Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Proud Titania

He takes a long drag and all I see are embers and red eyes. Hold, then exhales, two streams of magic dragon-breath through his nostrils as he lifts the cold can of Pabst to dry lips in one fluid motion. The growing dusk blankets us like fog but we keep chilling, unwilling to take the party indoors.

My mind races and reels, torrents of flickering distortions fed into my skull. I’m thinkin’ maybe I shouldn’t have taken two tabs of acid. Perhaps I’m thinkin’ I may be too old for hallucinogenic mind fucks… after all I’ve always said acid is a young man’s drug, but I dropped anyway against my better judgment. Cool breeze, a midsummer night’s dream. Old Door’s tape in the boom box filling the night air and I can see the music swirl about, drifting higher and higher into the sky, and I reach out my hand to try and hold the organ and the guitar and the thick purple crayon bass lines, but the elusive ripples dissipate to my touch.

I remember seeing you there sitting by the fire, dark eyes gazing out to the ocean. I remember asking you what you were thinking about, hypnotized by your black hair… watching your skin breathe, careful not to fall into a pore. “ Tuzik, why are you so sad?” And I remember you turned to me and smiled, “Not sad sweetie, just thinking about home.” And I answered: “but I’m right here.”

“I wish it were that easy,” you sigh… and I feel a great melancholy fill my heart, which is now sealed in glass and tossed about haplessly in the waves. Like some Dutch boy popped his finger out of the dyke with a defiant snarl and now I’m drowning, the waves smother me as I claw at the surface unable to breathe for I know the future holds absolutely nothing for us except tragedy.

I turn and stumble, reaching out my hands to catch myself, and walk back to my circle of friends who toss about the footbag, the “sipa,” transfixed by the tracers following the intricate flight patterns… I smile and hum Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee.

Monday, February 12, 2007

High relief in stained glass

I can’t help but wonder how a cow feels as it stands in line waiting for its turn to be slaughtered. I heard somewhere once that unlike the slaughterhouses of old, where helpless cows would be mercilessly clubbed to death in some filthy Sinclairian hell, today’s slaughterhouses employ more humane techniques. The procedure is quite efficient. The livestock is led single file thru a series of winding tunnels, they have no notion of what lies ahead, they can only focus on the rear quarters of the animal directly in front. Upon reaching their destination they are rendered unconscious by a high- powered metal bolt. Their limp body is then suspended upside down by one of their hind-legs, of course this breaks the leg and connecting hip immediately. The cow’s throat is quickly slit and the unconscious animal bleeds to death, never awakening. It's a very efficient process, it really is. Very efficient. And that’s how I sit in this throbbing, ungodly morning traffic – confused eyes locked on the car in front of me, willing it to go faster, as I patiently wait for what could be MY turn in the slaughtering pen. My thoughts wander to happier times, old yellowing memories. My glazed eyes glance to the side of the road and for a moment I am taken back to the ocean. Languid days shore-fishing with Grandpa. The million shards of crunchy glass, a collection of countless fender-benders, countless fragments of windshields, small snippets of death and trauma and white blankets swathed over an inert husband or father or lover or son who won't be coming home tonight… some accident gone horribly awry, black ties and long faces, and a million shards of crunchy glass take me back to the sea and it’s shiny shells and brilliant black rocks. Far, far away from the slaughterhouse but not far enough from the dull ache in my arm and the biting fire in my veins.