Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Today I went to Mt. Zion Cemetery. I noticed on the map it was tucked back behind the cemetery I usually go to, Calvary. And I wanted to go to a Jewish Queens cemetery anyway because I told my friend Jacques Delaguerre that I would look for his grandfather's gravestone, which is apparently somewhere in Queens. An impossible task, but one which I was happy to begin.

First of all, it was not easy to get into this cemetery. It is closed off from Calvary and you have to take a side street and enter in between the Sanitation dept. and a police station. The cemetery itself is overrun with weeds and flowers. The gravestones are very close together, almost haphazardly laid out. And mostly of a darker hue than the gravestones at Calvary. It is very different from neatly kept and organized Calvary cemetery. I couldn't help think about the chequered history of the Jews while I was here, especially those still alive during WWII. Cats were running around. And in one section I saw an abandoned lawn mower, several tanks of gas, some sweatshirts hanging over fences and a full backpack on the ground. It felt as if someone would jump out at me any moment. A spooky vibe.

But it was also pretty great and I look forward to going back.

They had these terrible stickers on many of the gravestones. I don't know what PC means in this case, probably Paid Care, but I hated seeing them mar the beautiful sculptural work. 

This couldn't be more beautiful.

This look says so much.

the hat blends into the stone

Here's another of those terrible stickers. "Endowed Care" Assuming this means "marked for upkeep." Grief.

This one not marked "endowed care"

So much beauty hidden among the stacks.

the body must have escaped.

I was listening to Joel Davis' May 12 set on KGNU's Afternoon Sound Alternative (archived on AfterFM.com.) Joel had this amazing Gil Scott Heron high hat riff that he mixed into some different strange versions of Paul Simon's "50 Ways to leave your lover." In the center of this amazing moment there was a sound clip of some musician saying that Prince was the best jazz musician alive, and I realized that Joel might be commenting about the 50 Ways of leaving a musician he loved, Prince. It was an especially poignant deejay moment. It felt that way, anyway, as this was a show dedicated to Prince. All the ways we leave our lover, death chief among those 50. Anyway, I hit a bump and a book fell out of the children's seat on the back of my bike, one I had found a few weeks ago in the magic Free Library on Queens BLVD. I looked down on the grass to see what had fallen and saw the above book lying in the grass. Just as I was hearing the words "50 Ways To Leave Your lover," I saw the words, "Thirty Days Has September." A lovely serendipity of sound.

1 comment:

  1. So many stories behind those pictures I'm sure, and probably for most of them, no one can tell them anymore, kinda sad.