icicle

Cylindrical, triangular, cone shape. It’s thin and transparent. Water stopped by time and temperature. A weapon with a pointed end. Melts in your hands and in your mouth. Aesthetically pleasing, but potentially dangerous. It must be cold; Cold, cold, cold to have it stop like that. Over ledges and bridges and roofs and awnings. Yawning at daybreak to take in the winter scene. Some Winter Wonderland painting come to life of figures in the distance on ice skates. Like they’re out there, but disconnected and not quite real. A stretch in a white tank top. The house is dark and warm. A cocoon, protective of its inhabitants. Science-fiction uncertainty. An unresolved chord, suspension, then moves on. Arnold Schoenberg, we may pay homage.

The icicles have me thinking about this very recent winter. And taking the dog out in the backyard. The snowbanks and wind whipping to such an extent you have to turn your back and face and wait for it to pass. It is not pleasurable. One of those things you hold your breath and just wait for the dog to do his business so you can both get back inside. He doesn’t want to be out there either. He seems confused and questioning like, “Is this some punishment? What happened to the grass?”. Because he’s only two and doesn’t really know. And when he just stands there, you have to sacrifice some of that inner warmth you’ve been conserving by keeping your mouth shut and breathing out of your nose to say, “C’mon, honey. Go pee”. And you have to coax him a little bit over and over again, before he finally and hesitantly and reluctantly puts a paw forward and offers a little sniff to try and find a scent, perhaps somewhere buried beneath all this strange white stuff. The air is dry, yet clear and it reminds me of nights when we would come home from a family party and drop off Nonna at her house in Bloomfield. The cold. The way the air smells. Like snow, like winter, like ice. And how my mom would walk her to the door while I’d watch from the car. We’d see her lights go on as my mom would help her remove her coat and get her settled. These memories seem like they’re unreal. Because they happened so long ago and I haven’t really thought about them in awhile. She probably wouldn’t be in there with her long, but to me, a child, it would feel like an eternity. When I just wanted to get home and go to sleep, or get out of my outfit, or play video games, or hang with friends. I never understood then that those little moments between them, though routine, were precious, fleeting, priceless. Something she would never sacrifice.

freeze frame

Record scratch, freeze frame – “You may be asking yourself how I got here,”. A white male protagonist is paused on the VHS player, about to grab a piece of pizza. The paused shot is not static but seems to be in a quiet war, tightly moving back and forth. As a child, I was told not to pause tapes, but stop them – because pausing and holding was bad for the tape, being held in place, storyline suspended indefinitely. I can smell the stale odor of stale snacks like Doritos and cheddar popcorn. The room is dark, the night is certain, and only the blue light from the small 4:3 television illuminates this den of stink. Flannel shirt, plaid futon. 90s aesthetic tragedy. Linoleum floor where it is certain that a soda was spilled and not cleaned up. The sticky sweet carbonation also finding its place within the nasal EQ of scents. The frequency differentiation in combination of its allies and counterparts. Noteworthy to mention that ludicrous as it may seem, this messy environment may be of comfort to some. But not to me. Surge! soda, red plastic lunchbox displaying Scooby Doo or Power Rangers. Plaques and trophys on the wall, displayed – for no one. How did we get here? Rainbows appear over this neighborhood no more. No pot of gold, St. Patrick’s Day skip-over. Even Santa doesn’t care. Grey clouds, nighttime always. Drafty house and basement where the cold air gets in too easily. It seems to be taunting; One foot in, one foot out. Crossing lines, on the line of annoyance it never fully crosses but does cross. Time stops. Clockstoppers. Film directed by Jonathan Frakes I think I saw as a kid, solely for the purpose because it was directed by Jonathan Frakes. Not sure if there were any other kids who saw it with that specific motivation. Time is always fun to muse about. It is reality drenched in theories and fantasy components. There are extensions to time, relations to Time. Bogged down by numbers and linear reality. Waiting for no one. Even in smells and junkie daydreams, you can’t truly go back in time. Annorax and his White Whale. Trek on track to the focal point of everything. I don’t know what the point is, no one does. They can claim to, and that’s fine. But it’s not objective reality, objective truth. It is not sustainable and will not last forever.

jam

That song is my jam. That song is my peanut butter and jelly on bread. Filling, delicious, satisfying, even exciting. That song is the bees knees, cucumber, pickles, radioactive radio access. That song is electric, that song gets me on fire, that song is everything – Eloquent and vague, mysteriously specific. That song is it. That song is creamed corn on Thanksgiving, watermelon in the hot summer sun with no juice dribbling down the chin. Nothing to wipe away. It’s all deliciousness in my mouth, all the time. Raging winters insulated, every crack and crevice identified. I am buoyant. I am invigorated by it. It is CPR when I can’t breathe. The lifeblood of my future ancestors. That song is the answer. No monotonous droning cadence, but a whole expressive passage. Better than Vivaldi’s Spring on ecstasy (not that I would know anything about that, Mom). But it’s better than Life, it’s the art of Living. I want loud speakers throbbing with the melody that must’ve been magically pulled from the air, from the breeze, like a Disney animation that of course, made sense. That song is everything. That song is legitimate. That song blossoms as a flower grown in underground pavement, seeking its air from a crack. All encompassing. I’ll just stay in love with this song. Until I can’t stand it anymore. Until I come to the realization that, “oh yeah, I need people too. I need socialization and talking and not to the brick wall echo chamber that is the internet”. But this song for now, satiates me. It soothes my brain. I welcome it to stay as long as it likes. It’s just hard to not get excited when there is understanding, when there is interlocking of eyes, when there is fascination and attraction of a rhythm, melody, and words. Wishing I could scrape off a scintilla of that and apply it to my own. Like a paint chip of a glorious color that you can’t find anymore. The song that makes your heart drop if it gets interrupted and the plug gets pulled. The moan of disappointment by the audience, by the crowd. Crowded house party, plenty of drinks, plenty of promissory notes – The delivery of hangovers bright and early tomorrow morning. These are not carried by storks, but by dehydration and poison imbalances. Liver protests and digestive disasters. Mix ‘n’ match diatribe. Grapes become jelly, which is like a hungover brain. Not sustainable, no way.

figure

Figure 8, Elliott Smith, Ice Skating Rink. Schoolhouse Rock, even. Skates cutting ice with such precision like my ankles never knew how. The edges are sharp and will draw blood. The Zamboni will smooth over the rink’s surface. These activities were never fun or thrilling or things to look forward to as a child. The wind whips cool air to dance on rosy cheeks. Protective mittens, gloves, hats, and scarves insulate. Winter activities. Three states of matter: solid, liquid, gas. Water. Precipitation cycle. 5th grade science class. Textbooks and colorcoded charts and graphs. Large, easy-to-read print. The words arranged in easy-to-read sentences. Creaking of old wooden floors at school. The dragging of desks and chairs. Standing up to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Post-9/11, but I remember doing it before too. Hand over heart. Say the words because God’s watching. No air conditioning, open windows, pray for a breeze and that the deodorant works. I just always seemed to be too much to handle, a muted symphony of sound. What would’ve happened if I had the courage and audacity to always be my loud, fearless self? Would another complex have grown in the place of whatever boiled then simmered? Steaming hot water, adding salt and boxed pasta. Giving a satisfying stir. You can tell a lot of things based on sound. Snow angels never felt satisfying as they looked in picture books. Crafting snowmen always seemed like too much work. Skipping grades. Tying sneakers. Hi and lo top Converse. Shin splints. Ricocheting vertical pain with every step forward. Basketball bullshit. Enforced gym class physical activity. To keep a good figure. Rebelling constantly. Weight differences can make one feel so self-conscious. Sweaty, awkward me. Entrapment. Trapdoor with a cage, padlocked. Lions and wolves in captivity. In the cellar. They rattle their chains.

boss

Slammin’ on a Boss pedal. Undeniable tone. Guitar hero. Doused in a cape, face hidden. I don’t know how to be. A man short, but with the features of Gru: Serious face, broad linebacker shoulders and crooked nose. Nothing can make him smile. Dressed all in black because to him, no other colors exist. And he is miserable, pure misery. His shoes are immaculate and finely polished. He doesn’t so much move, but gives sharp glances. He doesn’t so much eat, but chews hard and slowly, swallowing in annoyance. He never has to get dressed or changed, but appears factory-made, a cutout. Some hologram that beams in the same every day. Brow is furrowed, eyes are watchful. The man is a stone wall, a brickface that shows no vulnerability. Long fingers cross and their tops, coming together in a thinking pose. The two pointers rest on that middle space between upper lip and nose. This man does not get excited about fresh bagels or concert tickets. He has been beaten down by the chrome, non-rusted machinery of society. He’s becoming a walking cube of a man. And he intends on staying that way. That is, until he finds a person to breathe life back into his heart. Company budget spent on Swingline staplers. Swingline staplers that maybe will jam constantly. No one thinks of trying to fix it; They’ll just throw it out and buy another one. Free shipping. The working class too muted to get a complaint to ricochet throughout the news cycle. Oceans grow and swell and then come back to a state of equilibrium. Order, command, a trifecta of responsibilities. A story once it’s over. “You’re the boss”. This ruling king in person or thing or feeling that towers over and dictates the laws of how we are and live our life, I suppose. Dancing around the issue. Never wanting to be straightforward. Molotov mildness – A salsa served with chips and dance best orchestrated under blue floodlights in a moody restaurant with a dance floor that is too small for its occupancy. I’m sick of the pharmaceutical commercials. I doubt them immediately. No trust. But the names of the drugs get stuck in my head. I’m constantly trying to flush them out; Drown and dilute them so I may absorb other, more important names and facts and feelings. Data mining my own brain. Pokemon tetris.