Flesh eating slug repellent. Harry Potter VI movie marathon and all that is good in the world. Warm and fuzzy. Slimey the worm. Sesame Street, Oscar the Grouch, RIP Carol Spinney. My grandma would have been sad to hear about it. She died 15 years ago. She no longer has flesh. She was cremated. Dust sits in a metallic sacred jar, blessed by a priest, approved by God, in the cemetery. In the mausoleum. In a small stone-slabbed space with her name and dates. And that’s who she is now. To me she is flood of memories. I regret not having grown older with her. 14 is way too young to lose your grandmother. So many things half-realized, then later suppressed. She would have been a great person to talk to as an adult, after I had lived some life, which I have.

A pound of flesh. Shylock. Merchant of Venice. No blood. Just the pound. Good thing Shakespeare wasn’t a science-fiction writer. That tan, beige, grey slop. The biggest living organ on your body is your skin. Lives and breathes and heals. It is nature, but can also be pornographic. It can be sexual. And these two things don’t necessarily have to be related. Flesh on flesh, we are one true being. Two souls trying to kiss. Two psyches trying to see inside the other. But not with eyes.


Shattered plate, shattered dreams. Foot in dress shoe raises up and smashes down right on top of napkin covered plate – Mazel tov! Weddings and luck and traditions. The colors in the room are white and dark blue. And maybe lavender. Herbs growing up from dead grass, characters from movies and books. Barnes and Noble contentment. The smell of a new book. Plate. Primary setting. Fork on the left, knife on the right. Knight in shining armor, gleaming metallic excellence. Hoping it doesn’t move, but wishing it would. It feels cold to the touch. A meal will touch down upon that plate, smelling good. Like the promise of satiation. Chicken and rice and vegetable. Or pasta with bolognese sauce. Or anything, really. It is warm. The steam melts the cold from your heart and soul. Holder of sacred meal. Dinner table as sacred circle. I will paint the stained glass windows to represent this moment. Pinegrove and evergreen trees and Christmas morning. The forgiveness of sins and birth of something new in winter. Saturnalia. Roman holiday. Audrey Hepburn. Kate Mulgrew. Powerful women. Who could take that plate and launch it like a frisbee to be cute, to be lethal. Plates as two cymbals, shattering on impact. Hardened egg yolk from a sunny-side up egg. I can still smell the bacon sizzle, now sitting cold on the counter. That diner smell. It is a drug, intoxicating. Salt and fat and carb, coming together as emotional cure-all – until I step on the scale. They say to slay your dragons, but that is one I don’t think will ever be dead, one I constantly work on. Ceramic, paper, and plastic plates. China. Is it a party? Is it a holiday? Is it just dinner? Should we remove this setting? Who has called and cancelled? Did we miss a setting? Where do I add one more? Inclusion, forgetfulness. Let’s wash the remains. Load up the broken dishwasher and hope it goes. 3D heated cube that works magic wonders. What sucks is the unloading part, the work that goes in afterwards. I hear the hum of its rumbling, the swishing of water and soap. Again, feel the steam after its complete. I warm my hands and face. The only incentive of putting everything away. I usually start with the plates. Bottom rack.


Shiny metal capsule, man-made vitamin cure-all, explosive nugget of death. It is golden, it is hard, it is unsuspecting death. Grim reaper shows up and hangs around all over America. More than Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny combined. Except when you die, you don’t rise up again like Christ. You stay down. In your tomb. King Tut and the Egyptians didn’t have AK-47s. Imagine if they did. They would still be around today and I would be writing something way different in hieroglyphics. Money as power, violence as power, death as power. But power changes hands, priorities change. I suggest listening to Oso Oso to cultivate some dreg of inner peace. Start there. Podcast history. What to do when the internet fails? I hope that never happens. What if the things we put so much faith in and hold so close to our hearts disappear forever beyond our control? Digital hoarding. Late night television laugh track. Running around in circles listening to Sunny Day Real Estate. Jeremy Enigk as patron saint and voice and spokesperson of the angels. Car dealer marathon. How long can we go without pulling our hair out? Dancing with the comb as my microphone in the mirror. These are pure things, pure memories I like to think everyone has done. Burgers on the grill flaming up. Gun violence.


Open up to me and show me your petals. Night-bloomer, wishy-washy belief. Late-bloomer that’s me. Strong strong stems supporting the fruit, the meaning, the show-off. Petals so delicate they would feel like soft kisses or soft tears, or a ten-week-old puppy’s ears. All kinds of colors red and white and purple and blue and teal and turquoise. Smell like nature, so sweet, heady, earthy, natural. Sometimes overly perfume-y. Sometimes it stuffs up my noses. The bees dig it more than me. That’s the honey, that’s the pollen, that’s their lifeblood. In the summer time if you sit out side on my warped wooden deck in the backyard, when it is warm and humid, there are choruses of cicadas singing and talking, starting up and then dying away. Neighbor’s dog barks, there may be a car horn thrown in there too. Maybe freshly mowed grass. But on this deck there are two planters of flowers that my parents with upkeep or replace every season. And the bees love these planters. They love the flowers, especially the ones that are thin and tall and have little nodes protruding all the way up their stalks; littler floral nodes. And these bees gracefully fly over early in the morning and hop from node to node, perfectly content, buzzing about. Some full grown, some babies, but definitely bumblebees. They are large, fuzzy black and yellow. They do not mind that you keep them company, as long as you don’t interfere with their work, their livelihood, their life. I could watch them all day. And they do stay all day. Usually from way in the morning, until the sun goes down. It makes me feel special that our yard can accommodate these bees, especially when many are dying out. I’m sure their honey tastes so sweet. And I wonder if it’s the same bees come back every year, or if this crucial information on where the best flowers are are shared with the hive before death, whispered into another’s bee’s ear. Perhaps their consciousness and though absorb through their honeycomb like a last dying breath of sorts. I’ve never seen their hive. I don’t know where they live or commute from. Hornets are a different story. They are thin and angry. Their hives have popped up on my house throughout the years, always to be removed by a professional. Lately they haven’t come back, but once in a while they do.

Seeing a flower bloom in real time is probably so beautiful, too beautiful and that’s why stop-motion –


Spilling down the front of your shirt. Water leaked from laughing. Uptightness dissolved like paper origami birds in sugar water into uproarious laughter. HA HA HA! Milkshake through your nose. The two tunnels filled with ice cream and you are a Carvel with a cold. Kick your foot and down goes a coffee can, spill the grounds all over the outside. Do what you can to sweep it up and turn the can upright again.

I spill my guts to you. And whatever momentary reprieve it may bring at me getting this thing off my chest, admitting attraction. It is aways followed by doubt and dread and regret. Traumatic emotions swing through my body like Spiderman using Red Vines (not Twizzlers).

An old man works in an auto repair shop. An oil change goes wrong. As he’s spilled the oil which ignites faster than the speed of thought. I am thinking now. Sluggish and yearning. I will spill.