Marshall Berman Vive


At Monxo’s thesis defense = doc party in a non-descript Irish bar rapidly vanishing into air somewhere between Murray Hill and landfill, he couldn’t stop talking about Marshall. I was reading him in Puerto Rico and I loved him and I came to New York because of him he said sadly and proudly. There he was still solid as beer mugs tinkled and a crew of bronxistas and postdocs vibrated. It was a vibrant thing said the abstrakt and everyone listened. I gotta read up on Emma Goldman it was decided.
As for me I had two encounters with the Moses slayer. A couple of weeks after the Tompkins Square riot of 1988 he clambered up five flights of tenement stairs to interview me simply because I’d published a short essay about it in the Voice. It was an early writing; just beginning. I said something like the anarkids spoke for me somehow even though it wasn’t me throwing the bottles. Marshall took copious notes.
The second time was after meeting Pacho, who’d flowin in from Mexico City when he was the drummer for Maldita Vecindad. Five minutes into the conversation he asked me–do you know Marshall Berman? Sure I said, confident I knew some people here and there. Somehow I got word to him when Maldita played New York and he showed. Pacho never forgot it.
Why did Marshall appeal to my Latin American self-styled urban philosopher carnales? I could say he spoke in a universal multivocal language. But it was probably because he was from the Bronx.


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