was then in the Adamsville South Elementary School (now located further up the street toward Adamsville Square). And one summer I just started to read every biography or other interesting book they had in the Children's Section. While looking, longingly, over at the forbidden Adult Section on the other side of the room for the good stuff. And I dreamed. Yes, I am a "projects" boy, and I survived to tell the tale. Is that good enough for you, Denny?