Launching upwards at the opal sky, aliens watch and wait, indecisive and twiddling their many opposable thumbs. The androgyny of the astronaut suit or costume; Genderless. Bulky and broad in shape. So much risk involved to launch oneself quite literally out of this world. There is no sound or smell or breeze in space. It is nothingness where stars go to die. And it is in this graveyard where the stars know and have forgotten everybody’s name. Because it doesn’t matter. Because all there is is this upward void, beautiful as it is.
I think of Tang juice pouches and their powdered predecessors. I think of the dehydrated ice cream at the Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. I think of the future, the sour/sweet of it all. The unexpected textures love and loss will bring. Experiencing hues throughout Life’s journey.
If I were an astronaut, my heart would beat out of my chest. How could you ever sleep before, during, or after launch? The future forever changed. Time-release LSD. No sunlight, too many buttons, pristine metal fixtures. Are there bunks and cots? Do you sleep standing up connected to some wire? All the science must swim strong in your brain; You gotta think up there; It’s not just about living the day-to-day. There are no creature comforts in orbit. Mind melts at the thought.
Ah, but to see Earth from a circular window, perfectly ensconced in the sun’s glow; Perhaps that would all be worth it. To live with that rise and set, that constant companionship. I think of blue whales, friendly and comforting. I think of partnership and thanks. Regulars don’t get or understand just how special this amazing thing is. Marvelous design. I hope I don’t put it to shame.
Creaks on the hull. Ship in danger. Parachuting falls millions of miles. A terrifying colorful scheme. Too high, too high, too high. Stomach does somersaults on the descent. You do your own confession, make your peace with God, willingly watch the Kodak slides of your life, praying you’re not skipping over the good parts, and tell the little voice wondering quietly aloud, “What might it be like to die?”, to please be quiet.
A cell turned inside out gravitates towards the inner walls of the body in which in inhabits, turning tricks at us all, mocking the viewer, eyeball agape and wide, glaring down the huge magnification apparatus that we call a microscope. But to the cell its macro. Recent developments have led us to believe that we must now rewrite all that’s been written, cast aside all that we know, and let this be demonstrated in real-time, avant-garde, on a stage, nude, carrying buckets of eggshells because how could we possibly know which one came first? Regimented regulation, siamese consciousness, the parallel universe from which it all unfolds, like a book, like a piece of laundry – symmetry and aesthetic duress. Razorblade sharp and razorblade thin, skating on the wings on ice queens that have never eaten a hamburger before. And just when you think it’s all over, just when you think you can’t take anymore, there you are again – Siphoning the DMT from the rock, struggling and wracking your brain, trying to crack it, trying to open it and it’s the Big Bang All Over Again. Not nice anthems tell you to suck it up and keep trying, but you’re worthless and will never succeed. Plush peace sign pillows as carnival prizes. Stamps are adhesive and stick to the things we stick them to. First class mail is a lie. Peddling puppetry on a stage cast by those we obscenely trust, turn the other way and suck our thumb. Pacifist pacifier.
I come to you from a darkened space as a mannequin in the dark of 1950s department store. A time-traveling mannequin. That’s explains my acute awareness of the year. The quiet, so deafening and distracting in its loudness. Perhaps a creak or two from the ventilation system – or a ghost. Dust motes swim silently in the air, gliding by unrefracted light. I am a jet ski laser focused on monuments, schilling sipping psilocybin, crying out, “Lord, please!”. It’s all too much. Rock-a-bye tumbling class, long legal sheet, pink pieces of paper. Christmas tree decorations and ornaments hang. There are rugs that cover large stretches of cold, concrete floor and on each end, a wrinkled tassel sewn in gold-hued thread. Pleasure pointers, pier-pushers. In to the dirty water I go. The Third River. Staples and tape and hot glue guns do not wash away sin, but stick to what needs to be stuck. Grinning at the mere thought of spinach-speckled teeth. Warmed unique Eunice after a cold spring day. Marching orders from high command. The greens and browns and camouflage to where it doesn’t blend in anymore. Riot city makes it rain and wait. Flowing, flowering, gasping, fawning. Paper hats at a fast food restaurants; The crinkles they make. Hand-cut fries. Steak frites. Marshland, traversing through with heavy boots. Dizzy spells. Unwell. Little bells ring on the sides of the rug and are disturbed when stepped on. Not wanting to forfeit or fear. Making me believe. 2010 iPod mini. The ones with all the different colors. Concepts change and evolve. I want a hammer. Reaching through dollhouse garage like a giant Godzilla dressed in pink, not understanding that I am terrorizing Barbie and all her friends and kids and her kids’ friends. Creamed corn served up slow. Piece the memories together like scrapbooked photographs; After school kitchen clubs where the atmosphere felt mildly jovial, but still annoyingly repressed. Pitcher filled with lemonade, skirting the table cloth, the waitress makes a fast recovery and pours expertly. Her nametag says “Tina” and she has curled, light-red hair and is wearing lipstick. The journey here was long.
Shopping mall consequence. A deluge of Christmas shoppers rush on by; A too-congested Frogger – pre-COVID. Dancing, pirouetting stoned and stone-faced. Shouting, but unheard above the din. No one will remember these Nike shoes in 20 years, and no one should. The white and black with the swoosh is just something that’s normal; expected to be there. Food court teenage drama happens to be the least important thing to everyone except the people experiencing it. Fountain coins and tears over flip-phones and text messages where you have the click one button multiple times to get the letter you want. We can train our minds to do anything. Necessity is the mother, first and foremost. Annoyance at bangs that won’t get out of your eyes, when Hot Topic plays really shitty music that is like the goth bedroom of the whole entire establishment. It’s a culmination of cliques and high-school social group categories, scattered among pristine real-estate space, grey and silver with bathrooms that have automatic flush and motion-detection soap dispensers. Malls seem to me like failures. Like, “here we are the human race and this is all we got”. This is our strongsuit. These temples built to praise and cultivate capitalism. New churches that center around a temperamental and ever-changing God. A sea of cars. Coming back out of the fantasy. Trying to remember where you parked.
Charcoal etches a fine design. Like wisps of carbon and ash and coal, whispering shapes to live, to life. Lines drawn and coaxed so that their edges are relaxed. All rounded bends and no sharp corners. It tastes bitter in my mouth remembering the remembrance of you. Saintly slips of the tongue usher in new awakenings and new boundaries. Rocketships take flight, acknowledging the first pang of love. The pre-flight checklist in confirming its certainty. Sweets seem bittersweet; Bougie chocolate chips, gripping my wallet and sucking my teeth begrudgingly paying, on line at the grocery storm, store, story. Simplest of feet shuffles. Red converse and the scuffed toe that tells a non-eventful story of not picking up my feet enough. Depression from the head down. It falls like cold, frigid air. An open window above my bed in February. A month known for its dreary frost. Where one has thoughts about, “will winter ever truly end?” So much for sailboats and warm winters in coastal southern cities. A 70 degree Christmas. Art museum excursions. Hallucinating sounds of seagulls, circling. Pavlov effect where I can hear the ocean and taste saltwater in my mouth. Where my mind is about to breach with summertime manifestations, hopes and dreams and memories. All signals point. Granted, it’s whatever I say it will be. Major investments in law and banking. Snarky grumbles and grimaces of men sitting in teak rooms; They are wide and their faces are large and pig-like. I cannot find commonalities with them. Gentrified neighborhoods suffering their own fleeting deaths. Marble countertop monthly installments. Getting a grip. Baseball bat, choking up. Same marginal difference. Rutland. Wetland. Christ for Christmas. Lederhosen antiquities. Time and place. Rushing the eventualities. Needing a pause. Questioning none. Roots dig into fertile ground and rustle the soil in slow motion. Sometimes the ground can get really stubborn. I am wanting and wishing forever. Putting on airs and glancing at troubadours past. Unnecessary homework. Grimace and shake. McDonald’s drive-thru convenience. Coming up crisply, Crispix cereal. Halloween, nighttime. Glance at pumpkin. Razorblade sharp. Billow and bend. Creating cracklings around.