Touched down in Austria. March, 1980. Midge sent me. ” Och aye Few, Conny Plank’s no happy. I need a tune. Something ominous, monumental. Ken?” I asked the driver to take me to the Rathaus. I thought it was a nightclub, like Berlin in the seventies. It was just the town hall. Cheap guidebooks. Bad translators. Everyone had a moustache. I found a card in a phonebox offering accommodation. The lady gave me directions and told me to call again when I got closer. I was wet behind the ears. Eventually, we met. Irmgard Laurie. She wore leather boots that went all the way up to her eyes. Those eyes. Those boots. She gave me the keys and smiled knowingly. Told me the place downstairs made the finest apfelstrudel in all of Wien. It wasn’t a bakery. I went to the Hundertwasserhaus, the Sigmund Freud museum – Alan Ginsberg was leaving as I entered. Everywhere I go a poet’s been there before me.I even drank Schilchersekt from a stiletto. Nothing. The day I was leaving I gave her my phone number. She said “dies bedeutet mir nichts.”*
*If anyone reading this knows Irmgard tell her I forgive her.
(You’re fired again. Ed.)
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