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Full text of "The Chanticleer [serial]"

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H is Alabaster City's Gleam 

After Dorothy nodded out in Kansas and wrote it all 
into our culture, the rains came again and we were 
consumed by them; lost, without our wizard. 

Instead of wizards, after the rains, we got lizards. 

Huge iguana-like beasts of avarice and ambition 
prowled the jade halls of power, consuming all the 
children, ail the priests. 

The halls of power turned a deeper green. 

The lizards grinned at us from their high windows and 
ran their forked tongues quickly in and out, testing our 
minds. 

Finding them quiet in terror, the lizards slept. 

They are asleep, brothers. 



An old story; Once there was a young man who 
went to Duke and later left to experience those 
adventures that would befall him as he travelled 
through life. 




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My ass hurt, but othervri.se I felt good. I had 
consaanunated someone's fantasy, "Brothers," I shouted 
lauding, "you're not going to believe this, but I 
love you," 

"Put a slug in the motherfucker's head," one of 
them said, 

"Let's get out of here," said another, I 
wanted them to know that they had shot themselves. 

They left. So they didn't know how to circle 
dates on their calendar: birthdays, anniversaries, 
places in time where we all connect, 

I dragged my bleeding ass to the infirmary, 

"My God, what happened to you?" a black physician's 
assistant wanted to know, 

"I shot myself," I told him, 

"Ri^t, And I'm the Pope," the guy said. "You 
just lie down on your stomach. This is going to hurt." 

The buckshot falling from his tweezers into 
a stainless steel dish beat the rhythm to Billie 
Holliday's "Stormy Weather." It was raining. Every 
little thing I ever had was gone. Soon even the 
buckshot was gone. 

Back on the street, my fingers felt like I had 
lost my gloves. I wanted a horn. With my last 
twenty bucks I bou^t a trombone from Sam's Pawn Shop. 
The sheet music to "Hot Cross Buns" was in the 
case with my horn. That's where I started. 

A month later I was working out some glider flints 
throu^ heavy turbulence in "Back Door Man." Outside 
it was quiet; one of those days you're afraid to 
put your hands on, like wet paint. Big broken notes 
flopped out of the bell and rolled around the floor. 
Every once and a while I swept them up and put 
them in half full bottles of tequila, like tarragon 
in vinegar. At ni^t I'd drink the mixture, using 
cocaine for salt and guavas instead of lemons. 

I still ate shit. 





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camels off Che middle class 




i 10 





Writing about dance is one of the hardest 
assignments anyone could hope for: writers 
may think in print, but dancers think in mo- 
tion. The essence of movement gets lost in 
the syntax, and the writer can only suggest im- 
ages that will force the reader's imagination to 
recreate the dance. The result is frustration; 
the effort, in many cases, futile. So, novelists 
write theory, artists write manifestoes, dan- 
cers write autobiographies. 

I'm faced with the criticism that dance is 
merely narcissism made performing art. It's 
painfully true. I would like to believe 
otherwise, but I'm afraid self-love is implicit in 
the creative process — if it's not applause 
you're competiting for, its gallery prizes or 
National Book Awards or any smaller species 
of pats-on-the-back. Why does anyone create 
but to receive love? And yet there must be 
more to it than that, for all artists are not love- 
starved egomaniacs. 

Though some might argue that dance re- 
quires self-obsession, it precludes self- 
indulgence. Dance is a discipline as well as an 
art form. More rigorous than all the demands 
of of diet and exercise is the psychological 
discipline of belief in self — the confidence 



that, as a choreographer, one has something 
important to say, and that, as a performer, 
one's means of expression is worthy of so- 
meone else's designs. Priorities are delicately 
arranged, but the dance must always come 
first. Edwin Denby realized that, "A fine 
dancer who believes in dancing more than in 
himself is a wonderful thing." 

This discipline of emotion is perhaps 
hardest of all. Self-pity manifests itself in new 
ways: adhering to old patterns of movement, 
breaking the diet, cutting a class. These are 
only temporary setbacks in along line of what 
must be called temporary advances. 

For children, movement is spontaneous. 
They jump for joy, they shake with laughter. 
As we grow, movement becomes more 
calculated, backed by a conscious design. 
Dance as an art form contains elements of 
each: composition and improvisation, 
choreography and performance. 

How is movement created? Perhaps more 
than any other art, dance involves every 
aspect of the personality in creation: the con- 
scious mind develops the intent as far as it 
may go in ideas, the subconscious mind 
creates the movement, and the body executes 




it. Dance unites the parts of the person 
segmented by our society, from Eighteenth- 
century rationalism right down to Twentieth- 
century specialization. Though coordination 
has come to mean physical aptitude, its mean- 
ing reaches further to the synchronization of 
mind and body. 

The body improvises movement, the mind 
improves it. This union of body and mind is, 
of all the arts, peculiar to dance. That which 
has always been labelled mindless in the arts 
has been renamed in the Twentieth century — 
the act of creation arises from the sub- 
conscious mind, guided or directed by con- 
scious principles or intent. The choreo- 
grapher may conceive of a theme — big, 
sustained, stationary movement or small, 
quick steps in a pattern — ^then the production 
of the movement ultimately rests with the 
body's experiments, the invention of rhythm 
in motion. 

"The expressive virtue of any dancing is its 
rhythm, and its rhythm is felt only in continui- 
ty," Denby said. To dance is to surrender your 
movement to a higher rhythm, a rhythm 
which controls. This is the maxim which pro- 
duces effortlessness in dancers. If the spring 
of a leap is on the first beat and the landing is 
timed for the fourth, the dancer soars through 
the second and third, reluctant to come 
down. The rhythm, however complex, is non- 
verbal, subconscious. 



It is the driving rhythm, at the heart of one's 
nervous system, that provides the direct con- 
nection between the subconscious mind and 
the physical movement. When two dancers 
agree on a rhythm, they dance together. With 
rhythm as the impetus for movement, the 
dancer ceases to think in ideas or words and 
dwells on the throbbing rhythmic current. 

Accusations of stupidity are levelled im- 
mediately: dance requires no mind, dance is 
anti-intellectual. As for the former (made only 
by non-dancers, not because dancers haven't 
the insight, but because those who do not 
dance fail to understand the relationship of 
mind to body), the best contradiction is found 
in the fact that the best dancers are indeed 
the brightest. Once a rhythm has overtaken 
the central nervous system, manifesting itself 
in movement, the brain goes to work to im- 
prove the movement as art. To add a pause 
here, a burst of energy there, to look up, to 
raise the leg higher before bringing it down 
are all functions of the mind as critic of the 
body as performer. The mind perfects the 
rhythm which the body has assimilated. 

The mindless dancer can only last as long as 
someone else is thinking for her. The "smart" 
dancer is one who brings all that she has 
learned of life to dancing: ultimately, she is 
the more interesting, the more complex to 
watch. With the advent of modern dance 
came the introduction of a wide variety of 




dance aesthetics. In our culture, dance has 
broken from the unified system of training 
and terminology to new approaches, many of 
them unsystematic. The dancer finds the 
theory with which both his mind and body are 
most at home, and then commits herself to It. 

Dance's double nature — ^the dancer as both 
creator and work of art — makes it the most in- 
tensely expressive and personal of all the arts. 
The dancer can do very little to alter the struc- 
ture of her body or the patterns of movement 
and gesture ingrained since childhood. 

Traditionally it has been a woman's art 
form, more subjective than objective as with 
most avenues of expression frequented by 
women. Whereas me have always dealt with 
the same themes on a grander scale, in both 
life and in art, women have been constrained 
by their some what limited roles and ex- 
periences. However, as there is no female 
counterpart for Dostoyevsky, there is no male 
match for Isadora. But the situation is chang- 
ing. The ideal woman is no longer ethereal 
and untouchable: neither is the ideal man 
merely her support. 



In the social sense, movement is indicative 
of one's attitude toward self and others. This 
aspect has carried over into the isolation of 
movement in dance. Dance is a social art, re- 
quiring awareness of and sensitivity to other 
dancers. 

Dance is one art form which can never 
become devoid of humanity. Deborah Jowitt 
has emphasized this: 

The seemingly tireless boys and girls spin- 
ning and leaping and taunting gravity are 
perhaps more vital to our spiritual defense 
than a standing army to our military de- 
fense. In all but the most morbidly sexy 
modern ballets, people dance optimistical- 
ly, openly, and with graciousness and trust 
toward each other. This is far from a trivial 
matter. 



HBD 













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To dance: to move in rhythm. There are no 
standard definitions which produce 
immediate understanding. A dancer moves in 
rhythm — to what? To music sometimes, to 
other bodies, to personal body — happenings: 
heartbeat, breath. 

Dance is reaching the awareness of growing 
numbers of people. And, as with any other 
valuable phenomenon in the public eye, its 
foundations are questioned, changed, 
remolded. There are those who argue that 
traditional European dance is the ultimate in 
achievement, while others claim that we are 
only now cracking the surface to discover the 
limits (if they exist) of the dance experience. 
But, for all the abstraction, dance is always a 
personal experience — it's personal for the 
viewer as well as for the dancer. 
There's something that often happens in 
situations which require some amount of 
concentration and it's particularly noticeable 
when the person concerned is trying hard not 
to concentrate: the monologue. It invariably 
seems to present itself in choreography. 
There are decisions to be made and the 



monologue appears: "try this — it looks better 
with the leg higher, but feels safers with the 
leg lower — try these two phrases 
together — now smooth out the transition," 
and on and on. The monologue sometimes 
follows movement and sometimes leads and 
sometimes acts as a running commentary on 
the work in progress. It is meditative and 
always present. Its presence says something 
about the relationships between mind and 
body that are a necessary part of 
choreography. 

The most obvious dancer's pitfall is 
attachment to the corporeal: if a body is an 
instrument, as it is in dance, the easiest thing 
to do is to get caught up in a body trip (my 
extension is getting better, alignment looks 
pretty good). But dance has to be a mind 
experience too. The question of which takes 
over during specific points of a dance has a lot 
to do with how the dance looks to other 
people and with how it feels to the dancer. 
There is something very liberating about 



dancing without thinking — uncontrolled 
movement. There is a different experience 
involved in dance-with-thought. It is no less 
liberating and, at least in my own experience, 
just as cathartic. 

Dancers dance for many reasons, but one of 
the most important is that it feels good, it's a 
rush. We're told by Paul Reps and our own 
experience that if the things we try to do 
aren't fun, they probably aren't worth doing. 
So we think and we move and we spend 
hours working on a piece that never quite 
works out and it's excruciating sometimes to 
go through a dance class immediately after 
alarm clock and breakfast, but there is a 
pleasure in it too. It can't be pinned down to 
specific happenings. But in its totality, in the 
relationship between mind and body that 
dance requires, the dance process 
encourages exploration of consciousness. 
And that's the most liberating experience of 
all. 

LKD 













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The Chapel 



My first visit to the chapel came in the midst of pro- 
found "boredom. Worn dovm slowly from the September heat and 
made nauseous by the whole situation of freshman week, I 
decided to enter the backwards blasphemy as Christ might have 
entered his tomb a few days before Golgotha. Check it out, 
pre— feel the scene. The doors were hot to the touch, yet 
a cool blast that came from beyond them settled the mission 
in the face of last minute rationalities. I entered, ig- 
noring the guest book, ignoring the woman at the desk, 
ignoring the five perfumed women imitating angels at the 
side. Although the altar bored me from a distance, I pro- 
ceeded up the aisle, confident of my ability to view the 
crucifixion dispassionately, and concentrated on my lack of 
reverence. A yo\mg woman I would not meet until three months 
later was the only other person in the long hall. She did 
not greet me, yet an affinity was there. I was to learn 
about karma that year, and this same woman was to offer me 
qualudes at an orgy, for God's sake, that I was to unwillingly 
attend the night of my first experience with LSD-25. She 
wasn't praying. 

The cmicifixion of Jesus Christ has always struck me as 
perhaps the most tragic example of the himan condition. No 
shit cry the theologians, yet I do not understand their trans- 
cendent salvations derived from the act. God crucifies his 
most lovely manifestation. He does it everyday. Soft, 
beautiful babies are torn to shreds by shrapnel, blood- 
wetting their mothers. Young men in a city, hate filling 
their bellies, whip each other with radio antennas, scars 
forever. How many million people on this earth worship the 
symbol of that torture, search for its repetition with a 
whip of guilt, nailing themselves to a confused binary mecha- 
nism that killed God himself? Do not tell me that Christ 
was reborn. They worship his death, not his life. The 
pilgrim of Emmaus was a new, innocent man, not really knowing 
his own crucifixion. 

Having come within twenty feet of the altar, I halted 
in the middle of the aisle and stood there a few moments, 
staring. The power of the cross ti^tened my stomach. 
Smiling in recognition, though still wary of its direction, 
I began to wonder at ray presence here. Moving to the left, 
I sat down and let my stomach go. 

I heard a preacher say, surrender yourself, all children 
of God, be not amused that your God is odd. I sat for an 
hour, not bored, not mad, not even amused then. Nothing 
happened, the cross endured. In the middle of my vacant 
reverie, the young woman on my right left suddenly with a 
broad smile on her face. As I got up to leave, I saw her 
in the back of the chapel looking toward me. She carefully 
ignored me as I walked out into the morning sun. 

I later learned her name was Xaviera. 




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The Par-fcies 

In the freshman dorm, the house-master told 
us we should have a party. We changed the records 
in the juke box, got the house-master to b-uy us the 
strongest vodka he could get, and filled the rest 
of the garbage can with ice and Hawaiian Punch. We 
drew Carribean scenes on signs and distributed them 
throu^out East Campus. 

The few women who didn't go home alone, seized 
the opportimity to fuck as many of us as they could. 

Our man couldn't get it up. 



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People don't want to accept that about 
themselves, that they're part of the general 
rot, and they react to that angrily, which is a 
very pure reaction, and it's good that it 
happened in a sense. For even the most 
politicized people here at Duke, they share a 
common dream, and that dream has to do 
with finding an interesting profession, a 
stable job that will allow them to rise on the 
ladder, a marriage that's stable and sustains 
them for a long time, a sheltered kind of 
environment where they're protected against 
not only misfortune, but surprise. There's that 
certainty of waking up and knowing that that 
day's not going to be different from the day 
before — it's all part of that myth. And here 
comes this nut on stage with his Wild Turkey 
swinging from his hips telling them not only is 
that image crap, filled with rot and corruption, 
but it ain't gonna happen. No matter how 
much you invest and how many chips you put 
on the table and how many graduate schools 
you attend and how many teachers you suck 
up to and how many unintelligible theses you 
write, it ain't gonna happen. Because 
somewhere at the center of this society 
something is broken, and it's not gonna be 
repaired by dreaming a myth or believing in a 
myth. When someone presents that kind of 
truth it's so incomprehensible it's really tough 
to deal with. 

— From November, 1974, interview with 

Bernard Lefkowitz, journalist and visiting 

Duke professor. 

Reporter, ri por ter, n. One who reports; a 
member of a newspaper staff whose duty it is 
to give an account of the proceedings of 
public meetings and entertainments, collects 
information respecting interesting or 
important events, and the like. 

— Webster, not a Duke professor or a 

journalist. 



gonzoid specimen number 1 




Page Auditorium. October 22, about 
nine-thirty. This will be hard. 

Leaving with the chaos vibes I kick a paper 
airplane that somehow got long-armed to the 
back rows and wonder how this will be done. 
Cannot find Dean Griffith but talk briefly to 
badly shaken Denise Creech in Flowers 
Lounge. Leave the poor girl alone. 
Deliberately shirk my responsibility to COVER 
(the whole) STORY and go with Jane to the CI 
where people jokingly console me about 
having to resurrect some front page fire from 
the ashes of this whiskeyed journalist's 
"speech." I make notes. My head has been 
spinning all evening long from this darvon 
Pickens gave me for the eye infection and it 
makes the two beers go twice as far, so am 
roughly in Hunter's shape when I get around 
to mounting two flights of stairs, open a 
closed door that says "Editor" on it. I am not 
up to this. 

"Where have you been anyway?" David 
asks. The bad stare is justified, of course. I 
have been fucking around in the Cambridge 
Inn instead of transforming myself into the 
relentless amphetemined lemming that all 
good reporters are. He is used to this kind of 
flaming imcompetence on the Chronicle, only 
not so carefully planned and executed. Steve 
is staring blankly at the floor, thinking, 
hopefully, and some Union heavies are 
assembled for their official backstage report 
to the press. Tried to find Dean Griffith, I 
explain, talked to Denise there a little — uh, hi 
Denise — but mainly went to the CI. Didn't 
want to go into it, really, that dinner at the 
pits, my eye, the coffee to kill the darvon, the 
speech bummer and now these beers were 
making me ill. My eye throbbed and I wanted 
to go to bed. 

Steve finally lifts his head. "Look, it's 
manageable, it's manageable. Dan does the 
speech story, David, you do the Union side of 
it. We'll run two stories." 

It is 10:30. Leave with my notebook for the 
managing editor's cubby hole to start typing, 
pause briefly to notice perhaps for the 
hundredth time that magic-markered gem 
scribbled over the drinking fountain: 'The 
only dope worth shooting is Nixon." At least 
four years old, it is — even if half-serious — a 
vestige of the political pretensions the 
Chronicle once had or pretended to have. 
Maybe they have never been more than nice, 
introverted suburban kids exchanging polo 
shirts and Bass Weejuns for workshirts and 



sandals (but with tweed in the closet), their 
cocktail party civility for a little rhetoric, but 
they could be very serious people. It was not 
just the political tone then, wrought through 
tough editorials on everything from the war, 
sexism and racism to scum in the garden 
pond, but the corresponding energies. At 
three in the morning in 1971 I once watched in 
horror as the managing editor penned a 
steamy half-edit essentially accusing UNC 
football coach Bill Dooley of murdering that 
player who dropped dead while running 
around the track. Something which could 
never happen now, the country, Duke 
students and so the Chronicle having 
"mellowed out." Everybody but Thompson: 
"No one has beaten him as bad as he 
deserves, and no one really comprehends 
how evil he is. The horror of it all is that he 
reflects the rot in all of us." 

I grab a fat stack of eight-and-a-half by 
eleven yellow copy paper out of a drawer. Up 
at third floor Flowers the stuff is everywhere, 
strewn on the floor, tacked up on walls and 
slipped into typewriter carriages for memos 
between staff people. The first time I used it 
was early in 1971 for an article on the new 
West campus tennis courts. The piece is 
short, not very good and (to let me know this) 
crammed under the Spectrum section on 
page two. The assistant managing editor that 
night was very nice about it, maybe too kind, 
since the short messy, poorly worded blurb 
would have sent most newspaper vets 
screaming down the stairs, doubled up in 
hysterics, and into the CI for sanctuary. But he 
printed the damn thing anyway.... Along with 
the yellow, the mad urgency of the NYT wire 
machine though not cacaphonous 
chugga-chugga which, being both frantic and 
seductive, is the perfect metaphor for 
newspaper work. It never stops, and the mind 
tends to look back into it as you think and 
type. Jane, from whom night editing has 
robbed a night's sleep, suggests some lines. 
"Beer cans and an occasional joint passed 
among the rows of Page as Thompson..." 

Around 11 :00 Harriet from the Tar Heel calls 
and asks what's happening "officially" 
between Thompson, his agency and the 
Union. Tell her to talk to David or Rick or John 
Miller or anyone but me. I am much more 
obsessed with capturing on this yellow paper 
what happened at something I actually saw 
but cannot comprehend. Anne mercifully 
shows up with beer and wine, John Miller 




stops in. Rick caiis. Spending the day with 
Thompson has taken its awful toll, shoving 
him to the brink of a minor nervous 
breakdown. Terrible, terrible, he moans, the 
Doctor started right in by ripping the headrest 
of the passenger seat of his Volvo, kept 
stopping for beers and jabbering about his 
need for "medicine." Could I lash together a 
story on this? Am I even going to attempt if? 
he asks. 

Yes. 

Close to midnight there is another 
disturbance. A Chronicle hangout type comes 
in to put the mock moves on Jane, half-asleep 
over a typewriter. I politely tell this asshole to 
go away and shut the door; some screechy 
Bitch is croaking for my story so she can go 
home. Remember that guy from freshman 
year, when we were both new reporters and 
he was a YAFer with short hair, a big car and a 
rich father? A long-locked "radical" now, he is 
still tainted with that garrish piece of Detroit 
iron and, like many of these paper people, 
tends to choose his women, like the Bitch, 
and good buddies from Chroniclites. This 
practice inevitably turns up in love affairs, 
friendships, cliques, love triangles, frail egos 
and much fear and loathing on the Chronicle. 
Newspapers tend to breed incestuous 
offspring. Many new children die off quickly, 
the rest left to carry on comraderies and plot 
the editorships, ineptly pimping freshman 
reporters for their edit council vote in the 
Spring. Very arm-pitsy, so there are many 
good reasons not to attend edit council 
meetings or go on the retreats. God, drinking 
a lot of wine in the woods with a bunch of 
Chronicle people has always seemed about as 
exciting as playing poker with a bunch of 
nuns. "It's just another place at Duke for boys 
and girls to meet other boys and girls," an 
ex-Chronicle heavy once told me. If they 
weren't so damn close socially — but 
professionally instead, he added, the 
Chronicle could be a really great college 
paper. Maybe so, but at this hour, who cares? 

My notes are hard to read, eye hurts. Where 
is Thompson now? Never occurred to me to 
hunt him down for a statement. Is that 
Thompson aficianado Morris getting an 
interview, like he said he would, feeding the 
Doctor Wild Turkey and stuffing a 
microphone in his face? It's late, and the 
repetition of images has no mercy on the 
deadened mind. The Thompson movie keeps 
attacking, reeling away those jerky 
movements and gritty speed-laced squawks 
of a whiskey man fished out of a hotel 



bathtub, hauled over to Page, and thrown like 
meat to the wired gargoyles, restless and 
knowing that anyone this tanked up, this 
crazy, is easy prey, naked lunch. Those stupid 
Union people, they're responsible for this — a 
very bad set-up, ambush, really. Suggested 
column for Friday's paper: 

"Poetic justice and Hunter Thompson 
would both insist the person whose idea it 
was to cast the journalist in a 
podium/stage/lecture setting in Page 
Wednesday night be flogged into 
unconsciousness, carted out to Hillsboro in a 
wagon and stretched in two by sinewy field 
beasts, then ground into fine pinkish powder 
for snorting purposes..." 

Finished at 1:00. I like the story. David's 
been in for thirty minutes and Annie N. 
begins to type mine, dutifully checking my 
messy copy for errors and suggesting 
changes. Cod, forgot about finishing up the 
edit pages but, great, Larry has cropped the 
Rockefeller picture for the Lewis column, 
Ralph, the paste-up man, will do the rest. Do 
not worry, these are very competent people 
up here tonight. Relax. 

1:30. The story is ready. After changing the 
pasteup a bit and correcting a few typos we 
have a four-column two-deck headline space 
to fill — tastefully. This takes two hours of 
rumaging through tired brains. Steve, 
evidently, still has a great deal of energy. He is 
over there insisting that night editor Zipp's 
suggestion of "Thompson, Crowd Run 
Amuck" does not cut the mustard, is not 
journalistically or aesthetically pleasing. This 
starts people making up weird headlines, 
laughing over them. People are giddy. Around 
3:00 the right head emerges: "Thompson, 
Audience Clash in Page Chaos." Am amazed 
by Steve's meticulous quest when no one 
really cares any longer. 

3:00. Walking around, drinking coffee, 
doing nothing really. I watch Steve and Zipp 
do national news heads and jump pages. 
Ralph has gone home, Zipp is about to — he 
has a test in six hours. My body is numb but 
the head still a grey circus of the Page Chaos 
as I stare at the too-familiar-now words and 
pictures people will see tomorrow, while I am 
still asleep. Paper goes to Mebane and I to 
Buchanan Avenue, exhausted. But there is no 
falling off so I read fifty or sixty pages of 
Steve's On the Campaign Trail (all the while 
the demon wire machine keeps beating 
through me) until the sun comes up and there 
is battered, reluctant sleep. 



Thompson, audience 
clash in Page chaos 



By Dan Hull 

"Is there any coherence in this thing? I feel like 
I'm in a hicking slaughterhouse in Chicago early in 
the morning." 

In a pathetic attempt to slide something coherent 
through his staccato mumble, Gonzo journalist Dr. 
Hunter S. Thompson was met last night at Page 
Auditorium with a bevy of jeers, curses, and a 
request by the Duke University Union to leave the 
stage. 

According to Union spokespersons, it was 
expected that the slightly inebriated Thompson 
would drive away the audience if his talk turned 
out particularly monotonous. 

Frustrated by the dialogue between the 
disjointed speaker and the belligerent audience, 
some did leave while others, many of whom were 
as well-oiled as Thompson, remained until the 
journalist was escorted off the stage. 
Beer and joints 

Beer cans and an occasional joint passed among 
the rows of the auditorium as Thompson, forty 
minutes late and looking more like a lanky tourist 
than a radical journalist, poked across the stage to 
the podium. 

Slouching there, Thompson began: "I have no 
speech, nothing to say. I feel like a piece of meat," 
referring to his marketing by his lecture agency. 

Having tossed aside the index cards on which 
were written questions from the audience, 
Thompson received few serious oral questions 
from the audience. 

"What I'd really like to be in is an argimient," he 
said. 

When a baby cried Thompson miunbled, "That's 
the most coherent fucking thing I've heard all 
night." 

In most cases, serious questions and Thompson's 
responses to them were inaudible or incoherent. 

Visibly put off by the belligerent Duke audience 
whom he repeatedly referred to as "beer hippies," 
Thompson was most relaxed and clear when 
talking about Richard Nixon. 

"Nobody's beaten him as bad as he deserves," 
Thompson emphasized. "And nobody really 
comprehends how evil he is. The real horror of it 
all is that he reflects the rot in all of us." 

"Hell, we elected him. The bastard won by the 
greatest majority since George Washington." 

Thompson then urged the audience to "go out 
and vote." 



Maintaining that the 1968 Democratic 
Convention in Chicago "kicked off an era," 
Thompson recalled somewhat disjointedly that 
before going there he took along his motorcycle 
helmet left over from his Hell's Angels days. (In the 
sixties he rode with the Angels in order to research 
a book on the group). 

"After I got there, I found out why I had brought it 
with me," he said. 

During the forty minute encounter [he was asked 
to leave at about 9:30), Thompson commented 
briefly on other subjects. 

The 1976 Democratic Presidential candidate: 
"Mondale." 

Terry Sanford's possibly candidacy: "I hope not." 

Gary Hart, the Democratic candidate for Senate 
in Colorado "He'll win, but he's a sell-out." 

England: "A coal mine in the Atlantic. Next to a 
potato farm." 

When asked a serious but largely inaudible 
question concerning the rise of consumer politics, 
Thompson yanked the shotgun-style microphone 
around the podium attempting to focus it in the 
direction of the questioner, a good 25 yards away. 

"Violence is always sort of a self-satisfying 
thing," he added. 

It was at this point, reportedly, that the Union 
people began to seriously considered pulling 
Thompson from the stage. Asked by someone 
whether the Rockefeller family was encouraging 
"canabalism in South America," an incredulous 
Thompson tossed up the remainder of his Wild 
Turkey onto the velvet curtain behind him, and 
scattered the rest of his unused index cards. 

Amidst jeering and confusion. Union program 
advisor Linda Simmons escorted Thompson off 
stage. Afterwards Thompson talked for an hour 
with about 100 students in the garden behind Page 
Auditorium. 

Post mortems on Thompson's abbreviated Duke 
debut varied. 

One rather inebriated disciple was overheard 
saying, "I thought it was great, anyway. Just great." 

But another student remarked, "I'm totally 
embarrassed — ^for everyone." 

A third student commented, "This was 
fantastic — guerrilla theater, theater of the 
absurd — ^all in one night. Good times at Duke." 



I crutch for those too weak to face up to drugs. 



Preshperson English 

Thirty rows ahead of me and twenty-five feet 
below me there was a man talking from behind a 
lectiirn. 

The color symbolism of traffic li^ts figures 
large in the scheme of The Great Gatsby , he said. 

The guy beside me was drawing a picture of 
the lecturer in his notebook. It wasn't a very 
good likeness. 

At the end of the period we were assigned a 
paper to be called, East Egg vs. West Egg. 





>- 



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Duke exerts more than it gives. Here there are some 
good teachers and pressure sufficient to bare the 
personality of all but the struggle to keep soul 
complete. Duke is the testing ground for the world 
with a short future. There is a joke that the cathedral 
on West Campus is Duke's last erection. He has 
penetrated all who live here and has violated many. I 
am saddened by my friends who function less well 
now than before, for my friends who in furious 
activity try to support their damaged person, for my 
friends who like myself have strengthened the 
intellect but, for now, have lost the will. On this 
campus walk old men. Some are spent and sinking, 
retracing the paths of wayward students. A few still 
teach. Human life exposed in their face, they speak 
through their subject, of what is right and what is 
other than right. They know the power of the 
ancients and would rather remain silent than misuse 
it. Duke is a loud place that has not listened to its old 
men. It has aged its students, ripened few. 

Anonymous student via the C/iant/c/eer questionnaire □ 



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The Dorms 

One day in the dorm when I'd left my floor 
to avoid the shaving cream fi^ts and the trash— 
harrels-full of water that were being emptied 
into the hall, I met, in the basement, a guy 
named George Barry. He was destroying the last 
intact piece of furniture in this room. He was 
screaming. She shit on me I SHE SHIT ON ME! 
The front legs of the chair collapsed when they 
hit the floor. 

George's face had the kind of pock marks 
that gave rise to the old joke: \fliat'd you. do, 
try to put out the fire on your face with an 
ice— pick? He had stubbly blonde hair, was built 
like the proverbial fire plug — thick, bowed 
legs, ferocious, meaty shoulders — and came from 
Alabajna, 

George came up to me, face streaming with 
sweat, and clamped a hand on my shoulder. She 
shouldna done that. He shook his head back and 
forth, as if hypnotized by the motion, leaned 
over, picked up the leg of a table, and tossed 
it across the room. He looked at me again. She 
shouldna done it, he said. 





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Editor's note: The following are portions of an interview 
with Bernard Lefkowitz, a visiting wnter who taught a 
sei-ies of courses on journalism for the Public Policy 
Institute in the fall. The interview was conducted by a 
Mr. Daniel Hull and appeared in the April! 2 Ruby. 



Some students in one of your classes told me that you 
were sitting around in the CI one night and told them 
something to the effect that you couldn't really handle 
being a student at Duke University right now, that it 
would somehow "stifle" you. What did you mean? 
What I meant was that, thinking back to what I was like 
at eighteen or nineteen, there are all sorts of things 
here that I would have found very difficult to grapple 
with. One of them is the kind of social life that the 
University has. Secondly, — and I can go into each of 
these in a little more detail — is the political 
environment, and third is the "closeness" of the 
residential system, which seems to me confining. I 
think the big thing would've been the social life, but 
the other stuff, too. And fourth is the kind of fairly 
intense competition for grades. I went to a college with 
high academic standards, but there was a whole lot of 
flexibility within those standards. They compensated 
for the fact that you worked on the paper or, you know, 
that you were half-asleep when you came into some 
classes. I don't remember ever having a course where 
people on a regular basis had to miss one night of 
sleep a week to do the readings for it. You always get 
sort of stuffed up at the end of the semester, but it 
seems here that there's this incredible "paper chase" 
that happens on all sorts of levels that I've never 
experienced. Those are some of the things that I was 
thinking about. 

Could that "intense competition for grades" have 
something to do with the type of student that comes to 
Duke? 

Oh yeah, we can talk about that, about the selection 
process, how certain kinds of students come here, and 
then their values are reinforced by the University. It 
makes it difficult for them to escape that kind of cycle 
because they're eighteen or nineteen, not at an age 
where they can very easily make independent choices. 
You know it's very hard for people to say "hey, this isn't 
my scene, I want to get out, I want to go someplace 
else." They have their parents' approval to deal with, 
and other students and friends look at them as some 
kind of failure. And there's also a compulsion to chose 
early what you're going to do with the rest of your life. 
By getting into another scene, you're defering that 
choice in some ways, and that's very upsetting to some 
people. And the economy adds to that a little; these 
students are fairly privileged, so the economy doesn't 
bear as heavily as it does on other groups and classes, 
but it still comes down pretty hard. The emphasis is on 
"make sure that you're heading in a direction that's 
going to offer a promising job or career. 
What do you find "stifling" about the social life here!? 
What I find stifling about the social life here — and I'm 
talking about it the way I would be if I were eighteen or 
nineteen — is the kind of regularity of the social life. 
You're seeing the same faces, basically, every day. The 
events are all planned and organized either by the 



college or a particular dorm or sorority. It's a whole lot 
different than living in the big city: you left campus and 
you got onto a subway, you didn't know what you were 
going to do that night, but you had a whole city to 
choose from. You could catch a 1943 flick, go to the 
Museum of Modern Art or stand outside in thirty 
degree weather and listen to jazz coming up from a 
cellar club. You could even do that at eighteen, and 
you could do it without a lot of money. 
Well, isn't all that just a function of the difference 
between Duke in Durham and Columbia in New York 
City? 

It's not just location. Also, there are other colleges that 
by their choice of students and the way they're 
organized, try to present a more diversified, freer kind 
of environment. There's a big emphasis here on group 
activities, or travelling with the group, on doing what 
the rest of the group wants to do. Suppose you're not 
beautiful or classically good looking, you're not heavy 
into rock, your ideas are somewhat outside of the main 
current; Where do you find a place here? How do you 
find some kind of security on this campus? 
A lot of people think, on the other hand, that Duke is 
such a "zoo" that anyone can come here and find a 
place. You disagree with that. 

I think there are small groups that are not part of the 
main current here — maybe graduate students, some 
grad students, not the premed types — who are little 
"off." But I think that most of the students I meet here 
share certain values — politically, they don't move very 
far to the left or the right, or they don't think very much 
about politics. In terms of personal relationships, most 
of it is grounded on sexuality. All life is grounded on 
sexuality, but here it's all in some kind of crazily 
impersonal way. I don't know if love affairs were any 
more meaningful when I was going to college, but here 
it's all in a tremendously physical way. I never hear a 
guy say, "Hey, she's really interesting" or "She's really 
got a good head, smart person, she's done so and so." 







And I rarely hear anything different when a woman 
talks about a guy; it's whether they're cute or sexy or 
drink a lot of beer. 

Would you say that men and women view each other 
differently at, say, Vassar, Radcliffe, Harvard or 
Columbia? 

...I don't think there's much difference. ...Maybe what 
I'm talking about is this: I'm afflicted with this memory 
bank, and I think about what three or four years ago 
was like, not only on college campuses, but around the 
country. There was a whole lot of craziness, insanity 
and suicidal tendencies, but there was a kind of 
vibrancy, a feeling of being part of something, a 
committment, even if it was the most superficial 
commitment and lasted for the shortest time. It was a 
sense of being part of something. When you don't feel 
that, and the only thing you're a part of is some 
amorphous group called the fraternity or the 
dormitory, or even your three roommates and you're 
figuring out a way to pass tests and blow off steam 
when the tests are over, that's the whole cycle. So 
maybe we're talking about a national thing. 
So maybe Duke is just a part of the "return to the 
mindless fifties?" 

I was part of the "mindless fifties," and they weren't so 
fucking mindless. There was this growing, incredible 
sense of an explosion on the horizon and you could 
see it vaguely in the distance. People were reading 
writers who were alienated and disaffected because 
they were feeling alienation and disaffection, and they 
were looking for someone who could share that 
feeling. I was reminded of that a great deal when 
Hunter Thompson was here, being taken off the stage 
and everything. I talked to my class about it. People say, 
well, he was drunk, he was stoned, what the hell, he 
didn't deserve anything better than that. And I said, you 
know, one of the big issues when I was in college was a 
thing called the Speakers Ban, where people who had 
radical political views were not allowed by law to speak 
on university campuses for fear that they would in 
some way or other influence tender minds. I get very 
nervous when people are taken off stages, almost 
without exception, because I don't know what the next 
step is. If William Buckley comes on stage and I find the 
stuff he says unacceptable, do I got up and grab him 
off? Will the University begin to say a year from now 





that only people who have ideas within certain limits 
are allowed to speak? I get very nervous about that stuff 
because I went through that. So the fifties weren't 
really as mindless as people suggest: it was a nervous 
time, because people didn't know what was coming. 
We began to get a taste of it when the Freedom Riders 
went South, the civil rights thing began to develop and 
we began to understand the issues. We could feel 
things instinctively. The dangerous thing here is that 
this seems mindless in a lot of ways, because people 
don't seem to be edgy and nervous about anything. 
They seem to be edgy and nervous about passing tests, 
getting a job, etc. 

Did the Hunter Thompson event sum up anything for 
you about Duke students or Duke University? 
The problem is I don't know how many people in that 
audience were Duke students. He brought out a lot of 
people who had the stuff and felt some connection 
with him on a lot of levels... I couldn't blame the paper 
plane phenomenon on Duke students, and the 
ridiculous consequences. Even / wrote a ridiculous 
question down because I assumed that given Duke 
students' performance in the past, that everybody 
would be asking solemn things like "Do you think 
Hubert Humphrey will make another try for the 
presidency?" So I asked him if he was taking a job on 
The New York Times in the Business Section 'cause I 
thought I'd break it up, but everybody else was asking 
the same questions. So its really hard to know if the 
Thompson things sums up Duke students. I think that 
what sums up Duke students more in a way is the CI at 
ten o'clock at night, or walking through some or 
around the dorms at one in the morning. What seemed 
to sum up Duke more and seems to me the most 
fascinating issue since I've been here is the 
Cleland/House P thing.... 

The House P thing. I understand you think that 
people — students, the paper — should have made an 
issue of it. 

It goes back to when we started talking about what 
seems to be the values here. Here's a policy that was 
apparently tacitly sanctioned by the University. The 
Hanes House raids were fairly common occurances, 
they went both ways and there was a lot of fun and 
games. But there's a whole lot of symbolism behind 
those raids: the way male students react to female 



students, the way female students react to male 
students, the way the University thinks its perfectly 
proper for students to act. And that got out of hand, a 
sanctioned policy got out of hand. Some bizarre stuff 
happened and everybody got upset. But I don't think 
they should have been so much upset at the students 
in House P or the housemasters — I don't think they're 
to blame. I don't even think the students who shot off 
from the group and went to Cleland are to blame. I 
think a University policy which made this general kind 
of behavior permissible is to blame. And what's gonna 
happen is that it will make an atypical incident: some 
students are going to get some penalties and it'll be 
forgotten as an aberration rather than part of a 
university policy, I think discussion of the thing on this 
campus would have been more useful if it was 
conducted along those lines. 

It's still not certain whether the University will come out 
with some sort of covering policy on dorm raids. You 
wouldn't image at this point that anything'll be done 
about it, given what you've seen at Duke so far? 
I don't know, I hope they do. But there's two things. 
One is they could do something about it. Secondly, it 
would be better to discuss the University's policy in the 
past because a lot of students have taken the brunt of 
this. These are freshmen, right? What do they know 
about the past? All they know is that it's been 
communicated to them that it's acceptable to do those 
raids. Nobody has said, well, don't rape anybody, get 
this high, but not higher, go into a room and yell 
something at a woman but don't take her panties off. 
Those gradations aren't spelled out; 
How does it strike you that Duke University students 
would do that anyway? They're at a place that lays some 
claim to academic excellent and all that, and it's 
supposed to be a good school, the Harvard of the 
South. 

First of all, I'm terribly skeptical about academic 
excellence. Can I do an anecdote? I was talking to a 
faculty member, who will remain unnamed, about a 
week or so ago, I was telling the professor about a 
student who had some criticisms about some courses 
he was taking. And the professor said, "Oh, I know that 
student, that student was in my class." And I said, 
"Yeah, that student's in my class now, too. I thought his 
criticism was pretty much on the mark." The professor 





said "Yeah, but the student has a second-rate mind," 
and therefore his criticism is invalid. ..Is academic 
excellence the ability to make good grades, to agree 
with teacher's views, to memorize material? How much 
freedom is there to be accepted and to even be 
praised, and receive good grades, when you sharply 
disagree with teachers, when you say they're full of 
crap on a lot of issues? "How much freedom is there to 
do that? Maybe that's the measure of "academic 
excellence." If everybody here were getting straight 
A's, that doesn't mean that, on the side, they couldn't 
go off and pull a House P number. 
You've said that Duke students tend to be traditional, 
about playing the grade game, having certain social 
patterns. Is the faculty like that? Are they 
unimaginative? Do they lack the sort of energy you seek 
Dookies to lack? 

I think they have enormous energy when its directed 
toward their own success and status. I feel very 
awkward about that question. I've met only a small 
number of faculty members within a limited area. . . . 
But I have a sense that there's a very traditional 
academic attitude here: Do the research, get tenure, 
teach a couple of acceptable classes, and continue that 
line for twenty-five years. One thing most of them do 
not do is take a lot of time to step outside of the 
academic world and trying something else. It always 
boggles my mind to go from Kindergarten to age 
forty-five one straight — with the possible exception of 
military service — thing in the classroom! The 
conversations are stylized, the relationships are 
stylized. The great victims of that is faculty wives, who 
have stepped outside in a lot of cases, and have to play 
that game that's been fashioned by their husbands, but 
they don't feel a part of that game, aside from it being 
part of their marriage. Larry Coodwyn, a teacher here, 
once said that there's a whole lot of "deadness" on the 
faculty, and I think there is deadness in the sense that 
there's a lack of surprise, a lack of imagination and 
initiative, at least among some of the people. 
For a long time there's been a feeling on this campus 
that there's a tremendous schism between professors 
and students. You seem to hang out a great deal with 
students. Why? 

They're more interesting than the faculty members. As 
you know, I really have an enormously warm feeling 
towards the students here. They're delightful, 
charming people; they're fun to be around. A number 
of them are very responsive. And it's fun to give them 
my little pitch and talk about the kinds of political 
discussions they're not likely to get into with another 
teacher, or to talk about journalism in a very 
straightforward way, to talk about the University. 
Sometimes we talk about their personal lives. I find that 
interesting. And they don't have as many barriers to 
those discussions as faculty members do. I remember a 
faculty party I once went to where everybody sat in a 
semi-circle, the wine came out at nine-thirty, the 
cheese came out at ten o'clock, the coffee came out at 
ten-thirty and we left at eleven. The only thing we 
didn't do was parade out in a straight line; I mean, it 
was so bad that people had to raise their hands to be 
heard in the group! It was like a fucking classroom! So I 
find students much more fun to be with than faculty. 
What about athletes here? 

You know, this is the first time I've met the caricature of 
the athlete who's always been described in newspapers 
and magazines as this huge guy on a football treadmill 



and maybe on his way to a professional career. He 
thinks as the rest of the team does, does the kind of 
things traditionally associated with athletes. When I 
went to college, athletes intellectually, socially and 
politically were as diverse and Interesting a group as 
the rest of the student population. There are athletes 
here. I'm sure, who are really interesting — I've met one 
or two. But I've also seen some incredibly barbaric 
stuff, and sat in on conversations in the dining halls 
with athletes that really sound like a 1940 image of what 
an athlete is like. I don't know how much attention is 
given in recruiting an athlete, to what kind of a person 
he is, or what his attitudes are. And I don't know if any 
attention is given to the selection of other students on 
those terms. 

Do you think it's imcompatible with the spirit of a 
university like Duke to have a fairly heavy athletics 
recruitment/scholarship program? 

Depends on what your attitude about Duke is. In my 
sense, it's perfect/)/ compatible. I think Duke wants to 
be a university with everything. It wants to be a pretty 
university, it wants to be a relatively placid university. 
At the same time it wants at least a surface of vigor, and 
clash of ideas. It wants excellence academically; at the 
same time it does not want any big departmental fights 
over politics, or any teachers who move off the center 
too much.... It's a kind of perfect balance, and the 
football team fits in the middle of that. It's "good" to 
have a football team, that wins a certain number of 
games, but not too many, because you don't want to be 
called a "football factory." I don't know what would 
happen if Duke was listed in the top five. Maybe 
Harvard would get upset and Duke couldn't be called 
the "Harvard of the South." 




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Look, motherfucker, don't tread on me. 
counted the scars on his face. 



I took off my shirt and went to Gilbert- 
Addoms, Running my hand through the luxurious 
hair on my chest, I reassured myself that some 
yoting dahlin from Alabama or some such fucking 
place would want to be held in my arms and be 
told of her tender charms. 

I ate a lifesaver. 

At the door to the women's dorm I was met 
by a cyclone fence topped with four feet of 
barbed wire. Bovine women smelling like lemon- 
ade were grazing in the grassless lobby. They 
drove me nuts, I wanted to arrange them all 
arotmd me and like a kada I wanted to put every 
appendage of my form into every orifice of theirs. 
We would wriggle so hard that Chubby Checker would 
fall out of everyone's memory and break. 

Behind the barricade sat an overwei^t 
woman the color of moth balls. She smiled. 

Who's calling please? I could have fucked 
her ri^t there. 

I didn't. Shrieking in terror I ran out the 
door, threw myself onto the ground. I rubbed my 
face in the grass. 



V. .* 



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The Tunnels 

When I found out about the tunnels, 
I knew. 

It wasn't difficult to improvise 
a living space in them. 

It was funny how easily I adapted. 
It's all down there, you know. 

I put a poster of Schopenhauer on 
the wall, ate a quart of raw clams I had 
hou^t that afternoon, and masturbated, 
thinking of that chick I'd seen in the 
chapel. 

I had touched the bottom of my meta- 
physical despair, I told myself. 



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camels of the ruling class 



MAKING THE NUT AT DUKE 



Prologue 
lournalism is not a profession or 
a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for 
fuckoffs and misfits — a false 
doorway to the backside of life, a 
filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed 
off by the building inspector, but 
just deep enough for a wino to curl 
up from the side-walk and 
masturbate like a chimp in a 
zoo-cage. 

— Hunter S. Thompson 

My Editor grinned as he handed 
me two .44 magnum shells. With 
my pocket knife I pried the brass 
casings away from the lead slugs. I 
pulled the bullet out with my teeth 
and spit it into the corner. I 
separated the powder into two 
even piles. Travis descended upon 
one of them with a rolled ten 
dollar bill; inhaling sharply, he 
snorted the smokeless black 
powder up into his sinuses. A 
direct hit. The stuff scored on his 
brain, the power of the first rush 
sending him out of the Yearbook 
office screaming: "Layout, copy! 
Roll the presses!" 

"Next?" I asked. Most of the 
others in the crowded room were 
reluctant to involve themselves in 
that sort of high-powered 
chemistry, so O.Z. the 
photography editor, and I, shared 
the remaining hit. 

Spring semester, and the 
editorial staff of the Duke 
Yearbook had aril become 
borderline gunpowder junkies. 
They would come up to me on the 
quad with that crazed look in the 
eyes, looking to turn out my 
sinuses. Which was fine with me, 
except that my Editor, a six-foot 
Irishman with a red pony tail, 
constantly exhorted me to turn in a 
draft of my story. 



"Something on the Duke 
Experience, that's all I ask," he was 
always telling me. 

But I had better things to 
experience: my job, my 
Shakespeare paper, and a young 
woman who lived near the VA 
Hospital. 

Finally I decided to devote ten 
days to the story. Alas, they turned 
out to be an important ten days, 
some of the most exciting and 
revealing times of my Duke 
Experience. I was amused. 

On the eve of my ten day 
adventure I attended a meeting in 
Cross Chemistry Auditorium. The 
administration had been coming 
on feisty with budget cuts for two 
weeks, some of which would 
mangle the forestry program, the 
environmental studies program, 
and the Primate Center. In light of 
the type of people associated with 
these departments and the 
planned construction of a new 91 
million dollar hospital, many of the 
faculty and students were 
sceptical. Many of the hundred or 
more in Cross that night were 
actually outraged. 

Chan Smith, curly hair and work 
shirt, mc'd the show, and he did it 
with style and class. He was 
experienced in these matters, 
having been at Duke for almost 



seven years. A veteran of the 1969 
takeover of Allen Building and 
terrorization of then president 
Doug Knight's home (at which time 
the demands of the dissident 
students included one that the 
Duke administration stop the 
killing in Viet Nam), Chan had 
strong feelings about the Forestry 
Issue. He had been president of 
ASDU when that body had passed 
a resolution declaring null and 
void all regulations of the 
University. 

Everyone knows — if they read 
Time or Newsweek — that the 
students of the Seventies are more 
cynical and less politically active. 
And Duke is no exception. So I was 
surprised to see so many angry 
faces that night, sitting there 
throwing around words like 
Mobilization! Strike! Community 
Organizing! The adrenalin buzz of 
the crowd was written all over their 
rhetoric. 

The buzz was not sustained, 
however. Within a week the 
original furor caused by Sanford's 
arrogance and Fred Cleaveland's 
foot-eating had been subverted by 
an insidious disease called The 
Politics of Nostalgia. 

An organized movement was 
born, "The Movement for Shared 
Authority" or MSA. Its goals were 
hazier, its leadership shadowy, and 
its energy was sustained for about 
one week. That week ended with a 
day-long lesson in the Politics of 
Nostalgia: a "teach-in" on the 
subject of shared authority. 

At this point I must confess my 
own participation in the 
Movement. In fact, I put in some 
very long and cold hours painting 
cliches on the bridge between 
campuses. They were all good, 
principled people, and I don't 
regret my own part in the 
proceedings. I can't however, 
neglect my responsibilities to the 
story and let them off the hook 
completely. 

I can take a joke. 

The Politics of Nostalgia are best 
explained through example. There 
was the revival, on Wednesday, of 




the clenched fist stencil painted in 
blue this time on the sidewalks and 
walls on West. At Friday's teach-in 
the students who gathered in front 
of the Union were warmed up by 
Bob Dylan ("The times, they are a 
changin") on the PA, followed by 
live locals singing other songs that 
had warmed other crowds — at 
Chicago in '68, Washington in '67, 
and Berkeley before that. At Duke 
in '75 they sounded like dropped 
change. There wasn't a cop in 
sight. 

Even Chan Smith couldn't resist 
the urge to refer us back to those 
glory days of the Allen takeover, if 
only to assure us that this 
movement is better organized and 
more mature and knowledgeable 
than his previous venture. But he 
was later to admit that organization 
and information were just that, and 
wouldn't quite make the nut on 
their own. 

There was an element of 
uncertainty infused throughout all 
of the radical rhetoric. Even the 
organizers of the demonstration 
sensed the impotence of it; anxiety 
bordered the voices that spoke in 
the planning sessions. The fiery 
rhetoric of the Sixties could be 
copied, but the self-assuredness 
was missing. We had read Mailer 
and Wolfe, and none of us were 
quite convinced that we weren't 
being silly. In fact, the odds looked 





good that at the end of this 
particular tunnel lay only the 
smouldering disillusionment of 
our predecessors, our friends, 
brothers, and sisters, who had 
passed this way in their own time. 

Mindful as I was of all the 
inherent contradictions of my own 
participation in this entropic 
movement, I set myself about the 
task of researching into the deeper 
nature of the Politics of Nostalgia. 
Behind my investigation was the 
feeling that if there was to be a 
new uprising of the kind of 
intrepid spirit that had inspired 
Duke in the late Sixties, it could 
not come until this particular 




breed of sentimentality had been 
recognized and expurgated. Real 
rebellion leaves little time for such 
sappy hearkening back to the good 
ole days. We had to get into the 
present, at least. 

Chan Smith shared this feeling. 
Disgusted with the bureaucratic 
tone that one of those movement 
meetings had assumed, we 
departed to watch a video tape of 
Friday's big teach-in. On that 
afternoon the MSA — in spite of 
endless folk-singers and boring 
speakers — had banded together 
several hundred student-types in 
an audio assault on Allen 
Building — more specifically, on the 



ears of Terry Sanford. After fifteen 
minutes of sign-waving and slogan 
chanting we finally brought him 
down to the front steps. There he 
refused to answer any of the 
demands, using the fact that he 
was standing on a bush as an 
excuse for meaningless mumbling. 

It was all very exciting. 

But now, five days later on video 
tape, the real mood of the crowd 
was revealed. The looks on the 
faces were: bored, basically. 
People were getting up on the 
speaker's platform and delivering 
the most inflamatory speeches we 
had ever heard, accusing the 
administration of every crime 
known to God and man. And the 
crowd was bored, basically. 

We watched as my roommate, 
wearing my father's W.W. II 
overcoat, appeared on the screen. 
An unscheduled speaker, as they 
say. 

"We want change!" he shouted, 
raising his fist in the air. "What do 
we want? We want change!" The 
dull-witted crowd finally got the 
idea and took up the chant, 
shouting in unison "We want 
change!" 

It lasted two minutes. Parker 
went off to work. 

"What a bunch of beat-offs." I 
assessed the situation in my usual 
rational and well-phrased style. 

"That's it exactly," Chan replied. 
"Those people don't know 
anything about getting off. This 
campus needs a shot of Reich's 
orgastic politics. 

"Orgone boxes in Perkins 
Library. Hmmm. . ." I speculated on 
that one as we walked to the CI. 

"The problem's not that simple," 
I told him. "They can get off, 
alright, but they only know one 
way. Masturbation. This University 
promotes a prolonged 
adolescence. They don't learn to 
act creatively. Or even usefully, for 
Christ's sake." 

"This movement, this whole 
protest thing," said Chain, "will 
never get anywhere if we can't 
figure some way to turn these 
people on, to get them off on what 



we're doing. When I came here in 
1968 everyone was getting off, on 
arts, dope, or shit like the 
Chronicle or the Archive. The 
result of all that energy was the 
Black students' takeover of Allen 
Building. 

I had a few hummers in the CI 
and pondered the incredible 
differences between Chan's Duke 
Experience and my own. Time was 
running out: on my story deadline, 
on my patience with boring classes 
and meetings, and, I began to fear, 
on our whole twisted country. On 
the average Dukies are probably 
less apathetic and more aware than 
most of the geeks in America. 

The thought was depressing. 

That night, crawling in bed with 
my beloved, I mentioned my 
conversation with Chan. She told 
me that she had been craving an 
affair with him since they had first 
met two years ago. Score one for 
the orgasmic forestry student 
liber-radical leader. 

Of course we had other means 
of getting off. These usually 
assumed the form of drugs, from 
plain Mexican pot to exotic 
Oriental pot to mid-eastern 
hashish. During that weird period 
of the Yearbook production 
gunpowder had become the drug 
du maison, since the stuff was 
readily accessible and would keep 
your head together for several 
hours at a time. Occassionally the 
chemistry would change from 
gunpowder to such crazy organic 
substances as mescaline, a drug 
which combines well with 
orgasmic politics. 

What times we do live in, my 
friend: when I and my cohort can 
snort some funny reddish powder 
(stuff the color of Carolina dirt) and 
go downstairs to the CI for some 
iced tea. There our reverie was 
disturbed: ABC cameras on the 
scene, on the quad, covering the 
story. 

They were interviewing our 
cracker president in front of his 
library, all very polite and proper 
there in front of the artfully 
decadent neo-gothic rock pile that 



makes up West Campus. A fine 
backdrop for our presidential 
hopeful. Birds, perhaps, in the 
trees. 

Alas, the bucolic scene was soon 
disturbed, if not destroyed, by the 
sound of: Yippes, Terry, it's those 
kids, fucking kids coming out of 
the CI armed with picket signs. 

I can just imagine the question 
that must have been on that 
newsman's lips when they first 
came out: "Mr. Sanford, we 
understand that Duke is taking a 
leadership role in its attempt to 
hold off the economic difficulties 
and maintain a high level of 
academic. . . What the Fuck?" A 
little disdainful, they are, working 
out of 'lanta and all, you 
understand, and not quite sure 
what to make of it. The kids are 
coming in a steady stream now, 
about fifty or so sign-carrying, 
chanting student-types. Nice 
looking women too. Hot damn! 

They look like this is all a lot of 
fun for them, and why, Mr. Sanford 





is taking it a bit more seriously. His 
scowl could have stopped a 
barbecue cold. 

But they had no idea of when to 
stop. No decorum at all. Soon a 
crowd had gathered (it was a sunny 
day) stopping traffic on the chapel 
circle, which caused one 
gentleman to lean on his horn, 
adding to the confusion. By this 
time Terry had had it; the 
cameramen filmed some of the 
smiling boys and girls with their 
signs, marching there in front of 
Allen Building. 

And our Candidate? Having 
regained his poise, he answered 
some SERIOUS QUESTIONS about 
his budget and withstood his share 
of heckling, hiding behind his 
moderate rhetoric and down 
home drawl. I figured that, as a 
journalist, it was my duty to get 
down to the facts. 

I approached Sanford with a 
slightly wild look in my eye, still 
high as a Georgia pine on the 
mescaline. I glanced down to 



scribble in my notebook, 
something about his future as a car 
salesman. For at that moment 
Terry was standing beside his 1974 
Buick Limited, a dark blue Detroit 
Monster. He had opened the door 
not, apparently, to get in, but to 
show off the powder-blue interior. 
Luxury befitting a plantation 
owner, or a Presidential Candidate, 
perhaps. But for an 
inflation-fighting university 
president constantly pledging his 
support for environmental 
studies? 

"Mr. Sanford?" I waved my pen 
in front of him. He looked over, 
and I could see he recognized me 
as a representative of the media. 
When any politician as hardened 
as old Terry sees a reporter, he 
realizes one very important factor: 
votes. 

Returning his gaze stonily, I put 
the question to him: "How many 
miles to a gallon does this car get?" 
Total shock. Another angry scowl, 
lost poise. A groan escaped from 



"^^^^M, 



MM./ 1 






^^Jr^ 











his throat like a lizard crawling out 
from under a rock. 

"No, Mr. Sanford, I'm not being 
facetious." I had him where I 
wanted him: on the Issue. The 
other questionners were laughing. 
Some of the sober ones were 
aghast. "I think it's a serious 
environmental question, sir." 

"About twelve," he muttered, 
looking for another question 
about fund raising and pro-rated 
rates of inflation and 
representative democracy. 

"I don't believe that," I retorted. 
Hell, he's probably lucky to get 
from station to station with that gas 
hog. 

I walked away in disgust. Soon 
afternoon Bob had to drag me 
back to the CI. I had gotten into a 
laughing fit at the thought of Terry 
getting his hand slammed in the 
car door and campaigning, his arm 
in a sling, on the Cripple Ticket 
with George Wallace. 

That was the high water mark of 
orgasmic politics at Duke that 
spring. Coincidentally, my ten days 
were up, and I abandoned my 
beleagured ride on The Duke 
Experience. But I fear that damage 
to my psyche had already been 
done. I was left hoping for the 
salvation of the Forestry School 
and depressed at the prospects of 
the University and our generation. 

My involvement in the orgasm 
went on at an intensified level, 
however. Perhaps it was my 
preoccupation with such a 
high-energy form of release which 
eventually led to my freakish 
behavior. 

One March afternoon Walton, 
Bob and I were cruising around 
looking for cocaine, on our way to 
the CI Happy Hour. 

"Spring is Mother Nature's 
orgasm," Walton said, rather 
abruptly. When Mother Nature 
comes, the world will get green." 

"In that case," I continued, "1 
think it should be our mission to 
tickle her clit, maybe help things 
along a little." 

"Ah, but where is Mother 
Nature's clitoris?" asked Bob. The 



implications were clear: the three 
of us had happened upon the 
makings of a life-long quest, one 
that might lead us to new heights 
of adventure and new nadirs of 
decadence. What could be more of 
a challenge, or more of a reward, if 
the object should yield herself up 
to our efforts? 

"Keep your eyes and ears open, 
men," I said. "This is the stuff real 
stories are made of." Even then I 
was losing touch. 

I pursued Mother Nature's 
clitoris to the beach. There was 
purgation and catharsis, but the 
trigger of springtime and renewal 
was not there. 

Another restless week passed. 
After running amok through the 
stacks of Perkins library one 
afternoon, I had nothing more to 
show for my work than an 
Eighteenth Century scholarly 
treatise on orgasm in Shakespeare. 
It proved a waste of time. 

One cloudy night I was busted in 
the Gardens and spent a long hour 
in the Campus Cops' office trying 
to explain why I had been peering 
under the bushes at three A.M. 
bellowing obscenities about Mary 
Duke Biddle. My ass was saved by 
two pieces of paper in my wallet: 
one was my student ID, the other a 
card that says 'I have Epilepsy.' 

"Ain't no clit in here," I was 
muttering when they picked me 
up. 

Of course there were those 
moments when I forgot the mythic 
quest and just plain got fucked up. 
One afternoon during Spring 
Break, in the midst of a gunpowder 
snorting session, my enfeebled 
brain finally mutinied against the 
evil that is Duke. 

It was a horrible scene, 
something out of Kafka. There 
were five atavistic and violent 
fetishists playing on the floor of 
the office with a set of plastic 
soldiers. The last thing my Editor 
said was, "Let's rip off some of 
their artillery." Then the battle was 
on. I was hurled backward off my 
chair and found myself in the 
middle of a twisted, drug-induced 
psychotic episode. 



I escaped downstairs to the CI to 
await the staff's return to sanity. 
Here they were, all professing 
liberals and peace freaks, involved 
in war games. Imaginary atrocities. 
Fantastical violence. 

"They must be getting off on it," I 
thought. Now, how depraved had 
these people become? I saw the 
power of the orgasm in a new, 
malevolent light. I was aware of the 
violent forces that could be 
unleashed. 

I walked out into the rainy 
night — it had been raining for a 
week or more — and headed 
straight for my mescaline dealer. I 
figured it best to plot the next step 
from a slightly higher plane. 

On the afternoon of the next 
day, wasted from lack of sleep and 
the red powder, I piled clothes and 
books into the rested hulk of my 
1969 Checker cab. Armed with a 
credit card and a thirty-minute 
tape of Rosswell Rudd's trombone, 
I pulled out onto southbound 1-85. 



Cruising for twenty hours, I finally 
found warm weather just south of 
the Florida border. A joint in one 
hand, a Schlitz in the other, I 
pulled into a Holiday Inn. 

A little euphoric, I walked 
nonchalantly into the Red Fox 
Lounge and ordered vodka and 
orange juice. Then, fixing the 
bartender with a stare, I 
whispered: 

"Do you know where Mother 
Nature's clitoris is?" The intensity 
with which I asked the 
question — or maybe it was my 
'Save the Forestry School 
T-shirt' — startled the geek at first. 
Figuring it best to humor me, he 
asked: 

"No, where is it?" 

I gulped down my drink without 
taking my fix off his eyes. 

"The key to spring," I told the 
man, "is on the road." 

Five minutes after checking in I 
dived into the pool, and haven't 
come out since. 






T-aii'.vi;. • ^. .-..^^ 




Below is an excerpt from a larger work entitled 
"Confessions of Demagogue", written by Bob Gamble, 
Vice-President of ASDU, '74-'75. 



The following week was incredibly hectic for 
Gamble. Besides the forestry school activities, he had 
an economics mid-term on Tuesday, a legislature 
meeting Tuesday night at which the student 
government's $160,000 budget was to be considered, a 
student government election on Thursday, and a 
mathematics hourly on Friday. When Friday morning 
came then. Gamble was very tired, but nevertheless 
able to get back on his feet. He spent the middle hours 
of the morning cramming for his math hourly. At about 
10:45, he put down his books in the physics building 
and began walking to the main quadrangle of the 
campus. He and student government president, Jeff 
Talmadge, had an 11:00 appointment with University 
President Terry Sanford. They were to discuss the fate 
of the forestry school. 

The students organizing the rally had done a very 
efficient job. Their media blitz had been thorough and 
well-timed. All of the students on the campus were 
aware of the forestry issue and many of them had 
strong opinions. Only once or twice before had 
Gamble seen an issue generate such enthusiasm. Yet 
something still bothered Gamble about the fledgling 
movement. It was the amazing extent to which the 
movement mimicked the student movements of the 
late sixties. For the most part, this mimicry was 
probably accidental. But on some points, for example, 
the issuance of armbands emblazoned with "MSA" and 
a small pine tree, and the stencil-paintings of clenched 
fists on sidewalks and buildings, the mimicry was 
ominously self-conscious. The important question 
here was whether or not the movement would also 
replicate the mistakes of the earlier student 
movements. Gamble was a bit worried. But only time 
would tell, and maybe it wouldn't make any difference 
to him by then, anyway. 

On his walk to the administration building. Gamble 
noticed that the stage for the rally was being 
completed, the public address system was being 
tested, and the crowd was beginning to gather. Gamble 
met Talmadge in the second-floor lobby of the 
administration building. Jeff Talmadge was the 
president of the student government. His Texan 
upbringing was reflected more in his appearance than 
in his personality. For, though he often garbed his 
incredibly slim figure in jeans and cowboy shirts, 
complete with a brown felt Texan hat and pointed-toe 
boots, he was not the stereotypic bigmouthed, macho, 
swaggering Texan phony. To the contrary, he was 
usually quite soft-spoken. Indeed, on first 
acquaintance, one would find him far too quiet to 
occupy any position of leadership. The key to his 
success in leadership was his ability to be extremely 
assertive and resourceful in that quiet, unemotional 
manner. Further, his long sad face, which his detractors 
may have likened to that of a bassett hound, belied a 
quick, sharp-edged wit. 

"Hello, gentlemen. How are you?" drawled Sanford, 
shaking Talmadge's hand. "Come right in and have a 
seat, I'll be right with you," Sanford said, shaking 
Gamble's hand. This ritual had been repeated a dozen 
times in the past year. 



Sanford's office is very large — it was once suggested 
that a couple of bunk beds could easily be moved into 
it to help ease dormitory overcrowding. Lush red 
carpet covered the floor from mahogany-paneled wall 
to wall. The huge redwood desk sat in front of the 
six-paneled window which overlooked the main quad. 
On the wall opposite the desk was a clock which 
chimed at the hour and half-hour. 

By the time Sanford returned to the office, and 
Talmadge and Gamble had finished teasing the 
politician about the "Tips on How to Save Energy" 
pamphlet which was on his desk, the rally was 
beginning to generate quite a bit of noise. Talmadge 
opened the discussion, speaking slowly as he lit his 
pipe: "We really have just one question for you, uh. 
President Sanford. What the hell is going on?" Gamble 
would later compliment Talmadge for the superb 
mau-mau of an opener. 

Sanford hesitated, looking straight ahead rather than 
at his questioners, then answering slowly, "What we 
see here is the failure of a decision-making process 
which was defined several years ago following the 
problems we had over the phasing out of graduate 
nursing. Of course, this method had never been tried 
before, but we should have realized there were some 
flaws in it." 

"What flaws are you talkmg about?" asked Gamble. 

Sanford, gesturing with both hands and speaking 
more quickly, answered, "Well, we should have known 
that when Dean Ralston (of the forestry school) got that 
letter, he wouldn't just sit back calmly and wait for the 
Academic Council to respond. A cornered animal will 
always fight back. There should have been better 
communication between the forestry school and the 
provost's staff." 

"What could have been done differently?" Talmadge 
asked. 

"Well, I'm not sure. We've got to re-examine this 
whole process now," reflected Sanford. 

Talmadge interjected, "Yesterday at the Academic 
Council meeting you said that the students on the 
Business and Finance Committee knew in advance of 
this decision. That's not true, you know?" 

"I thought they had met recently and discussed that," 
Sanford answered. 

"They don't meet until next Monday," Gamble added 
sharply. 

"But haven't you all been meeting with Mr. Huestis 
and Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Cleaveland in their budget 
sessions?" asked Sanford. 

Gamble, almost angry, replied, "We've met with Mr. 
Huestis a few times, but you should remember 
perfectly well that Dr. Blackburn, at a luncheon you 
attended, refused to let us sit in on the budget 
sessions." 

"I don't remember ... Why did he say that?" Sanford 
wondered. 

Gamble continued, "He was afraid we'd blow salary 
figures to the press if we saw them." 

"There ought to be some way we can work around 
that." Sanford musingly suggested. 

The conversation continued in this vein for about an 
hour. No conclusions or basic agreements were arrived 
at. Meanwhile, the rally outside was gathering 
momentum. The speeches and music were clearly 
audible in Sanford's office. Shortly before noon, a lull 
occurred in the conversation. Bermanzohn was 
delivering a harangue outside. Gamble, aware of 
Sanford's hostility to the socialist, teasingly interjected, 



"I think that's your old buddy Bermanzohn speaking 
now." 

Sanford cocked his head to listen for a second, and 
then spoke, "That is him, isn't it? Let's get one thing 
straight about Bermanzohn. He's with those UNC 
people now. Memorial Hospital at UNC and Watts 
Hospital have been trying as hard as they can to stop us 
from building our new hospital." 

"But Bermanzohn graduated from Duke. Are you 
suggesting there's a conspiracy?" asked Talmadge. 

Sanford answered quickly, "He's working at 
Memorial now. I don't know if there's a conspiracy or 
not, but if there is, Bermanzohn's too stupid to be a 
part of it. That argument he has about the new hospital 
being inflationary just doesn't make sense." 

Gamble was amazed at how visibly agitated Sanford 
had become. He had known that Bermanzoh's 
activities were a touchy subject, but seldom had he 
seen the politican get so excited. 

"Who's that speaking now?" Sanford asked. 

"I believe that's Fuller," Gamble spoke. 

Fuller was a local union organizer. He was delivering 
his speech in a fast, loud, emotional gospel style. 

"Listen to that," Sanford sneered. "It's almost 
incoherent." As the thunderous applause and cheering 
began at the end of Fuller's speech, Sanford continued, 
"That's a sad comment on tfie intelligence level of the 
population, and I don't mean just at Duke. People will 
cheer stuff like that anywhere." 

A strange feeling was gradually overcoming Gamble. 
He lost track of the conversation, and wandered off 
into his own confused thoughts. "I can't believe there 
are really six hundred people out there. Why am I up 
here with him rather than down there with them? 
Whose side am I on? They're almost as full of hot air as 
Sanford. I have as little in common with the crowd as 
with Sanford. I never thought I'd witness a 
demonstration from this viewpoint. There's got to be 
more to this than meets the eye. Or maybe there's a 
great deal less." 

Sanford and Talmadge also became quiet, apparently 
lost in their thoughts. After what seemed like a very 
long period of silence, Talmadge reopened the 
discussion with another excellent mau-mau: "Well, 
President Sanford.... what are you going to do?" 

Sanford spoke slowly, staring straight ahead, "I don't 
know ... what do they want?" 

Gamble was disappointed. This man was running for 
President of the United States and couldn't even solve 
a simple public relations problem. Restraining himself 
for a moment. Gamble replied, "Look, you're going to 
have to explain to these people how this process was 
supposed to have worked. And then you'll have to 
explain the mistakes you made this time and what 
you'll do differently next time." 

Talmadge concurred laconically, "Yeah, people are 
really upset." 

Sanford made no reply. After a moment of silence, 
he swiveled around in his chair and stood up. He stood 
at the window, raised the blinds, and stared out at the 
rally. After a few seconds, Talmadge stood and walked 
over to the window. Gamble joined them. Sanford 
spoke slowly, "Well, I've been kicked in the ass a lot 
over the years ..." A smile came to his face and he 
continued, "... but I've got a big ass." Talmadge and 
Gamble laughed out loud, but Terry just kept staring 
out at the crowd. 



il 



%s 




■> 



/ 



'<:S^^ 



His Alibi 

Well, good evening to yourself again, you motherfucker. My hand 
is so sweaty it can hardly hold this chewed up pencil. Nothing. 
I don't see why I even sit down here again. I'm nothing, no, but 
I'll take that back. I'm a nervous liar, a deceptive liar, and 
a lousy one at that. I can't even look anybody in the eye without 
stuttering and these past few days when I start talking with any- 
body I can't think of anything to say at all, at all, at all, 
but sometimes I can stutter out some inanities about my classes 
and their classes and the weather and sometimes express myself 
on how I hate the fucking CI but all that is just so nervous that 
they get nervous and of course the whole conversation Just slinks 
lower and lower until there are quickly made goodbyes. I'm a 
liar, liar, liar and am not able, not capable, of telling one 
single troith. I mean I want to show myself, show myself as a 
really good person deep inside, but then even that would be 
lying. Shit, fuck!, and a thoiisand profanities. Kick the chair 
and punch the wall. Taking shits and eating are the only things 
I can look forward to anymore. Animal masturbations, impotent 
research leading nowhere, dull fetid blue jeans that are beginning 
to stink because I don't understand cleanliness. Somewhere I'm 
ri^t, I've got to be somewhere, you know. (The timnels are just 
hot as hell toni^t, steam on the walls, me smelling like an 
Eskimo massacre, sticky, way too sticky to do anything but sit 
here and think to myself. Think, think, think, where does it 
lead you son, you great artist, you young dog, you rotten piece 
of fish?) I couldn't believe it today. I met a really nice girl 
in class, she sat beside me in the lecture and even started talking 
to me first. We talked a bit about the book we were supposed to 
read and I bullshitted her as if I'd read the book closely but 
disagreed with the author on this and this and I don't know if 
she knew or not that I hadn't even bothered to finish it. But 
she told me to come see her sometime at the end and I did later 
in the afternoon. She wasn't in but I sat in one of those putrid 
fucking parlors for "gentleman callers" and wrote her a pretty 
nice little poem and asked her to meet me later for dinner in 
front of her quad or to leave a message if she couldn't. I went 
and waited for a long time but she didn't show and when I asked 
at the desk there was no message. Can you imagine? I mean I 
wrote her a poem, a nice interesting poem that I thou^t she'd 
really like, I mean she looked like a girl that read poems all 
the time and there I went throwing one at her and she didn't 
even respond. She'll never talk to me again either. Do I care, 
though? Do I give a damn at all? No way, no way, sister. This 
tunnel is all that is real, I mean this is the place vdiere no 
games are allowed. I won't play that game of give and no take. 
"To have come back from that foreign war..., the country was hot 
and its endless sands served only to absorb the futile designs 
and spiritless attempts of the men who ran bellowing to their 
deaths. It was existence that screamed and only a few of lis were 
left to hear the passing echoes. It was somehow too loud and 
uninteresting." And she probably just threw it away and goddam 
it she's ri^t, it all sucks. The poem was not even a poem, 
just a bloody scab that doesn't quite protect the wound. 




I ONCE DREAMED I WAS IN A 
CLASS WHERE SCOOP JACKSON 
WAS LECTURING. HOW'S THAT 
FOR A POLITICAL DREAM? 



The following is an interview with former ASDU 
President, Jeff Talmadge. The Chanticleer conducted 
four such interviews with Talmadge, the vast majority of 
which no one will ever see due to the technical 
impossibility of anyone to transcribe five voices all 
speaking loudly at the same time. The excerpt below is 
definitely one of the more subdued moments and is of 
interest only to those with a fascination with university 
politics. Although it was more interesting, Talmadge 
did not allow us to record much of his straight talk 
about the political elite as persons. We guess you'll see 
the boy again. 



Chanticleer: Can you think of anything this year that 
ASDU did that you thought was especially interesting? 
What do you think is the effect of all these studies that 
were conducted? 

Talmadge: The two main committees or two main study 
groups were the Governance Commission, which I 
headed up, and the Tenure Study Commission. Those 
sorts of things are important more from the historical 
point of view than any other, because of its importance 
for the people five years from now. They will need to 



know what we thought and how we viewed certain 
parts of the University — if for no other reason than the 
refutation of the argument that's used by the more 
traditional educators that students don't have very long 
memories, that it's only four years long. If students 
learned anything in the Sixties it was that such an 
assumption is not necessarily true. We can expand our 
memories and provide a type of continuity in the way 
that we approach issues and one way to do that is 
preserving what our predecessors thought. 
The Tenure Study Commission was in a sense an 
exercise to put a group of students on record with their 
view of the tenure policy at Duke. That had never been 
done before. It's hard to tell if anything concrete will 
come of it. But if anything ever does there will be an 
indebtedness to this report as a tool for expanding 
student memory. 

Chanticleer: And the Governance Report. 
Talmadge: I like to talk about the Governance Report. It 
was the first time that students sat down and talked 
about what they wanted to do in terms of governance 
and write it down in a formal manner and present it 
formally to various faculty bodies. I believe this to be a 
much more conscientious approach to it. 
Implementation will depend a good deal on the faculty 
and administration. 

Chanticleer: What were the implications of the Report? 
Under this proposition, just how much more would 
students affect the actual governance of the University? 
Talmadge: Well, it provides for substantial increases in 
the role of students. But it's also my opinion that it 
would not substantially decrease the role of the faculty. 
I think it would provide for a better decision-making 



process than the present one, because more often than 
not you would have the faculty and the students 
working together. And I think that's what students 
want. I think everyone got a little scared in the Sixties 
and there may have been some reason to . . . but ... If 
we learned anything from the Forestry School issue, it 
was that the way to approach an issue isn't in little bits 
and pieces but in a united fashion. 
The administration also sees that students are around 
here for just four years. They have to keep students 
happy for four years. They have to keep faculty happy 
for twenty years at a time. And so, they can live over a 
five year spasm in the way that students behave and 
then they'll be back to where everybody's happy 
again — that's what we've seen here. What it takes you 
back to, then, is the need to have a continuous view of 
things on the part of students that doesn't erase itself 
every four years. 

Chanticleer: Speaking of spasmodic students, how 
effective do you think the Movement for Shared 
Authority was? 

Talmadge: Well, another lesson to be learned from 
some of those things that went on five or ten years ago 
with students is that 'movements' are, by necessity, 
short term actions with immediate goals. Because of 
the energy factor, you can't sustain them over a long 
period of time. 

Chanticleer: The first MSA rally was, I think, completely 
useless unless it tried to force a showdown — it had to 
push for an immediately realization of its goal. 
Talmadge: I was a little disappointed that President 
Sanford didn't answer the demands more directly. He 
did answer some of them but I think he could have 
done it more directly. It became clear from the 
beginning from the way Sanford was responding to the 
demonstration that he was going to answer MSA 
through ASDU. He said that from the beginning. That 
was a few days before I left office; I was still President 
during the demonstration. But in the week or two after 
that you immediately had a new ASDU President. 
I thjnk a bigger attempt should have been made to 
channel the energy through ASDU. A lot of people 
think that would have compromised the position, and 
would have ... a lot of people don't like ASDU anyway. 
But when Sanford made it clear that that was the way 
he would respond .... 

Chanticleer: How could the sort of energy that was 
displayed at the demonstration be channeled through 
ASDU? 

Talmadge: Well, I think it's important to have a group 
like MSA there to bring the pressure to bear because 
it's sometimes the sort of thing that ASDU can't do for 
political reasons. There are things that you can say if 
you're on the outside that you can't say if you're on the 
inside. And the pressure is brought to bear in two ways 
really. It's brought to bear on Sanford to respond, but it 
should have also been directed to ASDU to get the 
response. The pressure should have been as much on 
the "student leaders" as on anyone else. I'm in sort of 



an unusual position because I watched some of the 
demonstration from President Sanford's window. 
Chanticleer: What about Sanford? 

Talmadge: Sanford asked me what I thought should be 
done. I felt personally obligated to present the point of 
view which I thought most of the students held about 
the Forestry School. But I thought the real issue there 
was process. It wasn't . . . the issue of whether or not 
the Forestry School should stay was very important, but 
the more important issue was how the decision to 
phase out the School was arrived at. If you don't 
change that process, then what happens? Well, you 
may save the Forestry School but you may lose the 
Black Studies department or some other smaller 
department. 

Chanticleer: Getting back to the broader issues, how do 
you view the student movements of the Sixties as 
compared to MSA? 

Talmadge: I'm a little cynical about the Sixties 
demonstration. A lot of those came out of the fact that 
students were being drafted, that college students 
were getting killed. It tended to be a little more 
personally important ... so, first off, most of the 
motivation was selfish. 
Chanticleer: Are you a radical, Jeff? 

Talmadge: I've got a lot of friends still doing the radical 
thing, but I don't relate to them as well as I used to. I 
don't know whether that's just because I'm tired of 
politics or not. I'm not really tired of politics, but it's 




really hard work. You do get tired, just as if you were 
working on a job all day. 

Chanticleer: You mean, is it hard relating to the 
administrators? Did they ever put any pressure on you 
as a person to agree with their politics? 
Talmadge: The way that exists is probably the way it 
exists with anyone else and that is if there is someone 
who doesn't get along with your or doesn't like you 
and tells his or her friends or associates, then that 
person's associates might not look upon you as highly 
as they did before. Then the way you are hurt is just in 
terms of your effectiveness. It's nothing direct. I don't 
think this happened very much. The whole year I was 
able to remain on pretty friendly terms with everyone 
in Allen building and not be in an adversary position 
too often. You're often a radical when you go in, you're 
usually not when you come out. 
Chanticleer: Did that happen to you? 
Talmadge: Sort of. All my radical friends felt that 
anybody who did that was selling out. 
Chanticleer: You don't regard that as selling out? 
Talmadge: The problem is that the people who in a 
position to change things, like the administrators, 
aren't radical. They tend to reject radical ideas. You see, 
the administrators, when all is said and done, are the 
ones who decide things and they hold most of the 
power. That's just not true here, but probably just 
about anywhere in any structured, bureaucratic 
government. But since they make the decisions, if they 
don't want to include you in anything they do, they 
don't have to. They can make all the decisions they 
want without asking anybody. You have to try to avoid 
being shut out. It's a fine line. Now, what this does is 






force you to act in one of two ways. You have to 
present radical positions in a way that they don't look 
radical, or you have to present things that aren't radical 
to begin with. 

Chanticleer: Could you give me a specific example? 
Talmadge: Let's talk about a radical idea in a university: 
Students should have some control over the way in 
which their lives are run. That's radical at Duke. At 
some universities it's not, but at Duke students are at 
the bottom in terms of being in any position to have 
any control over the way their lives are governed. I had 
to present the student control issue in the Governance 
Report, and the Executive Committee of the 
Undergraduate Faculty Council presented a bylaw to 
the Trustees. Simply stated, it recommends that they 
recognize that the student body exists. If you read the 
Duke University bylaws you wouldn't even know that 
there was a student body. It isn't mentioned in there. 
And philosophically I think that says a good bit about 
Duke University. The bylaw — which I wrote — doesn't 
call for anything substantially different. It merely 
recognizes that there are students in this university. 
Chanticleer: Do you believe in the democratic ideal 
today in this country? Is it operating? 
Talmadge: That's a good question. 

Chanticleer: It seems that out of this whole era — the 
student movements and even before Watergate — came 
a disbelief that democracy was really democracy, or 




that it was any longer at work in Washington. 
Talmadge: I don't know if I'd agree with that or not. I 
think the question is whether or not democracy works, 
or is it working here. I think it does, but that it's slow. 
See, I think it worked when Nixon was forced to resign, 
but it took a long time, a long time for the 
representatives to react. If people had been really 
concerned about corruption in government — I'm sure 
that such concern really existed — then maybe they 
didn't know that it was going on. 

Chanticleer: Yes, but there are always those people 
who take the cynical outlook, who have knowledge of 
the corruption but accept it as a necessary correlative 
to the system. 

Talmadge: That's true. But, going back to the democracy 
question . . . Americans supported the war in Viet Nam 
for a long time and it's not quite accurate to say that it 
went on against the will of the people. Mayor Rizzo, 
just re-elected mayor of Philadelphia, is essentially a 
law-and-order candidate. And he was charged with 
corruption, yet maintained his innocence even after he 
flunked a lie detector test. But he was still re-elected to 
a second term. 

Chanticleer: That's incredible. It seems that in the 
structure of government today, even more important 
than the ends of the process should be the 
means — ^that is, the way people influence things and 
the attitudes with which children are brought into 



political community. That seems to be essential to 
democracy, and at this stage of our evolution you 
would think that we would be emphasizing the purity 
of the process rather than merely its output. This 
goal-orientation is absurd. Putting something way 
ahead of you and concentrating on that rather than the 
here and now and the manner in which you are acting 
in the world. 

Talmadge: That might be true . . . most religions. . . I 
guess Christianity and other religions as well . . . you 
have a goal but the goal is accomplished in terms of the 
means. 

Chanticleer: How do you, personally, reconcile your 
Christian beliefs and politics? How can you get 
involved in a political system that deals in power and 
which composes its beliefs on agressive assertion? 
Talmadge: That's like asking if I still beat my wife. I think 
its difficult to reconcile them, but I think it's necessary 
because I think those kind of beliefs are needed in 
government. Not just religious people, necessarily, but 
people who are concerned about the effects that their 
decisions have on other people and then to put others 
at least equal with themselves, and maybe before 
themselves in making a decision. I think to reconcile it, 
you just have to be aware of what's happening to you 
and realize that you're in a situation in which you're 
very vulnerable. 






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Daytime TV 

What can you do with a drunken sailor, what 
can you do with a drunken sailor, what can you do 
with a drunken sailor, early in the morning? 

You can wake him up with a kiss. Feed him 
pickled eggs and cabbage, and send him on the way. 

Scratching his underarm, he chewed gum 
ftiriously. 

You're really sad, she said. Yeah, he shot 
back, undisturbed. 

He pulled out his joint and handed it to her, 
Sorry, she said, I don't have a match. 





Chanticleer: From the administration's standpoint, and I 
guess your standpoint, what do you think went wrong 
in regard to handling the Forestry school decision? 
Sanford: In my own personal judgement, it was purely 
and simply a matter of communication gone awry. As 
we looked to the future, we had to consider some 
programs that might not have as high a priority as other 
programs. It was obvious that we couldn't keep all the 
programs and keep up the quality generally at Duke 
University. And for whatever tentative reasons, the 
decision was made to consider the future of the Master 
of Forestry Program. There was never any decision that 
I know of to ever consider doing away with the Master 
of Environmental Management. In fact, I had been 
responsible for creating that program; in fact, it's only 
two or three years old. Somehow the whole thing got 
distorted. It's now back on track. The plan that we 
adopted with faculty concurrence years ago, was that 
when any program was to be discontinued, first the 
faculty and the provost group would sit down with the 
faculty concerned and talk about it and their 
alternatives. That grew out of the rather precipitous 
decision to do away with the Ph.D. in Nursing in 1970. 
The thought was that we'd talk about (the forestry 
school) and then arrive at a sensible conclusion. It 
might very well have been that the suggestion was that 
the program change somewhat in scope or the 
discussion may have led to more financing. ...whatever. 
But in any event, we never reached that stage until after 
all the hurrah. But now we are doing just that. That 
discussion is now in progress and will be carried over 



into the fall. It's not a decision that has to be made on 
the spur of the moment. I can't say why it got off the 
track. I don't think it would serve any purpose if I had 
an opinion. 

Chanticleer: When you say "communication went 
awry", between whom do you mean? 
Sanford: Well, I would assume that the Dean of the 
Forestry School was acting in good faith. He apparently 
thought that the whole school was being abolished. 
The Provost thought that he was asking for a discussion 
on the continuation of the Master of Forestry Program. 
Now these two opinions are rather different. It was in 
that link of communication that the slip-up occurred. 
Chanticleer: Do you think it was misreported in the 
Chronicle? 

Sanford: Oh, I don't know. I don't read the Chronicle 
that closely. I don't think they reported incorrectly 
what they were told, and of course they did get that 
story from just one side. To that extent, they reported 
the perception of one person and did not record the 
other point of view. In any case, there isn't any way that 
this administration would have made the decision to 
get rid of the forestry school without that consultation. 
There wasn't any way that it was going to be abolished. 
There wasn't any decision made to that effect. There 
wasn't even any decision to abolish the Master of 
Forestry Program. Obviously, something happened to 
that communication since those decisions could not 
have been made without me and I never made them 
and never even considered the merits of making them. 
Chanticleer: Why did it take so long for an explanation 
of all this? 

Sanford: My guess is that the Chronicle is not 
representative of the student body. Rather, it is made 
up of those who want to worktin the Chronicle. They 
don't necessarily see it as their duty to report both 
sides of the question. They didn't much care what the 
Allen Building had to say. They are inclined to believe 
what they already believe. 

Chanticleer: Were you surprised by the amount of 
student reaction? 

Sanford: No, not particularly. In fact, I might have acted 
the same way myself if I thought that Allen Building had 
abolished the Forestry School and that of 
Environmental Management. 

Chanticleer: There's such a huge problem of 
communication here. There are still people who don't 
know what you've just told us. 

Sanford: Well, that's correct, (pause) The administration 
doesn't always take the blame for everything that 
happens. It's all still in the discussion stage. This 
administration should not and could not have 
recognized that letter to the Dean in advance of the 
Dean and the faculty discussing it. It wouldn't have 
been proper for the Provost to have called in the 
Chronicle and to have said, "Hey, listen, we're thinking 
about doing away with the Master of Forestry 
Program." 

Chanticleer: Why not? 

Sanford: I think it would have been unfair to the faculty 
to have done it that way and that was not our 
procedure. Our procedure was that first the faculty 
discusses it, then if the faculty is not satisfied with the 
decision, then the entire academic counsel can discuss 
it. The whole faculty becomes part of the decision. I 
think to announce in advance something like that not 
only would have been improper, but not along the 
lines of our policy. 



Chanticleer: It seems by judging something "improper" 
that you're putting an obstruction in the way of more 
fully integrating the people with their government. It 
seems that the bureaucracy is getting removed from 
the people and becoming some independent force.... 
Sanford: Well, the bureaucracy, if you can call it that at 
Duke, is closer to the students and the faculty and 
communicates with them more open and directly, and 
makes available to them all of the discussions from the 
board of trustees meetings on, than any university I 
know of, anywhere in the country. I'll stand on that 
statement. But give me some examples of what you're 
criticizing. 

Chanticleer: Besides this process issue? Well, a couple 
of years ago, there was a Chaplain Search Committee 
whose suggestion, two or three people who were on 
that committee told me, was virtually ignored. 
Sanford: That is precisely wrong! It was precisely 
followed. They looked at about 120 people and on my 
instructions recommended three people. This was the 
set of reasons, to recommend, not to appoint a 
Chaplain. It's true that there was some favoritism for 
one of the men but the information I received about 
the man at Princeton as sufficient enough for me to put 
him at the bottom of the list. They were not 
responsible for appointing a Chaplain. And this is the 
type of thing that gets thoroughly distorted through 
one student. Now, several students didn't tell you that; 
one student told you that. That one student felt that he 
had a right to name the Chaplain. Barney Jones, who is 
Chairman of the department, would be glad to spell it 
out for you. They gave us the three names and that's 
what the Search Committee was for. I'm supposed to 




pick the person. I've always worked in three's when 

appointing a Chaplain. I did what I was supposed to do. 

If they think that a certain committee is supposed to 

pick the Chaplain, then they ought to change the rules. 

I don't happen to think that's so. But, anyhow, you 

know, I acted in complete good faith. So now bring up 

any other one. I seldom make the mistake of not 

consulting myself. 

Chanticleer: About changing the rules, do you think 

that this is the direction that we ought to be moving in? 

Should the students have a part in the actual 

decision-making here at Duke? 

Sanford: I'm going to keep making these decisions as 

long as I'm President. However, I believe that the buck 

stops here, and I'm willing to take my share of the 

responsibility. And I'm willing to share that 

responsibility considerably. I didn't have to have a 

search committee. I could have said to the Bishop, "Just 

give me a man." But I didn't even specify that he had to 

be a Methodist. There was even pressure on me that 

they be tenured. 

Chaticleer: All right, can you say something about the 

Public Policy decision? That raised a disturbance and 

there seemed to be little student, faculty consultation 

about it being made into a department. 

Sanford: I don't really know anything about it. 

Chanticleer: You don't know anything about it? 

r 'nford: It never reached the level of this office. 

Chanticleer: Well, who made that decision? 

Sanford: Well, ultimately the faculty made it. You'd have 

to tilk to Dr. Cleaveland about it. I honestly don't know 

anything about it. 

Chanticleer: Did Dr. Cleaveland initiate that decision to 

have it made into a department? 

Sanford: You'd have to ask him. My understanding is 

that it was made on the basis of considerable study. I 



consider a department a step lower than an institute. 
An institute may cut across departmental lines. I think 
one of the things wrong with a University is its 
departmental hierarchy. I'd like to see us have a much 
more free-flowing structure. So, as far as I was 
concerned, that was a down-grading of the original 
concept I had of what the Public Policy Institute should 
be. I wanted to extend that concept to international 
studies. The institute was an overlay that went beyond 
a department so that when they made it a department it 
was in effect admitting defeat. 

Chanticleer: Speaking of international studies, why 
does Duke seem to ignore Asian Studies? 
Sanford: Well, we don't have any program, to speak of. I 
couldn't agree with you more. There were several 
things when I came here that needed "beefing up". We 
beefed up a good many of them, including the Arts, I 
might say. Right now, we've done well in spite of the 
tightness that comes with inflation. We've done awfully 
well to have held our own. I would love to move more 
into the field of Asian and International Studies. I 
couldn't agree with you more. I feel that we've 
neglected something that is becoming increasingly 
important. 

Chanticleer: The other decision I was going to refer to 
was the appointment of Clark Cahow. 
Sanford: That's made at the Provost's level and I wasn't 
involved in that except to indicate that everyone knew 
that Clark Cahow was the best.... 
Chanticleer: He wasn't recommended.... 
Sanford: He wasn't recommended because he wouldn't 
let them consider him. He wasn't an applicant. 
Chanticleer: You seem pretty isolated up here. 
Sanford: I'm not isolated. I believe in delegating duty 
and letting it fall where it's -supposed to fall. The 
selection of the Provost isn't something that should be 





decided by the President of the university. You're not 
going to have a good administration if you only have 
one person to make all the decisions. Also, who would 
direct, say, the department of Political Science? It 
should be up to the Department. But I keep a wary eye 
on these matters. There were two people for the 
Admissions job that I would have been highly wary of. 
Chanticleer: Let's get back to this subject of friction 
between the students and administration. There seems 
to be a lot of hate out there, justified or not, as 
exemplified at that Saturday morning meeting between 
Cleaveland and the forestry school and at the big rally 
that followed later that week. How does that make you 
feel? 

Sanford: I think that was an exhibition of people 
reacting without full information, with no desire to get 
the full information. I regret that they see things like 
that. I can absorb that, you know, because the next day 
it will be something different. I could have gone out 
there and rabble-roused them the other way but I don't 
believe in that. You know they were wrong in that case. 
They were mad. 

Chanticleer: You say that these people lacked 
information because they didn't want it. Dr. Cleaveland 
did not inform those people at his three hour meeting, 
in fact, he seemed rather uninformed himself. That 
whole week was nothing more than people trying to 
find out. 

Sanford: Well, you know, I ought to agree with you 
there. It seemed to me at the time, I ought to let it run 
in the proper channels. In the long run, you get a better 
administration if you let people be in charge of what 
they're supposed to be doing. Occasionally, they make 
mistakes. You learn from mistakes. I don't worry about 



animosity. I think the feeling of goodwill on this 
campus is so remarkably different from the Spring of 
1970 that no one could look at the campus without 
feeling a glowing appreciation for the past five years. 
Chanticleer: What about Duke Forest? 
Sanford: I've never in private life, public life, or 
university life observed a more outrageous distortion. 
There has never been even the slightest mention that 
the Duke Forest would ever be sold, in part of in 
whole, or mortgaged, or any other of the other silly 
things mentioned. I think the Duke trustees would 
sooner turn the Chapel into a massage parlor than get 
rid of the forest. There's not one piece of evidence to 
give anybody the grounds to make that assertion. Now, 
the very idea that Mr. Duke started the forestry school 
to protect the forest doesn't hold up, in as much as the 
forest was acquired in the twenties and Duke 
University was chartered in 1924 and the forestry 
school was started in 1938. Whether it's a good or bad 
program has nothing to do with the forest, it has 
nothing to do with the maintenance of the forest or the 
fact that we're going to keep the forest. It was just a 
total distortion and it was designed, I presume, to add 
fuel to a fire that should never have been built in the 
first place. 

Chanticleer: Well, that's great to hear. To close it for a 
yearbook, what, do you think, is the most important 
thing that happened at Duke this year as far as what 
you tried to do? 

Sanford: The most important thing that happened this 
year happened the last day of school when we passed 
out the diplomas. That's what it's all about. Anybody 
who loses sight of that loses sight of what Duke is 
supposed to be doing. 




* • 




Oblivion 

Althou^ oblivion, of course, is all around us, it was only after a year in the 
txinnels that I began to feel how omnipresent it is. We forget oblivion because to forget 
allows us to concentrate on the details of our high wire act. Maybe it is necessary to 
ignore the greatest essence, I don't know. Certainly it is absurd to watch (not to men- 
tion participate in) the details of acts performed by those unaware of their surrounding 
doom. Absurd and angering. So many times, I just wanted to grab one of them, shake, 
beat, scare or even love some sense, some perspective into their heads. Nothing, 

And so the perspective drags on, unanswered, until the stunning inertia that comes 
from constantly confronting one's own disability sets in. The words don't fit. It 
creeps up on you, but the effects are overwhelming. It poisons you, like a bite from 
a venomous insect received while asleep or drugged. No panic; just despair. Black, 
rotten, shit-assed nothingness. I fell through the air; throu^ the net and into the 
sawdust floor of this circus. 

On another level, you could just say that my body lost its ability to locomote. 
On yet another level, you could say I became catatonic. VJhatever. I lay (l am not 
sure of all this) on the mattress, staring off at the steam pipes receding into the dis- 
tance, not moving an eyeball. I shat and pissed all over myself, until the clothes 
rotted from my body. After a while I lost the ability to recognize sensory input. I 
stopped seeing pipes, no longer heard the toilet flushings, couldn't smell the moulds; 
felt nothing. 

I felt incredibly peaceful. I wanted nothing. 

Out of boredom, I would imagine there to be a nickel on my forearm. An Indian 
head nickel. I could feel 1937. The Indian, if you were standing, was upside down. 
It was what I chose to call upside down relative to my forearm, anyway. This meant 
that the buffalo was facing out and ri^t-side up. I freed the buffalo from the coin's 
tail and let him traverse my body. It seemed only natural then to transform my body 
into a great prairie, and to create company, in the form of ten thousand good-looking 
bison cows, to go along with my buffalo adam. This buffalo, I intended, was going to 
have a good time. I was going to be a good creator; not make a fucking mess of things 
like someone I know. Adam the buffalo was to get laid with ball-busting frequency, 
and he was going to like it. I considered possessing this stud, but then realized it 
was a waste of time. I could do more. 

I created races who would never be dispossessed from their lands and heritage; 
men who would culminate their civilizations in joy and harmony. I imagined natural 
orders of things, both living and mineral. This was a world without insects, violence, 
suffering, raistmderstanding, ignorance or sadness. It was perfection. I was bored 
again. 

V/ell and good, let me be bored. Then a thou^t occurred. Would this world disin- 
tegrate in the absence of my interest? How much reality had I given it? Since I could 
only focus my attention on one thing at a time, in this world as well as the one in 
which my body lay, I was always ignoring things and yet they kept right on existing, or 
could be called back to fantastic existence. The dilemma reminded me of a bizarre 
feeling I had had when we played the Math 51 Star Trek Program Game on the Duke computer. 
You would be given a set of constants by the program, such as speed, distance, and 
attitude concerning your imitation Enterprise and an imitation Klingon battle cruiser. 
The object was to destroy the Klingon cruiser, and the least you could do was try and 
keep the Enterprise in one piece. What if that were real somewhere? V^iat if our pri- 
mary reality was of the same order in some other program? The thought was awesome. 

Back in nothingness, I eventvially surprised myself. While motionless, I had 
spent a long time exploring the workings of my vital organs. It interested me. Slowing 
my breath to less than twice a minute, I finally found my heartbeat growing so soft 
and slow that a few times I was sure I had died. I lingered in this state for what 
must have been days. I thought nothing. Suddenly I was overcome by an impulse to look 
behind me. In so doing I saw my own body on the mattress, several yards to my rear. 
Between the glare of two naked li^t bulbs my body lay curled, a faint smile on a glass 
face. I felt joyful yet incredibly cautious, like a child having transgressed some 
forbidden boundary. I soon walked on down the tunnels, thou^ ever careful to keep 
my body in sight. 

There was my body, and the tunnels. Everything appeared quite ordinary, thou^ 
more grey and pale than my normal visual perception. It was like being outdoors on a 
moonlit night, except for a feeling of containment in a high-vaulted vacant room which 
echoed my every thou^t. My brain whirred like an over-loaded computer, rapidly scanning 
and indexing every idea it had ever birthed. They were all rejected, and this made me 
glad. I decided to forget my body puppet and begin anew with this astral experience. 

Suddenly I was back on the mattress, my nose between my knees. I took off down 
a tunnel, breaking light bulbs v;ith my fists. 



camels of the liberation 




NXP1331536 



IN CUSTODY 



NEW YORK: A U.S. marshal holds on to handcuffed Patricia 
Elizabeth Swinton following her arrival at Kennedy Airport 
March 12th. Miss Swinton, 33, sou^t by the FBI for five 
years as an alleged member of a radical leftist ring that 
bombed a series of corporation and government buildings 
in New York City, was arrested March 12th in Brattleboro, 
Vermont, as she stacked jars of peanut butter in a health 
food store. 



CREDIT: (UPl) 



3/13/75 



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Just sitting here watching shredded bodies 
pulling themselves down a road south from 
Danang, bombs and fear are everywhere and 
I'm watching this on TV mind you and the US 
Congress today fell head over guilty heels to 
show itself a big tender humanitarian by get- 
ting those orphans out of Saigon and do you 
realize Mr. Senator that you have made those 
children so happy by giving them a chance to 
come to America? and my conscience im- 
plodes and I watch this on TV mind you in this 
full honky room and everybody wants to feel 
bad but no one really can and then feels bad 
because they can't and, America, I appreciate 
what you do for me but you have been a 
heartless and deceptive lover to all them 
mothers and fathers who let you come close 
and I just have to big doubt all these lights, 
energies, God or wholly myself who created 
these horrors for perhaps nothing more than 
dramatic amusements that turned into com- 
edies when consciousness thought it had to 
be born and history became the game it re- 
mains, with me, who doesn't even want to see 
Time having to devote the day a whole day to 
writing about a book that was wrong and 
wasn't it right that love is somewhere but 
where am I now as these dying Vietnamese 
mothers are screaming empty screams that 
slam me to the wall. Yesterday that jet crashed 
just disintegrating all those orphans.... 
April 5, 1975 







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I am a sole survivor of the 
West twenty-fifth street 

Gang, who see only there in 

The rat-corners of Sanfran the exalting 
Bug-eaten truth of railroad travels 
On live tracks, they mark bur 
Course through dusty bowls of 
Wood America, shacks of Dr. Pepper 
Where old bums who don't know la 
Difference hang around waiting for 
Armageddon to rescue the lost souls 
of millions. 

Third street Sanfran where we wander 
Lost in front of our flop talking to 
Aimless dopedealers trying to score ya 
Know mon? and I have endless love for them 
But where am us in this seething madness of 
Yellow cab menace watch the steel ball 
As it eats your only house where you never 
Lived anyway, a true folly. 

Railroad eatery, pocatello idyho, crowded at 
Three A.M. with other lost souls and truck angels 
All glancing sideways at us images of mad road 
Wildness and hey shit ya know we're just as 
Lost as you my friend how's about a ride in yer 
Semi out there in that sweet Idaho night just 
Ripe for an all-night ride up over them mother 
Sawtooths north into the great divide between 
The Swift and the Sucked. 



We always find ourselves on great mad desperation dashes 
Into the unknown and unseen darkness of new 
Road on forward ahead let's keep on doing it and 
See what happens when none of us really believed 
Existence of roadhogs was allowed at night, and 
To creep into Green River up over those sad mean 
But stoned shale cliffs like the most shit upon 
Wyoming dog flea and hide in the brush watching 
Pacific freights getting put together boom into 
The night echoing off the desolation walls of 
Ourselves lost again. 

15-501 Durham with little bits of dirty crusted 
Snow clinging to the overpass in a heavy winter 
Fog, we pause a second to stare at it as another 
Desolate wall of ourselves melts under the fog and 
Sleet-laced wind, salty, we feel trust shattered 
Between us as rigors of Florida road and Duke 
Ignorance smeared the final roadhike into a slippery 
Silence. The TV in some commons room showed 
Astronauts. 




M'Ai^^^^J^imiiS 



The Smile on his Pace 

In the steam plant one night, I get to witness what you 
mi^t call a work-related injury. I walked to the plant in 
order to get my constitution amended by a healthy dose of 
steam; this being a habit I had developed. Instead I see this: 

A worker is oiling one of those valves. It's a tricky 
scene, because he's supposed to oil the short arm of this 
assembly. The machine is clanking away at overtime, and 
the guy's trying to juke his oilcan in time with the valve. 
This fellow's sort of goofy and he's having a hell of a time. 
What makes matters worse is that every time the long arm slides 
by a little puff of live steam squirts out right in his face. 
Each time this happens, the guy lets loose with an ah, shit. 

It would be funny, if you disregarded the terrific 
frustration this guy must have felt. 

The supervisor, meanwhile, stands up on a catwalk and 
watches. Every time the worker says ah, shit, he lets out 
a little chuckle and makes a mark on his clip board. This 
isn't lost on the worker; he hates that supervisor, I can see 
it cover his eyes as clear as you can see an oil slick. 

Then the long arm swings by and something goes wrong. 
It happens fast: the oilcan gets knocked out of the worker's 
hand and onto the floor where it pops open. The supervisor 
cracks up and starts to write all over his clipboard. This 
infuriates the worker, who turns to give the guy the bird, 
but slips in the oil and gets his middle finger whacked off 
by the small arm. The steam puffs out and the worker screams. 
The supervisor laughs so hard, he falls off the catwalk and 
lands with his ass on top of a return valve, which has got 
to puncture him halfway to his gizzard, but in so doing trips 
the valve. Steam blows everywhere and sirens go off. I 
split down the tunnel towards Bell Building, dodging bits 
of blown out boilers. Something my size flies over my head 
and smacks to a stop where the tunnel takes a hard right. It's 
the worker. He's all messed up, but he's got a smile on his 
face that could sink a ship. 

I just lay low. 



COOL HAND DUKE 

The base for outrage against Duke can be 
summed up in one sentence — "The only 
thing that matters in this University is 
BUCKS." Chan Smith said this is one of his 
public condemnations of efforts to phase out 
the forestry school. Bucks — that's what's 
embodied in the priorities, the educational 
programs, the type of students, relations with 
the people who work here, relations with the 
city of Durham. Buck Duke made those bucks 
building a tobacco monopoly and much of his 
character has been preserved in the 
supposed gesture of beneficence that has 
become Duke University. Duke, as much as 
American Tobacco is a corporation, 
preoccupied with its expansion, its market 
appeal, its prestige. Duke produces a variety 
of commodities but it is especially noted for 
education and medical care. It is these 
commodities I'd like to talk about. 



Let's take the second one first. What is 
medical care at Duke like? Basically it is the 
biggest industry in Durham, employing over 
9000 people. Duke hospital provides primary 
care to a large part of the Durham population 
and tertiary care (roughly meaning last resort) 
to folks from all over the Carolinas. Duke 
establishes the health industry norms for the 
city and has provided Durham with five times 
the ratio of neurosurgeons to population as 
the national average, six times the ratio of 
orthopedic surgeons, while Durham has 
one-seventh the ratio of general practitioners 
to population. Medical care at Duke is big and 
getting bigger. 

Notice that I say medical care and not 
health care, because the kind of medicine 
practiced at Duke has little to do with health, 
the prevention of disease, or the treatment of 
the common health problems of the 
population. In brief, Duke bills itself as a 
teaching and research hospital (and it bills its 
patients heavily to serve as "teaching 
material"). It's reputation is built on advanced 
research and esoteric problems; it's staff and 
students pursue high-paying specialties. This 
continues while there are not nearly enough 
physicians or facilities to meet the common 




health needs of much of the US population. 
These are the kind of medical priorities which 
Duke is perpetuating in three ways: 
structurally, politically, and in the minds of 
those who study here. 

The structural aspects are the most obvious. 
On October 1 ground will be broken for 
construction of a new $96 million hospital — 
Duke North. Despite the fact that the 
University faced last spring a $3.4 million 
deficit, the trustees have approved plans to 
build a structure for which the annual debt 
retirement will be almost twice that deficit. 
Briefly, the new structure will house 600 new 
beds, a more than generous replacement of 



care. But as is true in so much of our society, 
more is not necessarily better. We would not 
argue that there are not some beds at Duke 
that need replacing. We would not argue that 
medical research is irrelevant and should be 
discontinued at Duke. We will argue that this 
new hospital is a costly mistake. Structures 
alone don't determine function, but they can 
easily cement the direction and practices of 
an institution. As planned, this hospital is 
cementing Duke's past priorities so that they 
will be Duke's future. An exorbitant amount 
of money is going for this building, rather 
than for staffing, new programs or qualitative 
improvement of health care — much less for 




the 200 obsolete beds in the present hospital. 
The total number of beds will be raised by 
150, though there is obviously no need for 
more beds for Durham residents with a new 
county hospital opening this spring and no 
convincing evidence that patient demand will 
suddenly increase since Duke's occupancy 
rate has never been and is not projected to be 
over 85%. The clincher is that in this new 
hospital the cost of staying one day has been 
estimated at $394, a 250% increase over the 
current cost of a day at Duke ($151 ). 

Surely, one would think that a new larger 
hospital would improve the quality of patient 



development of practice in preventive health 
care, outreach, primary care — areas which 
are rapidly becoming the true rarities of 
medical practice as sub-specialization 
flourishes. 

And what do we get for all this money? We 
do not get any expanded clinic space, despite 
the fact that outpatient care was cited as the 
one outstanding need for the Durham area in 
the Regional Health Planning Commission's 
study "Health Care for the 70's". 

For $8.4 million we get a subway system 
with the astounding capability of moving 6000 
people per hour. Of course, one might 



question why 75% of the hospital workforce 
would want to be moved every hour. 

We do get more beds — all in single rooms. 
Duke says that it needs all single rooms 
because as it is now, they can't accept as many 
patients as they want because you can't mix 
sexes and some conditions in the same room. 
However they do not project any rise in the 
occupancy rate when they have all single 
rooms. Those beds will have to be filled for 
Duke to remain solvent. Hospital 
management studies prove that if beds are 
available, doctors will prescribe more 
frequent and longer stays in the hospital — 
certainly the most expensive form of medical 
attention. 

But expense seems to be the last concern. 
The original projection was for a cost of $91 
million. Cost projections have already risen 
by $5 million, and a greater percentage of the 
burden has shifted to the patient. The original 
plans called for an annual debt retirement of 
$5.6 million. (One can presume that the new 
figures are higher). Meeting those payments 
will exert profound pressure to raise prices 
constantly and if one wants to generalize 
about inflation trends and construction cost 
overruns, well, someone's going to pay 
through their teeth. As Alexander McMahon, 
chairman of the Board of Trustees said in May, 
"If people are going to expect to get better 
medical care, they'll just have to pay for it." 
And pay we will, with no control over the kind 
of care we're getting or not getting. 

Now some will argue that no one pays for 
hospitalization these days — insurance covers 
it all. But what is insurance but premiums paid 
monthly from working people's salaries? 
When the cost of health care goes up, 
premiums go up. In Durham in the next few 
years, they should soar. By 1980 there will be 
1500 beds in Durham county. 93% of them will 
be in private rooms. Almost all group 
insurance policies administered at 
workplaces, including Duke, only cover care 
in semi-private rooms. Either people will stop 
going to the hospital or rates will go up. Not 
only does Duke get the bread, the insurance 
companies get some healthy benefits too. 

The insurance dimension brings out some 
of the political aspects of the construction of 
Duke North. As part of its national reputation, 
Duke sports some big names in national 
health circles. One of them is the man who's 
"let them eat cake" attitude I just cited — 
Alexander McMahon, Chairman of the Duke 
Board of Trustees, president of the American 
Hospital Association (AHA), former president 



of Blue Cross/Blue Shield. He's a man known 
for ability to draw profits out of seemingly 
constrained financial situations. In 1970, while 
he served as a member of Nixon's cost of 
living council which imposed across the 
board 5% price increase freezes, Blue 
Cross/Blue Shield managed to gain a 32% rate 
increase. They should merit a substantial 
increase from the Duke project as well. 

McMahon, along with William G. Aniyan, 
Duke's Vice-President for health affairs, who 
chairs the national Association of Academic 
Health Centers, and many department heads 
in the medical center have a great deal of 
influence in national health circles. This is 
especially important in terms of lobbying 
efforts to introduce national health insurance 
which will underwrite all hospital 
construction costs, legislation of which the 
AHA is sponsoring. Then expense won't 
matter — except that taxes will rise to keep up 
with the ever spiraling costs of health care. It's 
like a free ride for major medical centers to 
expand and expand and expand. It's 
happening across the country, and as they 
build, costs will rise higher and higher. And 
there is no way we who pay for it through our 
taxes have any say. There are some who will 
claim that the health care system is 
disorganized. Actually it is very well organized 
for those who can make profits out of it — 
insurance companies, drug companies, major 
health care providers, doctors. The 
book-keeping is organized, if the services 
aren't. 

There are a lot of political implications in 
the way those services are delivered, too. 
Hospitals don't operate without people — lots 
of them — people who examine patients, who 
give them medicine, administer therapeutic 
programs, perform tests, prepare food, clean 
up after everyone else. The most striking 
characteristic of working at Duke is that 
almost everyone is overworked, and it is very 
difficult to provide those services well when 
you simply don't have the time. The second 
major characteristic of working at Duke is that 
most people are treated as if the work they do 
is unimportant, or at least very secondary to 
the doctor. The people who provide the 
services seldom have any part in deciding 
how the services are to be performed — and 
doctors and administrators don't know 
everything. Thirdly there is pay — can you 
imagine trying to raise a family on $2.72 an 
hour? (And that's not the lowest pay scale). 

There are attempts being made to organize 
the services — literally. Ten years ago workers 



at Duke were getting paid 85<i an hour. That 
was when union organizing began. In the 
ensuing time, Duke has probably spent more 
money fighting unionization than it has been 
forced to give up to union members — in 
court costs, lawyers fees, and extending 
benefits gained by the unions to other 
employees in an effort to discourage them 
from joining the union. You might say that 
Duke has a two-pronged approach: 1) making 
it seem that they really care about the 
workers, and 2) intimidating and pressuring 
workers in terms of their job security. The 
unions have withstood the pressure, have 
grown, and are now winning tangible benefits 
for their members, benefits which Duke then 
has to extend to non-union workers in order 
to prove that they care, and to keep them 
from adding to the strength of the unions. 
This summer Duke was "proud to announce" 
that employees would get their birthdays off 
as a holiday, and that evening and night shift 
workers would get an extra premium for their 
work. Their circular made a point of saying 
that these benefits apply only to 
non-bargaining unit employees, the reason 
being, of course, that union members already 
had bargained for them and won them. 




Big Daddy Duke, so generous publicly, also 
believes that sparing the rod spoils the 
worker, and last fall published new work rules 
Including a dress code, and by arbitrarily 
using strict enforcement, tried to make 
people fearful for their jobs. There was a 
reason — it's good public relations to give 
people a raise in hard times, so Duke tried to 
reduce its payroll by 5% in order to give an 
8.5% cost-of-living increase to those who 
were left. That meant firing people, for 
signing in less than five minutes before they 
actually came in, for reading a newspaper 
during working hours. People were sent 
home with warnings for not wearing name 
tags, or for having runs in their stockings. It's 
hard to organize people to fight when they 
fear for their jobs, and especially when some 
of the most outspoken proponents of the 
union are tailed around the hospital by 
people from the labor realtions office. The 
workers have a pretty clear analogy. They call 
Duke "the plantation". Most of the problems 
with patient care at Duke come down to this 
— the people who provide the care are not 
able to determine how that care is delivered, 
and they are prevented from taking steps to 
change that. 




That active unveiling of the hospital plans in 
the summer of 1974 coincided with 
Congressional amendment of labor laws to 
permit the unionization of voluntary 
hospitals, like Duke. So that in terms of the 
Duke North construction, the interests of 
those who run Duke the administrators and 
trustees, has always been in clear opposition 
to the interests of those who make Duke run 
— the workers. There is simply not enough 
money to really improve working conditions 
at Duke and to build Duke North, and the 
construction behind Hanes House shows 
which won out. 

What does this all mean? Why is Duke 
North being built? Duke functions around a 
drive for prestige and money, prestige 
because it brings money. Therefore, it boils 
down to money. The people who run this 
place, the trustees, have spent their lives 
making money, or adding to the money left to 
them. They think making money, lots of it, is 
an inherently good thing. They think that 
Duke should do it, and that Duke students 
should do it. 

We concentrated on the medical center in 
this article because it gets, makes, and spends 
more money than any orther portion of the 
University, and its influence pervades the 
experience of everyone at Duke. Physically it 
dominates all of west Durham, with buildings 
stretching out over half a mile past Davison. 
Look at the students who come here. Sixty to 
eighty per cent of the recent freshman classes 
have come with pre-med intentions, choosing 
Duke largely in hopes that it will improve 
their chances of getting in the medical school. 
I needn't belabor the stereotypic myth of the 
pre-med. But what kind of doctors does Duke 
train, anyway? Doctors who are taught to 
conform to Duke's medical priorities and 
ignorance of primary care and preventive 
care; doctors who are taught that they always 
know what's best — or if they don't, only 
another doctor does; doctors who think that 
only medicine is important and the political 
and economic realities behind the health care 
system are irrelevant. 

And then the medical center dominates in 
terms of developmental priorities, because it 
generates the most prestige and the most 
money. Chancellor Jack Blackburn said last 
spring, by way of defending the hospital 
construction to the faculty that Duke was a 
second-rate university attached to a first-rate 
medical center. He seemed to think Duke 
should keep it that way. And with the amount 
of resources now being funeled to the 




medical center, it looks like it will. The 
contradictions became clear when attempts 
were made to phase out the forestry school to 
help cover last spring's deficit. Foresters, of all 
the professionals trained at Duke, do not 
make much money, and do not generate 
prestigious research. They just work at 
keeping the environment stable enough to 
withstand the onslaughts other professionals 
plan on it. Ecologists are expendable, as are 
most other educational endeavors which 
aren't either prestige rendering (e.g. public 
policy research) or classically entrenched 
(though some of the latter are on occasion 
threatened). 

Duke North is being built because it will 
add to the medical center's prestige, and not 
incidentally to the prestige of the people 
associated with it. The patients who come 
there, the workers who operate it will pay for 
it, with no improvement in the quality of care 
received or provided or in the conditions 
under which services are rendered. The 
medical care which the Duke corporation is 
marketing, even in its jazzed up new form, is 
not the commodity it should be, but we have 
no choice but to buy it, because it's all there 
is. 



What does this say about that second 
commodity, education? First, that the 
university's emphasis on the medical center 
effectively precludes the development of a 
larger emphasis in other areas. Secondly, the 
financial and political dominance of the 
medical center on campus shows that the 
ideology which rules the medical center 
dominates the university. That ideology is one 
of prestige and profit — an endowment of 
Buck Duke just as surely as those bucks were. 
Throughout the university there is more 
attention to the window-dressing than to the 
substantive quality of work, just as in the 
hospital the money is going for a new 
building rather than for improvement of 
services. The work is largely that which 
generates prestige rather than that which is 
needed; i.e., teachers publishing rather than 
teaching, just as the hospital concentrates on 
research and puts little energy into primary 
care. And just as medical students are trained 
to conform to Duke's priorities, to only value 
"professional" opinion, to ignore the political 
and economic implications of their work, so 
are the rest of us trained. 

Our minds and our futures are largely the 
product the Duke corporation is processing. 



Of course, we chose to come here. But was 
there any other choice? We want to do 
productive work, our backgrounds have 
insisted that to do that one goes to college, 
and one tries to go to the most prestigious 
college possible, so as to be better able to 
land a position of influence. We don't 
question that Duke's going to provide us with 
what we want. We don't question what Duke 
provides us with. We don't question what we 
want. But then we're taught not to question 
things as basic as all that — taught it at home, 
in school all our lives, through the media — 
not to question who has authority, and who 
has money, and how they get it, and whether 
someone should be listened to if they're a 
woman or black, and why things can't be 
done right instead of the way they're done by 
someone up there. Because basically this 
system is set up so that those folks who have 
the authority, and the money, and are listened 
to, and do things are the same people who 
have all the answers for us — educationally, 
medically, politically, socially ... ad infinitum. 

The Duke trustees and administrators aren't 
the only ogres. People just like them are 
"guiding" every other institution in our 
society, with much the same ideology and 
practices. And they cooperate, of course, in 
the way that insurance company heads. 



doctors, and college administrators 
cooperated in planning Duke North. And 
that's how power consolidates. And that's 
how Cool Hand Duke holds all the cards. 

However, there's no reason why they have 
to keep those cards. The amorphous entity 
which is Duke is made up of thousands of 
people. Everytime it has been used in this 
article, the word "Duke" has meant those who 
run Duke, because at this point, they have 
determined what it stands for, and what it is 
doing and will be doing. They are also those 
who have benefitted from Duke being what 
they have made it. But what about the 
thousands of us who work and study here? 
Those cards are really ours, but our only 
power is in our numbers. It's not all that hard 
to create an individual solution to whatever 
problems you have with Duke, given time and 
modest expectations. But individual solutions 
will not challenge the priorities, direction or 
quality of education or any other of Duke's 
commodities. It is only by struggling to build a 
union that those who work at Duke have 
begun to gain some control over their work. 

There are clear reasons for outrage against 
Duke. There are two ways to deal with it: 
either stay in the tunnels, or fight it. 

-NAM 







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Dear Xaviera, 

Your cryptic note does not amaze me. You seem 
to think that logic would mean something to me. 
You say that you think I know. Well, yes, X., per- 
haps. But what I know is not what you think. I 
do not have to posit relevence. I do not have to 
decide to live. I do not have to explain myself to 
anyone. Artificer you say? Creator of this "tunnel 
maze?" Hal Listen, Xaviera, there is no creator. 
Neither myself or any big mind. The universe is 
infinite to all perception. The very quantity of 
it denies all statements of moral validity, creation 
or even absurdity. There is no judge. There is 
no one that cares. You and I are but tiny specks in 
the middle of nowhere. Not one damn thing we do 
matters. I'm in this tunnel only because I want to 
be. Go on, try to deny my whims. 

Cheer up, Bozo, you haven't failed. Sure I'll 
take that gun. Suicide may be a rush. 

Come on down and talk, if you dare. 

Here tomorrow. 



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Baby Rat • s Lament 

It was incredibly terse. 

The fucking rats were climbing all over me. Suddenly, 
accompanied by a flash of light and a loud retort, I let fly 
with both barrels of my twelve-guage double-barrel shotgun. 
One of them struck the beast somewhere between the neck and 
right shoulder. It was blown to smitherines. 

Yuck! Puck! said mother rat, slinking back into the 
family burrow. What's gone wrong, asked dad rat, the head 
of that particular burrow. I mean, like, what is the story 
woman, coming home all shot up, bleeding from those holes 
between your joints and mouth and heiny? Gome, clean, momma 
rat. 

Listen, dad, she said, attending to her wo\mds with her 
tongue. Don you gib me dat Jive shit. One dem honkies don 
drilled ray young ass wid a shotgun. 

I am all alone, said baby rat, staring wistfully out 
the picture window. She sat up all night and watched the 
garbage fires biom. 



The following are excerpts from a series of 
letters received by our offices from Joe Harris, 
a '74 Duke graduate now conducting 
agricultural development (i.e. draining 
swamps) with the Peace Corps in Sierra 
Leone. I met Joe at the end of last summer 
and only knew him for a month before he left 
for Africa. He had spent the summer pickin' 
peas in Maryland and had turned down a full 
scholarship to attend graduate school in 
sociology at UNC, opting instead to go to 
Africa. Having come to Duke as a young 
Baptist boy on football scholarship, Joe saw 
the full spectrum while here and when 1 met 
him was living in the Coca-Cola mansion with 
a bunch of freaks. I have a desire to get quite 
syrupy here and tell you what a fine, beautiful 
man he is if only to put into perspective his 
Africa ravings. Though ifs quite true, I won't. 
We just included his letters for all of you who 
said you'd want to go into the Peace Corps 
and never did. 



January 20 
Dear Kerry, 

I know it's bad form to start a letter with an apology, but 
if I ever needed to do so, this is it. First of all, for not 
writing you before, well — what can I say? Inexcusable. 
If it matters at all, about the only people I've written 
besides Melissa are my brother and parents. Not much 
of a defense, but "you haven't written me either!" — if 
you'll allow a regression to my 3-year old mentality. 
Genuine heart-felt apologies. 

As for the photo business — I didn't know what I was 
getting into. I have tried — really put out an effort — 
but the obstacles are so great that I wouldn't feel guilty 
at all about not sending more photos if it hadn't been 
you that gave me the film for the Chanticleer. 

First of all, the 14-16 hour a day, 6 days a week training 
program that started on the first day I entered Africa 
left me little time for serious photography. The physical 
adjustment to food, water, climate, tropical diseases, 
etc. kept me zonked out for quite a big chunk of time. 
I'm just now (after 3 months) beginning to make the 
physical adjustments so that I'm not sick 4 days a week 
and run-down dog-tired the other 3. And the cultural 
problems connected with photography here are too 
much to handle. I'm mostly into photographing 
people, and the older people here resent the white 
man sticking his camera into their lives; while the 
younger people, especially kids, go wild at the sight of 
a camera and immediately strike weird 'funny-face', 
'king-fu', big 'shit-eating grin' poses, artificial as hell. 
Fifty kids jump in front of the camera as soon as you 
pull it out, making it impossible to get a decent shot of 
anyone. Also, if you point a camera at the wrong thing 
(secret society house, sacred bush, holy place, almost 
any tribal ritual, etc.) they'll take your film out of the 



camera (it they don't smash the camera first). And for 
one last excuse, I plead emotional incapacitation. That's 
not true, but the 'culture shock' was a hell of a lot 
harder to take than I had imagined. Thinking of it in 
terms of a two-year commitment didn't ease things at 
all. For the first two and a half months 1 was on such an 
emotional roller-coaster that it was totally 
unbelievable. So high on Africa and what I'm doing one 
day that I just float, like a 15-year-old kid in love for the 
first time (if you can stomach that illustration); and the 
next day so incredibly bummed out by the lonliness 
and disappointment of trying to live in such a socially 
primitive and prejudiced culture that all I want to do is 
cry and crawl back to America. One reason for leaving 
America was so I could perhaps learn to appreciate the 
positive aspects of it better; perhaps my ass! The 
corruption at every level of life and organization here, 
the rigid class barriers, the degree of female "slavery" 
and the grossness of the male chauvinism and 
machismo that's so prevalent here, the prejudice, and 
the inter-tribal stereotyping and hatred, you just 
wouldn't believe that anyone could be so naive as to 
think that he was fleeing to an unspoiled "beautiful 
people" world (certainly not me!). 

January 21 

Got too drunk to finish the letter yesterday. Maybe you 
can appreciate the change in perspective from drunk 
to hung-over. 

Sitting in a run-down, sleezy, cheap-cheap hotel in 
Freetown (Memories of George Orwell's Down And 
Out In Paris And London) scene of a hell of a fight 
yesterday, started between 2 whores and spread 
between 20 or more people for an hour before things 
quieted down. Not a nasty head splitting, bloody, 
bone-breaking rumble like in America — it was strictly 
a West-African fight. Mostly noise and plenty of that. 
Hair pulling and clothes tearing and a god-awful lot of 
screaming, funny as hell. Be great entertainment if 
they'd cut the volume down a notch. 





I am now an official Peace Corps Volunteer; after three 
months in limbo as a trainee I was sworn in 6:17 p.m. 
Thursday, January 16, 1975, with a group administered 
pledge to uphold and defend the United States of 
America's Constitution to the utmost of my ability. (I 
will admit that I fudged a bit on the oath, left out some 
of the declarations of loyalty and altered some of the 
phrases into obscene retorts; not that I have anything 
against the U.S. Constitution. ..it's a fine piece of 
literature and highly idealistic — too bad it didn't work 
out practically like the theoretical blue-prints — but I 
was drunk at the time and it seemed like a good idea to 
say fuck 'America' while being sworn in as a 
government agent). 

This country is enough to turn a young idealist 
middle-class white American child of the 1%0's into a 
flaming bigot and U.S. patriot/imperialist/isolationist. I 
try to be sensitive to the culture and to the real "heavy" 
problem of an African country torn by the very sudden 
transition from traditional tribal life-styles, culture, 
values, etc. to Western civilization which brings out so 
many strange things with it, but I find myself getting 
drunk a lot. Quite often, should I say? 

I wrote to Tricia saying that when you're collapsed, 
clumped against that prickly palm-frond wall of a foul 
smelling latrine in tropical summer/rainy season heat 
and humidity with sweat oozing outta every grimy 
stinking slimy pore of your body after a week's worth 
of dysentary with no end in sight and all your vital body 
fluids and hopes and dreams are dribbling out of the 
bloody raw hole at the bottom of your guts and big 
ugly fat green shit-glutted flies are crawling all over 
your bare ass because no matter how many times you 
get up and let a hundred buzz out there's still a 
thousand there when you sit down again as you know 
you must and you can't remember the last time that 
your stomach felt decent, it's hard to answer Will 
Barrett's eternal query "What's wrong with Mr. and 
Mrs. Will Barrett, Suburbia, U.S.A.?" (Walker Percy's 
The Last Gentleman, WILL BARRETT, what a name! I 
love it, the crucified modern man, Mr. Will Barrett). The 
characteristics of a human being are certainly that he 
must progress alone towards his own unique destiny, 
his own death. To this extent each man must be related 
to the world by his own connections with it and no one 
elses. It is. ..at the threshhold of authentic 




self-discovery that the human being experiences 
anxiety. It is not anything particular which afflicts him. 
It is simply his unsupported, isolated position in the 
world. He begins to doubt the reality of the world, 
because he realizes that he is the source of its reality. 
Even his own place in the world is doubtful, and he 
cannot take anything for granted anymore. 

I have never been much for reading philosophy per se, 
it's always impressed me as a boring and pretentious 
waste of time to spend hours reading circular, 
repetitive, verbose arguments that are usually 95% 
syntax and 5% unoriginal thoughts and unanswered 
questions. (/ can ask myself questions that I can't 
answer.) It is, of course, true that for each individual, 
the world exists solely in relation to himself. If a tree 
falls in an empty forest. ..does it make a sound? ha ha ha 
ha! If 1,752,836 people starve to death in Pakistan, does 
anyone in America lose weight? And how many 
starving Indians will one atom bomb feed? And who 
gives a fuck? 

Well, I did rush to join the front lines of the fight to 
feed the 3rd world, sacrificing worldly comfort to feed 
mankind. Still, I don't feel that COSMIC UNITY, that 
INNER PEACE, that ULTIMATE HARMONY! Tough shit. 

"I really do not wish to live by any law of decay. )ust tell 
me, how long has the world got to be like this? Why 
should there be no hope for suffering? It so happens 
that I believe that something can be done, and this is 
why I have rushed out into the world as you have 
noted." "...everything about you, Henderson-Sungo, 
cries out, 'Salvation, Salvation! What shall I do? At 
once! What will become of me?' And so on. That is 
bad." "If I had the mental constitution to live inside the 
nutshell and think myself the king of the infinite space, 



that would be just fine. But that's not how I am. I am a 
becomer...rve just got to stop BECOMING. Jesus 
Christ, when am I going to BE?" 

Saul Bellow's, Henderson The Rain King (what else are 
you gonna read during your first African exile?) isn't a 
great book, and it's existential salve of "love/being" is 
certainly trite enough, but it does pose one good point. 
What good does it do to beat your head against the 
wall? You know that there is no answer to the 
existential dilemma, so why torture yourself? The world 
does not exist except through you (each individual 
human); you are the world. And what else should you 
do except enjoy your self/your existence/the world. 
Hopefully, fulfilling your unique identity will have 
positive rather than negative value. (What is good? evil? 
pos-neg? ta da ta da) But what does it matter? You've 
got to live your life. Right now, for me, "living my life" 
has brought me to Africa to try to help some very needy 
people in a grass-roots, earthy type of way. Maybe it's 
idealistic and naive to think that perhaps I can do some 
good, and especially so to actually try and do it, but it 
doesn't ease that cosmic itch. You can't find an 
"answer" and "do it" either; you've just got to develop 
your head and get into your life, whatever is going on. 
Maybe when I serve my time in Africa I'll be able to 
enjoy life by going to law school and living comfortably 
with a mountain house and a sailboat and good wine 
and a woman that touches my soul. Or selling used 
cars. Or living on a subsistance farm commune. 
Whatever, it doesn't matter. I hope that didn't bore you 
too much. If this seems rather silly, just remember that 
I'm living in a culture that doesn't discuss anything 
heavier than today's rice crop. 









I'll try to send more photos, but don't expect much 
from me. I've got so much to keep me busy now. 
Planning out a water control for just one swamp, 
surveying the land, marking contours, designing the 
system, supervising the work, beaurocratic hassles 
getting supplies, food and laborers and writing 
monthly reports and applying for grants from the U.S. 
Embassy, Catholic Relief Service, World Food 
Programme, problems with the natives,... it's a hell of a 
lot of work and time for just one swamp, and the native 
agricultural extension agents in my chiefdom have 
registered 336 2-acre swamps for development this 
year, and there are also two large swamps (40-plus 
acres and 100-plus acres) that need to be done. Of 
course I'll never do half that work. 



Tuesday night (maybe) 

Kerry, my man, brother lover kindred spirit soul heart 
and cosmic conscience of mine — greetings and 
heart-felt salutations. Hope you're still in Durham, 
hanging around waiting for this letter. My job and life 
here has entailed more bureaucratic hassles than I 
would have dreamed of, and the extra added 
mind-fuck of being a genuine boss man ala British 
Colonial Mentality (every African son of a mother 
kisses white-ass and not a day passes when I don't hear 
4 or 5 variations of "we the black man are lowly 
ungrateful thieves and liars, o holy white man; we 
don't believe ourselves, only the white man; black 
skin, black heart, etc., etc.) Makes me a/mosf (ha!) wish 
I were in Angola dodging insults instead of sleeping in 



shit here. What makes it worse is that I enjoy having a 
houseboy to fetch water for me and plow the garden 
and wash dishes, and I even enjoy having preferential 
treatment in getting a good seat on public transport 
(well, god damn it, so would you after riding with 42 
other people in the enclosed back of a Datsun pick-up 
truck in 90° weather when you're the only one who's 
had a bath in the past week.) 

One field assistant (the natives that I work most closely 
with, who all claim that I am their best friend in the 
whole world) broke into my house and stole everything 
of value that he could carry out but was kept out of 
trouble because he was related to the assistant minister 
of Ag.S.L. even though he had been caught stealing 
once before. One field assistant was caught stealing a 
$4.00 rope when he brought me 4 ropes and been 
given 5 ropes to give to me. One field assistant was 
caught stealing, then selling 50 bags of (U.S.A. donated) 
nutritionally enriched bulgar that was supposed to be 
fed to those undernourished farmers and kids as an 
incentive to work in our water control-agricultural 
improvement program. One field assistant sold some 
tools (Peace Corps via Catholic Relief Service grant I 
personally received) I had given to him to distribute to 
farmers he was supervising. These are only four out of 
the nine who've been caught, lord knows what else 
they've gotten away with. Fuck, you can't feel sorry for 
yourself for so long, there's another month old shit 
coming down on my head, so shall we turn the whole 
thing into a massive soap-opera tragedy or shall we 
forbear and live in the sweeter moments of life? 



It's now Tuesday night. ..sittin' at a bar in Waterloo 
drinking beer and eating beef sticks (beef and onion 
shis-ke-bob with native spicy sauce). Might as well tell 
you about the greeting with the Paramount Chief 
today. Had a palm frond made especially for the 
seclusion S.L. soldiers and police guarding the 
compound with their rifles and demanding clearance 
before admitting anyone. A pile of shoes and sandles 
outside the entrance, barefoot only. Enter the 
compound, 3 walls and then the open gathering space. 
Five people under mats for shade, the Chief, the 2nd 
big man in chiefdom. Chief's 1st wife. Chief's father, 
and biggest section chief in Koya Chiefdom. Diagonal 
to that was a low bench with 10 big chiefs. Then rows of 
benches facing the chief with all the other village and 
section chiefs and tribal authorities. Came in with my 
village chief, Sheku, greeting, bows, pleasantries, 
introductions, etc., then they led me to the 6th seat in 
the front, next to the Paramount Chief's 1st wife. What 
a big man I was. What bluff and bullshit. I did get off on 
the tribal rituals/cross-cultural experience type stuff; in 
fact, it seemed more natural than a western board of 
directors meeting in a skyscraper in a concrete and 
smog village, but it was nonetheless bluff and bullshit 
as everywhere as always people just can't exist without 
those social games and ego games. Pottos (white 
people) are big people here because they're white 
Westerners (esp. American) but it's a hollow type of 
respect, mostly just a barrier to any personal 
interaction. 

Listen, Kerry, if there's one ounce of love for me in your 
crazy hippy-spaced soul, you will forthwith procure a 
copy of Famous Men and devote yourself to it for 
however long it takes. ...a portrait of Depression tenant 
farmers that might help you to appreciate all your 
advantages while you still have them, before you run 
away with the Peace Corps and live as a western totem 
in the midst of squalor/ignorance/indifference or trot 
off to another unrealistic American adventure as an 
apprentice mystic with your nose stuck up some 
stagnated egotistical messiah's ass. Oust a friendly and 
compassionate note of warning from a fellow youthful 
idealistic crusader who is sacrificing American luxury 
and intellectual stimulation and social bowel 
movements in a frustrating and largely unappreciated 
effort to save the Third World from starvation.) 

By the way, the photos here of two men holding a pole 
between them (on their shoulders) are of a native 
magic ceremony. The stick is a "thief stick". Some 
native in Mapaki stole some clothes from a P.C., so the 
village chief sent for a medicine man to catch the thief. 
The medicine man tied a cloth containing magic 
objects, juju, into a ball and tied it on the thief stick 
with twine. Two men carry the pole of their shoulders, 
and the medicine man sprinkles a liquid potion on 
their heads, shoulders, hands, knees with a special 
stick. 

The two men carrying the stick go into a trance, their 
eyes alternately screwed shut and open blank, shaking 
and trembling uncontrollably all over their body, esp. 
at the upper chest and shoulders where the stick is 
resting. The men are unable to release their two-fisted 
grip; it takes four or five men to pry them off. (At 
Mapaki, the first man they tried on the front of the stick 
was perfect; they had to try four different men at the 





back before one got into a satisfactory trance.) Then 
with the thief stick guiding and controlling them, they 
begin lurching and stumblin' about, running at top 
speed {barefoot over stony pebble-covered ground), 
stopping suddenly, wheeling, spinning, always with 
jerky wild motions. First, they made a "trial run" to 
prove to everyone that the medicine works. The chief 
hides a coin somewhere in the village, and the stick 
finds it, after 30 minutes or so. The villagers are 
laughing and joking during the search, but whenever 
the stick comes near them they run away and avoid it. 
When the thief stick finds the coin, everyone becomes 
silent. The stick has proven itself. Now to catch the 
thief. The thief stick runs all over the village, dashing at 
groups of people, all of whom shy away from the stick 
and try to avoid it. The stick (and men holding it, of 
course) runs into people violently at random, 
scattering groups and occasionally knocking an unwary 
person down. It finally comes to bear on one young 
man, who is obviously frightened and quite nervous 
when the stick singles him out. It turns out that this 
man knows someone who knows who the thief is. Back 
into the search. A second man is pointed out. He is not 
the thief, but he knows who the thief is. Back into the 
search. The crowd of villagers watching is quiet and 
tense, somewhat nervous. The stick jerks and lurches 
and spins as before, as always, and then dashes into a 
man sitting in a hammock, striking him repeatedly and 
knocking him out of the hammock. It is the thief. He 
protests, insisting that he is innocent. I ask a village 
elder what happens when a man who is pointed out by 
the stick claims to be innocent. He said that it often 
happens, but after you beat the thief he always 
confesses. At any rate, the man the thief stick pointed 
out in Mapaki was the actual thief, because they found 
the clothes in his room when they searched it. Theft is 



very common in Sierra Leonne. Even in the very small 
bush villages people lock their doors and windows. 
When a thief is caught in a village, he is beaten half to 
death (literally) before he is turned over to the legal 
authorities. 

Starting a garden here. ..American-type vegees. Hope 
they do all right in the African soil and climate. 
Tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, lima 
beans, field peas, watermelon, cantaloupe, mustard 

greens, radishes It's been good going through the 

various fruit seasons here. Oranges and bananas when 
I arrived, then pineapple, avocado, and mango; 
coconut all the time; plums, peanuts, lemons and 
limes. Got a pet monkey now, don't know what kind, 
but I've seen them in the zoos. This one's fairly tame, 
young, affectionate, and real cute. A bit of a hassle 
sometimes, always getting tangled around tree-posts, 
and getting his bod emeshed in the jaws of passing 
dogs. 

Thursday afternoon 

Ahh, swamp work; fresh air and sunshine in 
gargantuan doses, a thoroughly respectable job, a solid 
niche in the world and a clear conscience; what more 
could a man ask for besides decent food, and a 
humane climate, freedom from constant sieges of 
tropical diseases and parasites and decent 
companionship? Ah yes, those bitter-sweet blues. Well, 
one last thing, about those cosmic doubts and all. No, 
of course I don't think that money and mellow thighs 
will ease any doubts or answer any questions. It just 
seems like one can resign himself to the great DOUBT 
just as easily with a glass of good Scotch in his hand 
and a few good friends in more desirable conditions. 
Have no fear, I am not opting for law school and 
Cadillacs (not yet). Guide yourself as you go. 
Love, 
joe 



One night I had gone to the Student Prince with three 
Kappa Alpha that were rushing me. The guys were getting 
the beer. I lay my jacket on a chair, studying the messages 
carved in the table. I learned that Rufus loved BuleaJi. 
Gladys loved to suck cock. And Sarah's number was 286-2825. 

The meanest-looking man in the world sat on my jacket. 
One of the guys said, Watch out for him. He's a psychopath, 
and he's all-ACC. 

When I had a few beers in me, and knew I didn't want 
to be a Kappa Alpha, the goon was still on my jacket. I 
saw his hairy arm flatten against my father's fli^t jacket. 

Excuse me, could I please have my jacket. Arching my 
eyebrows, I tried to look as meek as I could. With enormous 
irritation, he turned his jaw my way. The very jut in it 
violated my personal space. 

I didn't want to be a Kappa Alpha, and I wanted my 
jacket. I looked to the other guys for approval, scratched 
my ear, put ray hand on my jacket, and tugged. 

The lights went out. 

Staggering into the parking lot, I went looking for the 
other guys. 

When I found them they said, I told you he was poison. 



At the basketball game I saw the star guard from State 
shaking his fist at our man. Blood gushing from his mouth, 
he stared agog at the star. The star turned, put his hand 
on his hip and winked at the crowd. 

We had booed the refs ever since the day we met. 




The Library 



A passage exists out of these timnels into the ■underground stacks of Perkins 
Library. I simply pried loose a metal grill and came out. When my eyes had ad- 
justed to the li^t, I discovered myself surrounded by endless rows of books, each 
one a stitch, each row a seajn holding together the fabric of that world which I 
have left behind. The books screamed at me with the voice of a million authors — 
Read mel I'm important! I have answers! Read me! The din raised by this awful 
litany sent me running down the aisles, looking for a way out. 

I popped through a swinging door and into a bathroom. It was quiet in there, 
except for the hum of the flourescent generator and a dripping faucet. Quiet, and 
sterile, like a doctor's office: the floor and walls were made of the same ceramic 
tile. All of the fixtures were of stainless steel, all spotless. 

I couldn't avoid the mirror. I saw the face looking back at me, looking 
more boyish than I could have imagined. I looked almost beatific, in spite of my 
dirt— and sweat-streaked face and tangled hair. There were the tracks of strain 
and struggle in the face, and a certain loneliness; but the weariness, the blood- 
shot eyes and tight mouth that formerly were mine seemed gone. 

At first I couldn't believe it. How could my underground existence, with its 
constant self-confrontations and torturous intensity, have re-made me into a boy? 
I washed my face and smoothed the gnarled hair with my hand. Looking again, the 
face smiled at me. The teeth were yellow— brown, but still, none of them were rot- 
ten, or abnormally ugly. 

The door opened, I was startled. I saw the intruder first in the mirror: 
a tall, thin, blonde man with a young face. His was a contorted young face, mis- 
shapen by the world vftiich had driven me underground. 

Instead of going into the stall, the man stopped directly behind me. I con- 
tinued looking in the mirror. 

"Let's get to it," he said. His voice was hi^-pitched in spite of an attempt 
to sound gruff. His speaking startled me even more. I cleared my throat, searching 
for some way to answer. In the mirror a bead of sweat collected in the blonde fuzz 
on his upper lip. 

"Listen, do you want it or not?" he asked, trying to demand, instead the 
pleading in his voice betraying him. 

"What the hell are you talking to me for?" I croaked, still looking at him in 
the mirror. He faltered; I thought for a moment he was going to turn and walk out; 
but he hung there indecisive, then stepped towards me. His knees touched the backs 
of my thi^s. They twitched nervously. Watching his eyes, I knew he had no intention 
of attacking me. We both stood motionless as the silence became unbearable. My own 
knees felt weak, my stomach was churning. I had not been this close to ajiother 



human being for ... a long -time. I took my focus from his face and looked at my 
ovm. My lips formed a ti^t purple line across the middle of my face, and my eyes 
looked back at me full of pleading, as if they were about to cry milky tears of 
loneliness. I-Iy image started to get hazy and I shifted back to the other pair of 
eyes in the glass. 

He saw the unbounded magnitude of my loneliness, felt the fury of my frustrated 
love. Then he glanced down and saw my tangled, dirty hair, knotted ciirls full of 
spider webs and dusty grease. He looked at my tattered clothes, the shirt sleeves 
shredded by sharp fences and gates, the blue jeans worn through but impatched. 
Suddenly, realizing how I looked, how unappealing to any, even the loneliest, of 
human beings, I felt ashamed, embarrassed, pl\uiged even deeper into my well of 
separation. 

When his eyes returned to the mirror they met mine with incredulity and then 
fear. I felt his knees wobble with it. 

ii;ifho — wha — " he grunted involuntarily and ran out the door. Without thinking 
I turned and ran after him. He was fast, his long legs carried him down between the 
rows of books. He ran in and out of the stacks, but I kept pace with him. I saw 
his head tiirn to guage his lead and, running into a chair, he lost his balajice and 
fell. I hurled myself on top of him; sitting on his stomach, I pinned his arms to 
the floor. 

SqTaeezing his eyes tightly shut he ttirned his head to the side, as if trying to 
burrow through the concrete floor. 

"Vjhat do you want?" he pleaded, and began sobbing pitifully. I was breathless 
from the chase, my heart was pounding wildly in my chest. But my brain was clear, 
and it was working on a riddle which it couldn't understand. Why, after going to 
such great lengths for so long to avoid these cretins, was I running one down like 
he was the last on earth? He had acted like he knew me, his look had affected me in 
a strange way. I needed to discover why. 

"Look at me," I said, kneeling down in front of him. I tried to take all emotion 
out of my voice; I didn't want to scare him, or hurt him. 

"Listen, blondie, look at me." He opened his eyes, but turned his head to the 
chair. I took his face in both hands and turned it toward me. 

"I don't want to hurt you, so just answer me a question, okay?" 

"No, no, leave me alone. Sweet Jesus, sweet Jesus, I'm sorry." He was reduced 
to a pathetic quivering terror. But I had to get my answer. 

"Talk to me, not Jesus, you dumb shit." I shook him by the shirt front until 
he looked at me. "That's better. Now shut up and listen: why did you come into 
that bathroom tonight? How did you know I'd be there?" 

He shut his eyes again; I snapped his neck and they came open. 

"You know," he said. "You know." 

"Listen, you asshole, I don't know why, I don't know you, I've never been in 
that John before in my life. So, you just tell me." He looked at me through his 
tears, then, in an effort to compose himself, he wiped his nose on his shirtsleeve. 
"I don't believe you." 

"Listen, motherfucker, I'm losing my patience." I was. 

"Listen," he said, mimicking me with his frightened voice, "you're just a god- 
dammed pervert, a no good, fucking, cock-sucking pervert. If you don't leave me 
alone I'll have your ass sucking cocks in a jail some place." His attempt at 
bravado was too much. I broke up laughing, which only increased his fright. I 
watched the terror rise in his throat, and he tried to bolt. Catching him by the 
shirt-tail, I slapped his face twice and sat him down again. 

"Okay, let's go back to that John." I grabbed his ankles and dragged him 
along the smooth concrete floor to the door. He got up, and I pushed him inside. 
Once I was inside he turned his back to me and, still in that whimpering voice, said; 

"Okay, this is what you want, go ahead and do it." And he turned around with 
his cock in his hand. 

All of the anger went out of me. "Put it back in your pants," I said, turning 
to go out the door. 

"What?" He seemed to sink into the floor. "Hey come back here." He was grabbing 
ray arm. I was unresisting; the episode had sent me back to that place in my mind 
where nothing matters, I just wanted to get back to where the walls are dark and 
encrusted with dirt, where dark tunnels run in all directions. But first he wanted 
to show me something. Scrawled on the wall with a felt-tip pen was this: 

"Free Blow Job — This Stall — l/l9/75 — 12:30 a.m." 

"Don't you recognize your own handwriting, you pervert," he said bitterly. 

"I didn't write it, I whispered. He dropped my arm; I just walked back 
across the stacks and crawled through the passageway, back into my world. 








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A solitary man should think twice before he gets a gun, but 
when Xaviera dropped a test like that in my lap, I could no longer 
avoid the logic of death. 

lust for kicks I rounded up some mirrors from Storeroom 347 
and placed them in a circle around nie. Obliterating those mirrors 
with a .44 magnum was quite thrilling, but the next to the last 
mirror was almost the last to hold this dirty face. Rebounding off 
a brass pipe behind it, the bullet grazed the curve of flesh where 
neck and shoulder meet. 

For a while I stared blankly into the last mirror. Then, using the 
blood from my shoulder and chest, I traced the outline of my 
face on the glass. 

The surprise impact of the bullet interrupted the plodding in- 
evitability of my fascination with death. 

I laughed. 



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These systems of mind — I'd have to 
open them or they'd bust on their own. 
Not wanting to have my brains dislodged 
any more, I took the old form out to find 
vhat's what and who's who. My mother 
! had sent a copy of the garbage directory, 
I and I tried to find my name. Instead, 
\ I found an old letter tucked between 
I Rothschild and Russel. It was mostly 
! sex talk between an old lover and myself. 

I remembered our bliss above hot rocks. 
*That woman made mine steam. I had flashes, 
like a television coming on with its elec- 
^ tron grin. Sex. I hadn't been laid in 
three years. Sure, I had read books; 
but eating Peking Duck isn't exactly a 
' conversation with the Chairman. My out— 
of-the-body experiences had done a lot, 
interviewed a part of me I used to think 
couldn't make sense. I liked that inter- 
view, but it was unsatisfactory in the 
end, like the best of movies, still, only 
itself, as fresh as yesterday's fish. I 
had ei^t lives left at least, I figured, 
and I wasn't going to miss the Y this 
next time. 

^ Muff diving! A hot meal of whisker 
■biscuits would melt my butter faster than 
rany of these slack metaphysical retorts 
received from Xaviera, you could bet your 
lolly pop. I wanted to get into Mrs. 
Robinson. Hell, I'd take Betty Ford. 
Shit, I'd dig up Betsy Ross if I had to. 
Anybody. I was like an artist in search 
of a critic. I was fed up with eating 
shit. 




the grounds crew 







in four dimensional life il lakes three to tango. 




Hazel Barnett was a worker on Duke's 
grounds crew. He died on May 12, 1975 at the 
age of 67. 



the only death that has mattered- 
matters more than 
dealing with-makes sane. 

the connection: to make a contribution is to 
set roots in your soul — ^the vital pit of growth, 
and henceforth comes the challenge to offer a 
valid excuse to give a damn, 
i won't make a storm, rather define one. This 
world needs a storm, many. Reflect for a mo- 
ment on a storm. Notice how folks release 
their inhibitions — the street downtown for a 
split second becomes a neighborhood — 
people waving from shop fronts as if they 
were on their own porch — they're made to re- 
alize what it is that's around them. Be it trees 
bent, or trash scattered about or a scurrying 
of an old woman to cover. Birds drop from the 
sky as missiles on inexplicable joy rides, dogs 
bathing in mud, while raptured amphibious 
belches play in the wind. It's a storm that 
clears the air, flushes streams, tumbles em- 
bankments, finds us as in a tremble. For a mo- 
ment. But to relax and wonder after a storm — 
what has happened — what's new — how does 
it mean to do us. 

As a social comment — and really not so much 
social, rather human; are we then, to go 
without comparative storms — in a 
microscosmic gesture of need — a need un- 
defined, but bold nevertheless? So, duke, 
what are you, you that are here? Are we at- 
tached to each the other — is there a thing of 
growth here — ^we are calling on storms, you 
stoned arches and highbrow fame! 

funeral, durham. 1975 



I looked for a face I couldn't find, closing my 
eyes to tears, realized we were in a church, a 
church of holy men, and crying men. Hazel, 
old buddie, do you see this your fellowship? 
Do you know our sorrow? And you are in joy? 
If you notice my small frame, my broken pain, 
know how short it will be. 



"There was one man, he always be so lazy, 
and wantin no work for food. We, perhaps, 
was bums, but we knew each other as friends, 
and there's a law in it. Those of us got 
together under a rock. It was tough times, and 
the railroad bulls were hot. So we found this 
rock to git under — to keep from the rain and 
wind, ya know. "Each day we'd go out, and do 
little jobs, askin fer food, or a little money. 
Some of us was just askin, some was findin 
work. Then each night we'd go back to the 
rock and share what we gots during the day. 
But this one guy, he won't work, see, and he'd 
eat. But we say'd to him, you's got to work. He 
says, 'But i cain't eat nothin 'cept cone bread.' 
So we's got together and decided to only br- 
ing back cone bread — seein that's only his ex- 
cuse. And it warn't long fore he got the wind 
and see's we mean him to work or go. And he 
went to work. That's, you know, the way a law 
works. And we was people." 

I wouldn't have to be here, but I wanted to see 
you again, Hazel. You gave me so much, and I 
am part of your family. 

Hazel's best friend was lost to me in the 
crowd. I never saw a place so full of folk. And 
every face had the knowing in it. Everything — 
in a blur — my first tears in months and 



months. The preacher man, young, alive, 
clean and cool, stood tall above us in his 
pulpit platform — his dark body, clothed in the 
blackest robe, was set off by electric lit cross 
and beyond, the sacred windows of prophets 
and searchers. The crowd's heartbeat began 
to tick, it was a dam to burst, a storm of holy 
clamoring — I knew — but this preacher, this 
reverant being was so cool, so calm, that I 
doubted the show. 

"D'you know, Scott, dat I ain't so good. ..wit 
church, or goin. But my wife, she go when she 
can, and I know the Bible. Yessir, and I knows 
Cod is a blessin me. God know all bout you, 
and what you does, and he follows you, 
makes you be OK, and won't let noffin wrong 
harms you. But once at last. He comes to call 
you to him. It's a good day." 

I can almost smell gin, as must be the clear 
message. A heart attack? Well — I guess he 
used it plenty — ^the heart. What that he had to 
work every day — hard and aching, strong and 
tiring man. 

Hazel rested, and besides a few, the only 
silent one. Oh, the jungle heat, the Amazon 
beat — rock and roll, true shot to the angry 



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god, the holding god — the demanding god. 
Let my people go. And what I thought was a 
cool preacher, well, he got hot — he burned 
my very face, he scorched my soul, and with 
all his song and scream. Left, and right, "Oh, 
Jesus, we know it's hard, and a long road, it's 
rough. Lord and sometimes we think we 
aren't gonna make it — " 
"Yess, Jesus, oh praise you — " 
"and yet we hold our heads up, Jesus, and we 
know that the Holy Spirit is with us, oh lord, 
oh lord, mighty and — " 
"Yess, yes, yes — ^Jesus, yes, oh yes!" — 
" — the holy one, we know our brothers break 
bread to you, and in your Saving Grace we al- 
low to be Your servents." 
My head was down — I found my strength 
withered as if the desert sun were resting on 
my forehead. How do these people leave 
such a scene? And is Hazel rolling, too? 

"You're a good friend, Scott, cause you know 
that it ain't much difference to being old or 
young. Some old people hates to see the 
young ones havin fun — but dey always been 
dat way. When they was young — dey was hard 
already. "I ain't gonna quit bein young, Scott. I 
just can't. 

"Scott, I's 66 years old. That's 66 years! And I 
seen a whole lot, and been a long way, but I'm 
always back, and see's a good time for a party, 
and then we git together. Like now, and 
dance, and have music — I, see — I gots my 
harp here with me, always gots it here in my 
pocket." Man, you dance and dance where 
you are, then. I must believe that. And you 
dance inside of me. 

Then it was over, a prayer or something quiet, 
brought us to speechless wonder. And ushers 
issued forth, their slow motioned sweep 
towards this and that row — with the turn to 
say farewell. Hazel. 

I couldn't help crying. It came like a force all 
its own, hardly of me at all. Wonder if I could 
look at Hazel and keep living — I went. And I 
made it — I didn't look long, there was a body. 
I recognized, but no life, and so — well, I went 
on. 

The return to our places, a glance encom- 
passed Hazel's wife. Bent as the oldest living 
one, the hardest beat of all, torn from sanity, 
peace, and "my bestest friend." Like a shot of 
cognac — I burned, reeled and bolted — all as 
in a vague motion — towards my seat. My 
senses, oblivious save for her words, "He was 
the bestest friend I 'ver haid." I saw her go up 
to her man, she flew as in a mad chance, a 
sporadic hope, that her mate, now so deeply 
gone from her — would in his turn, lift up — 



jump to the floor to meet her — to grasp her — 
to melt as one in love — and take her on wing 
into the heaven so demanding, the fixed, the 
absorbing passions complet. 
I clenched in fright at how real and front-on 
this ordeal was — how lost we are to define it. 
Hazel would be the only one now to un- 
derstand. His person was full, as a pregnant 
explosion — always leaking the truth of such 
solid acquaintance with this opening flow of 
life. Death would not halt his pace, merely 
beckon him on. 

Fellow clowns, 

associated jokers — 

halt thy chuckle. 

Make one moment, 

one fucking pause — 

to mingle your very 

soul — 

the quick of your being, 

to awaken with the heavens 

and praise the man. 

I see all around 
an earth 

in sorrow 

deep as the furrows 
of Eden's struggle — 
yet it grew 

so we have witnessed 
and we know 

that there are 

lambs and lions 

as one 
with the single birth, 
the exhalted source. 

Asa member, 
I ask of you — 

all of you — 
to shed a tear 
as grace allows 
for the fine 

and pure emotion 
love — 

to speak then, 
with a black angel 
much like rainbow's 
sparkle — 
and the multitude 
of colours fastened 
as a solitary mark — 

that is black — 

and it then is Black — 

and an angel is born 

to behold 

a new day 

a new song. 













&♦»•' 






I 






Making Friends 

You don't always jet used to the strange noises you hear under£,Tound. A 
threat can talce any form; I learned about that fast enou£;h. 

Xaviera had 'bou:;^t me a .44 magnum; simple technology's power implement. 
This was a Smith and Wesson model 29, the only handgfun of this caliber v/ith both 
a sin£;le and a double action. This fucker had a six inch barrel and could launch 
a factory loaded bullet that wei£;hs close to an ounce at over fifteen hundred 
feet per second, developing enough stopping power to knock Big Daddy Lipscomb 
on his ass, or whatever was left of it. I cared for this monster v/ell; kept it 
by my side for ei^t months before smashing the action and leaving it in the 
furnace. I thought when I had it, the gun v;ould provide ample protection. 

On a Sunday afternoon, while I was under HH building, I heard this guy 
screaming his lungs out. 

"Oh my God, Jesus. Please somebody help me. Help," went the screams. It 
sounded like a male student , 

I heard it again. The screams sounded sincere. 

This put me in a tight spot. I don't like to leave the tunnels for any 
reason or anyone. A year before, when I had cut through to an artery in my 
left hand by mistake, I cared for myself rather than come above ground for medi- 
cal assistance, getting a nice infection for my trouble. Another time I sv;eated 
throu^ a six day fever, hardly able to take food, I had ample opportunities to 
gain superficial profit by coming up, and I never responded. 

Figuring a life might depend on it, this time I came up, crawling throu{^ 
the trunk storage space and coming out of the maid's closet into the first floor 
hall. I covered the first floor of the dorm looking for the screamer, who had 
by now stopped screaming. With my pass key, I opened all the rooms and found 
the entire floor deserted. I took the center stairs to the second floor, but 
propped the fire door open with a beer can so that I could hear anyone moving 
around downstairs. The second floor was deserted, but then I heard the fire 
door close and footsteps. 

Down the stairway I went, shouting this time, "Is anyone here? Is anybody 
hurt?" 

Nothing. 

Then more footsteps, and finally the sound of a stereo. I heard the music 
seeping under the door from room 112. 

Room 112 was empty less than two minutes ago. 

Standing by the door, I yelled, "Is anybody hurt in there?" 

Nothing again. 

VJhatever was going on, was either a sham or very serious. Or maybe this 
guy had a wairped sense of humor. It started not to matter which it was. Having 
been raised from the dis involvement of the tunnels, having been motivated by 
concern for a fellow human, I began to take the incident grimly. 

I opened the door with my pass key. 

In the single room, on a mattress thrown on the floor, lay this naked guy, 
listening to the stereo. His hair and beard were blonde and his dick flopped 
across his right thigh. He looked infinitely bored. He raised his eyebrows, 
as if to ask me, what's the matter with you, buster? 

"Were you screaming?" I demanded. 

He breathed three times before answering. "Not anytime recently." 

I was not attracted to this guy. Wot a bit. 

"Did you hear someone screaming?" I wanted to know. 

He didn't answer. 

"Were you screaming?" I asked again, raising my voice, "before anytime 
recently?" 

He turned, still looking bored, to face the wall. "Leave me alone, man," 
he whispered, 

I could have shot that motherfucker. 






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The Pipes 

I'd been talking to myself about this closed 
system I was in all along. Miserable as I was, 
I'd thought I was learning important truths avail- 
able only within it. IVhat I didn't know was that 
that ass;araption was itself the system's last trump 
card. I and the world around me were collapsing 
even more readily than usual, tmder my abstracted 
and self-referential scrutiny. For me to try to 
think at all was like pissing in the wind. 

Solipsism, salvation through sex, masturbation 
— I'd tried them all. But only one thing stuck 
with me. In the tunnels one day I'd found a trap 
pipe and played it like a French horn. A funnel 
stuck into the end improved the tone, and I had 
something I could trust, that was my own. Some- 
thing real. IJ[y mouth bled like a tomato mashed 
on a cheese grater, but that too was okay. 

The only thing was, I didn't know what the 
quality of my pleasure had been till weeks later, 
when I awoke from a dream, swabbing compulsively 
at my mouth with my shirt tail, surprised there 
was no blood. I went back and looked for the 
pipe but couldn't find it; so I put the incident 
out of mind. 

My last morning in the tunnels I woke up 
with Thelonious Monk's tune Ba-lue Bolivar Ba- 
lues going throu^ me strong as a jackhammer, 
twisting my pelvis to its will. I could play a 
trombone part to it that would be stronger than 
a horn. I needed a fucking trombone. That was 
what I needed. A trombone. Ba-lue- Bolivar 
Ba-lues. With some guts in it. 




By the time I left I didn't give a shit about that Schopenhauer 
poster. I mean, what was a country— squire pessimist next to a 
tromlione? 

As I came out the door, I saw a form hanging in the sky, scarring 
the face of the moon. 

It was a dead dog, mouth sopping with blood, tail dangling from 
a single strand of muscle. I tripped and, catching my wei^t sharply 
on my elbow, realized it wasn't there. 

On my way to the bus station, I promised myself I would never 
call these "the good old days." 






I 

House. 

it was 
I 
I 



had ray short-haired wig on as I passed Brown 
Some bare-chested freaks asked me what time 



told them and kept walking. 

felt buckshot hit my ass. 
When I rolled over all I could see was smoke 
coming out the barrel of a shotgun. I couldn't see 
any faces. 




The Chanticleer wo\j\d like to thank the following contributors and inspired 
tyros without whose labor this book would not have been possible: 
Delia Adkins, Sony Asti, Gary Beck, Andrew Berlin, Rob Brezsney, Holly 
Brubach, Roger Calistro, Dr. Phil Calkins, Elizabeth Chapman, )im Cobb, Chris 
Cooper, Dr. Roger Corless, E.E. Cummings, Dave Darling, Russell Dione, Ross 
Dunseath, Ned Earle, Scott Elsbree, Steve Emerson, Jim Farley, Aden Field, Julie 
Garnett, Lama Govinda, Gretchen, Dean Bill Griffith, Richard Hackel, joe 
Harris, Ed Harrison, Dan Hull, Mick Jagger, Robin-Eve Jasper, Laura Knott, Dr. 
Wesley Kort, Mark Kutler, Nick Kyriazi, Bernard Lefkowitz, Rick Levine, Cindy 
Lewis, Joe Linus, Vic Lucas, Colt Luse, Matt Mackowski, Marci, Dan McVane, 
Martha Maiden, Elizabeth Matheson, Robert McKenzie, Peg Melville, John 
Menapace, Steve Miller, Bill Morris, Diane Neumaier, Bob Nesbit, Dee O'Neal, 
Nick Pearson, Maggie Radzwilier, Tim Ramsey, Day Ricketts, Scott Ricketts, 
Peaches Rigsbee, Richard Robinson, Tom Rodman, Phil Schaefer, Lee 
Shoemaker, Mark Smylie, Gary Snyder, Pete Synowiez, Bob Watson, Bruce 
Weinstein, Kerry Wilson, Terry Wong, Bill Worrell, and Wendy Zeilman. Special 
thanks to Ras Daniel Heartman, Dan Moses, Ronald Prewitt, Fritz Haffner, 
and the people at Western Publishing Company. 

Andy . . . when I see you repeat a race riot ... I don't see it as a political 
statement but rather as an expression of indifference to your subject. 
Warhol: It is indifference ... It just caught my eye. 



Andy Warhol, 1964 



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