The Beautiful Monarch

butterfly

 

All the bugs laughed
Called her names
Slug bait and worse
The caterpillar crawled
Paid them no mind
But it hurt just the same
So she built a cocoon
Crawled inside to cry
The tears of the lonely
Caused by the arrogant
The condescending insects
That held themselves superior
Fueling her sorrowed droplets
Which turned into acid
And dissolved the body
She had grown to hate
And dissolved the mind
Of the girl she feared
Until the day came
She said fuck em all
I am beautiful
Not just inside
But everywhere
Then the beautiful butterfly
Broke out of her cocoon
Held her head high
And soared above the crowds
Without looking down
As the insects all looked up
In great admiration
Wishing they were as fantastic as
The Beautiful Monarch

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Went To A Garden Party (An Existentialists Satirical Bible Interpretation)

garden

 

 

Garden Party, part II

Previously on Garden Party:
However, in an area we now call the Middle East, the so-called fertile crescent (fertile the definitive word), two tribes stood out amongst all others. The Aggies and The Shepherds.

Adam came across a small waterhole in which a young lady was bathing in the nude. Not recognizing her from his tribe he assumed she must belong to the Shepherds
Part Two…..Everybody out of the gene pool!

The first night after seeing this naked Shepherd woman Adam woke up all wet after a salacious dream of fantasy. S&M and fetishes (aside from the occasional animal fetish) hadn’t been invented yet so Adams fantasy was of pure and lurid sex with this fair shepherds daughter. He now had an obsession to sneak off to the forbidden zone in search of the erogenous zone. After quickly finishing his chores he would sneak down to the waterhole every day hoping for a copious viewing. He watched from the trees as she bathed herself getting more horny each day. He stared in awe until he got up enough nerve to confront her. “Young maiden of the Shepherds, why do you come to the forbidden place each day by yourself?” The young maiden pretended to be alarmed even though she had been aware of his hiding and staring since his first visit. Frankly, she was just as curious and horny as he was, also experiencing tingles and fantasizing about inter-tribal sex. “I come here to bath myself, not to be stared at by an Aggie. Why do you come here every day to stare at me?” The young Aggie gave this some thought, because quite frankly he wasn’t sure himself why he was here. “ I come not to stare at you but to explore the area and determine if the land is fit for growing” he lied. The young maiden blushed slightly when she saw the lust in his dark brown eyes. “Are you sure it is the land you wish to explore? It seems to me you are looking at my body and I believe that is not vegetation I see growing under your loincloth” The audacious young maiden gave him a look that offered more a challenge than a venting of distain. She blinked her eyes at him and something strange happened. He felt a Funny feeling in his stomach as though the seeds he used to grow things themselves were festering from within. He boldly chose to accept the challenge. “It is true that have gazed upon you and appreciate the…..unusual beauty you possess. Indeed I was hoping perhaps you were an Aggie and would be my maiden.” The Aggie could feel his entire body shaking and the young Shepherd maiden did not back away. She moved closer to the Aggie. “I am a Shepherd woman, not a dirt laden Aggie maiden. And you young Aggie, you are filled with dirt from your farming. If I were to ever consider being a maiden to the like of you I would expect you to be clean. Why don’t you come in here and allow me to bathe you?” It was more of an order than an invitation but that was of no consequence because he had already made his mind up as to where he was headed and his manhood was pointing the way. To honor this beuty of an animal penner Adam showed her a huge bud of something he had cultivated on his own. He broke off a piece, rolled it in some paper and struck a fire stick. He approached the watering hole with a mere modicum of trepidation and a huge blunt. Well two large blunts in the metaphoric sense. She held out her hand and he accepted the smoking blunt and puffed heartily. “What do you call this farm boy?” to which he answered with a dopey smile, “Green Acres.”
They puffed this happy herb and lo and behold it lowered their inhibitions to zero. Adam dropped his loincloth and revealed that the growth underneath it was indeed ripe for the picking. He stepped naked into the waterhole beside her. For two minutes they cleansed each other, eyes sparkling with curious wonder. The Aggie closed his eyes and allowed this maiden, this Shepherd woman to touch him all over. When she got down to washing below his waist he was surprised to discover how eagerly his body was responding without his consent. The maiden held his solid manpole in her hand. “Methinks my Aggie that you have something other than bathing on your mind.” Unable to form an actual word, the Aggie grabbed the maiden in his arms and laid a big fat spit swapping kiss on her using his tongue muscle very skillfully. This was something new to the maiden, and at first she wanted to pull back. However, once she realized how good the tongue tango felt, she greedily sucked his tongue into her mouth and allowed the saliva filled dance to continue. Well I don’t have to tell you what happened next. Sparks flew and fluids oozed, and soft moaning was the only form of communication. Of course the two lovers understood they would be scorned by their fellow tribe members for allowing their naked bodies to exchange these biological fluids, but frankly Scarlet they didn’t give a damn. They continued to explore each other and exchange passion and bodily fluids in so many positions it laid the groundwork for the upcoming Kama Sutra. They made passionate love four times and some not so passionate love twice more. It wasn’t until after the sixth round of carnal explorations led to exhaustion that they even introduced themselves to each other. “I am called Adam, which means man.” To which the maiden replied, “Indeed Adam, you are quite the man. More so than any Shepherd I have ever known. My name is Eve, which means life.” With a big fat satisfied grin Adam replied, “Indeed Eve, you have breathed life into me unequaled by any other Aggie I have ever known.” The only sound was the b=chirping birds, the cricking crickets, and the two stomachs growling from an unusual hunger pang. They found a fabulous apple tree and satisfied the very first cases of herbal munchies.
So Adam and Eve began to meet each other every day smoking Eden weed and making love like a couple of school kids. But all was not so good back at the tribes. The other Aggies were beginning to get suspicious because Adam never ever seemed to be dirty anymore. How could anyone work the soil all day yet remain free of dirt. And back at the Shepherds they began to get suspicious because Eve was always singing and whistling showing no interest in even the most handsome of Shepherds. Now it just so happened that the leader of each tribe sent a spy out to follow their respective suspected tribe violators on the very same day. Once at the watering hole, the Aggie spy hid in the north woods while the Shepherd spy hid in the south woods. At first the spies were appalled and shocked. But Adam and Eve were both so very sexually talented, and each brought new tricks specific to their tribes that it became more of a show. Sex theater at it’s finest. I believe at least one, perhaps even both had become so excited while watching that they pleasured themselves before returning to the tribe leaders to give the reports.
The tribe leaders were livid. Furious! How could this possibly happen? It was the most outrageous act that had ever occurred. They both paced, in different colonies yet somehow in unison, until the sinners returned to their folds. The minute Adam returned to the farming village he was grabbed by the biggest and strongest Aggies and brought before the leader. “Adam, I am quite disappointed”, he said, “You have disrespected every member of our tribe by engaging in this disgusting act with a Shepherd woman.” Adam didn’t answer, he just stood there looking sheepish, which for an Aggie was another no no. “You’re despicable act has left me with no other choice. You shall be banned forever from the garden of Eden. Go now, get out and never return. Take your Shepherd slut with you!” Adam sadly walked to his hut to gather his belongings. Inside he saw his best and now only friend. “How did he find out” he asked of this friend. “Well Adam, you were spied on by Cain. He followed you and reported back to the leader.” Adam shook his head and mumbled, “Cain, of course. I should have guessed. That shit spreading farmer is gonna pay for this someday.” And with that, Adam left towards the waterhole hoping to see Eve there one last time.
Eve of course had a similar experience, and she too was permanently banned from the Garden of Eden. Eve was certain it was Abel that had spied on her as Abel had always tried putting the moves on her but she forever denied his advances. Reluctantly she too had to leave, and also chose to have one last look around the sexually charged waterhole in hopes that somehow Adam might be there. As luck would have it, which luck often does in fairy tales, they met at the very same moment and exchanged stories of banishment’s.
So hand in hand Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden forever, Eve holding in one hand one of the apples and a huge green bud Adam had grown for her, and in her other hand she held tight Adams snake, which Eve had so totally and completely tamed. It was the summer of discontent, and the fall of man.

 

Went To A Garden Party (An Existentialists Satirical Bible Interpretation)

garden

 

 
Part I
By JT Hilltop

Preface

We can’t wait until our babies can talk until they can. And damn can they talk.. Once they learn the fine art of communicating we bang our heads for not being careful what we wished for. They have an inate sense of how to easily push opur buttons with one simple word. Why! It’s an exercise in redundancy in which every answer we give evokes another why. Then they start to really ask questions. Not a question here and there but a barrage of never ending questions that like that once cute game of peek a boo has no definitive ending. “What’s oral sex Mom, why did you call that driver an ’A-hole’?”. What’s it mean when some one sticks up their middle finger Dad, is that bad? Is the ‘F‘ word bad?” And that’s just kindergarten. They wanna know everything about everything and the questions don’t stop, “Mommy, where do babies come from? Daddy, why were you moving furniture around last night?” Its just in the very fabric of our being to be inquisitive because even those unwilling to speak are curious. Inquiring mimes want to know.
Back when I was just a mere tadpole swimming around the shore burning questions festered in my head as well. I must have driven my Mom and Dad crazy with my overwhelming curiosity. “Why do I have to eat spinach? Is broccoli little tree’s? Why do I have to put the seat up after I pee?” Do spiders sleep at night?” “Who is God?” It was the last one that had Mom reeling and she handed me a black book called The Bible and said in a very earnest voice, “take this book to your father and ask him about God.”
And so I did. My dad wan’t one of those “I have to be honest with you son” types, in fact he funneled down the sex talk from my older brothers to avoid having to go one on one with me about biological urges so his bible explanation left much to be desired. Ergo, I was left to my own devices to come up with an interpretation….
Engagement Party In The Eden Room

My science teacher once told me evolution is the key to everything. Everything either evolves or it doesn’t survive. Who am I to doubt such an astute authority figure? He went on to tell me there was a time when we were all mere single celled organisms. Those were the good old days, so much more innocent than life is for humans today. Back then they didn’t even have a name for us, language hadn’t even evolved yet. Now they call us bipeds because we walk upright on two legs and use our hands to make and use tools. The original bipeds, our fellow male pig Neanderthals grew up like any other pack animals, in tribes. Each tribe or community took care of itself, gave as good as it got, hunted and gathered, and had no political affiliations all of them being progressives. They’re only purpose was to eat and fuck. Reproduction and eating kept the tribe alive. Sex was a happy accident of a survival strategy. Eating was rudimentary but make no mistake sex was the key to life. Most tribes were hunters or scavengers, either killing and eating animals, or scavenging the vegetation already here on earth. However, in an area we now call the Middle East, the so-called fertile crescent (fertile the definitive word), two tribes stood out among all others. The Aggies and The Shepherds. Both tribes had become far more advanced than any of the other tribes. These two tribes used reason and logic, figuring out a way to survive working together as a colony. It took a village. One tribe were The Aggies who learned how to manipulate the vegetation and grow it at will using soil, sun and water. They were prolific growers. The other tribe, The Shepherds, learned how to manipulate the cattle and sheep, and penned them up creating a seemingly endless supply of milks and meats. They were prolific manipulators. These two tribes habituated a very large area called the Garden of Eden. They didn’t like each other but they used their logic and reason to devise treaties and form imaginary lines they called boundaries which they agreed never to cross. So it was agreed the Aggies could live in the North Eden, and the Shepherds in South Eden. The tribes kept to themselves and all was peaceful until one seemingly insignificant incident set of a series of events that would change existence forever.
It was a beautiful late morning day in the Garden of Eden when a young male Aggie named Adam decided to take a walk in the designated forbidden area. The forbidden area was smack dab in the middle of the garden which served as a sort of buffer between the two tribes. It was chock full of colorful vegetation and small wildlife that enjoyed a life free of human domination or tricks. Both Aggies and Shepherds had agreed to never enter and allow whatever life survived within have it‘s freedom. That was their demilitarized zone, a patch of land untouched and unused by man or woman. But Adam was always an impetuous adventurous young man and snuck in to admire the beauty of the wild garden and cultivate different herbs and mushrooms in the magical place. He had created a hybrid of cannabis and special mushrooms which would one day in the future of the world play a large part in Moses having his “conversation” with God. But for now Adam kept the mind enhancers secret as he was not supposed to be in that area. In fact, no one else was either, but as it would happen, or perhaps as it was destined to happen, a female had also found solace in the forbidden garden zone.
So it was that on this one particular day everything would change forever. Adam was tending his plants in solitude when he swore he heard splashing water. Following the delicate splash sounds Adam came across a small waterhole in which a young lady was bathing in the nude. Not recognizing her from his tribe he assumed she must belong to the Shepherds. Those slightly whiter skinned people who smelled of animal shit. At first he was turned off but when he looked closely at her he noticed something strange. Aside from her large woman bumps she looked much like his own kind did only fairer in skin and hair. She had a pale complexion but much of her face was obscured by long bouncing colorless curls of thick hair. He liked the way her hair reflected the light of the sun across her face allowing only her eyes of deep turquoise which sparkled like evening stars and tiny button like nose and full lips in full view. He began to get a tingling in his loins because he found her oddly attractive and his fig leaf moved seemingly on its own. He became entranced as she bathed, water glistening off her white full breasts. The sight of her cherry nipples made his stomach a tad queasy. But not a bad queasy, a kind of happy tingling. He spied her with great delight and even began to wonder if she was like the women of Aggies in other ways. He felt that youthful familiar rising in his loins that cause men to lose control of their senses. He imagined her enjoying the pleasures of sex with him like the young women of his own tribe. He fantasized making wild unbridled passionate love to her. Considering the times perhaps it was bridled sex, but whatever, she made him hard and horny as all….. For lack of a better term, all Hell.
Adam continued tending and sampling his unusual cultivation’s but that was merely his fake excuse to return. Of course Adam had already decided he would return to cop a view everyday, have a quick toke of his and he had inadvertently created what would become the heart and soul of religion……Ritual

To Be Continued Tomorrow

Into The Fire

fire

 

The blazing fire inspires me
Flickering with authority
Perhaps it ‘s the danger
The power of its incandescence
Which commands my will
Intimidates my life blood
Entrances my inner self
The vivid burning embers
Capturing my imagination
Pleases my wishful eyes
But it’s the pluming smoke
That holds the true stories
The secrets of the flame
Reaching into my eyes
Coaxing saline droplets
Forcing thoughts upon me
Helping me remember
Things I want to forget
As I gloomily sift through
The ashes of my anguish
Hoping to erase the sad
Live and Love in Peace

Damaged Goods

damaged

 

Adrenalin rush
Wakes me from sleep
Reminds me I’m weak
Tossing and turning
Head and heart pounding
Someone’s shouting
At a loss, can’t even think
But can’t shut off my thoughts
There’s only one thing
That could unleash
That level of torture
This intense fear
My passenger is near
Snickering in jeer
Why must you always be here?
Let me be
Set me free
Its been a while
I’d hoped
You had left me
We’d never meet again
But now you’re back
Another attack
I guess its time
To talk to my old friend
So you can damage me again
I wished you had died
I wished you had died
But you’re still alive
You’re always inside
Waiting to manage
Waiting to damage
Take advantage
Because I’m damaged
Re-arranged and deranged
I’m self estranged
I wish I could kill him
Destroy the passenger
Who constantly rides me
Hides me
Derides me
Won’t let me out
I scream And shout
But no one hears
Like they don’t have ears
Can’t see my tears
Of frustration and fear
But to me its real
My inner self revealed
I just can manage
I’m damaged

Cyclops Viewing

cyclops

 

Our values get shaped and reshaped then placed into packages through environment and experience. When I was young I was taught to be biased, to prejudice my concept of people by group. As I got to know the individual people of these groups it humanized them of me and I understood that we are all in this together. I was compassionate enough to release my preconceived prejudices and appreciate instead of judging. Before that, I had the one eyed vision of Cyclops. This piece was written during a marathon of Bob Dylan tunes and other inspirational materials. The is not politics, it’s observations….

Young love blossoms
Ganymede in drag
Hanging up a chandelier
Waving proud his flag
On his way to find a home
Post Sodom and Gomorrah
Steve kicked Eve out of the garden
The asp ate all the flora
Crucified across a fence post
Laramie blue of scarlet rain
Choked on predispositions
Same old line of shit again
They’re an abomination
Some asexual mutation
Dad denied and mama cried’
The day their precious daughter died
Sundays book is full of lies
And rainbows all desert the skies
Pius brutality would fit the bill
If idols of Gethsemane are ill
Even God can’t pay the bills
Mobs of stereotyping kills
What fuck are we to do?
Call on Cyclops dressed in blue
Now dig this

It’s murder by stereotype once justice shuts her eyes
Lost in Half Moon harbor floating on a sea of lies
The island of acceptance is now sinking in its shame
No one to protect the huddled masses lost without a name
One black sheep went out to graze
In a concrete field of dreams
Dressed up like an evening shadow
But he hasn’t got the means
To live inside the gates elite
Where snowmen dress in suits
Only reason sheep go there
Is for criminal pursuits
Rain and snowflakes mix it up
Hooded nimbus bout to burst
Not blending in with status quo
Seems to be his curse
Thin line stands at the ready
Innocence seems unsteady
And someone’s prepped to teach
Cyclops prepares a parting speech
Must protect the seeing blind
This one should be with his kind
Eating chitlins and chewing videls
Not shooting 44 caliber skittles
Walking where he don’t belong
Something here is going wrong
He has a criminal urban hue
To Mr. Cyclops dressed in blue
What a shame

Hero of the night
Void of 20/20 sight
Pulled his fears out of his holster
Using all his might
Fired bias unto the manchild
Spraying bullets far and wild
Cut buttonholes the size of hail
Left him in a smoking pile
As Cyclops writes a familiar tale
Another Mother cries and wails
If you got no money the system always fails
Will justice prevail?
Days aren’t quiet and nights are shrill
When lights go the world stands still
Stereotypes can make blood spill
No judge or jury just the kill
Distant ships lost in the rain
Fallen idols crushing pain
To her knees his Mama drops
Another acquittal for Cyclops
And the world stops spinning for a brief moment

It’s murder by stereotype once justice shuts her eyes
Lost in Half Moon harbor floating on a sea of lies
The island of acceptance is now sinking in its shame
No one to protect the huddled masses lost without a name
Accept and appreciate
Live and love in peace

Kodak Moments

Kodak Snapshot Mini Album

Found an old photo album
Moments in time
Held still in a book
Captured on film
A slice of real life
An imprisoned memory
Proof of existence
A chronicling of emotion
Both happy and sad
Happy because it’s a reminder
Of days gone by
Sad because it’s a reminder
Of days gone by
Reflection of my affections
Impression of recollection
Right before my eyes
Family photo’s
Smiling faces
Memories in print
5×5 gloss memorials
An innocent epoch
A world of contentment
A perfect family
But photographs never really tell the whole story
Do they?

Poverty Dream

poverty

 

Children raised with hunger pains
Living in the apocalyptic rains
Of the greedy capitalist deserters
And the bankers really hurt us
They stuck their heads in sand
Then took the money and ran
Just as the industries dried up
All they’re assets were tied up
Fed us crumbs from their steaks
Leaving real lives choking in the wake
Coughing from the burning fumes of fate
Cracked walls peeling paint
Rusted hinges and broken gates
Glassless windows lockless doors
Darkened stairways where drugs are scored
Once a beautiful structure now a haven
For crimes and addictions of desperation
Not only buildings were left abandoned
Humanity crawled away from its war
Took its spoils to accounts offshore
And pretended the children were gone
Letting wall street carry on
Blaming misfortune on poverty
Because all we have is apathy
Fuck it, we don’t have to live here
Let’s pack up the shopping cart
And move somewhere else
Somewhere nice

A Clockwork Existential (An Existential Beat/Street Poem)

clockwork71

 

 

What’s it to be then Eh?
What is your identity Alex my Droog? Does your soul know your dreams?

 

 

From the wet and dark
Arose life anew
Full of raging violence
Wild and auspicious
Unbound of rule
In a world of chaos
In a digital epoch
Where violence is king
Not much different than today
Survival of the fittest
Ultra-violence life
Sharpened with synthemesc
Opium for the Lewdies
Real Horrorshow yarblockos
Until betrayed by droogies
Handed over to the millicents
Sent to prison
What’s it going to be Alex?

 

 

What’s it to be then eh?
Loss of your freedom
Or loss of your identity
Stay boxed and shut
In a cage full of clones
Uniform yet all alone
No longer free to make a choice
Or in a cage on the street
An jigsaw of yourself
Bound together by rules
One of society’s jewels
Unique yet robotic
Unable to speak your mind
Free but neurotic

 

 

What’s it to be then, eh?
Stay as you are condemned to prison
Pacing in your container
Forced to be humble
To a servant with keys
Mind shaped in rage
A soldier of mediocrity
Counting scratchmarks on the wall
Is that who you are?
Same ole same thing
Dancing to your own tune
Singing an aria of your life
Day after day
To unhearing ears
Lost in a sea of indifference
Or would you like to walk free

 

 

What’s it to be then, eh?
Manufactured nurture
Become a sandcastle
Built by society
Waiting for high tide
To carry away your self
Stripped of imagination
A perfect Orange fruit
Spinning like clockwork
Dancing to their rhythm
Singing their song
Living chapter to chapter
In society’s book mundane
But free to pace the streets
Absolved of your of sins
Yet unable to choose evil
A hamster in their wheel
Reserved and compliant
Void of expression
Trapped in the expectations
Of societal programmability

 

 
The Ludovico Technique
Gave Alex a choice
Life In prison
Or social experiment
Complacency or individuality
Join the theater of the sublime
Leave behind the slime
Become a cog in the wheel
However unreal
But free in the street
To all the vonny soddy bratchnies you meet
Free of the evil that possessed you
Or stay behind
With your evil mind
What’s it to be then Alex?
Eyes clamped open
Medicine of goodness
Dripping tears of complacency
Exorcized evil
Yes yes yes my one and only friend
Until Ludwig Von pierced your ego
Shattered it in a million pieces
Awaiting the vengeance due
Haven’t you ever seen a movie
Or watched a magic show
Nothing is ever what it seems to be my boy
Especially choice
But rejoice
Soon you’ll be free
Just not who you used to be
Lobotomized by law and order
What’s it to be then eh?
Your nature or their nurture

 

 

 
Little Alex
Our humble narrator
Filled with rage
Locked in a cage
A prison of damnation
You’re an editorial sensation
In a Jail
Of your own creation
Your life waiting on cremation
Alienation of a generation of mutations
Locked away for committing a crime
Imprisoned to a life of time
Loads and loads of time
Nothing but time
You were brought to trial
No longer a juvenile
Now locked in exile
Unable to smile or sashay in style
Because what you did was so vile
Now little Alex is a murderer
Surrounded by hate
Either translate or eradicate
But you will acclimate to a criminal fate
Or perish and dissipate
Full on mind amputate
You’re a lost little malchick Alex
What’s it to be indeed
What’s anything to be?

 

 

Inspired by a book that once helped shape a young mans free and open mind, A Clockwork Orange in which the very basic essence of existentialism is explored. Is a person still a person once stripped of choice and free will? Is there such a thing as free will? Is it up to a society to determine nurture or nature? Is the self the central theme of essence? I have read and reread the book many times, viewed the movie many times, and both still inspire deep philosophical questions of existence and cause and effect for me. The clockwork part is easy to work out, the running of the same regimens day after day without change but the orange has duel meanings for me. Anthony Burgess explains that the orange is a perfect fruit but I maintain a second meaning. No other word rhymes with orange giving it a sense of individuality and uniqueness. When they “cured “ Alex they were in effect coming up with other words that rhymed for Alex, stripping him of his individuality and winding him up in a clockwork. Anyway, my tribute to Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Burgess, and the words that jumped off the pages and into my heart and mind….
In street beat poetry

Interview On Top Of The World

20150726_125939

 

It was June of 1980 and I had just graduated The Culinary Institute of America. Oh hell yea I was ready to take on the world with a knife and a saute pan and was scheduled for an interview on the 107th floor of One World Trade Center, the glorious Windows On The World Restaurant. I was so nervous going there I had butterflies fluttering in my stomach. I arrived at One WTC. Standing by the elevators the thought struck me that I was about to enter into a room the size of a broom closet and be transported up to the clouds. The butterflies became anxious and aggressive when the elevator opened and I got on. The second the broom closet began its lift off the butterflies began to migrate, some up into my throat and others downward. I thought it was either their migration or my excitement that kept popping the Hell out of my ears until it hit me I was flying upwards in a box higher than the Manhattan skyline and it was the rapid changing air pressure that caused my audio dilemma. When I stepped out into the foyer it took me about thirty seconds to get over the body rush I’d just had and with a weak voice I asked the concierge where Chef Henri Boubee’s office was.

The dude rushed me towards the kitchen and at first I believed he was simply enthusiastic to help me. How awesome is this? Consequently I would find out he was getting me away ASAP from the strict jacket and tie code at the entrance to the restaurant. Whatever, he walked so fast I was sure I would never find my way back in this corn maze of a complex 107th floor. A work of pure brilliance, the kitchen was in the center of this maze and the complete perimeter of the floor was used for some form of dining service. I reached a familiar feeling as I passed through a double door and spotted the familiar red tile flooring so many kitchens I had worked in had. Past three giant steam kettles on my right and a massive waiters station on my left I continued on to the Chef’s office.

In the scheme of things his office was rather small and unassuming. The chef himself was a tall thin European looking man. As small as the office was, and as friendly looking as the chef was I was intimidated beyond words. I couldn’t get the thought out of my head that I was in the WTC, talking with the chef of Windows On The World!!

The Chef asked me some summary culinary questions to test my basic knowledge and then some questions about me I assumed to get a psychological profile which frankly worried the shit out of me. Then he stood up, looked at me which I mistook for a thank you we’ll let you know, but to my surprise he said, “Come, I vill take zhoo on a tour”. With that the chef began power walking through the kitchen with me in tow trying to keep up while at the same time looking around the kitchen trying to absorb the culture. Over twenty dudes and dudettes in checked pants, white coats, and tall toque blanch chef hats checked me out like I was a new meat prisoner in a movie like Brubaker. The chef continued his power walk and I followed finding myself in a huge dining room. Holy shit! All windows with a view of the city that was mind blowing. We were above all the tall New York City buildings looking down. The Chef continued his pace and mumbled something about dining rooms A B and C, led me through the Brooklyn view mentioning something about a Cellar In The Sky, and we ended up in an Hors d’ oureve restaurant peeking down at The Statue Of Liberty. I was totally blown away, had gotten numerous head rushes and it was all I could do to keep my balance from the dizzying walk while looking outside of the top of the world. I would eventually develop “sea legs” like the chef had and learn that the buildings were designed to sway so they don’t snap. On a windy day all the sauces would make waves in unison.

At this point though, when we got back to the Chef’s office I had absolutely no idea how we got there. The Chef looked at me and asked, “So… Do you vant to work here?” I thought back to all the advice the school had given me, all the questions to ask about salary, hours, compensations, and how I should never commit but ask the interviewer to allow me time to think it over. Then I thought about who might be coming in to interview after me and my intuition, as naïve as it was, told me if I didn’t say yes the next person just may get my job. I said, “Yes Chef, I do. When can I start?” He dismissed me saying “Come in Monday at 3oclock and Ask for Ovidio, he’ll get you set up.”

So that was it. I had no idea what days or hours I would be working, no idea how much money I would be making, and for the first and only time in my life I accepted a major decision job on the spot. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

I met Ovidio, a Latin dude with a kind of lisp who showed me around. He and I became very close, and within days I became one of the group. To them I was a funny hippie dude who played his harmonica into the expediters mike on down time, and to me I had a new family. Donald, a good ole southern man who I swore would work barefoot if he could. He used to sell his grill mistakes to the wait staff. “C’mon now, take that steak and leave me 8 bucks. Hurry now, this aint no damn buffet now, lets go”. Benji, a chef from Jamaica who shared my love of Bob Marley and taught me so much about cooking, the most important thing was his constant yelling at me “Let it cook Mon!” I guess I was over-anxious and flipped my food too much. Victor, a sixty something old buffet chef who did spoons of coke in the walk in fridge and drank half the brandy that was supposed to go in the sauces. Steve “Stevo”, a pill popping saute cook who was so high by end of shift the fell asleep changing in the locker room. But Stevo would give you the shirt off his back. He stole my Adiddas sneakers once because he needed some shoes. They were like three sizes too big but I never called him on it, just bought myself a new pair because he never had any money but would do anything to he could to help any one of us. Speaking of shoes, one of the best sauciers in the city who taught me how to make a thirty pound butter hollandaise wore sandals everyday. We chipped in and got him some very expensive Nikes. He was almost brought to tears but the next day he came to work in those Nikes cut out to look like his sandals. Can’t argue with something that’s worked your whole life. There was Willie the vegetable cook, James who taught me the fastest way to cut up 60 portions of roasted duck in a half hour, John B who drank half a gallon of cheap cooking wine every night, Ralph, who grew up next door to the famous pastry chef Albert Cumin and learned so much he was the youngest pastry chef in the city, his assistant Carmen who was every bit as talented but overlooked because of her sex, and Herman, my Sous Chef, who busted my ass every single night. Herman was relentless and it took me nearly six months to realize the more he busted ass the more he liked you. Herman taught me more than anyone about the entire industry, beyond cooking to managing and admin. His stories of how he learnt his craft in Austria were terrifying and fascinating. There were so many more, other cooks, wait staff, utility people, ES friends, Miss Ann was in charge and we became friends instantly. She gave me extra chef coats on Fridays and Saturdays so I could change out of the sweat laden coats on those busy evenings. (Her assistant ran the illegal numbers for NY and Brooklyn for us). There were no barriers at Windows. Race, color, religion, orientation, we were all family and exchanged many cultural and ethnic practices with interest. I learned a lot about the world at Windows, giving a double meaning to the On The World part.

The family that worked at Windows were extremely tight because we had to be. Service was so fast and furious, on busy nights over one thousand dinners served, and the pressure was so intense that we had to have fun together just as intensely. It was by far the richest work experience I have ever had, I worked there for two years and had more real friends in those two years than I did through youth. I learned to appreciate other forms of lifestyles and customs. Even today I have friends who worked at Windows at different times than I did which made us instant friends who could exchange endless similar stories. It was more than a job it was a deep relationship.

Some 20 years later Maureen and I had our first little café not twenty minutes from the city. It was a breakfast, lunch, and dinner restaurant that was originally called News Café and catered to the working crowds. A strong breakfast and coffee accent with two TV sets that ran news channels through the day for our customers. We were attempting to upgrade it with a more modern ”Pan Global” cuisine and had been opened only a week. We kept the TV’s and morning crowd as they were so the two televisions were on the morning of 9/11.When the first tower was it was an arrow through the heart, when the second tower got hit it ripped it out. I was working stunned, a crowd had gathered knowing we had the TV’s and the café was packed yet silent and somber. I was in denial until the first tower crumbled. When that happened I broke down and cried. I didn’t see a tower crumbling, I saw a huge building full of people, full of stories, full of memeories that will never get told. Full of life. A profound relationship had ended in death. For the next week every time I looked over towards Manhattan Island there was a huge plume of black smoke that just hung over the city. The normally airplane busy sky was crying in eerie silence. My heart broke.

Sometimes it seems like an impossible task to pick up the pieces of such a devastating tragedy in our lives and every year we commemorate our pain and anguish with an anniversary. This is the fifteenth anniversary and for me personally I have not yet been able to sort it out completely because it will never make sense, never offer any closure, but I try very hard to be comforted by my many memories of not just working at Widows On The World, but the years of commuting through the Trade Center in the years I worked at various financial district kitchens. Thank you for indulging me in this bittersweet memory.
Live and Love in peace….