The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for March 14th, 2011

bafflingly homogeneous

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Quivering in some hellish and noisome pool of spreading horror, the sprawling obstructions of Long Island City lay between myself and the East River- after having had several surprising experiences at First Calvary Cemetery. Greenpoint Avenue at Borden is where the titan architecture of the Queens Midtown Expressway returns to grade from the arching heights it attains over the mutagenic sediments of an ancient canal called the Dutch Kills, eventually terminating at the East River’s junction with Newtown Creek at Hunters Point.

Seeking- instinctually- running water, your humble narrator found himself in a fine state of panic.


…Their excessive suspiciousness and hostility may be expressed in overt argumentativeness, in recurrent complaining, or by quiet, apparently hostile aloofness. Because they are hypervigilant for potential threats, they may act in a guarded, secretive, or devious manner and appear to be “cold” and lacking in tender feelings. Although they may appear to be objective, rational, and unemotional, they more often display a labile range of affect, with hostile, stubborn, and sarcastic expressions predominating. Their combative and suspicious nature may elicit a hostile response in others, which then serves to confirm their original expectations.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Bogeyman, bump in the night, or the sure knowledge of an invisibly malign presence- it doesn’t take much to set a crazed ape like myself into howling melancholies of dread. Mundane and wholesome experiences terrify and insulate my fragile persona, and merely interacting with fellow members of the citizenry often results in days of fevered weakness and endless self recrimination. The gentlest of surprises- a small child laughing suddenly, or the appearance of a feral cat or dog- any environmental deviation which could be ascribed to be “sudden”- is enough to rob me of any aspiration of societal posture. Retreat to the hideous slime coated abysses of the megalopolis are called for, where one might hide and blend in amongst all hideousness.

I’m all ‘effed up.

from wikipedia

A person with low self-esteem may show some of the following symptoms:

  • Heavy self-criticism, tending to create a habitual state of dissatisfaction with oneself.
  • Hypersensitivity to criticism, which makes oneself feel easily attacked and experience obstinate resentment against critics.
  • Chronic indecision, not so much because of lack of information, but from an exaggerated fear of making a mistake.
  • Excessive will to please: being unwilling to say “no”, out of fear of displeasing the petitioner.
  • Perfectionism, or self-demand to do everything attempted “perfectly” without a single mistake, which can lead to frustration when perfection is not achieved.
  • Neurotic guilt: one is condemned for behaviors which not always are objectively bad, exaggerates the magnitude of mistakes or offenses and complains about them indefinitely, never reaching full forgiveness.
  • Floating hostility, irritability out in the open, always on the verge of exploding even for unimportant things; an attitude characteristic of somebody who feels bad about everything, who is disappointed or unsatisfied with everything
  • Defensive tendencies, a general negative (one is pessimistic about everything: life, future, and, above all, oneself) and a general lack of will to enjoy life.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It is simpler to believe ones mind has cracked wide open, than it is to believe the truth of those dark undercurrents which seethe just below the surface which have been observed in the Newtown Pentacle. Madness is preferable- I suppose- to those Malthusian truths which govern over this place. It is easier to embrace some swirling chaotic, marry oneself to a “very bad idea” than to accept that some sort of shadow had followed me on my long walk through a cemetery. I mean… that’s just… not… scientific…

Perhaps it’s just paranoia…

from wikipedia

Malthus thought that the dangers of population growth would preclude endless progress towards a utopian society: “The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man”. As an Anglican clergyman, Malthus saw this situation as divinely imposed to teach virtuous behaviour. Believing that one could not change human nature, Malthus wrote:

  • “Must it not then be acknowledged by an attentive examiner of the histories of mankind, that in every age and in every State in which man has existed, or does now exist
  • That the increase of population is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence,
  • That population does invariably increase when the means of subsistence increase, and,
  • That the superior power of population is repressed, and the actual population kept equal to the means of subsistence, by misery and vice.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The air is clear, and not a poisonous fume. Broadcast antennas connected to powerful transmitters do not form wavefront cascades of airborne radiation which are known to create the vast static and electrical charges experienced on sky flung metal structures like these advertising signs or the Kosciuszko Bridge. The water in Newtown Creek is free of pharmaceutical residues, and there has not been some sort of cult operating at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Astoria.

I did not see a man climb over the side of the Borden Avenue Bridge and disappear under the roadway as I drew close to the ancient structure.

from wikipedia

The terror of absolute annihilation creates such a profound—albeit subconscious—anxiety in people that they spend their lives attempting to make sense of it. On large scales, societies build symbols: laws, religions, cultures, and belief systems to explain the significance of life, define what makes certain characteristics, skills, and talents extraordinary, reward others whom they find exemplify certain attributes, and punish or kill others who do not adhere to their cultural worldview. On an individual level, how well someone adheres to a cultural worldview is the same concept as self-esteem; people measure their own worth based on how well they live up to their culture’s expectations.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There is no Black Crow living alongside this bridge, in a windblown shanty. It’s my imagination- wild fantasies and exaggerations concocted by a diseased and fever struck mind… the very progeny of failed ambitions and underwhelming talents.

There was only one shadow cast by your humble narrator since having stumbled out of First Calvary…


Flight of Ideas: a nearly continuous flow of rapid speech that jumps from topic to topic, usually based on discernible associations, distractions, or plays on words, but in severe cases so rapid as to be disorganized and incoherent. It is most commonly seen in manic episodes but may also occur in other mental disorders such as in manic phases of schizophrenia.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After all… the Black Crow? Who makes this kind of stuff up? A man living on Dutch Kills, at Borden Avenue Bridge of all places, in this day and age…

from wikipedia

Oneirophrenia is a hallucinatory, dream-like state caused by several conditions such as prolonged sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, or drugs (such as ibogaine). From the Greek words “ὄνειρο” (oneiro, “dream”) and “φρενός” (phrenos, “mind”). It has some of the characteristics of simple schizophrenia, such as a confusional state and clouding of consciousness, but without presenting the dissociative symptoms which are typical of this disorder.

Persons affected by oneirophrenia have a feeling of dream-like unreality which, in its extreme form, may progress to delusions and hallucinations. Therefore, it is considered a schizophrenia-like acute form of psychosis which remits in about 60% of cases within a period of two years. It is estimated that 50% or more of schizophrenic patients present oneirophrenia at least once.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 14, 2011 at 12:15 am

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