From: Los Angeles Free Press - September 30, 1966

Dunderbeck's Machine
by Liza Williams

.... for all the neighbors cats and dogs
will never more be seen
they' ve all been ground to sausage meat
in Dunderbeck's machine.
Popular Song....

What do you do when the big anonymous pit opens and swallows all
the firm flesh of our country? Trying to survive, must they all go
rolling down for judgment high and twirling on pot and terror? Must
they submit to the categorizing of themselves as imperfect in a
society where imperfection means love? I hear whispers along the
room, this is how you get out, tear your mind before them, let
them laugh at you, let them mark you down In Government Issue big
black type—Acid Head, Beatnik, Freak. Small boys hustled to
graduation and plucked like berries, filling into the bottomless
war basket. Fresh today, ripe and juicy, tender, unspoiled and
easy to pack. Imagine our legacy surrounded by the old and unfit,
wobbling along in our safe democracy, dropping bombs and playing

I have two friends who live In a tree house in a canyon just beyond
the smog fringe. They are both very full of soft smiling. Whan you
ask him who he Is, he says, "I am the the same size as she is, only I am a
boy." I don't know what they do, besides climb trees and make love
and walk around putting flowers In their hair, but when I see them,
when they come to see me, I feel a continuity to all the things I did
and wanted to do. I find a linkage and a flow, we speak to one another
quietly but with purpose. He called me up the other day saying,
"this is Richard and Ann," though only he was speaking I knew
what he meant. "Can we come and see you?" he asked, "I am going
for my physical next. week.' And so they came and we went to
Barnsdall Park and sat on the grass and listened to Brahms trios
being played not too well but with generosity, the intricate tones
coming from the shell of the strange Frank Lloyd Wright house.
After that, they came home with me and we cooked chicken and
macaroni and garlic and added eggplant and all the usual things
which distinguish that kind of cooking from the daily special at
Norm's. I watched him move around the house, touching books,
standing at the large window looking out at the lights of Los Angeles.
which lying so far below achieved the aspect of total remoteness.
It was as though all of us, moving through this house, were only
pausing in transit, and having come this far, were waiting for some
moment of ripeness to open the door and leave for the special world
of our making. "I have my physical on Tuesday," he said, after we
had eaten and were sitting on the floor listening to records. I started
to say something about methods I had heard of to keep out, but he
stopped me. "No, it's all right," he said, "I know It will be all right.
I shall tell them and they will understand, I just wouldn't be able
to do the things they want. I will tell them it is hopeless to ask me
to shoot someone I do not hate . . . It would be useless to tell me
to shoot aayone. They will see, because they will not be able to use
me, I will explain it to them, that they will be able to use me, they
will know. . . . " We sat there silently, looking at each other. Ana
played with her necklace of beans, stared at her bare feet. I looked
at him, and he looked back with what seemed to me to be very
young eyes, eyes that had just begun to recognize horror and would
not accept that if you offered love you received anything else but
love in return.

What could I say? That they were taking chances with my heritage,
that he was my messenger and my banner and that the world I had
watched erupt was covering him with our historical failure? Could
I tell him that as they reached towards him I would cover his body
with my own, that I had already had my share? But I haven't had
my share, nor have the ones older than myself who still watch the
permutations of their youth bring forth configurations. "I have
been sitting in our house thinking," he said, "You know how you
hear things, and they seem remote, seem to be things from other
people's lives. I always found life easy for me, well, not easy
really on account of money or something like that, but easy to
move in, you know what I mean. All the people, I mean like in
San Francisco - all the good faces - you go out in the streets,
the park, they look back at you, sort of nice faces. I think that
here it has something to do with the weather, or something, the
faces around here they're not open.... so I've been realizing that
it is happening to me now, I mean you go along and then it happens
to you, that the thing we were doing, or maybe just how we were
living there, you know.... sort of not touching anything and maybe
not seeing anyone for a long time . really out of contact with this. . ."
He pointed out the window towards the pinpoints of light below,
"all that stuff is coming close now..." He stopped speaking and I
saw his leap through time, saw him catch hold of the things he had
built in his twenty-one years and hold them up and see them sud-
denly as perhaps unreal, transparent, fragile. "So I'm going to
tell them that they don't really want me, I know they will listen
because they will be asking me things and they will see my head
and what I say and they will understand that they don't want me
.... they will understand. .."

We sat there on the floor listening to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, the
room warm and Isolated and secure, and over it all, and through
It all, threaded the questioning rise of his voice, ths flute passages
of panic, it swirled and deafened us. But we said nothing mor- about
it, neither Ann who got up and touched his arm with her finger and
asked him if he wanted a cup of coffee, nor I, who felt that this
room, the paintings and the pottery, the collected ephemera of my
life, were suddenly trappings at the edge of a grave. Nor he, still
listening to the sound of his own voice, his declaration-of a hope for
sanity in a world that to this time he had found manageable, and now
must take on in battle with no armor but love and truth.