Tuesday, July 19, 2016

the last book I ever read (Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney, excerpt eleven)

from Black Deutschland: A Novel by Darryl Pinckney:

I am one of the black American leftovers who sit by themselves. We nod to one another, my fellow old heads and I, a veteran session musician, a widowed engineer, that second-rate Beat poet, now a celebrity because of his age, and low-frequency me. I have their general outlines and they pieces of mine. We exchanged them a few years ago, but since the engineer’s German wife died, we have not added to the kitty of information. They don’t come in as regularly as I do, a fat guy again. To gain weight is to become neutered. Yet the crew of dealers I manage in Hasenheide Park is scared of me.

I never tried to belong. I stayed in the great head with the unratified deeds, a phrase I always took to mean the things we do in the dark. I just wanted to be left alone. I was. I have been, my slowed footsteps a perfunctory but familiar chorus. During the worst of the antiforeigner attacks, the neo-Nazis never messed with American-looking blacks, not even at four in the morning. I was still bleary-eyed in Powell’s Bookstore basement with the deutsche taschenbuch verlag editions I couldn’t really read.

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