Yeesh. First Harvey Pekar goes, and now comes news that Tuli Kupferberg, the writer and poet and anarchist and guiding spirit of The Fugs and so many other vital artistic movements and moments has passed away at age 86. In the picture at left, that's Tuli at right, with Fugs co-founder and all-around polymath Ed Sanders ("a saint and a genius"—Robert Christgau), who still breathes, I'm happy to say. Some of you may remember the bit in Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" that goes "who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free beer." That was about Tuli. I often think about him, younger then, and the alleyways and firetrucks of a vanished New York, and it always makes me smile to remember that Tuli lived through that and eventually got to forge an existence that was both insane and somewhat, well, celebrated. He can be seen cavorting and declaiming throughout Dusan Makavejev's immortal WR: Mysteries of the Organism, perhaps the only film sufficiently radical and free to contain him, as it were.I met him once, when he appeared on a public-access television show I had some small involvement with in the '80s, Beyond Vaudeville. It was something of a postmodern freak show, and he knew it, and didn't much care; being a professional freak was part of his job, such as it was. This was a guy who kind of redefined the whole "if I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere" ethos, inasmuch as he ever considered it; in a sense, he lived his whole life in the role of the New York that can't be tamed by real estate moguls and hypocritical puritan politics. God rest his soul, and I wish I had bought him a beer. I'm sure many others did, eventually.