A ghost evaporates up from the sewer drain on a dark and humid night, intermingling undetected within the fog. From this abandoned street, no one bears witness, but there are echos of faraway sirens, the barking of dogs, the screeching of brakes. The tall buildings that soar upwards capture these sounds and amplify them, confusing their originating direction. The compass has no hands or markers but is only a circle with no context. The ghost is see-through. Cartoon Scooby-Doo landscape. The big bad city of Gotham. Batman crossover. Where to haunt next? A couple rounds the corner, unsuspecting. They are talking in low voices, softly laughing. They walk arm-in-arm, closely. The ghost makes his move from behind. Drifting, floating, ever-so slowly and eventually coming up behind them with a “BOO!”. It is loud, and raucous, reverberation reflecting off skyscrapers and apartments. But the couple is oblivious and does not hear him. The ghost grows frustrated. He tries it again, and cannot explain why the couple does not turn and budge.
Blood vessels hum inside my nostrils at warm cinnamon wafting through the room. Winter, fall, cozy curling up in a space that’s full of love and family and the blissful daze after a big meal. The carpet is clean and vacuumed. Silk pillows neatly stacked in the corner. I want to sprinkle at little bit of this everywhere, just in case I’m in some sort of serotonin future drought. The watering hole of the mind that sometimes comes up empty like dry river beds on the African plain. Where dirt is dust, and sand is commonplace. I pray for rains. A deluge to bring me home through its current. Whether that’s tears, or a page in a notebook, a letter to myself; Writing home. You sometimes don’t need stamps for that. Forgetting the obvious and recalling that if you just spin the top this reality can soon melt away. And rules of physics you thought were undeniable can suddenly change. To step on pavement that gives like gum. There is more to realize I think now. Stepping away after a long trip. Bags inside factories, cash crops of nations. I seal my envelopes with my saliva still. The nasty sweet.
Right as rain – This table can withstand even the heaviest of weights. Three ton barbells being held by a sumo wrestler who just ate his weight in sushi. If you shake it, it will not budge; Push it, it will not move. Pull it, and you will pull your fingers from their joints and it will leave you writhing on the floor sucking and kissing the now black and blue flesh. Callouses protect like noble knights, noble warriors in steel armor, grasping to their spears, sitting atop white horses, urging their sides to move forward at once, post-haste! There is a level inside, that I wake every morning and hope it evens out. It’s why sometimes I feel off balance. What warped wood warrants this feeling within my soul? I’m thinking of ships in bottle broken free, early sailboats on the high seas, perhaps with mast half-eaten and sail non-existent or eroded in tatters. Here I am now, holding fast and holding still. Digging in my heels. No wind or tornado can blow me down. Stiff upper lip in the face of madness, sadness, tears, adversity. I stand like the statue of the little girl on Wall Street.
Drawing a golden shape Oval because I’m playing The Sims as God, the narrator, unnamed character, the woman in the Hitchcock film with no name, no face. Clever clementine branding, Charlie Christmas nuisance. Thin rinds hit the ground soundlessly like the flight of tissue paper doves. Very low in the mix can you hear the peel and soft landing onto the warped wood of the backyard deck. It smells like allergies, New Jersey pollen where church membership dwindles as politicians get rich. Slow moving Dementor’s Kiss, smooching everywhere under fake Invisibility Cloaks. Smiling angel, sonnets cast toward the wind, upwards: “Take me, O Gracious One”. Flaming hoops into which we jump into because we are told, and also because maybe there is no choice. Head or feet first makes no difference. This here is the Circus birth canal. Through the flaming hoop, past the Lion’s mouth. It’s breath is awful. Calliope music winds up and plays until I find myself on the other side of that hoop, and on the purple pedestal where trumpets sound and cymbals lightly crash. The crowd roars and then I cry out in surprise and discomfort. And suddenly the whole vision goes tunnel, and I am falling backwards.
Trees that never blossom and grow fruit. Cactus in the desert, thorny stabs at first approach. Ah, yes but their bulbs are filled with water or aloe vera, or some hydrating, nourish sustenance. Sandy hourglass trickles through Time. Some Arabian Nights early-Hollywood fantasy. Where white men still get all the roles. To succumb and adapt and still not get it. Hopeless, desperate, dejected, depressed. Everything you do is for nothing, for naught, forgotten, forgot. I plead with hands outstretched, a perfect dove shadow-puppet, flapping fake-winds and not getting anywhere. The air is different here. It is the grand illusion where I have no wings and nowhere to land. This is not West Caldwell Airport. JFK Jr will not come back to life. Smile immortalized on newspaper headlines and documentary archival footage. Wading through memories that are not mine. It feels strange to slip on another stranger’s skin and walk through. And even then how could I possibly understand? I would never presume to. Human compassion can get you close, but cannot duplicate the experience of what it is like to be someone else exactly, someone else untouchable. These pears are infertile and will not blossom. They didn’t feel like it today. Not in the mood. Unconvincable, unpersuadable. Seeds were planted and the soil sucked. The soil sucked them dry. They got eaten by animals. They got forgotten and buried and did not activate.