Kenneth Goldsmith's writing has been called some of the most "exhaustive and beautiful collage work yet produced in poetry" by Publishers Weekly. Goldsmith is the author of nine books of poetry, founding editor of the online archive UbuWeb, and the editor "I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews," which is the basis for an opera, "Trans-Warhol," premiered in Geneva in March of 2007. Goldsmith is also the host of a weekly radio show on New York City's WFMU. He teaches writing at The University of Pennsylvania, where he is a senior editor of PennSound, an online poetry archive.

University of Buffalo's Electronic Poetry Center

One Hour from Traffic

Interviewer: When did you start with the "Death" series?

Andy Warhol: ... I realized that everything I was doing must have been Death. It was Christmas or Labor Day, a holiday, and every time you turned on the radio they said something like, "Four million are going to die." That started it. But when you see a gruesome picture over and over again, it doesn't really have any effect.



Well, in conjunction with the big holiday weekend, we start out with the Hudson River horror show right now. Big delays in the Holland Tunnel either way with roadwork, only one lane will be getting by. You're talking about, at least, twenty to thirty minutes worth of traffic either way, possibly even more than that. Meanwhile the Lincoln Tunnel, not great back to Jersey but still your best option. And the GW Bridge your worst possible option. Thirty to forty minute delays, and that's just going into town. Lower level closed, upper level all you get. Then back to New Jersey every approach is fouled-up: West Side Highway from the 150's, the Major Deegan, the Bronx approaches and the Harlem River Drive are all a disaster, the Harlem River Drive could take you an hour, no direct access to the GW Bridge with roadwork. And right now across the East River 59th Street Bridge, you've gotta steer clear of that one. Midtown Tunnel, Triboro Bridge, they remain in better shape. Still very slow on the eastbound Southern State Parkway here at the area of the, uh, Meadowbrook there's a, uh, stalled car there blocking a lane and traffic very slow.


Oh, one of the nastiest nights we've had in a while across the Hudson River. Holland Tunnel can be up to a half an hour in either direction, it's repairs and only one lane available. Lincoln Tunnel, which was a good way out is a bad way out now. Now we've got troubles back to Jersey it looks like, uh, now, mmm, watching here on the WINS Jam Cam, it's double trouble. The north tube all traffic's grinding to a halt going back to Jersey, that'll impact the 41st and 40th Street approaches. The center tube, that's another problem: you got a stuck bus in the tube. We just got a call from Dennis who, um, a member of our traffic team, who said that there was only one lane open, the right lane in that tube back to Jersey, with a, uh, bus stopped there, Port Authority police crews are on scene. Right now traffic stacking up, Lincoln Tunnel Jersey-bound, GW Bridge can easily take you thirty to forty minutes to go either way, even worse off the Harlem River Drive with no direct access to the G. W. Bridge because of repairs going on and the 59th Street Bridge, still an absolute must to avoid. You've got roadwork there and delays on both decks either way.


Well, we could spend an hour talking about the Hudson River right now because that could be the delay going back to new Jersey on the Harlem River Drive approach to the GW Bridge. It's all because of repairs. Bronx approaches are an absolute sickening ride at this point and, uh, going into New York City the, uh, GW Bridge with a thirty to forty minute delay. They're doing repairs in each direction tonight on the lower level. Meanwhile, the Lincoln Tunnel, nobody's coming back to New Jersey. Remember Dennis phoned in, our traffic team member, the last report said there was a stalled bus inside the Lincoln Tunnel? Well, now they're holding all traffic back on the way back to Jersey so right now you're at a dead stop. And, uh, and looks like here on the Panasonic Jam Cam nobody getting through as yet. As you, uh, make your way at the, uh, Holland Tunnel, thirty minute delays either way, that because of repairs. Whitestone Bridge, that's where Bobby phoned in, at least a half an hour delay to Queens with roadwork, stick with the Throgs Neck or the Triboro. Avoid the 59th Street Bridge either way, use the Midtown Tunnel to avoid repairs there.


Unbelievable what's happening out there tonight: midnight gridlock. Where do we begin? There is a stalled bus inside the Lincoln Tunnel that is refusing to move, blocking all access to New Jersey. That means we're jammed-up deep on the Manhattan side. All approaches to the Lincoln are packed, spilling over into the midtown grid: Times Square, Columbus Circle, Eighth Avenue up to the Park, nothing is moving, just a lot of angry drivers at the point. Well, you might think, hey, why not head up to the GWB? But nope. That's jam-packed due to repairs. We're looking at at least forty-five minutes to an hour up there. And remember there's no access off the Harlem River Drive, gumming things up all the way to Riverdale, even bumping up to the Tappan Zee. Wow! Now, the Holland Tunnel is still looking better, but still you're going to hit nearly a half an hour getting in and out of town. On the East River crossings it's no better with the Whitestone out with, uh, roadwork. And the 59th Street Bridge is mobbed both ways in and out of town. You'll want to avoid that. We've got a smoother ride into the Midtown Tunnel, with scattered ten to fifteen minute delays there, but it might be your best bet.


Well, hard to believe that on a night as a holiday weekend is beginning, you've got one hour delays each way at the GW Bridge, 80/95 Local lanes are, uh, going to be closed down on the approach to the bridge, so all traffic going to the GW Bridge will be pushed to the upper level. That's why the backup right now is solidly all the way back into Teaneck as you, uh, travel right now on 80/95 here on the Panasonic Jam Cam. You've also got big delays on the Harlem River Drive, especially going back to Jersey, that's about a one hour wait as well. Cross Bronx approach is also gonna be a mess as you, uh, make your way towards the bridge, it's about a two mile delay. Lincoln Tunnel still jam-packed with about a half an hour back to Jersey and gumming up Manhattan with a stalled bus that's being cleared. Holland Tunnel delays are about a half an hour in each direction. Across the East River avoid the Whitestone Bridge to Queens and just flat out avoid the 59th Street Bridge, delays in both directions on both decks.


Oh right now, you want nothing to do with the GW Bridge, which can take you up to an hour or more to use the GW Bridge into the city. The, uh, problem is the lower level is closed either way, that's why the upper level is completely stacked up. And you've got, uh, big time jam-up's right now on 80/95 Express. Meanwhile, back to Jersey, avoid the Harlem River Drive approach, that approach can take you about an hour back to Jersey. On the, uh, Harlem River Drive approach all traffic diverts to Amsterdam Avenue, you can't even get to the GW Bridge directly, and that's why you've got that huge backup, Bronx approaches are not looking good either. Lincoln Tunnel about a twenty minute delay back to Jersey, that's the best we've got. Holland Tunnel, thirty minutes in either direction, that because of roadwork. 59th Street Bridge, you want to avoid it completely, use the Midtown Tunnel or the Triboro. Also, steer clear of the Whitestone Bridge, which is jammed on the way to Queens. And the BQE is also bumper-to-bumper westbound through Atlantic Avenue here in the camera. It's roadwork causing more than a one mile delay. Only one lane'll be getting by.


Well, the big delays continue across the Hudson River, could take you up to a half an hour to go, uh, at the, uh, Holland Tunnel either way. Lincoln Tunnel will be better on the way a back to Jersey, delays are winding down a little bit, but still better than the Holland Tunnel overall. And the GW Bridge is just an absolute, flat out disaster. If you're gonna use it back to Jersey, take the West Side Highway to get there. Harlem River Drive approaches still upwards of a, uh, one hour delay, matter of fact, I'm gonna make that even more. Delays are back to the Triboro Bridge now so it's going to take you well over an hour to use the Harlem River Drive going up to the GW Bridge. Bronx approaches should be a little bit better, not much, just a little bit. And the GW Bridge at least an hour into New York, only the upper level available, lower level closed with repairs. Avoid the Whitestone Bridge to Queens, it's jammed with roadwork. Avoid the 59th Street Bridge no matter which way you go, it's jammed with roadwork. The BQE is also jammed with roadwork westbound through Atlantic Avenue, one lane gets by.