Ok, Sparrow. Start the computer. Let the jet engine stall before turning the key and pressing the clutch again. With your short little birds foot and beak outstretched pointing upwards at the stars, we will take this rocketship into oblivion and make our start on some other distant planet. Like some wayward, cutting-room-floor Disney film. Start up the projector. Get the markers. Take the storyboard out of storage and let 'er rip. Sparrow flies and flocks, fancy-free and footloose gazing endless aerial views, World War II jet planes flying over provincial farmlands of territories felt entitled to. To destroy, to pardon, to shift in the ever-shifting balance of the time and tide. Water rushes in. Titanic confounds reality, then sinks. Which stinks. Money and God never quite got along, even though we printed on the scripture of printed bill-folds tucked safely into golden money clip. Same siamese newspaper? Groundhog Day headlines. Major Marjorie stands at the frontlines combative in French revolutionary garb. She is in light blue attire and conducts her sword in a swashbuckling manner to direct these troops to fight. There are cannons waiting to bit lit, men with hearts in their throats in anticipation, at death, knowing them must also snuff out the life of those opposed even at the risk of their own being snuffed out. Hog's Head itinerary, tusks on faces unrecognizable. Wastoid. Lesson learned. Sparrow counts me in, locking beady eyes, perched on heavy headboard, from a tree he used to call his home. It got chopped down and processed. But there will be another tree, and another. And he will continue to hop homes and switch because he is powerless to do anything else. There are no bird unions. There is no avian society of collective bargaining. But sometimes people get treated the same way. And I don't like that. Sparrow plays me out on blue saxophone and sunglasses looking cartoonish in his actions. Like he took a night to listen to Ornette Coleman and here he is, mission accomplished, lesson adjourned. Tweeting out heartbreak and discontent from the reed. Navigating emotion after too much lunch. Stroller rolls down the hill into the street and flies across the embankment. Million ways to one. Singular mishap controlling begathon. Marathon, stick-up jack rabbit; There's mustard on your sleeve. It's the long-sleeve white collared shirt you wear for work. It's evidence of company cookouts.
Three’s a crowd, three is company. Modern marvels watch like windows looking outward to the world, inside there is black marble and onyx. Granite columns holding up the titans and giants of financial industry. It is crowded and I can’t breathe. Supreme disappointment, aggravated nonsense. Claustrophobia. Snake in a tube, wriggling through. Coiling. Getting ready to strike. Remembering the roomy darkness of the wicker basket. The snake does not like crowds.
I do not miss packed and crowded PATH trains and subways. Sardined just inside the closing doors. Trying not to breathe, not to sweat, not to look anyone in the eye. Just get there by sheer force of will and the power of God, and soon I will be off this bullet and climbing stairs (cursing every one) until I am above ground and now sweltering in the sun, to hopefully soon enter some grand cavern of air conditioning. And I will internally weep as it hits my glistening skin, and simultaneously marvel at the fact that years ago A/C did not exist. And I will think of Mad Men and Don Draper drinking dirty tap water. Feeling like we have gone everywhere and nowhere all at once. Strawberry mistakes with red juice around your chin.
Crowded ballrooms where the voices rise up in a deafening din. There is a DJ fighting for amplitude. My eardrums are pulsing and cursing the day. There needs to be a separation. No more crowds now. Anxiety first. Elementary school gym class and lifting up the multi-colored parachute. I used to love those gym class days. Always so much fun. I hadn’t thought about that in awhile…Crowded clubs and street sidewalks. Long lines. Crowded nest where the runt of the eggs gets kicked out to die and starve. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it happen on camera. It’s true. And breaks your heart. Crowded because of clutter and depression. Interior panic. Crowded parking lot. There are no spaces. Time to move on. Packed festivals and carnivals. Makes you want to be a card-carrying nihilist.
Green, sweet melon. Take a bite and you are greeted by juice running down your chin, down your neck, and into your shirt or lap. I fill up my plate greedily. Knowing if were to eat this whole melon it wouldn't be the end of me, but an affirmation to summer fruit and living off the land I have never seen where this melon grows. But someone picked it for me. They removed it off the vine and now it's come into my home and onto my plate and it is heaven. And thank you, farmers and pickers alike. To the truck drivers and supermarket workers. This was a good one. This was a success. Knock back the juice that pools at the bottom like a shot. Nature's good ol' sugar rush to keep our eyes open and the grass growing. Honeydew cucumber face mask mojito. Night time lotion where when I go the mall I just want to root my feet and grow up, up, up, and up like I am an extension. Like I am part of it: Guardian of the Food Court; That intersection in Willowbrook where The Body Shop overlooks Starbucks, the landmark where the Court begins. The only reason why we stand guard, the only reason why there is order is because there are choices, options. We are all hungry, but able to choose our meal and sit, on a hard plastic, fake marble bench and plot our next Christmas shopping move. It's never been fun for me. No one's taught me how to do it. We throw out the rinds and the seeds and take a towel to the mess made on the table. Bald-headed man Muppet. Mr. Honeydew. Mr. Melonhead? Melon is so great because of its hydrating properties. I was thinking the other day of proscuitto and melon and my high school graduation party. It makes me feel lonely and unsure of many life choices. It makes me recall how different things were then and how different I am now. Of course, that melon was cantaloupe. And every time I have proscuitto and melon (which I not often at all), I think to myself this isn't going to work. How can these flavors work together? This is so strange. Who would have ever thought of this? But I take a bite, and it works, and the saltiness of the proscuitto mixed with the juicy sweet creamy texture/consistency of the melon just - work. I take another bite, and then another. And before I know it, I have to stop myself before I get carried away, wanting to experience the flavors again and again. Avant-garde project. Baseball with fruit. But who cleans up the mess? Do we play in the compost heap? What sort of hippie project is this? It is the dew of honey, which actually is a pretty apt description of the taste: Sweet like honey, light like dew.
Painfully pulling out branches from an old, wiry tree. It stands immovable and motionless. What can I learn here? We gaze upwards and our eyes rest on a waving banner. Patriotic sentiments barely stir within me anymore. The pit of my stomach is moreso laced with dread, weighing the pros and cons of being dead or alive. Reckoning. Grappling. Pleading. Shedding the skin of naiveté. Snake-like knowledge slithers up and binds us in chokeholds. We turn blue and pass away to the old ways. Raspberry Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and extra whipped cream. This is no ordinary supermarket-purchased pie. This is homemade from scratch, I mean scratch. With care, with love, with songs sung, and honest, decisive movements; Kneading that dough and needing that dough. Delayed reactionary. Delayed revolutionary. American militia trudging through swamps, the swamps of history books. Bibles are heavy and weigh so much. Finding our true path, our one true path to contribute to society always feels like fitting a square peg in a round hole of equal size. Fluttering flag, saluting the brave, saluting the scared and innocent, and frightened. Saluting those who brought it all back with them and don’t know how to let it go. How can we better let each other know that we are love and valued? Why do we draw lines and build up walls, tapdancing around eggshells and unmarked graves of past traumas we do our best to lay to rest? Somedays everyday is armageddon. It doesn’t matter if the sun is out and the sky is blue. Somedays a stapler is just so loud and familiar. Folding flags in the traditional military triangular formation. Soldiers stand at attention. Marvelous parades tearing up the road. I don’t know what it all means anymore. I don’t know what it means to not be constantly distracted anymore. Putting out thought-bubbles like little anchors and fishing lines. Seeing what bites and what sinks the ship, holds the ship in place rather. It’s easy to get seasick. Too easy to look the other way. Complacency is a quiet, pervasive devil. We put so much faith into a symbol that’s supposed to identify our bloodlines. But I don’t know how I feel anymore about it. I have taken too long to say my name. I stand here spiritually hungover.
Wicker basket. Someone call Moses from the wood, from the water, through the reeds. There he say, there he lay. In his basket. Crying. There a little shifts of ripples that find their way to the edge of the basket, creating mild turbulence and little rain, little shift, little waves. It is soothing though and he settles. Wicker baskets carried on the heads of strong woman who go to the river to wash their clothes and linens. They are regal queens with turbans and headresses whose strength knows no bounds. Gaia-incarnate. Simplistic to no overture. Their biceps and triceps and thicker and stronger than mine every will be. They could knock you out with one punch if you overstep the line. Honorable samurai code. Total separation. On this evening, dusk scene there is incense in the air. Perfumed frankincense. Perhaps there are also jasmine flowers growing under the window of some home, and there is a woman in her kitchen sipping tea and she is living in now, living in the present, smelling the jasmine and thinking “What a good life this is that I can sit in my kitchen in the dark with the lights turned off with an open window and hear the crickets singing, smelling this jasmine that grows right underneath my window”. It’s all about syllable placement. It’s all about getting it out. Temper tantrum hurricane, because maybe the Earth really isn’t that hold, that old. I’ve resignedly accepted that I cannot will myself to do everything. The tales the backstory holds. Watching television. Numbing out. Do you remember what it’s like to be floating in wicker baskets, biding time, and twiddling your thumbs. Some authenticity quest having to do with finding your stream. Some big empty vessel, pour your life into that somehow. There are women etched onto the walls of some Egyptian tomb, painted on with gold-flecked paint. Hieroglyphics and pictographs depicting life, a life that we no longer know and can only imagine to the best of our ability based on the texts and pictures and tools they left behind. For every honorable king, there are at least three narcissistic scum bags. To root them out, we must be better parents and teachers and humans and teach them to not be and not value those traits that make them so. Basket weaving circle. Women sitting crosslegged in a sacred shape, singing and smiling.