Archive for July, 2011
The incarnadine brick building is crumbling. It is a Costco cake, dried out, drooling the dust of concrete that falls from these buildings into dank pieces of earth that are abandoned by the god who sifts through the world and brings movement to the things we love.
Freddy stares at it each morning during the commute, and each day he has a dark craving to go and live there. When there are no clouds covering her arrival, the sun is blinding on this section of highway, but Freddy never notices. It’s as if that god who is too fearful to go on the land of the cherry, dark red brick building is driving Freddy’s car because he, Freddy, intuitively slows down, knowing chickenshits are slowing down, trying to behave politely and avoiding glomming on to the rubbery skin of the car in front in his aggravation. Those who drive most slowly are the ones who have the expensive shades and who have the new fangled anti-crash systems aboard their silvery Mercedes..
The sunny days create the contrast when Freddy stares through all of the windows that seem to be holes through the entire building as the powerful peach shines through. The peach and the dark red brick create the furnace of a volcano about to blow, full of the abominable life which springs forth like a May tulip after being vacated by god and the chills of winter.
There is a sign on the building which does not pollute too dramatically, and it tells you to call if you’d like to buy the classic boiler building. The sign is frail like a 4-year-old with pneumonia, trying to fight the drunken bastards from the 1930’s.
On the cloudy days, the power of those old, drunk spirits comes out loudly. Then it is the purple of the day fighting with tight fists against the insides of the boiler building, working to carve through the middle of that building from one end to the other, from one blown-out hole to another, holes that barely resemble what were designed as windows. There are very few windows and this may be why the men inside are so restless, so stuck in this world that will never catch up to their deaths, and the purple contrasts with the red that says if that god had stayed here, the death would have been so comprehensively peaceful. Finally, in the plague of the spirit of the unemployment of the 30’s, the battle shows men holding bottles, stumbling with alacrity, being shelled by black metal explosions from giant cannons that are anchored against the inside walls, far, the cannons, from Freddy’s sight.
The piece of fruit that drives Freddy to live there is the two sets of pairs of sandy brown doors that have the arched shape and might open like barn doors, egresses that are on the outside of the building, leading nowhere but to oceans of puff, one in the middle on the seventh floor, and one slightly off-center on the right on the fifth floor. Freddy can feel the drunks pounding on the doors, longing to stroll through and plummet, thinking, the drunks thinking, that the plunge would be enough to terminate their relationships with eternal boiler building hell, only lightened by a sign that supposes itself to bring hope.
There is density of difficulties caused by the fire escape stairs that come from the building starting on the fourth floor and going down. There are no doors or windows either near or above these orphaned metal stairs, clanky metal that was originally painted in permanently-baked black paint but now, with not much age, are polluted and weakened and suffering from the dysthymia of orange rust, rust that is just like the rust that sits all around Freddy’s brain and laughs at him during the futility of his days. It’s these fire escapes that pull Freddy from the wastelands of his abject uselessness as he studies them and imagines getting a Master’s degree in the science of outdoor fire escapes. Freddy understands why fire escapes are on the inside now, why they are encased by construction that might keep humans safe, but he finds himself longing for a day in the near-future when architects begin again to put the fire escapes on the outsides of buildings so that humans can be truly tortured to the maximum amount when that fire breaks out or that tornado sucks out the inside of the building, leaving nothing but a terribly clanky, fearful dance down these stairs that should surely fall into solid, unmovable oak trees. It’s when the stairs are on the outside that Freddy is able to love the fragility of life.
He looked up – I thought to the sky,
but he was watching traffic signals,
and then he was watching right to left,
up the street and then turning around,
was he trying to cheat something, then
the car horn and it wasn’t at him, dissipating
as the UPS driver was in the back of his truck,
bending at the waist, and he cranked his
neck and looked up: he wasn’t scared;
he was pissed, the UPS driver was, and
I wondered how she could peddle that
stationary bicycle so heavily in the empty
fish bowl, while people went by, I can’t
imagine not being enchanted with her
fierce depth of beauty, peddling, peddling,
and I felt as though I have never not
peddled, always toward empty sewer
pipes that swallow me and remind me
that I don’t know where I am or where
I’ve been, but I suppose I am a fish, and
the UPS driver is a fish, but no pipe will
swallow him and the man in the crosswalk
got clobbered by the Toyota and the deep
lady in the fishbowl was peddling and
will never, ever stop.
The folds entangle my faded yearning, yes
or no, right or wrong, never right, the slick
paper attacking me, holding himself inside his
scales from a Rocky Mountain Trout. Orange
pen unused, lusty pencil welds lanky numbers
that only appear to suck in the structure
of a yellow folder. The darkest brown sprinkled
with phosphorous greens and blues, telling
me I’m sliding off the cliff, missing the tattoos,
only hearing the suicides, watching for
dangerous, big, blue books and preachers,
knowing they’ve stolen my wings. The lady
will be adult and I’ll be stuck in my teary blue
shoes, dark cage, frozen, ripped to shreds,
reaching for a fleeing soul. I wish the notebook
were mine, but I’m not able to turn pages carefully.
I’m not on strike. I’ve been reading Sylvia Plath‘s The Bell Jar, and the writing is so damned good, I get overwhelmed and feel such a waste. I dream of communicating what’s in the heart as she did, and she thought it wasn’t a very serious book (HA!). She haunts me. She’s not the only one.
I try to learn from her. Every sentence is perfect. Every sentence makes me laugh or makes me cry. Sometimes I read a sentence more than a dozen times just to soak it in. In the end, I feel such a waste, like a gold fish in a shark pond, but I retain this love of writing. I cycle like this. I long to create, realize I can’t, spend great amounts of time with great art, and then get tired of not participating and long to create again. I’ll be back soon. Maybe tomorrow. I don’t know.
When I was in music school, one day my composition professor and I were having one of our modernism discussions and he asked me, “Have you thought about doing something else?” To this day, I find that hilarious in the obscenely funny honesty, but I always remember it with distinct sadness whenever I don’t measure up. I know that no one could measure up to Plath; there was only one Plath, but I just want to be decent. Well, I am doing something else. I have a day job, and I’m pretty damned good at that! They like me; I color inside the lines.
When the B-2’s do their flyovers,
I like to think ducking is mandatory.
How fun is that? I’m playing second
grade games and a plane is silently
telling me to die soon. Today I was
ducking all day, and I was telling
people I love them without using the
‘L’ word, and the planes were wicked.
I was a silly goose, dead as a duck,
and I kept ducking, ducking. I’m okay
now. My blood is flowing and my mind
is numb enough that it has slowed
enough to rest inside my blue tea cup.
Section 5 of Freddy Is Sick is big
and I’m stuck, so I’m writing a piece
about the stick. Not writer’s block,
that will never happen. No, there is
a man inside of me who is stopping
me. He isn’t killing Freddy but he’s
killing Freddy’s story. I was crossing
the bridge and the clock was laughing
loudly in fits of red, moving at six o
two, and I stopped and watched the
crow on the metal fire escape
stairs. I wanted to see where he
went when he left his perch near
the twenty-third floor. Both he and
I stood still for fourteen and a half
hours – I was holding my brief case
and my empty lunch pail, and he
was staring at me, daring me to
kill the man inside of me. Now I
am on my way to live where Freddy
lives, and his story won’t ever be told.
It’s Up, and you know it’s Down.
Hesitating, I shouldn’t judge, but all
the other humans live a level-
headed life. The only level for me
is the three-foot long, six-pound
one that someone dropped from
the thirty-fourth floor, obliterating
my head while I was eating a delight-
ful egg salad sandwich at the expensive
cafe that charges table time (being that
their sidewalk tables are so Lilly-white), by
the minute and coffee, by the drip, but I
can’t blame that level for my volatile
mud-faced, chaotic piece of whacked
living in the world of an Ozzy reality
show. How I wish I had Ozzy’s
accent, and when I was drinking,
I would sputter dastardly words that
sounded like shit seeping out from
a crock pot lid with hot dogs in boiling
water, gray hot dogs that would be,
just like Ozzy (me, not the hot dogs),
just like Ozzy, and I was jolly, too.
Yes, it’s Up and it’s Down and it’s
all too real like grinding sand storms
in my eyes when emotional
pain comes from hollow, dead trees
with empty nooses. Today was my
Up, and why shan’t I be agreeable with
Up while she’s here, and not dread
Down, knowing, factually, he’ll be back,
knowing I won’t stop him, but for now
he is off playing lawn tennis in India,
chewing the red, rubber balls with fluor-
escent yellow fuzz, tangling like wire
all over his cheeks, splotched like ketch-
up because someone else is able to whip
his ass in straight sets, not allowing him
to even hold serve (wishing I could watch).
He’ll come back for me, but he
always gets bored and Up will be
back and she and I will picnic in a
violently-warm, pink rainbow.
“You used to be fun.”
And sometimes I do
long for the bottle that
obliterated my dark-
ness. It used to work.
It’s terrible how some-
thing so evil is the
thing that allowed
me to be fun. Ter-
minate this carcass
that used to be fun.
There is an electric swarm of worms
flying on red carpets, built for speed,
as I see those words, “this is helpful,”
and I think that is all I really want is to
be helpful, to help others out of jams,
and some say thank you and I fill with joy,
but the worms, they keep flying. They
have more eyes than you would believe
and they stare at all of the weak junctures,
game-planning the next attack, knowing
that the chemicals cannot be consistent,
that there will be a time for gaps to appear,
and no matter how helpful I work to be,
the worms, they’ll eat the self-esteem, and
they’ll ask, “who are you kidding?” She tells
me not to wait for the other shoe to drop,
but the other shoe drops every fucking
day, and it beats me to little smithereens
of insignificant dust. I’ll try harder tomorrow.
Tomorrow, I might be good enough.
I was on a taut tightrope today.
It was huge. You could look inside
me and see these excited little bugs
dancing all around, and all of my
muscles were doing the dancing
on the tightrope. You would not see
this on the outside, but you would see
a guy who seemed okay. I wasn’t hating
myself today, and you don’t have to
call it god, but this terrific hurricane
of good came through me and sparkled
all of my rotten organs and fused me
with these lights that blazed out to
the paintings on the walls of the old
red brick building with the intricate
white front, and when I walked over
the bridge, all of the purple birds
inside of me started chirping music
that delighted my soul.