PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST AS A
YOUNF POSEUR: BOSTON 1974-1983.
by doug holder, somerville, ma
The Greyhound Station was near a RockaBilly bar—the flashing,
seductive light of the Playboy Club, hawked long legs and short
resumes—there I weaved my way to the carnality of the Combat Zone—down La Grange Street, first stopping by Hand the Hatter, an avuncular old man—some fish—some fish out of order—in the midst of all this—presided over blocked, buffed and august fedoras—the kind my father wore, his heels pounding the floor in Penn Station. And the whore in the bar said “Give this kid a glass of milk.” And all my street-wise posturing melted with these succinct words--not a boilermaker man but a milk boy.
In the old wing of the Boston Public Library Bacchante and Baby met me--lifting her child with joy—I wondered if my mother ever did that with me? A bust of Henry James stared at me in Bates Hall, as I made my way to the Periodical Room—scrolls of newspapers— old men—half-glasses, canes, wondering why that man was praying over an Anchorage Times--the room smelled like sweat, vaguely urinous—reading a rag— a waiting room for death...