cotton

We have tamed a wild weed in the South. It grows here and nowhere else (maybe). There is a blood history behind it. Drenched in cash and profit and exploitation of human beings and their rights. Hot, humid summers – How many passed under the aversion of God’s gaze? Dry, cotton mouth. Dehydrated water supply. It’s all just air around me now. Expired breath, ghost mist. Fog on a mysterious morning where I drop my knees and thank God in fear; For fear if I don’t, I too will not be spared, I too await the blade of an axe from the angel of Death; Jump off the mountain, or be somewhere at the wrong place, at the wrong time. The opposite of luck: Unfortunate circumstance. What becomes common place smooth fabric, has a long journey ahead. There is a method and a process. Plantation that has history we must reckon with, must acknowledge, must accept guilt and complicity. Vultures caw hollow, searching for the remains of the missing. Missing memories, lost in some black hole of Alzheimer’s Disease, some black hole of dementia. They circle and spiral inside. Perhaps their outlines remain, but the coloring book remains devoid of color. The smell of manure, fresh mulch. Earthy tones and senses. If I were a child in the field, I would want to hide in the shade of a tall stalk, or the shade of my mother, so I could sleep in the heat and stay tucked away out of trouble, and not be afraid of bugs so that when a little fly lands on my arm, I will barely notice and not spoil my calm quiet. The wind doesn’t blow, doesn’t answer calls. There’s just the answering service, and if there is an emergency, just run. And keep running; Make the wind move for you. Kick up your bare feet and cuffed jeans. Kind of run where you stick out your stomach and hips and just bolt, just go for it. Leaves on trees get rustled as you brush past. Heavy breaths and pants until you can no longer take it anymore, slowing down to a stop bent over, hands on thighs, leaning forward. Gasping.

dumbbell

Heavy weights where arms feel like Jell-O. Lime Jell-O. Wiggly and bright green, like a 1960s space race. Powdered Tang and dehydrated ice cream sold for an exorbitant amount of money at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL – All to pretend that we are just like the astronauts too. Unsung heroes of beyond the skies. Knowledge is not enough, but your body must be put through a physical ringer. I could not handle the nausea, the sick, the equations. I shouldn’t even eat the ice cream.

Have we wasted precious metals on weight lifting? Shouldn’t those be melted down to become something else? Are they recyclable? Heavy, sweating, gym stink, wet socks. Blue mats from karate class, the basement stench of punching bags, rubber and foam. Swinging chains from hooks on low ceilings. Cold metal slipping from my hyperhidrosis hands. They sweat in protest now. Middle fingers to humidity forever. This is my story, I’m writing it, yet beholden to truth even if it does not help me. Even if it does not put forth some preferred narrative. Black weighted ends and that are not friendly. Dumbbells vs. Dumb Belles. The clang as they are removed from their holsters and the forceful clang and bang as they observe gravity making their way down, too heavy for their carriers. Expelling energy, grunting, losing control. To increase muscle tone, to suffer through soreness, to become someone and carve out the marble we were meant to be like we’re our own Michelangelos, hand near chin. Biceps call out in protest. These hamster wheel habits are not what we signed up for. And what is the point of it all anyway? To gain strength? To lose flab? To increase the production of endorphins? We pick and choose the truths that make sense to us. My ankles ache from over-exertion. I must treat them with kindness and respect. Our bodies are not here for long. Meteor dust in space, knowing all I can to survive on this, my home planet, in this solar system. “A Spoonful Weighs A Ton”. Catastrophic willingness to be alive. Hurricane incoming and spinning. It looks like a silent movie from orbit.

palm tree

Electric ukulele strums at the dawn, catching waves and mountain peaks mixed with sunshine sunrise on every sound wave. A Hawaiian Call to Prayer. Breezes are gentle here, the climate is temperate, the sun is warm. The waves are sea-through blue and there is a little glint in your eye, but not of the sun; It is mischievous and playful. And as we lie in this hotel bed, disturbed only by strips of light coming through the ends of the darkened curtain betrayed by its ends where the empty balcony lay, starting to get warmed, I close my eyes and internally wish for five more minutes. The ceiling fan propels quietly, circulating the air in this room that is only a few notches below stifling. You know you must make some excuse. A knock at the door, almost on cue. Hopping up as if propelled by a bolt of electricity, you grab the white terrycloth robe that lays on the chair and tie it around your waist. The knock sounds again. The palm tree wallpaper lines the hallway like a runway to the door. There are coconuts hanging from each one. I wonder if Willy Wonka would subscribe to the idea of scratch and sniff and taste coconut wallpaper. Just to be sure, you approach the design, but as your about the scratch, get distracted by the water stain on the ceiling, snapping yourself back into reality. The knock again. Avoiding the obvious. Not wanting to open that door and have it be some dumb conclusion. I think I must get better at going down to the mine and pick-axing away, even when it gets uncomfortable. Kerouac, though remarkable, and not comparable to whatever this is, could only get so far. But I know nothing. Just some layman’s common knowledge. Tripping over my own feet in the hotel room. Lover stirs and turns in bed. Glancing back, not wanting the dream to be over.

a/c

Cool blizzard breezes blow inside the house now. To sit right in front of the A/C unit during a hot, sweltering summers day is both divine and painful. To put your head near it until your beads of sweat dry up and fall off. Until your heartbeat calms. Nonna had an A/C unit right in the corner of her house, pointed toward the driveway that she didn’t use, right off the dining room table. When it would get too hot, I remember planting myself in front of it. It was a relatively new piece of equipment. All white. Used sparingly. Effective. It would make a deep, whirring, breezy noise. One that is vague to me now and cannot completely recall. It would trill and vibrate at times. Sound angry, but I knew it wasn’t. Box of crayons, melted from the summer kitchen heat. They lived on top of the refrigerator with coloring books. I am sorry for every time I disobeyed and defied. The A/C air smelled clean, good, pure. Icelandic idyllic. I would sit near the A/C unit until my skin became gooseflesh, until I shivered. I’m not sure if I would have made it this far in life without the invention of A/C in general. Sometimes summer gets too hot and plays with your mind. I do not miss sweltering in New York City subways upwards of 95, probably 100 degrees, waiting for a train, praying for a breeze to blow. Feeling the sweat cling to every article of clothing I had on. This year has been very different. I am iron-willed lately, yet dipping into arenas of apathy. As if I’m the apathetic champion. No one could care less than me some days. Panini pressed in marble. Day in and day out, take out, fantasy. There are dragons in my soup, roaring fire and flames. I hear the cacophony of guitars nearing the perimeter. There are some words I choose not to use anymore. I am ricocheting rocks somedays. Pelting little stones at windows, waxing romantic without saying anything. Psychic energy powers to bring life to flowers blooming and other Nature-esque miracles. Resolving to try again tomorrow, feeling defeated and pointless. The air conditioning sedates me and enrages me when it’s not there. This is all meaningless, pointless. My muscles don’t understand anymore.

umbrella

The expansion of the umbrella has protected us from sun and rain. Today, it is rain from which we flee. Big, black, and powerful. Wooden handle, large and serious. I grab the top of the J and grip firmly as the drops pelt from all around me. Dips in the sidewalk wet my feet as I move along hurriedly, sloppily. Toe dips into puddle traps as Nature notates her tally marks on the bardo chalkboard. These tears are not tattooed. Rubber stamp cement ruined, galoshes celebrate as kids take the puddle jumps as victories; Mother Nature hastily erases the tallies she has added to her own side. Because think of her what you may, be she is a fair and just judge. You may not think so because you are biased. But in this arena balance reigns, which appears to us like unjust chaos at times. Notate the ampersand on the upper right hand corner of Pinegrove documents. Robert Langdon needs a goddamn haircut. It does not display youth, it is just unbecoming. Bird perched on a tennis racket, spike the serve with Serena Williams' name on your lips. Incite those who inspire you. Taking away the bacon from your sandwich because I am greedy and need the salt. Umbrella like Rihanna and sharp hi-hats that pop when hit. The remix. Sprite Remix. 90-00 television and the headaches that ensued from over stimulation disguised as sedated habits. Sesame Street on the law. Re-enhancing the brand. Umbrella as shield when the wind comes right at you. Dinner remarkably punctual. Steak and mashed potatoes with extra gravy. I taste these sour raindrops on my tongue and they are underwhelming and worrisome. Gray day, pained by pavement / cement, painted. Smells like it's all going to be over soon. The wind roars by me as if a lion just passed away and had one last thing it needed the share from its jaw. The maw of Life remains open to anyone who wishes to step inside. Rich parallels in golden lava, tripping over ourselves. Surely life must be defined better than this. Little glimpse of hope in grand landscapes.