The Unknown: The Red Line.
  O’m beating around the bush a little here, because what I have to write next brings me so much pain.

We had decided to keep the reading simple. We only had a half-hour, and we needed to be thematic. We all knew what the crowd wanted (some of the ruder acolytes had been chanting, “Dirk! Dirk! We is One. Dirk! Dirk!” all through the Pynchon reading.) They expected it to be the best reading of the Millennium, and they expected it to be mostly Dirk.

The holographic clock that had been lit up in the center of the stadium since nightfall grew larger with each second’s click, as did the sound of the heartbeat chronometer. We considered these obstacles to a successful reading, but not insurmountable ones. Dirk wanted to hang backstage until it was “his turn,” which made for another distraction, howling faithful disappointed, and groaning and moaning for five solid minutes, until Dirk himself spoke over the P.A. system, ordering the masses to allow us to read, and to pay attention, which they did.

Frank screamed, “Hello, Los Angeles!” and the crowd roared. Then he read one of his poems, “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before, Look at Me, I’m Famous Now, Don’t You Wish You Hadn’t Dumped Me” followed up with his infamous soft-core porn/art poem, “Still Life With My Pecker.” Then he and I read selections from William’s “Poem For Money,” after the roadies and the nurses rolled William’s gurney onstage. William didn’t move much, but the monitors showed signs of cerebral activity. Then we did the hip-hop song William wrote about sleeping on a park bench while we were in Paris titled, “I’m Drunk and Don’t Speak French and Homeless For the Night, Pass Me That Bottle of Red, My New French Friend.” The Beastie Boys came out and scratched the vinyl with us. It was 11:45. The projected hologram clock was about 30 yards high. The telltale heart noise was thundering. The cast of Stomp! came out and did a tap-dance type drum roll while the announcer from the Chicago Bulls announced Dirk. All went to black and a vast array of lasers pulsed concentric circles of green, red and blue, amoebic variations, hypnotically pulsing.




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The Unknown at Spineless Books.