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PORTER’S KORNER vol 1

The following is a guest post from Patrick Porter.

From the author: PORTER’S KORNER is a windmill of various gristle, written from the synesthesiac seismograph of one Mr. Patrick Porter (C. 1977, Murfreesboro TN). Mr. Porter is a somewhat-new-to Albanyite observing the historically weighty melancholic gnarl of NY through a reverb-drenched winsome Westerner’s eye. Besides being a roving reporter, Mr. Porter is also a musician and a painter, and occasionally a human being. Say Selah.

PATRICK PORTER REPORT ON TULIP FEST, MAY 7, 2011


art by patrick porter

It’s Tulip Fest today. My neighbors are sitting in the backyard drinking cans of Busch beer and listening to the same songs over and over. The music sounds like a lugubrious cat with dogbreath stumbling zigzags on a lubed piano.

The sun is out through the windows of the trees. A professional-grade glaze of church, placid and pained.

Warning whistles of police sirens ebbed into fire engine blats. Basic human prod.

I’m heading into the crowds now, up Madison, past Lark, and into the forced march of bottomless oncomers. Much chatter and congestion. The beautiful sad-faced girl at DINO’S passing paper-plated slices behind greased glass. Cramped oscillations between rain and sun. My notebook paper peppered with rain-pips. See-and-be-seen is sort of boring when all you are seeing is people.

Throngs thickening. God help me. A woman honking her horn manically at a red light that pays no mind. Ice cream truck music is creepy. I don’t see any tulips yet.

Into the park now. Rows of mausoleum port-o-potties and cheerfully-colored plumes of trash in officious, gasping trash cans. Plasti-white canopies hawking various wares; framed photos of wineglasses and sunflowers and eve-bathed Adirondacks. Hummingbirds painted on wooden planks. Flower wreaths. The merchants loll waitingly behind their yawning coffers. It smells like potatoes and tree sperm.

A woman whomps up to me and screams: “Whatcha writin’? A fuggin’ book?” She is drunk and her hair is on backwards. I clasp the notebook to my chest like I am harboring lab tests.

The majority of people are congregated in the food court. There are many different foods to choose from but it seems like they all came from the same place. More people are waiting in line than eating. A guy in a Budweiser t-shirt screams: “OOOH, COCONUT SHRIMP ON A STICK!” The food-carts buzz with tremendous, cackling generator static but no one seems to notice.


art by patrick porter

A plastic banner wrapped around a tree promises “CONTINUOUS SOFT ROCK”, a proposal that seems vaguely threatening to me. Little kids are riding little horses in docile clop-circles. People cuss a lot, even when their kids are standing right next to them.

I have located the tulips. I like them. Tulips seem effortlessly friendly to me, glazed and supine, butter-cupped UP in yellows and purples, lipstick and peach. My favorite tulip arrangement is the spotty potpourri of yellow, purple, and red, bunched together like pacified popcorn.

People are taking pictures in front of the flowers. People are videotaping the flowers.


art by patrick porter

The fountain statue of Moses thrusting his spire declaratively heavenward seems humiliatingly ineffective at the moment, surrounded as it is by teenagers eating hot dogs and text messaging.

I think Tulip Fest is over. All of the food-carts are closing up, right when I wanted a soft pretzel. When I approached the window, the pretzel man yelped at me: “WE’RE AWL DONE!” He looked sick of pretzels.

I’m going home. Tulip Fest was okay. Why not? I hadn’t ever considered tulips before, and now I know I like them. What the hell.

Signing off,

PATRICK PORTER
ALBANY NY
MAY 7TH, 2011

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