Portraits From Green Bay

December 1982

A strand of plastic Christmas green wraps itself around the wet top of the light signal like a caterpillar. The trees by the river look like powerless sticks. The streets shine wet on Three Corners in the rain. The lights change red yellow green and the cars come from 5 directions. They play country and western music over at the Banc supper club across the street.

Faculty Forum: They sit in ruminative form – feet sprawled to the fire, forehead skin drawn tightly to the center, a finger to the lips, a fist under the jaw, hands folded behind the head. The poet reads of sex and violence in marvelously literary language and there is delighted laughter. Now they fold their hands or intertwine their fingers. How would they look at the fireside of the Hellbounders? How would they react to the poetic reality of Magoo, with his finger mummifying on a string hanging from his belt? When they were passed the joint? When they were passed the bottle, stolen from the liquor store in town. How do they feel when they hear the wail of sirens? What would they do with Dann B. and Jocko?


Sebastian: He said his mission in life was to escape the pain of the physical body through mystic channels, and to finally escape through death, with a smile on his face and a shot glass in his hand. Sebastian had a rather sweet bent for pathos. He almost made you see it, clear through the bullshit.

JR: He never stopped moving. First he cleaned the room,straightened the newspapers and emptied the ashtrays. Then he flipped lighters and caught them – lighters, power hitters, anything he could get his hands on that would fly up into the air and consent to being caught, overhand, underhand, backhand.

Oh, JR, Sebastian demanded. What is meant by reality? And apparently the question had something intrinsically to do with the Mormon Church. In the first analysis, they all agreed, they all said the same thing. Then Sebastian nodded wisely and informed us all that Joseph Smith had died in the 1860’s and then he scratched his beard in a wise way, as if he knew much, much more he could tell us about the Mormons, if he could only recall it.