The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

stirred not

with one comment


– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator ponders the deep stuff while out scuttling. “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood” and the like. Aglets, which are the plastic or metal tips of shoelaces, have an unspoken and quite sinister purpose. Is house paint just nicely colored industrial waste? Are the fire retardant chemicals that federal law demands factory inclusion of, into carpets and furniture, actually fire accelerants? Does “new car smell” cause cancer? Also, whereas you see an occasional dead pigeon, where do they go to die – in their multitudes. Is there a vast pigeon graveyard somewhere? I bet it’s in the Bronx, if there is such a place – with grand shoals of pigeon ivory glittering white in the radiances of the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself.

Penguins aren’t who or what you think they are. They’re assholes like geese. For a while now, I’ve been wondering about how to control insects, given that they’re essentially biological robots who receive information packet instructions through pheromone messaging. If we figure out the right chemical syntax and steroidal language, could the Ants and Termites start working for – rather than against – us?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Have you ever read any of the muckrakers? Ida Tarbull, or Upton Sinclair? I have. Sinclair’s “The Jungle” is in my top ten, ever. The book is so old that it’s entered the public domain, and I’ve been thinking about doing a find/replace text project and releasing an appended version for modern audiences called “La Jungla.” I’d search for all instances of “Lithuania” and replace the word with “Mexico.” Same thing with turning “Jurgis” to “Jorge.” It’s a surprisingly modern day story, and speaks to the fact that not much has fundamentally changed in American Society since the late 19th century. Culturally, we seem to be in a rut. Superman is still large and in charge, and he’s been around since the Great Depression. Another Batman movie is in the theaters, and he’s a Depression era eidolon as well. The Marvel crew are all Cold War and 1960’s cultural icons. What’s come along since The Beatles? Since Star Wars? Wait… the Cold War is back on again?

Fire hydrants of the type pictured above are welded onto the water pipe that feeds them. If a vehicle was to allide with a hydrant of this type, the water would flow freely and the DEP would have to shut off the block’s entire water line and dig up the street in order to fix it. They’re replacing this hydrant model, citywide, with one that is flanged onto the buried pipe and incorporates a localized valve into the operating system. The hydrant is filled with drinking water, just like your toilet is, as a note.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

“Free car storage,” that’s the Bicycle Advocacy Lobby calls street parking. A humble narrator gets particularly annoyed at scenes like this one which seem to escape their notice, where a private outfit involved in the yellow cab game takes over entire blocks to store their inventory. Nearby this spot, you’ll also notice that the NYC DOT and other City Agencies have set aside parking spots for their own exclusive usage. As a matter of fact, due to ongoing work on the Queensboro Bridge, DOT and it’s contractors have recently seized 80 additional parking spots in LIC for free storage of their vehicles over the next 24 months. In the midst of the City of Greater New York’s quest to ameliorate climate issues, the question as to why municipal employees don’t take the train or a bus to get where they’re going to never seems to come up. Hypocrisy abounds.

One dreams of abandoning it all, moving to some Third World Jungle, and inventing his own race of Atomic Supermen. That’s step one. Next up is insect control, then getting some sort of lock down in place on the Penguins and Geese. Their perfidy has gone unanswered for too long.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 16, 2022 at 11:00 am

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