The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Mt Zion 3- threading precipitous lanes

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Awakening from my “very bad idea” induced faint, here on Path Number 13 in Mount Zion cemetery, your humble narrator was buoyed by the fact that only one hour of his life was lost to that timidity and cowardice with which he is cursed. A quick scan of the Maurice Avenue fences revealed that the sinister (and possibly mutant) children were still gathered along the rusted balustrade forming the cemetery’s border- were they waiting for me to quit this hallowed ground that they seemed to be unable to step upon? They were dancing in a circle around that girl with the hatefully polydactyl cat.

from wikipedia

Syncope (pronounced /ˈsɪŋkəpi/) is the medical term for fainting, a sudden, usually temporary, loss of consciousness generally caused by insufficient oxygen in the brain either through cerebral hypoxia or through hypotension, but possibly for other reasons. Typical symptoms progress through dizziness, clamminess of the skin, a dimming of vision or brownout, possibly tinnitus, complete loss of vision, weakness of limbs to physical collapse. These symptoms falling short of complete collapse, or a fall down, may be referred to as a syncoptic episode.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Scuttling disgracefully away from their view, I left Path 13 and picked my way across an avenue of graves which formed the only connection between the widely placed pavement walkways. Walking along the loathsome egress of the plots themselves and while trying to forget about the menace represented by the children, whose disgusting and icthyan appearance caused my flight into this place, my attentions were drawn by the faces of those who have passed beyond the veil.

from wikipedia

Paranoid personality disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis characterized by paranoia and a pervasive, long-standing suspiciousness and generalized mistrust of others.

Those with the condition are hypersensitive, are easily slighted, and habitually relate to the world by vigilant scanning of the environment for clues or suggestions to validate their prejudicial ideas or biases. They tend to be guarded and suspicious and have quite constricted emotional lives. Their incapacity for meaningful emotional involvement and the general pattern of isolated withdrawal often lend a quality of schizoid isolation to their life experience.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The “PC” sticker indicates “perpetual care”, a funerary industrial complex term that indicates a contracted schedule of groundskeeping and monument maintenance has been arranged by the bereaved. Ostensibly, this contract plays out over the rest of human history, or as long as the cemetery operation continues. Upstate New York, especially in the “burned over district“, has seen dozens of cemetery organizations go out of business in the last 50-100 years. Abandoned, as in many cases the townships let alone the actual congregation no longer exist due to the westward migration of populations during the 19th and 20th centuries- these graveyards became dumping grounds, suffered adolescent vandalism, and went feral. Worse, they become altars for unclean rites, animal torture, and in some cases- tomb desecration. Luckily, the rural cemeteries of Queens are still going concerns, and NYPD hushes up such matters.

from wikipedia

The psychiatrist Kurt Schneider (1887–1967) listed the forms of psychotic symptoms that he thought distinguished schizophrenia from other psychotic disorders. These are called first-rank symptoms or Schneider’s first-rank symptoms, and they include delusions of being controlled by an external force; the belief that thoughts are being inserted into or withdrawn from one’s conscious mind; the belief that one’s thoughts are being broadcast to other people; and hearing hallucinatory voices that comment on one’s thoughts or actions or that have a conversation with other hallucinated voices. Although they have significantly contributed to the current diagnostic criteria, the specificity of first-rank symptoms has been questioned. A review of the diagnostic studies conducted between 1970 and 2005 found that these studies allow neither a reconfirmation nor a rejection of Schneider’s claims, and suggested that first-rank symptoms be de-emphasized in future revisions of diagnostic systems.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Haunting ceramics adorn many markers in Mount Zion. A vogue in funerary architecture, which is making a modern comeback via laser etched digital portraits, the heavily retouched images are almost always studio portraits and not representative of the final countenance of the deceased- these are not death masks. A fellow ghoulish spectator and commenter who calls himself Sorabji produces encyclopedic photographic collections of these markers across the Cemetery Belt, and formed a thorough and profound catalog of them- click here for Sorabji‘s gallery of shadows.

from wikipedia

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition, DSM IV-TR, a widely used manual for diagnosing mental disorders, defines schizotypal personality disorder (in Axis II Cluster A) as:[2]

A pervasive pattern of social and interpersonal deficits marked by acute discomfort with, and reduced capacity for, close relationships as well as by cognitive or perceptual distortions and eccentricities of behavior, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  • Ideas of reference (excluding delusions of reference)
  • Odd beliefs or magical thinking that influences behavior and is inconsistent with subcultural norms (e.g., superstitiousness, bizarre fantasies or preoccupations)
  • Unusual perceptual experiences, including bodily illusions
  • Odd thinking and speech (e.g., vague, circumstantial, metaphorical, overelaborate, or stereotyped)
  • Suspiciousness or paranoid ideation
  • Inappropriate or constricted affect
  • Behavior or appearance that is odd, eccentric, or peculiar
  • Lack of close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives
  • Social anxiety that tends to be associated with paranoid fears rather than negative judgments about self.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Like some aged and arthritic goat, I scattered my steps widely while crossing the plantation of marble. The grounds in these older sections are rife with collapsing vaults, teetering headstones of 8 feet or more, and disturbing subsidence.  The evidence of a thriving vegetable ecosystem is everywhere, and during the fall and early winter (when these shots were taken) the thorny underbrush assumes a sinister and skeletal tone. Often- lateral progress was cut off by a congestion of stones and vine strangled trees, egress offered only by a sickeningly subsided depression in the center of a burial plot. The journey, however, brings you into a golden age of typography and poster design.

from wikipedia

A Limited Symptom Attack (LSA), also referred to as a Limited Symptom Panic Attack (LPA), is a milder, less comprehensive panic attack with fewer than 4 panic related symptoms being experienced (APA 1994). For example, a sudden episode of intense dizziness or trembling accompanied by fear that something terrible is about to happen. Many people with panic disorder have a mixture of full blown and limited symptom attacks. LSAs often manifest in anxiety disorders, phobias, panic disorder and agoraphobia. However, experiencing a LSA is not necessarily indicative of mental illness. Often persons recovering from and/or being treated for panic attacks and panic disorder will experience LSAs.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

1929, when Mr. Wiener- pictured above- died (unfortunately, I could find NOTHING on this enigmatic fellow) was one of those moments in history that replaced one view of the world with another- just like 1974 or 2001.

On August 10, the Stock Market Crash that began the Great Depression hadn’t happened yet, that would be in October. Neither had the Hebron Riots, which were the kindling of what would become the Israel/Palestine conflagration. It would be the end of August when the crushing Young Plan of reparations for World War 1 were enacted, in which the interests of the United States were represented by J.P. Morgan, whose provisions set Germany on a course toward World War 2. It would be November, after a total global annular eclipse on All-Saints Day, that saw the opening of The Museum of Modern Art with its lunatic futurism, and the aerial navigation of the fabled South Pole and its lunar Mountains of Madness by the redoubtable Admiral Byrd and the intrepid Floyd Bennett. It’s would only be 2 weeks until Yasser Arafat was born.

from wikipedia

Phobophobia is mainly linked with internal predispositions. It is developed by the unconscious mind which is linked to an event in which phobia was experienced with emotional trauma and stress, which are closely linked to anxiety disorders and by forgetting and recalling the initiating trauma. Phobophobia might develop from other phobias, in which the intense anxiety and panic caused by the phobia might lead to fearing the phobia itself, which triggers phobophobia before actually experiencing the other phobia. The extreme fear towards the other phobia might lead to make believe the patient that his condition can develop into something worse, intensifying the effects of the other phobia by fearing it. Also, phobophobia can be developed when anxiety disorders are not treated, creating an extreme predisposition to other phobias. The development of phobophobia can also be attributed to characteristics of the patient itself, such as phylogenetic influence, the prepotency of certain stimuli, individual genetic inheritance, age incidence, sex incidence, personality background, cultural influence inside and outside the family, physiological variables and biochemical factors. Phobophobia shares the symptoms of many other anxiety disorders, more specifically panic attacks and generalized anxiety disorder:

  • Dizziness
  • Heart Pounding
  • Sweating
  • Slight paresthesia
  • Tension
  • Hyperventilation
  • Angst
  • Faintness
  • Avoidance

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The voices of those odd children were heard, repeating some sort of rhyming chant whose exact philology I could not make out due to the constant noise of nearby industry and highway. All that could be cogently reported was a syllabic eee-orrre… or was it eee-ahhh? At any rate, the rhythm of their chantie was identical to the “ring around the rosie” nursery mantra of the english speaking world. The reptilian complexion of the children was mirrored in the gull like voices with which they sang. Its melody affected me, and your humble narrator became befuddled…

from wikipedia

Many have associated the poem with the Great Plague of London in 1665, or with earlier outbreaks of bubonic plague in England. Interpreters of the rhyme before World War II make no mention of this; by 1951, however, it seems to have become well established as an explanation for the form of the rhyme that had become standard in the United Kingdom. Peter and Iona Opie remark: “The invariable sneezing and falling down in modern English versions have given would-be origin finders the opportunity to say that the rhyme dates back to the Great Plague. A rosy rash, they allege, was a symptom of the plague, posies of herbs were carried as protection, sneezing was a final fatal symptom , and ‘all fall down’ was exactly what happened.”

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 3, 2009 at 11:04 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Did I miss Long Island City part 3? I loved the other two parts.


    December 4, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    • No, you haven’t. I’m stuck in research hell on Battle-Ax Gleason and trying to understand the relationships between him and the other Irish bosses of the time. It’s on “the list”, for as soon as I get out of the graves.

      Mitch Waxman

      December 5, 2009 at 12:20 am

  2. […] Zion 1 – imps of the perverse“, “Mt Zion 2- Palaces of Light“, “Mt Zion 3- threading precipitous lanes“, “Mt Zion 4- A Lurid Shimmering of Pale Light“, “Mt Zion 5- Sunken Houses […]

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