Month: June 2014

Cathedral

This feels like some sort of embarrassing teenaged cliche, but sitting on a church’s front steps and looking at the b-side to some not-yet excommunicated saint’s benediction feels less sacrilegious than you’d thought.

In the golden shimmer of his merman’s trident, there exists a slice of life that protrudes from his memory’s grasp like a branch from the stolen trunk of someone else’s oak cabinet. You can’t tell where it’s pointed from the stairs, but when you cross the pavilion and stand beneath a street light, you see that it’s pointed up at the saint while the merman looks away. and maybe he isn’t a merman and maybe he isn’t either, at least they’re ashamed enough of themselves to look somewhere else.

Because the merman gave in to the snake’s temptation and ate the devil’s fruit. Birdshit drips down the saint’s face like holy water tears, white in the purity of the primed canvas, and it’s never been more obvious to you that a statue isn’t real. His sceptre’s pointed down towards the not-man’s trident.

You turn back towards the church. Two couples form an obtuse angle with the statue, over ninety degrees of god-I-need-a-shower and wait-should-you-have-been-my-first-thought. There’s no solitude beneath the watchful eagle eye of the saint whose dirt-crusted exterior shows how far someone will go to live a lie that they think will make them happier, some day.

You’re dimly aware of the sharp corners digging into your back as you press against the light post. What once was a wife-open plateau of crossed stitches and one glass of wine too many turns into a coliseum, raised walls and all. Trapped in an open-air dungeon of iniquity, the corners of the lamppost pierce your consciousness and it hits you that this was a fountain the whole time, just waiting for untouched blood to wash away the years’ stains.

You’d cry out, but nobody listens to cassettes anymore except to steal someone else’s memories.

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The Pianist

He’d always been shit at piano. There was a disconnect between his fingers and his mind. He couldn’t trust them to go where he needed them to, not without watching carefully, helping when necessary. It was a shame, though, because he thought he might very well have liked to be a pianist in a different reality.

His fingers would dance across the bony spinal cord of some harmony he hadn’t realized was possible, the low groans and breathy steps leading him in a 1-2-3, 1-2-3 waltz. They’d blur into a colored, bruised mess of thoughts colliding over back of his mind. A tornado rummaging through a filing cabinet.

Maybe he’d sway, too. Moved by force, his gravity would pull him in a graceful orbit around his fingers’ frenzied flight, as captivating as a trainwreck. You can’t look away; your eye’s lens captures the scene and imprints on your retinas’ vinyl. His eyes would be shit. He didn’t need to see this, too.

Maybe he’d have earplugs, bask in the glory of silence. He’d see no record players. He didn’t have to hear himself strike a cord in between the knobby ridges of another’s valley. He didn’t need to se it, either, because it was this feeling inside of him that was kind of funny the whole time, sort of like he was sick and never fully recovered.

There was always a relapse.

His music would speak in colors and shapes, in memories and seeings. He’d prophecy the future to all who dare listen, dare wonder what fate stores. HE imagined that there would be lots of sharp reds contrasted with dull browns, but that his favorite memories, the ones that stuck with him forever, would be the sea green splashes like the coasts of a collarbone. He’d trace his way down himself into a different time in a different place.

There would be an ocean in this new place, and an underwater city of people who’ve evolved to breathe while submerged. A true escape. He would probably find buried treasure somewhere in the crevices of he ivory and black pearl. An x marks the spot in the sand, and he’d flux his way into another flushed measure.

Sweat would map the contours of his face, highlighting all the acne bumps and patches of uneven hair, and eventually drip from the bridge of his nose. It might puddle on the middle C, wearing away at the paint like Chinese Water Torture: slowly, until everything bursts.

He wonders what would happen to his ribcage, though. He wonders if it would crack under the pressure of a thousand notes all playing at once. If it would shatter the moment he touched the surface of the keys. His heart would spill out, tumbling across the piano, staining its teeth with the blood of stories to be told.

There is always a relapse.

He’s always been shit at piano, and if his heart’s blood trickled between his fingerprints, he’s sure the keys would get sticky.