17.1.09

Everybody Knows Your Name


These walls.
They breath on you.
In your face.
Their rotten muggy onion-mustard burp breath.
Hitting you in they eyebrows.
The consistency of liquorice rope.
Enough to hang yourself.

And I was born a singer.
But my voice box belongs to someone else.
Or it belonged to someone else.
Long ago.
Somewhere else.
They weren't a singer either.
They were a peasant.
A peon.
A collector of collectable spoons.
Miniature ones.
Wooden ones.
Biblical ones.
Lives of the Saints ones.
Stations of the Cross ones.

But this.
This isn't about that.
This is about being taught lessons you won't soon forget.
And forgetting.
This is about rotten muggy onion-mustard burp breath.
Bludgeoning your eyebrows.
The consistency of liquorice rope.
Enough to hang yourself.

This.
This isn't about that.
This is about these walls.
They breath on you.
And you swallow it.
All this liquorice rope.
Until the very thought of if makes your stomach tie itself into a liquorice rope-like double knot.
It won't have anything to do with this.
Not until your eyes are so swollen shut from squinting through loud sounds and low light that you are left with little choice but to give up.
And throw up.
Your hands.
Your lunch.
Your apple dumpling gang games.
Your tea cup full of tepid tap water that tastes like No Name knock-off Sunlight dish detergent because it wasn't rinsed enough.
Or loved enough.
Or moved around enough as a child.

But this.
This isn't about that.
This is about opening the window that is frozen shut next to you.
And letting go.
Into the garden below.
All those miles of liquorice ropes.
Of hands.
Of lunches.
Of apple dumpling gang games.
Of tepid tap water.
While the moon casts a shadow on the face of the man across the street that will be you next week.
And in between heaves you squint across.
Make icon tact.
Become self conscious.
Become invertebrate.
Wonder if his hardwood floors.
Which will soon be your hardwood floors.
Shimmer in the moon light quite as brilliantly as your hardwood floors do.

But this.
This isn't about that.
This is about being flailed for flailing with a rubber hose.
While all you can think about is liquorice rope.
Miles of it.
Endless.
Reaching to the ocean.
Three blocks that way >>>.
Invertebrate.
Taking twice too long.
Forgetting our place.
Losing whatever it wasn't to begin with.
Doubling.
Down.
Back.
Over.
Flailing.
Like so much liquorice rope.
Floundering.
Like so much flounder.

But this.
This isn't about that.
This is about rotten muggy onion-mustard burp breath.
Right in the eye.
In the middle of the night.
But the night that stays and doesn't leave when the party is over.
It has no middle.
For it has no end.
No double.
It just is.
So you offer it a choice.
Fight or flea.
So you fight.
And never win.
Ever win.
It always ends with you cracking your head on the eyes and waking up squinting at the sun calling it a sunuvabitch.
Sunuvabitch.

But this.
This isn't about that.
This is about abject boredom.
And memories of loneliness.
And invertebrates.
And half-laughs half-time.
Liquorice rope flailings the other.
Dill pickle chips falling.
Where they may.
And that one frozen toe that aches and pops non-stop.
It burns like fire.
Screams like a fire engine.
Red like the sun.
Blue like the night that constantly kicks your ass in an never-ending fight.
Emperor Krakito.
The bad kind of fight that ends with an endless stream of vomit the constancy of liquorice rope.
So vivid is the picture you can feel it escaping your throat.
Screaming as it leafs.
Like the wings of a million aphids escaping a million daffodils.
Colonial Catsup.
The thought feels like being violated.
In rewind.
So it can happen again.
And again.
And again.
And again.
And again.
And again.

But this.
This isn't about that.
This is about yawning while driving 100 miles per hour.
Going days without showering.
Because there is nowhere to be.
Going to Graduate School because you picked up the wrong form at the EI office.
EI.
EI.
Oh.
Wrapping.
Unwrapping.
Happening nearly instantaneously.
Like a light switch for wrapping paper.
Not to be recycled.
But burned.
And coughed all over everything.
Losing fights to brick walls breathing rotten muggy onion-mustard burp breath in you face.
So thick you can taste it.
It tastes like a million miles of liquorice rope.
In rewind.
Again.
And again.
Which turns out to be little more than a popcorn fart.
Damn these walls.

-mm 17 Jan 2009 3:52 St. John's NL

Painting pictured above: Family Portrait II by mm 21 Dec 2008 St. John's NL

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